Making Sense of MEC Charge Bar Markings

Question

Somebody wrote me with this question: I just inherited a MEC reloader and I would appreciate help to identify it. The only markings I can find on the reloader itself are on the end of the charge bar. It has two numbers: 302 and 118.

Answer

The 302 indicates that you have a single-stage reloader. That means you are dealing with one shell at a time, and you step through each operation (primer removal, primer seating, powder drop, etc.) for that one shell. Progressive reloaders do the same process, but simply faster. They take six shells at a time and do six different things to the six shells, all with one handle stroke.

Wayne Mayes once told me he used a single-stage reloader like you have. Wayne was the greatest World Champion ever to take up the game of skeet; an absolute legend in the game. He could have bought a progressive reloader, obviously, and would no doubt would have been given any reloader he wanted from manufacturers. But he preferred the greater accuracy that a single stage gave him. If he didn't have to worry about multiple simultaneous operations, he could focus on getting perfect the single operation that was before him.

The other mark on the red bar, 118, means it will drop 1 1/8 ounces of shot. What if you want to pack different amounts of lead, or reload steel? You'll have to get different bars.

As for getting different bushings for the powder drop, you should check out the bushing page, on the MEC company site. They sell bushings, bars, and a lot of other parts for your MEC.