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Problems with powder and MEC Reloader

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by TURNKEY321, Apr 27, 2008.

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  1. TURNKEY321

    TURNKEY321 Member

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    I have been having a large amount of squib/light loads lately and was wonding if anyone had an idea of why. I am using a MEC 9000 loader and several different powders (700X, Clays, Universal Clays). Last night I would weigh each load and found that the machine would throw 10-12 in a row at (17.0 grains) and then throw one load at(12.0 grains. I am using a powder baffle and don't know if I should keep on or remove it.
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Either the charge bar is not fully traveling under the hopper or you have some sort of temporary block under the hopper such as a loose washer or ring. Very rarely, the powder will form clumps if it has too much solvent added to it at the factory. I have seen this happen only one time.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. Jim101

    Jim101 Active Member

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    Other than what Pat offered, I will submit that the dwell time at the bottom of the stroke is very important to consistent powder drops with the MEC machines, Doubly so if you use a powder baffle. You have to give the bushing time to fill up.







    Jim
     
  4. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    I had the same problem when I first started loading on the 9000. What I found out was as was suggested above being sure that the charge bar goes all the way over but in my case I was pulling the handle too fast and it didn't allow the bushing proper time to fill up with powder. I finally learned to just go at a good moderate pace and they loaded great. You may even want to momentarily stop at the bottom of the down stroke to get the proper load. Two seconds will probably be long enough. Jackie B.
     
  5. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Take off the bottles and remove the bar. Look for a string from a shot bag, compacted powder, anything that would cause the bar to drag. Look for shiny spots in the anodizing. Using 600 sandpaper taped to glass or other flat surface, smooth down the bar. When you start, see if there is a spot which the paper abrades first; maybe you can quit when that one spot is brought down to the rest of the bar, which you will see when the anodizing all starts to fade a bit. Do that on all four sides, especially on the top with the bushing still in the bar (it can stand a little "proud.")

    When you are done, clean the bar and see if it slides completely freely full stroke. Throw the baffle away; just use the original rubber grommets, and unless you are using a ball powder, don't even use the wavy brass washer.

    Start loading, and while you are watching the primer feed all the time, watch the left/right sliding of the bar all the time too.

    Neil
     
  6. Pull Bang

    Pull Bang Member

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    Check the bottom of the powder drop tube (rammer tube p/n 505B).
    This is the tool that also seats the primer. Over time pushing on the plastic base wad to seat the primer debris can build up on the inside of the opening of this tube crating a “shelf” that powder can hang up on.


    I had this happen to me. I worked on my loader for days trying to figure out why my powder drops were so inconsistent. Finally, I tilted the powder/shot canisters back and looked DOWN through this tube. There it was some debris pressed on the opening of the tube. Cleaned it out and no further problems. It is now part of my maintenance program.


    Frank
     
  7. Bob_K

    Bob_K Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good suggestion so far, but also check that the powder bar is travelling all the way until the screw head in the center of the bar lightly contacts the end of the slot it travels in. If it does not contact the end of the slot, inconsistent charges result.
     
  8. ljuticsscentennialpro

    ljuticsscentennialpro Member

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    The brass washer that goes under the rubber "washer" in the powder drop hole must have the "bumps" in the washer facing up, in contact with the rubber piece. Also as the brass washer wears, it starts to migrate and partially block the drop hole, resulting in irregular drops. If you have a powder baffle with the spring loaded tube in the end which contacts the charge bar and blocks powder leakage, you may not need the brass washer.
     
  9. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good suggestions have been offered and, hopefully, here are some others. With the bar return spring disconnected and the bottles loosened, slide the bar(s) back and forth. If you have two or more and they all feel the same, they are likely not the culprit. But if one feels different from the others, you should proceed as Neil instructed.

    Next, if you do feel a little more resistance than what you think you should have, tilt the chrome charge bar housing back and you will see the crimped ends of the two rivets that go from the top to the bottom of the housing. With a punch and mallet, give each rivet a tap or two and recheck how the bar slides. My loader did exactly what yours is doing and MEC instructed me to provide the bar a little more clearance by doing what I described to you and it worked for me. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to do it regardless of what you feel - it can't cause powder leakage or anything else negative.

