Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Recommended Posts

Okay, I was given a Lee Load all 2 in 20 Gauge, and I was looking at getting a conversion kit for 12 Gauge  [probably 16 as well later]. I have had some folks say the Mec Jr is far superior and to find a used one. I know so little about shotshell reloading, which is better? Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a load all for my 12 ga BP shells.  Unless AA stops running their rebates, I can’t beat $5.50/box for smoke

less rounds.  Worth for a $50 loader.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Mec and it was pretty old, all kinds of problems, things were breaking etc. I gave up and bought a Lee Load All. It works great. It takes me about 20 minutes to load a box of 25. I only load shotgun for cowboy shooting. It was $99.00 shipped. I love it!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda just depends on your budget. I love my MEC'S, but I've loaded a bunch on a Load All; nothing wrong withem at all.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

MEC ..... my oldest 600JR  is 39 years old and runs flawlessly. My other (3)MECs are much newer and run well also. I had a LEE Load All as a teenager, a serviceable machine at the time which replaced an obsolete Pacific DL105. Both those loaders have long since gone away! 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

MEC is 4x as much$. 3 x better!

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

They're both single stage presses. If nothing goes wrong, you can load 100 rounds in an hour with either. The Load-All comes with a set of powder & shot bushings, can do 6 or 8 point crimps, and is adjustable for 2 3/4 or 3" shells. I use a MEC for .410 and 28g, Load-All for 12, 16, & 20. Ten gauge brass shells are done with a rawhide mallet and an assortment of homemade accessories.

 

One thing about the Load-All is the crimp starter is not self-aligning, so you have to manually index the shells or you can get some goofy looking crimps.

Edited by Three Foot Johnson
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure a MEC would be much nicer, and faster, but I've been happy with my Load-All II for 20 years because I only load BP on it.  Until ammo disappeared AA Featherlites were still $7.97 at Walmarts here.  My loading time is limited so if I was loading smokeless shotshells as well I think I'd want a MEC.  BTW, I don't care for the little primer feed mechanism on the Lee.  I spread out primers on a flat tabletop beside the press.  Deprime/size, then take the hull and push it down over a primer to start it into the hole, then back to the press for seating and the rest.  I also use the press for Brass shells and I dip the powder for both.

Edited by Abilene, SASS # 27489
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

BTW, I don't care for the little primer feed mechanism on the Lee.

+1 - that primer feed thingie is a pain in the ass.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had both. The Lee had everything required to do any load using any powder. But, everything is plastic and I don't remember a way to empty the hoppers without unbolting it and dumping it upside down. (It has been 35 years so I may be mistaken.)

 

I have a MEC Junior now and the quality is much better, but if I decide to change loads, I need to buy another bushing or shot bar. I do like the fact that I can easily remove, empty, and replace the shot and powder bottles. And Sportsman's Warehouse is just a 45-minute drive away and they stock many MEC parts.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

MEC !!!

And Buy the adjustable Charge Bar ,,, It is able to drop loads of shot from 5/8 - 1 7/8 Oz. and powder charges as low as 10 grains of 700X ...

But I use it to drop 4.3 cc of Goex 3F and 1 3/16 Shot for 12 ga .. ,,, 3.4cc of Goex 3F and 1 oz of shot for 16 ga...,,,,,, Or 3.0 cc Of Goex 3F and 7/8 oz of shot in 20 ga.

 

I have more than one adjustable charge Bar and 6 Mec. presses 4 JRs. A sizemaster and Special steel press of 3 inch 12 ga.

 

Jabez Cowboy 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My plan for shotshells is to bolt to a heavy piece of plywood, then clamp to the bench when I do shotshells. So turning the Lee upside down is doable.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never used a Lee Load-All so I can' t speak about it, but I did have a MEC Junior and I liked it quite well-as I remember it was well made and didn't give me any trouble at all.  I no longer have it, but in going through stuff today, I still have a few hundred rounds that I loaded in the off time using the MEC. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Cholla said:

But, everything is plastic and I don't remember a way to empty the hoppers without unbolting it and dumping it upside down.

