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Old August 16, 2008, 09:35 AM   #1
aerod1
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Shotgun Shell Reloaders

Are there any shotshell reloaders here? I am just beginning to look into reloading shotgun shells. I am reading some manuals but was wondering about people's experiences and advice.
Thanks.
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Old August 16, 2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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I reload quite a bit for the shotty and I like my MEC 600's. I would start with a nice simple machine to get the feel for it and then graduate up when your confident to. I have used the 600's for a while and think their great for mid volume reloading. I use the one for lead shot(also slugs)and one for steel loads and have never had a problem with either. Another good machine for low volume reloading is the Lee Load-All. Their cheap and load quality ammo but their slowwww. Good luck.
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Old August 16, 2008, 10:07 AM   #3
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Well I have had a Ponsness Warren Duo matic 375 given to me is one reason I am getting interested in loading shotgun shells. I have been reloading metallic cartridges but have no experience in shot shell reloading.
I hear it is not cheaper than buying a case off the shelves while they are on sale.
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Old August 16, 2008, 10:23 AM   #4
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Who told you that?? LOL, Its alot cheaper to reload and you can do a box of 12gauge for about 4 bucks and cheaper depending on the components your using.
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Old August 16, 2008, 10:28 AM   #5
snuffy
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Quote:
I hear it is not cheaper than buying a case off the shelves while they are on sale.
What you hear is correct, but only on the surface, let me explain.

Those promo shells by the hundred, use the cheapest soft shot, AND the cheapest hulls. Anybody really concerned with the actual performance,(pattern quality), of their shotgun would find those cheap shells don't pattern worth a darn!

You COULD also load your own with that soft,(chilled) shot and the cheapest wads, powder. But get the magnum hard shot, good wads/hulls, you can duplicate the premium shells from the big 3. Those will give you the best, most uniform, patterns and the hard shot breaks targets, or penetrate game better.

The main reason it is difficult to save money loading shotshells now, is the price for the shot. Lead prices have skyrocketed, so have plastic wads because they are made of petroleum.

I'm not familiar with the PW 375, but the PW shotshell loaders are considered to be the best. Figuring cost per shell would be similar to metallic reloading. Of course, bulk buying of components will always make the cost/shell lower.

Nice thing is, you can taylor make your ammo to fit a certain job. I've made 1 ounce 12 ga target shells for trap, skeet, AND sporting clays for many years. Less recoil, better for follow-through, and every 8 shells I get a free one compared to 1-1/8 ouncers.
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Old August 16, 2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
I hear it is not cheaper than buying a case off the shelves while they are on sale.
For a while last spring it wasn't. The price of lead jumped to $40/25# bag while the price of loaded shells stayed around $4/box. Now that the cheapest loaded shells are $7/box, reloading is definitely cheaper again.

I use a Mec grabber with Winchester AA hulls, Green Duster Wads, 1oz #8 shot, and Hodgdon Clays powder.
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Old August 16, 2008, 04:02 PM   #7
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I,ve been at it a long time. Started out to save money and pretty soon found that loading my own meant that I could make loads that I wanted, that I was no longer limited to what the factories thought I wanted, or the limited selection that local dealers carried.

If you take it up, be warned: It can become addictive!

