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  • MEC Sizemaster

    Picked up a Sizemaster at the flea market, just like new in box with all accessories and papers and 3 big bags of wads. It has the Universal Charge Bar. Any ideas on it's value ? Also how is it's reputation as a low volume loader ?

  • #2
    No idea jimbo, but a 600 Jr is about $125 new.

    Comment


    • #3
      MEC sells them new for about $350. I don't see much advantage over a 600 Junior except that the Sizemaster drops primers for you. I have a MEC Grabber progressive reloader and can tell you that's only an advantage if it works correctly. I would not advise getting a progressive reloader. They are great ... if everything works perfectly. But of course something is always goes haywire. Then getting everything back in sync is tricky. The Sizemaster and Grabber utilize the same resizing station which can be finicky ... especially if some errant pellets drop into it. Getting the machine apart so the resizer can be cleaned and then back together again is also a finicky operation. One must make ABSOLUTELY certain the main pillar is EXACTLY vertical (and there's a lot of variation possible). Otherwise the resizer tears up shells.

      In short, if you're not a handy person capable of serious problem solving, I wouldn't advise buying either a Sizemaster or Grabber. Stick with the simpler MEC Junior. It's slower but more reliable and not as fussy to operate. Also the Junior is more prone to vibration during operation which is a very good thing for loaders. Keeps the powder flowing more accurately.

      Incidentally, the .280 calibre Ross Rifle Sporting (1910-1918) my trap league captain gave me to fix a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about ("Mystery Gun") was sold for him by my African hunting buddy at local gun show today for $1,400. Included five boxes of shells (ten each) worth about $500. Captain Chris was VERY pleased. He thought it was something of a junker when he gave it to me to fix. Could have screwed him good. But what goes around comes around. I actually missed the sale ... because I was in church with my grandson. Daughter and her new baby are still in the hospital. Mom is not doing very well. Chris tipped Gary well for his services. Everyone was happy, including the buyer. That's worth a lot more to me than $$$.
      Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 09-29-2019, 06:04 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
        MEC sells them new for about $350. I don't see much advantage over a 600 Junior except that the Sizemaster drops primers for you. I have a MEC Grabber progressive reloader and can tell you that's only an advantage if it works correctly. I would not advise getting a progressive reloader. They are great ... if everything works perfectly. But of course something is always goes haywire. Then getting everything back in sync is tricky. The Sizemaster and Grabber utilize the same resizing station which can be finicky ... especially if some errant pellets drop into it. Getting the machine apart so the resizer can be cleaned and then back together again is also a finicky operation. One must make ABSOLUTELY certain the main pillar is EXACTLY vertical (and there's a lot of variation possible). Otherwise the resizer tears up shells.

        In short, if you're not a handy person capable of serious problem solving, I wouldn't advise buying either a Sizemaster or Grabber. Stick with the simpler MEC Junior. It's slower but more reliable and not as fussy to operate. Also the Junior is more prone to vibration during operation which is a very good thing for loaders. Keeps the powder flowing more accurately.

        Incidentally, the .280 calibre Ross Rifle Sporting (1910-1918) my trap league captain gave me to fix a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about ("Mystery Gun") was sold for him by my African hunting buddy at local gun show today for $1,400. Included five boxes of shells (ten each) worth about $500. Captain Chris was VERY pleased. He thought it was something of a junker when he gave it to me to fix. Could have screwed him good. But what goes around comes around. I actually missed the sale ... because I was in church with my grandson. Daughter and her new baby are still in the hospital. Mom is not doing very well. Chris tipped Gary well for his services. Everyone was happy, including the buyer. That's worth a lot more to me than $$$.
        I think the adjustable charge bar is an additional $50 +. I don't know if I will use it. I have been saving my Win AA black hulls for such occasion. The easy way is for a buddy to load for me. He gets his shot delivered on a skid. He has shot enough he has the release trigger. Nice Ruger ? 4 barrel set is his favorite. Hope your Daughter improves.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post

          I think the adjustable charge bar is an additional $50 +. I don't know if I will use it. I have been saving my Win AA black hulls for such occasion. The easy way is for a buddy to load for me. He gets his shot delivered on a skid. He has shot enough he has the release trigger. Nice Ruger ? 4 barrel set is his favorite. Hope your Daughter improves.
          If you plan to use the loader (I presumed you were going to sell it?) keep in mind that MEC's loading chart is way too conservative. Use the powder factory's on-line charge weights then test them with different bushings weighing the charges on a scale. I have found that MEC table is about two bushing numbers off (e.g. the weight they say a #29 bushing will throw is actually thrown by a #31). Wait ... you have a universal charge bar. Same thing. Check the weights on your scale when setting up the bar. Also check the shot package weights. You can go on line to convert oz to grains. I would advise ignoring altogether any tables supplied by MEC or charge bar manufacturer. The powder company charts are set up for powder type, wad type, shot payload, and primer type. Follow that data religiously and check it with scale when setting up the charge bar. If you have any questions, fire away. I have been loading for quite a while. Right now I'm having good luck with Titewad powder and either 1 oz or 1 1/8 oz shot for twelve gauge using Score or Winchester hulls and Cheddite primers. Claybuster pink wads (clones of Winchester WA12SL) work well for both shot loads. Go to Hodgdon website to look for specifics.

