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  #1  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:30 PM
PA Hunter PA Hunter is offline
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Mec JR reloading quiestion

I dont know anything about shotgun reloading. A friend wants to sell me an older Mec JR along with all his accessories,powder,lead shot ect. since he no longer hunts. He wants $ 125.00 for it all. I guess I can buy a new one around $ 140.00 or so.

I will be reloading 2 3/4 and 3 in 12 gauge shells, then maybe next year 3 1/2 shells and steel shot I will need.

Can the mec JR be used with steel shot?

Is there another reloader that I should look at and is this a waste of money?

Thanks Steve,
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:09 PM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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Originally Posted by PA Hunter View Post
I dont know anything about shotgun reloading. A friend wants to sell me an older Mec JR along with all his accessories,powder,lead shot ect. since he no longer hunts. He wants $ 125.00 for it all. I guess I can buy a new one around $ 140.00 or so.

I will be reloading 2 3/4 and 3 in 12 gauge shells, then maybe next year 3 1/2 shells and steel shot I will need.

Can the mec JR be used with steel shot?

Is there another reloader that I should look at and is this a waste of money?

Thanks Steve,
I assume you are referring to the MEC 600 Jr. I have three of them: 12 ga., 16 ga., & 20 ga. I love mine and have loaded virtually thousands of shells with them.
(1) Any of the MECs, 600 Jr. included, can be used for loading steel shot, though you must get the necessary accessories to do so. I don't use steel shot so I can't tell you exactly what you need, but I would think a check of their web site should provide that information.
(2) I know my 12 and 20 ga. presses can be adjusted to load for 3" shells but I have never done so. I don't know about the 3-1/2 inchers. I don't shoot enough 3" or 3-1/2" shells to justify the cost of stocking up on the components necessary to load for them. I have all three of my presses set up to load one load - essentially upland/target loads - and I never change them.
(3) There are other shotshell loaders out there but IMHO you can't do better than any MEC product. Whatever you do, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES buy a Lee Loadall!!! I am a big fan of other Lee reloading products, but that is the biggest piece of junk I have ever owned. I was fortunate in being able to sell it at a yard sale for $10.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2009, 05:00 PM
Mr. 16 gauge Mr. 16 gauge is offline
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I have had a few MEC 600 Jrs......Here are a few things to consider.

1.)Older MECs (I think the cut of date is 1982, IIRC) have metal crimping stations and I don't know if parts, such as wad guides, ect are still available. Older MECS came with a longer ejection rod for reloading 3" shells, and since the were built in the pre 3.5" shell era, I don't think that they can be modified.

2.) MEC makes a conversion kit for reloading steel shot, but the best powder is STEEL, and it is a bit bulky use through a volume measure, as the MECs bushings are.....you can reload steel shotshells without the kit (i.e. crimp the shells, ect) by wieghing and measuring EACH load......sounds like a pain and time consuming, but unless you are shooting volumes of shells, I think this is the way to go.....you will have a more consistant product at the end.

3.) As for the powder, shot, primers, ect.....do you know how old it is? Has it been stored properly? There were some shells out there that took a different primer (*57) which isn't available anymore......There are powders out there that there is no reloading data for anymore. A lot of things have changed over the years, including hulls (For example, there are no RXP shells available anymore, and Alcan powders haven't been made in decades.). I think in order for this to be a 'deal', you really need to check 'the extras' and see what your getting....it might be worthwhile, but it might be useless junk.

4.) For a begining reloader, a MEC 600 jr is VERY hard to beat......I highly recommend them.

If there is any way to post more (age of the reloader, ect), we might be able to give you a more definitive answer.

