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MEC Grabber Inconsistent Crimping

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Charkat1, Jun 7, 2010.

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  1. Charkat1

    Charkat1 Member

    Apr 8, 2007
    East Tennessee
    We have a MEC Grabber that just doesn't crimp properly, consistently. His plan is to disassemble it, lube it and reassemble it. We have the manual for reference. Has anyone else had any experience with this sort of problem?

    Thanks in advance for any insight you may be able to provide.

  2. SBray

    SBray Active Member

    Jan 29, 1998

    Sometimes, the fact that previously fired hulls are in various stages of wear, the crimps just will not come out consistently. The ends are no longer capable of working like they did the first few times and it is time to toss them in the trash.

  3. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

    May 15, 2006
    I'm no expert--by a long shot, but my recent experiments with adjusting to optimize crimp quality have resulted in improvement.

    As a side note, this liberating experimentation was inspired by a lady reloader friend of mine who has the loveliest crimps of all (and hopefully the least jealous of all husbands to boot!)

    One change that seemed to help with making my crimps prettier (2/3 times reloaded AA's) was loosening the crimp starter knurled die on my 650 in increments until things started to improve. Before, I kept it tight. Now it's 1-2 turns loose (lower and more free to move/align) and the vast majority of my crimps are really nice. I marked it with a marker so I can keep track of its position as it will "walk" some as you load.

    I also lowered my rammer tube a fraction creating a tad more wad pressure (just slightly). (CB8118 fig-8 clones, 20gr AM SEL).

    When the occasional crimp comes out ugly as they inevitably do at least in my experience, it goes in my "ugly bin" for practice rounds.

    These adjustments come without proper sanctioning, are completely unsubstantiated by objective scientific research, and may reveal themselves as ill-advised by the sage MEC reloading gods....

    I've recently learned that living among us mere mortals are those who've never reloaded a dud, or created a homely crimp for that matter. Be duly warned, they may take a poop on my suggestions.

    In that case this post will self-destruct in five seconds.

    Guy Babin
  4. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Been a while since I've owned a Grabber, but the memories I have are fond ones. If by "doesn't crimp properly, consistently" you mean an occasional mangled crimp caused by (A) A six point hull run through the 8 point crimp starter, (B) The failure of the crimp starter to "index" on the previously formed folds or (C) the use of a hull that was shot with a previously mangled crimp, then you are dealing with more or less a "normal" situation. You can try removing the crimp starter and see if it spins freely (you can check this while still on the machine too). You can also remove the final crimp die and make sure it is clean and maybe lightly lubed (teflon spray).

    Of all of my reloaders, the Grabber I had produced the best crimps of any of them (250, 600 jr., 9000G, Grabber, and a Dillon SL900). Whatever the cause, I'd bet you're not too far from discovering it. Good luck.
  5. laura!

    laura! Member

    Feb 18, 2007
    Charlene, I too number among the mere mortals who occasionally has a bad crimp. If you are switching back and forth between STS/Gun clubs and AA, that could also be the problem. We have to adjust the reloader if we switch hulls and, because, well, we're lazy, we just load STS/gun clubs.

    Guy, it's my crimps Steve's jealous of ;-)
  6. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    All of the above, PLUS:

    STS and Nitro hulls vary in length. Stand a buch up on your bench and observe the differences in height.

    It is easy to see that more or less plastic above the shot will change the crimps.

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