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What Brand of Loader MEC ,PW, SPOLAR

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by moose!!!, Dec 29, 2011.

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  1. moose!!!

    moose!!! Member

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    I am ready to move into powered loading I now have a MEC 650N works great love it just kind of time consuming resizing shells in a separate step, I do like the hand operation as far as feedback of what is happening but, after a few hundred shells my arms gives me more feed back. I guess when I look at the reloading equipment out there today it looks like there is a wide range of $$$ and gimmicks that make reloading almost hands free.
    As I read the feed back from all the brands and systems I have not seem much that compares electric to Hydraulic. I also see a lot of tricks, like filing, cutting, grinding, shimming, tilting, etc to keep the machines running at there optimum.
    When I weigh this all up between brands I find MEC far in front of the others as far as ease of use, and robust designs. Measured by the fewest feedback of problems. Here is some questions I would like some input on to help me with my decision.

    1. Hydraulic, Electric, Pro's / Con's?
    2. Brand – MEC, PW, Spolar, Pro's / Con's?
    3. Ease of maintenance? Parts availability?
    4. Lowest total cost of operation not counting initial cost of loader?
    5. Ease of changeovers between powder and shot loads?
    6. Ease of changeovers between gages?
    Thanks for your inputs.
     
  2. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Spolar is number one in ease, you don't need the power with it. I've never had MEC, but have had Texan,880B's, 900's, and the 2,000 PW. Don't load much anymore because of time constraints. The Spolar is worth the extra money.
    Good luck, Bob
     
  3. Beretta687EELL

    Beretta687EELL Well-Known Member

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    If cost is no object, buy the Spolar.

    Periodically, I think I should upgrade from my PW 2000 to a Spolar, but then I think, why spend the money when my PW puts out a great shell.

    Please note that all machinery that is used on a regular basis, has to be maintained and repaired from time to time. Bill Malcolm
     
  4. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Stay with Mec. Move up to a 9000G and your work load will be cut in half. If you feel you must have a machine that is motorized then a 9000H or 9000G w/automate is available.

    You can turn out alot of shells in a short period of time with the manually operated 9000G. Plus you get feed back each time you pull the handle. HMB
     
  5. tj303

    tj303 Member

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    Best dollar value is a Mec 9000. Get the Auotmate with it if you don't like handle pulling. If you are a Rolex watch guy instead of of a Timex then you will enjoy owning a Spolar. Both units will load shells quickly and well.
     
  6. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    Sorry Bob Hawkes I'll have to disagree with you. My Spolar is hard to operate manually as compared to the MEC I used to own and the Dillon SL900 I have now. The way the Spolar pops out the shell, crimping etc makes a hard down stroke. Most times two hands. Now that's the 12ga head. My 410 head is a different story. I would give it "Best in Class" for 410 reloading. Nothing compares. Consider a Dillon. Dave T.
     
  7. msmith

    msmith Member

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    If you like to hand (manually) crank go with a MEC 9000G. If you want auto, go with the MEc w/automate. Parts are easily available, easy to adjust and most shooters know how to fix them. MEC has great customer support. I had MEC 9000g in 12, 20, 28 and a Grabber in .410. Sold them to buy a P&W 800 plus w/inter changeable gauge sets. It was one of the biggest mistake I have ever made. I was not able to load 25 shells without the index pad breaking. Luckily I was able to get my $$ back and purchased MECs again. Mike
     
  8. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    You want power? PW with the electric unit. I haven't used the Patriot as yet, but I would check one out. I have the 800+ electric, and a Dillon SL900. If you don't have much loot, buy a MEC. Dillon, is faster, even with the manual system, and that's all they have. There is a learning curve to any of them. Hydraulic systems are just about obsolete, with the advent of the electric drive motors.
     
  9. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Spolar, the rest are all wannabees!!
     
  10. shootnair

    shootnair Member

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    MEC! The idea of reloading for most is to save money. MEC is cheaper and will reload fine. You don't start saving money on shells until your initial investment is paid off by reloading (less time because of less initial expense). The hydraulic is a good unit and faster than the electric so don't think you have to have the latest electric unit. I have owned two 9000H units and I have reloaded tens of thousands of shells. Great customer service(800 number for any reloading questions if problem shows).
    I took it to the Grand American two years ago and had Mec make it like new again for around $100. Excellent customer service.
     
  11. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    P/W 800+ with 'lectric drive unit, and replaced the junk plastic hopper base. There's a learning curve and you need to listen when it "talks" to you. Pay attention, and I don't believe you can get a better setup. I typically load a flat of perfect shells in 30min, then fill the hoppers, tidy up, & box the shells. Just remember, the object is to load perfect ammunition using the best components. I feed it Cleaned/inspected Remington STS/Nitro hulls (although I prefer the STS), Remington primers, American select powder, Spolar's latest Windjammer style 1 1/8oz wads, and Magnum shot @ 1,225fps, chronographed. You can't buy a better shell and I don't believe you can load it faster with less effort or cost.

    best...mike

    PS: Downrange makes the wads for Dixsie....they're far and away, the best.
     
  12. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    Funny you should ask...all of us have strong opinions on our choices. I have had all of the above in the last 6 years.

