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universal charge bar your thoughts please

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Hookedonshooting, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. Hookedonshooting

    Hookedonshooting TS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Messages:
    558
    Fred, agree 1000%. I reload with PW's. But also have a progessive MEC with a universal c/b that i use on my "specialty" shells. The shells you use in shootoffs. 1 1/4 oz, 29 grns of IMR 7625.
     
  2. TF

    TF Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    FL
    I reluctantly tried one back around 1980, and quickly became a believer in these bars. I really like the flexibility they give you. I have been able to sample many new powders over time that I really never could have been able to with just bushings. I shot early samples of Scott powder and varieties of clays when they first appeared. While a good scale is a must, adjustable bars (I own four) have been my choice for over 30 years.
    Tom Frazer
     
  3. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,316
    I did not know there was a adapter for loaders other than MEC---Where do you get one???

    I had a bad experience with these bars--ALL MY FAULT---- I know many people use and like these. I had three of these in the old days. I loaded a five gallon bucket full of new 20ga AA hulls (hard to get then) and went to the range. Got everything from bloopers to mid bloopers to good loads. It took a while but I pinned the problem down to MY HAVING TIGHTENING the powder bottle down too tight and the bar would not make a full side to side move. I got rid of them. AGAIN, ALL ME, but do pay attention as you (and I should have done) while you are loading.
     
  4. Dave P

    Dave P TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
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    2,515
    Location:
    Canton, Il.
    I'd like to see the Universal Made with more quality and precision in mind. I had one a long time ago and it appeared to be made of pot metal. I know i would cost more, but I like nice quality machined items. And yes I own some MECS.
     
  5. argus tuft

    argus tuft Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    I use a number of them and really like them, the problem of sticking is two fold
    1. the bottles being too tight and 2. the angle the return spring pulls from, it tends to pull the bar sideways making it bind in the head, I took the spring attachment on he charge bar and put it in my lathe and with a very thin lathe tool cut a groove direct in line with the return spring mount on the press, this along with a liberal dose of powdered graphite on all the surfaces of the bar seems to have fixed the problem

    Argus Tuft
     
  6. BudsterXT

    BudsterXT Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    545
    Most have a love/hate relationship with them.

    I am on the Hate side of this one.

    Give me my bushings any day.

    Kenny U
     
  7. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    1,618
    Too bad they don't have one for the Spolar. I had extra bushings made for more dense powders, Hornady has a few skips that leaves .009 between bushing sizes. I bet I have 55 or 60 since I use several different powders.

    Charlie
     
  8. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    7,854
    My opinion? A total waste of time and money, to say nothing of deluding the user into thinking he may be getting a "more accurate" speed or pressure he thinks he is when it may well be the opposite.

    Evidence above.

    Neil
     
  9. mjsweims

    mjsweims Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
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    98
    Tried them long ago, and didn't like them. Don't even remember why (that may be age-related). I prefer bushings.
     
  10. Gapper

    Gapper TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    823
    It's not too different than a bushing type bar, just has a finer range of adjustment. The supplied instructions aren't real great - you have to "read between the lines" or do some figuring on your own.

    You save a few bucks not having to have different bushings for different type loads. Especially for experimenting with different powders.

    For the meat and potatoes "red dot/green dot" man, not really necessary.

    The index marks don't always give an accurate indication of true charge weight. Same as regular bushings, you must weigh properly to get a proper idea of charge weight. After set-up, it's still a good idea to weigh the charge weights occasionally - same as bushings.

    The adjustable type requires slightly more technical ability than many people possess, therefore the adjustable bars can be had for 20 bucks or so (used), so if it's not to your liking - no big loss.

    Regards, GAP
     
  11. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    6,097
    Location:
    Iowa
    I had one on my 650 and liked it but learned quickly that you had to keep checking the weights more often than with the bushing. If the set screw comes loose (and it will) it will change drop weights.
     
  12. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

    Joined:
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    5,722
    Best thing since ICED TEA

    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  13. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    813
    Most everyone focuses on the powder side in the conversation on the adjustable bar, but I like the ability to dial in the shot close to the number.

    Out of the box the 1 1/8 Mec bar will throw somewhere around 475 grains of 7 1/2 unless you do some modification.

    With the adjustable bar it is easy to dial in 1 ounce, split the difference with 1 1/16, or load a few for pheasants at 1 1/4 with the same bar.

    If you already have invested in bushings and bars, and masking tape/dremel to adjust your drops with them, then the adjustable bar may not be for you. I have $25 bucks in mine from a fellow who bought it and hated it and I have never bought a bushing. I even sold the original Mec bushings and bar back on ebay as they just were collecting dust.
     
  14. 1oldtimer

    1oldtimer TS Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
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    2,003
    If you only load 1 or 2 diff loads,you don't need one. If you shoot the games like I do, with diff. shot sizes and many diff. powders, they are priceless. I would not load without one. Winston likes to be controversial. He talks a lot but says very little.

    Clyde
     
  15. Spanky

    Spanky Active Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    1,437
    I think if you use it long enough you will see all of the positive and negatives sides of them. I have one from a long time ago set up on my first 600 MEC. It works fine. I still run a few off on it every once and awhile. But, since those days I run my 12 ga. shell on (2) older MEC 9000's and 20 ga. shells on a Sizemaster with bushings. The Alliant powders seem to meter perfectly with bushings for me. It never crossed my mind to get one for the MEC Progressives. Much like the powder baffles, I own a couple but didn't really need one so I took it off.
     
  16. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    3,002
    RLC makes a great point. Mec bars are drilled out for chilled shot. So with magnum shot you are not getting a true ounce and an eight. Does adding another 10 pellets to each shell make a difference? Maybe not one shell, but 100 singles, and 100 handicaps could give you 2000 more pellets flying downrange. Could that be an extra target or two?

    Every AA or STS I've weighed is around 500 grains of shot. I got an adjustable bar in 1993 and have no MEC bars or bushings left. JMO, I wouldn't load without one.

    Wayne
     
  17. thunder

    thunder Active Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    Location:
    wisconsin
    Best accessory for a mec.
     
  18. semperfi909

    semperfi909 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    I have this Murphy's Law sort of feeling about how adjustable things might adjust themselves.

    but that's just me
     
  19. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    2,449
    The first ones were terrible. They were plastic and you could not count on them to stay were you put them. After going through all the trouble with the first one, I didn't use one for a long time. As I was bad mouthing the bars one day a friend mentioned he had one and was pleased with it. Well, this guy has good reloads and suggested I try the newer ones. I did.

    If you read the manual and set them by turning them the right way I have never had one change its setting. Yes, I had a learning curve and had to reread the manual a couple of times. Now I have both models(they turn in opposite direction) and have to read the manual before every change. All that being said I like them and I never thought I would.

    Ajax
     
  20. Dicksie

    Dicksie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    295
    Location:
    California/Utah
    While we were developing and designing the Spolar Gold in 1990 to 1995, we conducted extensive market research, taking the machine with us to every shoot we attended; The World Skeet Shoot every year, The Grand American every year, The National Sporting Clays Shoot, every year, to Bunker Shoots at Prado, the site of the 1984 Olympic Shooting venue, and many, many of the State shoots through out the US. One of the questions we always ask potential customers was what method of measuring the powder and shot they preferred, the answers were overwhelmingly bushings, in fact I only remember 2 or 3 people who said they preferred the adjustable charge bar for loading shot gun ammunition. It does not seem that opinions have changed too much in the past 23 or so years.
    Dicksie Spolar
    Spolar Power Load