View Full Version : Reclaimed Shot.....

Dave McC
November 23, 2008, 08:46 AM
With the price of components climbing, the cost of shooting has darn near doubled within the last half decade. The West Coast shot I use has gone from about $23 a bag to $39 at present, and had been up to $42.

That shot is as good as you can find. 5% antimony, nice and round, it makes up some very good loads in my MEC. I prefer 7/8 oz loads of 7 1/2 shot for most of my clay shooting, and they double for dove loads.

In my ongoing struggle to shoot as much as possible while not irking Wonderful Wife, The Permanent Head of The Budget Committee at Casa McC, I recently bought some reclaimed shot from a shooting buddy.

At 50 lbs for $50, the price is certainly attractive. The shot is reclaimed from a range north of here, cleaned, graphited and sold to shooter like me, first come first served. My buddy picked up 150 lbs, and split it three ways.

The first boxes are now loaded,using my pet recipe. While the sizes are obviously mixed, the stuff looks round, rolls straight and loads just like the premium lead.

Any experience with this? Any caveats or advice?

Use is casual clays and training.If I compete, I'll use the West Coast.


November 23, 2008, 10:05 AM

I used reclaimed shot from our local T & S club for many years. It was collected, cleaned (a filthy operation involving machines that looked liked modified cement mixers and huge clouds of dust), bagged and sold to the members. The itinerant recycler took his fee as a percentage of the harvest.

I never had any trouble with the stuff; but, it was ungraded and tended more towards 7-1/2s than 9s. Consequently, I didn't load any reclaimed in my .410 Skeet loads, but there were those who did. I'm sure you've heard anecdotal reports of foreign matter in the shot damaging barrels, but I'm of not aware of them being substantiated at my club. However, I might question using shot that had been reclaimed from a club with ocean front sandy fields.

The club no longer sells reclaimed shot. These days, the harvested shoot is completely re-manufactured (in Oregon), and sold to members at a price a little below "new" shot.

November 23, 2008, 10:20 AM
I bought some off E-bay several years ago and I'm still working my way through it. I don't get to shoot nearly as much as I'd like, so it's lasted this long. I've really enjoyed loading and shooting it. It seems to work just as well as other shot I've used with the possible exception of the long shots. The patterns tend to open up quicker (which stands to reason) and clays can slip through.

I don't think I'd use it for registered skeet or handicap trap competition but it works great for informal target shooting. I've even used it for dove and don't have any complaints. Okay, one. I wish I could get more of it!

November 23, 2008, 10:47 AM
Dave - those shells will do just fine for practice - when I lived in Carson City, we used to "mine" our club, (which was just down the road from West Coast so you know what shot was there)....and even here in FL we just mined our club and had the same deal.

I'm shooting shot made on a Littleton by someone from Tampa area, and it's basically the same as the reclaimed - not exactly round and the sizes may not exactly be the same, but my 5-stand and FITASC scores haven't changed.

That being said, if you're talking about a shoot for registered competition or serious money, then use the "good" stuff

Scattergun Bob
November 23, 2008, 11:03 AM
We just went thru the process of reclaiming 10 years of shot on the clubs trap fields. It is interesting that the shot shows signs of flattening. I often wonder if this has an effect on the overall performance of the shot cloud?

Being a combat type shooter and occasional hunter I forget just how expensive your field sports are. I'll try to remember the burden that 1oz of lead is every time I start grumbling about the price of 230 Gn .45 bullets!:eek:

By the way, took out the Remington Special Field yesterday for a round of Skeet, she was new in the box, John Satterwhite was right, you don't need a long barrel to shoot skeet. 24" works fine!

Mt best To You, Bob

Jeff Mulliken
November 23, 2008, 11:23 AM

I have gotten some reclaimed shot as barter for gun restoration work. The shot I got was not very round and though there were no pebbles etc in it there was also no graphite etc so it was clearly bottom feeder stuff.

I had to graphite it to get it to feed at all through my loader and even then it was a problem at times so I mixed it 50/50 with good shot and it worked great.

