Steel master or not?

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Steel master or not?

Postby mmig » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:30 pm

I have started doing some research and I want to reloading my own shotgun shells. I have read most of Laymans shotshell reloading book. I would like to reload 12ga shells 3.5",3", and 2.75" for both lead clays and steel for waterfowl. I know that I would most likely start with a single press over a progressive as this would suit my needs just fine as I would only be loading 1-2K rounds a year. I was told to get a steelmaster, but I've been reading that most who load steel just measure out powder and shot from a scale for each load. What do you suggest would be the best press for my needs? Also what accessories would be needed on top of the press that the book may not mention? What scales are the best at a fair price? Any other equipment and brands that works best for shotshell? Thanks for helping the Newbie in advance.
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby mmig » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:32 pm

Also where is the best place to buy presses for cheap?
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby Jon Bergren » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:51 pm

See "Reloader" forum under DoubleDutch. Ned S who has a used SizeMaster. Ned S
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby cannon » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:18 pm

mmig wrote:I have started doing some research and I want to reloading my own shotgun shells. I have read most of Laymans shotshell reloading book. I would like to reload 12ga shells 3.5",3", and 2.75" for both lead clays and steel for waterfowl. I know that I would most likely start with a single press over a progressive as this would suit my needs just fine as I would only be loading 1-2K rounds a year. I was told to get a steelmaster, but I've been reading that most who load steel just measure out powder and shot from a scale for each load. What do you suggest would be the best press for my needs? Also what accessories would be needed on top of the press that the book may not mention? What scales are the best at a fair price? Any other equipment and brands that works best for shotshell? Thanks for helping the Newbie in advance.


I have steelmasters. They're great presses. Sizemaster is the same thing with a smaller shot tube. Also a great press. I also have 600 jr.'s, and they're fine as well. FWIW, I prefer a steel master or Sizemaster because of the collet resizing station, as opposed to the ring sizer on a 600. Particularly with regard to high brass shells, they do a better job. The down side is that they also require more maintenance. I also have a PW progressive that will load both lead and steel, but I would strongly advise that these machines are neither for the novice nor the man without a great deal of patience. They're messy, temperamental beasts. If I were buying, I'd definitely go with the Sizemaster.

As for absolute necessities, you need a good set of scales. BPI has a decent one that can be had on the cheap. I'd definitely spring for a 1,500 grain model. If I were gonna splurge, the next thing on the list would definitely be a digital powder dispenser like the RCBS Chargemaster, Lyman 1500 DPS, or One of the similar machines. They're absolute life-savers. You'll also want a funnel, as it will become an indispensable part of loading steel. A piece or two of wooden dowel is helpful. Razor blades or a good knife, pliers, good scissors, a set of wrenches, and a sharpie are useful too.

Ultimately, you'll need countless Rubbermaid-type containers, cardboard boxes, shelves, and closets to house the innumerable hulls, wads, and other goodies that you'll probably never find, much less use. Welcome to hoarders-are-us.

Good luck, bro.
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby baltz526 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:43 pm

Save, beg, borrow or steal CCI Rifle primer trays. With a little masking tape to block off holes, this is how you count pellets, #3 steel and larger.
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby slowshooter » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:36 am

baltz526 wrote:Save, beg, borrow or steal CCI Rifle primer trays. With a little masking tape to block off holes, this is how you count pellets, #3 steel and larger.


Fiocchi 209 Primer trays work well for B and up. Not great but in a pinch they'll do.
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby culot » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:16 am

Why not a Ponsness & Warren 375C duo-matic ? I bought a new MECSizemaster77 i never liked because
how it handle new cheddite hulls ( it was looong before geap crimpers ) 97-98 i found and bought a used PW 375B
probably from late 70 - early -80 i upgrade the PW to a model C, the PW was a BIG love and i run it until 2012
i think when the Italian way of loading hit me like a 18 wheel truck :hammer: but i sold the PW to a guy who promise
take good care of it and so has he... is'it big difference in money of a MEC steelmaster vs PW375 ? ( i don't live in US )

whatever you buy, buy also a crimp head OMV SP2 or a gaep dito they make you new hulls look perfect :thumbsup:

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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby C M Wings » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:55 am

Peter, yes, big price difference.

