How do I check the powder/shot charge on my MEC

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Jesse17, May 5, 2012.

  1. Jesse17

    Jesse17 Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    I feel kind of stupid here, but I can't figure out what the correct procedure is and the manual for my MEC Sizemaster doesn't help.

    My Lyman Shot Shell Reloading manual says to check 10 powder charges and average them, blah, blah, blah. It says you these 10 shells must be 'in process' shells because the powder/shot will settle more from the vibration of the press being used at each station.

    Here's my problem. When I dump a powder charge in the shell, you can't remove the shell from the wad guide until after you've dumped the shot charge also. What gives? What am I missing here? How are you suppose to check your powder charge? What I did last night was cut one shell down so I could dump the powder in it then slip it out from under the wad guide in order to dump the charge in my scale, but it just doesn't seem like the right way to do things.
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Just put the shell into the slot, dump the charge, raise the ram, then pull the shell out from the lowered wad finger guide bottom first. Takes a little effort, but it can be done. I see no reason why your cut down shell would not work as well.

    What kind of problems are you having with the cut down shell?

    I have Mec 600, SizeMasters and Versa Mecs and I have never found the stated bushing size to match the powder charge, never. I decided a long time ago to ignore the weight and just go with the proper bushing size. Been doing it this way for 40 years, still got all my digits.

  3. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lompoc California
    The hull can be removed in the manner steve4102 detailed above. I've also found the powder bushings to be off--invariably light. However; I check and change bushings to match the powder charge by weight that is listed for the individual published load. Often I will end up two or three bushing sizes larger to match the target weight.
  4. Jesse17

    Jesse17 Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    No problems with the cut down shell, I just thought there had to be a correct way since checking the weight periodically is suppose to be a standard thing you would think they would have designed a way to do that into the press.

    I know what you mean on the bushings. I'm shooting for a 18.2 gr load with a #28 bushing that I don't have so I'm using a #29 that should be throwing 18.9 gr but actually is throwing 18.5 gr. I have have another recipe for the same components calling for 19 gr. so I'm calling it good enough with the bushing I have.

    My bigger problem is the charge bar. My 1 1/8 oz. charge bar is throwing 465 - 475 gr. shot loads which is withing the -5% range that Lymans says is OK, but my crimps are concave with a hole. I'm going to manually way 492 gr. of shot and see if that fixes the crimp. If not, then I guess I'll need to start using filler wad with the shot??? I guess???
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