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Ozark Okie

Shotshell Reload Help (crimp)

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I recently received a MEC 600 Jr (old...pre-82) from another club member; gave me the incentive to reload some shotgun shells. Cleaned up the press and studied up on light loads; settled on Clay 13.5-14 gr powder, claybuster CB0178-12 wad (optimum 7/8 oz), and 7/8 oz shot - shimmed the powder bar to drop approx 7/8 oz, ordered MEC #25 bushing and started to load with Win AA hulls (once fired by me). All is good, EXCEPT...the combination of powder, wad and shot does not give me enough column height to get a good tight crimp. If I crimp as the shot drops, the crimp is concave; if I trickle in another 1/16th inch of shot from a scoop, get a good even, tight crimp...but defeats my aim for 7/8 oz. These loads were with #9 shot....left over from my skeet days. 

 

Begs the questions -    

- is there something about the press (not any adjustments that I'm aware of) or my technique that I can change to get the result I need?

- Is there a significant difference in the volume of same weight of #9, #8, #7 1/12 shot? .....I plan to use either #8 or 7 1/2

- do I need a taller wad to give me the necessary height?  .....seems unlikely since so many folks like and use the load I chose. 

- do I need to add an over powder card/wad...or over shot?   ....again, haven't seen any mention of this

- other?

 

Will appreciate any feedback, suggestions. Thanks

 

OO

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The crimp is adjustable.  Go to the MEC website for the manual.

Check your wad pressure, too much will slightly collapse the wad and cause your problem.

Yes, #9 shot is slightly less volume than an equal weight of #8. I don't know if it is enough to cause your problem.

 

Duffield

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+ 1 on adjusting pre-crimp and crimp.  I'll also add with loading that small shot before you crimp add a small piece of paper towel or such this will keep those small balls from coming out.

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Hi Ozark,

 

       Do you have the right charge bar installed?  I use 7/8 oz. of #8 shot but my charge bar is marked with the number 78 on it.

 

       The charge bar for 1 oz. is marked with a number 100 and the charge bar for 1 1/8 is marked with the number 118.

 

       When I changed from 1 oz. to 7/8 oz., I changed the charge bar.  I found Mec charge bars in my local gun store. 

 

       I hope this will help.

 

      Mo

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A sunken crimp does normally mean your powder/wad/shot column is slightly shorter than what your press is CURRENTLY adjusted to process.

 

Several things will fix that.

 

You can increase the powder weight just a little.  The cowboy load you mentioned is a VERY low pressure load.  You have room to add powder without creating excessive pressure.  I had better luck up around 14.5 grains of Clays when loading that very hull and wad and 7/8 ounce  of shot.

 

You can lower the crimp starter just a little, especially if you have a little bit of a hole in the middle of the crimp after crimp is formed.  

 

You can lower the BODY of the crimp die a little, and back off (raise) the crimp plunger (stem) inside the body of the crimp die about the same amount.  

 

As mentioned above, the MEC manual (which you can download from MEC web site) has rough instructions for those adjustments.

 

You can drop one or two Cheerio donuts (yes, from a cereal box) into the wad before you drop shot.  This adds nothing to the payload weight but takes up a little volume, thus filling your shot column.  This is an easy adjustment to try first.  

 

Good luck, GJ

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I've loaded this combo for at least 10 years:

All your components are a-OK.

1) drop your starter crimp die about 1 to 2 full turns. Start with 1

2) little to no wad pressure.

See how it turns out.

Would like to see a pic of your crimps.

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I think you are seating the wad/shotcup too deeply in the hull.  The height of the drop tube at station 3, which is the thingy that pushes the wad down into the hull, is adjustable.  Raise it until the shot level is a hair below the crimp fold.

 

If the crimp folds/points meet without a gap then the pre- crimp and crimp dies do not need adjustment.

 

link to owner’s manual, adjustment is shown on page 9:

 

https://www.mecoutdoors.com/Content/documents/600JrMark5.pdf

 

 

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18 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

A sunken crimp does normally mean your powder/wad/shot column is slightly shorter than what your press is CURRENTLY adjusted to process.

 

Several things will fix that.

 

You can increase the powder weight just a little.  The cowboy load you mentioned is a VERY low pressure load.  You have room to add powder without creating excessive pressure.  I had better luck up around 14.5 grains of Clays when loading that very hull and wad and 7/8 ounce  of shot.

