LEE Load all 2 vs mec 600 jr

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jcerillo70, May 3, 2021.

  1. jcerillo70

    jcerillo70 Member

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    Hey guys,

    I want to start reloading for trap shooting. Theres a $200 price difference between the 2 press's. Is there something the mec does that is $200 better? Im all about buy once cry once, i just am in the dark with shotshell reloading.

    I ordered the lyman shotshell book, so im waiting on that

    I also have about 100 of Winchester shells (not sure what crimp) and 250 federal shells with 6pt crimp.

    . From what im coming across component wise, it looks like i need to hunt down

    =corresponding wads for my Winchester shells based on shot weight. Is there a preferred wad you guys like?

    -7 1/2 lead shot

    -209 primers (Cant find lol) i might have to seek people out and trade pistol primers for shotshell primers

    My last question. Is 6 pt vs 8 point crimp based on the shell's previous crimp? Or is it your own decision?

    Thanks!
     
  2. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Once you get the book and read some things will clear up some. The wads are not the only thing load specific. You should get the componants that are recipe specific. Most of your reloading books have exact recipies for you to look at. The Lee press is all plastic and will work to make ammo. The MEC is all metal, can be used for different length shells, and be converted to other gauges. The MEC can be had for $75 or so used normally. The shot is the expense. In normal times the shot alone costs more than buying the Promo type skeet/trap loads. The only savings is making buck or slug loads most times. Balistic Products has a good selection of all things shotshell reloading on their website.
     
  3. Akula69
    • Contributing Member

    Akula69 Contributing Member

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  4. jcerillo70

    jcerillo70 Member

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    whats the popular powder alot of guys use? It looks like 700x or red dot

    I have so much pistol powder (n310,n320, 231,2400) im wishing i had some universal stuff lol
     
  5. unwashed

    unwashed Member

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    I've been reloading shotshells for trap for about 15 years. I use a lee load all 2. The difference in he two press is lee's a no frills press, one of those differences is wad pressure, load data usually show a wad pressure for a specific load which other presses you can set but the lee you can not. I let the crimp set my wad pressure on my lee. You will probably get more features in the more expensive presses. Lee does a fine job and I haven't been able to justify buying something more expensive. It also depends on how much ammo you need. As far as crimps, they are already preformed, so you have to go with whatever is existing, there are some hulls you can buy with no preform crimp so you can start the one you prefer. I prefer the 8 crimp but the 6 work fine also, although the 8 crimp seems to be a little tighter, lee offers both crimps in the same press.

    I've been using the same load for all those years, Win AA hulls, CB1118-12 wad (WAA12), 1-1/8oz #7.5 shot, Fed 209A primers and Green Dot 18grs which is under the listed data. I recently started using Hodgdon Clays which uses less grains for the same ballistics. It takes me about an hour to load 50 12ga shotshells. Lee also offer a conversion kit, I have one for 20ga and iirc is much cheaper then other brands in their conversion kits and much more simple to convert.

    Just a note on hulls, Win AA ammo were originally made to reload, I've try other hulls like Win Super X that do not hold up to the process, so hulls selection will determine your outcome also.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  6. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    Had a team member use a Lee Load all for trapshooting. He had trouble loading some types of empty hulls and wore out his Load All in 3 years. Depends on how much you are going to use it. We shot 20 weeks, 50 target per week and a round of practice first. That's 3 boxes of 25 =75 x 20 which = 1500 rounds per season, plus he load some pheasant loads with it. He soon learned to load only Federal or Winchester hulls which are the easiest to load and have a wide variety of components to use. He bought a MEC a few years ago. A Junior model can load a box in 25 minutes and a progressive Grabber Model can load a box in 10 minutes. And go on E-bay or watch for used re-loaders at your club. I used a Junior for 15 years and my darling wife wanted to see more of me, so I got a Grabber. Grabbers do have a more efficient re-sizing system. At the cost of gauge conversion parts most people will just buy another used machine. With modern re-loaders wad pressure can be adjusted, but is no longer as issue in reloading.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  7. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    I have both presses. The lee works, as to how well it works is questionable , but the best analogy I can give you for it is that it’s like the easy bake oven of shotgun loaders. Once you use a mec 600jr you will be kicking yourself for having spent the money on the lee.
    Look for a used mec 600jr, I’ve gotten them for as little as $20 in the past. The ability to adjust the dies on the mec is huge help for being able to adjust your crimp to a particular hull type.
    Oh and don’t forget about the use of a universal charge bar so you don’t have to use bushings and charge bars, you can dial it in to exactly what you want instead of “ close enough”
    Good luck on your shotgun reloading journey, your Lyman manual should be able to clear up a lot of questions
     
  8. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    MEC 600(JR-type) -- single stage -- since 1970
    (On 2nd one now since things get "lost" in 34 years of military moves)

    Over ~1st 5-10 minutes.....
    Set/adjust/perfect ("fix") crimp depth/closure
    Set/adjust wad pressure (just enough to register w/ AA's),
    Set/adjust/correct to re-establish hull (headspace) rim thickness (for pickup hulls)

    Once set up/adjusted for a specific hull/load... 2 rounds a minute.
    (and a no-brainer mechanical process ("near") impossible to screw up)


    .
     
  9. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I'm a mec fan. I've never used the Lee.
    Mec is the standard, you can buy cheaper, or more expensive.?.but mec will last and work right. If there's a shell that comes out imperfect...you did something wrong.
    Red dot, green dot, clays.....
     
