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Old August 22, 2005, 10:49 AM   #1
RERICK
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Loading for shotgun

I was wondering if anyone here reloads for shotgun and if it is worth it to get involved.I started trap shooting again and I will more than likely shoot about 200 rounds a week and then during bird season maybe 50 or 100 extra a week.Any help would be appreciated
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Old August 22, 2005, 11:36 AM   #2
Leftoverdj
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At your level of shooting, reloading may make sense. For most of us, reloading shotgun does not unless we need specialty loads. The key factor is shot prices. They are currently at an all time high. If you must buy at retail and put any value at all on time, you are probably better off buying loaded shells. If you can get a deal on shot, reloading may be attractive.

The people you shoot with are the ones you need to talk to because pricing is local. Many clubs have group buys and get shot and the other components directly in trailer lots. This can bring the price down markedly. You may live within driving distance of a supplier and be able to pick up a ton at a time. There may even be reclaimed shot available to you at half the price of new. The serious skeet and trap shooters in your area can tell you.

They can also tell you what they are willing to pay for once fired hulls. Selling your hulls substantially reduces the cost of shooting factory shells. It's possible that reloading is economical for those who already have their equipment, but not for someone who must start fresh. You need to price everything out to make an informed comparison.
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Old August 22, 2005, 12:47 PM   #3
RERICK
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Leftoverdj
Can any shell be reloaded and anyone ever use the LEE shotshell loader?
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Old August 22, 2005, 01:28 PM   #4
Unclenick
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I've got an old Lee Loadmaster. The Lee machines work if you aren't in a big hurry and would be a good way to break into reloading. I use mine for loading #9 shot in reduced loads for shorter range hand-pitched birds. I bought my loader back when shot wasn't the high-priced thing it is now. Even then, however, shotgun primers were more expensive than regular pistol and rifle primers and adding the cost of the wad made shotguns the least cost beneficial of my reloading activities.

Nonetheless, if you want to play around with pattern testing, etcetera, start with this activity on the Lee equipment and you will have some fun.

Nick
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Old August 22, 2005, 02:17 PM   #5
RERICK
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Nick
I guess the main thing is if it is even worth the price of doing if i'm not going to save a decent amount of money.Do you have an idea of the savings?
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Old August 22, 2005, 02:20 PM   #6
Leftoverdj
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The Lee Loadall will work for the very light shooter. I use one to load the 10 boxes a year I shoot of specialty loads. It would be worthless to the feller shooting that much a week. I have the Lee Progressive Shotshell Loader, but never got it working to my satisfaction.

Some hulls are a lot more desirable than others for reloading, and there are some that you just can't find data for. I'm an oldtimer, and not up on current hulls.

I can't even guess at your costs. Shot is ranging from $15 to over $20 per 25 pound bag, depending on where you live. Primers vary as much. If I were shooting in your volume, I'd buy my powder four eight pound kegs at a time by mail, but that's about a $500 outlay and roughly a year's supply. It's a good third less than pound can prices, though.
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Old August 22, 2005, 04:02 PM   #7
CaptainRazor
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If I had it to do over again......
I would NOT reload shotgun shells. Then again, I don't shoot that much.

Back in the day, we used to shoot about 250 rounds a week, maybe more maybe less.

With the best math we could put to it, we only broke even, once we had to start paying for our hulls, we started going in the hole.

The price of shot is the real killer, as stated, $20 for 25 pounds locally, and trust me, 25 pounds doesn't go very far when you start loading 12 gauge with 1 1/8 ounces of shot.

For that matter, none of the components go very far when loading shotgun.

For your shooting purposes, I'd think you might actually come out a little bit ahead if you buy in bulk, but then if you have any value on your time, at best you would break even.

I'm not trying to turn you off of it, it is very interesting, but not much fun at all.
If you want to play around with it, go with the Lee Loadall, at least that way, you won't have a lot invested in tools.

Last edited by CaptainRazor; August 22, 2005 at 04:03 PM. Reason: typo
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Old August 22, 2005, 06:20 PM   #8
RERICK
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Thanks for your reply captain as I did a little exploring and even at intnernet prices it appeared to me that what you just stated was pretty much the case
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Old August 22, 2005, 07:58 PM   #9
Leftoverdj
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The math is way different for me because I shoot skeet with a 28 gauge. Those shells are much more expensive than 12 gauge and the component costs are much less.
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Old August 23, 2005, 11:57 AM   #10
m0ntels
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Just gotta be a semi-smartass and say that reloading doesnt have to be all about penny pinching

-You can make lighter or heavier loads.
-You can make loads with less recoil.
-Dont know how much they cost but you can probably make steel/bis loads cheaper.
-You can tune your shotgun with a custom load instead of a generic store bought one.
-Reloading is fun.
-It's something to do when you cant shoot (rain, etc)
-I've gotten people to shoot for the first time by letting them make ammo with me first.
-Reloading makes you appreciate the whole experience more because you are more involved.
-You are saving the planet by reusing hulls.

And the list goes on and on. I'm a shooter, not an accountant anyway!

Randy
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Old August 23, 2005, 12:00 PM   #11
auto45
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You should be able to reload a box of 25 1 1/8 using "hard" shot for about $3.00 per box. It varies, of course, to how much you are paying for shot, volume, and powder costs.

So, check the "promo" load prices to compare what you would save loading 8 boxes a week. Promo loads often have softer shot which is okay, but not the best for longer targets.

If you were to buy AA or STS loads at $4.50-$5.00 a box, I'd say reload now.
It seems the high cost of shot hasn't caught up with a lot of "promo" loads yet, time will tell.

IMHO, buy a MEC reloading machine, progressive.

Good luck
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Old August 23, 2005, 01:51 PM   #12
MADISON
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Shot shell Reloading

REDICK:
My recommendation for Shot shell Reloading is too buy a MEC.
I HAD A Lee to start with...The dam thing fell appart on me while I was loading. You can not emagine the shot and powder mess I had in the reloading area.
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Old August 23, 2005, 03:58 PM   #13
Leftoverdj
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M0ntels, we're talking two different things. Turning out ten boxes a week for competitive shooting ain't fun; it's a chore. Exact same load over and over. Loading .38 Specials for PPC is the same thing.

Reloading can be fun. Most of what I do is. I love experimenting.

But turning out a standardized load is just production.
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Old August 23, 2005, 06:29 PM   #14
RERICK
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It doesn't seem like I would save much if anything as I can buy trap loads at wallmart for around 15 bucks for a half case.It might even cost me more to reload.I think I'll wait for the cost of lead to come down.Yeah like thats gonna happen soon.
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Old August 30, 2005, 03:06 PM   #15
sum-rifle
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I do not shoot a lot of shotgun but have reloaded for years. My MEC Sizemaster makes really good shells and I believe they are of better quality than a lot of the store bought stuff.

I load 1 1/8 oz of extra hard shot into Winchester AA's with 18 1/2 grains of Red Dot and Win AA white wads.

There are lots of good factory stuff out there but lots of the cheaper 12 ga stuff uses only an ounce of shot (Which truely is plenty) of softer shot (which deforms more and flies less true)

My load is fairly hot but not unsafe. I just believe I get a better quality shell and I use it on everything from dove to quail to chukker to pheasant to gray squirrel to rabbit.

I probably do not save money but I enjoy loading.
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