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Thread: MEC 600 jr questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    MEC 600 jr questions

    So I'm toying with keeping this thing as it's not worth much in it's state and might be nice to load shotgun shells? I got it as a package deal with a 550b.
    But I know NOTHING about shotshell reloading other than some vids I've watched, and really not sure how much I will get into it. But I'm in this cheap, and would like to keep it that way, so with this in mind, it's stupid question time!
    I have the 1 1/8 bar for 12ga, what's a good shot choice for this?
    With the bar I have the #34 powder bushing, what's a good powder for the above shot?
    Most of my shotgun shooting is just blowing stuff up! I'm not shooting clays, birds, turkeys etc. I might squirrel hunt once in a while, but my longest 12ga barrel is 20".
    Then, is it worth it to buy the conversion kits (around $80 ea) for 410 or 20ga? My wife shoots a little 20, my sons trifecta is 20, but he prefers the 410 for now.
    Sorry, lots of stupid questions, just trying to keep things affordable.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    That bar is good for about 8 shot and smaller. The larger stuff tends to want to stack differently and needs a bit more attention.

    For the powder bushing look on the chart to get you close. Bushings are cheap so you will end up with more. for 12 ga red dot ends up being a common load.

    https://www.mecshootingsports.com/Co...shingChart.pdf

    Might not be worth it to change gauges but you can usually find presses for around 80 to 100 bucks. I ended up with a Mec 700 in 12ga and a 600 jr's in 20 and 28 gauge.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you, I was hoping to use 7 at least, but had my doubts.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    It might work, there is no hard and fast rule. You'd have to try it and see if it works with the specific load. Shotgun loading is not mix and match due to stack height. You pretty much need to use the specific items in the load to get things to work right.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    okay 1 1/8 302 charge bar.

    I would use 5 or 6 shot for squirrels.

    Looks like Green Dot for a powder for most of the 12 Ga. shotgun hulls. What type of hulls will you be using.

    I would think not about the conversion kit. Could buy another 600jr. used for that much ($80.00).

    Point out a few things. Price cost to reload shells ( 12 & 20 Ga's ) is right around what the store bought shell are 5.00 a box.

    410 you can save money, as cost is high for the darn buggers. Lead shot is the pricey thing that made it not cost effective to reload shot shells. If you can find lead shot for say under a dollar a pound it would pay. Was up over $40.00 even like $47.00
    for 25 pounds.

    Where it pays to reload is the heavy to magnum loads are just a dollar more the load maybe 2 and to buy at store there almost double.

    All in the amount you want to shoot.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy (punchie) View Post
    okay 1 1/8 302 charge bar.

    I would use 5 or 6 shot for squirrels.

    Looks like Green Dot for a powder for most of the 12 Ga. shotgun hulls. What type of hulls will you be using.

    I would think not about the conversion kit. Could buy another 600jr. used for that much ($80.00).

    Point out a few things. Price cost to reload shells ( 12 & 20 Ga's ) is right around what the store bought shell are 5.00 a box.

    410 you can save money, as cost is high for the darn buggers. Lead shot is the pricey thing that made it not cost effective to reload shot shells. If you can find lead shot for say under a dollar a pound it would pay. Was up over $40.00 even like $47.00
    for 25 pounds.

    Where it pays to reload is the heavy to magnum loads are just a dollar more the load maybe 2 and to buy at store there almost double.

    All in the amount you want to shoot.
    No clue on the hulls or wads, I don't even know how many crimps this is set up for so I'd be buying new.
    As for the rest, thank you very much! Kind of what I was thinking! 410's will be dropping soon with all the new pistols out and he's going to outgrow it soon enough, he's 12 now. But I was really wondering about the feasibility of it cost wise.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Larger shot will load in the MEC with 1 1/8 charge bar, normally have to maybe adjust wad pressure, some hulls don't close or crimp as good with larger shot so that will need to be adjusted also. I loaded 4's to 7.5 shot for years.

