reloading buckshot


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AcceptableUserName
May 20, 2010, 11:42 AM
How would you recommend getting started reloading shotgun shells, and buck shot specifically? I'm looking to start learning and want to do it cheaply and effectively.

My other question is, just how good of a buckshot load is possible by the home reloader? As far as patterning and lack of shot deformation, etc

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ants
May 20, 2010, 11:52 AM
Lyman has a shotshell reloading book, with a whole chapter on buckshot. It has all the information you need, and more.

Unlike metallic cartridge reloading, shotshell is very specific to the type of hull, type of wad, powder and primer. You can't mix-n-match. You have to be very faithful to the combination of components you have on hand. Lyman Shotshell will explain all this, with cutaway views of the various hulls so you can see why.

Although you can certainly save some money, it ain't as economical as you think. Perhaps if you shoot several hundred rounds per week you can save. I reload all my own shotshell except buckshot. But the choice is yours, and you can pattern a really nice load for your shotgun if you have patience and put some method to it. Get that Lyman book.

oneounceload
May 20, 2010, 11:56 AM
A basic, used MEC Jr. can typically be found for around $75.00. The Lyman 5th edition on shotgun reloading is one of the best places to start. A scale to weigh powder and shot drops would be necessary as well. Once you have found the recipe, gather the appropriate components. Unlike metallic where folks interchange brass, hulls are not so easily interchanged. Depending on the size of the shot, it may or may not drop down the tube from the charge bar - you might have to load them by hand.

RandKL
May 20, 2010, 12:07 PM
Get yourself some cheapo 1 1/8 or 1 1/4oz game shells and a Lee Load All 2 and a bag of buckshot from gunbroker. Dump the lead shot from the shells, count out the buck pellets, and recrimp. You just learned in two sentences. Damn, I'm good. ;)

rich

627PCFan
May 20, 2010, 04:25 PM
"Get yourself some cheapo 1 1/8 or 1 1/4oz game shells and a Lee Load All 2 and a bag of buckshot from gunbroker. Dump the lead shot from the shells, count out the buck pellets, and recrimp. You just learned in two sentences. Damn, I'm good. "


Yeah.....dont do that.........:what:

rbernie
May 20, 2010, 05:17 PM
Get the Lyman book.

Youngster
May 20, 2010, 06:36 PM
It seems like an aweful lot of trouble unless you want something that's not offered commercially, like a 12 gauge #2 buck load or something, or just want to tinker with loads.

RandKL
May 21, 2010, 03:53 AM
It seems like an aweful lot of trouble

A lot of folks see it as time well spent, not trouble. You're obviously not a reloader, though.

Jr, ummmm ok. Damn, but you just edumacated me there, buddy!

rich

Youngster
May 21, 2010, 02:40 PM
A lot of folks see it as time well spent, not trouble. You're obviously not a reloader, though.

I'll probably become one in the future, it's just that without the cost savings seen with other ammo types its just not nearly as compelling.

zhyla
May 21, 2010, 03:35 PM
I don't shoot enough buck to make it worthwhile to load for. It's just not a target load, at least not for anything I do.

jr45
May 21, 2010, 03:39 PM
I reload 00 buckshot and get ok perfomance. Since I do not use any buffer material, I am sure there is some shot deformation but I can still keep most of the pellets on a large paper target at 15 yards. As for the effort, it is a real pain loading nine pellets by hand for each shell.

Dimis
May 21, 2010, 04:12 PM
Reloading for Shotgunners by Rick Sapp

Shotshell Reloading Handbook 5th Edition by Thomas J. Griffin

BPI "Buckshot Loading 3" Reloading Manual

BPI "Pellet Statistics and Ballistics: 2nd Edition" Shotshell Reloading Manual

BPI "Shotgun Slug Loading and Field Application" Shotshell Reloading Manual

BPI "The Mighty 10 Gauge: 6th Edition" Shotshell Reloading Manual

Reloading for Shotgunners, 5th Edition" Book by Rick Sapp

Loadbooks USA "20, 28 and 410 Gauge Shotshells" Reloading Manual

Loadbooks USA "12-Gauge Shotshells" Reloading Manual

Lyman "Shotshell Reloading Handbook: 5th Edition" Reloading Manual

Precision Reloading, Inc. "Shotshell Reloading Manual: Blanks to Supersonics First Edition" Reloading Manual

RCBS "Handbook of Shotshell Reloading" Reloading Manual

MEC Shotshell Reloading Secrets, Second Edition

Handbook of Shotshell Reloading by Kenneth Cougar

Reloading For Shotgunners Complete How&Why of Shotshell Reloading for Hunters&Competitive Shooters 5th edition by MarkMoran

theres a short list of information in book form for you
you should also check the handloading&reloading section of THR

i would agree with a MEC Jr as a good starting point but pic up some of those books and read before you start

also the ABC's of Reloading has a small section on beginner shotshell reloading

the others have stated its not that ecimonical and i have to agree unless your doing a good volume of shotshells your better off with valuepack remington buckshot but if your looking for a special load reloading can be worth it

as for patterning you can duplicate almost any load on the market and maybe "tune" loads for your specific gun but dont expect a wonderous improvment without a little bit of research and hard work

in the end it will be completly up to you

happy shooting and hopefully happy reloading

RandKL
May 21, 2010, 04:21 PM
I'll probably become one in the future, it's just that without the cost savings seen with other ammo types its just not nearly as compelling.