DC
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Old August 17, 2008, 07:31 AM   #8
pinestraw
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Have loaded all gauges for several years, but very little in past two years. The price of lead had skyrocketed to $62.50 recently! Beginning to drop, but
still in the $50. Have P-W loaders, Lee Load All, and MEC. All are good, just
consider the number of reloads you expect to do. I load only small quantities
of 16ga, and find that my Lee Loadall is very adequate for that quantity.
Reloading is on same level of satisfaction as shooting!!
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Old August 17, 2008, 08:11 AM   #9
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I have a Mec 76 series Grabber. I highly recommend Mec as a loader and they also stand behind their product. As for shot, I find the price is coming down. A friend called and said he was putting in an order and asked if I wanted in at $33.00 a bag. Last I payed was $42.00.
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Old August 17, 2008, 08:51 PM   #10
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Wow, Im glad I got alot of shot and wads still from a while ago and didnt realize it was up that high. I guess its time to start making my own birdshot when I run out. I still got 500+ pounds of mixed sizes so that should last for a while. I have seen alot of older shot for sale in different places cheap($15-$25 a bag) and you just gotta look around. I just bought a bunch of buckshot for 1.00 per lb. It seemed like a good price so I grabbed it.
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Old August 18, 2008, 12:44 PM   #11
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I was just at Gander Mountain last week, and the price of shot has come down a bit to $49.95 per bag; not like the $20 it was 3 years ago. I load my shotgun shells because I can tailor the components to the type of shooting I want to do. I recently started playing with a Littleton shotmaker because of the exorbitant shot prices. I load 12 gauge primarily because that's what we shoot. I use just about any hull, any powder, and any primer AS LONG AS IT IS LISTED AS A COMBINATION IN THE BOOK EXACTLY. Reread that. You can load some very effective loads, and if you buy Lawrence Magnum shot, you'll actually have BETTER shells than you can buy. My 1 1/4 oz loads leave the muzzle at 1340 fps., kick like a Show-me mule, and put the hammer on birds as far away as 70 yards with a full choke. I've been shooting them for DECADES, so they definitely work. As far as trap loads go, you will have to shop very well to be able to load them cheaper than $7.50 per box if you buy new shot. Some places like Powder Valley and Connies have shot for better prices, but you have to pay the cost of shipping, and for Connies, order the same day it comes in. It all comes down to what you want your ammo to do. If you just want to break clays, you might be able to buy reclaimed shot for a decent price. If you want that tom turkey to get hit by the hammer of Thor, you will have to reload. The best comparison load to mine is the RP 2 3/4" SP Express load of #4s that sells for $12 per box. I load mine with primo components for about $7 a box with the current price of shot, powder, and primers.
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Old August 18, 2008, 01:12 PM   #12
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crowbeaner, How does that Littleton shotmaker work, Good? I have heard mixed stories about them and thinking of getting one soon if I can afford it. Also, Do you have any info or links for them. Thanks.
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Old August 18, 2008, 07:35 PM   #13
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Burgess Bullets Inc. at bbullets@nwi.net phone (520) 370-4999
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Old August 21, 2008, 08:02 PM   #14
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aerod - I think the crowd here has covered the reasons to load shot. Bottom line is it usually saves money to make quality loads than to buy them. How much money you save depends on how you come up with your components and how much you want to consider your time as part of the cost.

You have, IMHO, one of the finest field load machines on the market in your Ponsness-Warren. I use a PW DUO-MATIC to build all of my 3" & 3.5" field loads for turkey, waterfowl, and upland birds, but I can't say I save money at it. The PW is great for loading steel and Hevi-Shot, but after buying all of the components, shipping them to AK, and taking the time to load and test loads I guess I may save 5-10% over the best factory loads I can buy. My handloads are tailored to my guns and the game I'm after, so there must be some economy and there is certainly satisfaction in that.

I also load for Trap, which calls for much more time and expense, but I can say that I actually save considerably cash by loading my own (and my wife's) even when lead cost more than it does now. The key to keeping those costs down is membership in the local Trap Club where the well-to-do members 'thoughtfully' keep the rest of us supplied with once fired hulls. The Club further supports the group addiction by purchasing componenets (some of which, e.g., primers, are useful for field work) at a good discount while passing those savings on to members. For the 2 3/4" loads I have used a MEC 600, then the PW, and now have a MEC 650 progressive. The 650, which is certainly not the best progreassive press on the market, certainly speeds the loading process and has served me well considering its low initial cost and overall reliability.

I agree with most here that carefully reloaded shotgun shells can save you a few bucks and will give you a better product per dollar spent.
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Old August 21, 2008, 08:18 PM   #15
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i reload 12 and 16 gauge ocasionally
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Old August 21, 2008, 08:26 PM   #16
Ratltrap
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aerod - I think the crowd here has covered the reasons to load shot. Bottom line is it usually saves money to make quality loads than to buy them. How much money depends on how you come up with your components and whether you want to consider your time as part of the cost.

You have, IMHO, one of the finest field load machines on the market in your Ponsness-Warren. I use a PW DUO-MATIC to build all of my 3" & 3.5" field loads for turkey, waterfowl, and upland birds. Building field loads is not really a big money saver for me. The PW is great for loading steel and Hevi-Shot. After buying all of the components, shipping them to AK, and the time it takes to load and test loads I guess I may save 5-10% over the best factory loads I can buy. Those loads are tailored to my guns and what I'm after, so there is some satisfaction in that.

I also oad for Trap, which calls for much more time and expense, but I do save considerably cash by loading my own (and my wife's) even when lead cost more than it does now. The key to keeping those costs down is belonging to the local Trap Club where the well-to-do members 'thoughtfully' keep the rest of us supplied with once fired hulls and further supports the group addiction by purchasing componenets (some of which are useful for light field work) at a good discount while passing those savings on to the members. For the 2 3/4" loads I have used a MEC 600, then the PW, and now have a MEC 650 progressive. The 650, which is certainly not the best progreassive press on the market, certainly speeds the loading process and has served me well considering its low initial cost and reliability.

I think that overall reloading shotgun shells can save a few bucks and certainly can give you a better product per dollar spent.
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Old August 25, 2008, 03:45 PM   #17
aerod1
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Well I have certainly got some good answers. I am not really learning to reload shotshell for the money savings but for the entertainment. Plus the thought of loading my own shells seems to have a feeling of satisfaction in knowing I'm doing it from scratch. This is something else about reloading I don't know and want to learn.
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