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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stumbled on a deal on a MEC 9000, hulls, wads and shot that I couldn't pass up. I've never loaded a shot shell, but have been curious to learn. The seller was older and unable to shoot any longer and was getting rid of stuff.

As far as I can tell, it looks complete. Maybe one of you knowledgeable folks could have a look and tell me if anything is missing?







I found a user's manual pdf, so I have a little homework.

One charge bar was included, so I'll need to figure out what I need as far as that goes.

Right away, I can see that it doesn't fully index the shell plate (or whateve that is called in shotshell vernacular).

From what I can tell the spring that elevates the indexing pawl is weak, so the pawl slips out from under the plate.



More on the to do list is to read the Lyman shot shell manual again, find or trade for some shot shell primers (BAD timing), and to figure out how I want to mount it (so it can go on/off the bench easily.

Any tips and tricks would be appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Spent the evening going through the manual and disassembling/reassembling and cleaning as I went. I got about 1/2 way through. Learned much. Including complete disassembly, cleaning and re-greasing of the collet sizing mechanism.

I made note of a small list of missing parts. Nothing major, notably the loaded shell ramp. I'm going to ask the seller to see if he can scare it up.

This press makes me appreciate the beautifull simplicity of my Pro 2000. The MEC is comparatively Rube Goldbergish. I know, different animals

I learned more about the indexing issue, so I don't see that being a longterm problem.

Oh, I snapped the wad guide (fingers) because I forgot to rotate it back in place before operating the handle. Oops!
 

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I've got two MEC 650s. Used to do a lot of shot shell reloading years ago in 12 and 20 gauge when I was shooting clays. The price of shot got so high I've gotten away from it and don't shoot clays anymore as the club got so snotty.
Bad thing is the majority of my hulls were those cheap Federal ones that Wal-Mart used to have on sale all the time, and the wads were always changing. Wish I hadn't been so cheap and used the Winchester AA ammo...kind of the gold standard for reloading.
 

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I have Mec 9000. Evil mean cranky turd that turns out good rounds once you learn it’s quirks.
your press looks complete.
Quirks
First off is the sizing die. The nut on it needs a tweak every few rounds. You will notice the press starting to stick a bit. A little turn of the nut to the left or right fixes that, maybe a 1/8 of an inch.
Next be prepared to spill shot and powder.
The auto indexing can be a bit problematic but works once you learn the timing. Smooth push down and smooth release up. I use two hands to keep it smooth.
The crimping and coning stations require a readjustment every 10,000 rounds or so.
Machine runs better If you use wads specific to your load and brand shell. In other words don’t use the 7/8 to 1 1/8 wad. If loading Winchester AA get a wad for AA. Stick to AA hulls. Don’t use a Remington green hull. Causes problems.
The press is pretty dang hard to break.
It can turn out factory looking shells consistently once you learn its quirks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have Mec 9000. Evil mean cranky turd that turns out good rounds once you learn it’s quirks.
your press looks complete.
Quirks
First off is the sizing die. The nut on it needs a tweak every few rounds. You will notice the press starting to stick a bit. A little turn of the nut to the left or right fixes that, maybe a 1/8 of an inch.
Next be prepared to spill shot and powder.
The auto indexing can be a bit problematic but works once you learn the timing. Smooth push down and smooth release up. I use two hands to keep it smooth.
The crimping and coning stations require a readjustment every 10,000 rounds or so.
Machine runs better If you use wads specific to your load and brand shell. In other words don’t use the 7/8 to 1 1/8 wad. If loading Winchester AA get a wad for AA. Stick to AA hulls. Don’t use a Remington green hull. Causes problems.
The press is pretty dang hard to break.
It can turn out factory looking shells consistently once you learn its quirks.
Great input! Thank you. The Rem STS hulls have a great rep, but you're saying to avoid them for this press?
 

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Looks like you got a good deal. I have no experience with the 9000 series loader but the 600 Jr, the Sizemaster and Steelmaster work quite well.

I think the 9000 was for loading bulk ammo for the trap shooters, at least the ones in my area were used mainly for that.
 
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Great input! Thank you. The Rem STS hulls have a great rep, but you're saying to avoid them for this press?
What I have noticed in using the different hulls is that each brand needs a bit of tweaking in the final crimp die. The Mecs' and Winchester AA hulls seem to be made for each other. I wonder if Mec sets the loaders up with AA hulls in mind
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What I have noticed in using the different hulls is that each brand needs a bit of tweaking in the final crimp die. The Mecs' and Winchester AA hulls seem to be made for each other. I wonder if Mec sets the loaders up with AA hulls in mind
Cool. Great to know. That might be why I think all of the hulls that came with it were AA.
 

