Reloading Mec Single Stage
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Reloading Mec Single Stage


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Old 09-25-2014, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default Reloading Mec Single Stage

Trying to get a 30+ yr old 12 ga reloader going again. The goal is to produce very light loads for skeet practice. Primarily for O/U.

Problem: Powder is very hard to come by. I had to drive to RI to get Hodgdon's Titewad which can push a 7/8 oz load @ 1250 fps w AA hulls, Win 209 primer and CB WAD.

I was hoping for lower velocity but Hodgdon rep said only Win AA Lite powder could operate at lower pressures. Example: Win AA 26 Gr. Load @ 980 fps.

Is there a way to control powder other than changeling powder bushings ?

Auto primer is $41.99 at Walmart, is it worth it ?

Any tips/tricks to crimping ? Creating light loads ? Favorite skeet or Trap loads ?

How much velocity do you need to engage chokes and get a decent pattern @21 yds ?

Last edited by Gonzilla; 09-25-2014 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:50 PM   #2
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It's a bit of a pain, but when I was loading max loads for waterfowl I used a powder measure to weigh all my powder charges. Run a whole bunch thru depriming and resizing and repriming. Make a loading block or blocks that holds 25. Then drop the powder in a bunch, and then add wad, shot, and crimp. I ground custom shot bushings to drop the exact amount of larger shot too. The bushings were sized with #9 in mind.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:24 PM   #3
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Creative solution. Whole lot of YouTube videos about making "wadding" so custom loads will fill up the capacity of the shell and achieve a good quality crimp.

I'm trying hard not to reinvent the wheel. Charge bars are infamous for throwing inaccurate charges - usually light.

One gent bought the skeet charge bar to ensure his loads would have NSSA's blessing. His charges were too light. He had to ream out the bar to achieve his goal. (Didn't say "how" he did it)

Noticed there were not many loads for 7/8 oz, even less for 11/8; the majority were for 1 oz loads. 1 oz loads are practically Gospel at my club in both 12 and 20 ga.

PS: through Mec's web site, I was able to download the manual - it is a Mec 700 Versamec which is now discontinued. in great shape though.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:56 PM   #4
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I don't know how they go about doing it. I have shot light loads that had cork and various materials mixed in the powder. If you shoot these loads with a pump or semi auto you have to blow out the receiver before you can clean your gun. I don't know how people shoot doubles with these cut down loads with a ported barrel. Every time you fire the gun you have a geyser of debris flying out of the ports.

Right now I am loading 28ga light loads with IMR800. I bough a bag of plastic disks you drop in the hull before you insert the wad. I wish I could be more helpful. Another club member rounded up the powder and the disks. I have seen factory loads that were loaded in the same fashion.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:47 PM   #5
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You have the ideal ga for skeet - 28 ga. Only negative is the price of the ammo which mandates reloading. It's great that they make a disk so you don't have to "improvise."

From talking to Hodgdon, slowest speed for auto is 1125 fps. Breach loaders can go down to 1100 or so but here is where the controversy starts - how low can you go and still engage chokes to get a decent pattern.

Wish I had a 28 ga !
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:21 PM   #6
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I don't know if there is a velocity sweet spot for a shotgun pattern. According to Winchesters AA data you should try to keep your velocity around 1,200 fps. Wad must collapse at pre-determined rate in order to insure the proper pressure curve from the burning powder.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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1200 FPS is the limit for sanctioned matches.
I have a VersaMec 700. It keeps on trucking. The adjustable charge bar works good with smaller shot. Kept jamming with the big stuff.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:18 AM   #8
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I have the exact same unit. Just loaded 25 rds today - went back n forth adj cam up/down trying to eliminate hole in center but not buckle shell. One swirl crimp. Gave up on trying to get perfect crimp.

Num 27 bushing is supposed to throw 17.6 gr but it only threw 16.4 to 16.6 gr. Max charge is 17.8 @ 8,600 psi, 1250 fps.

I was told by Hodgdon rep X > 8,000 PSI. I haven't found the sweet spot. Is there a formula to find out the velocity of my 1 gr reduced load ?

One reloader told me for autos 1125 fps is min to operate action. Breach loaders can go down to 1100. Any lighter and the patterns start to tighten up fast.

Hodgdon states the best pattern is often achieved w 1 oz load traveling 1150-1200.

Yet, many people at my club practice w 12 ga in 3/4 & 7/8 oz but I don't know how fast they are pushing it.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:26 AM   #9
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No formula that will nail it. Get a chronograph. But be careful. I learned a 10 gauge 2-1/4 ounce load of BBs is sure one shot kills on a skyscreen.
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:55 PM   #10
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Just got back from range and I ran 6 pattern test. All my shells went bang and they patterned rather well for 7/8 oz loads. My gun shoots 50/50. If the pattern was good, does that mean I can drop down a bushing and further reduce velocity?

Patterned the 26 gram factory load @ 980 fps and it was ok in top barrel but shot low in my bottom barrel which obviously explains why I was missing from the middle skeet stations.

Hodgdon said my powder could not go below 8,000 psi. Must be the pressure curve you were talking about.
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