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12 Gauge Shotshell Reloading?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Highspeedlane, Aug 27, 2012.


  1. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane
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    My teen son is getting into trap shooting at our club. The club charges $5 for 25 shells, but the cheapest I can find trap/skeet loads at Wally World is about $7 a box (Winchester AA).

    So...I'm wondering if it's worth it to consider reloading for it, or just pay the $5 for their ammo. I loaded 12 gauge back in the early 80's with a Lee handloading kit and had mixed results, but good enough for shooting blackbirds with.

    Does anyone who loads for 12 gauge have a rough idea if it's worth the endeavor with respect to amortizing the cost of a press (leaning toward RCBS absent any other recommendations) and components?

    TIA.
     

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  2. sellersm

    sellersm
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    Try this online calculator

    For that price and for general trap shooting with 12ga, it's gonna be a close call. The biggest gains come from other gauges and/or more tailored/customized/specialized loads.
     

  3. unclebob

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    I don’t think RCBS makes a shotgun press. I would look at a MEC All depending on how much you shoot a week would determine on what press to get. The club I belong too we have club buys and save a lot on components. You just have to look and see what is in your area for the price of components. And see if it is worth it or not. Another way is shoot 1oz. loads instead of 1 1/8. Also ask around your club with the people that reload and see where they buy their stuff.
     
  4. F106 Fan

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    Lead shot is the problem. New shot is expensive and shipping kills the deal. Reclaimed shot is usually available at shotgun ranges but I certainly wouldn't want to use it when there was money on the table.

    I'm not a big trap shooter (28 ga skeet is my game!) but I think you can use 1 oz loads at 16 yards but you'll probably want 1-1/8 oz for handicap. I'm not sure what to use for doubles. It's probably best to see what the other shooters are using.

    I have a couple of Ponsness-Warren shotgun loaders (12 ga and 28 ga) and when I was shooting the OLD Winchester AA shells, reloading was a snap. With the new HS hulls, I haven't been able to load much of anything. I may wind up going back to my Hornady 366 presses.

    Often times the cheapest ammo is not the easiest to reload. I shot new Winchester AA just to get the hulls. I'm not sure about any other brands.

    I don't think you can save a dime reloading 12 ga. Ask around of the top trap shooters and see what they say. In the old days, everybody reloaded. Today, I'm not sure anybody reloads 12 ga although I can make a few bucks loading 28 ga.

    Richard
     
    #4 F106 Fan, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  5. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven
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    Yeah, I agree, five bucks is a very good price for a box of shotshells.
     
  6. unclebob

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    I know a lot of people that reload 12 gauge. I reload 12,20,28 and .410. And yes we save money reloading 12.
     
  7. vafish

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    Looking at the prices buying components from our club I get a price of $4.16 per box of 25. That's scrounging hulls, buying new lead, powder, primers, and wads.

    At $5 a box I wouldn't waste my time picking through empties and loading them up.

    I started loading 12 ga to make cheap slugs and buckshot. Haven't bothered with shot shells yet.

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  8. WiskyT

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    Agreed. It depends on the price of shot via club group buys. And it varies with each order. We ave a lot of die-hard trap shooters in my club and I can't get s definitive answer regarding cost because lead prices fluctuate like a commodity. For $5.00 a box, I wouldn't bother unless you enjoy it.
     
  9. Highspeedlane

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    Thanks to all for the helpful answers. I think the club ammo is the way to go.
     
  10. fredj338

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    IMO, unless yo uget really cheap shot, you don't save much, mayb $1/bx. That is if you get the shot cheap. At $5 for 12ga, I don't reload them. Now if you are loading for a specific perfomance level or type of shooting, then cheap game loads won't do.
     
    #10 fredj338, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  11. dkf

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    Back when I was shooting trap at the club in competition I reloaded all my ammo. Used Win AA hulls so many times I lost count. That of course was back in the 90s when component and ammo prices were a lot lower than they were now. I usually shot warmer loads with a good load of 7 1/2.

