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Old October 26, 2001, 02:00 PM   #1
JosephBoeckner
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reloading shotgun shells

is it worth it to reload for shotgun shells? i picked up about 300 the other day at the range-mostly 20 gauge-about 200 and like 5 of 12 gauge-and about 100 of 410-thanks Joseph
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Old October 26, 2001, 03:19 PM   #2
AAshooter
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I would say in general, it is not worth reloading unless one of the following is true:
1) you shoot quite a bit
2) value your personal time low
3) want to make some special loads/rare loads
4) want to pursue it as a hobby.

Otherwise the return is not there when you consider your cost of equipment and time. For example, you can buy 12 Gauge AAshells for about $ 5/box and reload them for about $ 3/box if you use good components. Say a serious progressive reloader costs about $ 500, that means you need to reload about 250 boxes of shells.

Now if you count your time to:
* Pick-up and sort hulls
* Buy reloading components
* Box your shells
* Cut apart your mistakes to recover components

you need to reload a lot of shells depending on the value of your time.

A lot of work when you can buy one-time use 12 gauge Winchester shells from Walmart for about $ 4/box. These are pretty high quality shells and great loads for clays sports.

Having said that, I have paid for my reloader several times over. Enjoyed reloading. In my case, I split the reloader with a buddy and we spent a lot of quality time together reloader. Lots of people report it is a good thing to do with their children. For me, I shot a lot, pursue it as a hobby and save a little money.

The biggest saving is that if you are spending your time reloading, you are shooting . . . that saves lots of money!

Finally, I should note the financials change on the other gauges. You don't have the availability of .410 and 20 gauge that you do on 12 Gauge. They pay back quicker.

If you don't want to reload but have access to once-fired hulls, you can always sell them to people who reload for 5 cents or so a hull if they are high quality hulls.
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Old October 26, 2001, 03:24 PM   #3
Poodleshooter
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Other reasons to reload shotgun shells: buckshot, slugs, magnum field loads and steel shot. You don't need a $500 Ponsness-Warren progressive to start. Lee makes a decent loader (currently being discussed) for about $35. I can reload a box of shells in about 20 minutes on mine. I seldom have "setup time" because I shoot the same load over and over!
If people value their time, I really don't see much savings at all in all but specialty reloading. I reload because I have more time than money.
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Old October 26, 2001, 03:28 PM   #4
AAshooter
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Poodleshooter makes some good points. For specialty loads that you are not trying to do volume production on, your intial investment is quite a bit lower.

I addressed it mainly from the perspective of someone that shoots trap, skeet or sporting clays where you go through a lot of shells.
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Old October 26, 2001, 03:50 PM   #5
TaxPhd
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It's been a while since I cut open some of the cheaper promo loads to check components, but in my experience, the quality is just not there. Fiber wads with no shot cup and very soft/low antimony content shot. Usually not the best for good patterns. Has this changed?

I am not sure that the value of your time is as important a factor as some would think. If your choice is to reload for an hour, or to work for an hour at your standard billing rate (Attorney, Accountant, Doctor at what, $150-450 hour?) then it doesn't make much sense. But this is not the choice that most reloaders are facing. Their choice is: "I have an hour of free time - will I reload, watch TV, or take a nap?" If you have free time that you will spend on a non income producing activity, then the cost of your time to reload (or to spend on any other hobby) appears irrelevant.
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Old October 26, 2001, 10:13 PM   #6
JosephBoeckner
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yep

well my income is about 0$ per hour (14-freshman)lol-well i would be loading for it like in my spare time.... and i would probably get the lee equip. the range time doenst reall ymatter-i was there.. they were all in the trashcan in bags.. put 2 bags of them and 1 box of them into a bigger bag-voila -I really have alot of freetime and if i do it to save some money and rather than being bored and on the computer-i'll do it -i think i might reload if i can get the money around for the supplies.. then i would have plenty of shells-i know a reloader-a highway patrolman who i'm going coyote hunting also with-and i dont know if he reloads for shotgun but i am also going to be shooting for shooting sports-and the extra fine tuning of my loads for clay would be nice-we shoot i think 20 or 25 a match-i think it would be a leg up in the first place
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Old October 27, 2001, 01:01 PM   #7
AAshooter
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Go for it!

Joseph, thanks for the additional information. I found your post very exciting and wish I had got started at your age.

I would suggest that you take advantage of your relationship with the Highway Patrolman and ask if you can help him reload, even if it is not shotgun. Although the process is slightly different, if you understand how to reload one reloading the other will make a lot more sense.

Then, assuming he doesn't reload shotgun shells, see if you can find someone at the range who can show you shotgun shell reloading. You may also want to take a NRA reloading class.

The key is to be careful, knowledgeable and pay attention. You will do fine. If you enjoy it, you will have a life time hobby!
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Old October 27, 2001, 05:26 PM   #8
JosephBoeckner
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dont worry :)

my mom and his wife are pretty good friends-and i'll be seeing them all winter lol-wreslting -hes pretty cool-i would probably start out with shot cus it would be more usefull to me with shooting sports.. but then would load 38 spcl... thanks for all ur time
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