Cost of reloading 12 gauge


August 25, 2008, 11:17 AM
Do you find it cost efficient to reload 12 gauge? How much does it cost to reload a box of 12 gauge shells, assuming you already have the hulls? Thank you.

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August 25, 2008, 12:04 PM

Unless you already have the hulls, wads, shot. The cost of shot has risen immensly over the years. Just a huge amount. So has powder. About the only thing you can get cheap is the wads. Its not like reloading rifle or handgun ammo. You will spend more money than what its worth. Unless you already have shot. Shot is the key component. Now as far as presses. If you have the time you can still get a lee loader on ebay for a very good price it will reload shotgun shells almost as good as a press. I say almost as good as the crimp never comes out correctly. Unless you can find a lee loader deluxe. The lee loader deluxe has two key parts a starter crimp and a crimp. This will give your shells the same look as oe. However if you wanted to go the cheap you can always buy some over the shot cards. Then use an exacto knife cut the whole crimp off. Insert the card with a little elmers glue and your good to go. Now as far as presses. There is a whole bunch of presses out there. From a lee load all to the mec. Just so many different types of presses. Your gun wont tell the difference between a 20 dollar press and a 300.00 press. Your wallet however will. With the cost of components i would suggest going the cheap. In fact i have two different types of presses. however i always find myself using the crude outdated one. Why because its simple easy and it works. The press i use is a lee load all junior. It can also be found on places like ebay for around 20.00. it produces good quality ammo. just as good as any other press. Again though if your looking at tinkering into shotgun. Its probably not worth it today. if your heavily into shot gun. My question would be how heavy. As when walmart has on sale the 100 rounds for about what 20.00 now a days. Thats kinda hard to beat. Now as for my .410 all the shot gets saved for that gun. As the cost on shells is about 9.00 for 20 rounds.

Hopes this helps

August 25, 2008, 12:10 PM
I checked the cost of reloading 12 ga slugs recently, it is terrible 9 cents ea

the only thing not considered was cost of shipping for various items

August 25, 2008, 12:22 PM
.09 cents to reload slugs. That may be partially true. Partially because if you cast then you might be able to cut the cost of the most expensive part. However i am not going to be waisting my lead to cast huge shotgun rounds. Then purchasing slugs i believe is a lot higher than .09 cents a round not including the other components.

Yep id love to know where you buy slugs that cheap to make a .09 round. that would make what the slug around .05 cents to add in the primer, wad and propellent.

Check out current prices.

August 25, 2008, 12:33 PM
nope still dont see it. here is midway***11462***9502***

so i wonder how much lead i would use to make say 25 12 guage slugs. Then take the same weight of lead and how many 9mm or even 30-30 bullets i can make. Ya im sticking to making bullets not slugs. Cost is way higher than .09 cents. Now if you can find someone who sells slugs that cheap. let me know i just might buy a few thousand of them. If i can get them to around .04 cents. that be great. i can smelt them down into bullets.

Jason M
August 25, 2008, 12:58 PM
You will spend more money than what its worth.

Not so. With the shot supply I have from a purchase three years ago, I am currently reloading AA quality shells at $2.52/box. However, even buying shot NOW, I will still be reloading AA quality shells for $3.68 a box.

Have you SEEN the cost of AA or STS shells in the store? $6.00+ easily.

Shot is the price burden, so save money elsewhere:

-Claybuster or Duster wads (~$8-10 a bag of 500, $0.016-0.02 each)
-Wolf 209 primers (~$19 per 1000, $0.019 each)
-Scavenge hulls from ranges (I can routinely scavenge 500+ hulls from the range on a given weekend)
-Shot can still be had online for $39.99 a bag and they ship US Bulk rate postage at $8.50 per 75 pounds.

I use a MEC 9000G to reload about 500 shells and hour when I do a session. Between trap, skeet, sporting clays, snipe, dove, crow and small game, I am saving myself a LOT of money.

August 25, 2008, 01:27 PM
How much is a mec 9000g going for now a days. I think if your shooting that much its well worth it. Just depends on how much you shoot though. Like myself i may shoot 100 rounds in 3 months or longer. So its easier to stick with the cheaper presses.

August 25, 2008, 01:33 PM
I cast the Lyman sabot style slug(looks like an oversized airgun pellet) from 50/50 pb/ww, drops at 510 gr+/- for 12 ga. Load using winchester wad over 22.5 gr. Unique in 2 3/4" hull. Mossberg 500 smooth bore with rifle sights=6" groups @ 100yds.. Factory 18 1/2" barrel.

August 25, 2008, 01:59 PM
I've got the MEC 9000GN press, and it's probably one of the best shotgun presses on the market. I owned a Hornady 366 for awhile, but didn't like it. The 9000GN is $429.99 from Connie's Components:

As mentioned, shot is the biggest cost in loading shotgun shells. I'm currently using Downrange wads and Fiocchi primers. Red Dot is up to about $105.00 an 8 lb. keg and shells are free. I've loaded 2,000 rounds while it was raining the last two days, but I'm about out of shot again. My partner and I bought a Littleton Shot Maker, and we're going to give that a try.