    Lastly, I suggest eighty-sixing the baffle, too. Actually, MEC is who suggests that. Years and years ago, I asked them whether I should use a metal or plastic baffle and their answer was that they did not recommend using any. And no, they don't say that because they don't sell baffles. If they thought there was an advantage to using one, don't you think they would offer one? Think about the rest of the accessories they sell for their loaders; they've had mucho many years to add a baffle to that line.

    Ed
     
  10. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    I would agree with AverageEd and Flincher100. I ran a number of tests on my MEC 9000, with and without a baffle. I got far more consistent powder drops without the baffle. I know some swear by the baffles, but in 30 years of using MEC reloaders, I always found the baffle to be more of a problem than a help. One other area I have not noted in previous replies, is to be sure to not the powder supply get too low, which will cause inconsistent drops. I use a tall bottle for the powder instead of the normal small bottle, and never let the powder level drop below half full. I have marked the bottle, and keep an eye on it, when it gets down to close to half full, then add more powder. This works for consistent drops for me. My powder drops using this usually do not vary more than 1-2 tenths of a grain over a long load session. (using an Auto Mate)

    Jim R
     
  11. jwise

    jwise TS Member

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    One more thing to check. Make sure your bottles and powder baffle are not screwed on too tight. I have had this happen causing the charge bar to not travel all the way back.John Wise
     
  12. 682LINY

    682LINY Member

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    If you just have to have a baffle,,,,some of us need to have every little toy,,,,make it metal,,,,I used a plastic on on mec 650,,,,static clogs,,,got to the line at first trip to PA state with only about 1/2 my shells having a full powder load,,,,real bad for the head,,,,had to buy 4 flats for the weekend,,,,got home and checked ,,,,,powder stiking in plastic bafle,,,,,changed to metal,,,,all good scince then
     
  13. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    flincher100, The way MEC does "testing" in their shop gives new meaning to tests. Their thought on testing is attempting to wear something out with repetitive moves!!

    "Talked to MEC about it at the grand. They just laughed, and said they'd tested baffles, and if a baffle would provide greater consistency, they'd have put one in."

    I threw away the first one I bought years ago also. I use both the rubber/brass inserts and modified the mouth opening of the bottles and it works great for me. No powder leakages even when I try a finer grained powder which I seldom do. Hap
     
  14. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    As to the baffles, why add another thing where something can go wrong. If it isn't there, it won't cause you any grief. I've tried the two different ones and did not notice ANY difference, until I had the powder bridge in one of them. It was the Red Plastic one that gave me the trouble, but I ditched them both.

    Most importantly is that you hold the handle down on the bottom of the downstroke for a second or two in ordwer for the bushing to fill up. All of the other suggestions sound great as well. When in a hurry, buy factory!
     
  15. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    Royce 10, use tape.
     
  16. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    I was getting inconsistent loads and even had two double charged loads following two "duds" that had no powder. I finally figured out that my bar was not traveling all the way back and dumping the powder every time when I released the lever it would hang up just long enough to drop the powder in the next case. Then when I pulled the lever again it would work normally. I added another return spring to the loader and watch every time plus I slowed down my time pulling the lever and it has seemingly solved the problem. 34 grains of 700X make a big boom!
     
  17. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    tripod, there's a couple things that "usually" cause that in a MEC loader. First, one or both bottles may be tightened too much. Another seldom mentioned problem is a worn rubber insert on the shot side of the bar. (New type bars) It allows an occasional shot to ride over the top of the rubber and will cause the bar to hang up. When that problem jumps up, the smaller the shot used, the more stickies you'll experience. Replace that insert with a new one is the fix. Hap
     
  18. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    I will try it.
     
  19. Richshoots

    Richshoots TS Member

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    In addition to holding the handle down at the bottom of the down stroke to assure filling the powderbushing, you are also assuring the "memory" of the crimp for a few seconds.
    Rich Larsen
     
  20. Big Jack

    Big Jack Well-Known Member

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    I once had a batch of lite loads at the same time..went home & started to tear the machine apart only to discover a spent primer somehow got itself into the powder baffel and was blocking the powder flow. How'd it get there, who knows. Ended up with about four boxes of 13 gr/700x loads. Even to lite for skeet.

    Big Jack
     
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