The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 31, 2012, 07:45 PM   #1
bfskinnerpunk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2009
Posts: 201
shotshell reloading easier than bullets?

I have never owned or shot a shotgun, but with possible gun control regulations, I'm thinking of switching my firearm choices to things that are more palatable to the overlords.

I think mainly in terms of self defense.... but I digress

Googling, I couldn't find an answer to this question:
Is shotshell reloading less difficult than regular bullet reloading?
bfskinnerpunk is offline  
Old December 31, 2012, 07:59 PM   #2
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
To some degree yes since you do not trim cases.
However, you also cannot simply swap some components like metallic.
There are a few different hull types so wad choice depends on hull. Not all primers are interchangeable, but most regular ones are. Powder drops are more forgiving than pistol, being off .5 grain isn't a catastrophic scenario
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old December 31, 2012, 08:15 PM   #3
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS
Posts: 5,100
I think it is significantly easier. Once you get the charge bars set up, you can run hundreds through in no time.
Doyle is offline  
Old December 31, 2012, 08:22 PM   #4
bfskinnerpunk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2009
Posts: 201
Thanks for the quick responses to a complete shotgun newbie.

I guess the first question should be: Does loading your own actually save money?
I'm thinking of 00 12guage along with slugs and some hunting rounds.

What savings can one expect when loading your own? 50%.... less?
bfskinnerpunk is offline  
Old December 31, 2012, 09:00 PM   #5
zippy13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,416
Shot shells are much easier to re-load than metallic cartridges.
zippy13 is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 09:19 AM   #6
Bailey Boat
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 365
Answer to first question; in 12 gauge you're not going to save much, if at all. 12 is the most common gauge and shells can be bought for roughly 10% over the reloading cost.
When you factor the cost of components (primers @ 35.00 per thousand, shot at 45.00 per 25# and then wads @ 8.00 per bag of 250) and lets not forget the loader itself (250.00 to 400.00) the savings just aren't there.
With all of that said, when loading the smaller gauges (.410 and 28) The savings are definately worth the set up cost. Quality .410 and 28 will set you back a cool 12.00 per 25
I almost forgot to answer the original question; shot shells are pretty much follow this procedure; Size and deprime at station 1, reprime and drop powder at station 2, seat a wad and drop shot at station 3, start the crimp at station 4, complete the crimp at station 5 and then taper the shell (for easier feeding) at station 6.
SO..... A Mec loader takes 6 pulls of the handle to produce a finished shell. My RCBS Pro 2000 only takes 4 pulls to produce a completed round of centerfire ammo. Judge for yourself....

Last edited by Bailey Boat; January 1, 2013 at 09:26 AM.
Bailey Boat is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 10:45 AM   #7
dalecooper51
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2007
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 317
One thing not mentioned, is you should not work up loads for shotguns like you do for metallic. Find a published load and use it.

I have never loaded buckshot or slugs, but regular shot shells are much easier than metallic. 410 does get pretty darned frustrating at times.
dalecooper51 is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 11:36 AM   #8
Virginian-in-LA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2012
Location: Evangeline, LA
Posts: 835
I cannot believe what I am reading. I think metallic cartridges are 10 times easier to reload. Everybody to their own I guess.
Virginian-in-LA is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 12:06 PM   #9
B.L.E.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Somewhere on the Southern shore of Lake Travis, TX
Posts: 2,017
Quote:
SO..... A Mec loader takes 6 pulls of the handle to produce a finished shell. My RCBS Pro 2000 only takes 4 pulls to produce a completed round of centerfire ammo. Judge for yourself....
My MEC needs one pull per finished shell, it just does six different things to six different shells at one time.
Buy a progressive reloading press, you won't regret it, especially if you plan to reload in volume for skeet, trap, sporting clays, or three-gun competition.
B.L.E. is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 12:27 PM   #10
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,426
There is currently about a $2 per box savings in 12 ga reloads vs retail target loads ( using #8's or whatever ) .......but there is potentially a much bigger savings in using OO buck, depending on where you get your shot from. I have not loaded a significant volume of OO buck, except in some .410 to play around with at my local range. But there is some savings....plus you can customize the shell to whateve specs you want in terms of velocity and ounces of shot...

