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Old January 4, 2010, 03:04 PM   #26
BigJimP
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The cheapest recipe / will be the one with less shot in it ...

My reloads for $ 12 ga are around $ 3.50 a box ( for 1 oz loads, at around 1225 fps ) ( I think I told you $ 4 a box earlier, but I see the price of shot is down at my club to about $ 26 a bag now:

Shot ( 1 oz ) $ 0.08 cents per shell
Powder is $ 0.03 cents per shell
Primers are about $ 0.03 cents per shell...

so loading 1 oz / or even 7/8 oz in a 12ga will save you some money...

the rest of it is buying the components based on the performance you like / but the most popular powder around here 10:1 is Hodgdon Clays in 12ga with the one of 10 guys using Unique.....

and 10:1 guys are using Rem STS hulls
primers are all over the board - with guys using Chedite, Win, Rem, etc ... consensus is REM or WIN are better primers but the others are a little cheaper right now.
--------------
But yes, get in with the guys at the local club - ask around and see who does some reloading / and who may have a machine for sale .... and you'll get all kinds of responses. You'll have to figure out who is giving you "quality data" vs just flapping their gumms ..... Remember, free advice is worth about what you pay for it .....

But at every club you'll find guys that are really serious about their reloads / and some guys that are really careless ( don't use formulas, never clean their presses, etc ). It was rainy and nasty up here over the weekend / and the football games were bad news ....so I spent a couple of hours taking my 12ga and 20ga hydraulic MEC's apart, cleaned it, checked everything, anti-static stuff on bottles, lubed everything .... just because !! Then went over to my local indoor range and put 8 boxes thru a couple of my handguns in 9mm and .45 acp ... It was a great day .... and the loader is good for another few thousand shells, and I feel better about it .....
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Old January 4, 2010, 03:41 PM   #27
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The cheapest, as Jim says, has less shot (and I'll add less powder, but only to a lesser degree), in top-quality FREE hulls you scrounged.

Currently folks I shoot with are using NobelSport primers. many like Titewad, Clays, Promo or similar as they are less expensive than some of the old standbys like Red Dot, et al. Just about everyone I know uses a clone wad of some sort from Claybuster, Downrange or similar as they can be almost half the cost of Winchester, Remington and Federal wads. We have reclaimed shot being used, locally-produced shot and then there are those who settle for nothing but top-priced name brand shot. Is there a difference? I'm sure there is, it becomes a question of how it patterns in YOUR gun and whether or not you can actually tell the difference.

There are folks like me who reload a 28 hull until it splits down the middle, and then I shoot with folks who only shoot factory 28's and throw the empties away.

I think you DO have to factor your time somewhat into the equation - especially if you are self-employed or work in a situation where time really IS money.
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Old January 4, 2010, 04:20 PM   #28
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OneOunce is right, there is money to be saved using clone components - in wads ( like claybuster, etc ) ...and reclaimed shot especially ...and in primers too. Rem primers for me right now are about $ 35 / 1,000 where Chedite, etc are $ 28 / 1,000 .....and I think the Chedites are fine.

The problem I have with the reclaimed shot my club has ...is its over graphited ...so it actually plugs up a charge bar on loaders as they cycle. I suppose you could "decant" it if you will .... dump it out, wash it, or run it over a screen ...and clean it ...

but at my club reclaimed is $ 6 a bag less / and that only equates to about $ 0.25 - $ 0.30 a box and I'm not cleaning shot for $ 0.30 a box ....

If I had access to good re-claimed shot like OneOunce does - I'd use it too - especially for practice. For weekend shoots / I prefer a premium reload. For bigger shoots - state tournaments, etc - I shoot new factory Rem STS ammo ( and save the hulls of course ).
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Old January 4, 2010, 04:45 PM   #29
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FYI - Wideners will ship 50lbs of shot in a large USPS flat-rate box. That puts the cost of Star magnum shot at around $61/50lbs, delivered.
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Old January 4, 2010, 05:29 PM   #30
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On Shot specifically - my club has:

reclaimed at $ 20.25
Northwest Shot at $ 24.86
West Coast Hard Shot at $ 28.87

Star Magnum is pretty average shot - similar to Northwest, I think in terms of hardness.
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Old January 4, 2010, 05:37 PM   #31
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If you are shooting a flat a week, it definitely makes sense to load your own shells. One thing I didn't see mentioned (excuse me if I missed it) is that you need an accurate scale. The bushing charts are just approximations and are often not correct. Never trust what the companies say a certain bushing should throw, weigh it yourself.

