Reloading for Shotguns


February 18, 2008, 12:07 PM
Some of the articles mix all reloading together. I'm looking for info on Presses for 12 guage reloading, both shot and "rifled slug".

Could you help me pick a press?

(1) I think I saw that there are pressess that eliminate separate handling (by hand) for primer installation. Is that right? Is that a great advantage?

(2) I figure that reloading 100 shells per hour would be fast enough. Is that a reasonable speed?

(3) This is for HD only, not necessarily for Trap & Skeet, nor hunting.:):)

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February 18, 2008, 02:04 PM
Here's some real basic info:

February 18, 2008, 04:36 PM
Take a look at the MEC Grabber, either the manual or automatic model. One of the best presses on the market today in my opinion. :)

February 18, 2008, 04:50 PM
I use a MEC Sizemaster that has a primer feed. I have used presses w/o a feed, and they work well too, and well within your shells per hour rate. If you do get a MEC, an adjustable charge bar is the only way to fly IMO. The Lee Load All might be just peachy for what you need, and the price is right. I got one in 1979, and filled several 3lb coffee cans with spent primers using it, and it still works fine.

Reloading shotshells has to be at an all time low these days... $50/bag for shot seems to be a reality for some, and unless you are loading "Magnums", savings will likely be very little over promo type ammo. Long gone are the days I would buy Remington competition, Winchester Target, or Lawrence Magnum shot at $7.99/bag. It's getting freaking ridiculous out there!

February 18, 2008, 05:49 PM
Thanks guys for recommending the MEC Sizemaster (discount priced around $150). I'll sure get that one.

Okay, I looked up the MEC Sizemaster and it does come with the "Adjustable Charge Bar" so I will get that one.

What other product will I need that you can recommend to match up with the MEC?

[You guys are steering me right. I can tell!]

February 18, 2008, 08:22 PM
A good scale if you do not have one yet. If really into "magnum" shot charges, make sure it is over 511 capacity unless you don't mind doing two part shot drop weighing, as 511 grains is not even 1 1/4 oz's. The charge bar will have micrometer like adjustment knobs, but I only use them as a guide, and a scale is a must to determine charge weight.

Static can be a real beotch with new plastic powder tubes, especially with flake type propellants. I will put a spoonful of powdered graphite in the powder tube, shake well, then dump to stop the static, and help powder flow. Also good to have some anti seize lube for the sizer collet, and I have used an MTM shell holder for many years, and like it for ammo storage much better than boxes.

Shotshell reloading is such a breeze, and I actually find it very enjoyable, and relaxing. Have fun.

February 19, 2008, 07:40 PM
Reloaded in the mid 70's and 80's w/friend in Colorado throughly enjoyable just 2 3/4 at that time we pushed lead 1 3/8 hot using a Mec 650 still have it and now in the 07's and 08's I'm at it again w/my son - boy did that change yep no lead (now in Indiana) but bismuth worked great-now that can't be found. Own 2 mecs one for 3's love waterfowl and pheasants enjoy and relax

February 19, 2008, 11:19 PM
If you are just reloading shells for home defense, then a MEC 600 Jr. Mk 5 is plenty. You don't need a progressive reloader for that low of a volume of reloading.

Be sure to get a Lyman Shotshell Reloading Guide. The latest edition just came out a few months ago, worth every penny.


February 19, 2008, 11:42 PM
Zeede said it right! How much shooting are you goimg to do? I have and use both! yes I still reload shotshells! AA's are $9 a box! I can buy everything even with the shot at $45 a bag and load great box of for $4.80. ( Shot is coming down now $38)
But since I started to make my own shot the price is even cheaper for me! :-)

February 20, 2008, 08:37 AM

I think that I might do a little trap shooting practice, but otherwise, my shooting might be limited to under 100 shells about every two weeks. It might even be less than that.

The nice thing is that I can get my wife comfy with the idea of her own shotgun, by starting her shooting with half-loads that I load myself. I like that idea.

What about recommending a scale that is adequate for Shotgun Shell reloading? What scale is adequate?

February 20, 2008, 03:09 PM
I use the RCBS 505. It's inexpensive and accurate for a balance type scale.

But there are others that disagree:

February 20, 2008, 03:44 PM
You could easily push out 100 shells an hour with a Mark V with an auto primer feed. I have both the Sizemaster and the Mark V with auto feed and I have never had an issue with the number of shells I produce. I guess it all depends on how you look at reloading. I enjoy my time away from everything else, so being a bit slower doesn't really bother me. In the past I would shoot 500+ shells a week and never had any problems replenishing. I don't know what powder you are loading, but if you are still looking, Clays is an excellent powder. It is so clean you can probably squeak by with a Tico tool for a few cleanings if you wanted. Anyway, have fun, be safe. :cool:

PS. 7/8 ounce loads are great for women. I've got my old lady preferring a 12 gauge. :D

February 20, 2008, 04:17 PM
I hate to say it, but unless you're going to load enough to justify a progressive press, it's darn hard to bead a Lee LoadAll for a starting reloader. I've used my two for years, and loaded everything from light birdshot loads to short magnum buckshot/slugs. A simple and versatile tool...and inexpensive too!

February 20, 2008, 09:35 PM
geezer. The mark V is a single stage press. You can load 2 3/4 or 3" with it. You can also buy charge bars and bushings or an ajustable charge bar. I use the mark V for handicap and game loads. The grabber I use for clay.
Bruce As far as a scale goes once you have things set up I'd check my charge every now and then. I know I should do it more often but I dont.
The 7/8 load that was mentioned earlier is a great load. I started my daughter(when sge was 12) out with that load and she has shot a 25 with it. We are loading 1 oz. loads now because my shot that I'm making is not perfect yet!
Scales can go from cheap to spendy! I had the beam type but went to a digital because of the ease if reading it fast.

February 25, 2008, 03:22 AM
(I started a thread instead of asking here.)

February 25, 2008, 06:00 PM

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