I'm not familiar with the PW line but have a chance to buy a good used unit. What are the strength and weaknesses of it. Right now I'm using an old 366 which I dearly love but ........is there something better out there?
Being a bit new to shooting and reloading, i can only say that i am very happy with my 800plus. The damn thing keeps cranking out shells and from what i see on ads for used ones, they seem to hold their value nicely.
The Platinum 2000 is the way to go if you are loading just one gauge. The older 900 and 950 models are similar to the 2000 in the way they index.
The 800 Plus is the way to go if you intend to load more than one gauge on the same machine. The tool head can be changed complete with all the tooling to load a different gauge. This is possible since the 800 does not have a center shaft. The 800 uses a different indexing mechanism than the 2000. The 800B, 800C, 800CVT are older versions of the 800 Plus.
Click my website link above and download the article I wrote several years ago comparing the 800 Plus and the Platinum 2000.
I, personally, prefer the 800 Plus, for a couple of reasons: (1) the rotation/indexing system is massive compared to the Platinum's, (2) the 800+ has an aluminum turret that rotates, versus the Grivory plastic one on the Platinum, and (3) resaleability for the 800+ is greater because of a larger audience who may include people wanting a reloader that is EASILY capable of changing gauges. The up-front difference finds the 800+ $50 more money.
If you decide on the new 800, I'd suggest replacing the aluminum turret with the Grivory model. It has a liftetime warranty against any type of wear and you will find that the ability to remove a die and hull in mid cycle is invaluable.
Not too hijack this thread, but I have seen several 800B PW loaders for sale. I see from a prior post these are simply older versions of the 800 Plus. Is there anything to be particularly aware of if I decide to invest in an 800B?
Not really a con, but to get some of the loads I am looking for, I had to buy some hornady 366 powder bushings. As they offer a more bushings with smaller increments in volume. By the way if anyone has a Hornady 366 bushing #534 for sale I would be interested.
If I were shopping around, I would be holding out for the Plus (over the older B), new or used. The Plus's ability to allow removal of indivicual shells at any point on the rotation is worth its weight. Ditto the updated primer feed.
John mentioned the Hornady bushings. Their sensible numeric designation (hole diameter) makes them easier to work with than the cryptic notations that PW uses.
I'm not as experienced of a 800+ user (one year) as most of these other guys but here's how I look at it. I have been around Mec loaders (not bashing as they are good loaders also) for a long time but when I got the opportunity to buy a 800+ with hydraulics I took it. Its like learning how to drive a car with a Ford Pinto and then getting a new Cadillac for your birthday a year later.
One of the above posts suggested that if you were going to get the NEW 800, them you should replace the aluminum turret for the Grivory one. You can't!
All new 800 Plus machines come with an aluminum turret AND with the removable die option, so going to Grivory would (1) be silly, and (2) can't do it anyway.
The Grivory turret will ONLY work on the 900/950 and Platinum reloaders, NOT on the 800 Plus reloaders, nor on the older 800B/C/CVT's. Furthermore, if you were to buy an older 800 such as the 800B, 800C, or 800 CVT (referred to as the "convertible, only aluminum is used. You *can* install the after-market aluminum turret with the removable die option on the B/C/CVT. Grivory is not available. Grivory is ONLY available for the reloaders that use or have the center indexing shaft.
Lastly, I prefer aluminum to Grivory. Although Grivory has a lifetime warranty, is it still plastic. Early Platinums were built with an aluminum turret and after the factory switched to Grivory, I still had them build many for my customers with the aluminum setup.
<i><blockquote>"If you find one of the older 900/950 loaders it will have an aluminum turret with a steel center hub. The steel center hub has the eight holes for the ball detent and index pin."</blockquote></i>
How old is "older"? My 20-year old 900 (1991) had the aluminum turret with a steel hub but my magnet says that the index and detent holes are in the milled area of the aluminum.
I followed the wisdom of Whiz when I bought a PW 800+... I've reloaded on the 366 since I was 12 years old.. I put them to rest when I bought my 800+.. and put my 800C to rest also.. My 800+ has been flawless.. Now.. it's still fairly new.. only about 90,000 rounds on it.. Other than wad fingers..and an occasional cleaning and greasing..not 1 issue..
The 900 had two "life cycles" or "pedigrees:" They changed the design some before and after serial number 4390. The change was in the center vertical shaft used for rotating the turret. Earlier designs used a ball-bearing. I preferred that design. The more recent one used a small collar mounted on a vertical machined "bolt". The drawback was that the ball-bearing design was extremely tempermental in proper adjustment on the early design, but the collar would easily wear a flat on its surface on the later design, particularly if one did not keep the vertical shaft's groove clean and greased.
Neither of the above model designs, addressed the eight indexing holes.
On several 900/950 machines I see here at the shop, I have had to drill out the eight indexing holes in the aluminum turret to a larger size and then install the proper indexing pin in the top collar. Over years of usage, the indexing holes in the ALUMINUM will elongate, and introduce non-centering upon indexing.
This is why I prefer the 800 Plus: Indexing is done with a boss start gear and super hard main pinion gear.