Trapshooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know I'm opening a can of worms--but--- I need to decide on a new progressive 12ga loader. I've been using a MEC 9000 for years and yes I can build a great load with some tinkering and a lot of missed primers. The MEC is a great loader for the price and a person can learn not only how to reload but if they want to reload.
What I'm having trouble with is the, please forgive the word, "clunk-en-ness" of the MEC. I've spent my life working with machines and tools and the MEC just doesn't feel smooth nor comfortable. I enjoy reloading but want to move up to a smooth operating machine. At this time I'm not looking towards any automatic additions, speed is not a major factor. I reload three different loads for clay sports, also I'm thinking about 20ga. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
I can help with 2 of the 3. I owned a pw 800 plus was a good reloader not alot of issues but my biggest reason for selling it was if you had a problem in turret just took so long to clear it out and start over. Another drawback to the pw was had to remember to shut off bottles or will continue dropping shot and powder. Minus the few quirks the pw loaded a good shell. The dillon is my current setup it is a very fast loader with that being said there is a learning curve to the press. It has alot of adjustment to it to set what works for you they are very easy to adjust everything sets on top of the die plate (no reaching under the press standing on your head to make adjustments) i like this on the dillon nice feature. There are some plastic parts to the dillon but if you read and reread the manual you shouldnt run into issues with breaking them as stated there is a learning curve but i think all presses are like this. There are plenty of videos of these presses in action may help you make a decision. As far as the rcbs i am no help i hear they are also a great loader and i know rcbs stands behind there stuff same as dillon replacement parts are free. I am very happy with my dillon press no bushings to have to change yes takes a bit to dial the weights in but its very accurate holds settings well. Best advice if you had anyone near by that has either 3 you are considering go check them out in person and possibly operate them. I have always liked to let my equipment pick me instead of me picking it same as a gun really doesnt matter what names on it as long as it does what i want it to. Best of luck in your choosing not sure any of the 3 you mention would be a wrong choice just something that needs to suit your needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
I own a RCBS Grand and a Dillon SL900 so here is my .02 worth.

I really like Grand and its features. I bought mine used, for a song, and never regretted it for one minute. It basically addresses all the shortcomings of the 366 and is really smooth to operate. Adjustments are really straight forward and you can't beat the replacement parts warranty (free including shipping). The Grand will produce 500 rounds/hour at a very leisurely pace. The press also has a great feel throughout the stroke.

The SL900 is a beast. It eats up components like nobodies business. The production rate is phenomenal once you get it. The feel and adjustments are different, but not any worse or better. The quality of the reload is top notch just like the Grand. The warranty is the same as the Grand, no BS. Just call them up and tell them what you need. I did add a few things to SL900, I ordered mine w/the electric hull feed. I added a Mr Dial to facilitate easier/faster powder drop changes. I also added the larger powder hopper w/ low powder alarm, did I mention this thing eats components like crazy. If you want all out production, this loader can't be beat.

Economics of the two are simple. You can buy a Grand and have the extra 20ga conversion for the same price as a properly set up SL900 in 1 gage. If speed is of a lesser concern, the Grand is a very good press and hard to beat for the $$.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,994 Posts
I agree with both the above assessments of the Dillon. Easy to adjust, won't drop shot or powder without a shell in position. Good reloader, smooth and very fast if that's what you want. And I've loaded 100,000's of rounds on mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
RCBS GRAND all the way. I have the Grand and a Mec 9000 and prefer the RCBS hands down. Plus lifetime no BS warranty on all parts...even if you break it!


Reap
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
I am a PW person and I have had them all. If you are worried about shutting powder and stot off or forgetting too, try the Patriot. I have 1 Patriot and a Platinum 2000 and just bought an 800 Plus. I have used PW's since the 70's and can
take them apart in my sleep. Like the gentleman said about the Dillon there is a learning curve. Whichever you get read the book on it the read it 2 more times and then start the learning process. I had a Spolar and liked it but I really like to pull the handle and the Spolar like the hydraulic unit a lot.

Mac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
I have two SL900 Dillons running. The ability to change tool heads for gauge changes or different set up/loads is nice. Priming system will skip one once and a while. You can watch the primer feed bar and give it a tap and shake one in or with the ability to easily remove a shell you can add a primer easy. I will never own a machine without a case/hull feeder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,125 Posts
Of the three you mentioned, I prefer the Grand. I did not like the PW at all. The Dillon is "fiddly". One you have the Grand set up, it stays that way. No fuss, no mess. That being said, if I were still shooting 400-500 shells a week, I might consider a full blown DL900 system. What I'd probably do is add a hydraulic system to my Grand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
What I'd probably do is add a hydraulic system to my Grand.
I was considering doing the same but nobody has one in stock....I guess Ill have to call RCBS direct to inquire about one.

The grand is a very nice running press. I loaded a flat last night in about 25 min. I do not rush. I enjoy reloading and prefer to take my time and not to rush things. I do agree once its set it just keeps on going and going. I love the feature of case shutoffs...meaning no hull present no powder or shot and emptying the machine is a breeze.