Honestly before buying any components or supplies, I would start with the Lyman #5 reloading manual. There is a ton of good information in the book and it will help you understand shot shell reloading.
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Old January 4, 2010, 05:46 PM   #32
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Absolutely right on the scale - I prefer a balance beam - IMO more trustworthy and reliable than a digital
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Old January 4, 2010, 06:02 PM   #33
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You're right / I didn't list a scale ...but the basic reloading books will give you a list of the "stuff" you need ....and a good scale should be at the top of your list.

Just to be contrary ....I prefer a digital scale. But there isn't really anything wrong with a balance beam scale either ( I still have the one I bought in the 70's - an old OHaus balance beam) and I keep it as a backup.
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Old January 4, 2010, 07:08 PM   #34
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Dre, I also started with a Lee, but now have MECs in four gauges. For reloading equipment and supplies, I've rerouted my vacations to find myself in Jackson to load up the SUV at:

J & S Wholesale Inc.
www.bargainammunition.com
1322 Jackson Gate Rd
Jackson CA 95642
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Old January 4, 2010, 08:42 PM   #35
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zippy13

J & S Wholesale Inc. is like 50 miles from me...I'll definately go there to check stuff out...
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Old January 4, 2010, 09:06 PM   #36
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+1 to Zippy's recommendation on J&S - they used to bring a truck to Carson City every week for all of the reloaders there and deliver to our houses

Then go shoot at Commanche in Ione and have Mr. Tate fit your gun (or make you one), or Bird's Landing near Sacto.....
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Old January 4, 2010, 10:55 PM   #37
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Dustin0

You might want to check this out. Its a reload calculator it will give you the cost of reloading.

http://www.trapshooters.com/rlcalcadv.htm





Thank you very much - it is so useful
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Old January 4, 2010, 11:07 PM   #38
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Is it OK to use cheap hulls like Estate etc.? or don't even bother?
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Old January 5, 2010, 12:31 AM   #39
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Ponsness Warren is the best bang for the buck when it comes to reloaders. Heres two websites you might browse.

http://www.reloaders.com/
http://hodgdon.com/
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Old January 5, 2010, 12:34 AM   #40
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Probably the old Winchester AAs or the new Remington STS would be a better choice for a hull. Claybuster wads, and as mentioned above, Noble Sport primers.
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Old January 5, 2010, 06:30 AM   #41
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I did mean 5k wads for $80, little type-o sorry.

Rem Gun Clubs are my favorite hulls so far. Nothing beats being able to reuse them up to 4 or 5 times
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Old January 5, 2010, 08:51 AM   #42
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Info

Dre: The very first thing that you need to do is buy a good shotshell reloading manual. (I'm a little surprised that it took seventeen posts before someone recommended a manual). Every single one of your questions will be answered in that book (the Lyman Shotshell Reloading Handbook is a good one).
You can find load data online for free but the other questions need to be answered in a more organized way than the normal "free-for-all" approach that happens when you ask those kinds of questions on any forum. The answers that you get, as above, will be knowledgeable (most of them - can you tell the difference yet?) but each will be a bit different than the other. That'll be better for you when you know more.
With all that you are talking about purchasing, the cost of a manual is small change.
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Old January 5, 2010, 09:38 AM   #43
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Can Estates be reloaded?

