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Problem getting a good crimp on a new MEC reloader
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I’m hoping someone can trouble shoot my problem. I am new to shotshell reloading, but have loaded a lot of pistol and rifle ammo. Yesterday I just got a MEC Steelmaster to load 12 ga 2 ¾ shells on and I cannot seem to get a decent crimp. I am using the following components:

BPI 12/2A new primed hulls
Blue Dot
BPI MG42/STS wad
1/8†wool felt wad
7/8 oz steel shot
Cardboard overshot card
The components I am using can be seen here:
http://ballisticproducts.com/bpi/load_data/loads_pdf/122a_all105.pdf
on page 3 and I am using the top load on page 4.

After I crimp, I have a hole in the center of the shell as the folds don’t match up properly. The hole generally runs 1/8â€, but I did manage to get the hole down to 1/16†at one point with some adjustments.

On page 10 of the owner’s manual
http://www.mecreloaders.com/documents/ownermanuals/sizemaster.pdf

It says to loosen the cam adjustment #8324 and move the cam down 1/32†and try again. If I move the cam adjustment down a little, nothing seems to change. If I move the cam down a good amount (1/4†or more) it seems to “crunch†the shells.

I’ve also thought the crimp punch may be too deep – honestly the problems with the #2 and #3 shells on page 10 look similar in the pictures. The MEC guide says to raise the crimp punch. It’s raised as far as it will got with the locknuts. I took the locknut off so I could raise it all up, but the results were worse.

I am using an 8 point crimp. I have not tried the 6 point crimp.

Any suggestions? I am at a loss!!
 
Posts: 231 | Registered: 05 October 2004Reply With Quote
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Couple of hints.

What it sounds like happening is that your "payload" stack is a little high.

Try these (in this order):

Lower your crimp starter until you have an opening about the size of a pencil eraser.

Increase your wad pressure (squish the payload stack a little further down).

Lower your crimp punch. You'll need to raise the cam adjustment when you do that. In essence, you are gathering a little more plastic, so you can close the gap. This is not an easy adjustment to get right, so only go there if you have to. HTH, Dutch.


Life's too short to hunt with an ugly dog.
 
Posts: 4564 | Location: Idaho Falls, ID, USA | Registered: 21 September 2000Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Dutch:
Couple of hints.

What it sounds like happening is that your "payload" stack is a little high.

Try these (in this order):

Lower your crimp starter until you have an opening about the size of a pencil eraser.

Increase your wad pressure (squish the payload stack a little further down).

Lower your crimp punch. You'll need to raise the cam adjustment when you do that. In essence, you are gathering a little more plastic, so you can close the gap. This is not an easy adjustment to get right, so only go there if you have to. HTH, Dutch.


Good reply Dutch...


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Posts: 28849 | Location: western Nebraska | Registered: 27 May 2003Reply With Quote
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Dutch
I want to thank you for all your tips and suggestions!

I messed around with my press last night and the first thing I did was to adjust the wad seating pressure. Once I did this, everything fell into place. I think the problem was I was crunching the wad way down so then there was a lot of room at the mouth of the hull. When I’d crimp, it crimped too deep. Once I did that, I adjusted the starter crimp to crimp an opening the size of a pencil eraser. Then on the final crimp, I tweaked it a bunch of times so now there is no hole at all on the end of the crimp.

The shells look great; now I need to see how they work on clays!
 
Posts: 231 | Registered: 05 October 2004Reply With Quote
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Halvey

where are you shooting clays at in Minnesota?
 
Posts: 7090 | Registered: 11 January 2005Reply With Quote
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