 

One of my early videos,

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

One can take the hoppers off by slipping the hands off. WARNING, it is spring loaded, it will fly off, make sure you are holding g onto it!  Drill a 3/8 hole in corner of lid. Put it over the hopper and pour out powder. (I just leave the shot in mine). 
 

lee makes good inexpensive equipment. They work. Not as pretty as some, and the MEC makes a better crimp, but the Load-All is a simple machine that does the job, and can be had for around $50. I still use one for BP loads. I did find a Hornaday  366 at an estate sale, that’s what I load my smokeless on. I’ve also had a size master, sold it when I got the Hornaday 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

 BTW, I don't care for the little primer feed mechanism on the Lee.  I spread out primers on a flat tabletop beside the press.  

I have a MEC Sizemaster and I don't care for the primer feed mechanism on it, either!

I also lay my primers out beside the press and put them in the machine by hand.

I've never used a Lee Load-All or MEC Junior, but I like the base sizing of the Sizemaster.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, DeaconKC said:

My plan for shotshells is to bolt to a heavy piece of plywood, then clamp to the bench when I do shotshells. So turning the Lee upside down is doable.

Great Idea!! I may do that!! Thanks!!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know about the Load All, but I bought a Mec Sizemaster last year for Christmas and like the shells it produces. It is slower than the 366 I replaced, but has no problems. I gave away the 366. If we shot a lot of shotgun, I would want to find something faster, but for a few CAS matches a month, it works great.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

One of my early videos,

 

 

 

That brought back memories! We used to hunt snipe (related to woodcock) in south Florida and them birds are hard to hit. We experimented with every wild idea on how to make a pattern spread fast, even making cardstock dividers for the shot. (I saw it in a magazine.) It didn't help.

 

I can't imagine using such a valuable asset to hold the top on! Not long ago the TP was worth more than the press!

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Cholla said:

I can't imagine using such a valuable asset to hold the top on! Not long ago the TP was worth more than the press!

 

The Lee press looks out of stock everywhere.  So maybe people are hoarding them up to go with the TP?  The MEC 600 has about doubled in price over the past several years.  

 

Notice I that I have the press bolted to a cedar 2x6 and C-clamp to work bench.  Only the two Dillon pressed are bolted down.   All my other implements are mounted to a board and clamped where I need it when I need it. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, DeaconKC said:

Okay, I was given a Lee Load all 2 in 20 Gauge, and I was looking at getting a conversion kit for 12 Gauge  [probably 16 as well later]. I have had some folks say the Mec Jr is far superior and to find a used one. I know so little about shotshell reloading, which is better? Thanks

 

I have both, I bought the Mec 600 JR to load 10 gauge BP in plastic and brass hulls (I use a cut down 20 g hull as a dipper).  I also use to the Mec to prime my 12g & 16g plastic hulls and use a 1 1/2 piece of household copper pipe as a spacer that goes inside the hulls of the 12 g & 16 g plastic hulls to get enough length on the primer seating station.

 

The Lee is less expensive and caliber conversion kits are also less expensive.  The downsides to the Lee is you have fewer load options being restricted to the bushings provided.  Having bought the Mec first, I've never used the Lee to prime shells.

 

The Mec is more expensive and their caliber conversion kits cost almost twice as much as the Lee Load All press itself, but it is more flexible when it comes to adjusting and experimenting with powder charges.

 

I doubt there is enough of a difference in shells made per hour to warrant the extra expensive of a Mec 600 JR.  I can easily make more than enough shells on either machine for a monthly match in under an hour and enough for a state level or above match in 90 minutes.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure now days, but used Mec Jr and Sizemasters used to be regularly available for very good prices.

 

I much prefer the crimp from the Mec.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had both, but prefer the MEC 600 Jr. I had a Load All in 20 ga. and an old MEC Sizemaster in 12 ga. that I got an an auction for $35. The Sizemaster was ok but you really had to keep an eye on what you were doing.  I then picked up a used 12 ga. 600 Jr. for $50 when I was considering going to BP, but ended up not doing it and bought a set of 20 ga. dies and auto primer for it as I just didn't care for the Lee. I then decided to get another 600 Jr. in 12 ga. to replace the Sizemaster. Found a used one on Amazon for $99, bought it and added an auto primer. Both 600's work very well and my young 8 & 10 year old grandsons love to reload shotshells on them. It wouldn't have been so easy for them using either the Sizemaster or the Load All so I figured I made the right choice.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, High Spade Mikey Wilson said:

The Sizemaster was ok but you really had to keep an eye on what you were doing.

Could you explain this? 

