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Discussion Starter #1
I use about a case of shells a year and have been keeping the hulls .
I saw a used Mec 600 Jr. at the gun shop and wondered what I need to get started in reloading 20 guage 2 2/4 " Rem 1oz 7/8 shot, six fold crimp.. Can the shot be changed from 7 1/2 to six or four with out a powder change?. Nothing said in the Lyman book I have.
I already load rifle and hand gun , but never the shot gun.
 

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Harry,
changing the shot sizes you mention requires nothing more on your part than actually putting the different shot in the shot container. I would suggest the MEC Sizemaster over the 600 Jr, especially if use an auto or pump. Don't be suprised if your savings from reloading translates into more shooting.
 

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Hi, Harry:
The nice thing about shotshell reloading is that you don't need a bucket full of accessories along with the press. An adjustable charge bar is handy, but not as consistent as the fixed bars. One fixed shot bar should come with the press, likely a 7/8 oz. So you'll need a 1 oz. bar or the adjustable. A few extra powder bushings too. That's it.

The Sizemaster is worth the extra $$ if you're buying new. It includes the primer feeder that's extra on the 600. Note that dies for extra gauges are expensive and time consuming to change, especially on the Sizemaster.
http://www.mecreloaders.com/ProductLine/Product.asp

Bye
Jack
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I agree with Jack and would not buy the Jr. as the case sizing is an important function. Mec's sizer is the best I have ever used. It can be adjusted to where it excessively sizes the case head and then they end up cracking. You'll end up needing a stand-alone sizer, I predict, as friends will find out you reload and give you hulls. So just get it with the press if you can.

To set the sizer, get a handful of shells from the range and find some that won't chamber in your gun. Then adjust it down until they will chamber. Simple, but important step.

Would hate to count the untold thousands of shells I have loaded on the old 'Grabber' machine which is progressive. Personally..... I would never go back to a non-progressive shotshell loader. If you can swing the money, it's well spent. The time savings will be enormous and I believe that once you establish a good rhythm, the ammo is more consistent.

The 3-stage crimp on the old Grabber that I used was excellent.

Only gripe I have had with Mec is that some of the loaders are incompatible with fine-grained ball powders like 452 and 473. They just bleed out everywhere..... the current 'flattened ball' of WST, WSF, etc., wasn't as bad. The new MEC machines may not have this same shortcoming as the older ones did.
 

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Believe me I've learned that lesson well!!!!!

It didn't like #4 shot much either. Tendency to bridge, then dump about the middle of the next handle pull.....
 

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Mike G,
I can't speak to the issue of larger shot, I never used any that large.

Harry,
what these guys are saying about buying the Sizemaster, as I initially reccomended, is golden advice. The $40 difference in cost is more than negated by the auto primer drop and sizing capability. You'll need the sizing capability eventually, and it will cost you $60 after the fact in addition to not being part of the machine you're loading with (bench clutter). If you plan to use different sizes of shot frequently you will probably want to get a couple extra shot bottles, it makes things easier and prevents the potential mess of transferring the shot from one container to the other. If you're loading less than 1000 rounds a year, I'd not reccomend the progressive machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the reponse .
The Mec 600 Jr I was looking at was used and in twenty gauge.
I doubt I will load as much to warrent a progressive press, as I will not need that many for the double barrel in a year.
My wife shoots trap and skeet with her twelve and we use a couble of box's a week. If I was going to load for it, I consider the progreessive model.
Think I need to learn somewhere as I did with handgun reloading . I started with a used Lee Turret press ,and this past year my wife also got involved in shooting, went with the Dillion 550.The 550 works good once you have a good understanding of the machine, and can see trouble coming. Other wise you will be pulling a few bullets for lack of primers etc.
I load for rifle on a big RCBS single stage and so far am happy with that.
I was really in the dark about shot gun reloading . Have a idea about wad'/shell case's and powder
And that was about it until today.
Harry
:)
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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If you find a good deal on a used one, and aren't loading a huge amount of shells, by all means go for it!

Once you get the hang of it, the progressives will start calling your name.....
 

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Hi, Harry:
OK, what did we miss? Since you already load metallics, you have a powder scale. The powder bushing charts only get you close. Besides, different lots of powder can be of different densities. I had to go down two bushing sizes when I ran out of 1989 Hercules Green Dot and opened a can of 2002 Alliant Green Dot. More about that load later.

You say you have the Lyman book. Is it the latest 4th edition? Data does change. It's good, better than DBI's Reloading for Shotgunners, which is OK. You can get more reloading recipes from the powder companies websites.

A basic principle of shotgun reloading is that the shell has to be full. The combination of powder, wad and shot must fill the shell to the point that you can make a proper crimp, neither dished or high. So you don't have much room to vary the load. You'll need a different wad and maybe powder when you change from a 7/8 load to a 1 oz. load. Alliant's data shows Herco for both, might be a good place to start.

You can make a little more space for shot by adding wad pressure, but I'd rather have a combination that just moves the indicator on the MEC, which is about 25-30 pounds. Too much got me in trouble once.
http://www.shootersforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4520

There are inside tapered shells like Remington and Winchester target shells, and straight wall shells like Federal hunting shells. The wads are designed for a particular type, and aren't completely interchangeable. In my case, a Federal 12S3 wad works in a Remington RTL shell, but I must use a reduced charge of Green Dot, compared to the charge of faster Red Dot I use with the Remington RXP12 wad. The Federal is just too tight in the Remington shell.

You can partially cure the bridging problem with larger shot by getting the burr out of the inside bottom of the rammer tube. Then lift half an inch before you drop shot, as MEC recommends.

Download the 600 Jr manual from MEC's site and ask us if anything isn't clear.

Bye
Jack
 

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Reloading Manual

Hi Harry!

In addition to all the good advice above, I'd just like to tell you that Hodgdon Powder Co.'s shotshell manual can be a very helpful resource as well.

Good luck and good shooting!

Dave S
 

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My 2 cents........if you can get a 600jr at a good price, grab it. I started reloading shotshells about 30 years ago with a MEC 250 Super and still use it for specialty loads. Progressives can come along as you feel the need - and you probably will, once you get into it.

DC
 

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Years ago a friend found a shotgun press in a house he bought to restore, and as a non-reloader, he gave it to me. An ancient old Texan, complete in 12ga. A week later he found the 16ga. parts/dies/ and a bag of bushing for the shot bar and sent them along. Pretty much a simple bottom of the line press like the MEC Jr.

Over the years have had other presses, but the Texan kept on working (and I don't shoot that many 16gr. loads, so it kept up with my demand fine). My gunning became less, and the fancy presses eventually went away...but I still have the old Texan and still crank out a few boxes of shells with it.

If you can donate an evening a week to reloading, you can load enough shells for the amount you state you shoot with the little MEC Jr....as she shoots as well, make it a team effort.

Would be better to have full sizing, but it's not a "must". Prefer SXS and O/U, so it's easy to test fit....but it's not all that hard to take the barrel off most pumps/semi's and check.
 
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