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Want to buy a loader - HELP!

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by jennylin, Aug 30, 2007.

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  1. jennylin

    jennylin Member

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    I've been shooting for a couple of years now and finally feel justified in purchasing a loader. I'm trying to gather as much information as possible before I do so will you please tell me what you think about the following brands? MEC, Spolar, RCBS, and Ponsness/Warren?

    I want to know it all - the good, the bad, customer service, returns, repairs, etc. Any information you can give me would be great.

    Thanks,
    Bill
     
  2. bigclown

    bigclown TS Member

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    MEC - 8567 Grabber: probably the best buy for the dollar; simple, reliable, not as fast as 9000, but with fewer things to go wrong. Can't comment on Spolar, RCBS, or P/W - 'way too expensive for my money to accomplish the same task as my MEC. I have used the same Grabber for 20 years with only 2 broken parts - sizing collet about 12 years ago and a charge bar spring - the original lasted 17 years. Best Regards, Ed
     
  3. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    They are all good tools but there is a large price difference in the machines you mention. I have used a P/W for over 25 years and it has its quirks but turns out a nice shell. I also have an old MEC which costs a lot less but is
    too slow for the volume of shells that I load.
     
  4. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Bill,

    You should start out with a MEC, the 650 is great for learning the ropes and is a minimal investment. If you decide that you have outgrown the 650 and need a higher capacity machine then look into a 9000 or a PW or Spolar. The thing is that the higher end machines are fairly complicated and you really need to master the basics of loading shotshells before you jump into one of these. If you do get a MEC, spend the extra money and get a universal charge bar for it and a good scale to calibrate the charge weights.

    PS you may also want to consider the Hornady 366, good machine and fairly straight forward operation.
     
  5. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    Bill,

    I'm with Wolfram on this one. Get a Mec 650 and a supersizer or a Grabber (A 650 with a built in resizer). These are simple to operate and adjust. MEC has good customer support. Both of these Mec's are manually indexed so you can easily check everything before rotating the plate. These loaders go at your speed and every pull of the handle produces a nice shell!

    ec90t
     
  6. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    The best hands down is a Spolar

    Mec produces great loaders

    everything else has pros and cons-- some better than Mec models and some worse

    Gene
     
  7. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    Try find a used MEC 8567 Grabber, a decent scale and a Universal Charge Bar and you'll have one heck of a setup for less than $200. It will make beautiful shells, fairly rapidly, with little or no maintenance. Have someone show you how to operate it and you'll be happy. Good luck.
     
  8. Kolar Dan

    Kolar Dan Member

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    I've owned P/W, Mec 9000, RCBS Grand. I prefer the P/W 800+. Start with something simple until you learn how the shells are constructed, then if you need ba high volume machine- move up. All machines have little quirks-including P/W, RCBS, and yes even Spolar. Best customer support is probably RCBS.
    Sonny
     
  9. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    I began reloading with a single stage plastic resin LEE Load-All and progressed through MECs 650 and 9000 until I arrived at my present P/W 800 and 900 and I would never go back.

    The P/Ws are heavily built production machines, but their biggest advantage, to me, is the full-length hardened steel dies that encase almost the entire length length of the hulls throughout the reloading process. No more buckled hulls as with the MECs. It's one disadvantage to the models I have is that I cannot remove shells from the loading process at points other than the final stage. There are kits available to make this possible but I haven't found one particularly necessary yet.

    As with all other loaders, it is important to pay close attention to what's going on during the loading process to avoid making mistakes that could cause injury later.
     
  10. ffwildcat

    ffwildcat TS Member

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    I started out with a grabber 8567 and learned the ropes of reloading. It was a very good press and turned out very good shells but there were a LOT of things to go wrong and spills were a pain. I recently upgraded to a RCBS Grand and love it. Spits out perfect shells in half the time it took with the grabber and NO spills. The grand has hull activated powder and shot drops which is a huge bonus. No hull, no drop. The customer service at rcbs is incredible. Those guys are committed to their product and a happy user community. Another nice feature of the grand is the powder and shot hoppers. The powder hopper takes a full pound and the shot hopper takes a full bag! The hoppers have an off position and a drain position which makes changing out powder a piece of cake. Changing bushings to go to a new recipe is also very easy and takes about one minute. I load 7/8 oz and 1oz and 1 1/8 oz loads and can switch back and forth with no fuss. Press adjustments for crimps and wad changes are simple and easy to make with a few tools. I have my shell output down to about a shell every 6 seconds.
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    From: wolfram
    Email:
    Date: Thu, Aug 30, 2007 - 11:55 AM CT
    Website Address:
    I was going to reply to this thread but Wolfram did such a nice job I just decided to copy his reply.

