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Reloaders which one ??

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by widomaker, Apr 1, 2008.

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  1. widomaker

    widomaker TS Member

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    I want to give reloading a try. I know the initial expense is a lot but I'm willing to jump off the bridge and reload for practice rounds. There are a lot of machines out there Mec Ponsness Warren etc. I guess I could spend about $800.00 or so on it. I don't have much patience I'm of the I want it now generation so I would like to be able to load a bunch fast if thats possible. I know there is a lot of experience out there so give me a few that you like and I'll try to narrow it down .


    Thanks

    Martin ATA # 0765881
     
  2. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    3,651
    If you want fast loading...the PW!
     
  3. wyomingjayhawker

    wyomingjayhawker TS Member

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    I started with a Mec 9000, got married and added 2 shooters to the house, needed to load more, bought a Dillon, great press, live shell hopper, no bushing to guess with,with time it was easy to adjust to get to where you needed to be,At this time I have a Splor Gold,w/ hyd, it is by far the cadilac of reloaders a bit pricey but it is worth every penny if you want to load the best quality reloads on the market,
    Chuck
     
  4. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    My opinion as a PW would be best for what you want to spend, the PW is the way to go. I have the Platinum2000 and it has served me well. I have no regrets. One very big advantage is that Whiz is always online here at TS.com and has a wealth of PW knowledge and is always willing to help. A warning by a poster below deserves a look at - you can drop a double charge so read the manual and follow it's advice. I blew up a Beretta 303 by dropping a double charge.
     
  5. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
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    1,061
    I own 3 P-Ws and would not use another loader after using other brands. That being said, I feel it necessary to state that the P-W requires that the user keep their head in the game while using it. It can drop a double powder charge if used carelessly. The manuals that accompanied my machines warn of this and rate it as the #1 operator error.

    Morgan
     
  6. tomk2

    tomk2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    320
    Since MEC's are ubiquitous and less expensive, it is possible to have one MEC for each load you want to load. For example, one set up for your favorite handicap load, one with your favorite singles load. If any other reloaders are indeed faster than the MEC, than being able to afford multiple presses for different loads would likely compensate for that.

    I used to run up a few hundred boxes of one load, then switch to another, and so on. Now with two MEC's, I can just load what I need and not have to get way ahead of myself. While this isn't likely to be a priority when you first start out, eventually you won't limit your reloads to just practice rounds, nor just one recipe.

    Remember, you need to buy a scale, some bins to hold the wads and hulls next to the reloader, something to store the hulls you will accumulate, shell stacker to get the reloads into the box quickly, I would figure on $100 to $200 for accessories other than the press.
     
  7. sammyd95

    sammyd95 TS Member

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    I have a pw 800b,but if i were to buy a new one it would be rcbs grand.
     
  8. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Martin,

    You are asking for trouble if you begin your reloading career with a high end automatic every thing press. There is a lot to learn when you begin reloading. The best coarse of action is to start with a single stage press then graduate to a progressive press. A single stage Mec is a good place to start and then go to a grabber or 9000G. HMB
     
  9. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Spolar, if money is not an issue. PW 800 Plus, if it is. You won't be disappointed!!
     
  10. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    6,266
    I loaded with a 366 pacific for many years before getting a PW 800. All my time on the 366 makes that my favorite but the PW is a better built machine. I terms of learning curve the 366 is more forgiving. I also use a MEC 650 from time to time and it makes great shells at a decent rate. For the person that is new to the loading game I would strongly the MEC because they are a good value (low risk) and easy to learn on. Used MEC loaders regularly show up on this site with bargain asking prices.
     
  11. 682b

    682b Member

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    Martin, The easiest to load on is the Hornady 366 Purchase a good used one for 30% of a new one Put the upgraded primer seating tool on it(25.00) from Basic Machine and you have the easiest progressive loader going at a low price. Great factory service. I whole heartedly agree with HMB that you should learn on a single stage loader. While you are there you will learn the basics of loading and you will learn how to work up loads use the scale and learn to spot things that just aren't right. These are thing that will save you a ton of time and a whole lot of money in components, Talk to the guys in you club one of them will certainly be able to point you in the right direction. Remember the most expensive and or fastest is not always the right one for you. JIM
     
  12. culverken

    culverken Member

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    Mar 3, 2008
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    83
    I started out with a used mec Grabber i bought from Ebay for less than $150. I shoot steel so I had to get a universal charge bar $35. I think this machine is easy to use and figure out. The single stage loader may be easier to use at first since there isn't as much going on at the same time. I almost bought a single stage and I am glad I didn't. I only shoot 100-200 rounds a week and I can see that if I had a single stage machine it would be a lot of work. In the end I am happy with my Grabber. I am sure it isn't the best loader money can buy but it works.

    Ken
     
  13. nrasmus

    nrasmus Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
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    I would say find a cheap used single station I had a pacific 150 to learn on, it is much easier to watch one shell then 6 or 8. Also it teaches you what you need to watch for when you get the automatic press. I would say go with a PW as well they are built like a tank and will be the last loader you need to buy I have a size-o-matic 800 that has reloaded over a million shells with only two problems breaking the block that holds the advancement gear on, easy fix I make new ones in about 20 minutes in the shop. But they are hands down easier to use and built better than any MEC.
     
