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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the easiest loader to change gauges? I intend to reload 12 ga. and 28 ga. I won't be loading a lot of shells so quantity production isn't critical.
 

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I have a number of loaders. 366,PW 2000,Mec 9000, and a Spolar. I would say the Spolar is the easiest of the loaders I have to change. That being said, it's still a pain.
I bought a Mec Grabber for my 20 gauge.
If you are not going to load a lot, a couple of Mec Jr's would do the job nicely.
 

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I would think a MEC Jr. would be a good choice since you say you won't be loading many shells. As stated above, you might as well get two I bet that's what you'll end up with after switching dies a time or two. Probably not too hard to find a used 12 ga., 28 would be much harder to find used, but either is a good value new.
 

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I agree with the others I would get 2 separate loaders,, Probably even buy them used

I load 12-20-28-.410 all separate loaders Make it easy on your self..

DGH
 

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For shotshells, two MEC grabbers is a good place to start. I have changed calibers on a MEC to be able to load 16 gauge, but it is not fast or easy. It is not something you want to do on a regular basis. I later found a used press for about the price of all the parts I had to buy for the conversion, so it did not make economic sense even though it was possible.

For metallic cartridges the Dillon 550b is the fastest progressive reloading press to change calibers on the fly.
 

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Multiple MECS, model to be determined based on volume requirements.
No question, far and away the best buy for the money.
My first MEC was a 12 ga Grabber, bought new in 1980/81...somewhere back there. UNTOLD number of shells run through it, and haven't been able to wear it out yet.
 

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Spolar Gold is the easiest to change gauges. It takes about 10 minutes and is easy. Each new die set costs around $350.
 

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I have not changed my Spolar, but my RCBS takes about 10 minutes also, maybe less with practice....
 

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Get some Mec 600 Jr. loaders. That way you don't have to switch bars/bushing/etc. Set it up and forget it. I was lucky I ran across a used Mec JR for $30.00 one day. Now I have several 12ga Mecs, a 20, 28, and .410. A MEC Sizemaster is really a good loader and is one step up from the mec Jr. It resizes the brass differently than the JR.
 

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Hello: I have a Dillon SL900 and it takes me about 20 minutes to change over, clean, grease, fill with shot/powder and put the other conversion away. I wish they made a 410 conversion. Thanks, Eric
 

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Multiple loaders,is much easier, a good used Grabber. I don't think you can go wrong. I use 3 Grabbers, each one is set for a specific load and hull type. Simply unlock it slide it out, slide the one in I want to use lock it down load it up, check the drops and I'm ready to reload. Not to pricey and there are some good ones on eBay right now..
 

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Without question, the easiest loader to change gauges on has to be the PW 375, but it's a single stage loader. You can populate the rotating head with dies for 2 gauges and simply rotate the head 180 degrees to change gauges.

For progressives, the Hornady 366 can be had with a 2nd die head with the dies for the 2nd gauge installed and adjusted. It only takes a few minutes to swap die heads and the shell plate and there is no die adjustment needed.
 

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Two used inexpensive sizemasters would be my first choice. You can't make a better shell!!! Only a faster one, and as beeser said, speed it not important to him. You can pick up a used pair for $300 or less. Good Luck and break em all. Jeff

I dislike the 600 Jr. as they shake the table to much when they resize, the sizemaster does not.
 

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Spolar Gold is the easiest to change gauges. It takes about 10 minutes and is easy. Each new die set costs around $350.
I change my Spolar gauge heads almost weekly - 7-10 minutes - 2 bolts & unscrew set screw & a bolt - replace 8 drop-in dies,change wad fingers - clean & re-lube. I'm loading a different gauge in 12 minutes. No adjustments - Perfect shells everytime!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
After lightly reviewing most of the machines mentioned above the Spolar seems like a good fit. Do these come up used often? If so, what can I expect to pay short of the $1600+ new price? Does it make more sense to buy new in terms of warranty, etc. or are the Spolars bulletproof and still backed by Spolar even if purchased used?

In response to some of the comments above, I have 2 Dillon XL650s for loading pistol cartridges, one each for small and large primers. I started getting a machine for each caliber but too many machines are cumbersome to move around and store. That's one of the reasons I would prefer not getting multiple machines for loading shotgun shells unless it makes sense. Incidentally, are all shotgun shell primers the same size? I didn't need to produce a lot of cartridges quickly so the additional cost of a Dillon 1050 didn't make sense. If there's an equivalent shotgun shell press other than a Spolar consistent with this logic please let me know.
 

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Beeser, just curious here. If you already have a Blue Boy and you know their reputation wouldn't you what to stay with them. Don't think anyone can match their Quality, Warranty, and their Customer Service.. But it doesn't come Cheap.. But last for life............ Just Curious .........
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Beeser, just curious here. If you already have a Blue Boy and you know their reputation wouldn't you what to stay with them. Don't think anyone can match their Quality, Warranty, and their Customer Service.. But it doesn't come Cheap.. But last for life............ Just Curious .........
Nothing against Dillon, the two XL650s that I have work fine but I get the impression that they didn't build their stellar reputation on shotgun shell reloading machines and are relative newcomers to this type of equipment. I also get the impression that Dillon is to metallic cartridge reloading as Spolar is to shotgun shell reloading, both at the top of their game. Please correct me if I'm wrong. That said, I might also like a color change - blue to gold - if quality isn't sacrificed.
 
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