 

You can lower the crimp starter just a little, especially if you have a little bit of a hole in the middle of the crimp after crimp is formed.  

 

You can lower the BODY of the crimp die a little, and back off (raise) the crimp plunger (stem) inside the body of the crimp die about the same amount.  

 

As mentioned above, the MEC manual (which you can download from MEC web site) has rough instructions for those adjustments.

 

You can drop one or two Cheerio donuts (yes, from a cereal box) into the wad before you drop shot.  This adds nothing to the payload weight but takes up a little volume, thus filling your shot column.  This is an easy adjustment to try first.  

 

Good luck, GJ

+1 on all the above. Never needed Cheerio's though! The adjustment are very tiny on the crimp and plunger. I'm using 14.5 Clays the same wad and 7/8 #8 shot with no issue after getting adjusted. Takes a few times.

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Always find good stuff on threads like these. 

 

Is there any good advice for finding 'GOOD" re-loadable shot ??   I've gotten used to shooting #8 so I am looking for some recommendations on where others are currently going to resupply good quality shot that works well for CAS shotguns. 

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5 minutes ago, Chuck Steak said:

 

Is there any good advice for finding 'GOOD" re-loadable shot ?? 


I buy the cheapest I can find (which is not very cheap these days) at local gun stores.    It may not be the best choice for clay bird competitions but the lousiest looking shot I ever found took the knockdowns down with no problems.  ;)

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I'm going to try some of "Shootin Fox's" soon. (PM him on this forum)Last I checked he was getting $120 shipped for 65lbs. of #7.5. I guess he doesn't make #8 which I'm also used too. I figure it can't make that much difference for price savings. Around these parts a 25# bag of magnum is $54+. A little cheaper on-line, but shipping kills ya.

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I buy shot at a big box retailer using discount coupons I get major matches.  I tried reclaimed shot bought at a local trap range.  I quit using it because it lacked graphite and flowed poorly.  When I retire and have time to graphite myself I may buy reclaimed shot again.

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20 hours ago, Ozark Okie said:

shimmed the powder bar to drop approx 7/8 oz,

Like mentioned earlier you should have a bar with the number 10030278. I'm not familiar with "shimming" a bar to get the correct weight. I'd get the correct bar before proceeding, also no pressure on the wad seating column.

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59 minutes ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

I buy shot at a big box retailer using discount coupons I get major matches.  I tried reclaimed shot bought at a local trap range.  I quit using it because it lacked graphite and flowed poorly.  When I retire and have time to graphite myself I may buy reclaimed shot again.

 

LOL You better check with the better half before you do that  ;)

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Your recipe is good, and like others say, make small adjustments until it's fixed.  I shot a very similar load using the same press for years until I went even lighter charge with more shot and moved to a RCBS Grand press.

 

I buy my #7.5 Shot (Eagle brand) from Brownells when they have their free shipping coupons.  About $41/25lbs bag with no tax/shipping charges.

 

Totes

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@SHOOTIN FOX  sells graphite shot at a good price. 
 

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I don’t reload for shotgun.

 

However, If you’re using these loads for CAS knockdowns and CAS flyers, why not (for your sg reloads) use #7 shot to get the “column” height you need in the shell?  I doubt it would make much/any significant difference, but still allow a good crimp.

 

Whadda y’all think?

 

Cat Brules

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1 hour ago, Cat Brules said:

why not (for your sg reloads) use #7 shot to get the “column” height you need in the shell?

 

Changing shot size won't change column height. Have to change shot bushing for more volume.

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Thanks for your he plug.

I ship 65 pounds of new 7.5 shot, tumbled and graphited for immediate use for $120.

tracking and insurance included.

 

Fox

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31 minutes ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

Thanks for your he plug.

I ship 65 pounds of new 7.5 shot, tumbled and graphited for immediate use for $120.

tracking and insurance included.

 

Fox

Is that shot magnum or the softer "chilled"?