    You can go to local shop sometime and price powder, wads and shot and crunch the numbers. I have not priced the 3 in years but laughed my ass off when I saw a bag of shot going for over $50 at Cabelas. A local shop I used for years gets skids upon skids of the components in so his prices are super low.
     
  12. freakshow10mm

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    My guess is the $5/box ammo is loaded with reclaimed shot from the range. It's probably not sorted by size and contains all manner of variations of roundness. Nothing that patterns well enough to write home about. The patterns resemble that of a blunderbuss at 30y.

    The thing about handloading for 12ga or 20ga, is target loads it isn't about cost savings per round it's about handloading a custom load that is the optimal pattern for your shotgun at about the same cost as bargain commercial ammunition.

    I load 3/4oz in 20ga powered by 16gr powder for target using AA hulls I get for free. My cost per box is $3.19 or 12.767 cents per round. For my field load, I load 7/8oz powered by the same 16gr powder using the same free AA hulls. My cost per box is $3.45 or 13.767 cents per round.

    For the 3/4oz load, I simply keep the components the same as my 7/8oz field load except change out the Claybuster WAA20 clone wad for a Claybuster 3/4oz wad (which are $1.20/K more expensive). It's the correct column stack height. By using the same column height with the same powder charge but lighter shot charge I increase velocity, reduce pressure, and reduce recoil. This also allows me to load 76 more rounds out of a bag of shot with 3/4oz loads than with 7/8oz loads.
     
  13. TonyT

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    Usually one can find 12 ga 1 oz. loads for ca $5 per box of 25. At the current price of lead shot you are at ca 8 to 9 cents per shot, primers at 2 to 3 cents per shot and wads at ca 2 to 3 cents per shot. I enjoy reloading since I can customize my loads for less recoil. I shoot 1 oz loads at ca 1050 fps and load both 3/4 and 7/8 oz. loads for skeet. If your shooting volume is low then a MEC 600Jr is a great tool. I still use them for .410 and 28 ga.
     
    #13 TonyT, Aug 29, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  14. fredj338

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    Now 20ga & 28gs, you save quite a bit over factory.
     
  15. dbarry

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    I'm probably pretty close to 4-5 bucks a box reloading for target (trap or sporting clays). Where it really saves you money is specialty loads. As someone above said, reclaimed shot really cuts your cost - and that is good for practice.

    Turkey loads can cost upwards of $50 box for 10 rounds. Heavy hunting loads are getting very expensive too. So you can really save with hunting rounds. That's how I would justify the expense. Well, you have a blast reloading your own too. Nearly as much fun as shooting - I guarantee!
     
  16. Highspeedlane

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    I dropped in Dick's Sporting Goods yesterday and they were selling Remington Gun Club Target Loads, 1-1/8 oz 7-1/2 or 8 for $5.98 a box.

    Not sure what their markup is but it could be something similar to that my club is shooting and are obviously passing it along at little or no cost to the shooters.

    The next shoot is mid-Sept time frame so if I can make it I'll find out what the deal is.
     
    #16 Highspeedlane, Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  17. WiskyT

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    Make sure they are 25 round boxes. Remington has a habit of slipping in 20 round boxes sometimes. I bought a case one time at Sports Authority or wherever and just assumed it had 25rnd boxes. Wrong. It's a 200 round case of 20 rnd boxes.
     
  18. Highspeedlane

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    Thanks for the info Wisky. Yep, they were 25 count. Wondering if I should grab a few more (I picked up 2 while I was there).
     
  19. freakshow10mm

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    Gun Club hulls are the same as the Remington STS hull, so use the STS data. I like those hulls much better than AAs. Lot of guys on the Shotgun World forum buy the Gun Club ammo and reload the shells until they wear out (8-10 firings).
     
  20. Highspeedlane

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    Good info FS, thanks.
     
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