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Last week I picked up a copy of a local free shopper's paper. I always scan these things for firearms and boat-related ads. Here's why: Everyone reading this has access to the internet and is obviously at least minimally computer savvy. There are still a surprising number of people who don't (or can't) use the net and for many of these folks, the shopper's papers are their preferred method of selling. This is the main reason that great deals can sometimes be found in these papers.

The issue I picked up advertised a MEC shotshell reloading press, with shot and other consumables for $150. I figured that the press - like maybe 95% of MEC presses advertised in these papers was going to be one or another version of the basic MEC 600 single stage machine. The 600 is a great machine. I own one and love it and unless you really need to turn out thousands of shells, it is adequate for almost anyone's reloading needs. The current version retails for around $225, so $150 would be a fairly good price with extra consumables. Still, I didn't need another 600 so I ignore the ad for a few days.

On a slow afternoon, curiosity got the best of me and I finally called the guy. It turned out that he was around fifty miles away and unless it was some kind of killer deal, it wasn't going to be worth a 100 mile round trip. I asked about the extra components he had, including wads, hulls and shot and the deal was sounding a little better, but still not worth a hundred mile drive. I finally asked what model the press was - which should've been my first question - and he said he didn't know. He asked me to give him a couple of minutes and he'd go check the model number. I sat waiting, expecting to hear that it was a 600, a Versamec or a similar press.

When the gentleman got back on the line he informed me that it was a MEC Grabber 762R. This changed the equation completely. The Grabber is one of MEC's progressive presses and the current version retails for $525! The Grabbers, like the 600s, have had a few minor changes over the years, but they're all still the same basic press. Needless to say, that got me hooked and after receiving his promise to hold it for me 'til the next morning, I promised to make the drive.

Soooo. Now I'm the proud parent of a mint condition MEC Grabber - which I don't really need and don't have room for on the loading bench - so I guess it's going to replace my pretty 600.

The lesson to be learned here is don't assume you know what a thing is going to be before you actually find out! At 62 YO I really do know this, but mental laziness gets us all sometimes.

Expect to see my MEC 600 up for sale here sometime in the near future!

Best regards
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