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Can you share your experience with the MEC adjustable charge bar?

I have a friend who is asking for some advice. He is an experienced shooter but wants to start reloading again and is wondering about the accuracy and repeatability of the adjustable charge bar. I kind of like the bushing idea knowing that I will always get the same results with bushings.

thank you
 

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Ive used one for 25 yrs. Just set then readjust after you weigh your loads on a scale to fine set it if need to.
 

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The important thing to know is how to make adjustments.

Since there is a little bit of slack in the threads, I always set the bar for a larger size than I need, and adjust downward till it is right.

This way the opening can never get larger from slack in the threads.

I never have even a tenth variation using this method.

HM
 

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Adjustable charge bars are accurate enough, but require patience and tinkering to get repeatability. Like you, my experience is that using MEC powder bushings provide all the accuracy and repeatability needed for a fraction of the cost and frustration in using adjustable bars. Best Regards, Ed
 

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It's definitely not tinkering.

If you use a setting record it, next time open a little further, close up, done.

Anyone who has operated any machine tool knows about this.

Rick, some people should not reload either. Funny, I had a friend who ran a CNC machine till he retired but could not get with the program on a dial bar.

I guess it's just in how you're wired.

HM
 

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Just forget about the graduations on the bar. Set it with a reliable scale. As mentioned, always make the final adjustment by closing it rather than openinng it. That eliminates the slack in the threads.
 

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I heard nothing but negatives about the adjustable bars, and I decided to get one anyways. They are very accurate, and can be adjusted to any measurement you like, unlike the MEC powder bushings where there is 1 grain approx between bushings.
 

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I used an adjustable charge bar for many years and loaded in excess of 50,000 shells on one. However, I began having problems spilling shot when loading the last shell in a lot when the charge bar failed to lock up when there was no hull in the priming location.

After reading many posts regarding altering MEC bushings and charge bars with a rat tail file or coating with fingernail polish, I got a few extra bars and bushings and do not use the adjustable bar any more. The bars and bushings look a little funny after they have been filed and/or painted but they work great.

Set-up and change over is now much quicker for me. I always weigh my shot and powder charges before starting and periodically when loading. I have confidence that a MEC bar and bushing are not going to change while reloading and the lock-up when there is no hull in the priming station is positive.

Ed Ward
 

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Ed Ward, your failure to lock up is an adjustment to the Mec loader not a fault of the charge bar - unless someone's bent the lock hook or otherwise.....breakemall....Bob Dodd
 

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Bob, what you say is true.

The adjustment I believe is to tighten the nut on the rod that hangs down on the right side of the loader (grabber) which I have done many times. This works for a while but the constant downward impact on the nut causes it to get out of adjustment.

The MEC bar has a larger area of contact with the lock hook than the adjustable bar and, on mine, locks up tighter. I believe that I could add a second nut which would act as a lock nut on the rod that hangs down on the right side of the loader. At any rate, switching to the MEC charge bar solved the problem for me.

Thanks for the comment.

Ed Ward
 

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From Green Dot to Longshot to Titegroup ........I've NEVER seen a 1 grain difference in a MEC bushing. Perhaps .4 of a grain. I have/had bushings #18 thru #38 and if I'm allowed to "handle a firearm" again I'll check my scale to be sure. IN Answer your post: I like bushings.If a recipe calls for 18 grains and your bushings call only produce 17.8 or 18.2 ...do you relly think 18 grains will SURELY make a difference in X's/O's ?
 

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I firmly believe in the adjustable charge bar, I always turn the adjusting knob in when setting my charge to make sure I take up the slack in the threads
that way it is accurate, I have loaded over 100,000 shells on my adjustable bar.





Gary Bryant
Dr.longshot
 

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I've been using my adjustable for about twenty years. I keep a notebook with all my adjustments recorded. I can easily switch from 7/8oz. to 1oz. to 1-1/8 oz. with just the turn of the dial. Just as easy to switch powders and grains. Some loads I'm using 17.5 grains 700X, some loads 21 grains Green Dot. With every new jug of powder, or different brand of shot, I'll double check my settings with a scale. Wayne
 

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I like mine. I've been using them in 12 & 20 ga. since 1994. They are easy to adjust, once you figure out the small amount of backlash in the dials.

One thing I learned early on about bushings. Different Lot's of the same powder will not throw the same weights. The adjustable bar eliminates that variable for me.

Kip
 

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When I sold reloading equipment, I had about a 40% "unsatisfied" rate with the adjustable charge bar. I have seen numerous bars that would not function reliably (or at all) in the machine without alteration.

I state this as a mark of customer satisfaction, not my personal preference.

I still prefer the stodgy old factory parts. LOL
 

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Anyone who believes bushings are troublefree has never changed a lot of powder in his lifetime. And on the other side of the bar, the MEC 1 1/8 oz bar only throws 1 1/16 oz of shot(and this varies with shot size as well). Do you call that being trouble free? Get the adjustable bar, understand the relationship of the slack in the threads during adjustments, and don't look back. This sport is a game of 2 or 3 pellets at times. Give yourself every advantage. Good luck.
 

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My unscientific estimate is that 80% of the bloopers at our club are from the 30% of shooters that have an adjustable bar on their reloader.
John
 

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This is a refreshing discussion which rivals 1 oz. vs. 1 1/8 oz.; 7 1/2 vs. 8s; or Chevy vs. Ford! Great fun on a winter day. Learning how to judge the "backlash" feature of the adjustable bar and realizing I wasn't gaining anything put me in the 40% of dissatisfied customers with the adjustables that Shooting Coach mentioned. Geez, but banning me from "handling a firearm" (687EELL) because I don't care to fiddle with an adjustable charge bar is kinda harsh. If you have an adjustable and like it, that's great.. Best Regards, Ed
 

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I used an adjustable charge bar for years with my Mec loader using Clays powder. I had absolutely no problems and everything was going well until I switched to TiteGorup powder. I was having problems getting consistent loads with no puffers. I tried everything short of weighing each load and still had the occasional puffer. I finally noticed that the geometry of the adjustable bar drop hole is a rectangle and the inlet of the Mec loader is a circle. With the dense powder TiteGroup I thought that it might not be dropping consistently because of the different shape of the holes not matching. I bought a 18 bushing and loaded 100 rounds with the bushing and didn't have a single puffer, I have since then loaded well over 3000 rounds with no puffers. Problem solved. I now load TiteGroup or any dense powder with a bushing instead of an adjustable bar.
 
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