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Old September 19, 2000, 09:55 PM   #1
Satanta
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yup. Figure if I ask here rather than the gunstore I'll get better answers without salesmen trying to sell me stuff that's not neccesary.
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Old September 19, 2000, 10:20 PM   #2
CD1
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Satanta,

I use a MEC 600 Jr reloader. Its a single stage reloader, I can crank out about 100-150 rounds an hour. Its a fairly inexpensive way to start. In addition to the reloader you will need:

Powder bushings (these measure the powder
charge)

A shell rack (this makes it easier to
box the finished rounds)

A sturdy workbench to mount your loader
on

A scale to check the powder charge
(some powders are more dense than
others, this will affect the weight
of the charge you are throwing)


After that pick out a recipe you want to reload, buy the appropriate powder, shot, hulls, and wads, and you are ready to go. The instructions provided with the MEC 600 Jr are enough to get you started. Check around on prices, some shooters supply companies offer components at half the cost of the local gun store. Make sure you FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER!! If you start to mix and match components that are not supposed to be used together you can blow up your gun and injure, kill, or maim, yourself and/or those around you. Have fun.
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Old September 19, 2000, 11:03 PM   #3
Maka
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Since your on the topic of reloading for beginer. How do you know what shells can be reloaded? What do you look for or are there just certain brands that can be reloaded?
Thanks
Tony
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Old September 20, 2000, 05:51 AM   #4
PJR
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About the only thing I would add to CD1's list is a good reloading manual. The Lyman Shotshell Manual is a good start for hull identification, loading techniques, safety procedures and a variety of recipes from ultra light target to heavy hunting loads in all gauges. The Lyman manual I have is a little older and does not have the newer powders listed but that's not a problem because the powder companies all have their own recipes for their current powders.

One note about powder bushings and manuals: Most of the time the bushings throw a lighter load than listed in the manuals. YOU MUST WEIGH YOUR POWDER to determine the actual powder being dropped by a specific bushing.

I started with a MEC 600 several years back and eventually moved to a MEC 9000G progressive loader.

Maka -- Any shotgun shell can be reloaded but most stick with the single piece target hulls such as the Remington STS, Winchester AA and Federal Gold Medal.

Let me repeat the earlier warning DO NOT MIX AND MATCH COMPONENTS EVER!!!!! There are a variety of different factors that affect shotgun pressures. There are tens of thousands of safe, proven recipes in the manuals. Stick with them.
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Old September 20, 2000, 08:54 AM   #5
jrhines
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PJR & CD1 are pushing you in the right direction, especially about trying proven reloading recipes... if you have a local trap & skeet club, check around there. Many of these folks reload, & if ya' tell 'em you want to learn, more than likely, they'll teach! Chances are pretty good you can find a used reloader on the bullitin board, and many of these clubs have small retail outlets that stock reloading supplies, powder, shot, wads...and the trap boys will usually be selling hulls. It's a great place to get in a little practice, and if it's like my local club, they will appreciate the busines.
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Old September 20, 2000, 08:02 PM   #6
K80Geoff
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Good information here. Just be sure to get a good powder scale and weigh the charges when you set up the press. Do not rely on the charge weights found in the books, they are only guidelines and are always off. In all of the years I have been reloading I have never found a bushing to throw the charge the manuals say it should.

Weigh the charges untill you get the nearest bushing to the charge you want, then weigh a couple of charges after say 100 shells to be sure. The charges can change for a variety of reasons.

I use a MEC 9000G and have installed a universal charge bar that allows me to precisely set the amount of powder and shot the machine throws. Best investment I ever made.

Shotgun reloads are very sensitive to the type of primers and wads you use, follow the reloading manuals EXACTLY.

You can download most of the information found in manuals from the internet.

Geoff Ross

[This message has been edited by K80Geoff (edited September 20, 2000).]
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Old September 21, 2000, 12:05 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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Bare minimum? Here you go. The prices are guesses, except for the Load All. Lee's price is about $50 on their website, plus shipping.

The Load-All is easy to use, it's sturdy, and best of all, it's cheap. My Dad and I've run around 8,000 12-gauge shells through the one I got him for Christmas many years ago, and it's never let us down.

Lee Load-All, about $60 bucks.
http://leeprecision.com/catalog/brow...8=loadall.html

A shotshell reloading manual. Lee and Lyman both do them. $20 bucks.

Empty hulls. Winchester AA recommended for a first-time loader. VERY forgiving. Maybe $10 bucks for 100.

Powder. I've always used Red Dot. I get GREAT performance with it. About $15 or so per pound.

