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Thread: MEC 9000GN: Pricy, But An Excellent Progressive Shotgun Press

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    MEC 9000GN: Pricy, But An Excellent Progressive Shotgun Press

    After reloading 12-ga on a used MEC 600 Jr since 1980 -- six handle pulls per round...ugh -- I sprung for a new progressive MEC 9000GN. One pull, one round. Wow.

    (To be honest, for the money, I probably should have bought $750 worth of new ammo and been done with it, but I actually enjoy reloading and this machine really works.)

    The 9000GN has nailed it. But watch all the MEC setup videos.

    1. For instance, as the machine was delivered, I could not insert 1-oz wads. It was set up for 1-1/8-oz wads.

    Your tendency is to adjust the plastic wad guide, but in reality you need to adjust the "Rammer Tube" using its mysterious etched lines. (Never knew about that. Probably needed to do the same on my 600jr.)
    https://youtu.be/PoHD9HdjgGg?si=GiHdGAO4L-ssG2iT

    2. Adjust the primer feed mechanism very carefully so the primers drop reliably.

    The primer feed works very well. Great design and much better than the old ball-chain-controlled feeder. Easy to turn off primer feed, which you must do after the final round or a second primer will drop and jam up the rotating table. Also, watch each primer as it falls. It is possible (I don't know why) for a primer to fall upside down. Obviously if you try to seat an inverted primer, everything stops.
    https://youtu.be/eGlUamwLTSA?si=DtZe6FmM06ONZ-A3

    3. The 9000GN will not drop powder or shot if no shell is present -- IF ADJUSTED PROPERLY.

    This is a great feature, but until I figured out how to adjust the charge bar hook that restrains powder and shot from dropping I experienced several unintended powder and shot drops, and had to clean up the press and my bench. What a mess. Here's the adjustment video:
    https://youtu.be/7PzswDuPyGc?si=QJbv9kt1WwGegEmn

  2. #2
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Any of the MEC progressives work very well. I have a 9000 in 12 gauge, 650's in 16, 20 and 28 gauge. And a Grabber in 410.

    HAD a Ponsness Warren in 12 gauge. It was just too finicky for my Primative Pete loading techniques.

    All have the old style primer feed, probably the weakest link in the press.

    Alot of times I have the auto advance disabled on the 9000 and operate the press the same as the other 4 presses. It slows down the process slightly but it gives me a little more time to verify that everything thing is OK.

    Currently converting the 9000 to load Perfect Pattern powder, one of the few shotgun powders that are consistently available.

    You'll wonder why it took you so long to buy a progressive press.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    2-9000’s, one in 12, one in 20, two Grabbers, one Sizemaster? and a whole bunch more of just single stage MEC reloaders! PLUS, the original 600 jr I started on in ‘72!
    I guess I wouldn’t be able to load shot shells if the press wasn’t red in color!! Hahaha!!!!
    One progressive manual index machine set up to load 1-1/2 of shot for my crazy brother. Yes, it can be done! Great machinery, in my humble opinion. I think you’ll like it,........... sorry, I KNOW you’ll love it. Have fun.
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    My experience with the 9000 was far less impressive. I sold it on eBay as I did not want to deal with complaints from other club members.

    Glad it worked for you.

    I went with better options that do not make sense for most reloaders. Loading 20k rounds a year gives a different perspective. Sold the hydraulic Spolar when I stopped competing but kept the PW 800+ with AutoDrive.
    Don Verna


  5. #5
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    You’ll enjoy your press for many years. You can’t go wrong with a MEC.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberty1776 View Post
    After reloading 12-ga on a used MEC 600 Jr since 1980 -- six handle pulls per round...ugh -- I sprung for a new progressive MEC 9000GN. One pull, one round. Wow.

    (To be honest, for the money, I probably should have bought $750 worth of new ammo and been done with it, but I actually enjoy reloading and this machine really works.)

    The 9000GN has nailed it. But watch all the MEC setup videos.

    1. For instance, as the machine was delivered, I could not insert 1-oz wads. It was set up for 1-1/8-oz wads.

    Your tendency is to adjust the plastic wad guide, but in reality you need to adjust the "Rammer Tube" using its mysterious etched lines. (Never knew about that. Probably needed to do the same on my 600jr.)
    https://youtu.be/PoHD9HdjgGg?si=GiHdGAO4L-ssG2iT

    2. Adjust the primer feed mechanism very carefully so the primers drop reliably.

    The primer feed works very well. Great design and much better than the old ball-chain-controlled feeder. Easy to turn off primer feed, which you must do after the final round or a second primer will drop and jam up the rotating table. Also, watch each primer as it falls. It is possible (I don't know why) for a primer to fall upside down. Obviously if you try to seat an inverted primer, everything stops.
    https://youtu.be/eGlUamwLTSA?si=DtZe6FmM06ONZ-A3

    3. The 9000GN will not drop powder or shot if no shell is present -- IF ADJUSTED PROPERLY.

    This is a great feature, but until I figured out how to adjust the charge bar hook that restrains powder and shot from dropping I experienced several unintended powder and shot drops, and had to clean up the press and my bench. What a mess. Here's the adjustment video:
    https://youtu.be/7PzswDuPyGc?si=QJbv9kt1WwGegEmn
    On #1 it is a combination of rammer tube height and the wad guide height to get the wads to fit.

    The mysterious lines are to help setting wad pressure. With the new plastic wads, wad pressure is not as important, you just need to make sure you have the wad seated down firmly on the powder. No air space!

    The old stacked card and cork wads required a specific # of pounds of pressure to crimp right and get proper combustion.

