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Shotshell reloading question.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by hi480volts, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. hi480volts


    Jun 13, 2007
    So, I am at my parents house over Christmas and was in the basement looking for some old hunting stuff when I stumble across an old bag full of empty 12 ga. hulls. Then the idea hit me, reload. Two things, can anybody recommend a good manual and press to get me started and is it as easy as it looks. Primers, powder, shot and wads and I should be good to go, correct?
  2. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    May 22, 2002
    Not all hulls are reloadable.

    MEC makes a pretty solid press that is affordable.

    I have a ton of manuals. All of them are usefull and useless in their own ways.

    Shotshell reloading is fun, but you dont see the savings you do with pistol and rifle.

  3. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    What is a bag of hulls to you might be a bag of trash to me.

    If they're Remington STS, then they're hulls -- I agree. Otherwise, not so much.

    Shotshell loading is not very cost effective, unless you are an avid competitive shooter. Even then, you'd probably rather be practicing than reloading shotshells.

    I load 'em because I shoot black powder and that's the only practical way to keep up with the amount I shoot. Commercial black powder loads are poor quality and expensive.

    I shoot smokeless, too, but never bother to reload them.
  4. tjpet


    May 14, 2001
    Utah-Idaho border
    When shot's $30+ a bag reloading's a waste of time unless it's for the 28 gauge or .410 bore.

    As a longtime ATA trapshooter I've watched the price of shot yo-yo all over the place the past couple years. Right now a guy can get it for $24 or so a bag if he's willing to buy it in quantities of 10 or more. As with any reloading endeavor you must purchase everything in quantity if you expect to save a buck.

    Last year when shot was, on average, $50 a bag I shot A LOT of Walmart Federal value packs
  5. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    May 22, 2002
    I bought 2,000 lbs of shot before the prices went nuts. Delivered I paid around $12 a bag. Myself and several guys at the range all went in and bought about 10 tons.
  6. hi480volts


    Jun 13, 2007
    Thanks for the info guys. That's why I love this place you get info from every angle. From my count I can buy 14 boxes(1400 rounds) of the value pack ammo from Walmart for the same price as the equipment to get started. It would take me years to shoot that. Make more sense to buy that way when you really think about it.
  7. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Have you priced shot lately? Crazier than bullet prices. Also check out Walmart. You can get a box of 100 12guage for about $20 (plus at least in this area it's plentiful). I was considering loading shotshells a few months ago, but put it off. The only reason I can see to start loading shotshells is to be able to get them during a shortage. Rather than stock up on a whole new set of components, I think I'll just stock up on shells high and deep.
  8. John R

    John R

    Dec 23, 2001
    I shoot skeet with a 28 ga shotgun, so for me reloading is worth while.
  9. Rich219


    Mar 4, 2007
    You can still reload shot shells for 1/2 the cost of factory.
  10. wavetrain75

    wavetrain75 Useless Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    You can get a Lee Load-All shotshell press for about $45. Undoubtedly the best buy in the reloading world. They have instructions for plastic shells and paper shells. You can crank them out for about $15/100.

    The Lyman book spends pages talking about the need to match the hull and load and the primer and how you'll blow up the neighborhood if you use a different wad, but think of all the shells that have been loaded with a Lee wack-a-mole. If there was that much voodoo involved all those old gray haired guys would have blown themselves up long ago.

    Plus it's not a bad way to spend an evening.
  11. +1 here for me. I haven't bought a box of factory in a long time. The cost of lead is staggering but I enjoy reloading almost as much as I enjoy shooting. My MEC reloading gear doesn't eat anything when I'm not shooting; again it's probably not as cost effective as reloading for pistol or rifle but it is just as fun to learn and just as fun to do.

    If it's not pressing, it's free to surf the internet and find out what you could put together slowly in order to have shotgun shell reloading gear. A nice afternoon spent around the press with a daughter or son is hard to put a price on.
  12. Kentucky Shooter

    Kentucky Shooter NRA Life Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    The MEC 600Jr is a great entry level press. I bought mine in 1982 and its still serviceable-in fact, it did the job for me so well I never graduated past it. But if I was a competitive target shooter I am sure I would have wanted one of the progressives. As a rule of thumb, I got to where I could load a box of 25 in 15-20 minutes without rushing too much.

    Like others have said, you can't reload much, if any cheaper than you can buy the wal-mart value packs. However, if you need a specialty load it definitely makes sense. By specialty, I mean anything other than the standard 12 gauge 1/1/8 oz loads. But if you want to load down and make your 12 gauge shoot like a 20 for your wife, kid (or even you) you can do that by loading some soft 1 oz loads (or even 7/8 oz) and save $. In fact, as far as I am concerned, the true soft shooting 12 gauge load in 7/8 or 1 oz does not even exist in a store---most of the 1oz loads you see on the shelf hype it as "high velocity".

    Or if you need some 1/1/4 oz heavy field loads, you can load them cheaper than what you would pay at a gun shop or true sporting good store. If I thought I was going to do much shotshell loading, I would be trying to lay back a few bags of lead if I could find it at the $25 or so a bag someone mentioned. It has not been long since it was double that. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  13. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    If you can find any, buy all the reclaimed shot you can lay your hands on. If it has been cleaned, sized and re-graphited it shoots every bit as good as new shot at roughly half the price.

    In a pinch you can also use reclaimed plastic shot cup wads if your club will let you go out and pick them up. Necessity is the mother of invention. A piece of Scotch tape or a drop of candle wax will hold the crimp together on a worn case although they can be bought pretty readily at any skeet and trap club for about five cents each.

  14. TheLastBoyscout


    Nov 8, 2005
    +1 on the reclaimed shot. Just purchased 200 lbs from my club @ $13/25 bag. At that price a box of 1oz loads costs me about $2.55 to load. Can't but them that cheap and they shoot just as good as factory loads....with less recoil.
  15. bob_fuller


    Nov 8, 2008
    Ankeny, Iowa
    i've never personally done it, but you can save even more if you cast your own slugs
  16. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    May 22, 2002
    I have shot lots of the Lyman 525 gn sabot slugs. Pretty accurate and fun to shoot.

    I tried and tried to find a lower recoiling load, maybe about 1050-1100 fps, but just couldnt get there from here.