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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!

I'm just looking for some friendly input.

I have a Hornaday Apex 3.1 Progressive shotshell reloader(12ga). I reload weekly for my trap team.
My press has been giving me some problems for some time. I have called Hornaday and gotten parts for it but it's possible it's just getting worn out. I have replaced primer feeds, Shell sizers, guide plates and more. At times, I still have various problems with it. I asked Hornaday if they had a trade in option or a refurbish program and they do not.

Here is where I would like some input. What do you suggest for a progressive press? What do you own? Why? I know there are quite a few mfr's out there. I have looked at many of them and can't seem to get a good feel for which would work best for my situation. Also if you have used something you didn't like for any certain reason, please let me know.


Thanks a lot
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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What was the problem with the Apex? I have loaded several thousand rounds on one, never any serious problem. I have also used a MEC extensively. All shotshell presses have their strong points and their quirks.
 

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Hi, RiftWeaver:
I picked up a used MEC Grabber a while back, but I haven't used it that much. The primer feed is the only universal complaint. Every once in a while one lands upside down or flips when the resizing collet releases.

Hornady had enough trouble with the Apex that they discontinued it and went back to the 366. Of course, Mike can keep anything running :D

The Dillon gets mixed reviews. Most of the serious old boys I know prefer Ponsness-Warrens, but they're tiwce as expensive as a Mec 9000G or a 366. Then there's the new RCBS, which seems OK, and the very expensive Spolar.

Here's the best place to check. They've got a poll going now that's up to 154 replies. I might do a tally later if they don't.
http://www.trapshooters.com/cgi-bin/threads.cfm

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Aside from the occasional primer not dropping, (tends to make a mess all over everything) my main problem is that lately, 1 out of 4 shells sticks in the last crimp station. I "think" I have checked everything I can. I have replaced the last station crimping sleeve. I have adjusted my wad pressure. I have my powder and shot drop amounts. I have tried anything from once fired to 3 & 4 fired hulls.

I never change my recipie, it's been the same shot, powder and load for the last 4 years. I use all AA hulls. Reloading with a progressive is great. I have to load for a team that shoots a couple rounds twice a week plus practice. As long as everything goes well, it's fine. When things start messing up the time outlay for reloading goes up exponentually. I love the hobby but I'm looking to get rid of the pain.

I have nothing against Hornady at all. They have been helpfull over the phone and even sent me a couple "courtesy" parts from time to time. I have also toured thier plant In Grand Island NE when I was out for an Antelope hunt in WY.

I wouldn't say cost isn't an object but I am willing to pay for stress free loading. I would also be happy if my loader worked a little better. But I will have to say that it has been constantly failing over the last couple years. I get one thing fixed, get a couple weeks of use out of it and then something else fails. It's not a pile of junk, nor is it a case that I don't take care of it. All of my equip. is in great condition. I would expect it to fail if I were to mis-treat it.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Wish I could be of more help, never had that problem in the Apex I used. Crimped 6 and 8 point, Rem & Win shotshells.

Maybe you got a lemon, I really don't know. We did see the occasional primer misfeed so got in the habit of looking for it. Also the sizer, when new, would leave cases stuck up in it, which got solved with a little polishing. The sizer isn't real powerful either which is a problem if you get shells out of a gun that's a bit oversized in the chamber.

I have used MEC quite a bit, they are pretty good but prone to dropping shot or powder all over the place if you aren't careful about running single shells through them. I found the primer would flip once in a while as Jack described. On the plus side, they have 3 stages for crimping and do a good job in that area. Their collet sizer beats the Apex hands down. I ended up getting a separate MEC collet resizer to run any shells through that the Apex has problems with. I don't have access to a MEC any more (club loader back at college) and the Apex is free so that's what I use.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I live in Hartford WI. Lee is located there. Another close town (20 min or less) is Mayville.... MEC Mayville Engineering Company. I have 5 MEC Jr's but they just don't tote the boat when it comes to mass reloading. I will leave this post age a bit and then possibly I will go look at thier progressive presses.

Thanks
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Hi, Mike:
That little spring that operates the charge bar lock slipped out the first time I used the Grabber. I made sure that can't happen again. It just takes a little bend on the free end to stop it from popping up out of the pivot stud. End of powder and shot spills, I hope.

Bye
Jack
 

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My $.02 - Quite a while ago I reloaded shotshells commercially. Completely wore out two Texan presses (anybody remember them?) and kept two HydraMEC 650's going at a good clip. Also a MEC Super 250 for specialty loads. Never used the newer MEC's, but I think any MEC would be hard to beat.
DC
 

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I wore out a Hornady progressive shotshell press a few years ago when I was shooting a lot of trap. After a while it just wasn't worth the time it took to keep repairing it.

If you are serious about trapshooting and plan on loading a high volume of ammo - there is no better reloader than the Posness Warren.

It will cost you a few more dollars up front, but the time you save not fixing it and the quality of the ammo produced is worth it in the long run.

My father and I now have two machines set up in his shed, one for regular loads and one for handicap.
 

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I couldn't agree more about the Ponsness/Warren progressive loaders. THE final word in volume loading of conventional shotshells with a folded crimp. Trouble-free, and with superb customer support. If you've never used one, you'll never look back having operated one for just a couple hundred rounds.

There is also a converter to utilize MEC powder bushings in the Ponsness machines now.... a real plus that give great versatility in powder charge selection.

Here's the link to Ponsness Warren:Ponsness Warren

Take a look and you'll be impressed!

God Bless,

Marshall
 
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