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Need advice on Progressive Reloader

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Old Texas Marine, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. Old Texas Marine

    Old Texas Marine Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    529
    Been a lurker here for months and have learned a bunch. Now I could use some advice on the acquisition of a progressive press. Some pertinent facts:

    Needs:

    1. 12 gauge only. I have a MEC 77 in 20 gauge for the small amount of 20 gauge loading I do.

    2. I will load only one load. AA or STS w/ 1 oz. and Promo powder.

    Dilemma:

    1. I can buy a 9000 G from Mid-South for around $400 OR,

    2. I can buy a PW 950 Elite for about the same price from a retired Army officer friend and fellow club member. The PW has hardly been used as he bought it and was ordered overseas before taking it out of the box. After his deployment he worked with it a bit but never really got it sorted out. He said the Customer Service at PW told him to, “read the book.” He lost patience and quit the PW ranks and went to Hornady. This was several years ago and the press has been sitting in his reloading building since.

    I looked at the 950 today and other than a little dirt it is in great condition. I didn’t fool with it much and he hadn’t messed with it in years (he has a plethora of other reloaders, MEC and Hornady) so was not much help. It didn’t seem to want to index. It could be my ignorance about the operating procedures. He has the owner’s Manual (all 31 Pages) so maybe I can sort it out.

    What say you??? Thanks in advance.

    Old Texas Marine
     
  2. Bob Gambrell

    Bob Gambrell TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    11
    I enjoy reloading with my 9000 G. That is until I buy shot! :(

    BC
     
  3. chipking

    chipking TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,761
    A new MEC 9000 beats a cobbled on P/W 950 just about any time. This guy had other loaders yet couldn't get the 950 to work to his satisfaction. Read between the lines. Unless you just like taking on the aggrevation and the thrill of finally getting it to work (maybe).
    --- Chip King ---
     
  4. dverna

    dverna Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,717
    Call Whiz White.

    See S&W on the home page.

    Whiz knows all there is to know about PW's. If he says to buy it - do it. He will help you sort out any problems the machine may have.

    I hated the MEC9000. Many love them. I got tired of shot and powder all over the place and the mickey mouse primer feed.

    Don
     
  5. K80433SC

    K80433SC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    411
    I do all of my own work on my Ponsness, unless I need a part. Even then -- I remove the old and re-install the new one, myself. I've never had the need to go anywhere for service advice or assistance. And if I can do it, I would think that most of you could, also.

    For whatever reason, the PW seems to get alot of trash talked about it here.

    I admit to having had some VERY "personal" conversations with my 900 also. But - when all is said and done, I would still not trade the asthetic quality of a shell loaded on that machine for anything I've ever seen come off a MEC.

    And I am not talking down the MEC. I loaded with one for several years. I just think that my PW creates a nicer crimp, and the taper it applies is nice for smooth feeding into the chamber.
     
  6. Big Jack

    Big Jack Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,735
    Location:
    Erie, Pa
    I use a Mec 650 Hydro that has been on my bench for probably fifteen years give or take a couple. Just this evening, I loaded two flats without missing a beat. Couldn't ask for better!

    Big Jack
     
  7. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,222
    Anyone that thinks a Mec any Mec is even close to the quality of a PW is smoking some good stuff .
     
  8. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,003
    If they are the same money, the PW would be a good buy, EXCEPT, what will it cost to get it working right? I had one conversation with the folks at PW and was basically told to RTFM. I have NEVER had an issue with MEC support. They have sent parts out at no charge, walked me through some odd problems and always tried their best to resolve my problem, whether on the phone or by email. It's your choice. A $400 PW paper weight (until/IF you get it working) or a brand new MEC 9000 for the same cost, that will actually load shells right out of the box. I'm sure Whiz would help point you in the right direction, but the factory should be able to help you out. You might also be in need of some updates with PW. I don't know that for sure, but a phone call or email (not to the factory) would help you find out. The shells I make on my MEC are just about the same quality as those that came off of my PW for fit and finish. They have a nice taper and the crimps are usually great. If not, a little tweaking and they are good as ever.

    If you don't pay attention to the MEC 9000, it can make a mess. I small shop vac can do wonders. If you slow down just a little and watch what you are doing, it's not a problem. I don't have the PW anymore either, but I have a good collection of MECs and a few others.
     