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I have a 12 gauge MEC 9000H and a 28 gauge Grabber 8567 and they are great machines that are capable of cranking out thousands of shells. Both require the operator to learn how each station works and how they interact with the other stations. Keeping them clean and lubricated helps in avoiding problems. One has to have their thinking cap on when making adjustments, but if I can do it so can others.

I have learned how to produce shells that could pass for factory loads, especially the 28 gauge shells.

I have had occasions when I had to call MEC and have them help explain some of the adjustments. They are great to work with even when I know they are swamped with orders and calls. They did have life time warranties, but of course there are limits to that because too many people have taken unfair advantage of them. I even had one guy do a piss pour job of packaging a used 9000 I bought off eBay. It was damaged upon arrival and UPS paid for the repairs when it was sent to MEC.

You have a good machine, great find!

Enjoy,
Steve
 

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Call MEC and see what they would charge to go through your press and refurbish it.
 

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What I have noticed in using the different hulls is that each brand needs a bit of tweaking in the final crimp die. The Mecs' and Winchester AA hulls seem to be made for each other. I wonder if Mec sets the loaders up with AA hulls in mind
Exactly, any changes in components probably will require some small adjustments.

Steve
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have a 12 gauge MEC 9000H and a 28 gauge Grabber 8567 and they are great machines that are capable of cranking out thousands of shells. Both require the operator to learn how each station works and how they interact with the other stations. Keeping them clean and lubricated helps in avoiding problems. One has to have their thinking cap on when making adjustments, but if I can do it so can others.

I have learned how to produce shells that could pass for factory loads, especially the 28 gauge shells.

I have had occasions when I had to call MEC and have them help explain some of the adjustments. They are great to work with even when I know they are swamped with orders and calls. They did have life time warranties, but of course there are limits to that because too many people have taken unfair advantage of them. I even had one guy do a piss pour job of packaging a used 9000 I bought off eBay. It was damaged upon arrival and UPS paid for the repairs when it was sent to MEC.

You have a good machine, great find!

Enjoy,
Steve
Thanks for that. I do get a sense that it does very much have its idiosyncrasies! But I also sense that when setup it will crank ammo. I dont NEED a lot of 12 gauge, but have felt deficient in not understanding shot shell reloading.
 

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Congrats! Had 9000s in 12, 20, 28, .410. After a bazillion rounds gave the 12 ga to a friend and am back using an ancient Texan for 12. Sentimental decision, really. Love the remaining 9000s, tho Grabbers are as good.

Your press looks fine. You can get a universal charge bar, or just get extra bars for different payloads. Powder bushings will follow powder selection/payload, etc.

Every so often makes sense to take down, clean the collet sizer assembly. Thread over on shotgunworld that makes it pretty easy - think a guy named Curly did it. Real good. The priming system has an upgrade with higher capacity. I don't think it added much so don't use it.

As you know from loading on progressives.......never force anything.

I happen to love 12 and 20 ga STS hulls. But that's cuz I have a metric crap-ton of them, plus old-style CF AAs that DO load the same (well, close), plus old Rem Premiers that likewise load same. Alliant and Hodgdon online manuals are good. But first decide on hull. Next decide on payload and sorta on target velocity. Next look for suitable - and available - powders. As with pistols, faster burn rates are more economical. Wad selection comes last.

Oh yeah, at some point you'll dump shot all over your bench. Probably a few times (well, I am a dumb SOB). After awhile you'll pay attention to the position of the charge bar and whether there's a hull under shot drop station..........

ETA: The red plastic PC powder baffle is a good idea. Sintered metal version, not so much.
 

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Go to Walmart and get an aluminum cookie sheet tray that has a raised lip all the way around the tray. Mount the press in the center of the tray. When you spill shot and power it helps in containing the shot from going everywhere. Also a hand held vacuum helps in picking up the said shot and powder.

Also pick up two like the large plastic Akro bins but are bigger for your hulls and wads
 

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Taterhead, I know you asked about mounting the press. It might not be what you are interested in but I purchased Mec's mounting fixture. It allows me to change out between the 600 and the other 2 presses.



 
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Go to Walmart and get an aluminum cookie sheet tray that has a raised lip all the way around the tray. Mount the press in the center of the tray. When you spill shot and power it helps in containing the shot from going everywhere. Also a hand held vacuum helps in picking up the said shot and powder.

Also pick up two like the large plastic Akro bins but are bigger for your hulls and wads
The cookie sheet is a excellent suggestion! I will have to do that for my setup.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Go to Walmart and get an aluminum cookie sheet tray that has a raised lip all the way around the tray. Mount the press in the center of the tray. When you spill shot and power it helps in containing the shot from going everywhere. Also a hand held vacuum helps in picking up the said shot and powder.

Also pick up two like the large plastic Akro bins but are bigger for your hulls and wads
Had my mind going there already as I noticed the previous owner had such issues. With this design, it seems like one of those not if but when propositions.
 
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