I tend to shoot a guns with pretty tight chokes and it opened them up a bit but I cant blame any misses on the shot....my scores did not change at all at skeet. I did not use it for trap.


Death from Afar
November 23, 2008, 02:49 PM
Dave, I patterned some a while ago, before the advent of digital cameras so there are no photos.

Patterns are erratic to be honest. I think the deformed shot tends to fly away quite readily so your pattern will thin out a lot. Also, there larger pellets I think push their way through the shot pattern and cause flyers as well. This is far more pronounced in .410 than 12 gauge, i suspect because of the longer shot string. I found it was best to tighten up your choke a tad (from 1/2 to 3/4, say) to deal with this.

Having said that, its actually not bad stuff. For cheap blasting ammo its hard to beat , and it was quite sucessful on rock pigeons when we shooting 300+ a day.

Jeff Mulliken
November 23, 2008, 07:53 PM
One more comment, run a magnet through it to check for steel shot. I found a fair amount of steel in the stuff I was given.


November 23, 2008, 08:06 PM
One more thing to possibly do is melt it and pour it into 10 pound pigs and sell it as premium lead (I don't know if it is soft or hard) to bullet pourin' guys for decent money and buy new shot. :o

November 23, 2008, 08:31 PM
I don't reload but the guy I generally go trap shooting shoots only his own reloads and uses primarily reclaimed shot from the local trap and skeet club. He's never had any problems with it, shoots good scores, and saves a significant amount of money by using it.

Dave McC
November 23, 2008, 10:24 PM
Thanks, folks.

Since I shoot little skeet, having 7.5s instead of 9s fazes me not. If I do skeet, I'll load up 8.5s.

If I compete, I'll go back to WC shot. This is more for training, practice and fun.

November 23, 2008, 11:58 PM
Has anyone tried to roll this shot down a pane of glass? Buddy of mine would do this saying the teardrop shot would go to the side and the flattened shot would stop. Do not know if this is accurate but it is how he said that he classified his.

November 24, 2008, 02:02 PM
New shot at my club is up to around $ 40 a bag as well.

I've shot some reclaimed stuff in the past - and it really depends on who is processing it / how well they clean it,etc. 20 yrs ago, I saw high quality reclaimed shot - and I used quite a bit of it.

The reclaimed stuff I've seen lately is $20-$25/bag - with a lot of flat sided shot / mixture of 9's - 4's probably / a few rocks / even though bags were marked 8's. Seller claimed it was washed, screened, regraphited, etc - but if you put a teaspoon of it in your hand and rubbed it around - your hands were black, so there was a lot of grit in it/he used too much graphite or something.

I ran a bag of it - in 12ga (at 1 oz). I figured extra quantity of shot would offset the flat sides ones, a few 6's and 4's were not that big a deal ....but after 200 shells thru my Mec hydraulic it gummed up the charge bar so bad I had to break the press down and clean it. I washed and dried the rest of the bag - sorted out the oddball sized stuff a little, wiped it all down, etc - and it ran fine thru the press.

It got worse when I patterned it - there were a lot of flyers. So I went back to West Coast and I shoot the 20ga and 28ga more to keep the cost down a little.

About 18 months ago when price hit $20 a bag, some friends and I bought about 5 tons ( a ton is 80 bags ). Its easy to store / stack on concrete floor of my shop / so it doesn't take up much floor space ). I'm only shooting about 8K shells a year these days, so even at 1 oz I'm only using about 20 bags a year / less if I shoot more 20 and 28ga.

I see the commodity prices leveling off / dropping a little - and they've been down about 15% over the last month or so - but I don't know how long that takes to translate into the retail price we see (labor, insurance, delivery, etc might still eat all that savings up too) but its worth discussing a long term buy of 4 or 5 tons with one of the suppliers / processors in your area and see what you can do. In the meantime, I'd go back to WestCoast if I were you / unless your processor of reclaimed is a lot better than what we've seen out here in the last year or so.

Dave McC
November 24, 2008, 09:58 PM
I rolled some down a box lid. Ran straight. It looks nice and round, though the sizes differ a little.

I guess I'll shoot this up for practice.