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Mec 9000 issue, cuz I’m a noob

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Very new to reloading I am a duck hunter, not a trap guy. I reload because they don’t make 4 steel/9TSS, which is what I load. My setup is a used but seemingly nice Mec 9000, pre-primered hulls, 1/4 oz TSS on the bottom of 3/4 oz #3 or 4. I think I have everything (almost) dialed but the issue is that about every 4-5th shell, I get only about half of the steel, and then, on the next shell, 150% of a load, which results in slippery floors and swear words. I am very conscious to get the handle all the way down, and release it to the top. I don’t feel any extra resistance when this happens either, so I don’t think it’s a crimp height not allowing a full pull, but I really don’t know.
Also, what is an acceptable variance from shell to shell? Components should add up to 1.48(ish) oz. 90% of my shells are 1.45-1.5. One out of 25 is 1.52-1.54. Every once in a while, I’ll get a shell or two that is something like 1.35. I’m thinking that most of this is related to the above stated problem, but not sure. When all goes well, almost no rattle and really fantastic looking shells. When it doesn’t, the crimp is always dished so bad the shot can just pour out the top. Would love someone with some experience to share their... well... experience!
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Very new to reloading I am a duck hunter, not a trap guy. I reload because they don’t make 4 steel/9TSS, which is what I load. My setup is a used but seemingly nice Mec 9000, pre-primered hulls, 1/4 oz TSS on the bottom of 3/4 oz #3 or 4. I think I have everything (almost) dialed but the issue is that about every 4-5th shell, I get only about half of the steel, and then, on the next shell, 150% of a load, which results in slippery floors and swear words. I am very conscious to get the handle all the way down, and release it to the top. I don’t feel any extra resistance when this happens either, so I don’t think it’s a crimp height not allowing a full pull, but I really don’t know.
Also, what is an acceptable variance from shell to shell? Components should add up to 1.48(ish) oz. 90% of my shells are 1.45-1.5. One out of 25 is 1.52-1.54. Every once in a while, I’ll get a shell or two that is something like 1.35. I’m thinking that most of this is related to the above stated problem, but not sure. When all goes well, almost no rattle and really fantastic looking shells. When it doesn’t, the crimp is always dished so bad the shot can just pour out the top. Would love someone with some experience to share their... well... experience!
Buy a drop tube ( the right side one ) specific to STEEL shot. And as you raise the handle lightly tap the drop tube to dislodge bridged shot.
 

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Buy a drop tube ( the right side one ) specific to STEEL shot. And as you raise the handle lightly tap the drop tube to dislodge bridged shot.
Yeah, sounds like the shot is hanging (bridging) in the tube and only a partial charge comes out, only to be knocked loose and added to the next charge. You might help things by adding a little graphite to your shot, but the steel specific drop tube is the ticket. Steel shot is particularly bad for this and the bigger the shot size, the worse it is. It'll also happen with larger lead. I've had it happen with lead six shot back when I was loading some "experimental" loads.
 

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Mec makes special reloaders just for steel shot. Check out the differences between the two. Call Mec, and they will sell you, what you need. They will also give you tips on how to load them on your machine. I too agree your steel shot is bridging in your machines drop tube!!! So getting the proper size drop tube, & the correct size charge bar will be a real good start. Lead shot, and steel shot are vastly different. break em all jeff
 

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If you are loading small quantities you can fill the shot 1 shell at a time.

You will not be using the shot bottle. Empty or take it off
Remove the shell after insert wad and before pre crimp

Set the pan on the scale add the amount of shot 1-1/4 oz. hold shell in left hand and slowly pour the shot from the scale pan into the hull. Some practitioners of the fine art simply fill the shell with shot after they learn from weighing a few and then skip the scale. Faster but not very precise.

Return the hull to the precrimp station roll on.


I load 410 with sixes it’s slow but precise.
Bad juju with bridging is when the shot falls all over the press and loading bench.

Option 1 The MEC steel machine has a different bar and drop tubes.
Option 2 shake a tap during the drop shot cycle.
Option 3 Hand fill the shot.

Happy hunting you’ll have ammo when your squad goes hungry.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Talk to MEC first before you go and buy stuff.
The steel drop tube may not fit your 9000.
I don't understand your dropping of the shot. Sounds like you are dropping 2 different sizes. This should be done manually and not with the bar. Especially if you want to layer the different shot.

Jason
 

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I loaded some #6 copper plated shot in my 9000G in 28 gauge for pheasants, every few shells the shot would hang up in the drop tube, a tap on the tube with a screw driver handle as you start to lift the handle and it drops...
 

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I don't think a steel drop tube will help all that much as #3 and #4 shot is big and you will most likely still get bridging. Best thing to do is tap on the drop tube before it clears the hull to shake any bridged pellets loose. When loading anything over 7 shot on any Mec bridging will occur from time to time.
 

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I came here to say to @PCLoadletter that nothing is better than fresh duck. I got nuthin’ for the MEC shot issue, but welcome and keep harvesting. ;) (y)

My policy is to take first, apologize later..................I'm still alive after 37 years of marriage, but I do have some significant bruises.
It’s easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission. That works for me.
 

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I have done the same with big shot in the 9000. As you start to raise the press handle, rap on the rammer tube smartly with a screwdriver with a fiberglass handle. Have the tube partially but not all the way out of the hull.

I would call MEC and talk to them. Oddly enough, the 9000 and the Sizemaster take the same rammer tube, #505B12. The Steelmaster tube might fit, but they would know. You would still probably need to rap the rammer tube.
 

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So..... frankly you need to stop using the progressive feature on that press to reload steel. It just isn't a good idea, and you're seeing why.

Powders that are good (safe) for steel/TSS shot do mot meter well, they need to be hand weighed, every load, or you will end up with bloopers (expensive with TSS) or way over pressure (expensive on your gun). The reason you are having shot drop trouble is you need a steel drop tube. They are wider and accommodate #3/4 shot without bridging. Even with a steel shot tube, anything larger than about #2 will bridge on occasion so you need to check each load. Ideally weight it, but once you get the charge bar set you will be within a couple/few pellets each time with that size shot and good to go. Just do a visual in the shot cup. Use a forgiving powder such as STEEL and enjoy.... but hand weigh each powder charge.
 
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