  14. Mike Michalski

    Mike Michalski Member

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    Location:
    Troy Michigan
    If you don't have much patience I'd suggest buying factory shells as reloading can be a frustrating technical/mechanical adventure. That said, Dillon may not be the best (I think Spolar is but don't really know as I use MECs) but is reportedly the easiest to use and is fast. Still, I think you would be better off not reloading.
     
  15. BrowningGal

    BrowningGal TS Member

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    I highly recommend Ponsness Warren. Been loading on one since they first came out and Daddy got one for Christmas from "us girls". I had a 950 Elite and sold it to buy the 800 Plus.

    As long as you're a little bit mechanical and understand the basic components and order of reloading (de-prime, size, prime, powder, wad, shot, pre-crimp, crimp, eject), you'll have no problems. Don't bother with buying a "learning" machine. Give Whiz White a call and get you a PW 800 Plus. He posts on here. You won't be sorry.
     
  16. locdoc

    locdoc Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    Location:
    Antrim, NH
    Although P/W has not updated their website, the 2008 retail prices received 3/31/08 follow;

    Platinum 2000 = $ 699.95

    800 Plus = $ 724.95

    L/S 1000 12 ga. = $ 749.95

    Hydro Multispeed = $ 1195.95

    Auto Shell Feed = 324.95

    Du-O-Matic 375C = $ 299.00

    I still have some machines and shell feeds at the sale price. Platinums and 800 pluses are $ 669.00 and the shell feeds are $ 299.00.

    Doug Whiton, P/W dealer/dist
     
  17. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    hmb gave good advice about learning to load on a simpler machine. But, if you want a press to load a lot of shells quickly, go with the PW and find a friend who will come over a few evenings to get you started. Starting new and alone seems like a great way to get very frustrated quickly.

    You have to learn the feel and sound of a wad getting nicked by the top of a hull. The machine instructions do not tell you how to open a bag of shot and put it in without spilling some. The instructions will tell you how to adjust the machine but it is up to you to know what needs adjusting. The little lever at the back of the machine that drains the shot will cause a problem at some time.

    Pat Ireland
     
  18. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    If your going to spend $800, spend another $100 and buy a Dillon. If you want to spend a lot more, buy a Spolar. Take some advice, stay away from PW for a starter reloader, I had nothing but problems. Want to go inexpensive buy a MEC.
     
  19. ffwildcat

    ffwildcat TS Member

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    no need to start out on a single stage. go with a quality progressive, either the PW or the RCBS Grand and you will have a machine that you can pass down to your kids and their kids. I use the RCBS and it is a fantastic loader with some excellent features. hull activated powder and shot drops so NO spills, huge hoppers to hold a full bag of shot and one lb of powder so you're not constantly refilling, the hoppers have an off position that allows you to change bushings with out having to empty or tip back the bottles (like on a MEC). the BEST customer service bar none and quality maching - the RCBS is a serious piece of equipment.

    You will make mistakes - that is the nature of learning to reload - Pat is correct, learning how to recognize the signs that something isn't right either half way through the down stroke or the upstroke is part of learning how to produce QUALITY shells. Your eye has to watch several things at once, but primer drop is the most important confirm. Learning to scan each station takes little time and you quickly learn what to look for and how to recognize a problem.

    Reloading should not be about speed - it needs to be about quality. Your goal needs to be producing consistent reloads with every stroke of the press, time after time, ad infinitum.

    It doesn't hurt to be able to product quality reloads quickly. I have my cycle time down to about 6 seconds on my RCBS and I can comfortably produce a flat of 12ga (10 boxes) in an hour including setup and boxing.

    Accessories - you will need tools and hull and wad hoppers and a scale. Include in your tools a pair of tweezers or fine needle nose pliers, a can of air, a small brush and dustpan, a box cutter and a EZ stacker (for boxing finished shells).

    Most importantly - decide on your ONE load that you want to make. It is best while learning to reload to stick with one recipe until you have the process down - then expand your horizons and start changing recipes to make loads with different hulls, powder, wads, shot drops etc. If you ahve a favorite shell and want to replicate it as closely as possible then settle on that one load as your pilot.

    Good luck - reloading is an extension of shooting, it will make you a more informed shooter that's for sure. And don't buy the baloney about it not being cost effective, my 24 gram international reloads run me $3.75 per box using new shot - that is a HUGE savings compared to factory.
     
  20. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Oxford MA
    Reloading is a very good way to spend time instead of sitting in front of the tube. If you are in a hurry don't start reloading it takes time to learn and patiences to deal with the early screw up you will have on a progressive machine.

    I have to agree with Pat if you are going with a progressive don't start alone if you are going with a single stage I have to agree with hmb(a rare occurrence)a Mec Jr is an excellent choice. Read and understand all instructions before proceeding.

    Remember you are not the only one affected by your reloads. If you over load a shell and it destroys your gun there are other shooter on the line with you that be injured. Safety first at all times.

    BTW I own 4 PWs and love them but I started out with a single stage and went on from there.

    Bob Lawless
     
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