shotshell reloaders


November 17, 2008, 11:57 PM
I've been reloading for handguns and pistols for I want to reload for my shotguns.... (I've been bitten by the skeet and sporting clays bug)

I'm leaning towards a MEC.... haven't decided which model.....what do you folks use and why?

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November 18, 2008, 12:06 AM
I have a 650 in 12ga and a 9000 in 20ga. Both are great presses. The 9000 is a bit faster, but can be a little tricky for a first time shotshell loader. Really, it amounts to cleaning up spilled shot :o not that I know first hand or any thing. ;) If I had to choose one and price was not a factor, I'd get a 9000.

November 18, 2008, 01:34 AM
Depends on how much you shoot. MEC Sizemaster minimum if you shoot a semi-auto.

November 18, 2008, 07:19 AM
9000G is the only way to go if you are shooting much.

November 18, 2008, 07:39 AM
I am in the same boat Flash. I decided to get into shotshell reloading recently and happened on a MEC 600 jr Mark V for 40 bucks on craigs list yesterday. I figured at that price I can find out if I like it without breaking the bank.

BTW I am in Houston as well and the guy has a MEC 600 jr (model 82 i think) for 410 shells for the same price. PM or post here and I will send you his info if you shoot 410's.

November 18, 2008, 08:10 PM
The MEC single stage machines have always done well by me. I have not seen the need for the Sizemaster, even though for years all I shot was a Remington 1100.

The nice thing about the single stage machines is they facilitate me stopping, looking and measuring, at whatever point the cartridge is.

Output is enough for my shooting, which is frequently 400 cartridges a month.


November 18, 2008, 08:17 PM
About how much can you reload 12G shotshell for a box 25? I too would like to start reloading shells and slugs. I think Walmart sells a 100rds pack for under 20 dollars.

November 18, 2008, 08:55 PM
Primers $28/1000, wads $8/500, shot $35/25lbs, powder $60/4lbs. Works out to be ~ $0.17/round (1oz load with 18gr powder) or $4.25/box 25. It's not so much the cost savings as it is the customized load. I reduce the load to 1oz or 7/8oz and scale back the charge accordingly. These are comfy to shoot and I hit well with them.

November 18, 2008, 09:11 PM
It's a major savings if you shoot 28ga or 410 bore. Factory ammo is $10-$15 a box at least. I use a Mec 600 jr mark V and it saves me a bunch of money loading 410.


November 18, 2008, 09:27 PM
hmmmmm..... I was hoping to save some money.... $4.50 per 25 round box does save but not enough to justify the expense of the 9000.....I'm thinking the 650 will do me fine......what are the fine points of using the 650...any tricks or pointers before I purchase?

November 18, 2008, 10:20 PM
The Mec 650 does not resize the case. That is a separate operation using the Mec super sizer which is sold separately too.


November 18, 2008, 10:31 PM reloader&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#

Several videos around on google and youtube. They were enough to convince me that it was worth it and easy enough.

November 18, 2008, 10:31 PM
thanks NCsmitty..... with the expense of the supersizer, the difference between a 9000 and 650 comes to only about $120.....time to reconsider on the much to learn.....

November 18, 2008, 10:53 PM
It depends a lot on the gun you are shooting. I find I don't need to size my 12ga hulls for any of my O/U or my 1100. The 650 is fine press, I picked it up used on ebay for ~$90 shipped. The 9000 is great for volume, it takes about %20 less time to load 100rds on the 9000 as it does on the 650. The only real issue with each press is that you might have to adjust the crimp starter die for different shell types. I load AA and Remington hulls and have gotten the press adjusted so that both work. Biggest problem I've had with either press is spilled shot. :cuss: It gets into the 9000 sizer and it a b***h to get out! The 650 is a little more forgiving and you don't have the autoindexer to worry about. That said, the 9000's autoindexer is easy to adjust once you know how and can easily be disabled while you are getting the feel for the loader. I'd spend a little more and get the 9000, you will not regret it.

November 19, 2008, 11:19 AM
I have been using a MEC 600 for reloading .410 shells for 12+ years now. I mostly use the .410 for hunting with the occasional round of skeet.

