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#3277868 - 05/31/21 08:11 PM The minimalist shotshell reloader?
Rock Knocker Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/29/11
Posts: 3352
Loc: Buffalo, MN
I'm looking to get into reloading for the shotgun a bit, just a bit. More just for a backup ammo supply.

I've looked at that real cheap Lee reloaded and I think the MEC Jr. The Jr boasts 6 to 8 boxes of shells an hour, that's probably 5 to 7 more boxes of buckshot than I will go through in a year.

How simple can handloading be done? Are there other types of single stage presses? I'm not worried about single weighing powder or shot.

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#3277869 - 05/31/21 08:51 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
Mike B Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/31/02
Posts: 2768
Loc: central PA
I dont know much about the Lee, but I will highly recommend the Mec 600 due to its solidity and versatility for the price. Consider a used press to lower the price if it works for you.
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#3277873 - 05/31/21 10:02 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
pyscodog Online
PM Junkie

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 14949
Loc: okla
Find a used Mec 600. New if you can't find a used one. I had one given to me and it makes great shells. Simple to use and once you get a rhythm you can load pretty fast.
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#3277876 - 06/01/21 07:15 AM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
Mike B Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/31/02
Posts: 2768
Loc: central PA
With the MEC theres either bushings/charge bars for shot and powder measuring, or you can individually measure if you wish. If you're gonna reload any amount of different loads over time, Id suggest one of the aftermarket adjustable charge bars. Be advised that theres a model or two of Mecs specifically for steel shot (may include the harder shots like TSS, etc?), and certain presses handle 3 and 3 1/2" with adjustments. Not sure if the 600 does 3" of the top of my head....on the phone right now, so Im not gonna look it all up. Wasnt thinking of all this when I responded yday. A more experienced member may be able to put some real world experience in here on those aspects.
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#3277880 - 06/01/21 09:21 AM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
AWS Online
Moderator

Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 5813
Loc: NM
For the absolute minimal that will crimp star crimps it is hard to beat the old Lee Handloader. I kept my old 16ga fed with one. I still have a 16ga version of it made by Herter's.

The first incarnation of the Lee Load-All was really simple, I have one that I use occasionally to load experimental stuff or limited runs of of roll crimped waterfowl loads as there are no adjustments to be made and shot and powder are measured with scoops. The one I bought is the only one I've ever seen. It is pretty much a Lee Handloader with all the parts mounted and lever actuated.

If you are going to have a choice between a MEC 600 and a new Lee Load-All go with the MEC, parts are available back to the very first model. I just converted an old Mec 20ga to load short 10ga shells. Used ones seem to be pretty easy to find, two of mine came from yard sales.

I was given two Lee Load-alls, one I converted to 2 1/2" shells and gave them both away.
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#3277885 - 06/01/21 11:24 AM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: AWS]
spotstalkshoot Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 2125
Loc: so.mn
I still have my Lee Load-All 12 ga from the 70's. Loaded some bird shells last fall, lucky that I had old primers/shot on the shelf. They went bang, and birds died, so the dog was happy. I like a mix of 5,6 for early pheasant, all 5 shot after Nov 1.

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#3277965 - 06/03/21 06:47 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
Rock Knocker Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/29/11
Posts: 3352
Loc: Buffalo, MN
I just stopped at the nearest local gun shop to my new place for the first time and they had an older MEC 400 super something...? With a storage tote of wads and other stuff for $160 on consignment. It seemed like a good deal.

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#3277966 - 06/03/21 06:57 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
Mike B Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/31/02
Posts: 2768
Loc: central PA
IIRC the 400 is different? I have one of thos that came with some other stuff that needs parts, and im not sure the 400 parts are available anymore? FWIW. Id say $160 is a bit high for that depending what all comes with it. I can prob hook ya up with a well used 600 for $100 or so? Not sure what i have in components anymore? Not sure on crazy shipping prices anymore?
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#3277972 - 06/03/21 11:19 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
mbaysinger89 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 07/08/13
Posts: 1270
Loc: kansas
I use a Lee LoadAll. Use the Chargemaster to throw powder and a primer tray to count bickshot. I made up a couple hundred rounds in a weekend 5 years ago and havent gotten through them yet. Works just fine for me at that volume.

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#3277973 - 06/04/21 12:04 AM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
pyscodog Online
PM Junkie

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 14949
Loc: okla
IIRC, with my MEC, I can load 100 rounds in an hour if I don't dump a load of buck shot on the floor and have to stop to clean it up. I don't use a primer tray either, just feed the primers by hand. Very basic and simple to use and makes a nice shell. All I used mine for was skeet loads.
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Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution.

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#3277992 - 06/04/21 10:43 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
Foxpro.223 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 1453
Loc: WY
I'd recommend the single stage MEC Sizemaster with a universal charge bar. Especially if you're loading for different guns. They're a little more $$, but it will last forever.
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2 Corinthians 3:17
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#3278285 - 06/12/21 06:20 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
Brad Phillips Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 1224
Loc: Gilbertville, IA
600 JR. for me. I have one one the bench and bought another for a spare.

The one I use literally has a groove worn in where the primer slides between stations. The groove was there when I paid $50 for it 20 years ago.
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#3278329 - 06/14/21 12:56 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
ackleyman Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 8834
Loc: Hickville
Mec 600, Mec Sizemaster

High Performance Buckshot loads

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=688KkPzDXrU&t=1228s

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#3278384 - 06/16/21 09:17 PM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
204 AR Online
PM senior

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 5212
Loc: Nebraska
I started with a Lee 30 years ago, and it didn't take me long to upgrade. Was a pita. I found a used Pacific 12 ga, then added a 600 jr in 20 gauge, and the mec is a nice, easy to use machine.

20 years ago I bought an old Herters progressive on ebay cheap. It was a fun project getting it tuned up and making good shells but it wasn't for beginners.

I still load a few field loads, but for informal clay shooting the cheap promo loads are cheaper than buying components now. 20 years ago shot was about 16 bucks a bag, now 50 if you can find it.
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#3278399 - 06/17/21 11:58 AM Re: The minimalist shotshell reloader? [Re: Rock Knocker]
derbyacresbob Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 4672
Loc: Kern County, CA
Who has cheap promo shotgun shells in stock and how cheap are they?
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