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Shotshell Press Recommendation


j1b
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Ponsness Warren....here's the link http://www.reloaders.com/

As to the ability to remove damaged shells and not charge an empty hole with shot or powder.....I have loaded easily 400,000 shells on a PW and never had a need to remove a damaged shell I also don't recall ever having a problem with an open station where powder or shot would be dropped. Keep in mind this was when I was in my early teens and carried on through high school. In order to shoot it was my job to load for my Dad and I. The PW was so easy to use and reliable that it was easy to start trusting me at 12,13 years old to bang out a thousand shells when I got home from school everyday.

YMMV but buying a machine based on the idea that it is easier to clear when there is a screwup over a machine that just doesn't screw up seems to be false logic.

Edited by smokshwn
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Ponsness Warren....here's the link http://www.reloaders.com/

As to the ability to remove damaged shells and not charge an empty hole with shot or powder.....I have loaded easily 400,000 shells on a PW and never had a need to remove a damaged shell I also don't recall ever having a problem with an open station where powder or shot would be dropped. Keep in mind this was when I was in my early teens and carried on through high school. In order to shoot it was my job to load for my Dad and I. The PW was so easy to use and reliable that it was easy to start trusting me at 12,13 years old to bang out a thousand shells when I got home from school everyday.

YMMV but buying a machine based on the idea that it is easier to clear when there is a screwup over a machine that just doesn't screw up seems to be false logic.

Wow. I'm not even sure how to respond to that.

Go back and read my post carefully. The machine was not bout based on the idea that it is easy to clear. That was " a nice feature".

Maybe my mileage does vary.

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I read intently every post on this subject before I decided to buy a Ponsness Warren 800B. I ordered every manual I could get to make it run flawlessly. I cleaned it, I nurtured it, and did everything I could to make it the great reloader I wanted it to be. I ordered each and every gizmo that Ponsness had to sell to "upgrade" it. I loaded several thousand rounds on it, and thought I was in heaven after struggling with the MEC progressives. However, all of that has changed since I once again read the posts to this thread and started calling around to my friends who own Dillon's SL900. I finally decided to take the chance bought one based on the strong recommendations two days ago and I must say that no one that I have spoken to has given the Dillon the credit it truly deserves. While I will admit that the manual that comes with the Dillon is a little lacking, the press is off the charts. There is NO way any of the other machines can compete with the Dillon for producing a quality round with the most ease possible. If you intend to get the hydraulic set up, then you should proceed with one of the other machines that support that, but if you intend to run the press by hand, the Dillon is way, way ahead of the competition. It has been amazing!!

Do yourself a favor. Buy a Dillon and don't look back!

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If you visit a large clay target shoot no matter which kind and ask around you will not find many who think the Dillon is a good machine. I think if you have been using Dillon metallic loaders you will have less problems adapting to a 900 for shotshells, guys that have loaded on traditional shotshell loaders and nothing else often have problems. If you want the very best get a Spolar and add the Ponsness Warren electric drive, lot's of bucks but an absolute joy to use and crank out lots of perfect reloads.

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  • 6 months later...

I use a Sizemaster to load my steel/specialty ammo and an 8567 Grabber progressive for high volume (for me) loading. The8567 is equiv to a Dillon 550 pprogressive, you need index it.

The MEC doesn't NEED diff shot and powder bushings if you bought the optional $40 adjustable bar.. which I have in each of my 3 mec presses..

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I've used MEC progressives for many years and although it has a couple of "peccadilloes", I believe you would be hard pressed to find such a reliable, durable and "efficient" machine.

I don't resize often and use one style of hull, which greatly enhances it's speed and smoothness.

They have "sweet points" on adjustments, so once you achieve those...don't change them. ;)

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I load on a MEC 650, which is a manual indexing progressive that doesn't size the base. Thats okay since I have a seperate sizer and only need to size the steel based hulls. I picked mine up for $100 and sent it to MEC for a refurbish, it runs great and I have no problems with it. I only shoot about 10k shells a year. I can put any Winchester or Remington hull in and it will turn out perfectly.

The local Trap guys load on MECs, Dillons, P/W, and Spolar and all like them and have no big problems. I didn't care to spend a lot of money on a press, I reload to save money - not brag. I make my own shot and my reloads are about $2.25 a box. The clays don't know they difference.

Edited by GISMap
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This is a non brand edit of my above statement.

I make great shells using it. It is not a machine for the oblivious... maybe non are.

You supply the content of it. You are the one who makes the shells. Learn to use the tool at hand whatever it is and you too can make great shells.

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After being around lots of competitive shotgunners for many years, I would rank them close to the advice here.

1. Spolar

2. PW or a MEC 9000H( hyro)

3. MEC Sizemaster

I've used a Sizemaster for 24 years, but it isn't fun for over 2 boxes in one sitting.

If you need a flat a week, a fast progressive will make life much easier.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ponsness/Warren is a nice machine but if your getting into shotgun shooting and don't know the full quantity you will shoot then paying the higher $$ might not warrant it. I have reloaded under a million rounds with MEC. First with a Grabber, then added the Hydro unit and now with the 9000H. The 9000H is slower than the Grabber with Hydro added but is less taxing on the body when you are loading for hours. That's my 2 cents.

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I'm a reloading dummy what brand is the P/W loader ?.

Ponsness-Warren http://www.reloaders.com

It's hard to imagine how a company in the middle of nowhere, with the worst web site ever, got to be in the top 3 of shot shell reloaders, but they are. Thankfully, their distributors do a much better job with the photos and documentation, like This Guy.