 

I find the Sizemaster to be simple and have allowed my nephews (12 yo) to load under my supervision. 

 

My wife regularly reloads using it. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

When I started, a friend of mine picked up a 600jr at auction for me for $35. Other than replacing wad fingers, I've put nothing into it other than shot and powder. I've loaded a LOT of 12ga on it. My deceased shooting partner started with a Load-All and switched to a Mec when he got the chance. I've gotten extra bottles and powder inserts at times, but it's never given me a bit of trouble:blush:

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Started on a Lee used it till I had 6 people to load for went to the Mec and now have a 600jr in 12 ga, 16 ga, 20 ga, 410 ga.  I also have a hydraulic operated one I never use anymore.  All the Mec's were under $50 when I got them, think new was $125.  Either one loads shells good enough to play the game.  The Mec's give a shell closer to store bought and a better crimp hands down.  I have adjustable powder/shot bars on all 600jr and load both black and smokeless on it.  Do have a complet set of inserts for a Mec bar if ever needed.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Lee LoadAll 2 in 12 Ga, and loved it. Had a chance to pick up a MEC Grabber used for $50. It took so much work to setup and I had a lot of issues with the charge bar not throwing powder consistently. About 10 gr less sometimes. I still weigh every completed shell off the MEC. Converted the LoadAll to load 20 ga for the wife. 

 

The Load All was great and just always worked. I trusted it, I still weigh the MEC loads because I don't trust it. It makes nice shells and the crimp is easier. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out with a Lee LoadAll for CAS and quickly went to a MEC Jr as I just disliked the Lee. Started shooting trap and went to a MEC hydraulic. Found out I was not saving much for the trap loads as Wally World sold STS's for $7 a box and I could sell once-fired hulls for 10 cents each; net cost about $5 a box w/tax. Sold the hydraulic kept using the Jr. until I stumbled across a mint MEC Grabber, then sold the Jr.

 

That said, I now believe that should have just kept the Jr as it is basically idiot proof and produces excellent shells. However, it's enjoyable to me to get new (to me) equipment and experiment. I always buy my presses used. The learning curve on progressive shotshell presses is quite steep; not so with the single stage ones. BTW - I mount my shotshell presses on a 1X12X18" oak board with holes in it and my loading bench using 4 wing nuts so it can be removed when not in use. Use a similar method with my strong-mount Dillon 500B. I mounted the hydraulic pump on a skateboard as it was a heavy critter. Had a similar progression of metallic presses over the years, starting out with a single stage, then a Lee Turret, to finally the Dillon. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/24/2021 at 10:02 AM, Chief Rick said:

Could you explain this? 

 

I find the Sizemaster to be simple and have allowed my nephews (12 yo) to load under my supervision. 

 

My wife regularly reloads using it. 

First mine is a very old machine I got for $35 about 20 years ago. The auto lock on the shot bar has to be locked manually on this machine. Why I could never figure out but it does. If your not careful you'll drop a load of powder and shot as you are finishing your last shell. Plus it's a manual indexing machine. Just not child friendly in my opinion. The 600 Jr., like someone said in another response, is pretty much idiot proof. I do all my cowboy ammo reloading over the winter so I'm in no big hurry to get done. When I get bored I go and load some.

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I began with a Lee Load All and was shooting 20ga at the time and it worked fine for me then. Then was given a Mec Jr in 12ga which was perfect timing as I had switched to 12 ga. Not sure what happened to the Lee. But would not part with my Mec jr which I use for all of my BP loading and a MEC 9000 for smokeless. My loading bench has holes drilled for each press so they just get screwed into place when I need to use them. The 9000 gets mounted the same way but with a tray underneath for when there is an oops. Depending on your needs nothing wrong with getting a Load All.

 

Hochbauer

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, High Spade Mikey Wilson said:

First mine is a very old machine I got for $35 about 20 years ago. The auto lock on the shot bar has to be locked manually on this machine. Why I could never figure out but it does. If your not careful you'll drop a load of powder and shot as you are finishing your last shell. Plus it's a manual indexing machine. Just not child friendly in my opinion. The 600 Jr., like someone said in another response, is pretty much idiot proof. I do all my cowboy ammo reloading over the winter so I'm in no big hurry to get done. When I get bored I go and load some.

My SIzemaster is a manual machine.

 

sizemaster_550.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.