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Discussion Starter #1
I have come up with an idea of what I consider to be an innovation of the MEC reloaders. I am just curious as to how many people think it is practical. My idea is to make it possible to change bushings without having to flip the bottles backwards, take out the screw, and pull the charge bar completely out. It would basically be the same concept as a Spolar, where the bottle slides out of the way onto a plate to keep it from spilling, then you simply pull the bushing out, replace it with a new one, and slide the bottle back, the piece would be a complete replacement for what the bottles are attached to now on factory progressive MEC's. We are currently working on a CAD drawing of the new design to see if it will work. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Josh.
 

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Great idea - if you like to tinker with new loads and powders you could run ten drops and then easily adjust up or down as needed.

Of course if you just reload the same type 2 3/4 dram shell 10,000 times a year...

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
221, the idea isn't to make it simpler, but make it more "user-friendly". I've seen threads on here before discussing if MEC should make their reloaders this way. We have an idea of what it will end up looking like when finished, but it's just a drawing on a piece of paper right now. Thanks for the input, keep it coming. Josh
 

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Try it. The worst thing that could happen is that you will learn something. And, it is possible that the worst thing and the best thing that could happen is the same thing.

Pat Ireland
 

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Why do you pull the charge bar completely out? The bushing can be removed when it clears the end of the holder.

A slide made of shim stock to block the shot will serve your purpose.

But I can see a wee hinge or slide plate above the powder drop tube would work also.

My solution is the same as ricks1.

HM
 

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Well jolly I will tell you one thing don't send them them prints and see
if they are interested. My friend and I did that with two ideas we had
they denied interest then they incorporated the features.Perhaps you should
talk to a pattern lawyer if your idea proofs out ??
Good luck.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The adjustable bar is what I was afraid of. That was really the only problem with the idea that we could find. Would people actually pay the kind of money that this thing would cost rather than the $30-$35 that the charge bar would cost? We asked ourselves that question, and it was the main reason I posted on here. I hadn't had any intentions on sending prints to anyone, and that's why I was trying to be as vague as possible. Thanks for the input, Josh.
 

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That's very good advice Joe!

Josh, if you come up with a great working system for improvement to any tool, protect your idea and market it yourself, or, get help! Just like the guy who invented the auto-mate did. MEC bought out his idea once they saw it was a winner and was in fact selling! NEVER, NEVER show any company your proto-type working models on their word alone!! Hi Dave.

Hap
 

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If you use a second charge bar and insert it from the shot side (forgot to mention you should put a solid side up to prevent shot loss) remove the stop screw and push the bar to the left to clear the frame with the bushing..catch the falling powder in small container, I use a 35MM film canister. You can change the powder bushing and return it to correct position never losing a bit of shot or powder.
Worked for me for the last twenty some years with no addittion to equiptment.
I've made suggestions to Mec in the past..their response.."too expensive"..and then they installed the bushing on the "finger" two years later. Funny, it works just like the little bearing I installed on mine.

Big Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm still stuck on if it would be worth building. The prototype piece will be pretty time consuming, and I just don't know if there is enough interest in it...From what I can see, there are 2 people that have interest in it, otherwise people find the MEC design just fine the way it is, or are telling me a simpler way to do it. If anything, the idea will be scrapped and I'll move onto a new project, possibly making replacement hardware for the Browning factory adjustable comb. We will see though. Thanks, Josh.
 

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I have several bars with all the necessary attachments assembled. A I have to do is is take out the stop bolt and insert the needed powder insert. I spend more time thinking and reading than changing. You're a thinker though so keep it up.
 

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Josh, until you build your proto-type and throughly test it, it's only a theory on paper or in thought. Building a working model is necessary to prove your improvement in any mechanical device.

Forget about patents! As stated above, way too expensive and it truly won't protect you or your idea even when considering adding a world-wide patent! More expense!

Build your better mousetrap, test it to see if it's a real improvement to gamble on. Once you're satisfied this improvement will sell, make an educated guess as to how many would sell and to whom. (Reloaders?)

I'd advise you and your partner to chat with the man that invented and had the rights on the Auto-Mate that he later sold to MEC. He sold his product by proving it would sell by building and selling them himself!

I have a system on my MEC 9000H for priming and a primer tray that's far superior to anything MEC offers. They have seen both and said mine would be cost prohibitive to market when compared to the old and new improved tray/priming system they now sell. The priming improvement I built has operated without a single failure to drop a primer in the hole since late 2002!

Been there, done that. HapMecTweaks-Hi Dave!
 

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EE, I have cad drawings for all the improvements I've built except my hydraulic operating pedal. The costs I've invested far outweigh any returns I may sell them for. The market just isn't there in the reloading world. The improvement MEC wanted to really see is my loader lock. No primer, a locked loader equals no powder spills. I don't have the complete cad drawings for that either, I told the mechanical engineer that was helping me to forget that extra expense and he reassured me again that my idea would work. If MEC thought my primer feed and tray would be too expensive to duplicate, the loader lock would scare hell outa them! This system would work on practically all shotshell reloaders. Building proto-types that prove a theory or idea can be an expensive venture as Josh mentions above. In the reloading world, there's no real money in it for what it costs and the potential sales is very limited. I use three of my improvements everytime I fire up my reloader and get extreme satisfaction in knowing that I built a better mousetrap, for me.

Hap
 

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Hi Josh -- I for one would jump at not having to remove the bottles to change bushings. a lot of Mec users have single stage units also. Some of these users only have enough room on their benches to use the short bottles. This would allow the use of larger capacity bottles or powder baffles. This would also eleminate the dam large Mec bottles that are half or three quarters full of shot from popping off and dumping shot all over the place. Remember not all reloaders have the luxury of custom loading benches and not everyone has thought far enough ahead to have their benches planed out to add another press or three and not hit their bottles on a shelf as I did. Go for it, if you can produce for a reasonable cost ,I think you will do well.

Bill Hom
 

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned, is a modification to the handle. Change from the wooden grip, to a spade-type handle. Lengthen the arm overall by about three-to-four inches.

I bought one from a member here, and installed it on my 9000G. It makes a world of difference. Higher leverage, easier to use, less strain on the arm and shoulder.

Best,
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #19
All I have for a reloader is a 650. Can anyone tell me if there is a difference in the factory charge bar holder between my 650, the 9000's and the Grabber? I know the 600's are different, but I don't know about the rest of the progressives. Thanks, Josh.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bill, I have considered the adjustable butt pad, but I guess never bothered going anywhere with it. If this idea doesn't work out, I'm going to make replacement comb hardware for my BT out of brass, who knows, maybe someone will want that. But for now I'll work on the the new part for the reloaders, and will probably have one built in a couple of weeks. Thanks, Josh.
 
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