All of my shotshell presses are progressive - and so is my metallic....so every time I pull the handle, a finished shell or cartridge comes off the back.

One isn't really easier than the other...once the press is setup ...its setup.

Volume is about the same ...on both presses / my metallic is a 5 station press...my shotshell presses are 6 station presses - but getting 800 rds an hour off any decent progressive press is pretty easy if its auto indexing ( like a MEC 9000 GN or MEC 9000 HN for shotshells / or a Dillon 650 for metallic.
BigJimP is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 12:32 PM   #11
jmortimer
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
Agree - with buck shot and slugs as well you save a bundle.
jmortimer is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 12:49 PM   #12
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS
Posts: 5,100
Quote:
Agree - with buck shot and slugs as well you save a bundle.
Maybe. If you shoot a lot of them, then yes. However, it would take a whole lot of shooting before you start to see any real savings.
Doyle is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 02:52 PM   #13
Ricklin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2008
Location: North Orygun Coast
Posts: 634
Buy Wholesale

12 and 20 gauge are fairly hard to save real money on. Just Google up Shotshell reloading cost calculator. Plug in what you will pay for components and you will have your answer. If you can purchase components at or near wholesale and avoid hazmat fees, you can save some money.

Shotshell is easier than metallic, I do both. Shotshell is strictly a cookbook approach. Once you have your machine dialed in it's actually pretty boring.

It's the cost of shot that really makes it tough to save money. I just paid 34 bucks for a 25# bag of #8 and that is a very good price....gulp

I just started loading shotshells about three years ago. When I started I was paying 23 bucks for that same bag of #8 shot.

For low volume a MEC 600 jr. is hard to beat. Besides, for buckshot a progressive does not help much at all.
If you get in to the clay target sports a progressive is the way to go, provided that you can buy the components right.
We do group buys through my club for components, if it was not for those group buys I would be buying my target loads by the flat.
__________________
ricklin
Freedom is not free
Ricklin is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 02:53 PM   #14
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,426
Even if it costs you ...say $500 to get setup for a full shotshell press...say buying a MEC 9000-GN ----

http://www.recobstargetshop.com/browse.cfm/2,198.html

as long as you save $ 2 a box, even for target shells...it only takes 250 boxes to make up your investment....and that's a pretty quick return. Some of us shoot 250 boxes in 3 months easily ...but even if it takes you a year to shoot 250 boxes...its still a quick return.

Most of the OO Buck I see for sale is about $ 1 per shell. I oz of shot in OO Buck is about 8 or 9 pellets per shell... even a premium Hornaday OO buck that I bought thru Cabelas was $27 for 5 lbs....so a 1oz load of shot would be about $ 0.35 ( so shot is $0.35 per shell )...so even with powder, wads, etc....( you use the same components for any 1oz shell --- you just load it with 1 oz of OO Buck vs 1oz of 8's )....the cost per shell is still way under $ 0.40 each....or a savings of $ 0.60 per shell....

so your payback on OO Buck is only between 800 and 900 shells...and I don't know how much OO Buck you want to shoot in one range session ...but even if its only 50 shells ...you still have to have your investment back within a yr or so, I'd think.....and there has to be a way cheaper source of OO Buck out there for reloading other than Hornaday brand from Cabelas in a 5 lb box...

( I bought the 5 lb box of OO to run thru some .410 shotshells....in an American Derringer chambered in .410 or .45 Colt....just for some laughs !! ) .....not because I wanted to shoot 50 shells a week of OO...

and with a MEC 9000 GN - you have a very good press...you can use for any number of 12ga shotshells...and wow, are they easy to sell on the used market if you don't like it. But if I was loading low volume, I'd buy the Grabber model ...for around $ 400 ...and save some money / still get a very good press.
BigJimP is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 03:02 PM   #15
Xfire68
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2010
Location: Communist State of IL.
Posts: 1,428
Personally I find shot shell reloading to be much more complicated.

There is no working up loads like that in metallic and each shell case has it's own data!

