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SPOLAR vs MEC Again

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by slugbug1, Sep 7, 2010.

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  1. slugbug1

    slugbug1 Member

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    Now using a Mec 9000 with a Automate ll but thinking about a Spolar. Question is.... will I regret giving up the just push the button for a reloaded shell by going back to a pull the handle machine? I remember the reason I went to an electric drive was because of a sore back and shoulder, and I don't want that to happen again. I know there is a drive available for the Spolar, but I would like to know about the handle version. GaryL.
     
  2. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    I suspect you will miss the ease of loading? While the Spolar is smooth and very precision, if you are supplying the horse power, it will take more effort than the Automate II.

    I had that exact rig, 9000G with new primer tray and Jim Benn's Automate II. It was a good rig, but I was looking for a sturdier unit. That was prior to the new braces I see for it, probably a Mec addition?

    My suggestion might be to find a Spolar in your area, and I am sure the owner would be glad to let you test drive it a bit. I looked at one in my area before purchasing a unit, and it was a great decision. Depending on your situation, you could get the Spolar, and then patiently wait for hydraulic unit to become available at a reasonable price. Unless you find a used Spolar with SN > 2000 I would personally just go new.
     
  3. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    If you happy now, why change? Spolar is not the answer for everyone. They also have some issues, just like every other reloader.
     
  4. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Did you look at the Ponsness/Warren loaders? They will do everything the Spolar will for less money. The P/W AutoDrive electric drive will make it just as easy to operate as your Automate.

    Jim Skeel
    P/W Dealer
     
  5. LDAdd

    LDAdd TS Member

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    If it's the back, neck, and shoulder you're concerned about, don't even think about going back to any "handle puller". Take it from me, not bad mouthing anybodys loader, but after acquiring my Automate II and a 9000 Hydraulic, I wouldn't take any manual loader in exchange for any price, or no price. That's what the auto's did for me after suffering shoulder and arm irritation for 25 years.

    JMO

    Larry
     
  6. skip

    skip Member

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    Why a Spolar with a Serial Number Greater than 2000?

    What are the differences between Spolar Units with Serial Numbers less than 2000 and greater than 2000 on the Spolar?

    Thanks


    Skip
     
  7. PAR8HED

    PAR8HED Member

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    Can't answer for the automatic version of anything, but I love my Spolar. I have the hand puller and am not totally sold on the hydraulics. I'm sure it is easier to sit and tap my feet and load shells. On the flip side, I can feel when a shell isn't loading right or when there is a problem. I think the biggest advertisement for Spolar is the number of people here looking to replace a MEC, but you rarely see anyone selling a Spolar. HJH
     
  8. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    That is scientific wild guessing on my part. I believe there have been minor upgrades over the years, and since I have 2225, it seemed like a logical place to cut things off. There might be nothing to my theory, but I believe from conversations there have been minor changes along the way.

    I am looking for another Spolar, so any thread with that message catches my eye. I am not at a point where I absolutely need a 2nd unit, but if the right one came along, and I could pick it up and not ship it, I would grab it up.
     
  9. team henges

    team henges TS Member

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    I would try the mec hydraulic system, it is similar to the automate but isnt as quiet and you dont have to pull the handle. It is the same cost as the automate also.

    brendan
     
  10. benedict1

    benedict1 TS Member

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    Since 1965 I have loaded on about every kind of shotshell press ever made, starting with a single stage Deitemeyer 105. Anybody remember those? I've been through all the progressives from Hornady/Pacific and MEC. Watched the P/W in operation and even remember when they were first introduced.

    Nothing in my experience can beat the Spolar Gold with the hydraulic unit attached.. Only two issues: first, as with ALL progressive loaders, watch the priming operation. If a primer doesn't drop into the cup right as it rises to insert in the shell base you'll have to stop and fix that. Second, don't get pieces of shot bag into the shot hopper. They can partially block shot drop if they catch just right in the bushing opening and you will get a light shot drop. But both of these are things to watch on any progressive loader.

