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Old February 17, 2013, 10:54 PM   #1
rcase1234
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Want to start reloading

Hey everyone. I want to start reloading shotgun shells since that is what I shoot most. What are the basics I need for this and how much will it cost me? Also, say I have a shotgun shell that had a slug in it, can I load that with a something new like birdshot or vice Versa? Thanks in advance
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:33 AM   #2
g.willikers
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Buy a shotgun reloading manual.
Read it thoroughly, and then ask questions for anything you still need to know.
Anything less is just being lazy and asking for trouble.
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:23 AM   #3
g.willikers
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Almost forgot.
thepowerfactorshow.com, linked from our own competition section, has quite a lot of videos on shotgun reloading.
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Old February 18, 2013, 12:10 PM   #4
rcase1234
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Just going to buy the Lee Load all. I am not trying to be lazy or ask for trouble just want some help! I don't even know where to start!
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Old February 18, 2013, 12:16 PM   #5
maillemaker
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Yeah, what G said.

I recommend:

The ABCs Of Reloading: The Definitive Guide for Novice to Expert

It covers reloading of all kinds of shells, including shotgun.

It is not a Reloading Handbook with load data, but it gives a fantastic overview of reloading.

Be aware that the 8th edition must have been printed on gold leaf or something as it is over $100. The 9th edition is priced as you would expect for a paperback book.

Steve
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Old February 18, 2013, 12:28 PM   #6
howlnmad
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Get yourself a couple of shotshell reloading manuals first and read through them a couple times. Then a good inexpensive press is the Lee Load-All II. It will do everything that you need to do.
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Old February 18, 2013, 02:42 PM   #7
rcase1234
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What's a good book with load data? I have watched some vids on te lee load all and there ain't much to it and I like he design
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Old February 18, 2013, 02:55 PM   #8
g.willikers
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Amazon has most, if not all, of the reloading manuals.
Just go there and peruse.
Check out the reviews, too.
Load data is available at the powder manufacturers web sites.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:10 PM   #9
gundog5
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Go get yourself that lee loaded (they work great) a manual or two for shotgun reloading, 200 shotgun primers, a bag of wads and 25lds of the shot of your choice. read the manuals first and have fun.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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I have the Lee Load All II and once you use it you will realize a fist grader could do it, just make sure you use the proper powder and shot bushing for your load. I mostly used Winchester AA hauls they seemed to allow for a better crimp than others. Just a FYI you aren't going to save much money reloading shot shells like you do with rifle or pistol.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:39 PM   #11
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How many shells do you go through a year on average? If you do any volume of shooting (trap, skeet or sporting clays) you might as well bite the bullet and buy a progressive. You can find a used P&W press for a decent price, that's where I'd start.

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Old February 18, 2013, 10:08 PM   #12
JimDandy
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What are you looking to get out of reloading? If the shell you use most often is a #8 or so, Walmart will be hard to outprice reloading most likely. But there are other benefits.
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Just going to buy the Lee Load all. I am not trying to be lazy or ask for trouble just want some help! I don't even know where to start!
STOP right there.....................get the MEC Jr (used) for about the same money - the versatility is worth a few extra bucks

You will want either Win AA hulls or any of the Remington hulls. Go to Alliant or Hodgdon websites and look at their free reloading data

You will need a SCALE, and a decent one

There are clone wads that work well. SOME primers can be be subbed, but not all. This is NOT metallic where you work up loads - you find one and go from there according to the recipe

RTFM and FOLLOW THE RECIPES
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:45 PM   #14
Nathan
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Quote:
Just a FYI you aren't going to save much money reloading shot shells like you do with rifle or pistol.
Depends on what you load...If you load slugs, you can save a lot. Same with other hunting rounds. If you try to beat Walmart at their #8 target shell pricing your time is free!
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Depends on what you load...If you load slugs, you can save a lot. Same with other hunting rounds. If you try to beat Walmart at their #8 target shell pricing your time is free!
Yea, but how often are you shooting slugs that you would need to reload for them not trying to be a smart ass I just didn't realize that anyone would shoot slugs enough to have a need to reload them.....
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:30 AM   #16
g.willikers
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Competition shooters, like for three gun, shoot slugs quite a bit at cardboard targets, some at fairly great distances.
One hole is easier to score and patch than a load of shot.
Reloading slugs might be attractive for making reduced power target loads.
Factory slug loads hurt after awhile.
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Old February 19, 2013, 06:45 PM   #17
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I shoot 12 gauge target loads, and I shoot about 15,000 a year right now. Buying components in bulk, reloading a 3/4oz 12 gauge load and I can get costs down to about $3.50 per box. Walmart, IF you can get them, will cost you $6.50/box. $3/box over 500 boxes in a year, just bought me a new gas gun
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:15 AM   #18
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Shot is the main expense. In my area, the price is going through the roof. 25 lb bags are nearly $60 with tax for hard shot. At that price, it really depends on what quality shells you're loading as to whether it is worth it.