It all depends on how much shotgun shooting you're going to do. If you're only going to be shooting occasionally, then it's not worth it, but if shooting a whole lot, then it is. We're saving about $2.00 a box, but I'm also loading a load that isn't commercially available except at premium prices, so with these, I'm saving about $5.00 a box.

Hope this helps.


August 25, 2008, 02:01 PM
Good post fred

August 25, 2008, 02:36 PM

August 25, 2008, 08:55 PM
I like to load 12ga, so i can tailor my loads in any combinations of;
shot weight from light to heavy,
shot from small to large,
wad patterning from tight to wide,
velocity from slow to fast.
As i'll use a 12ga for a variety of uses target and field. I even cast Lee slugs that load with standard trap wads, which i find give good acuracy even in a smoothbore. Over the years i've built up a stockpile of casting lead, which has cost me next to nothing and i aquire it faster than i can use it up. (over 1,000 lbs of hard lead alloy and around 400 lbs of pure soft lead-which great for making 12ga slugs from.)
Although there can be some really good bulk buys on 12ga rounds at times, I've been weary of some of that cheap foreign made stuff (inferia wads, oddly shaped shot, some still use corrosive primers, etc)
I know the quality of the components put in and any price saving is an added benefit.

August 25, 2008, 09:21 PM
REMO hows it going. have you shot black powder loads. i shot some over the weekend. Man they are fun to shoot.

August 25, 2008, 09:25 PM
I'm good scrat, yeah, i'm assuming your talking 12ga BP. BIG BOOM and Lot's of smoke. :)

August 25, 2008, 09:31 PM
If what you want is a light 12ga 1 oz number 8s. There is almost no cost diffrence when you buy shells by the case when on sale. IMO its not worth it. Now if your doing something like a Int'l comp or game load, then yes you will save money.

Jeff F
August 25, 2008, 09:38 PM
I don't reload shot shells but my buddy does. He buys his components and shot in bulk and saves a little that way. He says its saving a little money but mostly he can load way better quality loads for about the same or a little cheaper then the cheapest factory loads you would buy at Wal Mart. I have shot lots of his loads and they are quality, hard shot, good patterns and deadly on quail, chuckers, and doves as well as clays.

August 25, 2008, 09:41 PM
i was loading alot of black powder when i first started. i have several thousand of those fiber wads. If anyone wants to give them a try let me know i can send some your guys way. i have over the powder cards over the powder wads in different thickness and over the shot cards. i have shot some very good bp loads. they are really fun. The boom is really huge and and a good amount of smoke. i once loaded up some for trap shooting. That 12 guage was the hit of the range.

August 25, 2008, 10:41 PM
Where can i find 12g BP loading information?

August 25, 2008, 10:44 PM
hodgon website

Jeff F
August 26, 2008, 08:29 PM
scrat, I have always wanted to take a box of bp loaded shells to the trap range but they probably would not think it was very funny and I do like to shoot there.

August 26, 2008, 08:33 PM
you should check. its so fun. Same time those bp loads were awesome. i had it just right. The pattern was great. The boom was different though. it wasnt a huge ball of smoke either just a good puff that came out of the barrel to let you know it was black powder.

August 26, 2008, 11:35 PM
I have bags of shot from a few years ago when they cost under $25/bag. I know, even longer ago they were $16 but I wasn't loading shotgun in those days.

All my shells are Rem STS or Nitro hulls, W209 primers, 1-1/8 oz magnum shot and Rem wads. I'm coming in way under the current price of new STS Premier or Nitro 27 ($7.49 + tax at WalMart).

But if I had to buy a decent press today (I use a MEC650 and a MEC77 Sizemaster) and buy shot at $40+ per bag I probably would not do it.

Steve C
August 27, 2008, 12:49 AM
You will load aproximately 320 shells w/ 1-1/8 oz loads from a 25lb bag of shot or $.13 per load of $41.60 per bag shot. 370 rounds from a lb of powder 18.5gr /round or $.06 per round of $20 powder. Wads aproximately $.02 each. Primers approximately $.02 each. Cases purchased used from a trap range, reloaded 10x comes out to around $.01 cost. Comes out to around $.24 a round or $6 a box of 25 and thats using a pretty high cost for components.

Winchester AA's run around $10 a box so you should be able to save $4 a box. If you can reduce the cost of shot or powder, that's where the big savings are.

August 27, 2008, 06:19 AM
Data & wads are now available to load 12 gauge with just 3/4 oz of shot. I can not tell the difference in skeet between the ounce-and-an-eighth and the 7/8 oz loads. I've been using the Downrange wad, with 700x and Winchester primers.

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