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anyone got a MEC marksman press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by troy fairweather, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    my lee press is dying a quick death, it's not true anymore and is getting worse. i have just picked up 3 rifle with good size brass 10.4x47R, 50-70 and 45-100. plus other big rounds i have or will have. i have had my eye on the mec since it came out, i like the set up , it looks nice and strong to.

    i was thinking the rcbs RS supreme, used them my hole life, but here there made in china now, tho rcbs customer service is still very good. the other i was thinking it the redding big boss ii, but it seems out dated and clunky to me.

    optics planet has the mec for $169 with there fathers day discount free ship to. i'd just like to see in anyone here has one or use one, if so what do you think about it.
     
  2. gojones

    gojones Member

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    I've got a MEC marksman single stage press. Very strong and smooth. I really don't know if it is better than my RCBS Rockchucker. It does not prime on the press but that was not an issue with me. I got the base to mount it on. It is rock solid and heavy. Very well made and finished. You'll enjoy. I would not worry about where they are made, that will work itself out. Just buy the product that is best for you.
     
  3. Captaingyro

    Captaingyro Member

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    Funny you should ask. I just unboxed my new Marksman and I am mightily impressed. It is solidly built, not too big but pretty heavy, and the cycling is the smoothest I've ever experienced. I placed it next to my Forster Co-ax (which it will replace) and the MEC is even silkier than that.

    If I could distill what I like about the MEC into a single word, it would be "simple". I want a single stage press to do one thing: move a shell holder up and down. I don't want it to prime...there are better machines for that. While I appreciate the engineering of Forster's "universal" shell holder, it's not universal; switching between the "large" and "small" orientation can be a circus of flying springs and three-handed maneuvers.

    The one thing the Co-ax may do better than the MEC is capture spent primers. The MEC drops them out of a slot milled into the back of the ram and into a tray that sits on a bracket under the main body. It's a good system, but you pretty much need to have the press up on a stand to provide room for that little tray underneath. It's a limitation I can live with because I think the press that good. If you decide on the Marksman I don't think you'll be disappointed. (And that price is excellent.)
     
  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    i like it's simplicity, i can't stand priming on the press. did you get the stand for it, i may save th $40 and build one. wish i had the cash there on sale for fathers day.
     
  5. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Is there any problems priming on the press, or just preference? Looked at pics of the press and it looks like a ram prime can be used...
     
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  6. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    it's preference and feel, no priming on the mec. i like that they always feel like a after thought on the press.
     
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  7. Captaingyro

    Captaingyro Member

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    I did not buy the stand because I use the Inline Fabrication quick change system. I have a four inch overhang on by bench, and the top is 1-¾ inches thick. When I got the MEC all set up I found that I could use the primer catch tray by installing iy sideways underneath the overhang...I can live with that compromise. I still may try to engineer a system where I can funnel spent primers into a length of aquarium tubing to drop into a container on the floor.

    I don't use stands on my presses because I custom-built my bench to be at a comfortable height for me. It stands a few inches taller than a "normal" bench but I'm the only one who going to use it.
     
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  8. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    I bought one last fall. So far its been great and like others said the best part is that it is simple.

    A few thoughts:
    Floating shell holder works well, but the shell holder can and will spin a little which can be kind of annoying.
    Ram is super smooth with almost no play. Chrome plated ram, but a grease fitting would have been an OK addition
    Press frame is heavy cast iron and the powder coating is thick and well done.
    Will convert to LnL bushings if thats your thing, which it is for me.
    Plenty of leverage, I have no issues with LC 7.62 MG brass
    Can be setup for lefties. Im right handed but prefer to operate the press with my dumb left hand, so I can do fine motor skills with my right hand, thus improving work flow.
    I prime all brass off press with my RCBS bench primer, or bulk runs on my LnL AP, so that isnt a deal breaker for me.
    I do not decap on this press, so I have no feelings on spent primer handling. I use a $25 Lee press with a Mighty Armory decapper for that.
     
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  9. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    I fail to see how you could describe the Redding Big Boss II as outdated and clunky while thinking that the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme is not.
    The Rock Chucker design has been around since the 1960s with little change.
    If any press is outdated it certainly is.
    The Big Boss has three mounting points and is angled slightly for easier access for the user.
    The frame was enlarged for bigger cartridges over the original version.
    Primers drop through the ram into a collection tube.
    And the on-board priming system is so good that RCBS saw fit to copy it and junk their own system.
    And it's American made.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
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  10. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    It's a matter of preference really.
    I prefer the hand held units because I think that they are easier to use.
    Tube or primer tray, you have to take the time to load them.
     
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  11. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    the main thing i don't like about the redding is you can't move the are and it is very offset. we has rcbs and redding growing up and the reddings seemed more lose and bigger tolerances then the rcbs.the priming does work on the redding,but there are a lot of small peaces. weird i don't live very far from where the reddings are made, there not common around here, don't even see any of there dies to much. id just like to try the mec.
     
  12. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    The offset is what makes it a better press. The dual position lever on the RCBS might interest lefties.

    My Big Boss II is very precise with close tolerances. The RCBS presses are made in China and the Reddings are made in the USA.

    The Redding priming system is one of the best. If it wasn't then why did RCBS junk their own swing-arm system and copy the Redding system?

    Reddings are a superior press compared to the RCBS. That's why they cost more. Because they cost a little more, a lot of people choose to buy the cheaper presses. At my firearms outlets I see LEE, RCBS, and Redding dies available quite easily. Again the Redding dies are more expensive, so LEE is the most prevalent.

    No doubt the MEC is a great press.

    I also own a Redding Competition powder measure. It's all iron, very precise, and very accurate. It's the best powder measure available and worth the extra money. It will last forever compared to the aluminum ones.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2019
  13. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Thanks for a detailed overview of the Forster and MEC, I don't have any single stage presses and when I get into rifle reloading was planning on getting one with a floating shellholder or floating die setup. The MEC is a lot less than the Co-Ax and, like you, I don't need a priming system on the the press either, would rather use a hand priming tool instead.

    Which brings me to another point about universal shell holders. My RCBS hand primer is universal, but there are times some cases will not hold still while priming and fly out, probably due to tight primer pockets, maybe because of the universal holder. Whatever the case, if a standard shell holder were used, it wouldn't be an issue.

    As for spent primers, I deprime before I clean the brass and encourage others to do the same to get the cleanest primer pockets they can. So the MEC's capturing of spent primers is a non-issue.

    At over $300, usually $340, the price of the Co-Ax is on par with mid-range progressive presses. Does it make ammo more accurate than the MEC does? Doubtful. Is it a more complex design than the MEC? Yes, and that's where the cost comes from. The MEC is as you say simple and not only simple, it looks a lot stronger and could hold up to some heavy duty case forming whereas the Forster probably would not last long, nor would be as nice to use given the ergonomics of the handle.

    I won't bash anyone who has a Co-Ax, but I have to say in my limited time reloading that if anyone is like me looking for a similar style press, the MEC is more bang for the buck.
     
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  14. Bat Rastard

    Bat Rastard Member

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    I got a MEC for Xmas last year. I have nothing but good things to say about it. Smooth , strong, and elegantly simple.
    You do want the stand to go with it.
     
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