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Universal charge bar for Mec 650 ...or bushings?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by StansCustoms, May 30, 2012.

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  1. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Active Member

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    I gathering up supplies for loading 28 gauge and .410 Winchester HS hulls as we speak. I also have a thread running on low pressure loads to be condsidered.

    I need to get my Mec 650 loaders(used) cleaned up and running, and am considering buying a Universal charge bar for both gauges. The Universal charge bars look good in theory to me ...but I thought I'd ask the Mec community if they were worthwhile or not.

    I just bought like new set of Cabella's digital scales...for checking powder drops. But, I may need other items that need mentioning.

    All suggestions and input appreciated....I have only loaded 12 gauge trap loads on a Mec Grabber... and that was over 22 years ago.

    Best regards...Stan
  2. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    A Mec case conditioner or super sizer to use with the 650 presses to resize and deprime those 410 and 28 guage hulls. HMB
  3. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Active Member

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    Thanks HMB..

    All four of my Mec 650's loaders came with Mec Case Conditioners too... should be good to go there.

    But I don't have many bushings...hence the thoughts of getting a Universal charge bar for the sub gauges.

    Stan...
  4. Hill topper

    Hill topper Member

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    I have and use the universal charge bars for all my mecs.

    The powder drops are consistant and you don't have to come up with new bushings when you change loads.

    I keep a 600 Jr. for working up loads and it help bunches to be able to vary the shot charges without having to buy new bars and bushings.

    Can't understand why Mec has not gone to bushings on the shot side of the bars.
    Years ago we used Texan bars that had bushings for both powder and shot in our single stage Mecs of the time.

    You might just buy one universal bar and try it before investing in more of them.

    Some people hate the adjustable bars and some of us embrace them.

    ed
  5. psfive

    psfive Member

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    All I use and would never go back to the bushings. Paul Leeper in GINebraska.
  6. mag410

    mag410 Member

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    Kiss - Keep It Simple Stupid

    No set screws to work loose on a Bushing. You will never have to cut up any once-fired .410 hulls because the powder charge is wrong. It would be nice if MEC would make a bar to accept bushings for the shot. If you can't find a bushing to drop the proper amount of powder, ie. #10 is too light #11 is too heavy. Ream the smaller bushing until it drops the correct amount, then deface the number stamped on the bushing so you or somebody else doesn't use it as its original number. 100 shells ,1000 shells 10,000 shells nothing is going to work loose or change.

    Michael
  7. SPACE GUN

    SPACE GUN Member

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    Location:
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    I too like the bushings, The adjustable bar is kind of a pain to get just right when you change it very often. I drilled a hole in the chrome carrier where the charge bar mounts. That allows me to just reach in remove or replace the powder bushings as needed. That way it takes two seconds to change from one to another, If you need more information on how to drill the carrier p/m me and I'll give you more detail.
  8. School Teacher

    School Teacher Active Member

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    I used a universal charge bar for many years on a MEC Grabber. I always weigh my charges before I start loading and the universal charge bar worked ok although it took a while to get everything "just right".

    The late Pat Ireland was a fan of "adjusting" stock MEC bars and bushings with a rat tail file to increase size and painting the inside with fingernail polish to decrease the size. I tried Pat's method and found it to be significant time saver, once I modified several 9000G charge bars to drop 1 oz. of 8's, 1 1/8 oz. each of 7 1/2's and 8's and 1 1/4 oz of 7's and 5's (games). I also "adjusted" several bushings to drop the desired charge weight of E3, Red Dot, Green Dot, Unique and Herco.

    If I stay away from PROMO, the volume/charge weight ratio of E3, Red Dot, Green Dot, Unique and Herco stays fairly constant. If I do get a deviation, it is a quick fix with the rat tail file and/or fingernail polish.

    The net result Is that I can reload with the confidence that the adjustable charge bar has not somehow "drifted" out of size. After well over 10,000 rounds, the adjustable charge bar began to show wear on the right end where the stop keeps the bar from dropping a powder charge when there is no hull in the powder charge station.

    Also, IMO, the original MEC bars seem to me to function a little smoother in my MEC 9000G.




    Ed Ward
  9. shotgunner50

    shotgunner50 Member

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    Stan,

    If you decide to try a adjustable bar i have a used one i will part

    with. i am on the road for a couple weeks but you can PM to me and i will

    respond when i check messages.

    Marcus

    Shotgunner 50
  10. tarhawk

    tarhawk TS Member

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    I prefer bushings. However, a key piece of equipment which ever direction you decide to go, is a good scale. Using a good scale will bring you peace of mind that you are indeed dropping the desired load. Either way, charge bar or bushings, is a valid and sound way to reload.
  11. Hill topper

    Hill topper Member

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    I got tired of altering bushings and taking them in and out untill I got them droping what I wanted. Lots easier to just tweek the adjustable bar.

    I use Promo and each lot is different so you can end of altering numerous bushings.