    Shot a few bunnies at 50 yds with 4's funny watching your buddies just say I don't believe what I just saw, You (me) unload turn the ploy choke and reload with a 4 and shoot the bunny. They would just shake there heads, winter in the snow and normally in open woods, and power lines.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    MEC 600 jr questions

    You won't regret trying it out. I bought a shotshell loader cheap and my first loads held a better pattern, recoiled less, and were noticeably quieter than anything I had ever shot. Now I want, conversions in my situation, for every gauge i shoot. I wouldn't get conversions for the mec 600, just one for each caliber.

    There are lots of different charge bars and bushings for those. I load light for 12ga. I actually like loading shotshell better than metallic.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boolit_Head View Post
    It might work, there is no hard and fast rule. You'd have to try it and see if it works with the specific load. Shotgun loading is not mix and match due to stack height. You pretty much need to use the specific items in the load to get things to work right.
    Yep , Follow the Data , no exceptions if it says 20. grs. use only 20 grs. no more unless you see data that is saying so. Sometimes you'll see different load pressure and speed increasing with next bushing size but there data to follow to this effect. No switching of primer, powder, hulls, and wads. Use what data calls for.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    If you decide to got for the step and load. Let me know, I'm going over pistol, rifle and 310 tools now cleaning house. Now that said I been reloading for rifles 30 years. I started reload shot shells a few years before that, got a bunch of extra presses and not sure if I have and extra 20 Ga. Bushings yes a few, or universal charge bar. Regular charge bars ?? Know I have one of each, extras ??

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    Don't mess with anything but Remington hulls. You can pick up Gun Clubs or STS pretty cheap. I might even have some of the field hulls to get rid of.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  12. #12
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    If you haven't got it yet get a copy of the Lyman shot shell loading book. There are a couple of other ones as well out there. Shot shell case identification and paying attention to the components listed for those specific cases are very important. Changing out components can change pressure very quickly. Loading shot shells is easy but putting the correct components in the correct case will prevent unwanted results. Just my 2 cents worth. As was said above having a bag of cheap Mec powder bushings can give you a lot of leeway.

    gmsharps

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy (punchie) View Post
    If you decide to got for the step and load. Let me know, I'm going over pistol, rifle and 310 tools now cleaning house. Now that said I been reloading for rifles 30 years. I started reload shot shells a few years before that, got a bunch of extra presses and not sure if I have and extra 20 Ga. Bushings yes a few, or universal charge bar. Regular charge bars ?? Know I have one of each, extras ??
    Thank you for the offer, I will keep that in mind. Right now the Dillon is first in line, I'm saving my pennies to get it sent in for a refurb and to buy the conversions I'll need for it. I got a steal of a deal on it, but still need to throw around $300 at it, so this is low priority for my broke butt!

  14. #14
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    Back in my clay busting days for trap and skeet I used a 700 Versa Mec in 12 gauge with a die set for 20 gauge. I used the 1 1/8 oz. bar and bushings for Red Dot powder for the 12. I used #7 1/2 shot for both skeet and trap in both gauges. I used Win AA 1 1/8 wads in both Rem. and Win. hulls. Take the crimp starter station off the press and look in it from the bottom you should see 6 or 8 segments for the crimp start. For load data try looking on the Alliant web site to get powder specific data for a load. Empty shells are pretty easy to acquire either by an individual here on the site or at a gun club. I remember how one year I got a 55 gallon garbage bag of the old style Winchester AA hulls from the big shoot at Vandalia for $5.00.Robert

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Use the shot you want from #4 up to #9 in the 1 1/8 charge bar.
    Use a good hull like Remington compression formed or A A Winchesters.
    Pick out a cheap but popular wad like a A A in 1 1/8 capacity or a Remington or the Federal Pushin Cushions.
    There are a lot of clone wads out there that are cheaper for informal shooting.
    A good load is 18 grains of Red Dot for wimpy skeet loads, dove and quail. Buy the right bushing for the powder charge you choose.
    I shot a lot of 17.5 grains of Red Dot with one oz of shot and had a round or two that did not operate my autoloader shotgun so I boosted the load by 1/2 grain and never had another stove pipe.
    https://www.mecshootingsports.com/Co...shingChart.pdf
    Sometimes you have to swap wad brands to get the right wad length for the powder charge to insure a good crimp.
    You can use the same wad for both 1 oz and 1 1/8 loads if you get a punch and make wads for the shot cups out of old book covers.
    Each year my employer tossed a set of old Thomas Registers which were like oversize catalogs. I would rip off the covers and set up a Strippet punch press to knock out thousands of wads. They cost nothing and for each 8 rounds I got saved enough shot for another shell.