FWIW, I have size and steel master that do all my loads. I like the collet as well. Haven't had any maintenance issues. Just a little oil now and again, and I mean a little, and not often. A 600 is a great little press, but if you go that route you will want a stand alone resizer, which I did not know until recently also resizes the primer pocket. This may or may not matter a lot, but if you end up picking up hulls at the local range, it is a good bet many are reloads and done so with metric primers as they are cheaper. This means your winny or federal will fit loosely, and may even fall out. Not good. At least that's the status at my range. Of course if you just pick up the federal hulls from walmart, they are almost certainly just once fired with regular primer pockets, and they load well.

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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby cannon » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:52 am

C M Wings wrote: Haven't had any maintenance issues. Just a little oil now and again, and I mean a little, and not often.

Joe


Since 2008, I have replaced the master link that runs the collet (which broke in half), the actuator rod (boogered the threads for the roller pin), 2 sets of roller pins, and the handle (stripped the threads where the cam adjustment screw goes) on one stelmaster. I'm pretty hard on em.
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby C M Wings » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:59 am

cannon wrote:
C M Wings wrote: Haven't had any maintenance issues. Just a little oil now and again, and I mean a little, and not often.

Joe


Since 2008, I have replaced the master link that runs the collet (which broke in half), the actuator rod (boogered the threads for the roller pin), 2 sets of roller pins, and the handle (stripped the threads where the cam adjustment screw goes) on one stelmaster. I'm pretty hard on em.


Holy cow! How are you on cars and lawn tractors? :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby cannon » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:41 am

C M Wings wrote:
cannon wrote:
C M Wings wrote: Haven't had any maintenance issues. Just a little oil now and again, and I mean a little, and not often.

Joe


Since 2008, I have replaced the master link that runs the collet (which broke in half), the actuator rod (boogered the threads for the roller pin), 2 sets of roller pins, and the handle (stripped the threads where the cam adjustment screw goes) on one stelmaster. I'm pretty hard on em.


Holy cow! How are you on cars and lawn tractors? :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:


Not so good, truthfully.

Most of the damage I've done is a direct result of high brass Remington hulls (most of witch aren't exactly "clean" when I load em). They take a lot of pressure from the collet, which, in turn, puts a lot of pressure on the linkage that drives the collet, which ultimately puts a lot of pressure on the roller pin assembly. Eventually, the roller pin breaks. If you break it enough times, you'll strip the threads on the actuator rod. Dunno why the linkage broke, but I know that the cam adjustment screw just got worn out and stripped, and when that happens, you have to replace the whole handle. I should mention that I load a LOT of shells on that machine.
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby cannon » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:59 am

Oh, and I should mention that I rarely break my lawn tractor. I'm way too experienced to tear up something dainty like that. I'm more of a "grand scale" type of guy . . .



































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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby baltz526 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:05 pm

Remington hulls are why you need a super sizer.
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby Rob MacK » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:13 pm

Yeah cannon I can se you are a "go big or stay home" kind of guy. Nice work man nice work..... :thumbsup:

LMAO

I was going to ask if you knew it was a reloader not a pick axe but......never mind......lol.

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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby grnhd » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:20 pm

cannon wrote:
C M Wings wrote: Haven't had any maintenance issues. Just a little oil now and again, and I mean a little, and not often.

Joe


Since 2008, I have replaced the master link that runs the collet (which broke in half), the actuator rod (boogered the threads for the roller pin), 2 sets of roller pins, and the handle (stripped the threads where the cam adjustment screw goes) on one stelmaster. I'm pretty hard on em.


I've replaced the actuator rod and roller pin on mine to. But like yours its had lots of remmy hulls...and not once fired dry and clean hulls. Wet muddy been washed off hulls. Dang primers get sticky after they've been wet.
I have no complaints, its loaded 1000s and 1000s of shells though.
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby C M Wings » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:27 pm

Crying I'm laughing so hard!!!!!
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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby 10gaOkie » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:15 pm

I bought a new Sizemaster and sold it. I prefer using a Mec 600 along with a Mec Supersizer. Thats my best advice pure and simple.

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Re: Steel master or not?

Postby lostknife4 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:09 pm

"Location: At the stop sign in the ditch at Byers Farm, unlocking the gate." this really takes on a new meaning..............
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