Shot. Price depends on what size and type. Probably about $30 for 25 lbs. of a good chilled shot in the 7.5 size.

Wads. $5 per hundred?

Primers. About $1.75 per hundred is what I've been seeing. I use Federals, with Winchester a close second.



------------------
Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
Chances are he knows how to use it.
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Old September 21, 2000, 07:50 AM   #8
K80Geoff
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Mike , don't forget the powder scale. Do not attempt to reload without one!!! A good scale should cost about $50.00. this is a MUST HAVE piece of equipment!

Also, $30 for 25 lbs of shot! If you look around you should be able to pick up a 25 lb bag of Lawrence magnum for under $20. Most T & S clubs sell shot and if you ask around you will find good prices. Never buy shot in the local gun shop, they charge way too much.

If you buy components in bulk you can save money. Buying primers in lots of 5000, wads in lots of 5000 and powder in larger cans will save you money in the long run. In my area groups of shooters often buy large quantities of shot and get good deals. Usually you will have to buy at least 10 bags at a time, but the price per bag is often 5 to 6 dollars less than the normal price in the stores, ask around at the local T & S club.

Personally I believe the MEC 9000G is the best press for the money, a lot of other people apparently agree with me and the 9000G outsells all the other presses combined. You can get them new for under $300.

In my area hulls are easily obtained from the Sporting Clays range if you are willing to bend over. Just wait untill after everyone is finished shooting! If you are embarrassed to scrounge hulls make friends with a trap boy and they will do it for you for a few dollars. You should not have to pay $.05 a piece for used hulls. Scrounging hulls on Trap and Skeet ranges is frowned upon as it poses a safety hazard, but out on the Sporting Clays trail nobody cares and it helps keep the range clean.

Reloading can be economical if you learn how to buy components.


Geoff Ross
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Old September 21, 2000, 01:27 PM   #9
Unkel Gilbey
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Here's a second nod toward the Lee Load All. I got mine for $32.04 from a ad that I saw in the Shotgun News. In the news you will also see ad's for hulls where the cost is about $30.- for 500 plus shipping. If the local skeet range will let you scrounge them, all the better

I grabbed a 25# bag of 7.5 shot, a can of RedDot, 500 CCI 209 primers, and a bag of Winchester WAA12 wads. I wanted a 1oz. load that ran around 2 3/4 drams that I could hone my eye in prep for Dove season out here in Yuma.

I looked at what the Lee people had to say about loads, I looked at what the "Reloading for Shotguns" book had to say about loads, and I looked at a selection of loads from Hodgedon. For some reason, I saw little parallel's. I'm waiting on a Lyman Shotshell book to see what they have to say about loads - but I have a feeling that there will also be differences. So what does this mean to me (and you)?

Well, I can tell you this. I've reloaded metallic cartridges for about 20 years now, and I've mixed cases and primers (manufacturers) with no ill results. I know that for the ultimate in accuracy, it's best to segregate your components and sort them by lots. But all I'm looking at is for the reliability and the bang. I haven't been disappointed yet.

So why do the Shotshell load books make such a big deal about using ONLY this Hull, and ONLY this primer, and ONLY this wad for a certain load? But no mention is made about the differences in shot size. Interesting.

Anyway, I cut up some Remington target shells, some Win. Dove shells, some Fiocchi shells, and some Federal target shells. They were FUBAR anyway, so there wasn't any real loss. They were all structurally the same, The instruction sheet with the Lee Load All SAID that they were basically the same. So I tried loads using the afore mentioned components, and headed out to the field with a couple boxes of factory shells to compare results.

I know that I've probably got some of you fella's grimacing here, but every shell that I loaded went BANG in my Win Model 120 Ranger. There was no signs that I had unduely high pressure, the wads weren't mangled, and they smoked the pigeons like it was cool. About the only thing else that I could have done (by my reckoning) would have had a wad somewhere in the shell to raise the level of the wad/shot so as to get a really decent crimp in the Fiocchi shells. After the star crimp was started, and the final crimp applied, there was too much 'room' over the shot to fully close the shell.

The Remington and Winchester shells functioned perfectly.

So, and I'll add that I'm waiting on a shipment of Remington once fired hulls from mail order - was this Dumb luck? Was it me finding out the awefull secret that the power/firearm companies have been trying to hide about the interchange-ability of their components? Or is my guardian angel working over time...?

The load that I picked was a 2 3/4 dram load - definately on the low side of the pressure readings. I want you to know that if I were to attempt 'Upland Game Hunting Loads', or 'Magnum' loads, you can bet the farm that I would toe the line with components.

