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Old April 24, 2012, 01:29 AM   #1
Sphawley
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Shotgun Loads

Just starting to reload my shotgun shells, and I'm stuck!

I have all my equpiment and am ready to start loading, but im stuck on picking a recipie. There are so many to choose from!! Once you identify what you wanna use your reloads for how do you pick one?

I'm very lost at this stage...I plan on reloading for my trap and skeet fun. So if someone could please guide me in a good direction it would be greatly appreciated.

And is there a load people should start on? One that is good for beginners to get practice?
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Old April 24, 2012, 07:54 AM   #2
P.A. Dutchman
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I have been loading trap loads for over 40 years now. I probably have tried almost every "popular" powder out there over the years. About 20 years ago I settled on using Winchester AA or Remington STS hulls, Claybuster Figure 8 wads, 1 1/8 ounce shot (I like 7 1/2 shot), and 19 grains of Winchester Super Target powder. I use that load for trap, sporting clays, tactical, and cowboy action shooting. Plus I also like to use Winchester Super Target powder in my 40 S&W, and 9mm Luger reloads. It's a good all around powder in my opinion.
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Old April 24, 2012, 10:09 AM   #3
oneounceload
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What are you reloading for? I have been doing it for 35 years and have consistently lowered my payload to not only save on shot, but to reduce the recoil to my battered shoulder

The Hodgdon and Alliant websites give you good data
Pick a hull - for 12 and 20 gauge, Remington gets the nod. For 28 and 410, Winchester AA does

Looking at the various recipes, find the powder and wad combination you want to use. I use the "clones" of the major makers' wads as they are the same and cost half - these come from Claybuster, Downrange, Windjammer, etc.

For your basic trap/skeet/5-stand/sporting clays load, a 1oz load running 1200-1250 fps is all you will ever need. Many are now going to 7/8, some even to 3/4 in 12 gauge.

Primers you have a little more leeway with many overlapping and being considered a good substitute - example: Win 209 can also use a NobelSport, Fiocchi, Cheddite, basic Remington. Just don't sub magnum primers for standard unless you are loading hunting loads for cold weather.

Summing up:

I'll use a Remington Gun Club hull, a Claybuster 7/8oz wad, a load using Red Dot, Clay Dot, Clays or similar, Nobel primers and reclaimed shot. For my practice needs, it works great. Tournaments I use strictly new factory ammo
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Old April 24, 2012, 04:05 PM   #4
zippy13
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Back when I started loading shotshells (in the 60s), it was pretty easy. My Mec 650 came with a fixed bar, so there wasn't much choice (drop-in powder bushings were still in the future). The bar dropped 1 1/8-oz of shot and, IIRC, 17 or 18-grs of Red Dot. That charge would work in a variety of hulls and wad combinations. Back in the day, trap and skeet loads were 1 1/8-oz with 2-3/4 or 3-dram loads. Now, there's lite, super-lite and sissy-special loads. Things are a little more complicated these days because you have so many more choices.

What load should you start with? It depends on what specific hull/s you have. Shotshells aren't like metallic cartridges, you can't indiscriminately mix brands when reloading. It's because the internal volumes of shotshells vary significantly -- you've got to load to a recipe for the specific hull. Some hulls are close enough that they can use the same wad, but the powder charge will differ. So, if you have a variety of hulls, keeping track of many different recipes can be more trouble than it's worth.

Your first step is selecting a load. For trap and Skeet fun loads, why not use a standard 1 1/8-oz load? Traditionally, #9 shot is used for Skeet and #7-1/2 for trap; however, for fun loads, #8s (or reclaimed) will work for both. Like my friend, 1-oz, I use replacement/clone wads in most of my loads. Get a bag of wads for 1 1/8-oz loads with your hulls. The wads will probably include load data (recipes).

Your next choice is powder. This may depend on the powder bushings that came with your loader and the locally available powders. You'll have to match the recipe charge with the charges your bushings drop with various powders. Most of the powders I use are old school from Alliant. The old charge of around 17.5 grs of Red Dot still works in a lot of target load applications.

As far a primers are concerned, I typically use the primers from the original shell maker. Also, they are usually the ones specified in the recipe.

