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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to get into reloading slugs for my 12 gauge mossberg 500. I'm torn between the Lee machine at about 45 bucks and the MEC single stage which is about 140-160 bucks.

My question is this, does the Lee compare to the MEC favorably? Well enough for banging out slugs before deer season or should I spend 4 times as much on the MEC?

I would most likely never reload for shotshells. If I did it would be 20 gauge.
 

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I have and use both. The Lee is so simple to use that i still use them often for 12 and 20 ga. in fact the lee will load a slug through the wad guide. The mec is a better press with more features but the 600 jr does not size a case any better than the lee (i changed to the sizemaster) also the lee comes with plenty of powder bushings that are easy to modify if need be. The mecs only come with one bushing, for slugs the lee is just about perfect and with some of the loads i load on mine it's impossible for me to tell whether or not it was factory loaded except for the primer. Of course shells loaded on my sizemaster look better than factory loads and they probably have slightly more velocity due to the way it locks in the crimp (mine is an old sm77 don't know about the new ones with plastic dies) but the difference in velocity wouldn't be enough to be concerned with or even matter. I would say get the lee for what your wanting it for, if you have hulls and plenty of slugs you can pay for it in the first or second loading session.
 

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A MEC with the built-in resizer (think there are several models with that feature?) is a nice way to go for volume. I have used a Hornady Apex also. Truthfully the MEC is faster and the resizing works better.

But... for slugs? I'd hate to need to reload that many. Ouch. Likely you'll be roll crimping by hand, if you go that route? For a handful of slugs per year, any sort of single stage or kit should be fine, my opinion.
 

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i would get the lee if all your going to do is reload slugs. i would defidently roll crimp them as well. if u decide your going to do a lot of reloading like you said you may do with your 20ga, then defidently invest in a mec. i have both and i love the mec a lot more
 

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I don't roll crimp any of them anymore because fold crimps work just fine as long as you keep them properly labeled. I did forget to mention that there is one load i use with the lyman sabot and the lee press cant crimp the load. Its a heavy charge of blue dot in a federal gold medal hull and if i load that particular load on the lee, the crimp will open in storage. If you will be loading different slugs you probably would be better off with the mec. If you do get a mec get the sizemaster as the resizing feature alone is worth the extra money and it comes with a primer feeder.
 

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I load all my slugs by hand with an old Lee Loader. I could use the Lee Load-all or the MEC. I don't. They would slightly ease the powder drop, and slightly ease, maybe, the wad insertion. Other than that, since I roll crimp them all, including the Lyman slug, it's all manual.
I am constantly trying combinations that require adjusting wad columns.....can't fit that into the production that I might get from a press.
BTW - roll crimping. The best roll crimps are produced by those old manual crank affairs that one sees on Ebay.
Pete
 

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It all depends on what you are doing....making cheapo slugs or specialized hunting loads!...James
 

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A roll crimp is the best way to load solid slugs I feel . You can buy a roll crimper to put in a drill press.
Hulls that have split petals can be trimmed down and used for roll crimping.
 

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I did not mean to step on any toes, but when it comes to making specialized hunting loads we should go first class indeed!
The very best loads are made with straight wall new hulls. Rolled crimp, etc.We have tested some real sorry loads made up by hobbyist!
I might add that there will be no good loads in smoothbores unless the ball or slug matches the barrel. The specs on smoothbores are all over the range now.....for tight .724"s to about 10 ga specs. The only barrels that are the standard .729"/.730" are Remington and Winchester. There are a world of posts made by people that try this and that...but nome will work good unless the ball or slug is a slip fit in a cylinder barrel/choke smoothbore barrel. The ball must be hard so as to not deform in the forcing cone.
But, it all boils down to what you want for accuracy. If we read some of W.W. Greener's work, we are amazed at the accuray they got with well designed Ball guns. But, the barrels and ball were matched and the forcing cones very short.
So....it all depends on what you are looking for!....James
 

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Nothing like a projectile that rattles in the bore to give the kiss of death to accuracy.
 

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Pete D

I still load a few with the old Lee loader and it roll or fold crimps paper cases and fold crimps plastic cases. I have also used those old hand cranked crimpers you speak of with paper cases. I also figured out how to use the lee loader to roll crimp plastic cases even if they were previously fold crimped. All you do is put a large thick washer on the ram of a reloading press with a large frame (i use the classic cast)

Then slip your loaded shell into the die and place it on the ram, now place the rammer through the die opening in the top of the press into the die and slowly raise the ram while pumping the rammer the same as you would when roll crimping paper hulls on a table. It is easy to feel the crimp when it is fully formed. Works great with any hull, give it a try.
 

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Interesting indeed... I collect old loading tools and they will still work! The point here is not how you reload the slug/ball shells, but rather the fit of the slug/ball in the barrel. The original design was designed to expand in the .729"/.730" barrels. They were dead soft lead and would really lead up a barrel....still do! When te specs of the diameter of the shotgun bore was changed to be all over the board....even more problems arose!
Now there is a growing interests in loading slugs/balls for smoothbore! The shooter/reloader must take into conderation what the diameter of his barrrel is.
In some of the older slug barrels, the diameter of the bore was smaller that the standard of .729"/.730"....that meant the soft slug did not have to expand as much. This guns shot the older Foster pretty good.
Now we have shooter/reloaders trying to make ball guns. The answer still is to have the ball diameter at the same as the smoohbore diameter.....and mold the balls from a hard alloy....whatever the smoothbore diameter!
The same goes for hard cast weight forward custom conicals in the smoothbore cylindr barrel/choke.
Until those requirements are met....there will be no accuracy!
Regards, James
 

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Cracks me up how many guys are shooting shotgun slugs, and even reloading their own. If my only choices for hunting deer were shotgun with slugs or archery, I'd be researching what new bow to get. Carrying a slug-gun hunting is like taking a fat, ugly chick to the prom. I'd rather stay home and watch reruns of The Rifleman.