Good luck................
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:13 PM
Gil Martin Gil Martin is online now
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I work in Topton at the Lutheran Home and have been using MEC reloaders since 1960. I have a MEC 600 Jr. and several MEC SizeMaster presses in several gauges. The advantage of of the Sizemaster is the built in SuperSizer in the press. I bought a SuperSizer for the 600 Jr and now life is good. The older MEC presses size the shotshell brass, but do not always properly resize the shotshell rim. I have a few shotguns that will not function any reloads with oversize rims. Hope this helps. All the best...
Gil
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2009, 11:29 PM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 16 gauge View Post
...1.)Older MECs (I think the cut of date is 1982, IIRC) have metal crimping stations and I don't know if parts, such as wad guides, ect are still available...
Yes you can still get replacement wad guides, etc. for the older presses as I just had to replace the wad guide in my 12 ga. press (which is my oldest) last year. My local gunshop had them. I figured I'd have to get them from MEC.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2009, 11:41 PM
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fabsroman fabsroman is offline
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There is a lot to cover here.

First off, I don't think I would trust any powder that I bought from anybody unless they were in unopened containers, even if it were something like Blue Dot that you can see blue dots in. You never know if they mixed something else in there by accident, or if it really is Blue Dot. I know enough about shotshell primers to be able to tell the difference, so I might trust those over the powder.

As a novice, without much experience with the components, you might be better off steering away from old components that might not be what they are designated as. Nothing turns a reloader off to relaoding quicker than blowing up a gun and/or going to the hospital.

If I am not mistaken, the MEC 600 Jr. comes in a 3 1/2" version and you can buy little bases to put underneath the shells to allow it to reload 2 3/4" and 3" shells. However, the MEC 600 Jr. for 2 3/4" & 3" loads cannot be used to load 3 1/2" loads.

As already mentioned, if you are looking at doing non-toxic reloading, you are better off metering out Steel powder on an electronic scale and actually counting out the pellets for each load. Counting the pellets isn't hard once you have a couple empty primer trays. Each tray is 100. If you need 88 pellets, just fill in 12 of the holes with hot glue and then dip the tray into the pellets and pull it out. You might get some stuck in between the pellets seated in the tray, but it sure makes it a lot easier. The reloader is used for depriming, priming, inserting the wad, and crimping the shell closed. The powder and shot are poured in by hand.

If I were in your shoes, I would probably go with a Steelmaster and start with that. Buy some of the shell holders I mentioned to allow yourself to reload 2 3/4" and 3" shells with that press and it is already set up for reloading steel if you really do not want to meter out the powder and count the pellets, yet I believe it can still reload lead shells just the way it is set up.

http://www.precisionreloading.com/mm...ISC_MEC_ACCESS

It also looks like a standard MEC 600 Jr. can be converted to reload 3 1/2" shells. Here is a link, but I have no idea what the conversion kit looks like:

http://www.precisionreloading.com/mm...ISC_MEC_ACCESS
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:37 AM
PA Hunter PA Hunter is offline
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Hello Gil Martin, I use to live on Woodside Ave across from The Luthern Home on Pennsinger LN. (Anyway moved back to Bethlehem).

Thank you all for confirming my suspicions I think I will just buy a new one and start from scratch so I know what I have is correct..
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2009, 01:17 PM
skeet skeet is offline
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Reloaders etc

To be honest it may be a very good deal. It all depends on how much stuff is included in the whole thing. The reloading supplies may be worth as much as the asking price...and everything is negotiable. The 600 Jr is a good loader. I have loaded more than 1/4 million shells on them. Hard machine to beat. Admittedly the Sizemastr is a better machine they cost as much as 150 dollars and more. Buy the whole mess and sell the 600 out of the deal. Buy a new machinfe if you want. Now as to reloading nontoxic..Seriously it really isn't worth it..Unless..you intend to shoot more than a case of shells a year. A case in my mind is 500. Not many people do that. At the most when I was guiding I shot maybe 2 cases of shells. Usually not near that many though..but I did mooch off of the paying hunters...like a GOOD guide should. And as far as 3 1/2 inch..don't even think of it....especially for steel. You can't really make a shell to compete with factory. In lead ..yep. but not steel. Understand this was what I did for part of my living. I really do know about shotshell reloading. If you shoot competetive shotgun in any flavor..you WILL end up with some kind of progressive...so start with a single stage to learn the ropes
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:34 PM
PA Hunter PA Hunter is offline
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Thanks for the reply skeet, I dont know how old the reloader is but I would guess from the 80's I didn't even see it yet.