          Be careful about wads bought at ridiculously cheap prices. I bought two bags of red Winchester wads that turned out to be for old paper shells. They are pretty much useless. I have some old sixteen gauge paper wads that I can split to add to bottom of shot cup as filler but the wad seal is still not the best and performance is inconsistent. Good for shooting grouse on the road and that's about it.

          I doubt you can reload as cheaply as you can buy cheap factory shells and reloads probably won't shoot much better. I am loading soft 1 oz loads for my new O/U to keep down the recoil. I also developed a magic recipe for the old A-5 which just barely cycles in that gun providing a super comfortable almost recoiless shooting experience. Best for trap and skeet (hotter factory loads work better for sporting clays stations with long shots). I also get my shot at a bargain price (US $37/25 lb bag) but I'm still not saving much money. If you really get into this and find a powder that works out well, buy it by the keg. Primers by the thousand carton saves a bundle over buying them by the box of one hundred.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

            If you plan to use the loader (I presumed you were going to sell it?) keep in mind that MEC's loading chart is way too conservative. Use the powder factory's on-line charge weights then test them with different bushings weighing the charges on a scale. I have found that MEC table is about two bushing numbers off (e.g. the weight they say a #29 bushing will throw is actually thrown by a #31). Wait ... you have a universal charge bar. Same thing. Check the weights on your scale when setting up the bar. Also check the shot package weights. You can go on line to convert oz to grains. I would advise ignoring altogether any tables supplied by MEC or charge bar manufacturer. The powder company charts are set up for powder type, wad type, shot payload, and primer type. Follow that data religiously and check it with scale when setting up the charge bar. If you have any questions, fire away. I have been loading for quite a while. Right now I'm having good luck with Titewad powder and either 1 oz or 1 1/8 oz shot for twelve gauge using Score or Winchester hulls and Cheddite primers. Claybuster pink wads (clones of Winchester WA12SL) work well for both shot loads. Go to Hodgdon website to look for specifics.

            Be careful about wads bought at ridiculously cheap prices. I bought two bags of red Winchester wads that turned out to be for old paper shells. They are pretty much useless. I have some old sixteen gauge paper wads that I can split to add to bottom of shot cup as filler but the wad seal is still not the best and performance is inconsistent. Good for shooting grouse on the road and that's about it.

            I doubt you can reload as cheaply as you can buy cheap factory shells and reloads probably won't shoot much better. I am loading soft 1 oz loads for my new O/U to keep down the recoil. I also developed a magic recipe for the old A-5 which just barely cycles in that gun providing a super comfortable almost recoiless shooting experience. Best for trap and skeet (hotter factory loads work better for sporting clays stations with long shots). I also get my shot at a bargain price (US $37/25 lb bag) but I'm still not saving much money. If you really get into this and find a powder that works out well, buy it by the keg. Primers by the thousand carton saves a bundle over buying them by the box of one hundred.
            I read the article in G&A on the new Weatherby semi auto made in Turkey. It is inertia but the first part is to compress the carrier spring before the lugs rotate and unlock and the spring drives everything rearward, then the spring in the stock closes the action. Designer says if the gun is held against a tree and fired it will not cycle. Interesting adaptation by Weatherby. A little pricy at $1900 list but that is Weatherby.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post