    If Mec would make shot bushings I would consider going back to bushings.
    Can't see buying 4 bars to cover, 7/8, one ounce, 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 shot charges.

    I have been loading since felt wads were the choice, and have pretty much been there and done it. I can remember when the choice from Mec was either a O bar for red dot or a #1 bar for green dot. I think a #2 bar was an 1 1/4 green dot load.

    Either bushings or the adjustable bar are certainly improvements over what we used in the past.

    My .03 cents

    ed.
  12. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Active Member

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    Well...it looks like the field is divided...as one poster said ...some love, and some hate the adjustable bars!

    In theory the adjustable looks to be easier to a newbie...unless the calibration creeps off...?

    It also sems to me that either one requires a good set of scales to be sure of what you are doing. ( I just bought a digital set at a swap meet that is nearly new).

    I'm a little concerned about the non adjustable shot drop on the factory bars ? ...and powder leakage? Is that an issue on either set up?

    Thanks for all the input guys...much appreciated....although I'm still scratching my head as to which way to go...??? Seems like either way has it's shortcommings...

    Stan..
  13. missemucho

    missemucho Member

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    Every club has that shooter that consistently has more than his/her share of "blooper" loads. Ask that person whether or not they use an adjustable bar; in my experience the response will be "yes" about 75% of the time.
    John
  14. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Active Member

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    I don't see manny bloopers except from one elderly Gent...that has many. I believe it isn't the loader in his case...he's shall we say..err challenged?
    He uses bushings though...and doesn't own a set of scales. He and I have discussed his loads etc. in passing conversation...

    Other than that..I haven't seen a blooper in a few weeks..and I didn't know that gentleman, so that might be a slow process of elimination. I will ask about that every time I see one though. Good idea.

    Thanks..Stan
  15. OldGoat

    OldGoat Active Member

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    Admittedly, I am not very mechanically adept, but I bought a few adjustable charge bars thinking their versatility justified the expense and required "tinkering" with the shot/powder setting efforts. Found them to be frustrating as heck in adjusting them...firsts you had to adjust to a "rough" setting; then weigh several drops to see what your drops are; then you have to adjust again to "fine tune"; then weigh more drops. So, each time you adjusted, the variances obtained seemed to go on and on. Also found that you had to adjust below/above the desired setting and then "take the slack" out of the adjustment knob. If you love to tinker and weigh lots of charges, adjustable bars may work for you. The MEC bars and bushings eliminate all the tinkering for me. Best Regards, Ed
  16. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

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    I can't see it for aa 410 when all you are going to do is shoot 1/2oz skeet loads. I guess I feel teh same way about the 28ga. Once you have chosen a powder for the 28ga, the 410 as wll for that matter you won't need but 3 bushing each. The bars are already in the machines or at least they should be.

    As long as you shoot magnum shot in the 410 you will have more pellets then you would shooting chilled shot. You could upen up a bar or use a uniderasl to get the shot charge just perfect.

    Truthfully... If you are relying on 4 pellets in your 410 to make all the diffrence you need to put your focus on practice and not reloading.

    I have several Universal charge bars and yes they can be great if you have 4 or 5 presses that all can use the same bar as you will save a ton of money. I would rather have a full set of bushings and a bar in every press then owning 6 univerasl charge bars. One for 12ga trap loads on a progressive, 12 field loads on a single stage, 28ga field loads, 28ga starling and sjeet loads on a progressive, ETC ETC. I own a whole bunch of presses and I like my universal charge bar best on my single stage 12ga hunting load press. Everything from 1oz to 1 1/2 loads fron 15 grains of 700x to 35 grains of bluw dot.

    They have a place but production trap/skeet loads the application is limited unless you are screwing around with a bunch of diffrent loads all the time.

    I have shot 1/2oz of 9's and 296 in a 410 for 30 years and the same with 3/4 of an OZ of 9's in a 28ga with Unique. 6 bushings cover all the combos for these two loads.Jeff
  17. 1oldtimer

    1oldtimer TS Member

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    I have time on my hands so I have many bars and bushings. The bushings have gotten pretty pricy @ $4.00 + with tax. MEC won't make shot bushings when they can sell you more bars. Settings are time consuming with the universal bar. With powder bushings I use the one on the light side. You won't know the diff when you shoot those shells. I would rather use the universal bar instead of reaming out a bunch of MEC bars. Bought a MEC bar stop screw at CARDINAL. Cost $1.00 + tax. But I guess thats cheap if you're going to get screwed. The universal bar seems to hold its settings pretty constant. Clyde D
  18. claybrdr

    claybrdr Active Member

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    Bushings for me. I never have to go back and consult my records for what the adjustment is for X load. It never varies with that bushing...Then again, I don't experiment much any more. I have the bushings I need for the dozen or so loads that I have boiled everything down to.

    Years ago I used an adjustable bar for 410 loads and it would almost lock up with 296 powder leaking around it. Put it on a press I was selling and never looked back.
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