Like i said I know nothing about the shotgun part of reloading, rifle yes.

The old primer, powder and assortment of mix match does concern me a bit now that people have mentioned it to me.

My main focus to reload shotgun was to try and improve pattern density for pheasants, and I also enjoy reloading.

Guess I have allot to learn about this type of loading.
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2009, 11:04 PM
skeet skeet is offline
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Mec reloaders

You can reload almost anything with a Mec 600. If it has a primer feed that is a plus. shot in quantity is as i said expensive. A thousand wads are more than 20 bucks..Shotshell primers are usually good for 30-40 yrs unless they have gotten wet(you'll be able to tell that if in the original boxes..1000 primers now is about 30 bucks..and older powder? I have powder that has been stored right that is more than 60 yrs old. Still good. .Red dot has ...red flakes in it..green has green flakes...blue dot..well you get it..700X has yellow flakes.. If the powder is in a can that says Unique or 7625, Clays or whatever..it probably is. Most reloaders of shotshells usually keep the powder in it's containers. Small quantities of shotshell powder goes on the lawn as fertilizer. Check out what the guy has. You may be pleasantly surprised. Get a discount.offer him a 100 if it looks to be worth it. But remember prices on new stuff. To give you an idea..I just bought a bunch of stuff today. One of the items was an eight pound can of 4350..unopened from 1980..for 10 dollars..and the guy threw in a couple of pounds of 4064 with the Rockchucker kit I got from him. Lotta loading in that powder.
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2009, 01:19 PM
buckhunter buckhunter is offline
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I have one of those critters. I've loaded darn near a car load of shells with it. Iam pretty much generic with my loads. Always stuck with Red Dot, whatever wads I could fine and 7 1/2 lead shot. I was suprised one day to discover that I could load 3" shells, DA what a suprise to me. I've used it since the 70's and it just keeps going. A few years back I did purchase one of those charging bars that you could adjust powder weights. So far that works fine also.

Many of our clubs in Taxachusetts are going to steel only so one of these days I will either convert it or get something else but until that happens I will contune to crank them out.
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2010, 10:45 PM
cordell cordell is offline
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Mec 600

Hello PA Hunter,
I will have to agree with skeet in the fact of buying the group and piecing it out! How much shot is in the deal? Here in Virginia it is going for a small fortune! The hunting shot (mostly 4's through 8's) are in high demand and the trap and skeet guys are going for the 8's and 9's. My point is if there is enough shot you might be able to pay for your new loader and keep the Mec 600 also. BTW I have 4 Mec's and can't even begin to say how many shells I have loaded over the past 40 years. Good luck with whatever you decide to do and please keep us posted.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2010, 08:30 AM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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Cordell:

Your loading bench looks almost as cluttered as mine. I agree with you about the price of anything made out of lead around here. The price of any lead components (at least at Green Top) more than doubled either late last summer or early fall. Where are you located in Virginia? I am here in the far west end of Richmond.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:08 AM
cordell cordell is offline
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Hi dovehunter,
We are located in Chatham, which is south central just above Danville and 45 minutes south of Lynchburg. I agree with you on the prices of lead but must dissagree with you when you mention the clutter in my reloading room...................nobody has a more cluttered reloading room than I do ;-). Every drawer is full and every shelf is stacked, I took a fellow up to "the room" the other day and he said "good grief you have some antiques here".... Some of my stuff (like some others on this forum) goes back 40+ years, and then it dawned on me that when I started loading/collecting in 1966 if someone had a room filled with "stuff" from 1922, I would have said the same thing ;-)... Now as far as Richmond is concerned my Daughter and her family live just south of you in Chesterfield so I visit up that way as often as I can!!...............what do you load for (except doves ;-)...)...Take care and God bless you and yours.
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2010, 06:39 PM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordell View Post
...what do you load for (except doves)...
Boy you asked the 64 dollar question! At last count - Rifle: .22 Hornet, .223 Rem., .225 Win., .30-30 Win., .30-06, & 8x57 Mauser, Handgun: 9mm Luger, .38/.357, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, Shotgun: 12 ga., 16 ga., & 20 ga. I think that covers everything.
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