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Discussion Starter #1
Okay folks. I only have one or two posts, and I am not trying to raise my posts so I can buy/ sell. I would just like to share my first bit of time pulling the handle of a recently acquired shotshell reloader! I got a MEC 9000G from a friend at a great deal. His brother was getting out of reloading and downsizing his toys. So here I am, having reloaded rifle and pistol shells since I was about 12 (now 50). After picking up the needed shot, powder and primers I picked up the Lyman Reloading book 5th edition. I had a stash of maybe 700 Remington STS hulls from several years ago. Back then, I wanted to load bismuth for ducks. Not having a shotshell reloaded then I used a set of RCBS dies for 12 gauge to load up maybe 2-3 boxes of shells. What a pain compared to a dedicated press I have now. My first experience with the 9000 was great! I am sure some of you would have gotten a good laugh watching me load my first box or so. I spilled so much shot and powder. I have a good digital scale and weighted all my charges for each recipe I tried so far. I stayed below max charges by .5-1 grain in all but my third load so far. The first loads were using red dot, and 7.5 shot, W209 primers. I was pleasantly surprised to get a good pattern from that load so I loaded close to all my loads till I ran out of lead! My latest load will be dedicated to Turkey this spring. It's a 1.5 ounce lead shot with Blue dot. All those loads were hand weighed both shot and powder. Turned out great again, patterning very well out of both shotguns I tested. Making those two boxes really made me appreciate the efficiency of the 9000 in progressive mode! So that's my experience so far. Plan to shoot a lot this summer with my son. Need to get him into something outdoors! Thanks for having a good bunch of information here to learn from. I browsed this forum a fair amount before getting the reloader. I know I can likely buy ammo cheaper than I am loading it currently, but I very much enjoy the time I spend loading. It's my relaxation time after stressful days at work!

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Set up your MEC and weigh about a half dozen powder drops to make sure it's working properly and you are using the correct bushing.

After that, load away!

It is totally unnecessary to weigh each and every drop.

In fact, I've been loading shot shells on MEC products for over 50 years, and the ONLY time I check my powder drops is if I change powder or bushings. When I say "change powder" that includes anytime I run out of powder in the current container and open a new one. Doesn't matter if it's the same brand and type, measure it. Powder densities can change from lot to lot, and it's better to be safe than sorry.

One more thing. I DO NOT use adjustable powder bars. Only bars with the fixed ounces for lead and changeable powder bushings. No way these can ever get out of adjustment, hence I don't worry so much about whether my drops have changed as there is no way they can unless something is clogging up the powder drop tube. I always tip back the bottles and do a visual check before I begin loading shells, and the reason for this is one time I WAS having problems with my powder drop, and found a cobweb inside my powder drop tube. This is the one and only time my MEC drops varied significantly, and obviously, with good reason.

Once I began the visual inspection before each session, no more problems.

I hope you enjoy many hours using your 9000G. I wish I had a dollar for every shell I have loaded on one of those in my lifetime!!!!

Good Luck and Good Shooting!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One of the questions I had early on was where do I start powder charge wise. All of the recipes I saw were max loads. Coming from metallic reloading I always had a range to start. I have since come across a lot of data which has a range. Thank you for mentioning the universal charge bar. I was considering one. But I have yet to need more than I currently have. I have the standard 1 1/8 charge bar and 1 1/4. I weighted out all of the 1.5s because I don't yet have that bar.I am having a lot of fun so far. This is just an extension of reloading metallic loads, but definitely much faster!

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Discussion Starter #5
Good for you and him both !!!
There is nothing better in my opinion than what you are doing now for the both of you !
Best of luck...
Thank you phatkaw! He struggles with killing something, so I figure if I can get him into clays he might actually enjoy shooting more. Maybe then I may extend his experience into duck hunting and upland birds!

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Discussion Starter #7
My son is 16 and currently I think he is more interested in girls and driving! Need to change his mind and let him know there is so much more out there!

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One of the questions I had early on was where do I start powder charge wise. All of the recipes I saw were max loads. Coming from metallic reloading I always had a range to start. I have since come across a lot of data which has a range. Thank you for mentioning the universal charge bar. I was considering one. But I have yet to need more than I currently have. I have the standard 1 1/8 charge bar and 1 1/4. I weighted out all of the 1.5s because I don't yet have that bar.I am having a lot of fun so far. This is just an extension of reloading metallic loads, but definitely much faster!

