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Old January 1, 2013, 04:53 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 3,051
Does loading shotshells make sense today?

Yes! Oh I know how wally world and the other big box stores have those economy packs of shotshells. But if you took one of those econo shells apart, you would find soft chilled shot, a small charge of very fast powder, and the cheapest thin wad they could find. Loaded inside a hull that’s NOT made to be reloaded, in some cases attempting to reload them could be dangerous.

Now take one or more of those cheapy shells to the pattern board. Ummm, you do pattern your shotgun,,,right? No? Then how do you really know how the chokes really work? Anyway, the cheapo shells will have blotchy patterns, holes a bird, rabbit, or clays could sit in unharmed!

You can not reload shells cheaper than those econo shells. Can’t be done! Especially with what shot, powder, primers, and wads cost these days. Why would you WANT to?

What you want to load are shells that are as good as, or even better than the top of the line target shells put out by Winchester, Remington, and Federal. That would be the AA, STS and gold medal. To do that you must either buy the loaded shells, shoot them to get empties, or buy once fired empties. The new AA is no where near as good as the older compression formed AA. That leaves the STS and gold medal.

To duplicate the performance of the original loading, you need to buy all top of the line components. No skimping here. Magnum shot,(don’t let that name fool you), is high antimony shot. It’s harder than plain old chilled shot. The hardness translates into better patterns. It’s what the factory STS and others target shells have in them. Wads; The big 3 all sell their wads for reloading. They all work, but you can save some $ by buying claybuster wads. They’re made to the same dimensions as the wad they’re replacing, just cheaper. Some say the plastic isn’t as soft, but I’ve found them to work just fine. Powder; Just about any of the shotshell powders will work well. Just be sure of your recipe and follow it exactly. Primers; Again they all work well, be sure to match them to your recipe
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