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RANK THE RELOADERS

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by fssberson, Feb 25, 2011.

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  1. fssberson

    fssberson Active Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    2,375
    So let's rank the reloaders using your experience from either ownership or sitting down at the press and reloading for a 6 months period of time. Obviously, this is my opinion with over 40 years of experience.

    #1. Sploar. Hands down the best built and most user friendly of all machines. Yes, more expensive, but you get what you pay for. This is a machine for the "big boys". Get it with hydraulics.
    #2. P/W. When working correctly with properly made parts, it is a peasure to use. It takes more care and mechnical ability than others. Their quality has suffered over the years, but they are now back with new management and a new design. We shall see. The new machine is only a few hundred dollars less than a Spolar.
    #3. Hornady 366. Probably the best primer feed in the business. Does not finish a shell as well the more expensive machines. Very user friendly. Less expensive, but a work horse. The best powder and shot bushings on the market.
    #4. Dillon. A very different set up. I have the least experience with this machine, so my ranking will be questioned. Good support and you may need it.
    #5. MEC. This is an entry level product that people either love or they just move up. Their primer feed with the chain is finally gone [I think].. it was the worst. A good buy for the beginner and for the money. Probably in more garages than any other machine.

    OK. Time to argue. Fred
     
  2. atadams77

    atadams77 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
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    99
    Location:
    Texas
    Ive only used mec. yes they are cheap and the have their known problems. but for the most part they work. They are good for the shooter that doesn't shoot thousands of round a year. It really takes a lot of reloades to make your money back on the more expensive reloaders.
     
  3. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,646
    Mec 9000H and Dillon---Used both for many yrs---Pd $400.00 for the mec and $425.00 for the Dillon---Never wore them out yet and best custmer service for both---I still have a mec-500 from back in the 60s and it still works--Why pay hugh prices for the others---JMO---George@SJB---
     
  4. dhip

    dhip Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
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    1,473
    Location:
    westgrove,Pa.
    mec for me..I consider it the Blue Collar Loader.Does the job and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.Of course my opinipn might be sligted,I got mine used for the same as a couple walmart packs of shells.Needed very little parts,and works well if I do everything I'm supposed to correctly.

    Friend has a Pw,he loses it,but also recently bought a mec,used,something to do with certain shells his pw doesn't crimp good.

    He admits spolar is tops so with my limited knowledge I'd have to rank them
    1.Spolar
    1.pw
    3. mec
    4. 366 /only because I know no one currently using one.

    Doug H.
     
  5. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,750
    Location:
    Terre Haute Indiana
    #1. P/W 800 Plus with Auto-Drive - Excellent small gauge reloader<BR>
    #2. Hornady 366 in 12 gauge<BR>
    #3. MEC Sizemaster - the best single stage there is - All gauges<BR>
    #4. P/W 375 DuOMatic

    I have loaded on the above machines for over 40 years. I have 9 reloaders right now - maybe I should sell something!

    I cannot rank the others because I have never used them.

    Jim Skeel<BR>
    P/W Dealer/Distributor
     
  6. Big Dave

    Big Dave Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    990
    I've had them all, plus a few not listed. If you need a license plate that says I shoot a Seitz, or a bumper sticker to the same effect, then by all means get a Spolar, if you just want to crank out the best shells possible with the least amount of effort and bother, go with the Dillon. I load for six shooters, four diffferent loads, and all of us are happy with the shells.
     
  7. Model Number 12

    Model Number 12 TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    622
    I own 6 MEC's and am happy with them all. I have loaded thousands of shells on my 650 and have had only minor problems with it. A few small parts quickly put it back in order. The only gripe I have is shot bridging in my 410 gauge 650. I have to agree with Jim S. that the MEC Sizemaster is the best single-stage reloader out there. I use it for my hunting loads and it's flawless.

    My father was given 2 Lee Load-All's, I suppose I should try one just to say that I did. I don't know anything about them.
     
  8. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,359
    Location:
    Prairie State
    I've used a few loaders in 20 years...

    Lee Load All II;
    Hornady Apex 3.0/3.1 (my go to loaders in 12/20 gauge);
    MEC 9000;
    MEC Grabber;
    MEC 600 Jr.;
    Hornady 366;

    For the money... Lee Load ALL II is a tremendous buy for the occasional weekend warrior. Every bushing comes standard, simple resizing ring, available primer feed and flawless operation - easy to change gauges.

    Hornady Apex... they get a bad rep, but with automatic indexing and automatic detection of cases for primer, powder and shot drop... come on - a bargain when originally offered! (now discontinued)

    MEC 9000 got spoiled with Hornady's Apex... miss the auto detects, never cared for the primer chain...

    MEC Grabber... same, plus no auto indexing

    MEC Jr. was a nice single stage for my occasional loading, but my LLA2 was just as good in making shells, plus had bushings & sizing ring.

    Hornady 366... guys swear by this machine - had one, didn't have all the bells and whistles of the Apex... still think Hornady made a mistake by cancelling the Apex, sold it quick.

    Ranking...