I ain't sayin' you can't kill a deer with a shotgun slug, because they really get the job done, but both gun and projectile have all the grace and portability of a Howitzer. Shotguns shooting slugs wound on one end and kill on the other...you can have 'em!
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm using a rifled barrel. :cool:

I'm interested in shooting hunting loads. Not plinking special stuff.:rolleyes:

But from what I'm gathering from what I have read the Lee is fine if I get a roll crimper????:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cracks me up how many guys are shooting shotgun slugs, and even reloading their own. If my only choices for hunting deer were shotgun with slugs or archery, I'd be researching what new bow to get. Carrying a slug-gun hunting is like taking a fat, ugly chick to the prom. I'd rather stay home and watch reruns of The Rifleman.

I ain't sayin' you can't kill a deer with a shotgun slug, because they really get the job done, but both gun and projectile have all the grace and portability of a Howitzer. Shotguns shooting slugs wound on one end and kill on the other...you can have 'em!
That's what limbsaver recoil pads are for.:rolleyes:
 

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I was just carryin' on 'Chuck...didn't really mean anything by it. :)

I've helped a few guys sight in their slug guns; even explained to one guy why the heavier slug would kick more but be a lot more accurate, due to the rate of twist in his Winchester 870 barrel. To my way of thinkin', they just kick way too much for the job I need to do, which is hunting deer or hogs. If I need a big slow slug at short to moderate ranges, I'll get a 45-70 barrel for my H&R. Where I come from, shotguns are for wing-shooting. ;)
 

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I was just carryin' on 'Chuck...didn't really mean anything by it. :)

I've helped a few guys sight in their slug guns; even explained to one guy why the heavier slug would kick more but be a lot more accurate, due to the rate of twist in his Winchester 870 barrel. To my way of thinkin', they just kick way too much for the job I need to do, which is hunting deer or hogs. If I need a big slow slug at short to moderate ranges, I'll get a 45-70 barrel for my H&R. Where I come from, shotguns are for wing-shooting. ;)
One thing to consider is the growing number of people "out there" who aren't financially able to get a gun for every purpose, and who might be stretching out a meager food budget by using the only tool they have. That tool might be an old break-barrel handed down from dad or who knows what. If I had a shotgun, and decided I needed venison or pork or whatever, I'd make it happen, recoil and snickering be ****ed.
 

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I hear what you're saying, Pat but I just don't think that's the case, here. If you haven't bought a 5-pack of shotgun slugs lately, you're in for a serious case of sticker shock! Guys on a tight food budget aren't buying them, they're buying 22LR or 22WMR to get their venison. (Ask me how I know...)

Fact is, there are very few people these days who hunt because it's an economical way to put meat in the freezer. The vast majority of hunters spend far more on gear, clothing, licenses, travel, processing, etc. to ever come out ahead with the venison they harvest. Reality is that quite a few states/locales limit what kind of guns you can use to hunt with. I live in Indiana and we can't use "real" rifles for deer hunting, but we can use shotguns with slugs. More deer are harvested with slug guns in Indiana than all other weapon types combined.

Shotguns firing slugs are very effective, within a certain range, at harvesting deer or any other game animal. That's because they shoot a relatively enormous slug of lead and/or copper, leaving wound channels you can drive an ATV through. Still, they have all the aesthetics and balance of a splitting maul. It's the sporting equivalent of a pole-ax used to kill a steer before slaughter...and that just ain't my kind of deer gun. There are entire states where a slug-gun is what everyone uses to hunt deer, but if you did not grow up in one of those places, it's hard to look at those rented mules and find any love for them. If I can't have a well-balanced rifle of some kind, firing bullets of small to medium bore, I'll just grab my stick n' string and wait for a critter to come a little closer.
 

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I thought I would answer this post again, but I see it really might not do no good.
The shotgun does not replace a rifle. It all depends on your hunting situation.
Most of Dixie's customers live in heavy wooded areas and len toward shotguns. It might come as a suprise to many as to how mush bucjshot is used! That is why most of our sales is Dixie Tri-Ball! Shotgun slug shooting is popular in some states due to regulations beyond our control. The sad part is many shooters in these areas are trying to make a riflled barrel shotgun into a rille....and that will never work! We have Hastings test barrels (scoped and iron sights) and have done a great dels of actual testing. I assure you that lots of posted groups are pure BS! However, with a proper load they work well in wooded areas for hogs/deer.
So...it might be well advise that comments, pro & con, are made by people who have actual used/tested ammo other than rifles. As for cost...it is correct that slugs are priced high and aimed at shotgun Only States. Our ammo, shipped direct to the hunter, competes well with centerfires. I also am well aware of what meat hunters use in hard times!
I am 75 years old and have hunted all many of game for over 50 years.
Regards, James
 
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