    If you want something loaded hotter use Green Dot per the manual.

    If you want to load multiple gauges buy a loader for each gauge. They are too tedious to set up regularly.

    When I was shooting skeet a lot (I did that for 10 years) as a project I worked to load the cheapest possible yet safe and effective ammo.
    The club where I shot had a lot of guys that shot the Federal and black Remington cheap promotional dove and quail loads. They had barrel of these hulls that they burned. They let me take home what ever I wanted of these cheapies. I eventually wound up with about 20 copier paper boxes full of hulls. The Federals have a sorry paper base wad so I made sure that I never used any that had been rained on. The wad might come loose and stick in your barrel so you never wanted a paper base wad hull unless you knew it was dry and you could throw it away after one reload. I used them in my autoloader so I did not have to pick them up. The black Remington Dove and Quail hulls were compression formed and I actually had better results with those cheap hulls than the AA Winchesters.

    Find the magazine article "All about shot" by Ed Matunas.

    To become an ace skeet shot get the instruction book written in the 1950s or 1960s by D. Lee Braun.
    Last edited by EDG; 03-10-2017 at 04:12 AM.
    EDG

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Lot of good advice here. I have a 700 Versamec I bought new around 1970 in 16 ga. and a 600 Jr. In 12 ga. from 1990. The old Win AA hulls were the tops in the day in 12 & 20 ga. As far as shot, I loaded everything from 4-9's with no problems. Definitely get the Lyman manual. Shotshell loading is much simpler than metallic as the powder charge and powder,wad and shot height are key to getting a good crimp.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master copdills's Avatar
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    I use 6,7.5 and 8 and I hadn't had a problem with stack up yet but I am not a speed demon fast loading ,but I can still load several boxes a hour treat her like a lady and you shouldn't have a problem with stacking , buy a reloading manuel Lymans #5 is a good one to get loads from Remember be smooth and uniform , you will enjoy it

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    The universal charge bar would be a good idea.You can adjust for whatever you want without buying a lot of bars.I found one for 50 bucks and after the bar and 410 conversion(it came with 20 ga),I still have a lot less invested,compared to new.
    Pro Patria-Ne Desit Virtus

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawinredneck View Post
    Then, is it worth it to buy the conversion kits (around $80 ea) for 410 or 20ga? My wife shoots a little 20, my sons trifecta is 20, but he prefers the 410 for now.
    Sorry, lots of stupid questions, just trying to keep things affordable.
    I don't do the conversion kits anymore. Very time consuming. I find a dedicated machine for each gauge was much easier to deal with. MEC's are not easy to convert. I sold mine off and return to one press and with loaded toolheads, I can swap gauges in less than 5 minutes. I load 10-410 on mine.

    Take care

    r1kk1

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmsharps View Post
    If you haven't got it yet get a copy of the Lyman shot shell loading book. There are a couple of other ones as well out there. Shot shell case identification and paying attention to the components listed for those specific cases are very important. Changing out components can change pressure very quickly. Loading shot shells is easy but putting the correct components in the correct case will prevent unwanted results. Just my 2 cents worth. As was said above having a bag of cheap Mec powder bushings can give you a lot of leeway.

    gmsharps

    ^^^^WHAT this gentleman says is a must!!! Get a good load manual and follow
    the recipe to the letter, you have to identify the hull you are using then use the loading components
    listed using that hull!!! Any change can cause dangerous pressures and can blow up or
    damage a gun.

    There is one exception to the above and that is the wad, there are aftermarket company's
    out there like Claybuster that make a replacement wad that can be used.
    Shotshell loading can be fun just follow the PUBLISHED recipes and you
    will be in fine shape.
    Calamity Jake

    NRA Life Member
    SASS 15704
    Shoot straight, keepem in the ten ring.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check