What differentiates the PW is 1) that the hull is first placed inside a steel die, and then the components are packed in. In most other machines the hull is packed, and then plastic dies are used to try and resize the finished cartridge with varying degrees of success. And 2), changing over to another gauge takes about 5 minutes. In fact, all PW machines can hold 2 full sets of "tooling".

PW has 2 basic models: the 375 which is the single-stage (~$350), and the 800/ 900/ 2000 series (~$800) which are their progressives. Both models use the same tooling.

MEC makes a fine machine, but it's roughly equivalent to the RCBS Rock Chucker; they're sturdily built, with basic features. IMHO their mid-range machines are better buys than the progressives. Forget changing a MEC to another gauge; everyone with a MEC simply buys another machine.

Hope this helps! ;)

Edited by rfwobbly
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  • 2 years later...
  • 7 months later...

I am new to loading Shotgun. I few years back I bought a Dillon SL900, used. Set it up and loaded maybe 20 rounds. There it sat. Recently decided A) to start shooting trap and Sporting Clays, Prices of components are equal to Wally World loads, but I can load to AA specs.

So, I have read the manuals, Adjusted the starter die and the final crimp and am making loaded rounds. No problems! Well not exactly. I have had a number of issues. I have however solved them by being observant and re-reading the manuals and using what little intelligence I have to assess the issues as they develop.

My list is long.

Shells not dropping in the shell drop tube. Apparently the shell feeder support arm is tweaked just a little bit. The tube and the funnel don't quite align, solution, judicious bending of the support arm.

Shell not feeding into the shell plate on Stage 1 resulting is a damaged shell. Still working on this one.

Primer system sticking, does not always reset to drop a primer. apparently solved with a little silicone lube on the slides.

Powder measure no issues, unless the primer doesn't drop and seat, then the powder runs out the very large hole in the bottom of the shell!

Wad positioning arm. Only happened once, Be Careful! Insert wads right side up! Had to disassemble the arm to remove wad and dump shot into recovery bin, Don't lose the little spring that moves the arm and when you put it back together, make sure the spring is properly positioned!

Shot reservoir, OK, Remember, there is NO SHUT OFF! if you screw up here you can have 25 pounds of #8 shot all over. No, I did not do this, I was lucky, I only had a small 'starter' load up in the hopper! Lost at most 2-3 ounces but would have been happy to have three more hands to get it all back togehter without spilling any more shot!

Starter Crimp, this one actually was set about right, I added just a little more initial crimp.

Final Crimp. Now here is where it gets interesting. Apparently this die was turned down in a couple turns. I was crushing or buckling shells. RTFM. adjusted this die back out and then down until it didn't buckle, then set the crimp. Still tweaking, but down to 1/16th of a turn at this point, the shells look god and run in my Stoeger. although my intention is to load for trap, 5-Stand and Sporting clays and buy ammo for 3-Gun. This may change. I like that I get all my hulls back.

Where am I going with this? Simple, do not be intimidated by loading Shotgun. It is slower than handgun and may require a bit more attention to details, but it is rewarding.

I do have questions. Lots of them. #1 is: I have about 3k of AA hulls. My press is set up (finally) to load them. What other hulls can I load? I have cases of S&B, I have cases of Rio, I have a couple buckets of a few other shells I saved before I understood I can't load any shell in the same manner I load any (OK almost any) pistol brass. Is there a comprehensive listing of reloadable Shotgun hulls? Can you load only brass? or is it OK to load the steel hulls? In reading the manuals and having had a number of issues with wad/powder/shot combos to get the lengths right I am a bit shy about just plowing ahead. One thing is if I have to reset the press to load Gun Club or STS or RIO, then I might just toss them.

Appreciative of the knowledge available here, but sometimes my search-foo doesn't work all that well.

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I run a MEC 9000G and I can interchange WinAA, STS, Nitro, Gun Club and even Federal Top Gun. I don't change my press back and forth between 8 point and 6 point crimp. I stay with 8 point crimped hulls and have no issues with the press making nice shells with good crimps on most hulls. I would probably stay away from the Win bulk Rio and Estate hulls, thie side walls are pretty thin and will buckle on you. If wanted to pick up all the hulls I shoot and get several turns on them I would concentrate on WinAA's, Nitros and STS hulls. This is just my experience I sure others may have different results.

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Hello: I mostly load Gun Clubs(Nitro,STS) are all the same. I also loads Rio's which I have to change to the 6 crimp insert. First find the wad company you like to use and can buy locally if possible. I use Claybuster wads. The Rio hulls I use the CB-6100 wads and 1oz loads. For the Gun Clubs I am loading 3/4,7/8 and 1 oz. loads. The 3/4oz loads are great with the CB-0175 wads(neon pink). The gray wad for 7/8oz and the light pink for 1oz loads. Light loads I use Extra-Lite, Clays and Green Dot. Shot size I am using mostly #8 1/2 for skeet, trap and 5-stand. For sporting I use #7 1/2 but I can use #8 or #8 1/2. Once you get going on the SL900 you can load 100 rounds in 8 minutes without going fast. Oh ya, primers I use Winchester, Cheddite and Rio's. I am not having much luck with Fiocchi primers and off sounding loads in the cold. Look at the powder company websites and also Claybuster. Lastly look at Shotgun World forum for lots of info on reloads and shooting. Good group over there also. Just like here. Thanks, Eric

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Jim:The 11/8oz is way too much for all of the sporting games. You are going to love 1oz-3/4oz loads. They shoot very soft and will crush targets. I load them to 1200fps but may drop back to 1150-1180 for skeet and 5-stand. You'll enjoy Shotgun World and try Trapshooters as well. Thanks, Eric

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