Don't quite know what you mean by "other ammo types"....there's not a whole heck of a lot of them.... but *ALL* specialty ammo has a higher cost savings vs expenditure than common target ammo. Buck and slugs etc are the highest priced shotshells, thus they're the ones you should be looking at reloading most. As I said earlier, you can convert common game shells to buck and slugs and make ammo in the 30-50 cent per shot range vs paying $1+ for store-bought ammo of the same type. 50% off beats the 2-5% off that you see with reloading target ammo.

rich

oneounceload
May 21, 2010, 04:58 PM
50% off beats the 2-5% off that you see with reloading target ammo.


hmmmmmmmmmm, when I reload 12 or 20, I am saving 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of new; when I reload 28 gauge, I am saving 75% the cost of new..........not sure what you mean by that

RandKL
May 21, 2010, 06:04 PM
hmmmmmmmmmm, when I reload 12 or 20, I am saving 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of new

I don't know how you're doing that, OOL, but me and about a billion other reloaders would sure like to know. Give us a rundown on your components/prices? As to the 28ga, that's under the "specialty ammo vs common target ammo" heading. I can load my own .410 etc and save tons over store-bought ammo, too, but that's not the original point.

rich

oneounceload
May 21, 2010, 09:35 PM
28 gauge store bought here is $10.97 per box at the cheapest.
20 gauge TARGET ammo is $8.00 per box
12 gauge TARGET ammo is $8-$9.00 per box

I buy stuff in bulk - wads by the 5,000, primers by the 5,000, powder by the 8# jug, shot by the ton

Primers are running 115/5000
Wads are running 75/5000
Powder is running 100/8#
Shot was running $25/25 pound

Primer = .023
Wad = .015
powder (28) = .02
Shot (28) (3/4)= .05.....................=.108 x 25 = $2.70/box

Primer = .023
Wad = .015
Powder (20)=.026
Shot (20) (7/8)=.055............= .119 x 25 = $2.98

Primer = .023
Wad = .015
Powder (12) = .02975
Shot (12) (1oz) = .0625..........= .13 x 25 = $3.25/box


And that's making ammo as good or better than factory

Hope that helps............;)

tt600
May 22, 2010, 02:26 AM
1 oz 12 gauge 1290fps = $4.67 at walmart.
1 oz 20 gauge 1220fps = $11.97



Reload the 20 gauge. Buy the 12 gauge.

However I noticed that 3" 1.25 oz 20 gauge kent is $3.89/10 at cabelas. Even cheaper than Walmart and a magnum load.

crazyjennyblack
May 22, 2010, 03:28 AM
Get yourself some cheapo 1 1/8 or 1 1/4oz game shells and a Lee Load All 2 and a bag of buckshot from gunbroker. Dump the lead shot from the shells, count out the buck pellets, and recrimp. You just learned in two sentences. Damn, I'm good. "


Yeah.....dont do that.........



ACTUALLY, it's not as bad as you'd think. When I first got a 12 gauge, I was unsure of being able to handle the recoil of buckshot if I ever "had" to use it. Since I found buckshot expensive and i had some buckshot on hand in a box that was lying in the basement of a place i moved into, i loaded my own using the method described above. Bulk Winchester shells, dump out the birdshot, load the buckshot, and crimp. I didn't even have a crimping die, just a flat blade screwdriver. I wouldn't ever use it for "serious" purposes, but for practice it actually worked ok. I've got a half a dozen or so left over, and if I get around to it I ought to post some pics of the patterns. However, let it also be said that I did this with a cheap crappy painted rusted double barrel with 3" chambers that I got a long time ago. Not sure if what I did would feed in a pump, or would be advisable for use in anything without a 3 inch chamber. These were 2.75 inch shell, though.

As always, YMMV, IANAL, and perhaps DTTAH.

crazyjennyblack
May 22, 2010, 03:31 AM
Also - an afterthought....

