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Mec 9000 inconsistent powder drops

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by BrowningPotato, Sep 2, 2009.

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  1. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    Hello all, first I would like to say I have been reading your threads for some time and finally decided to play along, you have some great discussions. Now to my question. I have a Mec 9000 progressive loader which I have been using for roughly 5 years. For the past 2 years it has been sitting in the attic as I have no time to shoot or reload. Upon getting it out about a month ago I started back loading with the same loads I had been loadig when I put it away (oakley loads). When I wanted to switch to some practice loads I decided I should weigh a couple of loads to make sure my bushing was giving the correct grainage (which was supposed to be 17.5gr). Upone digitally weighing several shells I realized that my powder loads were quite inconsistent, ranging from 17.2gr to 17.8gr. First of all, is this variation going to dramatically affect my shells and make them noticeably inconsistent (I am using Hogden Clays powder). And secondly, is there a way to make my powder charges more consistent. The charge bar is going all the way over and it appears as though the brass and rubber bushings are seated correctly. Has anyone else had this problem, and if so is there a way to fix it?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    Good morning, With the centering screw going all the way over to the left the next thing I would check is to insure there is nothing in the drop tube. Possibly a little piece of plastic or even string. With that said, you need to hesitate at the bottom of the stroke to allow the powder to complete it's drop. A common problem is pulling the handle down too fast as well. Either of those could cause the problem. Develop a rythym. Jackie B.
     
  3. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    Thanks for the advice Jack. I will have to check the tube, there is a chance there could be an obstruction, however, if there was an obstruction in the tube, why would the load sometimes be heavy? Also I pay very close attention to the rythm to which I pull the handle and make sure to hold it down momentarily before raising it. I am just baffled.
     
  4. Bob_K

    Bob_K Well-Known Member

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    Consistent powder drops don't happen by accident. Ground your machine. Static electricity can cause fluctuations. Use the PC red plastic powder baffle. Develop a consistent rhythm to you operations. And, yes, check for cobwebs in the drop tube. Did you roll your powder keg around before loading up the powder bottle? Powder has light bits and heavy bits, so agitating the powder some helps mix it up.
     
  5. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    I had thought about a baffle and a guy at the club said that the baffles work very well for alot of loaders but he said DO NOT put one on a mec 9000, though he did not ellaborate. SO you guys are thinking it could be static? Also, will those powder variation cause inconsistencies that will be noticeable?
     
  6. Francis Marion

    Francis Marion Well-Known Member

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    Wanted to help but Bob beat me to it. A porder baffle is a must as well as grounding the machine. Both are critical. Also, be smooth on the handle. Consistent pressure down, the same everytime.
     
  7. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    LOL thanks flincher, Im sure you are right that the variations were there previously, this is the first times I have taken the time to digitally weigh a large number of shells. I will try the baffle (though does anyone know why I was told these do not work well for the 9000's) and try to get rid of smoe of the static. Glad to hear that all the shells I have already loaded will not be grossly inconsistent. Thanks for all the help!
     
  8. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    You are getting 0.6 gr of powder variation and that is a little too much. Ground your loader, it won't help much especially in the Summer, but it can't hurt. Check your scale, it could be off a little. Make a powder baffle from aluminum flashing or even an empty shell box. Look at a PW baffle for 15 seconds and you will know how to make one that will fit your powder hopper. Clean your drop tube. A bit of crud will hole back powder from one drop and give a light charge. The held powder can be released along with the normal amount of powder with the next drop (heavy charge).

    Most important, learn how to pull down and push up the handle at a constant and as smooth motion as possible. Variation in the speed/force you pull the handle will cause powder drop variations.

    Pat Ireland
     
  9. kraiza

    kraiza Active Member

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    I have a Mec 9000GN with the same problem. The fix was a dryer sheet a round the powder bottle, add a red Powder control baffle, Ground the reloader and hold the handle down for a split second. I also add a dehumidifier in the room and have no problem now.
     
  10. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    Ok, rookie question, when you say ground the reloader you mean..?
     
  11. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    You should add a 1 meg ohm resistor to the ground cord if you decide to ground your equipment. See - wrist straps for electrical work on computers etc.

    Don Verna
     
  12. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    The reason the person told you not to use a baffle likely is that MEC advises not to use them. And I have come to agree, after discovering the hard way that plastic, not being a good electrical conductor, interrupts the ground effect from affecting the powder reservoir.

    Many people have to ground their loaders to prevent static electricity from building up in it. Any time two things rub together, friction is created and that leads to an electrostatic charge. Powder does that as it flows through the loader, so you might want to connect a wire to a bare metal spot on your loader's base and the ground tab on the lower left corner (usually) of an electrical wall outlet.

    Home heating systems get most of the blame for static buildup, with forced air being credited for being the primary culprit. But my home has baseboard hot water heat and I get goofy powder drops if my loader isn't grounded. I now have an AutoMate, an electrical loader operator, and because the loader is bolted to that grounded device, all the METAL parts of the loader are grounded, too.

    Thanks to the ground and the AutoMate's consistent operation of the loader, my powder drops are within a tenth of a grain of each other without a baffle, so I obviously feel that one really isn't needed.

    Ed
     
  13. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    I put the strip of dryer sheet in the bottle and hold it with the little red cap.

    NO static probs.

    Ed, I have radiators too, and the rest of the house is very static prone since we have carpet everywhere. Never needed a ground wire.

    HM
     
  14. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Take a cleaning rod and a piece of dryer sheet and push it through the powder and shot drop tubes.

    I do not use a baffle, since they add one more thing to mess up. I noticed that they didn't do much to even out the drops anyway, and had trouble when they "bridged". Basically they plugged up and the powder stopped flowing. It happens infrequently, but when it does, you'll be taking a lot of hulls apart if you don't catch it early.

    When "grounding" a press, use a wire to a cold water pipe or other ground source. Be sure to add a 1 MegOhm resistor in series as Don had mentioned. The static will still go to ground, but your press will not become "hot" or a direct path to ground if there is a wiring problem in the house or nearby appliances. Almost ALL ESD grounding devices have the resistor, and it's there for a reason. It is a current limiting device and worth the trouble of adding it.

    Get a set of check weights and check your scale to see if it's consistent. I had one that was horrible on Battery, but acceptable on AC. Note the use of the term "had".

    Make sure there are no air currents causing inconsistencies with the scale. No fans, AC, open doors, or dehumidifiers nearby.

    Check your charge bar to make sure it is not corroded or rough, and that it slides freely in the press. Sometimes a little cleanup on a sharpening stone can take the rough edges off and help a bit.

    Tightening the bottles to tightly can also bind the bar a little, so I just make them snug and not too tight. I have a bottle support on mine and it helps keep them from loosening further.

    Toss the jug of powder around a bit so it is well mixed.

    Wipe everything down with a dryer sheet. That will usually get rid of the static issue for awhile.
     
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