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Shotshell reloading question(s)


John Ruth

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My 366 has a nice garage sale pan underneath it which catches any powder or shot spills. My Mec loaders are all mounted on a combination of cooking pan with 2  squares of 3/4 inch plywood under neath the pan. Each Mec is mounted to the plywood and pan with the original Mec bolts then mounted to the bench with a couple of bolts that have the 366 spacing, This allows easy changing between all the loaders and gives the unused Mec loaders a nice base to sit on when not in use.  Very convenient since some Mec loaders have three mounting bolts and some have four.  I also like having the machines sit up and extra 1 1/2 inch higher on the bench.. If I had only one Mec I would use a 3/4 inch piece of plywood or not and a cooking pan on top of the plywood and underneath the machine. Depending on thickness of bench you could mount the Mec using the original bolts,  The most important head ache remover is to just put some kind of plan underneath the machine because you will have spills with any shotshell loader.  

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my 336 gave me a good run up front then started giving me problems that just kept getting worse - down the road , went to a couple mecs , one progressive and one  single stage  , neither one was new or expensive , both work fine as i got them , but as noted above we dont load all that much for CAS , 

 

i agree with the mounting discussion above , i learned the hard way , had to remount my machine after the spills and messy cleanup , i also had a friend prove the vacuum will set off a primer and when there is powder in the container it makes a lot of noise and smoke , 

 

i just shoot factory for trap and sporting clays 

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Hmm... never needed a cookie sheet under my Lee Load-All II :blink:.

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+1 on the pan under the loader. When I used a MEC 600jr., it was never too much of an issue unless I forgot to put the little red caps back on the bottles and tipped them! I also use a MEC Grabber now for smokeless and without fail at least once during a session of 400-500 shells it manages to dump lots of powder and /or shot all over the place. Usually at the end of the run when it doesn't always stay locked after the last shell! I mostly use the 600 now for BP or to fix one that got messed up on the grabber.

By the way, I still haven't gotten around to installing the cookie sheet!!:D

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On 5/18/2021 at 11:30 PM, John Ruth said:

Running 20ga right now. I'm honestly surprised at the recoil myself just because of how heavy the shotgun is. 

 

Many 20g loads put out the same amount of shot at the same velocity as 12g.  Guns - especially if made on a smaller frame - are lighter so felt recoil will be worse.   Go with 12g and load published light loads...or buy "Featherlights" or similar.  If she is really sensitive to recoil one can tailor loads to ANY level with Black Powder in a way that you cannot do with smokeless. Just reduce the powder and/or shot and add fibre or card wads to retain the correct column height for crimping . (I'm always horrified when I hear folks say they are just ignoring smokeless load data for shotgun and going way "lighter") 

 

Brass hulls are certainly cool...I played with them myself for a while... but - adding to the downsides already mentioned - they do not load into a SXS as easily as a roll or star crimped plastic hull... both of which have a rounded front edge which is easier to chamber...  I don't know how "competitive" you are so that may or may not be a concern...:D

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One can easily experiment with a dead mule in the butt stock.
Most have the mount bolt hold drilled large enough to accept a pound of shot in a cloth bag.
This will reduce the felt recoil, but will also bias the weigh balance more to the rear.
It is easily removable and non-permanent.

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40 something years ago I started out skeet shooting, bought a N-I-B MEC 600 Jr and never looked back.  35 years ago, I started CAS and used that same 600 Jr. to load my shotshells with.  (Oh yeah, the very first purchase I made was a Lyman Shotshell Handbook, brand new 2nd ed.).  Upgraded to the 3rd when it came out, and then to the 4th edition.  The 5th Ed. is currently out of stock nearly everywhere, even Lyman... so there must be something interesting in there!  

 

Oh yeah, that MEC 600Jr. has kept up with me, then my wife, and finally my son joining me in shooting CAS.  (But, seldom did the 3 of us shoot more than 3 matches a month... and yes, I got to know that 600Jr. very well!  And at 2am the morning of a match... that cookie sheet comes in VERY handy!

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