              I think the adjustable charge bar is an additional $50 +. I don't know if I will use it. I have been saving my Win AA black hulls for such occasion. The easy way is for a buddy to load for me. He gets his shot delivered on a skid. He has shot enough he has the release trigger. Nice Ruger ? 4 barrel set is his favorite. Hope your Daughter improves.
              I have a Mec Grabber and after one time of not paying attention there have not been any issues. As I told Honk in a different post the videos on the MEC website are very informative and are a great help in aiding folks to keep their reloaders in good working condition.
              As well his perspective about using hotter loads for long shots in sporting is full of huey.
              In FITASC they are limited to one oz loads, it is amazing how well the good shooters do at long distance targets.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                If you plan to use the loader (I presumed you were going to sell it?) keep in mind that MEC's loading chart is way too conservative. Use the powder factory's on-line charge weights then test them with different bushings weighing the charges on a scale. I have found that MEC table is about two bushing numbers off (e.g. the weight they say a #29 bushing will throw is actually thrown by a #31). Wait ... you have a universal charge bar. Same thing. Check the weights on your scale when setting up the bar. Also check the shot package weights. You can go on line to convert oz to grains. I would advise ignoring altogether any tables supplied by MEC or charge bar manufacturer. The powder company charts are set up for powder type, wad type, shot payload, and primer type. Follow that data religiously and check it with scale when setting up the charge bar. If you have any questions, fire away. I have been loading for quite a while. Right now I'm having good luck with Titewad powder and either 1 oz or 1 1/8 oz shot for twelve gauge using Score or Winchester hulls and Cheddite primers. Claybuster pink wads (clones of Winchester WA12SL) work well for both shot loads. Go to Hodgdon website to look for specifics.

                Be careful about wads bought at ridiculously cheap prices. I bought two bags of red Winchester wads that turned out to be for old paper shells. They are pretty much useless. I have some old sixteen gauge paper wads that I can split to add to bottom of shot cup as filler but the wad seal is still not the best and performance is inconsistent. Good for shooting grouse on the road and that's about it.

                I doubt you can reload as cheaply as you can buy cheap factory shells and reloads probably won't shoot much better. I am loading soft 1 oz loads for my new O/U to keep down the recoil. I also developed a magic recipe for the old A-5 which just barely cycles in that gun providing a super comfortable almost recoiless shooting experience. Best for trap and skeet (hotter factory loads work better for sporting clays stations with long shots). I also get my shot at a bargain price (US $37/25 lb bag) but I'm still not saving much money. If you really get into this and find a powder that works out well, buy it by the keg. Primers by the thousand carton saves a bundle over buying them by the box of one hundred.
                If you had googled the type of wad ( stock # & upc ) you would have known they would not be applicable for use in modern hulls. I thought you said you have been reloading since the 60's and were not a novice ?
                What you are also failing to take into account is you can't compare reloading costs to what cheap factory loads cost.
                If you are reloading a low recoil load then you should be comparing it to what a factory made low recoil load will cost.
                For me the savings is over 3 dollars a box.
                Also the quality of a properly made reload is much better than a cheap factory load, even as good as many of the quality factory loads.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
                  MEC sells them new for about $350. I don't see much advantage over a 600 Junior except that the Sizemaster drops primers for you. I have a MEC Grabber progressive reloader and can tell you that's only an advantage if it works correctly. I would not advise getting a progressive reloader. They are great ... if everything works perfectly. But of course something is always goes haywire. Then getting everything back in sync is tricky. The Sizemaster and Grabber utilize the same resizing station which can be finicky ... especially if some errant pellets drop into it. Getting the machine apart so the resizer can be cleaned and then back together again is also a finicky operation. One must make ABSOLUTELY certain the main pillar is EXACTLY vertical (and there's a lot of variation possible). Otherwise the resizer tears up shells.

                  In short, if you're not a handy person capable of serious problem solving, I wouldn't advise buying either a Sizemaster or Grabber. Stick with the simpler MEC Junior. It's slower but more reliable and not as fussy to operate. Also the Junior is more prone to vibration during operation which is a very good thing for loaders. Keeps the powder flowing more accurately.

                  Incidentally, the .280 calibre Ross Rifle Sporting (1910-1918) my trap league captain gave me to fix a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about ("Mystery Gun") was sold for him by my African hunting buddy at local gun show today for $1,400. Included five boxes of shells (ten each) worth about $500. Captain Chris was VERY pleased. He thought it was something of a junker when he gave it to me to fix. Could have screwed him good. But what goes around comes around. I actually missed the sale ... because I was in church with my grandson. Daughter and her new baby are still in the hospital. Mom is not doing very well. Chris tipped Gary well for his services. Everyone was happy, including the buyer. That's worth a lot more to me than $$$.
                  Best wishes for your daughter to get healthy soon and hope the baby is doing well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by springerman3 View Post

                    I have a Mec Grabber and after one time of not paying attention there have not been any issues. As I told Honk in a different post the videos on the MEC website are very informative and are a great help in aiding folks to keep their reloaders in good working condition.
                    As well his perspective about using hotter loads for long shots in sporting is full of huey.
                    In FITASC they are limited to one oz loads, it is amazing how well the good shooters do at long distance targets.
                    I have seen the videos and downloaded the manual. Apparently my degree of attentiveness is not comparable to your super powers.

