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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a universal adjustable charge bar for my MEC 9000. I've loaded a couple thousand shells so far but it seems like I'm always having to adjust the powder drop. It will drop 20 gr for a while, then back down to about 19.2. I adjust it back to 20, then when I start up the next day it's up or down again. I'm using the powder baffle and I don't let the powder level get too low. I do have a small amount of powder that leaks out at the top of the charge bar. Not a lot, but enough to be a little annoying trying to keep the process clean. The variations in drop weight make me nervous, so I weigh about every third drop. I even started to weigh each finished shell accounting for all of the components (that was kind of crazy and I've stopped). I kind of thought the adjustable charge bar would be a set it and check it occasionally add-on. That doesn't seem to be the case. Is this just the way these things work? Your thought's are appreciated. - Gary
 

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Get rid of the powder baffle first. I never could get those things to meter worth a crap and I had both the plastic and metal versions.

When setting your adjustable bar, make sure to go past the number you plan on stopping at by several numbers and then dial back to your desired number. Then lock it down snug. Make sure every stroke of the loader handle is consistent. Any variations can cause inconsistent drops. Try these things and I bet it helps.
 

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Mine has always worked great with the metal baffle for a gazillion years of reloading. Static .... use a dryer sheet dangling in bottle ... can cause inconsistant drops ... especially in dry weather. You can not just back off the drop ..... you must go way past and bring back in the increasing direction each time. My bet is you have a static problem.

Also the finer the powder ... the more inconsistancys can occur.

Also check if you are consistantly going to the end of the throw ("push") to the left. Sometimes they wear the hole where the vertical MEC rod (the one with the adjusting nut for throw ("push") meets the cam plate that moves the bar.

Bob
 

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What ImpalaBob said.

Also, whether its a bushing, or an adjustable charge bar set where you want it, both are just plain holes that can contain powder. No more, no less.

One "hole" won't be affected any more than the other hole regarding consistency. A hand operated 9000 has the potential to vary widely because of the vibration and lack of support up top. Put a support bar on it, something like the E or the H uses. Really stiffens the entire unit. Until then, the top will just flop around more than you realize. That's very detrimental to consistency.


If you run slight friction on the charge bar "set screw", the adjustment will not change. Just do as Bob stated, always adjust going inward, never out.


Been using one for 12 years and would not consider reloading without one. Adjustments are made in seconds. Just make sure you know your grain/drop settings.
 

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If you are a tinkerer and enjoy constantly fiddling with the sdjustments to try to get a consistent load - meaning +/- .5 grains or so of your desired powder drop - the "adjustable" charge bar is okay. I gave up on this type of bar long ago...as other students of reloading have concluded and reported here, the regular powder bushings work just fine. My life is complicated enough trying to decide between 7.5s or 8s and the "perfect" muzzle velocity. Regards, Ed
 

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What grntitan said.

Using them for many years, no problems. The adjustment procedure MUST be from out far out to the desired setting.

HM
 

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Some things just drive me nuts! Adjustable Charge Bars are one of them! With a bushing, you accept what it is and that it's close enough and there isn't much you can do to change it. If it's close, it's good to go. With an adjustable charge bar, the tendency is to fiddle with it until you get it exact. It will drive you nuts! Back the adjustment out and turn it in until it's consistently close enough, then leave it alone! If it drops a tenth out, resist the urge to fix it. Weigh your drops with bushings and then compare the consistency you get with an adjustable bar. A fixed sized cavity is the same size every time. An adjustable can be set well in between, but the fly in the ointment is the "Human Factor". Close enough isn't good enough if it has an adjustment! Anybody remember the fine tuning knob on an old black and white tv? I was almost an orphan because of one.

Toss the baffle! It's just one more thing to add to the mix.
 

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If you measure every charge you'll find two things.

1) No matter the brand of loader, every throw will vary in charge weight; + or - .5 grain on a few loads is probably the norm, and may be expected, even if not desirable.

2) If you can get a normal, affordable machine to throw charge weight readings that are the same every time, or within a couple tenths every time - then your scale is broken.

GAP
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much for all the input!!! I agree that a "hole is a hole" and that's what frustrates me. I don't mind a couple tenths either way, but when it changes from 20.7 to 19.6 from one day to the next it drives me crazy. I don't mind adjusting and it's easy enough to do (I always go way past then back, and I try to pull the handle the same each time). I was thinking it might be temperature or humidity? Maybe the static and the baffle are the root of the problem. I'll start there....Thanks again
 

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The same thing happens happens with a powder bushing. The only difference is you can't do anything about it, so you don't check it as often. So get your adjustable bar set, and forget about it. Just like a bushing.

Wayne
 

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With a rattail file (bigger) or some nail polish (Smaller) you can make a real close bushing spot on.

Brady
 

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Gary,

If MEC wanted you to have an adjustable charge bar & a powder baffle they would have sold or given them to you - right Ed??

Jon Reitz
 

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"If MEC wanted you to have an adjustable charge bar & a powder baffle they would have sold or given them to you "

Jon: LOL, or they may lose all the sales for the bushing. Just a thought, Rick
 

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At the link above the scoop on bushings v. adjustable charge bars. Not so much how they work but what people imagine they are gaining by using them.

Neil
 

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What I have gained is never buying a bushing. A hole is a hole. Once it's set and the locking set screw is tightened ... I see no difference from a bushing.

I will soon reset it from Clays to Red Dot and it will stay set until Clays becomes available.

If you switch back and forth between a few favorite loads the bushings DO make more sense!

Glad we still have choices!

Bob
 

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I bought a adjustable and now it sits on my bench and I don't use it. What a pain in the ass it was. For games I load 1200fps and for 16 and HC I shoot 1145 and it was taking way to long to adjust from one to the other. I paid $50 of more bucks for the darn thing. I do use the baffle though and like it.
 

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Buy a tapered reamer, and make your bars and bushings throw exactly the charge you desire. Takes less time than dialing in an adjustable bar does.
 

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If you're even thinking of using an adjustable bar try this experiment: The next time a shooter seems to have wildly inconsistent loads ask him if he uses an adjustable bar. My experience is about 9 out of 10 answer yes.
John
 
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