I had the hardest time finding good data for the powders I have and I have a number of them using the shells I have. Load data for buckshot and slugs is the hardest and that is what I was looking for.

Data for bird loads and sporting clay's is much easier to find.

I would find the data for the load your looking for and then buy the components not buy components and then look for data.
__________________
NRA Life Member, SAF Member

www.aac300blackoutbrass.com A Veteran owned Business.

Last edited by Xfire68; January 1, 2013 at 03:09 PM.
Xfire68 is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 03:03 PM   #16
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,105
Get yourself a reloading manual. Stick within the suggestions. Do not substitute powder, or wad, or primer or shot. Keep within the formula. It is too easy to do something that will affect the pressure.

BTW, yes shotshells are easier than metallic cartridges. Even I have reloaded shotshells before.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 03:14 PM   #17
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,426
A recipe for 1 oz of shot....is 1 oz of shot....it doesn't matter if you're loading 9's or OO Buck....

Now what does matter -- is that you have the recipe for the right hull, wad, powder, primer, etc..../ but all of the OO Buck I've loaded, has been in typical target hulls.....Remington STS Hulls specifically.

So finding recipes is no big deal for OO Buck....
BigJimP is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 04:52 PM   #18
snuffy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 2,797
Quote:
A recipe for 1 oz of shot....is 1 oz of shot....it doesn't matter if you're loading 9's or OO Buck....untrue

Now what does matter -- is that you have the recipe for the right hull, wad, powder, primer, etc..../ but all of the OO Buck I've loaded, has been in typical target hulls.....Remington STS Hulls specifically.

So finding recipes is no big deal for OO Buck....
Buckshot loads are MUCH different than the same weight small shot loads. 1. Buck loads are stacked, and counted. 2. They don't always equal a certain weight, like 1 oz--1-1/8--so on. 3. Also they react to acceleration more like a solid slug than loose smaller shot. 4. if you intend them to sit inside a shot cup, you may have to use the next smaller size to get them to stack properly,(the shot cup thickness takes up room).

Buckshot loads are most times loaded on top of stacked fiber wads, called a composite wad column. Another way is to cut the petals off a one piece shotcup, loading the buck in layers of 2,3 or 4 on top of the base of the shotcup. They can be fold crimped, or better yet roll crimped.
__________________
The more people I meet, the more I love my dog

They're going to get their butts kicked over there this election. How come people can't spell and use words correctly?
snuffy is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 04:53 PM   #19
snuffy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 2,797
Does loading shotshells make sense today?

Yes! Oh I know how wally world and the other big box stores have those economy packs of shotshells. But if you took one of those econo shells apart, you would find soft chilled shot, a small charge of very fast powder, and the cheapest thin wad they could find. Loaded inside a hull that’s NOT made to be reloaded, in some cases attempting to reload them could be dangerous.

Now take one or more of those cheapy shells to the pattern board. Ummm, you do pattern your shotgun,,,right? No? Then how do you really know how the chokes really work? Anyway, the cheapo shells will have blotchy patterns, holes a bird, rabbit, or clays could sit in unharmed!

You can not reload shells cheaper than those econo shells. Can’t be done! Especially with what shot, powder, primers, and wads cost these days. Why would you WANT to?

What you want to load are shells that are as good as, or even better than the top of the line target shells put out by Winchester, Remington, and Federal. That would be the AA, STS and gold medal. To do that you must either buy the loaded shells, shoot them to get empties, or buy once fired empties. The new AA is no where near as good as the older compression formed AA. That leaves the STS and gold medal.

To duplicate the performance of the original loading, you need to buy all top of the line components. No skimping here. Magnum shot,(don’t let that name fool you), is high antimony shot. It’s harder than plain old chilled shot. The hardness translates into better patterns. It’s what the factory STS and others target shells have in them. Wads; The big 3 all sell their wads for reloading. They all work, but you can save some $ by buying claybuster wads. They’re made to the same dimensions as the wad they’re replacing, just cheaper. Some say the plastic isn’t as soft, but I’ve found them to work just fine. Powder; Just about any of the shotshell powders will work well. Just be sure of your recipe and follow it exactly. Primers; Again they all work well, be sure to match them to your recipe
__________________
The more people I meet, the more I love my dog

They're going to get their butts kicked over there this election. How come people can't spell and use words correctly?
snuffy is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 07:34 PM   #20
rajbcpa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2012
Posts: 315
Do not EVER give way to the gun control overlords....

