One of the nice things about being a know-it-all is knowing when someone knows more about something than I do. Some people have had trouble with their MEC reloaders hanging up on sheared pellets. This has never been a real problem on any of my six MECs (with both the standard and adjustable bars), but I may just be lucky as it has plagued others. Maybe I have just been too thick-headed to notice it. If you are having a pellet shearing and jamming problem with your MEC, read John’s letter. He may have some answers for you.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)
I have had considerable experience with both the “original” and “new” micrometer charge bars.
The original design, which you appear to have, did not have a milled cutout on the shot side. After about two years of using that device, I became frustrated with the number of sheared off #7 1/2 pellets produced when the bar passes over the shot drop tube. (The original MEC charge bars had the same problem.)
I called the people in Ontario and was advised that their design had changed – they incorporated the same scheme MEC adopted, the addition of a soft rubber insert which makes the leading edge of the charge chamber in the bar rubber, not metal. I got one.
MultiCharge provides two rubber inserts and one zinc insert with their current charge bars. Their instructions state that the rubber inserts be used with STEEL shot, and the zinc insert with LEAD. I believe this is in error and possible a printing/doc error. I have used the zinc insert with lead shot and experienced the same shearing of #7 1/2 shot as with the old, non-insert charge bar.
However, over time and too many hours in the reloading room, the rubber inserts also fail, due to wearing the leading edge of the insert to a rounded, tapered shape. This condition allows the large pellets to ride up between the MEC charge bar guide and the charge bar, resulting in a charge bar hangup.
Before a large shoot awhile ago that required specialized ammunition, the above conditions required desperate action. I flipped the old, rubber insert – only to find that the sides are not symmetric. The opposite side has a large cavity resulting from the injection moulding, I guess. I filled this cavity with quick drying epoxy and ground it smooth – sure enough, I loaded exactly 75 shells before the shot cracked and destroyed my clever epoxy fix.
The fix is to order a bag of rubber inserts from the MultiCharge folks. They responded with a bag of ten for a nominal, credit card transaction, over the phone. All is well.
Fellow reader, based upon my experience the zinc insert will not work well with the larger lead pellets.
Hope this helps!