The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 9, 2011, 08:58 AM   #1
mo84
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 257
reloading shot gun shells without a press

The first thing I started reloading was the 12 gage shells because my dad got me a nice multistage press for them. When I bought my 10 gage I realized it would be a good idea to reload the shells because they are expensive to buy. I did not have the money for a press so I looked at my dads old lee hand reloaders and figured out how they work. I went to the garage, found a funnel that would help recrimp the shell and used a hammer and rod to recrimp the shell. the end of the rod also serves as a primer seater. a tapered rob removes the primers. anyone with a drill and a grinder could easily make the rods. I had a lathe so I made some for my 410 shot gun shells too. just somthing to think about when money is tight.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 10 gage reloader.jpg (160.1 KB, 282 views)
mo84 is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 09:57 AM   #2
Uncle Buck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2009
Location: West Central Missouri
Posts: 2,592
You, sir, are a true reloader at heart. Adapt and overcome. I have seen and read about so many different ways people who reload have adapted something to fit their needs. If anyone stumbles across this stuff, they would have no idea what it was for.

I think I will make a tool such as you have described. I enjoy reloading and do have the setups for .410 and 20 gauge, but now I need on for a 16 gauge.

Welcome to the forum.
__________________
Inside Every Bright Idea Is The 50% Probability Of A Disaster Waiting To Happen.
Uncle Buck is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 10:06 AM   #3
mo84
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 257
The hardest part is finding the right funnel, you may have to enlarge the hole. just take a empty shell to the store so u can find the right one. Paying 40 bucks a box was killin me, I had to do somthing. good luck with making your own
mo84 is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 10:29 AM   #4
Doodlebugger45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,717
Sounds good. That would work if you don't have a whole bunch to do. I don't reload for shotguns, so my question is how do you seat the wad? Do you just start it by hand and then tamp it on in with something handy?
Doodlebugger45 is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 10:31 AM   #5
zippy13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,440
What ever happened to the classic LEE shot shell loaders. They seem to be still available for metallic cartridges, why not shot shells?
zippy13 is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 10:31 AM   #6
dawico
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2009
Location: Lampasas, TX
Posts: 326
I was also curious about resizing the wads. Is this not necessary? I don't reload shotgun either, but I do reload metallic cartridges.
dawico is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 11:41 AM   #7
zippy13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,440
dawico,
Over the years, I've loaded shot shells with the old LEEs manual loaders (45+ years ago) and modern progressive presses. With plastic wads, sizing and wad pressure are not an issue. Once you get the wad past the mouth of the shell, just seat it on the powder.

Reloaded shot shells typically exhibit only a few problems: The first is sizing the brass (or brass wannabe) base, many loaders omit this part. For many years I didn't size my 12-ga brass and used my reloads between several O/U guns; however these same shells would jamb in my auto loader. This is one reason folks trade in their MEC 650 for a Grabber model. The 650s don't automatically size the brass; but, many one gun shooters don't need re-sized brass.

The other general problems have to do with crimping. Hand crimps are often not forceful enough to stay closed. Many reloaders have put perfectly good looking shells in the box only to later find the crimps have opened and spilled shot. You may hear hand loaders talk about using sealing wax, or other methods of cementing their crimps closed.

The other problem associated with crimping is bulging. Modern loader's dies maintain the outer diameter of the shell while crimping, this is not the case with hand loading. It may be just the perspective of the picture, but if you look at the OP's reload, it seems the top of the shell bulged a little while being crimped. The bulge may prevent the shell from easily chambering. You can often coax them into a hinge gun, but they will jamb in a pump or auto-loader.
zippy13 is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 02:20 PM   #8
mo84
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 257
I find that once you get used to it that hand loading isnt bad. Once you learn to really hammer them right the crimp should not open. Somtimes you get a little hole where shot can spill out if u over crimp so I just use a drop of elmers glue to keep the shot from spilling. All my shells are used in pump shot guns without having problems. Somtimes the tops will buldge but most of the time it is not that big of a deal. It will take a few before you learn the right amount of hammer force but with anything, there is always a learning curve. Like the previous person stated, the wads are just droped in over the powder and filled with shot. its really all about economics with this. if you want a perfect looking shell then buy a commercial loader but if your not concerned with a little extra work and not always the perfect looking shell then this may be an alternitive.
mo84 is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 02:39 PM   #9
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,173
+1 on Zippy's comments ...

Reloading shotshells can be done with little or no equipment as you've discovered. But for any significant volume / or to correct crimp and/or feeding issues ....you'll eventually need to consider at least a simple reloading press. Something like the MEC 600 Jr that's available in 10ga / and you'll probably find a few of them used - at your local gunshows.

http://www.mecreloaders.com/ProductLine/600JrMark5.asp

Always remember - you need to be following a published recipe / so make sure you're weighing your powder and shot charges ...and using the right primer and wad for the published load. But I'm presuming you already knew that...