    Mec bang for buck is hands down best. 9000 with automate will end your arm problems and puts out a fine shell. I found the "wobbliness" if that is a word, and primer feed to be a PIA. But every loader has a quirk, and you can get this unit relatively inexpensive. It will do all you need to do.

    I have had PW800+ and Patriot, with hydraulic and electric drive. They are solid units, but both had so many quirks and issues I felt like I wanted to be the Maytag repair man. I just wanted to load great shells, not become a 2nd Whiz White, which by the way is a PW owners very best friend for sure. He is a true asset on this site.

    I have 2 Spolar's currently..one hydraulic, one ED by PW. I prefer the ED, but the trade off for quiet and powerful operation is it is a tad slower. Not a big deal, I can still load more than I can shoot. Hydraulic by Spolar is fabulous, never had a drop of leak (knock on wood), and Spolar if you follow the advice of Dicksie on primer and wad selection, is as close to perfect as is humanly possible. Both hands are free, you can get a wad/hull thing going and really get into a rhythm. I do with the ED, it is just a tad slower, which for me is a good thing.

    All that said, it comes down to personal preference and the funds for toys.
     
  13. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    With the low margin of savings with reloading, before investing in a high dollar reloader it would behoove you to use the Reloading Calculator at this site to determine your break-even point.
     
  14. fssberson

    fssberson Active Member

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    Most of us who have Spolar's have had all of the others and have progressed to the Rolls Royce of reloaders. If you like Chevy or Forda the Mec is for you. The P/W is the Cadillac. It really depends on how much you shoot and what you require of your reloads. P/W and Spolar produce "factory" shells. Most people who defend the Mec have only loaded on the Mec. The most significant difference is if you get a hydraulic system. Good luck with your selection.
    Fred
     
  15. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Let me re-emphasize what Didreckson said about the P/W 800+; although I won't agree with "Quirky". It's just that you need to learn how to use it, pay attention, and "listen" when it talks to you. If you have little or no mechanical ability, I agree, this machine is not for you. BTW, if you decide on the P/W, strongly consider the hand toggle for the 'lectric drive.

    best...mike
     
  16. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    The Ponsness/Warren 800 Plus is a very good loader. Powder and shot bushing changes are easy and gauge changes are quick too. This loader has been around a long time - 50 years if you count the 800B. The 12 gauge loader sells for $850. If you feel that you must spend more money you can get a Patriot for $1250. The Patriot offers additional safety features and automatic powder and shot shut-offs. If you really have money that you have to get rid of then buy a Spolar Gold for $1600. The Spolar won't make a better shell than the 800 Plus. The Spolar won't outlast the 800 Plus.

    No matter which loader you buy (800 Plus, Patriot, Spolar) buy P/W's Auto-Drive to operate it. The Auto-Drive is the best power loader there is! It is totally reliable, very quiet and fits in the unused space behind the loader. You can operate it with either a joystick or a foot control. The Ponsness/Warren Auto-Drive is only $800.

    PM or email me to see what I can do for you on a Ponsness/Warren.

    Jim Skeel<BR>
    P/W Dealer/Distributor

    skeeljc_2008_030320.jpg
     
  17. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Another thing one should take into consideration is the costs of reloading today when compared to yesteryears. The costs of components and the costs of various machines. Once you figure in the cost differential, the choices narrow considerably. How long will it take before your machine pays for itself with reload savings? Just about any decent shotshell reloader will make decent loads that's more than acceptable. The most stable machine loads with more powder consistency due to less vibrations and shaking. That's why I chose the MEC 9000H for all my reloading needs. Finding parts is never a problem, like finding 30-06 ammo in a country store, and MEC's help is tops too! If I had to chose again today, I'd buy another MEC 9000H for all the reasons outlined above.

    Hap
     
  18. oskerspap12

    oskerspap12 Active Member

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    I'll take the Spolar W/WO any drive unit(even though a drive unit would be nice),quick bushing changes (2 or 3 minutes),very consistant powder/shot drops, beautifully crimped shells,and gauge change is a snap (3 or 4 minutes).Great machine thats easy to use,but for a price........I think its worth it,and you will too!

    D.P.Reynolds
     
  19. Mark425

    Mark425 TS Member

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    MEC 9000G. I easily get 500 perfect shells an hour. I have tried a Spolar and what they say is true, but for the price I would forget reloading all together and just buy pallets of Nitros and let you guys buy my hulls.

    Mark

    p.s. Took about 5 year learning curve however :)
     
  20. Reinz

    Reinz Member

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    I personally want feedback as well, so I don't go for autodrives. Maybe due
    to the history of my mec 9000. Very inconsistant primer drops and jams. And just as bad- 2 shells with no powder per every 2-3 flats. My eyes had to be watching 3-4 things at the same time.


    Now the primer drops aren't always perfect on my Spolar either. I'm afraid if I had a powerdrive, I would have busted up some parts by now. I just keep my eyes on the primer. But I know that the Spolar puts out a perfect shell everytime. And I do not need to be worrying about that while I am concentrating on shooting.

    Do it right the first time, go Spolar.
     
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