I figure the current cost to load AA equivalent shells is about $6.50 per 25.
New factory loads are running over $10.

If you have cheaper, soft lead shot, your cost for a box may be around $4. Stores offer the soft shot promotional loads on sale for $4-$5.

If people say they can load for $2.50 or so a box, ask them what kind of shot, and where are they getting it. (This, by the way, is still my cost since I'm still using hard shot bought many years ago, but I only have a couple of bags left)

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Old February 22, 2013, 09:23 AM   #19
BigD_in_FL
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Use reclaimed shot for practice - that will get your costs way down. I shoot factory ammo for registered shoots, but I use reclaimed for practice
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:20 PM   #20
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I second the idea to go with one of the MEC loaders for shotshells..../ and personally I'd recommend a Grabber model ( its a manually indexing progressive machine ) ....I loaded on single stages 30 yrs ago....and I'm not going down that path again...

even the middle level Grabber model will produce about 6 - 8 boxes an hour....so time isn't that big a deal. 9000 GN and 9000 HN's are faster...but unless you get really addicted to the clay target games..you don't need the faster machines, especially the 9000 HN hydraulic...( although they are nice machines )....
----------
To add a couple of notes :

a. The only shell, I really want the hardest shot I can get ..is in a .410 .../ but for practice, most any shot is fine...( # 9's is all I load in .410 ).

b. For 12ga and 20ga practice...reclaimed shot is fine / but there is a difference in quality - depending on how it was processed. Some of it is really dirty ...some of its over-graphited...( requiring it to be cleaned in some manner or it'll really plug up your loaders)....and a lot of it is just fine right out of the bag. If I can't get reclaimed...I just go with whatever is cheaper....not the best or hardest shot...for practice....

c. Buy primers in case lots ( 5,000 per case), powder in 8lb kegs, wads in 5,000 case quantities ...and for shot go together with your buddies and buy a ton or two if you can ....( a ton is only 80 bags )..../ each 25 lb bag is about 400 shells if you're loading a 1oz load.....or you'll get about 530 shells if you load 3/4 loads...( which is what I'm doing in both 12ga and 20ga shells now....) you don't need more than that for practice anyway.../

I don't shoot as much as I used to...but its easy to go thru a bag a month when its only 16 boxes to a bag if you load 1 oz shells....and a lot of us still go thru a bag every couple of weeks at least...

In 3/4 oz loads ....my shells are about $ 3.60 a box ..../ 1 oz is about $4.50 per box..../ and in my area, even the cheapest retail shells are $7 a box.../ and I'm loading a shell that is equivalent to a new Rem STS shell ...that's closed to $ 10 a box retail...

I load a little bit of "OO" buck ...to fool around with at the range, but not much - I'm not really into tactical shotguns .../ most of what I reload is for clay targets...skeet, trap and sporting clays...
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:31 PM   #21
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If you cast your on shot would it be cheaper? just askin
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:39 PM   #22
BigJimP
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I don't think casting your own shot is practical ....and I think the lead you can buy, has a really low antimony level in it....so it would be way softer than most anything you could buy....

Qty's....even a 3/4 oz load of 8's has about 307 pellets in it..../ so coming up with a mold or a way to cast 307 pellets of #8 shot would be an awful lot of work ....in my mind.

Casting your own "OO" buck for practice might be an option..../ you can cast your own slugs...

-------------
But using "reclaimed shot" would be way smarter in my view...than casting your own...
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:38 PM   #23
Magnum Mike
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Quote:
I can get costs down to about $3.50 per box. Walmart, IF you can get them, will cost you $6.50/box.
I agree totally! If you a buying shells cheaper than reloading your doing something wrong!
Quote:
If you cast your on shot would it be cheaper? just askin
I do that also! Drop shot! Not perfect but it will break targets and have shot 25s in trap with it! Costing me under $1.80 a box for my reloads.
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