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Old 08-03-2008, 01:10 AM
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Default Reloading Shotgun Ammo



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Who hear loads their own shot-shells? Can you re-load them? I have done some searching on this, but don't actually know anyone who does it. Does it make economic sense? Is there an improved performance as well?

Do you need a special reloader press?
Old 08-03-2008, 05:57 AM
LuniticFringeInc LuniticFringeInc is offline
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Yes shotgun shells can be reloaded. You wont really see much of a savings when reloading shotshells but once you start reloading Buckshot or casting and reloading slugs there is a significant savings if the lead is free (slugs). Its stupid easy to do.

I use a MEC 600 JR single stage press that I picked uip for 5 bucks at an estate sale. Despite being a single stage I can easily reload about 90-100 rounds an hour using shot or about 40-60 an hour reloading slugs or 00-Buck.

In some cases you can improve your loads but as far as beating hi-performance factory loads its kinda tough as they often use powders not available to the public and in some cases componets. But you do have the ability to tailor loads which can be advantagous.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:00 AM
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I agree with Lunatic Fringe Inc. You can save more buy getting with guys that shot a lot of trap and sheet. They buy in bulk and get better prices on primers and powders and such.

If you are just starting out you might look at the Lee Load all. It will get you started if you like doing it then get the Mec, keep the lee as a back up or use it to get a friend started.

Use common sense with casting lead. It is fun and cheap, if you get the lead free, check with you local tire changing place or gas station.

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Old 08-03-2008, 07:05 AM
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Here is a link to a useful cost calculator for reloading shotgun shells http://www.shootpita.com/reloading-cost.htm
Old 08-03-2008, 07:25 AM
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Talking about cheap lead, Midway USA has a deal on lead shot. I got an e-mail in my inbox that they have some sort of sale going on (like 10% off anything not already on sale - which happens all the time BTW). I used that and bought their 50 lbs bag of lead shot, which, has a special deal that includes free shipping. So, for $90, no tax, no shipping and on sale I got enough shot to reload more than enough 410 and 12 gauge shells which I use. Since lead is about a dollar a pound, and heavy too, I consider that a good deal.

Also, my brother uses lead shot to weight down train cars and made the mistake of buying a big bag local. So, I bought the rest of his reasonably since he won't be using it all anyway.

That is meant as an example and not a promotion of a particualr comapnies product (which I'm not connected with them - buy where you want, but by it cheap). My whole point is you have to get stuff on sale like that, wherever you buy it, for it to be worth while. Another good option is using Winchester Super AA HS shells, which I find outlast most other stuff. Buy cheap at places online or at Wally and save the hulls after shooting the initial load. These are really good thick high strength (hence HS) hulls that you can reuse over and over and over and over.

One last note is to buy primers in bulk, not 1k at a time. Get a bunch (10k) and split what you need with friends locally or at the range that are interested. It saves on haz mat fees and shipping, while, if you do sales only like I do (I never have or will buy gun stuff unless its on sale - believe it or not), it can save big bucks.

The reason I reload is it's the only way to afford 410, which is way more than even 12 gauge. As a side benefit, like mentioned, you can reload for stuff you can't buy, like #12 in 410 or buckshot of odd sizes in 410, which are hard if not impossible to get. Another option, is to even cast your own slugs, but I've not tried that. I think that would take a bunch of shooting, which I don't tend to do with a shotgun.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:54 AM
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Whan I was a teenager I reloaded shotshells with a lee load all. It is very simple and the parts needed can be thrown in a backpack or vehicle if needed. Though the lee load all is much slower then a press it can be taken anywhere with no effort.
Old 08-03-2008, 09:40 AM
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Eeyore Makes some good points.

Im one heck of a scrounger. I got 5000 AA once shot hulls buy helping to clean up the gun range at the local shooting club. So thats where I got all my hulls for free keeping things cheap.

I cast my own slugs. The melting pot did cost a bit as did the lyman mold for a sabot slug that fits in a WAA-12 wad which means I can star crimp my hulls and extend thier life considerably. The lead...it was free too. I just got a couple of 5 gallon buckets and take an empty one down to the car repair shop thats local and take the one full of wheel weights and melt them down in to 12 gauge slugs and 44 & 45 & 50 cal. slugs. Since I do a lot of fishing the melting pot and free lead also allows me to cast my own fishing weights, jigs and several other lures. This helps justify the cost f the melting pot, molds and time spent.

Buying componets in bulk is a real boon too! I almost always buy at least 5000 primers at a shot unless I am doing some load development. The shot gun primers can be used for shot shells or my inline muzzle loader. Powder is another one to buy in bulk. Its much cheaper that way. I also have a tendency to buy powders that can not only be used in my shot shell reloading but also in various pistol loads. This cuts my expenses considerably and gives me a lot of versitility in reloading keeping things economical.

I really like the MEC 600. Its a pretty simple affair and should you decide to get kinda serious about it, all your accessories are interchangable with thier progressive loading press, keeping the move up cheaper in the long run. This press can be made to be pretty portable too. I have mine mounted on a slab of wood and with clamps or a coup[le of screws can be set up on a stump, fall down, one of the pockets of a truck bed or a hida hitch and let me reload in the field if need be. Just need to use a little imagination, thats all, and youd be suprised at what you can rig up.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:59 AM
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I was given a lee loadall II today from my best freinds dad. He got it in a trade and didn't care to try reloading. Only problem it has none of the paperwork. Any ideas where i might find it for d/l.? I thought about giving buckshot for 12ga a whirl as it is VERY hard to find here now.

If I can't find the paperwork I might list it on CL for trade for a case of shotun ammo or something.
Old 03-01-2009, 02:38 AM
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go to the Lee shotshell web site hun,you should be able to get imformation thear,but dont get rid of it if you cant,you will run across someone that can help im sure.
Old 03-02-2009, 12:42 PM
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For all your shotshell reloading needs and lots of information try:

Ballistic Products

They carry the odd size buck that I love to use, #3, F, TT, T, BBB...
Old 03-02-2009, 05:07 PM
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When I was younger, my father and I would use Mec 600 single stage presses for 12 and 20ga. We reloaded 200 rnds every weekend for a Skeet shooting league.

If you just want to get into it cheap I would recomend finding one of the Mec 600's. Might find one with auto primer feed. Just like stated before, you can scrounge up a couple hundred and just do it for the fun of it and play with some shot loads and do some patterning. I still have mine and sometimes think of reloading some for the hell of it.
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