OK, lets hear it!

Unkel Gilbey
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Old September 21, 2000, 09:51 PM   #10
PJR
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Unkel:

You are giving **** poor advice to a new reloader. I've loaded thousands of metallic cartridges and about a hundred thousand shotshells and they are not the same thing. There are more variables in a shotgun shell than a metallic cartridge and pressure differences can be cause by different primers, different wads and different hulls.

The difference can be a couple thousand PSI just moving from primer to primer. Combined with the wrong wad in the wrong shell, you can go off the scale real fast. Sure, they will all go bang and you might be within the pressure parameters but why fool around with such things when the loading manuals will give you all the options you want within reasonable pressure ranges.

Incidentally, high pressure shotgun loads do not react like high pressure rifle or pistol loads. It's a different game entirely.


[This message has been edited by PJR (edited September 21, 2000).]
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Old September 22, 2000, 12:08 AM   #11
Mike Irwin
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Unkel,

Think about this... a pressure "excursion" or spike that a metallic cartridge gun would handle without a burp can open a shotgun up like a banana.

J.J. Bucher, a little know-it-all twerp I knew in high school, found that out the hard way when he started playing "Mix & Match" with components and powders in his 12-gauge.

The end result? A shattered left forearm where a chunk of his double-barrel hit him when it erupted, plus other assorted, but lesser, injuries.

Shotgun handloading recipes MUST BE FOLLOWED EXACTLY!

K80,

Please note that my prices were high-end guesses. I haven't had to buy shot in years, since I went in on a truckload shipment with a bunch of people I knew. I still have about 150 pounds of 7 1/2 left.

------------------
Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
Chances are he knows how to use it.

[This message has been edited by Mike Irwin (edited September 22, 2000).]
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Old September 22, 2000, 07:12 AM   #12
Satanta
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info is helping so far...so thanks y'all.

nuther question: A Lee Loads-All, does the name mean what it implies? That I can load all shells from it?

I found a Lee .357 loader for $21. A die and sizer Carb. also.

I know these aren't for the shotgun...but I figure we have a good thread going so why not ask?

I am interested in reloading and shopping online for the supplies...I have a freind that gives me his shells for the 12guage and have about 500 rounds with more coming. I want to reload the shotgun, .357 and 5.62X54R plus maybe either .223 or 7.62X39.
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Old September 22, 2000, 08:58 AM   #13
CD1
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Unkel Gilbey:

So why do the Shotshell load books make such a big deal about using ONLY this Hull, and ONLY this primer, and ONLY this wad for a certain load? But no mention is made about the differences in shot size. Interesting.

No mention is made of shot SIZE because shot is measured by WEIGHT!! If you look at the recipe for each shell they are specific about the WEIGHT of the shot charge, size is irrelevant. Your post displays your inexperience in reloading shotshells, and your lack of knowledge of the process. Any monkey can sit in the garage and pull the lever and pump out shells. You have to EDUCATE yourself on the process to do it well. Unkel, PLEASE go by the instructions in the manual, I would hate for people in Yuma to read about you losing parts of your body due to improperly loaded ammunition.

[This message has been edited by CD1 (edited September 22, 2000).]
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Old September 22, 2000, 12:40 PM   #14
Unkel Gilbey
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(I knew that my post would start a firestorm!)

Fellah's! I realize the inherent dangers of mixing and matching components. I thoroughly read every bit of information that was available about the subject before I even thought about starting to reload shotshells. I know that there is a world of difference between metallic amd shotshell reloading. I took all this into consideration before I even started.

There is still the disparity that I noted between between all the different powder and press manufacturers. How is this explained? Lee says that there is little difference between primers, yet Lyman is very specific about which one should be used. This is only one example.

If it were such a big deal, and Lee's data was wrong, then wouldn't there have been a whole scad of lawsuits about folks blowing up thier weapons and selves after using Lee's equipment? I just want a straight answer - and where to get a better one then from users?

I was truthful enough to admit that I strayed from the 'specs' - albeit only slightly. You can't tell me that of all the people here that reload, there isn't one who's had similar experience?

Someones mention of the person who was unfortunate enough to injure himself didn't mention the exact circumstances - like perhaps that person sent a round down a plugged barrel, or he used just any old powder and used a spoon to dump it into the hull. Or maybe he tried firing Smokeless shells in a black powder gun...? The world is full of people like this (unfortunatly) but I am not one of them - as much as some of you might disagree.

