I believe the PW progressive I had was 900 sizeomatic or something like that. You could not remove shells from stations. When it worked good, it was super. But when you had a jam or other problem it was a real pain to clear. Some of their press's can be updated with a turret so shells can be removed at each station,mine could not. I'll stick with the Mec's Dave
I've had a number of PW's. A 900 for about seven years. Works great. Loaded shells look like new ones. Mine has a die removal. You can take one out at a time. Works a little different than the 800. $400 is a fair price. Progressive presses are a little harder to learn. Just take your time. Read the manual. Once you get the hang of it the shells will come flying out.
They are great loaders but they will not tolerate sloppy use or inattention. Read the manual and never back up a P-W. The introduction of the removable die turret was one of the best things P-W has done because it makes clearing mistakes much easier.
Do you happen to know its age? My newest one (#109XX) is a 1991 model (according to P-W) that I purchased 3 years ago for $400. I replaced the turret and the primer assembly with the new styles on both the duty units.
I discovered on both of these machines that the linkage that operates the rack (that operates the powder/shot gears) was worn and had slop in it. This allowed the upper and lower arms on this linkage to move on the cross shaft relative to each other and give erratic powder drops (half a grain and more). Drove me nuts until I finally discovered what it cause was.
For me, the keys to getting consistent performance from these things is to<UL><LI>make sure all the parts involved in the indexing are in good condition<LI>make sure the machine is adjusted using the factory's procedure</UL>Remember that these were designed to be production machines: pick a load formula, adjust the machine and load thousands of shells without changing anything. Consequently, adjustments are not always convenient to make and can be time consuming to do.
P-Ws are not the best at pushing reluctant primers into stubborn shell bases. I consider it their main design limitation. It's become more of an issue with the availability of European metric primers and the predominance of steel-based hulls. The MEC supports the hull base from the inside with the powder tube at the primer tunnel; you can force just about any primer into any hull with it. The P-W supports the hull only by the rim and lowers the hull onto the primer. I've seen hull bases actually go concave on the bottom and the primer STILL wasn't fully seated.
These are great machines but they have a definite learning curve that you don't want to shortcut. There is a lot of help available for the asking, though.
I hope this isn't a thread hijack.... if so I'll post separately and apologize.
I was recently given a PW 950 Elite SN: 1114 by a friend. I have no experience with these. In reading the above posts on the 900 models, I wonder how much of it applies to the 950s and what are the differences in the two lines.
Whiz has told me that mine is an older unit with the non-supported dual hydraulic system and that I'd be better off with a new press. I believe him, but I do want to try and set it up and see how it runs for curiosities sake.
How do I tell if mine has the removable shell holder system? Can it be converted if it doesn't? As is probably obvious, I haven't touched it yet but will soon.
Longhorn...........I have 2 900P&W's...One in Pa and one in Fla. They are excellent machines...IF.... you read the book and follow what you read. Start slow and you will soon be loading fast. Be careful of the guy that comes to visit with a screwdriver and wrench....RUN'EM
Guy--I'm not a P/W person but don't rule out those older loaders. Someone going from a single stage like loader like yourself(me as well not long ago) will find this loader to be a great learning tool before upgrading. I bought my old Pacific for a $100 to learn on and wouldn't part with it for anything. It is true they have not changed the Pacific/Hornady 366 much but its the same principle. If its all there and works, load on it for awhile. You might actually get so in tune with it just the way it is that you won't give it up. Remember, before there were the new models of P/W, they loaded 100's of 1000's on that model you have. JM2C---Matt
After loading and loving my 366 pacific I bought a 800C which I really liked..especially with the case feeder.. When I purchased a 800+.. I've retired them all.. except for sub gauges.. The 800+ has been flawless..