    Pat Ireland

    You should start out with a MEC, the 650 is great for learning the ropes and is a minimal investment. If you decide that you have outgrown the 650 and need a higher capacity machine then look into a 9000 or a PW or Spolar. The thing is that the higher end machines are fairly complicated and you really need to master the basics of loading shotshells before you jump into one of these. If you do get a MEC, spend the extra money and get a universal charge bar for it and a good scale to calibrate the charge weights.

    PS you may also want to consider the Hornady 366, good machine and fairly straight forward operation.
     
  12. markostrunk

    markostrunk Member

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    Aug 22, 2007
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    I've owned most of them (MEC 650, 8567, 9000G, 9000H, Pacific 366, PW 375, 800, 2000, RCBS Grand, Dillon) except a Spolar. I really struggled with the Dillon. The PWs are great when they work well, but take some extra tinkering when they get out of adjustment. The PW 375 is the best single stage made. The RCBS Grand is indeed grand and the lifetime guarantee with free parts is a real plus. The Pacific (now Hornaday) was straight forward, but I don't like the separate resizing station.

    The MECs are like Hondas. They may not always be the right choice, but they are never the wrong choice. I'd skip the single stage 650 and go directly to the 8567 or 9000G. You'll learn quickly and the extra speed of a carousel reloader is a real plus. I never found any difference in the reliability between the 8567 Grabber and the 9000G.

    If you get the 9000G, at a later date you can add an Auto-Mate and have a fully automated machine. That's a nice option. You can also add hydraulics to the PW or Spolar, but the price really gets up there.

    Marko
     
  13. poacherjoe

    poacherjoe Well-Known Member

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    Grabber ; Go to ebay you can get a good deal there!!!
    PJ
     
  14. blizzard

    blizzard Active Member

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    i'll sell this 366 for 200.00 + shipping from 14525. i have more pictures available upon request. my e-bay i.d. is trapshutr1 if you would like references. good luck in your search for a loader.





    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>
     
  15. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Somewhere on here I have a thread for a PW 800B at $300 OBO if you're looking for a high end progressive loader. I'd go completely progressive with indexing regardless of which brand you choose - you can always load one shell at a time.

    The reason being - you'll get there eventually, bypass the single stage and/or non-indexing units and save the dough!

    As for brand - all mentioned do the job and would not be around if they did not work well - price of a tool is relative to your personal situation.

    Jay Spitz
     
  16. Al P

    Al P TS Member

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    My first and only reloader is a MEC 9000G. I used this for some time. It is a manual progressive reloader.

    At a later point in time, I added an auto device named Auto-Mate II to the MEC. This gave me more uniform reloads with less effort.

    Look them up on the internet

    Total cost to me: $800 to $900.

    Good shooting and have fun,

    Al P
     
  17. Piper Mac

    Piper Mac Member

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    I would vote for the 366. I have had one since the mid 70's. A couple of years ago I lost some screws out of the plate that holds the plastic cup for spent primers and called customer service, told them mine was a Pacific, which was the previous company, Hornady never hesitated and sent me replacement parts at no charge, great service, great reloader. I bough the automatic adjusting primer seater a few years ago, now I can load AA, Remingtons, etc, without any adjustments.
     
  18. dennis (nj)

    dennis (nj) Guest

    I too would not hesitate in recommending the 366 . I have 2 and they are built to last a lifetime . To me spending over $500 for a loader is a waste of good lead . You can get one used for about $200 - $250 . I sold one for $200 with a scale for someone this year . I have a Mec 650 in 20 ga and it seems like toy but it puts out shells !! I just don`t like turning it by hand from station to station .
     
  19. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    With Shot at $36.00 plus and primers at $125.00 plus and all the time reloading new shells are cheaper at $42.00 bucks a flat for gun clubs . If we see in a year or two shot coming down to 20 bucks or so a bag then yes reload . I don,t think we will ever see 12 dollar shot again .
     
  20. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    KEYBEAR- Your point is well made but is it possible that one can reload a better quality shell for about the same price of the discount shells? There is a reason discount shells are now cheap.

    Pat Ireland
     
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