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Old March 22, 2005, 09:35 PM   #1
Join Date: March 18, 2005
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 57
12 Gauge Powder??

Hi, I was going to start reloading 12 gauge shells. I have 2 3/4 and 3" shells. What kind of powder do I want to look at for reloading? I will use it mostly for hunting loads.
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Old March 22, 2005, 10:53 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,212
Over the years I've burned probably upwards 30 pounds of Red Dot in my 12 gauge loads.

I am now, and always have been, extremely happy with it.

One of the men I used to shoot skeet with used to burn that much Red Dot in a season.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

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Old March 22, 2005, 11:05 PM   #3
Rodger Peterson
Join Date: December 18, 2004
Location: Nevada
Posts: 93
I like Winchester Super Target and Winchester wads because the shotshell reloading data Winchester provides is great, unlike their metallic data. Very comprehensive.
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Old March 22, 2005, 11:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 19, 1999
Location: Near Helena, Montana
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I buy Red Dot by the 8 lb keg for 12g. It's always worked well, so I've never switched.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets replaced...

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Old March 23, 2005, 10:18 AM   #5
Jim Watson
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Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,205
Get the Book.
Shotshell reloading is very much a cookbook process. There is not the scope for trial and error that there is for rifle and pistol ammo. EVERYTHING affects the results on pressure, velocity, and pattern.. The hull, the primer, the powder, the wad, the shot, the crimp all matter a lot.
Mixed hulls are generally undesirable. Sort yours out, see what you have the most of, and use an appropriate load specified for that brand. It is not very convenient to change loads in shotshell loading, I suggest you reload what you use the most of and buy the small batches.

What kind of hunting load?
The other guys are recommending powders suitable for trap, skeet, and bird hunting. If you want heavy loads for pheasant or bigger, you need a slower burning powder... as specified in the Book.

There are shotshell manuals as for brass, but the free literature available from the powder companies is valuable because the specs on shotshell components change and you need up to date information. A load in a five year old handbook for a hull and wad no longer made is not much use.
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Old March 23, 2005, 12:41 PM   #6
Join Date: December 4, 2001
Posts: 33
Mostly for hunting what? Mostly I hunt for bargains! For 12 ga. hunting or "field" loads I think of 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 to 1 1/2 oz in 2 3/4 shells and up to 1 7/8 in 3" shells. Nowadays I don't load heavier than 1 3/8 oz. I don't use Red Dot or WST for any of my shotgun hunting loads, although I've used a lot of both.
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Old March 23, 2005, 01:04 PM   #7
Join Date: March 18, 2005
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 57
I will be usuing it mostly for coyotes. I don`t know if it matters, but I have a 28" barrell?
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Old March 23, 2005, 08:18 PM   #8
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I highly recommend the Lyman Shotshell Reloading Handbook 4th edition manual. Also try powder manufacturers websites such as Winchester and Hodgdon and others. As Jim said, use "exactly" the components listed in the manual. I like Winchester Super Field powder for up to 1 1/4 oz. hunting loads using 4-5-6-or 7 1/2 shot. Give the Hodgdon web site a look:
The Hodgdon Longshot powder would make a good heavy hunting load. You will probably want #2 or BB sized shot for your coyotes.
Get all the literature on shotshell reloading that you can and follow the recipes exactly.
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Old March 23, 2005, 08:56 PM   #9
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Posts: 2,019
For coyote loads look to Blue Dot, Super Field, and Longshot. WEIGH each shot charge, with big pellets you will have a bugger of a time getting enough pellets in the load to make the appropriate weight. Go to Ballistic Specialties for the wads you will need.

Longshot would be where I would start. I've loaded and shot about 250K shotshells, and tried just about all the powders available.
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