A shotgun is a great self defense gun. Shot shells are pretty cheap, however, so reloading may not be a great idea....
rajbcpa is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 07:37 PM   #21
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,426
You can still load target shells cheaper than the cheap promo shells as well...even with some places selling shot at around $40 a bag...a good 12ga reload - a target shell with 1oz of shot is still around $4.50 a box ...and even the cheap promo shells are up around $6 a box in my area. So you can still save at least $ 1.50 a box over cheap promo loads.

I understand your comments on buffering, layering OO buck into a hull, etc snuffy....but if all you're intersted in is some practice with OO Buck, I still think loading them like any other 1 oz shell is just fine...is it optimum for ballistics, probably not .../ but I'm not suggesting anyone reload "Defense" ammo anyway.

I think if you take the loads I suggest - just using a normal 1 oz recipe ...and drop in OO Buck instead....your tests at 30 Feet or whatever range you want to train at, will be satisfactory, especially for training. But I will admit I haven't tested a lot of OO Buck loads either....
BigJimP is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 09:42 PM   #22
Gerry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 382
I've got several hundred pounds of stick-on WW alloy that I've been accumulating in the garage. I've been toying with the idea of buying the Lee OO buckshot mold and trying my hand at reloading shotshells using that alloy. So let me get this straight. You actually have to count the 9 balls into the hulls manually while reloading, even on a Mec progressive press? And is there a possibility of making reduced buckshot loads for fun and giggles use, so that recoil is similar to what you'd expect from a standard 7 1/2 target load?
Gerry is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 10:23 PM   #23
Xfire68
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2010
Location: Communist State of IL.
Posts: 1,428
Quote:
You actually have to count the 9 balls
Yes. The shot drop on all of the presses I have used (Lee load-All and MEC) do not do 00 buck.

Most of us are not shooting 100's of rounds of buckshot so manually loading of the shot is not a big deal.

If I have everything laid out I can load about 20 00 buckshot loads in a half hour.
__________________
NRA Life Member, SAF Member

www.aac300blackoutbrass.com A Veteran owned Business.
Xfire68 is offline  
Old January 2, 2013, 07:52 AM   #24
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Quote:
Answer to first question; in 12 gauge you're not going to save much, if at all. 12 is the most common gauge and shells can be bought for roughly 10% over the reloading cost.
When you factor the cost of components (primers @ 35.00 per thousand, shot at 45.00 per 25# and then wads @ 8.00 per bag of 250) and lets not forget the loader itself (250.00 to 400.00) the savings just aren't there.
I'll disagree - my reloads cost me $3.50 per box, the cheapest store bought stuff runs $6.50 OTD - that's $3/per box difference and I'll shoot over 500 boxes in a year, so that just bought me a new Beretta gas gun. Buying components in bulk is how you save money - you buy primers by the 5,000, wads by the 5,000, powder in 8# jugs and shot by the hundredweight, or even better, by the ton. Reclaimed shot brings the cost down further, and loading light reloads for practice makes it cheaper still. Reloading 3/4 oz 12 and 20 gauge loads for target practice gives me 533 rounds per 25# of shot as compare to 400 for 1oz reloads - that's an extra 5 boxes per bag
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old January 4, 2013, 08:19 AM   #25
Magnum Mike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2007
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 334
Quote:
(primers @ 35.00 per thousand, shot at 45.00 per 25# and then wads @ 8.00 per bag of 250) and lets not forget the loader itself (250.00 to 400.00) the savings just aren't there.
Ouch!! A little spendy there! Way to much for components!
Yes lets forget the price of the reloader. Can always sell it at same or more than it cost!
Quote:
I'll disagree - my reloads cost me $3.50 per box, the cheapest store bought stuff runs $6.50 OTD
I'll agree with this statement!
Magnum Mike is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

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 02:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13608 seconds with 9 queries