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Anyone load 12ga shot shells on one of these?  How well do they compare to the other more common loaders by MEC, Dillon or other name brands for someone who is not particularly handy at tinkering???   I would also be trying to figure a BP reloading procedure for it???

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If set up correctly, they're great. They resize the hull, too. I loaded a lot on one, but it got out of whack and I ended up getting a MEC. I'm handy at a lot of things, but I have a brain fart when it comes to adjustments.

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A 366 does take proper adjustments to fit the hulls you are loading.  Adjustments are not impossibly complex, but Hornady will rebuild a used one and put it back setting for loading target shells (Win, Remington type), for a reasonable fee.

 

I load about 5,000 12 gauge rounds (smokeless) a year right now.  I've got a 366 for Production, and a 366 for load development. Both bought used and I rebuilt 'em - the new price is pretty steep.  I would not go back to any of the MECs nor want to spend bucks to move up to a higher-speed progressive (PW or Spolar).

 

I would not recommend loading BP with a 366 progressive (or any other progressive) trying to use the built-in measure.  It uses a steel powder bushing (Hornady/RCBS/PW type) and has steel parts in the powder drop.   Would be hard to keep it from rusting up because you probably would not want to tear it down for a clean-out between sessions.

 

I have loaded probably a thousand BP shotgun loads on a MEC 600 Jr, and I would not try a progressive for the small number of shells that we shoot for Cowboy matches.   With a single stage press, you can pull the hull off the press instantly and measure powder into it in a number of ways, ranging from Lee dippers to a BP compatible powder measure.  Then put the charged hull back into the loader to set wad(s), drop shot and crimp.  Or pull the hull off for a roll crimp.   Lots more flexibility with the MEC 600!

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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Well I must be the one dumbass in the crowd, bought a used one tried loading with it and gave up and sold it, I now use a MEC 9000 and enjoy reloading shot shells again. I spilled more shot with it than I could afford to lose.  

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I’ve been using one for about ten years. Must have loaded 10000 rounds on it. Mine is setup fit REM STS hulls. The only time things go wrong is when I make a mistake. My biggest one is running out of primers and spilling powder as a result. Adjustments are easy if you follow the instructions from Hornady. My opinion, good as any top end machines and better than most.

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Bought a used one thinking I would replace the Mec 9000. I loaded on it for a while. More solid feeling machine than the Mec. 
Several other nice features on it. I did not like the loaded hull ejection. Cutting a hole in the top of the loading bench was a no go for me. Loaded shells dropped on to the bench top was also a no go for me. Sold it and kept the Mec.

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12 minutes ago, Marshal TKD, Sass # 36984L said:

Cutting a hole in the top of the loading bench was a no go for me. Loaded shells dropped on to the bench top was also a no go for me.

 

I build a 3/4" plywood riser for mounting my 366's.   Raises the machine about 3" higher, leaves room behind machine for the cartridge chute to  drop the loads right into a 9x9" baking pan.    Hard to fault a great machine over one small "feature" that can be fixed in about 20 minutes.  The feature of not having no-shell-stops on the powder and shot stations is a whole lot more to gripe about, though.   THOSE DO require the operator to pay attention. 

 

good luck, GJ

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I bought one at an estate sale. I think the guy may have croaked while loading. Still had unfinished shells in it!

 

biggest drawback: you can’t take a hull out once it’s past station 1, unless you unhook indexer and back them up. If you have a fouled hull at wad setting station far easier to just keep a knife handy and cut the shell in 1/2 and let it go around.

 

You will spill powder and shot. Just live with it!

I got a spring loaded aftermarket primer pin. It will automatically adjust primer setting if you change hulls. I load about 90% STS, a few AA. doesn’t matter.

 

I cut a hole in my bench, drop finished shells into a bucket. It is a fiddly machine, but once you get it going it can really churn them out. I usually do 4-500 at a setting, in a couple of hours. 
 

I would not recommend trying BP with it. 

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33 minutes ago, Hoss said:

you can’t take a hull out once it’s past station 1

 

Oh, but I can!  See photo for my mod of the hull retaining ring.  Makes it very easy to take a hull off after dropping powder.   Check weigh the powder, and put the hull back into the shell plate and keep going.     And if a hull gets messed up when inserting wad, it's one station back to remove that, too.

 

The hulls do NOT jump out of the machine at that slot, either. 

 

good luck, GJ

 

366 shell removal slot.jpg

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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I’ve seen that. I fear tapping the cast iron base is beyond my machining abilities. 

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:FlagAm: I have two of these presses.  One is set up for AA hulls, loading for trap, skeet, sporting clays and hunting loads.  The other is set up for STS hulls loading real BP.  I have loaded BP on this press since 2001.  I have had zero issues!  No rusting, no having problems with powder drop, nothing at all except for the occasional user brain fart.  If you have not used this press for BP, how can you state not a good idea?  Anyone who wants to talk, PM me with phone #, I will call you.

Regards,

Chas B

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i had one - when properly set it worked really well , but dont let a friend "adjust" it , mine got to the point where i gave it away , ill load on a mec for the few im still reloading these days , 

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5 hours ago, Hoss said:

I fear tapping the cast iron base is beyond my machining abilities. 

The platen is cast aluminum.  Planning the right spot to put the new screw through the ring - about 15 minutes the first one I did. Slicing the ring in two places with hacksaw - about 10 minutes.  A hand drill and a hand tap completed the job in about 10 minutes. 

 

No cast iron in a 366 at all.   Just steel guide rods and dies and miscellaneous parts..

 

But, "A man's gotta know his limitations...."  

 

GJ

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

The platen is cast aluminum.  Planning the right spot to put the new screw through the ring - about 15 minutes the first one I did. Slicing the ring in two places with hacksaw - about 10 minutes.  A hand drill and a hand tap completed the job in about 10 minutes. 

 

No cast iron in a 366 at all.   Just steel guide rods and dies and miscellaneous parts..

 

But, "A man's gotta know his limitations...."  

 

GJ

I’ll look it over. The ability To pull  a hull out at powder station would be great. 

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The riser is a good idea. There were at least two factory risers over the years. It is easy to disconnect the auto advance. Most important thing is to mount it in a baking pan. You will have powder and shot spills. I don’t think any shotshell press is recommended for real black powder. Easy enough on a 366 to take off the powder tube, put in a big bushing and just use a dipper to drop black into the shell. On a Mec I just take it out, put a dipped amount of BP in the hill and return it to the wad and shot position.  One of these days I  will find a 16 ga set for my 366 good luck 

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