If you folks can explain to me and the masses why the different load manuals disagree, then we'll all be educated on the subject. Newer loaders especially. Older weapons perhaps needed these special considerations - but with the high quality steel that's used in todays weapons (and it's the action that contains the pressure - else they wouldn't make shotshells out of plastic) I question the need to follow the loads so strictly.

Let the shotshells fly...!
Unkel Gilbey
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Old September 22, 2000, 12:56 PM   #15
Mike Irwin
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Unkel,

What your seeing is the natural variations that exist between EVERY reloading manual, not just shotshell.

There are any number of reasons why loading data differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, and what is listed as the top load in one manual is well above the top load in another.

Just a few are:

Differences in the components, such as shot hardness, plastic density in the wads and hulls, and natural variations that occur from can to can and lot to lot of powder.

Operator differences. The people who put these things together can have different styles and techniques, even though they follow the exact same process as someone at another company.

Climactic variations.

Equipment differences.

The data for the loads shown are averages of thousands of loaded rounds, not just a few dozen or hundred.

There are many other factors that affect the data, and what is necessarily true for one company might not be true for the testing done by another company.

To be quite blunt, I personally don't accept Lee's contention that there is little difference between primers, as a number of other companies, including the powder and primer manufacturers, have shown through their testing that there can be significant differences.

------------------
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Old September 22, 2000, 02:22 PM   #16
PJR
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Unkel:

I've read one of Lee's manuals and wasn't impressed. The major powder companies, particularly Hogdgon, test their loads with the components and do proper pressure testing. I don't believe Lee ever did so with the same degree of technical sophistication. From what I've read, a lot of Lee's material seems dated and doesn't take into account new powders and newer, hotter primers. Hogdgon and Alliant are always updating their material and this gives me more confidence in their data.

A friend of mine recently did some destruction tests on a couple of rifles. His results showed that it is not very difficult to confuse powder types and put a load together that causes a rifle action to let go.

There are people of out there who think if I can change primers then why not wads and why not hulls and why not powders. This is too serious a matter to give anyone any wrong ideas. That's what I believe you have done and what you have done is wrong and unsafe. It particularly wrong advice for someone who is just getting into reloading.

Satanta:

If you can, try both the Lee Load-All and the MEC before you make your decision or at least watch both of them in action. I did and found I didn't care for the Load-All but have been very happy with MEC. You might look around for a used MEC. I bought an older model for a very good price and it's still going strong.



[This message has been edited by PJR (edited September 22, 2000).]
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Old September 25, 2000, 09:44 AM   #17
DaMan
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I like the Lyman manual for shotgun. Also the major powder companies have reloading recipes on the net.

But my all time favorite loading manual for shotgun is "Reloading for Shotgnners" by Fackler and McPherson. You name it, it's got it! From slugs and buck to steel to 2" shotloads....... anything you can reload for shotgun ....they have it!

Regards! DaMan
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Old September 26, 2000, 10:00 PM   #18
racine
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PJR,
I looked into reloading 2" 6 shotshells for British Side by Side but haven't found a reloader that will do that. Will the Mec do that and if so how much does it cost???

Does anyone know a source of full power 2"
4 or 6 shotshells???

Thanks for any and all info anyone can share.

TR

------------------
TR
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Old September 26, 2000, 10:22 PM   #19
DaMan
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Racine, I've got loading data for the 2" but they are 7/8 and 1 oz. loadings. Don't know if you can adjust the MEC down to that length. Probably not.

Regards! DaMan
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Old September 27, 2000, 08:46 AM   #20
PJR
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racine:

MEC loaders can be set up to do 2-1/2" shells but I'm not aware of a loader that will do up 2" shells. The loads that I've seen for 2" are generally fiber wads with roll crimps. I would go here for more info on the equipment to roll crimp and anything else you need for shotgun loading:
http://www.ballisticproducts.com/

As for buying 2" shells I would try these sites:
http://www.kentgamebore.com/gamebore.html
http://www.fieldsportltd.com/

Not sure about #4 shot but #6 should be available.

Can you tell us a little more about your sxs? I've looked at a couple of 2" guns in the past and want to know more about them. I do most of my upland hunting with a sxs and am always interested to hear what other hunters are using.

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Old September 27, 2000, 10:56 AM   #21
DaMan
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I talked to one of the technicians at BPI about loading 2" and the MEC. He couldn't tell me for sure but thought it wouldn't be possible and that I'd have to go to roll crimping.

The 2" handload recipes I've seen use the "Ultra Short Eurotarget" plastic wads available from BPI. They are fold crimped.

Maybe a call to MEC could shed some light on the matter.

Regards! DaMan
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