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What's the best affordable progressive reloader

6846 Views 62 Replies 44 Participants Last post by  drgondog
What's the best 12 gauge shotgun shell reloader available. I've had a mec 9000 g since 1992 and I'm thinking of another machine. What's the best, lets say its a toss up between a ponsness warren and the rcbs the grand, what do you think? Anyone own both or use both before, I really can't afford a spolar so I guess I should have reworded the question.
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I don't know which one is best, but I have a MEC Hydraulic, and it does the job for me. There will be alot of opinions on this soon.
 

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"The best" is a subjective matter. Personally, I like the MEC. It is versatile and it is easy to adjust to get the perfect crimp and taper.

Now, if you want craftsmanship, good looks and the bling factor you can go with Spolar.

What wrong with your MEC 9000?
 
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He did ask who made the best progressive reloader. That's great if you guys like and enjoy your Mecs, but come on, that is like saying the Yugo is the best automobile ever made. The Mec name simply doesn't belong in this thread.

The answer to his question is Spolar.
 

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As you asked what is the best progressive loader, seem from the people that own them that it is the Spolar. I can't speak for the Spolar as I don't own one but for an average hard working guy like me that shoots 100 rounds per week, the 9000 is more than enough press for me. A junior or size master would be enough for me. As nice as a Spolar sounds, it fits in somewhere around me wanting a Rolls-Royce. Fine automobile but do I really need one? I hope I answered your question and it's just my humble opinion.
 

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First off I think spending $2000 (non-assist) for a reloader is absurd and un necessary. What makes the Spolar the "best" 548? It is because you spend an obscene about of money for it? How much does it cost to service a spolar? How much is a replacement part? How much are accessories? Like I said "the best" is subjective. I'll take my shells from my MEC and compare them to any spolar. In the end it will go bang and break a target. Plus I'll have money left over to buy my reloading components. If I could afford a spolar I would just buy new shells every time I shot somewhere.
 
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Lighten up Calkid, I'm not interested in an argument. The question was who manufactures the best progressive reloader. The answer to that question is Spolar. If the question was, What is the best reloader for me factoring in my time, cost, level of use, quality, and price? The answer may well be Mec.
 

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Pacific /Hornady 366 !!!

The shells that come off my 366 are the same quality as any other loader. That said, I'll smash a Spolar with my 366. Built like a Sherman Tank.
 

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P/W 800+ with Hydraulics in my opinion.

The truth be known they are all good reloaders. The question should be what do you want out of a reloader and does this or that brand have it.
 

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Al391brown, when I decided to replace my Pacific 366 with a new reloader, I tried loading on all of the ones I was interested in at the Grand. Many years ago I was a tool and die maker, so the machining on the Spolar really caught my eye. However, the essentially non-existent warranty and the cost for replacement items was a deal killer. Of the two remaining candidates, I much preferred the RCBS Grand over either of the PWs. All four turned out excellent shells. I've been using the Grand for years and have no cause to regret my decision.

I would recommend you do the same.
 

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They are all good once you get used to them and know their quirks. Buy what you like and can afford.

For me, I think a Ponsness Warren is hard to beat, but there have been days when I definately did not think it was the best. But, as hard as it may be for some to believe, operator error was the cause of that. I have always liked the dies on the PW and Spolar "supporting" or holding the side walls of the hull.
 

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Best for your own needs...which can vary.

Best progressive, period, there is really nothing to debate is Spolar Gold. I have two of them, they are next door to perfect, as nothing us humans can screw up can ever be perfect, but this loader comes close. The new flat primer seating post really tweaked an already awesome machine.

I also have a Mec Automate 9000E I think it is. I just bought it a couple of months ago to load Federal Top Gun and Estate throw away shells. First the Mec has the resizing collet, and secondly the primer station where the powder drops also will make sure the base wad is all the way down so the wad does not hang. I load them once and they fly.

I enjoy both units, but as the car analogies run rampant, the Mec is a VW, loyal, hard working and gets you where you are going. The Spolar is frankly at least a Lexus, if not a Bentley and gets you to the same place, just a bit different driving experience.
 

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I have owned a Dillon, p/w 800+, p/w patriot and now a Spolar. While they all will load shells the Spolar is by far the best. They are just far superior to the others. I have never used a Mec or plan to so I can't speak about them. I just kind of figured If Cabellas and other chain stores sold them they probably wouldn't be what I was looking for.
 

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The best progressive reloader?

I think it depends on what you plan to do with it. Or, perhaps, how much you plan to use it, or how many boxes/flats you plan to load with it at one sitting.

I, like most here, started with the MEC. It is true, as Calkid says, that a MEC is easy to adjust. However, in my experience, that's what has to be done way too often for me. I never, ever, got through reloading a flat of shells on any of the three or four 12ga MECs I have owned without having to stop and adjust something. They always needed some tweaking, some change, some something.

I went to the Dillon. Fastest, short learning curve, makes great shells, and, did I mention fast?

I've had three Dillons, had two at the time I purchased my Spolar (one set up for 12, the other for 20). I loved them, but as much as I load (I almost always load a flat or two at one sitting, sometimes more), my old elbow got so sore I had to stop.

I sold them and purchased a Spolar. No adjusting, just place the hull in, add the wad and up and down the foot pedal. Almost as fast as the Dillon, and no pain. I bought a gently used Dillon as a "back-up" a year or so after purchasing the Spolar, but it sat unused in my garage so I sold it a few months ago.

Anything ever break? Yeah, after about 105K (I bought it in October, 2008), the whatchamacallit that vibrates to settle primers/powder gave out, burned out or just quit. I sent the part to Spolar and had it back, fixed, in about a week.

Still works great at almost 130K.

I've never loaded on a P-W, but two shooting buddies have them (the model preceding the Patriot) and one gave up on his, the other has had numerous problems and has sent his back at least once to get it to load properly. I really don't know all the details, and maybe they should have called Whiz first, but neither are big cheerleaders for P-W.

I like my Spolar, but I load a lot. If I loaded 5 or 6 boxes a week, maybe I'd just stick to a MEC. But for a lot of shells, the Spolar or Dillon work great.

Bob
 

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Mec's are wobbly,shaky,cheaply made. But they have loaded more premium shells than the rest combined. Mec & red dot powder have broke more 100 straights than the rest combined. They have done more for trapshooting than any other items. I have owned about 10 diff. brands since 1957. They all have some quirks.
Clyde
 

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If you throw shells loaded from every brand reloader in a box mixed together, all from properly adjusted machines, you can't tell the difference. I guess the journey getting there is where the difference is.
 
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