I am thinking of buying a PW800+ and was wondering how mechanically inclined you had to be? Also do they run better with a particular type of hull, and does reclaimed shot cause any issues? All info is appreciated.
great machines you will learn from your mistakes best get someone from your local club to get stated. It will load any hull just remember there all different and require adjustment not much wounce the machine is set up new one should work out of the box Know your components and what your are loading again great machine
Read and follow you instruction manual. Go step by step at first, pay attention to when to open the primer gate, when to turn on the powder and when to turn on the shot. Opening the primer gate too early can cause crushing of the primer when you try to advance the loader. I've found no problems when loading with reclaimed shot. As far as hulls, I have found brass base hulls are easier to load. Steel based hulls like the Rem. Gun Club will load just fine, they are just harder to resize. I load Rem. Nitro's and STS about 4 times and AA's about 3 times. Most importantly is get a reloading manual and a good powder scale. Don't trust bushing charts, they will just get you close.
<blockquote><I>"I am thinking of buying a PW800+ and was wondering how mechanically inclined you had to be?"</I></blockquote>My view is that thinking they are mechanically inclined has gotten more than a few PW owners into jams they couldn't get out of. Read the manual first and then try some shells WITHOUT MAKING ANY ADJUSTMENTS. If you run into a problem DO NOT TRY TO ADJUST YOUR WAY OUT OF IT until you call PW or ask someone who understands them for help. I have 3 beautiful PW 900s that I bought dirt cheap because their inept previous "mechanically inclined" owners had "adjusted" them to the point of being useless.
IF THE PRESS IS NEW, don't immediately start changing the way it's put together when you get it. They are all assembled by the same person at the factory and she knows what she's doing...what works, what doesn't and why. Don't try to outguess her. She talked me through a few adjustment by phone and she knows what she's doing.<blockquote><I>"Also do they run better with a particular type of hull..."</i></blockquote>PWs were designed around the compression formed Winchester AA hull. Brass bases are easier to resize in ring sizers like the PW shell dies. That being said, steel bases will work quite well IF they are not stretched too large by being fired from large barrel chambers. A hull that measures more than about .808" where the base meets the plastic will be hard to stuff into a PW die and it will make loading a real chore. For hulls bigger than that, both the press and the operator benefit greatly from resizing those hulls first in something like a MEC Super Sizer.<blockquote><I>"...does reclaimed shot cause any issues?"</I></blockquote>I won't use it. I've never bought any that wasn't contaminated with hard pellet-size stones. There may be some clean shot on the market but I've never seen it. I figure that if you scrape up old shot out of the dirt, it's better recycled and NOT stuffed back into gun.
Start out on the right foot: Connect the primer tray with it's two screws at the highest position, then with the tool tray up, handle down, (no load on the primer feed) bend/twist the primer feed track so that it sort of lines up with the slot in the primer feed ram. It won't be perfect but close is good enough. If there's torque on the primer feeder, caused by the track, it will cause it to bind in the down position, leaving the primer ram exposed in the up position to the passing die and make your loading experience a living hell when the ram gets bent...or worse. Alignment of the slot/track assembly, with the single screw, changes with whatever primer you decide to use, and it takes trial & error to get that part right; but it's easy. Call Jim Skeel and get one of his Powder/Shot base units and toss the plastic crap one that came with the machine. In time you'll become a P/W mechanic, as it will, eventually, teach you every lesson, as you'll learn to feel and listen to what it's telling you, while producing a terrific product. I wouldn't use reclamed shot. Good luck with it
I would suggest the shell mouth expander. It goes on your primer punch, as an extra. They open the shell mouth up so the wad slides in with no problem. I would also install a small magnet in station one. It keeps you hulls nice and straight going in the die. Cheap items but really keep things going smoother.
The hull expander is a good add-on but where would you put a magnet in the shell post (except maybe a tiny neodymium number glued in the screw hole)? It might be an aid for .410 hulls but I don't think it's really necessary with the 12 gauge.
I use the inset magnet on my .410 seating post and feel that it is pretty much mandatory for the .410. I have never felt the need on anything else. If the hull has any lean or wobble it hangs on the sizer and schmucks the hull. The .410's are so tall and skinny they are more prone to wobbling when you try to set them. Before the magnet I stuffed the .410 hulls up into the sizer and then pulled the lever to fully seat them. Since the cleaning brush or swab is important on the .410, stuffing the hull up in the die isn't a very good solution to the wobble problem. The magnet is much better.
I use a 0.3 in diameter x 0.11 in thick (8 mm x 3mm) neodymium disk magnet that you can get at ACE hardware.
I countersunk the top of the seating post with a drill bit just slightly bigger than the base of a primer and drilled just deep enough to get about 1/16" of the full diameter of the drill started (this is just in case you have a slightly proud primer, it will prevent the hull from sitting on the seating post like the leaning tower of pizza).
Then I drilled using a drill as close to the diameter of the magnet as I could get and deep enough to set the magnet below flush. Maybe a 1/16" or so below the top of the seating post.
I didn't use epoxy or anything else to seat the magnet. But I had a real tight fit. If you have a loose fit you'd want a drop of epoxy or something in the hole before you set the magnet. Those magnets are strong though, If you do set in the hole it might be hard to get it back out
I installed my magnet the same way, except I did add a drop of Epoxy. My magnet is just a few thousands below the the top of the seating post. I drilled the magnet hole in the post with a small bench lathe.
What do you guys get the seating pad off if you need to with a magnet glued over the shoulder bolt? The first 900 I bought had so much crud around the seating pad spring inside the post that the pad wouldn't move.
I know I need a loading manual and will cross reference the info but what powder bushings are you guys using? For 12 ga I plan to use red dot, green dot, or clays. For 28 ga I may use 28/20 powder. Trying to load rounds versatile for trap, skeet, and sporting. Any of your experiences are appreciated.
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