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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my MEC Grabber is acting up after a few years of flawless performance. The trouble I believe is on station 5 'Crimp Close' You can see from the pictures below that the shell body is being creased, and the crimp is shallow with a hole in the middle.

The manual states that this can be fixed with adjustment to screw 461A. I've been doing this over and over and can't seem to get it right.

Anyone else have experience - and success making this adjustment????

Tx!


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Did you make any changes just prior to these issues arising? The squashed Hull is usually the final station being too low. The crimp is a combination of the crimp height (screw) and cam. Any of these changed just before the problems? Different hulls?


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The squashed Hull is usually the final station being too low.
How does the pre-crimp look? I'd agree that the final station may be set too low, or a change in hull height visited you. I'd raise the final crimp die 1/2-turn but increase the final punch depth down 1/2-turn. If you just raise the die you'll end up like Photo 36.
 

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stack height in the shell could be to high, the crimp is bulging out from the looks of the pic, have you always reloaded AA hull's they are shorter than most of the other hull's out there
 

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I can't tell from the picture what brand of hull you have pictured but I had that problem a few years ago when using the Claybuster wads in the AAHS hull because the wad was catching on the base wad and not seating as far as it should have.
 

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First a guess, you appear to be using an AAHS hull.
If this is the case, you need to change your wad to the wad that is made for the next larger shot load, or drop 1/8 oz from your shot drop and use the same wad.
This symptom occurs with the AAHS hull when there is too much stuff inside the hull to make a good crimp and when you try to improve the crimp by making adjustments, the sidewall of the hull gives up and collapses.
Just because a recipe says that it is for an AA hull does not ensure that you can make it look good at the end.
Adjust your recipe as suggested or switch to Remington hulls which have more interior room.
Both courses will probably require that you raise all your crimping tools a minimum of a full turn, maybe more.
Start by raising the final die at least two turns and the main crimper about two turns. This is probably too much, but you can see your changes without ruining more hulls.
Check that the result of the precrimper is a cone that the small end of a primer will not go into. I usually set mine so that a piece of 7 1/2 shot will not fall into the cavity
The hull that you have shown should be taken apart with contents salvaged and the hull discarded.
Once a hull does this, it will always do it.
 

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First a guess, you appear to be using an AAHS hull.
If this is the case, you need to change your wad to the wad that is made for the next larger shot load, or drop 1/8 oz from your shot drop and use the same wad.
This symptom occurs with the AAHS hull when there is too much stuff inside the hull to make a good crimp and when you try to improve the crimp by making adjustments, the sidewall of the hull gives up and collapses.
Just because a recipe says that it is for an AA hull does not ensure that you can make it look good at the end.
Adjust your recipe as suggested or switch to Remington hulls which have more interior room.
Both courses will probably require that you raise all your crimping tools a minimum of a full turn, maybe more.
Start by raising the final die at least two turns and the main crimper about two turns. This is probably too much, but you can see your changes without ruining more hulls.
Check that the result of the precrimper is a cone that the small end of a primer will not go into. I usually set mine so that a piece of 7 1/2 shot will not fall into the cavity
The hull that you have shown should be taken apart with contents salvaged and the hull discarded.
Once a hull does this, it will always do it.
I am sure Curly has it right. 3 pounds of poop in a 2 pound bag when it comes to the HS hulls. Denser powder or a different wad can help. I use 1 1/8 oz. wads if I want to reload 1 oz. shells and that works well. I do use Extra Lite powder with the 7/8 oz. Claybuster wad for my 7/8 oz. loads and that works just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all for the discussion! Few responses plus an update here.
- Yes AAHS Hulls. Once fired.
- No changes to hulls - I think after 1000's of shells loaded, a nut came loose and knocked the reloader out of adjustment. Up to recently, shells came out fine!
- I found this video from MEC which is super helpful and FIXED the shell wrinkle.
Basically its the CAM adjustment.
- Still having trouble with the hole in the crimp.
- I took the dam crimper off to sort of 'reset' things in my mind. I'm trying to find out what a good starting position is for this crimper. Anyone????

BTW, I've 1oz and 1 1/8 loads produce same results. I'm reloading Red Dot with CB1100 wads according documented recipe. Again, been doing this for a year with no problems.

Thanks all! Love this site.


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I load Win AAHS exclusively, using Clays or Titegroup in either 1oz or 9/8 oz. Claybuster wads are matched to shot weight. It took a while to fiddle with stages, but once tuned in, I’m getting factory like crimps. Aside from the usual station settings, I had to lower the powder drop so that the pressure gauge just barely moved, so that the wad was properly seated and not hanging on the base cup.


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To get rid of the hole in the crimp, the standard fix is to lower the pre crimp a little at a time
until the hole goes away. HMB
 

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Thanks all for the discussion! Few responses plus an update here.
- Yes AAHS Hulls. Once fired.
- No changes to hulls - I think after 1000's of shells loaded, a nut came loose and knocked the reloader out of adjustment. Up to recently, shells came out fine!
- I found this video from MEC which is super helpful and FIXED the shell wrinkle.
Basically its the CAM adjustment.
- Still having trouble with the hole in the crimp.
- I took the dam crimper off to sort of 'reset' things in my mind. I'm trying to find out what a good starting position is for this crimper. Anyone????

BTW, I've 1oz and 1 1/8 loads produce same results. I'm reloading Red Dot with CB1100 wads according documented recipe. Again, been doing this for a year with no problems.

Thanks all! Love this site.


View attachment 1524621

If you still have some 1 1/8 oz wads, please go along with me and use several of them with your one oz load and tell me it doesn't work for a better fit.
As to reinstalling your crimper, be sure that it is well cleaned inside and using just one hull in your press at a time , gradually lower the center punch down until you get a desired result.
Of course the hull must have the right amount of components before trying to crimp.
Leave your final crimper high as suggested until after you get that main crimper set as desired.
Hole in the center is very common with the AAHS hulls when trying to use suggested recipes and wad, the buckled sides usually occur when trying to get that hole closed or the proper crimp depth, unless you make the wad change.
The sidewall of that HS hull is much more flimsy than any other domestic hull.
 

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When I loaded the HS hull with 1 oz loads, all my problems went away when I started using the 1 1/8 oz wads.

Haven't had any hiccups since giving away the HS hulls and going to Remingtons.

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update: After massive fiddling, I have it to the point where I can do production runs with only a small hole in the middle and no folds in the shell wall. Interestingly I also fixed the pre-crimp, increasing the crimp here required that I place washers in the crimper to lower it about 3/16". As stated above and in the manual, a pre-crimp that prevents a primer from falling into the shell is ideal.

Thanks all.
 
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