  9. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

    Joined:
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    3,734
    Old tex, you said he had a multitude of other loaders and let the PW sit because of problems. Now have you done alot of reloading and are you a good tinkler so it won't be a problem child for you?

    You state that you have been viewing here for several months. Then I'm sure you saw and probably read the thread that "Whiz White" had on PW and they way he was treated by them as a dealer and very loyal assistance/technical advisor in the field. Time maybe limited for Jim and if he does say quits with PW, good luck with finding another assistant that you can call for help. I also don't believe that Whiz should be asked to constantly solve problems from people that did not purchase from him! It should be the factories responsibility!

    Someone above said that their PW produced a better finished shell than any Mec they viewed, hogwash.. Mec produces as good of finished shell as any if properly set up..

    So go with the new MEC is my suggestion.
     
  10. Wentez

    Wentez Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    126
    Whhatever press you decide on put a cookie pan with a lip on it under the press.

    Geo
     
  11. sammyd95

    sammyd95 TS Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    358
    I use a pw 800B,if i were going to buy a new loader it would be an RCBS grand.(Just my opinion) I think it would be worth waiting tilll you had teh cash if that be the problem.
     
  12. phirel

    phirel TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,556
    Both machines will do a good job. Mechanically, the PW is a step above the MEC. But, the PW will often not forgive mistakes as easily as the MEC. I believe the PW is a little faster than the MEC. The two machines work differently and many people find it awkward to change from one to the other.

    Whichever one you get, after it is set up and working, you will believe you made the right decision.

    Pat Ireland
     
  13. fritzi93

    fritzi93 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    321
    Dunno if I can state it any better than Pat. Yes, the MEC is a little more forgiving and parts are cheaper. But once a PW is set up correctly, it'll run flawlessly for a long time. I had several MECs before my PW900, they were fine reloaders, but I'm keeping my PW, it's been perfectly satisfactory.

    One gripe I had with the MECs was the Mickey Mouse primer feed system. It was hit or miss in comparison to PW and I had to watch it like a hawk. I suppose they finally improved that?
     
  14. leadspreader

    leadspreader TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    339
    dont know how much you plan on loading but the mec is my pick. I have loaded on a mec hustler(hyd. grabber) for several years. I had an opportunity to buy a p/w 850 elite for 200 a cpl years ago. so I bought it and what a nightmare! crazy ass primer feed just kept spitting primers, crushed shells ,and pain in the butt to change bushings. It was a very smooth operating press but that was all!
     
  15. 6ft lead

    6ft lead TS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    PW'S are very nice, a little touchy in my opinion, if you haven't loaded 1000's and 1000's, and want to get into it, i would suggest the mec, nice taper and a darn good resizer, the mec sizemaster, with the hard steel bases of todays casings, i would be more concerned with the resizing capabilities becouse a wonderful crimp ain't worth anything if you cant get it in the chamber.
     
  16. crk

    crk Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Messages:
    131
    Wow, after following the other threads from Whiz on PW and his frustrations - wonder where all this PW fan club is coming from after all the kudos he got for saying he was abandoning them? Just cause PW made "nice" with him this week, don't mean anything is different at PW yet.

    If you need help and can't find Whiz, where will you go? MEC customer service (from the factory) is first class. Same price units and the MEC is new ($400) in box with factory warranty and support (free) as opposed to a unit that is older, used, and not working properly? (priceless)
     
  17. nipper

    nipper TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
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    1,502
    Buy a mec and a pw and run them thru several stages and then tell us which one your like better..

    Bill
     
  18. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Location:
    Northampton PA
    Anything but a PW 950!!
     
  19. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    7,770
    You should read the latest Dillon thread. Buy the MEC rather than the PW.
     
  20. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,261
    You will never get powder or shot dropped all over if you learn to watch just 2 things. Make sure the primer dropped correctly and make sure the charge bar returns. Once you disipline yourself to watch these 2 things you'll catch them before shot and poiwder goes all over. I have not had and shot or powder go all over for quite a while. But the one time you AREN'T watching it will be a mess. The newer primer feed rarely screws up like the old style did.
     
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