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  10. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    The big benefit of the MEC for me is cleaning the thing out when I'm done loading. Flip the top over so the two bottles are hanging down and unscrew. Super easy and spilled enough to think about yet. The Lee I tried once and clean up was not so simple, spilled about as much powder as I loaded that day. I generally only load once a month if I'm lucky so I do a complete clean when I'm done, who knows when the next time it gets used. Before the current component and tool situation I could find old MEC presses for $75 easy and actually got a sizemaster for $100 plus some shot, primers, all the bushings, and trash bags of hills. Right now I'm not seeing those great deals but I'm sure they will come back... eventually.
    I've looked for those but they always seem too be discontinued. Who still makes them?
     
  11. unwashed

    unwashed Member

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    I bought my Lee in 1990 when the only other press was the MEC for like $600, yikes. Only rich men could go that route, all you guys are spoiled today :rofl:
     
  12. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    Lee Load ALL II , Been using it for years, reloaded thousands of shells. Makes reloads like factory ..... Also I use Promo powder, and whatever primers I can find.
     
  13. George P

    George P Member

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    Lee is zinc and plastic crap; it has no adjustability. Way back before the internet I started with mine and since I started to do more than a few boxes for hunting, I went to the MEC. Look for a used MEC; that should shrink the price difference to a more acceptable range. As to wad pressure, you want zero wad pressure. Using modern plastic wads, you want to seat the base on top of the powder. Use the proper wad for the load recipe. Shotshell reloading isn't near as exacting as metallic, but it can be less forgiving as regards pressures.
     
  14. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Lee Load All, on and off for 30+ years. Never had a problem.
     
  15. George P

    George P Member

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    Like the red PC powder baffle, I believe the UCBs have been discontinued. If you're loading all types of loads they are useful (once dialed in) but if you're only loading 1 or 2, then the bushings can be a lot easier.
     
  16. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    So many people are getting out of shotshell, it should be easy to find a very high-end shot shell reloader used at a very good price. Look at Ponsness-Warren and such. They have a Model 375 that is quite nice. My son shot this vid of the 375...



    For Trap you'll need 75-100 shells per week. That's like reloading 400+ metallic cartridges, and you wouldn't attempt that weekly on a single-stage. Go for the added features that reduce your work, even if they cost more.

    Good. Read it and many of your questions will be cleared up.

    Winchester is a great hull, but as a rule only the red or gray AA hulls are reloaded. Their cheap Walmart hulls are not considered good candidates.

    Wads, like powder and primers, are all highly specified in the Lyman book. Do Not vary your components from the Lyman book. Shotshell reloading is NOT open to variation like metallic reloading.

    7, 7-1/2, 8... they all work. If you go with re-cycled shot it will be mixed anyway.

    Even the brand of primers makes a difference in shotshell reloading. Use only what the Lyman book specifies.

    Generally, only 8pt hulls are reloadable. Your machine will have an 8pt hull closer and unless you fit a 6pt closer you're pretty much confined to 8pt. Of course, if you restrict yourself to AA hulls, then you'll be using 8pt. Your question assumes you have a choice. NO, the specified hull pretty much dictates to you, not the other way around.


    All will be made clear when you read the Lyman book.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  17. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    I think ballistic products have started making their own version of the universal charge bar recently, but I’m using the old style.


    https://www.ballisticproducts.com/mobile/Adjusta-Drop-Charge-Bar-single-stage/productinfo/ADCSS/

    looks like it’s still in prototype stages but I’m glad someone took up trying to make them as I can’t help but want to experiment with different loads for various tasks and I find them very handy for my uses.
     
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  18. irishlad

    irishlad Member

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    I recently went through the same choice as you are now. I decided on the MEC Steelmaster. Good luck.
     
  19. George P

    George P Member

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    Looks like a MEC charge bar and a UBC got married and had a kid
     
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  20. unwashed

    unwashed Member

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    That's all I use, Win AA hulls, read many, many moons ago the AA ammo were made for reloading. Also #5 & #6 shot work too, Tried them to test some bird hunting loads. With these shortages I wouldn't hesitate to use #9 either, doesn't take much to break a clay.
     
  21. jcerillo70

    jcerillo70 Member

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    I'm looking at mec grabber on ebay now, I just threw in a bid. Any other model I should look for on ebay from mec?
     
  22. George P

    George P Member

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    The grabber is the same as the 9000 without the auto advance. I prefer the Grabber so WHEN something goes a little sideways, you can stop the progression and avoid most spills. I DO recommend using something like a steam table tray to place the machine in so help catch spills, hold misc things like bushings etc. I would also strongly recommend the MEC bottle support. If your used machines bottles are looking yellowish (not just black from graphite), they would be old and in danger of cracking. Cleaning up 25# of shot or 1# of powder is a real PITA when it spills......
     
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  23. George P

    George P Member

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    All depends on how far those clays are. Just got back from a major sporting clay tournament where some of the targets were a lot further away than your typical skeet target - it was M or tighter for some lovely 50 and 60 yard targets coming off of 80' high lifts
     
  24. unwashed

    unwashed Member

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    You're right, distance is a concern but for a fun day at the range, if I had to, would be acceptable. My Pheasant loads I use #6 in the lower barrel of my u/o and #5 in the upper barrel.
     
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  25. George P

    George P Member

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    And that's a good combo for wild pheasants and one I used when hunting in ND back in the early 80s
     
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