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Opinions on reloaders

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Gonbad, Mar 25, 2013.

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  1. Gonbad

    Gonbad Member

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    Dec 3, 2009
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    Location:
    Chaplin, Kentucky
    I have been looking at several reloaders and would like your opinions on the Dillon SL 900; as well as your favorites. I would like something with a hull feeder, if they work. What are your opinions on hull feeders?

    Thanks to all,
    Charles Howard
     
  2. yakimaman

    yakimaman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I have a hull feeder - it's called my left hand. Pick up hull with my left, wad with my right - one motion into loader, pull handle, repeat. MEC Grabber - Had it over 10 years - works perfect, can't find a reason to go to something else.
     
  3. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    First of all, I would NOT buy the SL900 WITHOUT the hull feeder.

    I've used an SL900 for over 10 years and you're right a hull feeder is definitely a plus. The one on the Dillon, however, can sometimes be a little picky about overloading it with hulls, but when it's sailing along you'll be putting out a box of shells every 1'45" without breaking a sweat.

    A pair of brothers at our club each bought SL900s last year, and they ran into the hull feeder's pickiness. One of them got to looking at the problem and devised a small aluminum "flipper" that rocks back and forth at the hull exit. I have one now and, honestly, I can't figure out how it works, but it does. They claim they are able to overload the hopper and it still keeps chugging along. I don't try overloading, but their "flipper" sure smoothed my feeder out. I was getting ready to buy a new drive motor when I tried their gadget.

    One drawback to the Dillon is that you can crank out shells so easily that you tend to do batches of 500 - 1000 or more. Eventually all of that repetitive motion can wear away the lubricity of your joints (shoulder/elbow/hand) and you end up having to take a couple days off. ;-)

    Good luck.

    Bob Falfa
     
  4. Bird30

    Bird30 TS Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    I have a Dillon with a hull feeder that is 7 years old. Have had very little trouble with it. Ever now and then a hull will get under the turn table. It will make you fuss a little but no big deal. The only thing is if you are not mechanically minded don't buy a Dillon, buy a 9000 MEC. Not just my opinion.

    Dave
     
  5. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    7,760
    After 15 years using a Dillon SL900 all I can say is they are great loaders. I've made 150,000+ shells with almost no issues, and those were minor. I made 500 reloads today. All perfect, no issue at all. I put in 85 shells per run in the hopper and that seems to be the perfect number.
     
  6. kcbullets

    kcbullets Member

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    Mar 18, 2012
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    461
    I am sure the Dillon is a good reloader, as I have a Dillon 550B for rifle and pistol reloading. I would just add to the mix of a PW800+ is a very good choice to consider as well. I do not have a auto hull feeder so I cant comment.
     
  7. higun

    higun Member

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    I've been using the Dillon for about 12 years now and have been very pleased. It has the hull feeder. The feeder will get jammed up if overloaded - so don't overload it. It will handle 75 to 100 empties without a problem.

    You can get about 600 shells per hour without rushing.
     
  8. shotgunjerry

    shotgunjerry Active Member

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    Dec 26, 2011
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    159
    For the money and simplicity to repair if need be, I don,t think you can beat a Mec. Started shooting registered targets in 1987 was using a Sizemaster for the first four years and then a Grabber and I am still using it. I shoot at least 6000 registered targets plus practice and league and 99 and 2/3% of my shells are reloads reloaded with the Grabber. I Highly recommend Mec.
     
  9. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Are you a casual shooter? Shoot say 10,000 rounds per year or less? Don't care if loading a flat of empty hulls takes 10 minutes longer? Want reloads that look as nice as the ones from a "better" loader? If you answered "yes" to all four questions, all you need is a MEC 9000GN. I've had some of the "better" loaders and always came back to a MEC. I've had this one for several years and don't expect to replace it any time soon.

    Ed
     
  10. Gonbad

    Gonbad Member

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    Thanks for all of your comments. I have a Hornady Apex now. It's a decent, progressive loader, but a bit temperamental, especially the primer feeder. And when it misses a primer, and don't catch it, you have a mess with powder running out of the bottom of the shell. Also, This year my son, age 15 has began shooting so the shell requirement has now doubled! Just looking to save some time at the reloading bench.
     
