MEC Problems

Dear Bruce,

First, my apologies for not exploring more of your site sooner.

Wish I had taken one of your opinions about MEC’s more seriously. Just purchased a 20 GA 9000H a few days ago and this is my story:

Without too much trouble I got the press up and running with some minor adjustments. Then the fun began. About every 12 loads the casings would get crushed at the wad insertion station throwing powder and shot everywhere. In addition there were some sharp indentations at the top of the finished shells. A call to MEC and a customer service rep walked me through adjusting the anti-reverse lock which had considerable slop in it and told me to adjust the crimp starter to eliminate the indentations.

Called back in a few minutes to tell a different rep that cases were still getting crushed and indentations still appeared even after adjusting the wad starter until I got a hole in the crimp. He had me check the speed of the carrier which was sluggish. He then had me remove the gas spring (shock) and send it back and said they would have a new on the way and would also send me a new 8 pt wad starter.

I thought I would manually load a few. In the process found that the over travel on the advancing bracket actually raises the shell carrier. the manual just states that there should be some overtravel and tells how to adjust it. Cannot really figure what some overtravel is. The wad height indicator ….. well the manual shows a picture that is explained as the normal position for the tube when loading 1 and 1/8 oz trap or skeet loads. This of course is a 20 GA loader?? Not sure how to adjust that.

Also, the handle ( slide ) sticks going up and down. It will actually stay in one spot if you go slow. I don’t know but maybe the gas piston was affected by that. The powder drop tube is oxidized and has some severe scratches or gouges at the shell expansion taper.

I am wondering what kind of press I bought? Will call MEC again tomorrow.


Dear Roy,

Toldyouso, toldyouso. Actually, once you get the 9000H up and running right, it is a nice machine. You can always stick it in a box (less the hydraulic motor) and ship the whole thing back to MEC. They will get it adjusted for you to get you started right. Doing it over the phone, bit by bit, can take a while as one adjustment affects the others.

On my 12 gauge 9000H I had fairly constant problems with crushing the shell at the wad insertion station. Apparently the shell was “rocking” slightly so that every now and then the wad ram didn’t line up properly and it hit the shell rim. It caused great spillage. Also, every now and then if something went wrong anywhere on the machine, the initial depriming station would round the brass base of the hull so that it wouldn’t stand upright at the wad station. I solved all of that by holding the base of the shell in th wad ram station with my hand while I started the wad in the hull. Once the wad enters the top of the hull, you can let go so that you can use your fingers again. It solved the problem completely.

MEC did have a bad run of hydraulic rams. The one on my 20 gauge 9000G had to be replaced. Since it was an old machine, I had to pay for the replacement, but now it runs fine.

In the long run, you are going to like the 9000H, but because it’s automatic, it can screw up automatically. I find that the big advantage to the 9000H is not it’s speed. It really isn’t that much faster than my 650 Grabbers. The big plus is that the hydraulic is easier to use and I can load for longer period of time without tiring. Running off a full case with the hydraulic is easy. With the Grabber, it was a bit of a chore and would usually take two sittings. All of that said, compared to the misery I suffered with three PW 800s, the MECs- even the hydraulics- are a piece of cake.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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