Unlike 1-oz, I've successfully used reloads in ATA and NSSA competition; however, they get relegated to practice after two or three reloads. And, as with metallic cartridges, I'm vigilant about inspecting my shotshells.
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Old April 24, 2012, 04:38 PM   #5
crowbeaner
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My all around load is all green
RP Gun Club, STS, Nitro 27, or RXP hull
RP STS 209 or 97* primer
RP RXP 12 wad
21.0 of Green Dot
1235 fps at 11000 lup
1 1/8 oz. #6 or #71/2 shot
Hits and kills anything that flies this side of 40 yards
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Old April 24, 2012, 06:54 PM   #6
oneounceload
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Zippy - most of the tourneys I attend (sporting clays), mandate factory ammo to prevent folks from using loads not allowed by spec
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Old April 24, 2012, 07:03 PM   #7
BigJimP
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I've always shot reloads ...even in State sporting clays championships...in Oregon and Washington...no problems out here using reloads.

Like others said....pick a single hull first / then go into the table with the name of the hull....then pick how much shot you want to use ( like 1 oz in a 12ga is a common load )...then find the wad you want to use ...and the primer...and select the powder ..and how much.

Its pretty easy once you go thru it....

My 12ga load...
Rem STS hull
1oz of shot ( I load 8's for everything in a 12ga - skeet, sporting, trap, etc)
Hodgdon Clays powder
I use a Green Duster for a 1oz wad ( or you could use a WAA12SL wad )
Win 209 primers
and I load them to about 1225 fps ...for a good all around shell.

Last edited by BigJimP; April 25, 2012 at 02:47 PM.
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Old April 24, 2012, 08:37 PM   #8
zippy13
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Quote:
Zippy - most of the tourneys I attend (sporting clays), mandate factory ammo to prevent folks from using loads not allowed by spec
That doesn't say much for the sportsmanship of your area's sporting clays crowd.
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Old April 26, 2012, 01:19 AM   #9
Sphawley
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Where can you get the recipie for a shell you really like to shoot off the shelf?
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Old April 26, 2012, 01:51 PM   #10
BigJimP
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You can't duplicate exactly the shells you can buy off the shelf ...because most mfg's don't sell the proprietary powder they use in commercial shells.

But what you can do ...is read the box carefully of the shells you buy ...many, like Remington STS shells...will list the velocity and ounces of shot in them ...and if you load them the same / they are in effect the same shell ! Velocity and payload ...is what you're after..( and making sure you don't exceed the size of the chamber in your gun. The length of a shotshell ...is the fired length ...not the crimped length. You can fire a 2 3/4" shell in a gun chambered for 3" ...but you cannot fire a 3" shell in a gun chambered for 2 3/4"...

here are the specs on Rem STS Target loads...
http://www.remington.com/products/am...get-loads.aspx

so lets say you tried and liked a STS shell, with 1 oz of 8's, at 1185 fps ...or a 7/8 oz shell, of 8's at 1200 fps....

all you need to do ...is save the hulls...and go into the loading tables...like the ones from Hodgdon ...and find the STS hull page for 12ga, find the 1oz tables, find the velocity at around 1185 fps ...and determine what powder, wad and primer combination you need to buy ....buy them/ and you're all set.

Its not complicated...

using Hodgdon table...STS hull in 2 3/4", 1 oz of shot ( use 8's or whatever you want to use), use Clays powder, Win 209 primer and WAA12SL wad ..table says 17.0gr of Clays for 1180 fps ....and 18.4gr of Clays for 1235 fps ... so a powder drop of 17.1 is going to give you a load at about 1185 fps... but my preference is for a shell of 1oz at about 1235 fps ..so I drop 18.4 gr and use the WAA12SL was ( or the Green Duster ) which the books tell you is an equivalent wad..

Last edited by BigJimP; April 26, 2012 at 01:57 PM.
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Old April 27, 2012, 03:21 AM   #11
Sphawley
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Jim you are my savior!

Thats exactly the recipie I was hoping for!!

Im very excited to get started....I will let you know when I load my forst batch!
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Old April 28, 2012, 09:13 AM   #12
oneounceload
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Quote:
Zippy - most of the tourneys I attend (sporting clays), mandate factory ammo to prevent folks from using loads not allowed by spec
That doesn't say much for the sportsmanship of your area's sporting clays crowd.
I think it has more to do with trying to sell ammo at the shoots; but I imagine there are those in each shooting segment that would want to try and cheat if they thought it would let them "win"

Sphawley - have fun reloading, both Hodgdon and Alliant have great data online for free. Most primers can be subbed for one another, clone wads work great at half the cost. Clay Dot from Alliant is a US-made equivalent to Austrailian-made Clays(and it is cheaper)
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