November 19, 2008, 11:31 AM
If you need to resize use the Grabber if you don't use the 650. The Grabber and 650 are just as fast as the 9000 when you add in the time to box your shells up. As I take the shells off the Grabber and 650 I place them in the Mec EZ Pak tool for boxing. All will easily load 8-10 boxes per hour.

November 19, 2008, 11:35 AM
I've got a SizeMaster in 12Ga sitting next to my other presses. I can do 100 rounds (comfortably) between dinner and bed time (including all clean-up)--call it three hours. I got the press for about $200 at Sportsmans Warehouse. I've dealt with Mayville Engineering-the ME in MEC to get a special funnel, the mounting bracket and some expendable--good folks.

I went to Precision Reloading for hulls, wads, and shot to reload 500 hulls, five times in "00" Buck. Mailman is still cussing about all that buckshot he had to carry to the door. With 5 rounds of commercial "00" running in the 8-12 dollar range, 30 cents a shot seems a bargain. Like most reloading the first thing you notice when shooting is a marked improvement in consistancy-they feel the same when they go bang, they hit the same spot, and for shot shells they have the same effective range.

November 19, 2008, 12:19 PM
I am in the opposite situation. I have reloaded shotshells for the past 4 years and am thinking of reloading handgun cartridges!

I started out with a 12 ga. MEC 650, and after about a year upgraded to an MEC 9000G, and am glad I did. I shoot two or three rounds of skeet a week, six months during the year, and found the 9000 to be perfect. I can run downstairs and load two boxes (50 rds) in 10 min. Plus I can reload 7/8 oz. loads which are hard to find around here and can do it for half the price of new shells at my local Gander or Cabella's. A box costs me around $4.25 vs. $7-8 new.

Regarding metallic cartridge reloading, anyone like the Dillon Square Deal B reloader I've read good things about?

Smokey Joe
November 19, 2008, 01:03 PM
Not to hijack a thread, or anything :D:...
Ilmonster--Regarding metallic cartridge reloading, anyone like the Dillon Square Deal B reloader I've read good things about?With the Dillon Square Deal B, you have to use special dies that will not fit with any other reloading press. So if you ever will upgrade (and you will, believe me!) don't consider the Dillon Square Deal B. Also, you don't want a Square Deal B if you will ever be reloading more than one cartridge--the dies are so close together that switching them is, shall we say, challenging.

Other than that, for the shooter who will never reload more than one cartridge, and who will never upgrade, the Dillon Square Deal B is a great deal.

With almost any other press you could name, the dies are interchangeable between presses, and between manufacturers. And, they are much easier to switch. (This is true of the other Dillon models, too, BTW.)

November 19, 2008, 01:53 PM
I have a 550 and would not think about a square deal unless I was going to dedicate it to one caliber. The 550 is a great press. I load 9mm, .45ACP, 38spl, 38 super, 7.62x39, .223 Rem, and 44mag with some Dillon dies, some RCBS and some Hornady. Go with the 550 you won't be disappointed.

November 19, 2008, 07:01 PM
Back to the original subject, nobody has mentioned the Hornady 366 as an option. I first started out with a MEC 600jr as a teenager, I still use it 30 yrs later for heavy hunting loads. That, or any other single stage press would be the way to start so one can learn and observe the process of shotshell loading.
Once you have the system down pat, if the need exists, move up to a progessive. I've had a 366 for 20 years with no problems other than replacing the wad guide a couple of times. I think it's a little less finicky than the MEC 9000 20ga press I have, but all are good units.
The best bet would be to find somebody, or several people that would let you try different presses so you can find out what is best for you.

November 20, 2008, 12:25 PM
MEC is not the ONLY quality press out there either, although it is the most popular and easiest to get parts for. Dillion, Hornady, Spolar, and P/W all make excellent machines as well - most would say the P/W and Spolar beat MEC, but they also cost more - depending on your volume of shooting, they might be worth a look for a used one.

I'm a light shooter, maybe 1,000/month - when I had my MEC 9000, there were always little bugs that would happen - you need to pay attention to the primer drop - it will on occasion drop a primer and flip it upside down, and then the rest of the station get messed up - the press will continue to drop powder and shot whether there is a hull in place or not - but when it's running great, I could really crank out shells

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