You might consider going with 2 or 3 of your buddies - and you each kick in a few bucks / buy the loader - mount it to a 2 X 18" plank ...and then each of you can use it to load your own shells .... not that what you're doing won't work for awhile ...
BigJimP is online now  
Old March 9, 2011, 10:03 PM   #10
dawico
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2009
Location: Lampasas, TX
Posts: 326
Thanks, Zippy. I meant to ask about resizing the shell or hull, but you covered that too.
dawico is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 10:36 PM   #11
hk33ka1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2010
Posts: 275
Lee hasnt made them for shotgun since the 70's. They had mentioned to a few people who inquired they may start again but decided not enough people would buy them. They also used to have other versions of the rifles ones, more calibres and also made custom ones. Now they offer a dozen or so and don't plan on any more. They can still be found on eBay.

Around 1980 or so something happened and Lee Engineering ceased to exist and Richard Lee started Lee Precision carrying on with a somewhat different product line, I think this is when they started doing normal presses and dies. Mequon reloading may have had something to do with this as some of Lees products were sold with their branding on them back then.

from Lee's FAQ;

The Target Model Reloader, Lee Loader for shot shells, Auto Prime with threaded shell holder was made by Lee Custom Engineering. For the whole story, read Richard Lee's article in Handloader's Digest, 17 th. ed.

Lee Custom has been out of business for a number of years and Lee Precision does not make parts for those tools.

Last edited by hk33ka1; March 9, 2011 at 10:49 PM.
hk33ka1 is offline  
Old March 9, 2011, 11:06 PM   #12
zippy13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,440
Thanks, hk33ka1, for the heads-up on Lee.
zippy13 is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 01:49 AM   #13
Newtire
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 20, 2008
Posts: 12
10 gauge on a budget

I load my own shells already so had the Mec 600 jr already. For the 10 gauge, all I had to get was a sizing ring. It fits right on the tube for the 12 gauge as I load the short 2-7/8" version shells. I use a roll crimper from Precision reloading on a drill press. I guess I'll have to get a crimp starter to get the folds started right since i have to cut off 3-1/2" shells but I'll use your funnel method to get the crimp started and round off the end in the roll crimp tool.
Newtire is offline  
Old February 9, 2016, 10:51 PM   #14
WV_gunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2011
Location: WV
Posts: 853
I know this is old but didn't want to start a new thread about the samething.

I want to get started reloading but with a miminal investment. I've exhausted the internet searching this. I found a way of loading shells without crimping, gluing an overshot wad in place. Seems like the only real loading tools required is a scale. The primer can be punched out and a dowel used to put the new one in.
My questions, is it reasonable to use just a scale? Or are the powder measures worth it? I was just going to use a Lee Safety Scale. I might load 10-20 rounds at a time.
Is there a powder I'm overlooking that can be used in both .410 and 10 gauge that works decent? I was thinking of Longshot for the 10 gauge and one of the specialty 410 powders for .410 shells.
I can't get a straight answer on this, does it really make much difference on which plastic wads to use? There's slim pickings for 10 gauge.
Lastly, is there a place that sells reloading supplies in small amounts? 250 wads of 10 gauge is probably a lifetime's worth.
WV_gunner is offline  
Old February 10, 2016, 12:12 AM   #15
Tsquared
Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2016
Location: NE Atlanta
Posts: 91
16 Gauge 2 & 1/2" shells

I have cut down some 16 gauge shells to 2.5" for an old 16 gauge I have that is chambered for 2.5 inch shells. There is nobody that makes this ammo anymore but I cut down 100 shells and have reloaded them 20+ times over the years with hand tools. It can be done but it is meticulous work. Blue Dot is my friend.

For the .410 loading with only a scale is possible. There are a multiple powders out there that will work. The biggest problem you will have will be removing the old primer and installing the new one. With my 16 shells I use wax and particle paper to seal the shell. For the 10 gauge wadding you can use cardboard disks - I cut mine with a punch and stack 2 deep.

Last edited by Tsquared; February 10, 2016 at 12:22 AM.
Tsquared is offline  
Old February 10, 2016, 07:03 AM   #16
WV_gunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2011
Location: WV
Posts: 853
Is there much of a performance loss when not using plastic wads? I know circlefly makes the old stuff pretty cheap. I had considered cutting cardboard out with hole snips or attempting to make a punch. My main concern is performance, won't the plastic wads give better patterns? The gun has a 3 foot barrel and a full choke so I figure it'll pattern well either way, I've just never messed with any fiber wad ammo.
WV_gunner is offline  
Old February 10, 2016, 08:29 AM   #17
Salmoneye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,772
I still have two sets of 12ga roll-crimp tools from the turn of the last century...

Came from two of my Great Uncles...Last time I used them was some time in the 80's, but they still work...

Designed for paper shells, but did successfully use them on plastic...
Salmoneye is offline  
Old February 10, 2016, 04:18 PM   #18
hartcreek
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 22, 2014
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,549
Lee was NOT the first company to make and sell the wack a mole type reloader. The first company was a father and son and they made the tools in their garage using wood working tools as the shotgun loaders were made out of wood with a few steel insert parts like the decapping pin. Now as to the name......it was Pacific something. I bought a box of odd ball stuff at the LGS last year and there were two of these complete units included one for 12 gage and one for 16.

I tried the 12 gage one out and it worked slick. They beat Lee to market by two years back in the fifties.
hartcreek is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2015 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11155 seconds with 10 queries