Just to show you that people who don’t follow my advice can not only survive, but prosper, here is a note from a happy reloader who has gleefully violated the Technoids’ first two rules of happy reloading (1- buy MECs, 2- buy a different reloader for each gauge). It is so relaxing not to have to be right all the time!
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)
Thought it was time I made an unbiased review of a product (yea right!).
I chose the Spolar with four gauges over the PW’s for reasons of economics, when I compared the Spolar to 4 PW’s I came out ahead of the game in terms of dollars and cents. I also wanted only ONE press in my shop as compared to 4 independent presses to conserve space.
I went ahead a dropped the cabbage for the Spolar with four gauges (yea, I know, more money than brains).
The Spolar come through with the default 12 gauge dies installed and pre-adjusted with the proper bushing for powder and shot (they ask what you load upon ordering the press).
I mounted the Spolar to an existing B&D workmate bench and laid a 3/4″ plywood over the top and mounted the press and went to town and never returned. WOW, this thing is slick!. After the thrill wore off I decided to do a gauge change and set it up for loading 28 gauge. As stated in the book, it requires a 1/2″, 9/16″ wrench and two allen wrenches to change it over. Approximate time to perform a gauge change is 10 minutes and that includes changing powder and shot. For me, the process take a little longer, I have to CLEAN everything before I go back to work, add 10 minutes.
After changing the dies, bushings, powder and shot, I began to load 28’s and they were even more impressive than the 12’s…. One catch thou, you can reload most Rem’s and AA’s in the 12 & 20. However, in the 28 and .410 all bets are off unless you stick with the AA’s and you better have the newer AA 410’s (silver ink printed on the case) as they are .80 longer than their cousins. Should you decide to try a Remington 28 or .410, I suggest you get yourself (in order) a vacuum cleaner, a hammer, punch and a pair of side cutters!. The base on Rem’s are not really brass and you’ll soon find out fast, as I did.
The press creates an absolutely beautiful 28 gauge, perfect crimp every time. The press also puts a slight radius on the crimp just before the final knock-out and again, it’s perfect, even on the 4th and 5th reload.
The real test came about when I decided to try the .410. Same as before, change dies etc.etc…. One slight difference this time. The powder bushing (they use Hornady bushing’s for all gauges BTW) has an O-ring placed on the outside of the bushing, they apparently machine a groove in their bushing and place an O-ring around it. This is implemented to reduce the powder migration that’s results from the ball powder i.e. Winchester ball powder. I suppose this does help, BUT you better remove the charge bar after 150 rounds (.410 only) or so and lube it up the supplied dry-lube (powdered material of some sort). The plus side is, to remove the charge is a simple matter with no required tools, remove a pin. Oh I almost forgot about the finished product. The 410 finished product is truly spectacular and very consistent. To date, I can realize approximately 4-6 reloads (so far) with a very positive looking shell. They do look ugly as sin on the outside, hmmm maybe I can launder them…
No real news to repot on the 20 gauge, it’s about the same result as loading a 28.
All in all, it’s a wonderful piece of equipment that live up it’s claims and as far as I’m concerned it’s the perfect combination of engineering and craftsmanship. Did I mention that it’s the most ATTRACTIVE press in the western hemisphere…
Thanks for listening.
The reclaimed lead scored your charge bars what about gun barrels or did you rely (successfuly ?) on the wads protecting them from hard abrasive grit in reclaimed shot ?
That is the same decision I made over 10 years ago. I had 4 MEC 9000’s and as I told Bruce my reloading room looked like oil drilling site. I’ve had better experience with the 28’s than you. Able to load AA’s (red) STS, old Rem’s, even the old AA without a hitch and the finished loads look great.
In the 12 can even load Fed paper’s after making some minor adjustments and it is easy to return the starting points for the STS hulls I prefer.
The only hitch I had is when we reclaimed the lead at our club some years ago. Really scored up the charge bar which I replaced.
You can also get an adapter to use your old MEC powder bushings – those that you have fine tuned for specific loads.
Great machine and is now the best value out there.