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Good morning, folks. Thank you for all the interest and feedback. You got me on the right track, which I should have been able to do myself with a little more digging, but then I would have missed out on all the suggestions and additional information.....so thanks again. The adjustments I made are 1) reduced the wad seating depth and 2) backed off a little on the final crimp. I'm attaching a picture of three shells...left to right - my first load with the concave crimp, second is my best effort yet after adjustments and third is an unfired factory AA for reference. I can live with what I've come up with so far and think I can still improve it a little. I would like to have the rounded slightly tapered finish that some later presses give with the 3rd crimping stage, but the 600 jr doesn't have that feature. The only thing I wonder a little about is the fact that there is now a small gap between the powder and bottom of the wad (due to seating the wad less deep)...assume it will have little or no affect on shooting. I'm shooting today, so I'll find out.  

 

BTW....regarding "shimming" the powder bar, its just a plastic sleeve to take up space and allow less shot into the opening - its a 118 bar and with the sleeve its dropping very near 7/8 oz. 

 

fyi...the picture also shows a bag of #8 shot I bought yesterday.....local Sportsmans Warehouse, Slidell, La...$39.99. 

 

As before any comments, suggestions appreciated. Thank you. 

 

OO952573331_ShotgunloadsMEC600JrFeb2020.thumb.jpg.0194261a1184bc99f198523c3ffa8691.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ozark Okie said:

Good morning, folks. Thank you for all the interest and feedback. You got me on the right track, which I should have been able to do myself with a little more digging, but then I would have missed out on all the suggestions and additional information.....so thanks again. The adjustments I made are 1) reduced the wad seating depth and 2) backed off a little on the final crimp. I'm attaching a picture of three shells...left to right - my first load with the concave crimp, second is my best effort yet after adjustments and third is an unfired factory AA for reference. I can live with what I've come up with so far and think I can still improve it a little. I would like to have the rounded slightly tapered finish that some later presses give with the 3rd crimping stage, but the 600 jr doesn't have that feature. The only thing I wonder a little about is the fact that there is now a small gap between the powder and bottom of the wad (due to seating the wad less deep)...assume it will have little or no affect on shooting. I'm shooting today, so I'll find out.  

 

BTW....regarding "shimming" the powder bar, its just a plastic sleeve to take up space and allow less shot into the opening - its a 118 bar and with the sleeve its dropping very near 7/8 oz. 

 

fyi...the picture also shows a bag of #8 shot I bought yesterday.....local Sportsmans Warehouse, Slidell, La...$39.99. 

 

As before any comments, suggestions appreciated. Thank you. 

 

OO952573331_ShotgunloadsMEC600JrFeb2020.thumb.jpg.0194261a1184bc99f198523c3ffa8691.jpg

Got to be something wrong about using 1 1/8 bar for 7/8 load...something like alloy shot that is not as heavy as expected. New one on me.

p.s. overlooked the part about the "sleeve".

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1 hour ago, Ozark Okie said:

The only thing I wonder a little about is the fact that there is now a small gap between the powder and bottom of the wad (due to seating the wad less deep)...assume it will have little or no affect on shooting. I'm shooting today, so I'll find out.  

952573331_ShotgunloadsMEC600JrFeb2020.thumb.jpg.0194261a1184bc99f198523c3ffa8691.jpg


I think you got it.  Nice looking shells.

 

An air gap between powder and projectile can be a problem when using blackpowder but not smokeless powder.  We don’t worry about gaps in rifle or pistol cartridges, no need to worry about a gap in a shotshell loaded with smokeless powder.

 

 

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Ozark Okie,

 

Can you post a picture of your shotshell press with the charge bar installed?   Both sides of the press looking at the end of the charge bar.  Would also be possible to get a photo of the charge bar and "sleeve" you are referring to- just flip the bottles and snap a photo of the charge bar.

 

Red Wolf

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2 hours ago, Ozark Okie said:

Good morning, folks. Thank you for all the interest and feedback. You got me on the right track, which I should have been able to do myself with a little more digging, but then I would have missed out on all the suggestions and additional information.....so thanks again. The adjustments I made are 1) reduced the wad seating depth and 2) backed off a little on the final crimp. I'm attaching a picture of three shells...left to right - my first load with the concave crimp, second is my best effort yet after adjustments and third is an unfired factory AA for reference. I can live with what I've come up with so far and think I can still improve it a little. I would like to have the rounded slightly tapered finish that some later presses give with the 3rd crimping stage, but the 600 jr doesn't have that feature. The only thing I wonder a little about is the fact that there is now a small gap between the powder and bottom of the wad (due to seating the wad less deep)...assume it will have little or no affect on shooting. I'm shooting today, so I'll find out.  