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Usually we don't suggest straying from the published loads in shotgun reloading. Many of the manuals give several different velocity figures-you can select one to your liking. For target work I prefer the lower range ones to reduce recoil,but that is personal preference. Nice machine too;you can temporarily remove the bar that works the auto advance to slow things down till you are comfortable with the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Usually we don't suggest straying from the published loads in shotgun reloading. Many of the manuals give several different velocity figures-you can select one to your liking. For target work I prefer the lower range ones to reduce recoil,but that is personal preference. Nice machine too;you can temporarily remove the bar that works the auto advance to slow things down till you are comfortable with the process.
Thanks Dan. I am understanding it more now. Having experience previously with only metallic I was taking the loads as max, and as such was unsure if I needed to "work up" to those. I understand better now that when a recipe lists the pressure, that is telling you you're safe as opposed to hitting max pressure, a.k.a., max load. If that is correct?

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The load data for shot shells is similar to metallic but stated differently. Metallic gives a minimum and a maximum. Normally, for shot shells you will find three different loads for each combination of powder, wad and primer. The listings are stated to closely match the designations you would find on a retail box of shells. 1150 fps - lite or extra light / 2 3/4 dram equivalent, 1200 fps - Heavy target / 3 dram equivalent and 1235 to 1250 - Handicap / 3 1/4 dram equivalent. This is for a 1 1/8 ounce loads. You can safely load anywhere from the minimum powder to maximum powder shown. Corresponding pressures will be shown for minimum and maximum power drops.
I personally use something close to the 1200 fps recipe for 1 1/8 ounce as well as my 1 ounce loads. I may select something around 1220 for one ounce loads just keep the pressure above 9000 psi to provide a full clean burn. Similar to metallic loading, just keep it between the min and maximum and you will have a safe load. I personally load between 8500 psi and 10,500 psi. I let the speed of the shell be what ever it is. I try to use and control the pressure to be my safety factor.
Target loads are meant to be effective out to 60 yards. Past that and the pattern starts to open and become less effective. Many here shoot slower, loads because they are more pleasant on the shoulder and are just as effective as high speed loads. Try a flat of each speed and see what is the most effective and the most pleasant to shoot. It won't take long to find a load you like. When my son was in his teens he liked to get ROCKED with fast loads. It didn't change his scores but he felt tougher. Today he appreciates the appropriate load for the appropriate game, clay or feathered.
Now days I shoot almost exclusively 1 ounce loads in the 1200 to 1220 range. I can go out and shoot a flat without much wear and tear on my body. If I shoot a couple boxes of handicap loads I will get a headache and fatigue will set in. Try them all. Enjoy the quest for your favorite load.
 

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Personally, I think you wasted money buying a Lyman reloading book, cause you can go online Alliant Powder - Reloader's Guide
and get loads (you mentioned Red Dot) but its all at your finger tips on the computer.
Go on youtube.com and put adjust 9000G reloader. There are several official MEC videos. Not that you should "blindly have to adjust" but the resource is there for WHEN YOU HAVE AN ISSUE.
Reloading is a hoot, almost as much fun as shooting. (well for me anyway)
 

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One of the questions I had early on was where do I start powder charge wise. All of the recipes I saw were max loads. Coming from metallic reloading I always had a range to start. I have since come across a lot of data which has a range. Thank you for mentioning the universal charge bar. I was considering one. But I have yet to need more than I currently have. I have the standard 1 1/8 charge bar and 1 1/4. I weighted out all of the 1.5s because I don't yet have that bar.I am having a lot of fun so far. This is just an extension of reloading metallic loads, but definitely much faster!
As already stated, there is a ton of info online.

Just type in the power type and ask for reloading info, and you will see what I'm talking about.

Stay with published load data! Where people get into trouble is when the start cooking up their own recipes.

Also, there are lots of used MEC charge bars lying around on folk's loading benches or sitting in a drawer somewhere that people would love to get rid of. Do a little looking around, and whenever possible, let others know what you are looking for. You should be able to pick up just about anything you need in the way of bars/bushings without much of a problem.

Even if you have to buy them new, it's not like they will break the bank.

Good Luck and Good Shooting!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you guys for the responses. This is exactly why I come to a forum to look for answers. I have found a lot of information online as far as load data. Purchasing the Lyman manual was just a "primer" for me to insure I got off to a solid start. I do realize the importance of loading to the recipe as closely as possible. I liken the relevance to trying to download a magnum..... You don't do it!