                    The 1 1/8 oz Score shells @ 1250 fps do very well for me, especially on the long shot stations. They allow for a more realistic lead. I can also be fairly effective with slower 1 oz loads but on the long meadow crossers in particular a lead "the length of a Volkswaggen (Beetle)" is required. The longer the required lead, the easier it is to get off target, especially if the clay is starting to drop. However, the heavy/hot loads are not as comfortable to shoot in the O/U.

                    The fancy FITASC boys can play whatever game they want. For me sporting clays is somewhat helpful for field hunting preparation and I shoot heavy fast loads for waterfowl. I can see no point in learning to shoot wimpy slow loads all summer at clays and then have to completely relearn shooting real field loads in the fall when I'm in the field. Unfortunately provincial regs don't allow me to shoot anything faster/heavier than those Score shells at the range or I'd probably be loading up comparable waterfowl loads for clays, at least at the end of summer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by springerman3 View Post

                      If you had googled the type of wad ( stock # & upc ) you would have known they would not be applicable for use in modern hulls. I thought you said you have been reloading since the 60's and were not a novice ?
                      What you are also failing to take into account is you can't compare reloading costs to what cheap factory loads cost.
                      If you are reloading a low recoil load then you should be comparing it to what a factory made low recoil load will cost.
                      For me the savings is over 3 dollars a box.
                      Also the quality of a properly made reload is much better than a cheap factory load, even as good as many of the quality factory loads.
                      I use Hodgdon's on-line recipes for Titewad powder and Claybuster pink wads (which according to the label on the bags = Winchester WAA12SL wads). Hodgdon doesn't list Score hulls but presumably they are no different than Federal Gold Medal or Cheddite plastic hulls that have specs provided. Claybuster pink wads are certainly made for "modern shells". Everyone at the club has been loading with them for years. I believe you may be confused with the old WAA12 red wads which are indeed designed for old paper shells. I have a bag and a half of those that came with the loader. Guess I should throw them out.

                      I should have clarified. We buy our shells at wholesale prices through the club. Reloading for us is not cheaper except for the novelty shells (16, 28, and .410). Through the club I can buy shells just under $2/box cheaper than I can load them. Club shells are $75-$80 Can per flat taxes included while buying a flat of Challenger shells at Canadian Tire is $99 plus 13% tax. Unfortunately our supplier has now decided to only carry Federal "blue box" cheap shells. I am fed up with their inconsistency, misfires, and boxes falling apart. A bunch of us got together and ordered a palette "on sale" from Score at slightly less than the supplier's Federal shells. And we received what we ordered too which almost never happens with the club's supplier. I ordered sixteen flats and probably reloaded almost as many shells. Though the club is now only opened intermittently through the winter, I doubt I'll have enough factory loads to get me through to next May.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                        I have seen the videos and downloaded the manual. Apparently my degree of attentiveness is not comparable to your super powers.

                        The 1 1/8 oz Score shells @ 1250 fps do very well for me, especially on the long shot stations. They allow for a more realistic lead. I can also be fairly effective with slower 1 oz loads but on the long meadow crossers in particular a lead "the length of a Volkswaggen (Beetle)" is required. The longer the required lead, the easier it is to get off target, especially if the clay is starting to drop. However, the heavy/hot loads are not as comfortable to shoot in the O/U.

                        The fancy FITASC boys can play whatever game they want. For me sporting clays is somewhat helpful for field hunting preparation and I shoot heavy fast loads for waterfowl. I can see no point in learning to shoot wimpy slow loads all summer at clays and then have to completely relearn shooting real field loads in the fall when I'm in the field. Unfortunately provincial regs don't allow me to shoot anything faster/heavier than those Score shells at the range or I'd probably be loading up comparable waterfowl loads for clays, at least at the end of summer.
                        You have evidently never researched what FITASC is ?
                        Recognized as the shooting game that shows the true all around skill of a shotgun shooter. Many describe it as sporting clays on steroids....hint: it is harder than the average sporting course plus you can't premount or move the gun until the target is in view.
                        Targets are often 40 to 60 yards and the target speed is usually faster.
                        Generally when one reloads a lighter load you can keep the velocity the same or bump it up some and recoil will still be pleasant.....so you can't shoot loads faster than 1250 fps ?
                        The average distance gained in lead ( the Brits say forward allowance ) per 100 fps is 3 or 4 inches.
                        So the difference in lead would be less than a foot with an increase of 200 or 300 fps.
                        It is hard to imagine the super trap shooter would struggle with that ?
                        As well the average 40 pellet difference ( using 7 1/2 shot ) in 1 oz to 1 1/8 oz is darn near overwhelming in the pattern density perspective 😕

                        Comment

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