 

BTW....regarding "shimming" the powder bar, its just a plastic sleeve to take up space and allow less shot into the opening - its a 118 bar and with the sleeve its dropping very near 7/8 oz. 

 

fyi...the picture also shows a bag of #8 shot I bought yesterday.....local Sportsmans Warehouse, Slidell, La...$39.99. 

 

As before any comments, suggestions appreciated. Thank you. 

 

OO952573331_ShotgunloadsMEC600JrFeb2020.thumb.jpg.0194261a1184bc99f198523c3ffa8691.jpg

I no longer use AA hulls because I found a lot of inconsistency in the length of the hulls. I also use 7.5 shot because if you have a small hole in the center of the crimp it doesn't dribble out like #9 will. On the hulls I did get with a little bigger hole in center, I just put a drop of Elmer's glue in the hole and it worked fine. DO NOT USE HOT GLUE! Don't ask me how I know that. I now use STS hulls and don't have any of those issues.

 

Thanks

Randy 

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Good morning again, just following up on yesterday's performance of the reloads. They did well and I'm happy with them...recoil was light, all knockdowns OK (missed a couple of flying birds, but it was the guy behind the trigger, not the shells).  Just a couple of comments about the "sleeve" I used in the original 118 charge bar. It was simply a piece of 1/32" plastic cut to fit into the shot cylinder in the bar.....like a jeweler would use to reduce the diameter of a finger ring. With a little trial and error cutting on the "sleeve" I got the volume of the shot cylinder reduced the right amount to drop 7/8oz...a little contact cement to hold it in place and its working well. I made the mod to the original 118 bar just to avoid buying a new bar until I was sure that the press would produce the loads I want. If I have problems with the plastic sleeve, I'l go ahead and buy the 78 bar. I'm happy with the reloads and I appreciate all the feedback.

OO  

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Why not just buy the adjustable powder/shot bar?

Never seen a MEC bushing throw what the chart says it will.

BTW, use a dab of grease on the linkage pressure/rub  points.

Bought my 600jr in 1978. Use it still....

OLG 

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19 minutes ago, Ozark Okie said:

Good morning again, just following up on yesterday's performance of the reloads. They did well and I'm happy with them...recoil was light, all knockdowns OK (missed a couple of flying birds, but it was the guy behind the trigger, not the shells).  Just a couple of comments about the "sleeve" I used in the original 118 charge bar. It was simply a piece of 1/32" plastic cut to fit into the shot cylinder in the bar.....like a jeweler would use to reduce the diameter of a finger ring. With a little trial and error cutting on the "sleeve" I got the volume of the shot cylinder reduced the right amount to drop 7/8oz...a little contact cement to hold it in place and its working well. I made the mod to the original 118 bar just to avoid buying a new bar until I was sure that the press would produce the loads I want. If I have problems with the plastic sleeve, I'l go ahead and buy the 78 bar. I'm happy with the reloads and I appreciate all the feedback.

OO  

 

Rather than buying another charge bar and a bunch of bushings get a MultiScale adjustable charge bar.

 

 

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Two good suggestions for the adjustable charge bar.  Right now, I see no need for any load other than the one I am doing.  I, too, have found that specific bushings are not exactly accurate. I will consider the adjustable bar when I buy one.  Also, OLG, thanks for the reminder of the grease points. 

 

On the topic of adjustments for powder and shot; I have been pondering another load....prompted by a good buy I got on some Trail Boss powder yesterday. I use Trail Boss for my 357/38 pistol and rifle loads.  Since I now have an abundance of  it, I'm wondering about a low recoil shotgun load using it. I have seen the topic discussed on this forum, and have seen recommendations against it since no reloading charts show a load for it....but a couple of quiet voices have spoken up and said that they have done it.  None of those that mentioned it provided any details of their load.   I don't want to start another thread for a Trail Boss shotgun load, but if any of you folks reading this do have any specifics on such a load.....or other comments, suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them. 

 

Thanks.

OO

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Trail Boss is made by Hodgdon.  They are super nice folks to talk to on the phone.  Ask to speak to someone in the lab.  They know their powders better than anyone else.  If it can be done safely, they will let you know.

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Trail Boss would not be a great shotgun powder because it is bulky (most wads are now made for denser powders) and due to it's cost!

 

Clays or Clay Dot can really be your friend, as well as Alliant Extra Lite.

 

Good luck, GJ

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