  11. BT-100dc

    BT-100dc Active Member

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    Unless you're reloading, say 5,000 or more a year, I prefer a MEC 650. Say what you need, for the price, it's a great reloader. You are going to need the extra money for things like shot at $40.00 per 25lb bag, $150.00 for 5k of primers plus the cost for powder which heaven only knows what's going to happen with all of this gun control sh$t. The MEC 650 is the cheapest (only in price, not quality) progressive reloader out there. Now, there's no doubt there's better reloaders but there but the 650 has been good enough to do the job for me. Please note that the 650 does not resize but I have never had a shell stick in my gun but I should emphasize that I do not reload any steel based shotshells. BT100dc
     
  12. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    I use the SL900 and find it to be a great loader---I agree with everything above about the shell feeder---I find it necessary to watch every primer drop as it will hang up now and then---I took a slice out of the primer drop tube to be able to see the primer drop easier----I also have a Mec 9000H which I love also---It just keeps on ticking---I also have an old Mec 500(past 45yrs)I use it for my 7/8 loads---Keep it just for old times sake---No need for anything else than the above----Never had a spolar---They say they are also great but not needed for the $$s----The Dillon or Mec is all you'll ever need.

    George@SJB
     
  13. Joe O

    Joe O Member

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    Location:
    Minnesota
    No discussion of reloaders would be complete without mentioning the Hornady 366. Bought mine in the 70's and it still works flawlessly. Just sayin'. As with any progressive it take a few minutes to get it set up but after that it just keeps chuggin along.
    Joe O
     
  14. dls guide

    dls guide Member

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    PW 800 plus with hydraulic or electric motor. Life is just too short to be pulling handles. Dillon has no power option that I know of.
     
  15. threedeuces

    threedeuces TS Member

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    Not so sure what an P/W 850 + is but the Dillon would be my last choice besides a Mec.
     
  16. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    3,685
    Location:
    Redding, California
    I've had a PW, a 366 Hornaday, and Mec's. Like Bob, above, if you load a lot your shoulder and arm gets worn out pretty quickly. I loaded so much in the early 90's that I developed bursitus in my left shoulder from pulling the handle. (I'm left handed, of course) I switched to a Mec 9000H hydraulic unit and have had no problems with that shoulder since the change. I have always loaded on a Mec since I first loaded duck loads on a 600 Jr in 1962. Tried the others just "because", and have ALWAYS returned to the Mec's. ... In my opinion they are the best loader out there for the money, period... Dan Thome (Trap2)
     
  17. 90Tshooter

    90Tshooter Member

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    If you are using an Apex loader now anything will be an improvement. I tried one of those when I wanted to upgrade to go progressive from a 700 Versamec 15 years ago. Had it for a week and never even got a full box of shells loaded out of it. The primer feed didn't work at all, the auto advance jammed as soon as I had the stations loaded, and I had wad guide issues. I returned it and got a Mec Grabber that I've been using ever since.

    Joe
     
  18. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    I'm a big fan of the Apex 3.0/3.1... but your comment on the primer feed system is the weak link - I make sure to listen for the primer drop... I have 5 of the Apex loaders in 12/20 gauge - extra parts are now harder to come by...

    The Apex offered all the advanced concepts in a modestly priced package... shell detects for primer, powder and shot drop... full resizer and auto indexing - I wish they had used less plastic in some of the components, but after 12 years, I've become an expert in maintaining the tools, like many who continue to use them...

    Friends who own Dillons swear by them... don't abandon the Apex, it still has a long useful life... keep it as a spare... the perennial favorite among most is the MEC 9000 for auto indexing progressives.

    Jay
     
  19. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

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    "Hard to beat a MEC. There is a reason why they outsell all the others combined."

    That reason is because they are cheaper.
     
  20. rwtii

    rwtii Member

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    My hydraulic spolar is really nice. I had a PW with a hull feeder and hydraulic unit. It was too much to watch at once. I feed hulls with my left hand and wads with my right. Foot pedal drives hydraulic unit. Wonderfull shells with no problems. Their new primer cup, which can be retrofitted on any machine, solves the tipped primer problem that was, as far as I am concerned, their last weakness. Superior machine that holds its value like a fine engraved over under.
     
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