    Have fun with the new press, I'm in the middle of loading up the second half of summer's sporting clays loads. Mine's probably 30+ years old and still going strong, I bought it at a garage sale 20+ years ago for a hundred bucks. It came with a couple of bags of shot, 500+ AA hulls, a brick of primers, a couple of bags of wads and a couple pounds of powder. I figured I'd got the press for free.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy rbwillnj's Avatar
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    I had two MEC 9000s, an HN and a GN. The HN (Hydraulic) dropped primers in the right place much more consistently, but you still had to watch it like a hawk. I put a 100,000 round through each of them, but because they have no bearings or bushings, by the time you have that many rounds through the machine they develop quite a bit of wear. I sold the 9000 GN, and sent the HN back to get rebuilt by MEC. They replaced a lot of parts and I think it cost me about $350 plus shipping. While it was being rebuilt I came across a used Spolar and bought it. It is a far superior machine, but the prices have doubled since Covid so there are very few who would be willing to pay current prices to get one.

    The MEC's are sort of the LEE of shotshell reloaders. Great for the money. The Spolar is the STAR of Shotshell reloaders.
    Last edited by rbwillnj; 07-05-2024 at 09:18 PM.
    Star Machine Works - Owner
    The Original Blue Press - Made by Machinists not Machines.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    I agree that the MEC 9000GN is a machine that works well and not too finicky to get running to produce proper shotshells of quality. I have 3 MEC machines and they all work well. When I bought the AutoMate system from a guy selling it on one of the shotgun forums and installed it on my 9000GN my production rate nearly tripled. Press 2 buttons, the machine cycles, add the wad and you get a perfectly formed shotshell.

    I have learned that the Spolar Gold is the "Cadillac" of reloaders but they are pricey.

    I agree with you, should have just bought the price of the reloading equipment in ammo and be done with it...but that is no fun!

    If you are not already aware 2 companies specialize in shotshell reloading equipment and supplies:

    https://www.ballisticproducts.com/

    https://www.precisionreloading.com/

    Good luck,
    Last edited by reedap1; 07-06-2024 at 07:45 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy rbwillnj's Avatar
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    I just calculated my loading cost with current local prices and I come up with ~$7.00 per box for my 1oz loads. That's with TiteWad, Claybuster wads Nobel Primers and Eagle Shot. Gun Clubs are currently $8.50 a box when in stock. Of course, prices depend on your locality and the quantities purchased, so your milage may vary.

    I always find I am saving at least $1-1.50/box. May not sound like much but I figure I have reloaded over 250,000 rounds, so it adds up. At present I'm saving even more because I am still going through my stock of pre-Covid Winchester primers.

    Plus, I enjoy doing it.
    Star Machine Works - Owner
    The Original Blue Press - Made by Machinists not Machines.
    NRA Patron Member

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbwillnj View Post
    I just calculated my loading cost with current local prices and I come up with ~$7.00 per box for my 1oz loads. That's with TiteWad, Claybuster wads Nobel Primers and Eagle Shot. Gun Clubs are currently $8.50 a box when in stock. Of course, prices depend on your locality and the quantities purchased, so your milage may vary.

    I always find I am saving at least $1-1.50/box. May not sound like much but I figure I have reloaded over 250,000 rounds, so it adds up. At present I'm saving even more because I am still going through my stock of pre-Covid Winchester primers.

    Plus, I enjoy doing it.
    And the saving add up faster on the sub gauges, 16 gauge is currently running ~$20/box, when you can find a box or two on the shelf.

    28 is becoming slightly more available, but in the $16-$18 range. .410 is finally beginning to reappear, again in the $20 range.

    And I load a lot of 7/8 and 3/4 oz. 12 gauge skeet loads. When my niece was shooting with me, she preferred the 3/4 oz. 12 gauge loads over the 3/4 oz. 20 gauge loads. The 12 gauge was a heavier gun, less recoil.

    And being retired, I have time to reload and I enjoy it. I've got a 24x32 heated workshop just to keep me entertained. Complete with very nice stereo system and an internet linked tv.

    My Darling Clementine on the vidiot box while sorting brass is tough to beat.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    The MEC 9000's are a great shotshell press. I replaced my 650's with a 9000 loading 12 ga and 410 ga. The only problem is spilled shot on the first stage causes alot of grief. The press must be disassembled to clear the first stage that resizes the base of the shell.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockindaddy View Post
    The MEC 9000's are a great shotshell press. I replaced my 650's with a 9000 loading 12 ga and 410 ga. The only problem is spilled shot on the first stage causes alot of grief. The press must be disassembled to clear the first stage that resizes the base of the shell.
    There is a company that makes a machined shell carrier that is ~.250 thick for the 410 and 28. It gives more support on the 410.

    It reduces dramatically the shell shake that launches shot from the hull. I've put one on my .410 with good results, should order up one for the 28 gauge.

    It's a machine shop out of California, wish I could remember it's name.

    Nicely machined and anodized.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, the replacement shell plate I put on my 9000 in 410 is made by a company in Rexnard CA. They are not easy to find.

    I bought mine off fleabay. This link will at least get you started in the right direction if you're interested. My searching shows them as sold out. May want to try and contact them directly.

    https://www.shotgunworld.com/threads...-plate.243276/

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have an older grabber (12 ga.) but have not set it up yet. I got a red Pacific 366 in "12" about the same time and really like it. I did miss the grabber feature and found a used MEC resizer (a stand alone grabber if you will) and have run fired hulls through it, then through the 366 and been happy.

    I am more into 20 GA though and would like my 366 to be a 20 instead but at the high price for the Hornady stuff, I will stick with my single stage MEC or PW 375 and be satisfied.

    Three44s
    Quote Originally Posted by Bret4207

    “There is more to this than dumping lead in a hole.”

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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