12 ga press?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 1in9twist, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. 1in9twist

    1in9twist New Member

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    I would like to start reloading 12ga. Some people have pointed me towards a PW press. To be clear I would like a nice, reliable , progressive press.

    Any thoughts of suggestions?

    Thx
    D
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  2. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    at least check out the MEC presses before you buy anything.

    heck.. check out em all before buying anythng!
  3. bobski

    bobski Former Guest

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    without writing a book, let me share this.
    there are 2 kinds of presses, single stage and progressive.
    single stage means you do one step at a time, 6 times, watch every step very close, to get one shell.
    progressive means every time you pull the handle, you get one. which means you have to watch 6 shells at the same time and hope all 6 stages do what they are suppose to do or you load a bad one.

    rule of thumb, if you have experience around reloading, know what wrong or dangerous procedures look like, and get tired of reloading, and like to knock out a couple hundred if not a thousand rounds in one afternoon....get a progressive. people that shoot 500 rounds a week like them. its mass production at its finest.

    but, if you are clueless, never did it before, and need to learn what can go wrong as you load, get a single stage.

    bottom line, no holds barred.....get a mec 600jr.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  4. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Mec loaders are the standard by which all others are judged.
  5. sting75ray

    sting75ray Active Member

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    I have had Mec, Hornady, Pacific, Lee, and Ponsness/Warren. After all the years of loading the Ponsness/Warren is ALL that sits on my bench. Gave away the Mec, threw the Lee in the trash, sold the Hornady, and the old Pacific is put back because it belonged to Dad and one of these days it will go to my daughters. It is still a good machine I just liked the smoothness and crimp on my Ponsness machines better. Good luck and keep us posted on what you get.:D
  6. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 New Member

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    Like you I wanted to start reloading (let's just go ahead and say "needed" to). I was able to try PW, Hornady/Pacific and Mec. There are pros and cons to each.

    First let me say that a progressive, to me, is the only way to go. I want to spend more time shooting than loading. The single stage presses won't do that.

    The PW: does a creditable job. It can be fast. However; the primer feed and the inability to remove a buggered-up shell plus the cost steered me away from it.

    The Hornady/Pacific: I currently have a 12 gauge. Very smooth, makes good shells, is easy to change loads, holds a large enough amount of powder and shot and has a pretty good primer delivery system. You can remove bad shells from the press, but is a bit tedious. You can easily dump powder or shot at an empty station if you don't pay attention. It takes up a fairly large footprint on the bench. It does well only in 12 gauge. It's very fast and smooth.

    The Mec: The Grabber and the 9000 both make shells quickly and with a high degree of quality and consistency. The price point is lower than the others. You can easily remove shells from the press if needed. Changing the load is fairly straightforward. It holds a good amount of powder and shot. It has a small footprint. The Grabber is a bit slower as you have to manually index; this is not bad if you want to look at the shells as they come out (I do with the 28 and .410), but may not be necessary in the larger gauges (12 and 20--they are easier to load). The 9000 pukes shells out at the rate of 100 in ten minutes or less, which is plenty fast enough for me. Two of my Mecs have been in constant use since around 1990 with no repairs. They have each loaded tens of thousands of rounds.

    Overall I think the Mec is the best loader for the money. The 9000G is simply a fantastic press. It kind of looks like a tinkertoy but it has held up incredibly well.
  7. JLA

    JLA Moderator

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    I recommend a Lee load all 2. They load pretty dang quick and are inexpensive.
  8. bobski

    bobski Former Guest

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    my 600jrs have loaded millions of shells since the mid 80's. i never wore anything out on any of them. i say them, because its far easier to just buy another 600 press with the gauge you want on it, instead of changing dies and doing hours of prep and setup if you do change them out.
    wait a minute, i did break something on one of them. i dropped a plastic shot bottle. it cracked. easy enough, i just washed out a screw top soda bottle, filled it, flipped it on, screwed it in (same threads) and went to work.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  9. 1in9twist

    1in9twist New Member

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    Good stuff! Thank you guys for your input!
  10. JLA

    JLA Moderator

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    Hydrive energy drink bottles make for some nice 'factory lookin' replacements.
  11. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    really? never heard of them.. but i have a mec someone gave me that looks functional but is missing the two bottles on top. tell me more. :)
  12. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 New Member

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    Those bottles are the weak point in the Mec. They deteriorate pretty fast and get extremely brittle. You can replace them with any number of plastic bottles that share the same thread size/pitch. It sure saves spending $5 for a new one.
  13. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    is that all they are? :) looks like I got options then.. :)
  14. vaskeet

    vaskeet New Member

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    Tried hornady and pw stayed with 4 mec 9000g,s I feel its the best for the money been using the for 20 years Randy
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