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Thinking about getting Auto Progressive Shotgun Loader what's out there


rmurphy92
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Looking for a progressive shotgun loader prefer it to be auto indexing. If anyone has one or suggestion on what to get let me know. must work well not looking for a project thank you

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For the price, it's hard to beat a MEC.  If you do high volume and the price doesn't scare you, it cannot get any better than a Spolar Gold.  Looks like RCBS doesn't make the Grand any longer (this is what I have and I really like it).

 

Comes down to budget.

 

Totes

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If you are loading lots of shells spend the money on the Posness Warren or the Spolar.

 

For less intensive loading MECs work very well as long as you stick with one hull design.

 

ie. Either stick with Winchester AA hulls or stich with Remington STS / Gun Club hulls.  The settings are slightly different between the Winchester and Remington hulls and on a MEC you will have fewer issues if you stick with one brand or the other.

 

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I also just went shopping for a new progressive reloader for 12 gauge. I like the Spolar alot but it wasn't in my budget so I ended up buying a Mec 9000E and it has done a great job for me. I only load the one gauge for my SASS shooting so I an pump out around 25 rounds in under 5 minutes so have been able to reload most of my empty hulls so I don't have to reload every week before a match. As Dave said above there is a very slight differenct between the STS and AA hulls. I load mainly STS but do run out of them and have to switch over. The only tweaking I have found is in the crimp adjustment. It needs to be screwed down a bit for a tighter crimp on the AA from the STS setting.

 

The cost was more than half in savings. Spolar would have been my first choice but the Mec has done well for me.

 

Good luck in your hunt.

 

Texas Maverick

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Really only a few options, Mec, ponsness warren, spolar, and Dillon.  Of those 4, Dillon is the least common.   Mec is cheapest for a single gauge.  Pw is more and a spolar even more.  I loaded on a mec grabber for a long time, then swapped to a pw.   Change was to go fully progressive indexing and 3 gauges vs 12 only.   Not sure the pw is any better.  Still load about the same number per hour.   Sort of wish I had sprung for a spolar is I have had to do some tweaking to the pw to run right.   For me a pw was less for 3 gauges than mec in 3.  Swapping tool heads is not a big deal, but I still tend to load 1k, then swap vs a few hundred then swap.  
 

the mec sizer does seem to work a little better on steel case heads as it crimps vs ring sizing.  If buying used, check out the sizer as they can be damaged by getting shot caught between the fingers.    Also the new style primer tray (plastic, not chain drive) is much better on a mec. 
 

pw does have knowledgeable people answering the phone and they have had replacement parts in stock when I needed them.  They also do updates like better powder seal and magnets in the first station post.   

Edited by Still hand Bill
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I guess you can see it is all really up to preferences by you and the amount of money you want to spend. The biggest hurdle I see for you right now is trying to find someone with one in stock no matter which one you choose. They are all pretty much sold out right now.

 

Good luck on your search

 

Texas Maverick

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Another vote for the Spolar Gold.  I picked mine up at their work shop and met the owner and his wife - great people.  They had a booth at Winter Range a few years ago.  I’ve never needed any support as it has run flawlessly.  If you order one, be sure to ask for the cowboy dies.  They squeeze the brass a little more so the shells won’t stick in your double.  
 

Ogallala Kid

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I bought a used RCBS Grand. Had a terrible time getting it set up. RCBS was very good about replacing the parts I broke (for free). They were not able to offer any technical advice like Dillon does. I finally got it figured out, (very nearly sold it) and now very pleased with it. As with most progressive presses There is a lot going on. A miss-adjustment her is magnified there. 

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eBay actually has a Spolar listed for sale along with a couple of MEC9000's. You can see the difference in prices and make a wiser decision.

 

TM

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Another option not mentioned is the Hornady 366.  I bought one used from the Trap Ranger officer at my local range for $100 two  years ago, and then added maybe $25 worth of parts. I only reload 12 gauge, one set up with 7 1/2 shot for trap and the other with 9 shot reduced loads for my 1897.  I reload less than 2000 rounds a year.  no regrets at all on the Hornady.

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I use Hornady 366’s, built like a tank. Great machines. They (MEC, P/W, Spolar, Hornady, etc..)are all very good presses but there will be a learning curve. Read the instructions and be patient. If your on FB find a group associated with whichever press you get and join. I run a Hornady 366 page, several experts with 40+ years experience are very helpful. Skullbone

181E5F63-9E2D-4C71-8338-93CE48FD4B54.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Texas Maverick said:

eBay actually has a Spolar listed for sale along with a couple of MEC9000's. You can see the difference in prices and make a wiser decision.

 

TM

That Spolar could possibly sell for under $4K with the Hydraulic system? Now that's gonna be a great deal for someone and they don't come available used very often. They're $7300 new now and have a 3-6 month wait?

 

I have the Spolar and paid $3800 for mine new over a decade ago. I have not had a single problem with it and it appears that it hasn't depreciated at all. They are a lot of money and maybe not for everyone, but time is my most precious commodity so it's well worth it for me. I can load 32 incredible hulls in one minute.

 

 

JEL

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Hornady 366.  Very often these are available used at very reasonable prices.  Parts easily available and design has not changed much for 40 years.   VERY satisfied with the two I run, which replaced MEC machines. It takes a lot of shells to come close to paying for a multi-thousand dollar shotshell loader.   I'm shooting a lot of sporting clays (over 15,000 a year), and still would not be able to pay off $4000+ for a loader.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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I have an old Hornady Apex that is a great machine.  I also had a Hornady 336 that was good too, but I preferred the Apex.