    1)Hornady Apex
    2)Lee Load II
    3)MEC Jr.
    4)MEC Grabber
    5)MEC 9000
    6)Hornady 366

    regards,

    Jay
     
  9. paul7177

    paul7177 Member

    Joined:
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    252
    Any comments on RCBS Grand?
     
  10. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,567
    Location:
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    Lee load all for the money you just can't beat it. No break downs. Mec grabber would be next. Have not owned anything less. I use to hate reloading until I purchased the lee load all.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  11. Straight99

    Straight99 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    336
    I sold and serviced all of them for 30 years.
    For the price MEC 9000
    They all work if set up right. Some were more trouble to set up for a different case. I would have guys come back to have the machine changed because they were using a different brand of case.
    The MEC was more flexable as far as adjustments.
     
  12. dudleyone

    dudleyone TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
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    100
    Nuf' said.
     
  13. Calkidd

    Calkidd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    2,325
    Location:
    Central Valley
    I don't believe the list should based on price. It appears the list is in descending order of price.

    I personally haven't used any of the other loaders. However, I have had a MEC 600Jr, 9000G and currently a 9000H. The MEC is a solid workhorse that is affordable and produces shells every bit as good as factory or any other loader out there. It is consistent with it's shot and powder drops. It's my opinion it is not necessary to have fancy machined billet aluminum (read spolar) to make great shells. The MEC does take a little tweaking to get a great final product, but if you take your time and make careful adjustments you have a solid, affordable reloader.

    I would have to say the MEC does lack in accessories and slow to develop or improve on current designs or deficiencies. The new primer feed system is a vast improvement over the previous primer feed system. I believe the adjustable charge bar is a great addition and has worked for me very well. Others have issues with it and would rather not use it. For one I would like to see MEC design a type of automatic shell feed system.

    Bryan
     
  14. claykiller

    claykiller Member

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    Location:
    California
    While not an argument but an addition to the pros of the Hornady 366: One of the best warranties in the business. A part called a pawl just plain wore out after many thousands of shells. When I called to order a new one the sales person suggested to send the whole machine to them and they would refurbish it to new under their lifetime warranty. The only thing I had to pay was the shipping to Grand Island, NE. Hell, they'll even set the machine up to load your favorite hull before returning it.
     
  15. claykiller

    claykiller Member

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    145
    Location:
    California
    While not an argument but an addition to the pros of the Hornady 366: One of the best warranties in the business. A part called a pawl just plain wore out after many thousands of shells. When I called to order a new one the sales person suggested to send the whole machine to them and they would refurbish it to new under their lifetime warranty. The only thing I had to pay was the shipping to Grand Island, NE. Hell, they'll even set the machine up to load your favorite hull before returning it.
     
  16. jdsfarms

    jdsfarms Well-Known Member

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    I only have experience is with a 366 in 14 yrs and thousands of shells the only thing I have replaced are the plastic wad fingers and the plastic crimp starter it has been bulletproof.Jerry
     
  17. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Central California
    I suspect this list will always come out the same...we all have personal preference in loaders. Spolar, while being by far the most expensive, is also the most trouble free in my opinion. The 800+ will follow behind, as it is a terrific loader, but of course much more temperamental it seems. I always felt the 800+ crimp was 2nd to none, but the primer feed and crude adjustments for it just did not work for me.

    This list could change with the new Patriot. Remains to see how it performs.

    I had Mec's, great units. Just depends on how you get to the final destination. You can arrive in a Chevette (do they still make those?) or an LS-460. Both do the same thing, one is much more sophisticated than the other.
     
  18. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

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    I have e Hornady 366 and have used it for 20+ years. I love it BUT I would not consider it "user friendly". The one biggest improvement would be a a modified shell retainer ring which would allow the user to remove a shell from any station. THAT would make it user friendly! Seems like it would be easy to do but I have never seen anyone make one.
     
  19. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't it be better to rank the people using the reloaders? ;)

    Ajax
     
  20. KS-OKIE

    KS-OKIE TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Gladstone, Missouri
    From 1980 until 1998 I loaded on a 366.Bought a Spolar,and have never looked back.I firmly think all brands of loaders will produce a quality shell.I had a new 366 in the box in case I would ever need it.Sold it for what I payed for it.Sold the first one for $25.00 less than I payed for it.Various brands have different bells & whistles that I`m sure work just fine.I never felt like I needed a hull feeder or shot & powder guard.With around 450,000 reg. targets and 75,000 - 100,000 non reg and practice,leagues,club fun shoots I`ve done my fair share of remanufacturing shells.I loaded on the Gold machine #833 for a little over a year before adding the Hydrolics.Big mistake.Should have went whole hog from the start.My only really big laugh on this subject lately was a fellow said he gave his Spolar to his son and went back to a 366 since it was only a 100 per hr slower.I will have to call B.S. on that statement.Only once did I have my wife help me (another Big Mistake)on setting a speed record on the Spolar.Yes I made 1100-1200 shells in an hour but have zero desire to try that again.When I hit the lottery I will sell the reloader and shoot NEW FEDERAL PAPERS only...KS-OKIE.
     
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