    I will state categorically that at age 71 the manual handle operation would wear me out very fast. The extra $1165 for hydraulic unit is absolutely worthwhile. Reloading is as easy, foolproof and certain as it will ever be in a home reloading machine in my view. Shells produced are uniformly high quality in appearance and crimp.

    Walter
     
  11. shootintom

    shootintom TS Member

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    shot410ga? you mentioned Spolars having issues? I've had mine now for close to 7 years and have only had one issue with it that I resolved quite satisfactorily and that was only in the .28 ga.

    I have the pull handle because when I bought mine I wanted all 4 gauges since I primarily shoot skeet and the hydraulic unit added another $1,000 that I didn't have at the time but will in the near future. Before I purchased mine, one of my shooting friends had one with hydraulics and I was able to play on his machine for an hour or so and I was hooked!

    I'm no stranger to loaders, have owned and still own MEC's Grabbers and 650's, and I owned 2 PW 800's and they came close to being boat anchors! My Spolar sits beside my Dillon 1050 press and they are undoubtably the best made pieces of equipment that I've had the pleasure to own.

    Go with the Spolar and add the hydraulics and you'll never look back. I do hear on TS.com that there is a waiting list for the loader of about 2 months! :-(

    My $.02

    Tom
     
  12. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    I spoke to Dicksie a couple of weeks ago, and it was running 6 weeks at that time. I wanted an estimate when to order my 2nd unit. Go with what shootintom says, and you will be a happy camper.
     
  13. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    I have Spolar #423 and don't know of any significant upgrades to the design. They did come out with a removable primer tray cover (origina hinged at the back and since most benches are against a wall you couldn't completely fill the tray) but its a kit you can install (and I did) on your older Spolar.

    I have owned my for 12 years with no problems and load four gauges with it.

    With respect to bad back and pull handle, this is not reloader specific. If you can't use a pull handle comfortably on a MEC, you will not be comfortable with a manual system with any reloader including the Spolar.

    I do have the hydro unit and like it.
     
  14. smoke-um

    smoke-um Active Member

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    The reason is price,not every one can afford a Spolar.
     
  15. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    Stick with your MEC. Yes, it's a tinker toy made of steel stampings but both P-W and Spolar use the same deficient method for trying to force primers into the unsupported primer tunnels of steel based hulls. At least MEC has figured out that supporting the tunnel from the inside is a better idea.

    MK
     
  16. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    I'd better tell that one to my Spolar. I've got to load a few hundred Gun Club hulls before leaving for the Westy Hogan shoot!!
     
  17. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    I load STS/Nitros most of the time on my Spolar. Old-style AAs, too.

    Recently, Dick's had that sale on GCs and I bought ten flats. And, a guy on SGW had GCs at a very attractive price, so I got another 2500.

    I had never had a problem with the few GCs I loaded before so I didn't know Spolar's priming system was deficient when loading steel based hulls.

    After loading a bunch of the current batch of GCs on the Spolar (and a bunch on my Dillon, too) I still haven't seen any evidence of a deficiency.

    BTW, the GCs seem to load more times than the STS/Nitros, though I don't have a clue as to why. Maybe the ribbed hull on the GC versus the smooth hulls of the STS/Nitos?

    Bob
     
  18. slugbug1

    slugbug1 Member

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    I've decided to save 1600 bucks and keep what I have. I just loaded 350 shells with no malfunctions of any kind, and the shells look great. Spolar says they can load a shell in 3 1/2 seconds, my automate will do it in 4-5 seconds. I think if I were younger and was buying my first loader, a Spolar with electric drive is probably what I'd go for, but for now I just can't justify a change.

    Thanks to everyone for your input, I appreciate it. GaryL.
     
  19. JJJ

    JJJ TS Member

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    My upper arm(humerus) is stainless steel,with bolts & screws going from the plate into the shoulder. I would not be reloading today,if it wasn't for my MEC hydraulic. I have used it over 15 years with VERY LITTLE problems. The few problems I have had have been my own fault with spilled shot,etc. Help is just a phone call away. I stand in front of the loader,with my phone in my hand. Without exception,within minutes the people from MEC have me back to cranking out perfect reloads.
    Joe Jordan
     
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