How to Adjust the Shell Crimp on a MEC 9000 Loader

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Shotgun shooters and hunters can benefit from lower ammunition costs by reloading their own shotgun shells. The MEC 9000 shotsell reloader sizes, deprimes and primes, loads powder, wads and shot, then crimps the shotsell closed. The crimping procedure is a three-step process: starter crimp, closer crimp, and final crimp. A proper crimp is necessary to keep the nose of the shotshell closed and contribute to shot-to-shot consistency. All crimping operations can be adjusted. These instructions begin with a sized, primed and charged shotshell, ready to crimp.

    Install the correct Spindex crimp starter at the No. 4 station, which is the crimp starter station. Some shotshells have a 6-point crimp, while others use an 8-point crimp. Twist and pull downward on the Spindex crimp starter to remove it. Push the new one in place until it snaps into place.

    Install a sized, primed and charged shotshell in station No. 4 and pull the lever. The open mouth of the shotshell will start to crimp inward. This station will apply a crimp that will close the crimp approximately half way.

    Use the 1/2-inch wrench to loosen the lock nut on top of the starter crimp station. Use the wrench to turn the nut on the underside of the crimp station turret to move the Spindex crimp starter up or down as necessary. Turn the nut clockwise to raise the crimp starter, which will apply less crimp. Turn the nut counterclockwise to lower the crimp starter, which will apply more crimp. Tighten the top lock nut once the correct starter crimp is achieved.

    Place the shotshell in station No. 5, which is the closer crimp station. Pull the lever down to apply the closing crimp.

    Inspect the final crimp. The crimp may have four problems: crimp too deep, crimp not deep enough, crimp not closed in the center and a swirled crimp.

    Adjust the crimp depth by using a 1/2-inch wrench to loosen the lock nut on the crimp punch, then turn the crimp punch to raise it up or down. Raise it up for less crimp, lower it for more crimp.

    Correct a crimp with the hole in the center by loosening the cam adjustment lock screw, lower the cam 1/32-inch and re-tighten the lock screw. To correct for a swirled crimp, raise the cam by 1/32-inch.

    Place the shotshell in station No. 6 and pull the lever to apply the final crimp. The final crimp applies a taper to the leading edge of the shotshell for reliable feeding and chambering. Use the 1/2-inch wrench to loosen the lock nut on top of the station's crimp turret. Turn the screw on top of the turret to raise or lower the final crimp die.


    • Work up to the correct crimp slowly in each crimp station. Too much crimp can buckle and ruin the shotshell hull.


About the Author

Emrah Oruc is a general contractor, freelance writer and former race-car mechanic who has written professionally since 2000. He has been published in "The Family Handyman" magazine and has experience as a consultant developing and delivering end-user training. Oruc holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in economics from the University of Delaware.

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