The hydraulic addition is definitely something I'm going to be looking into!

Reap
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
I inquired about the hydraulic power supply for the RCBS, and the tech, who's only job was the Grand shotgun, tech, said the power unit was not really needed or in demand. He said they had only sold 4 or 5 of them, and are currently backordered. This was 3 months ago, but said the units for the grand just weren't in demand, didn't really provide much if any advantage, and he personally didn't recommend them. He would put my name on the list for when they became available, but actually he talked me out of getting one, said there just wasn't enough advantage to them to justify cost. His advice was that the Grand just wasn't a unit that would benefit from a power unit.

After thinking it over, and analyzing some reloads, after a couple of boxes, I could see where he was right, the unit just wouldn't have done anything for me except the fun of having some new toy to screw with. The Grand so seldom screws up, I wouldn't save any time by having a power unit. The Grand is very easy to operate, requires very little effort to pull the handle, so I opted for no power unit for the Grand. As for other brands, I have no knowledge, so can't comment on how good or necessary they might be, but on the grand which I have been using since 2002, you would have to talk really hard to get me to switch to any other unit no matter which brand. I am a happy camper with mine, and I am one of those people who always wants something new even when I don't need it and would make no sense to have something else.

You might want to call the RCBS tech and see if anything has changed since a few months ago when I checked, sometimes technology changes minds, and who knows, it might be something you would like, lots of different opinions , lots of different people. Can't hurt to do your own research.

For right now, nothing could make me leave my Grand no matter what kind of power system it had, but that's just me. I wouldn't take a mec if it came with a slave to operate it for me, no matter what kind of power it had, but I am very prejudiced against Mec, so take that for what it's worth, which is nothing.

August
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,249 Posts
Can anyone share how they mount the RCBS Grand? Simple rugged bench mount, or are there limitations to be aware of??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Can anyone share how they mount the RCBS Grand? Simple rugged bench mount, or are there limitations to be aware of??


Mine is mounted onto a piece of 2" thick block of wood that is bolted to the bench (which is removable if needed) and the bench is bolted to the floor and wall which makes for a nice solid work surface.
Its a great machine...you'll love it!

Reap
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I tried the risers and just didn't like them. To me it made the press "wiggly" and prone to vibrations which might effect powder drops. I took my table with one 3/4" piece of plywood and added two additional pieces of 3/4" plywood to give more rigidly. Then bolted the table to the wall. I did cut a large hole in the top, added some PVC pieces, and now the shells drop from the exit slide down the PVC chute and into a plastic bucket under the table. My press is mounted at the very front of the table with 4 bolts. If you mount this way be sure you set the press on the table, before drilling holes, to be sure the primer drop tube and the handle clear the front of the table when the press is operated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
If you mount this way be sure you set the press on the table, before drilling holes, to be sure the primer drop tube and the handle clear the front of the table when the press is operated.
Great suggestion but what I did was removed the plastic catch bottle and ran a tube to the side of the bench so they land in a large waste bucketso I dont have to stop and empty them.

Reap
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
August1940,fyi,the hydro unit,for the RCBS grand,has been known to break parts on the loader which,they will replace at no charge.The hydro was, or is still offered for about 1000,bucks,but the people at RCBS gave you the same story that they have given other people,I have heard this story a couple of times on the web site's and it has not changed,they don't want to sell the hydro unit's, so you can expect the run around from them,according to other poster's that wanted the make the same purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,994 Posts
I once called PW and asked them if they would make a electric drive unit for my Dillon SL-900. That reloader is based on the brass Dillon 650 which PW makes an electric drive unit for. They said, and I quote " send the reloader to us, and will see what can be done" I didn't follow up and send it to them, but it seems they would produce an electric drive for a Dillon SL-900 if anyone is interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
One improvement that you could make to the Grand (or the others too) is to add the roller handle from Inline Fabrication. I just got mine today, haven't reloaded with it. I bought the roller handle only and have to make an adapter bracket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,940 Posts
OK, I've had all three. EVERYTHING above is, in my opinion, is spot on. The PW ranks #3 without a hydro unit. I loaded over 100,000 rounds on a Grand. Unless you have a shoulder problem, there is no need for a hydro unit. They have tons of mechanical advantage and are comfortable to run. Mine was mounted on a table I made. I am 6-4 and my tables a higher than most. If you get one be sure to cycle the stroke up and down to be sure you are comfortable or a riser may be needed. This loader is THE BEST for changing hull types and components. I run a SL900 Dillon now. It IS a monster. I don't like the tight sight access to all the component parts on the turret BUT it IS the easiest, fastest loader I have evr sat down to. A box every two minutes is just ambling along! What would I buy? Pure production, Dillon hands down. If I load several hull types and a lot of different components--get a GRAND. Twenty ga. conversions? Again Dillon.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top