Here's another question that is a bit confusing for me. I have not had an issue yet with this. If a specific recipe produces dished crimps and the recipe was verified. I.e., powder drop and shot drop are on, is it okay to add shot cards below the shot to account for the crimp? There seems to be quite a few people that say that's okay. But this would be a deviation from the recipe.

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Thanks Dan. I am understanding it more now. Having experience previously with only metallic I was taking the loads as max, and as such was unsure if I needed to "work up" to those. I understand better now that when a recipe lists the pressure, that is telling you you're safe as opposed to hitting max pressure, a.k.a., max load. If that is correct?

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Post #10 is the answer I would have given had I been up earlier. The Lyman manual seems to me to be a good primer for shotgun reloading. More up to date recipes are available on the manufacture's websites. I don't think cardboard or paper fillers to increase stack height,ie reduce dished crimps, is a problem.
 

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rosie dad, I know that load data is available online for free, but keeping a Lyman's #5 on the bench has advantages. There's a lot of general information in it besides load data. The biggest advantage I see is that for a given gauge and hull, ALL data is there together. So you don't have to jump back and forth between different web pages to see what components to use. You can compare the loads in one table.
 

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In metallic reloading the need to start low and work up is because of so many variations in the bore diameter and throats in different guns. The bullet will fit tighter or have to be seated deeper which causes higher pressure with a given charge. Shotgun is a little different as the pressures are not nearly as high. The load does not have to engrave into the rifling as there is none. It gets to ride out on a slick plastic wad. The pressure variations you might get if you are following a trusted load recipe are generally not great enough to cause concern unless you are at the upper end of SAMMI standard pressure. If you are following trusted data, pick your load and speed and get the components they state and load away.
 

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Douglas, to answer your last question about filler material. I personally do not use filler material and don't recommend it. Other may say otherwise. I personally don't. What I do suggest is asking on this forum if a particular load will give a good stack height, "FIT' well and give good crimps. Stack height and FIT has to do with the bulkiness of the powder or volume of the powder. Not to be confused with weight. Along with the selected wad type which is normally how tall the wad is.
Here is a picture to assist with the explanation. All of these wads are filled with 1 1/8 ounce of shot. I was playing around one day. Don't worry about how full they are. Notice how tall each wad is compared to the others. For reference L-R: Fed 12S0-1 oz, Fed 12S3- 1 1/8 oz, DownRange 12S3 1 1/8 oz, DownRange 12S0 1 oz, Rem TGT12 1 1/8 and 1 oz, DownRange Blue Duster 1 1/8oz, DownRange DRA12 1 1/8 oz, DownRange Windjammer 1 1/8 oz, DownRange DRHRT12 1 oz.
20180615_183302.jpg
Green-TGT12 by Remington, Blue-Blue Duster by Downrange - This is an old style WAA12 clone, Bronze-DRA12 by DownRange - New style of WAA12 Clone.
Remington Hulls are taller internally than WAAHS hulls The comparison that follows is applicable to reloading Remington hulls. The Green TGT12 wad can be found in a factory Nitro27 shell. The Nitro27 uses a very dense powder and does not take up much room in the hull. The Green wad is too tall and will probably not FIT in the hull using 700x or Red dot. Most reloaders use the Fig8 or clone because it is shorter and works well with several powders. The blue wad provides a good stack height and fit and is more appropriate for reloaders using moderate powders such as 700x or Red Dot. The bronze wad is too short for Rem hulls and will give dished crimps with 700x and Red Dot. Green Dot, one of the bulkiest of powders, may not even work with a wad this short.
Rather than have a ton of wads you won't use due to poor stack height and FIT, ask first. Someone can advise you on the stack height, FIT and crimp for a specific load you are thinking about.
Unfortunately the load data is full of poor FITTING loads and loads that are better not used. Straight wall wads in tapered hulls and vice a versa are a common problem in the load data. All the loads listed are safe, but some have a better stack height and fit better. As a general statement, you will get a better FIT and stack height when you load Winchester hulls with Winchester style wads, Remington hulls with Remington style wads, and Federal Hulls with Federal style wads.
Once again, I don not use filler material. I use a wad that gives a proper stack height and a good fit. By keeping to this, I almost always get a good crimp without much need for adjustment. I use a MEC 9000g also. I can go slow if needed but the press was made for loading quickly. Using filler material really slows things down.
Great to have you aboard. Feel free to ask questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
birdk9, thank you for the great response. Makes total sense not to add fillers. I have been luck so far and not loaded any the had poor crimps. I have only loaded 3 different recipes, so I'm sure I'll find one eventually.

Next question. How much pressure do you set your wad with?

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