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8 hours ago, Skullbone Willie said:

I use Hornady 366’s, built like a tank. Great machines. They (MEC, P/W, Spolar, Hornady, etc..)are all very good presses but there will be a learning curve. Read the instructions and be patient. If your on FB find a group associated with whichever press you get and join. I run a Hornady 366 page, several experts with 40+ years experience are very helpful. Skullbone

181E5F63-9E2D-4C71-8338-93CE48FD4B54.jpeg

Are those dog food bowls for hull dispensers?

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1 hour ago, Hendo said:

Are those dog food bowls for hull dispensers?

I use dog food bowls for that too. That way I’m not reloading the same hulls off the top of the box! Kinda rotates the stock.  Works well for me. 

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41 minutes ago, Hoss said:

I use dog food bowls for that too. That way I’m not reloading the same hulls off the top of the box! Kinda rotates the stock.  Works well for me. 

That's simply brilliant. 

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there are so many things i would think a person seeking one out might spin in his chair but i would ask why the progressive ? for our game you can load call you need on a single stage and not have all the issues the progressive's present , but thats just my thinking having started with a hornaday 366 then a mec as a backup - im now loading what i need on a single stage mec ...i like the control 

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On 9/12/2022 at 9:29 AM, rmurphy92 said:

Looking for a progressive shotgun loader prefer it to be auto indexing. If anyone has one or suggestion on what to get let me know. must work well not looking for a project thank you

How many rounds per month do you plan to reload?

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3 hours ago, rmurphy92 said:

300 to 400 rounds

Honestly if that’s all you need unless you’re time is extremely valuable to you I would just go with something like this 

https://www.mecoutdoors.com/sizemaster-2

I have this press in 12ga for loading different odds and ends and a Posness Warren I can swap between 12 and 20 . But I wouldn’t bother changing over gauges unless I was going to load at least 1000 rounds. 
6 or 8 boxes go pretty fast on a sizemaster 

If you really want to speed it up , this is awful hard to beat for the $ 

https://www.mecoutdoors.com/8567n-grabber

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5 hours ago, Buckshot Bob said:

this is awful hard to beat for the $ 

https://www.mecoutdoors.com/8567n-grabber

 

Second that.  That is what I used before 366 s.    Very easy to keep up with 400 shells a month!

GJ

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5 hours ago, Skullbone Willie said:

Yes, but those was my Wad dispensers 

Thanks. I meant to say wad, but was going over a bunch of info on Winchester vs. Remington hulls and I guess my brain just locked up.

 

 

And now I'm shopping dog bowls. :lol:

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24 minutes ago, Hendo said:

Thanks. I meant to say wad, but was going over a bunch of info on Winchester vs. Remington hulls and I guess my brain just locked up.

 

 

And now I'm shopping dog bowls. :lol:

Tractor supply is your friend!  They have 2 styles, one for water, 1 for food. Get the good one. Mine did not have a hatch on top, so I just cut the top off. 

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3 hours ago, Hoss said:

Tractor supply is your friend!  They have 2 styles, one for water, 1 for food. Get the good one. Mine did not have a hatch on top, so I just cut the top off. 

At this point, my bigger problem is how to sneak a food bowl into the house without my 110 lbs. German Shepherd jumping me thinking it's hers.

GSDmoji - German Shepherd emojis and stickers

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I can load a box of shells (25) on my MEC 600 jr in 15 minutes. 400 rounds would take me about 5 hours including setup time. 
On my MEC Grabber ( manual index progressive) the same 400 shells would take about 1.5 to two hours. 
 

I can buy a lot of components with the money I saved not buying a Spokane or MEC 9000

 

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I am a real big fan of my Dillon SL900 actually have 2 of them. I set mine up over a year ago and have made no adjustments except for powder charge when I changed powders can run around 300 a hour if I can keep up with the hulls :-) Stage 1 resizes the brass and forms a straight hull as well as de-primes, Stage 2 seats a primer and drops the powder charge, Stage 3 wad and shot drop, Stage 4 does the pre-crimp and stage 5 is the final crimp and drop into the bucket or whatever you prefer. The Dillon SL900 is designed on the Dillion XL650 frame and runs to me as good as my Dillon XL 650. I spent a good 40 hours working on my DL900 I bought it used and it needed a lot of work but now I can load for Southeast regional easily in 1 evening that includes Pistol and rifle ammo as well as shotgun. Like I said big fan of the Dillon but I am loading for more than just me. 

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I load on a Dillon SL900 ("from $1600") that my pa, Blue Boy, bought many years ago when he shot skeet and trap. It is a little touchy but is amazing to run when everything is right. Im loading for three right now so it (the cost) makes more sense than it would for a lone cowboy shooter. I broke the shot measure base in this summers household move and Dillon sent the parts free of charge. Gotta love BigBlue.

 

Imis

Edited by Imis Twohofon,SASS # 46646
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i think you got more answers than you wanted on nit going progressive , for 3-400 a month id not even consider that route , , if you were shooting trap and such putting 3-4000 through it in a cuple months id say otherwise - then id go pacific or poncess , but those folks are talking many thousand rounds not hundreds , if you like the idea of a progressive keep in md what you give up in control then pick the one that gives you the most flexibility in the process , 

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