In a nutshell, yes they can - basically ANY hull CAN be reloaded. The question becomes can it be reloaded SAFELY with a TESTED recipe? In many cases, the answer is no. There will be folks who say that it doesn't matter as long as you follow the recipe for a similarly built hull (straight versus taper, etc); however, I like my fingers and eyes, so I use known recipes from a good resource like the aforementioned Lyman manual or from the powder mfg. websites

While there IS some interchangeability between certain components - certain primers are equal strength, certain hulls from the same company are interchangeable, and certain powders will use the same recipe, until you get well-versed in all of the little nuances involved, do yourself a favor and stick to the main names, even if they cost a little more where you live. Once you've built some safe loads, and are happy with their performance in YOUR gun, then start to work on others for different applications.

I can tell you what works in MY gun, and it might do a decent job in your gun, then again, it might not be as good as something different. Even though these do not have match chambers and throats and specific rifling, etc. like a rifle, they are unique unto themselves in many ways.

One thing I would recommend when trying to build a good load for your gun - load no more than 2 boxes of that load at first. Take the first box to the pattern board and see how it performs on paper and take the second box to the skeet field and see how they perform at station 1 and 7 and maybe 4. If the patterns seem iffy, but you are crushing targets, you might want to leave it alone. If it is the other way around, you might need to look at gun mount or tweaking the load just a little.

The main thing is SAFETY FIRST AND FOREMOST - fun will follow
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Old January 5, 2010, 11:32 AM   #44
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Dre,
A lot of good suggestions are given here, however I believe that as a reloading newbe you should hook up with somebody who reloads and has done so for some time. Make sure this person is a safety first guy, who doesnt just substitute components but follows the reloading tables provided by Alliant, Hodson etc.

Years ago I shot quite a few clayes and reloaded on a Texan fw single stage. It worked OK but was somewhat slow. I got out of shooting (except for shotgun deer hunting) for a couple of decades because we had to buy braces, sports equipment etc for the kids.

A couple of years ago I decided to try clay shooting again and got hooked again. I bought a MEC 9000G, my first progressive. This machine has a good reload rate and can also be used as a single stage until you get used to it. I however thought I knew how to reload and just started to crank em out.

Needless to say that I had some messes to clean up (shot & powder all over the place). So I reloaded a few boxes one at a time until I got confident with the machine. To alleviate the occasional mess I put a cookie sheet under the machine to catch any potiential mess. See the attachment of my setup.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Loader2.jpg (68.3 KB, 13 views)
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Old January 5, 2010, 12:04 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olddrum1
Ponsness Warren is the best bang for the buck when it comes to reloaders.
As my friend mentioned, Ponsness Warrens are a step above the MECs. Most folks are happy with MECs, but the PWs do an exceptional job of reloading. The only disadvantage being their cost and larger foot print. If you're really willing to dig deep into your pockets, check out the Sproal reloader.
http://www.spolargold.com/
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Old January 5, 2010, 11:58 PM   #46
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As Z13 mentioned, I use different hulls for different disciplines. Red AA=1200 fps 8's, Gray=1260 fps 7 1/2's and so on. The Fed papers are a joy to reload and a pleasure to shoot. I think they seal better. If you have 10,000 hulls, it might be worth a quick look through for premium hulls.
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Old January 6, 2010, 01:41 AM   #47
Dre
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Bought Lyman shotshell reloading handbook 5th edition today...wow it has all the info I needed, but the "tips" you guys gave me are priceless
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Old January 6, 2010, 02:13 AM   #48
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Do you use the same recipe with NobelSport primers as with other brand primers? NobelSport primers not listed in the book...
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Old January 6, 2010, 05:48 AM   #49
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nope

Quote:
Do you use the same recipe with NobelSport primers as with other brand primers? NobelSport primers not listed in the book...
No, you use the recipes exactly as written. You may have to look around for Nobel load data or some reference as to their equivalence.
Will the Nobel primers work? Yes, they will.....but you will not know what the pressures are like.
Now that you have the Lyman book, take a look through a section at loads that use the same of everything except for one component. You will find examples where changing only one element, like the primer or the wad, resulted in a pressure change of as much as 2K psi (though smaller changes of 300 to 500 psi are more common).
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Last edited by darkgael; January 6, 2010 at 05:56 AM.
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Old January 6, 2010, 11:39 AM   #50
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Nobelsport and Winchester 209's are VERY close in characteristics
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