Summer is garage sale season!!! Cruise your area on weekends. A couple of weeks ago I got an actual shotgun reloader, about 50 lbs of shot, a few hundred primers, a load of wads, and some other stuff for about 60 bucks. Also came with a couple of pounds of powder and reloading tables. You may be able to find a good deal if you buy used, look at garage sales, or talk with neighbors. Doing it right will ALWAYS beat doing it the hard way....

bear375
May 22, 2010, 03:51 AM
i cast my own 00 and load 20 and 12. cast my own is where i save the most money since buck shot in bulk is expensive.
the 20 ga gets 8 each 00, about a 1oz load, this is for the son to keep in his room.
the amount of deformation depends on the lead hardness, just like casting handgun bullets.
if you want to check deformation then shoot into some gallon jugs of water, lined up single file.

for the 12 i've loaded 9, 12, 15 and 18 count 00 buck. 12 count is available commercially, but i've never seen 15 and 18. i don't load the 9 anymore, the 15 count is my favorite, there is just something about throwing 1.75 oz(that's 766 grains) of negotiations down range. i use Hodgdon Longshot for my buck loads.
as far as patterning goes, i'm more pleased with the performance of my loads than the factory stuff i've shot
for loading, i use my PACT powder dispenser to throw the powder charge, pack the 00 by hand and then crimp on the MEC650. I guess i can load about 50 shells an hour, i do it in stages instead of progressively. stage 1-prime, charge powder, place gas seal. stage 2-place teflon, pack shot. stage 3-crimp. the main thing is to start out slow, be methodical and develope a system that works for you.
i get my load components (gas seals, mylar wraps, teflon wraps) from Ballistic Products Inc.

i was going to post a link that will enlighten you about buck shot patterns, but i'm having trouble loading the site, i guess because i'm overseas right now. go here www.theboxotruth.com , look in the original chapters and find 2 installments #44 and #45 about buckshot patterns.

RandKL
May 22, 2010, 06:21 AM
Hope that helps............

Not really, but that's ok. lol Math-wise, not truth-wise, your numbers are a bit on the low side, I think. I take you at your word that you're buying your supplies as you said, but the rest of us aren't getting those one in a thousand deals you seem to be finding.

From the beginning? You're only getting primers that low if you're buying Nobel or Fiocchi....both bottom rung primers. Even Wolf primers will run you $160 plus hazmat plus shipping. I have yet to see a single shop or range stock either....so that means you're most likely mail ordering so add on $35 hazmat and shipping. Winchester 209's, the common ones that EVERY shop and range stocks, will run you what, $200 even for 5000? Using common Win 209's, you're looking at 4 cents a shot. If you have to order it, it's 5 cents a pop.

Powder....low end, decent powder at that price is going to be either Alliant or Hodgdon....rounded off to say, 19gr per shell, that's approx 370 rounds per pound. I'm estimating, so be kind. That's 2960 rounds per 8 pound can. That's approx 3 cents a pop.

Claybuster wads? Your prices suggest you use those....and they run $85 low end (Midway) to about $95 high end (Cabelas) plus shipping if you mail them. $85 per 5000 is approx 2 cents a pop.

Hulls, and you have to count them if you're using them....good quality hulls that can be reused a few times....AA's or STS's say 4 cents a hull.

Lead at a buck a pound? What year was that? lol Around here in the year 2010, it's min $35 per 25lbs...my #1 source for components is $40 per 25lbs. $35 bucks is 8 cents a round.

On the primers, wads, powder, and shot, any common reloader is going to be looking at 22 cents a shot and $5.00-5.50 per 25 round box. That's average prices, not low balled nor high end. You're comparing all low end components to decent, store-bought target ammo when you should be comparing it one for one straight across to comparable stuff. A fair compare would be your reloads vs Fed Top Guns at $6 a box or Remmy Gun Clubs at $6 a box or promos at $4.50-6.00.

rich

Jason_W
May 22, 2010, 03:36 PM
I don't know or much care about the cost of handloaded buckshot v. factory buck, but there is potential for a lot of interesting loading projects.

http://www.ballisticproducts.com/products.asp?dept=65

Down at the bottom of the page I see they are offering .490" and .500" dia buckshot. May not be practical, but I'm the type of person who likes to try things just to see what they will do.

arizona98tj
May 22, 2010, 10:37 PM
As I said earlier, you can convert common game shells to buck and slugs and make ammo in the 30-50 cent per shot range vs paying $1+ for store-bought ammo of the same type.

I just checked my ammo log. November of 2009, I paid $10.99 + tax per box (25) of S&B 00 buckshot at Cabela's. Yes, it was on sale....but then I always buy all of my factory ammo on sale. It would be silly to pay full price, right? Including tax, I paid 48 cents per round for factory 00 buckshot.

My last large slug purchase was in September of 2009. Again, from Cabela's, I paid, including tax, 63 cents per round for Federal Trubal. I caught it on sale along with coupon.

Neither of these hardly comes close to your $1+ per round comment. If you are paying that much for factory buck or slugs, you honestly need to shop around a bit....better deals can certainly be had. And....if you listen to some folks, Cabela's overcharges on their ammo so that means some really better deals can be had at other stores.

oneounceload
May 22, 2010, 11:09 PM
Well, Randkl - Nobels ARE the equal of Win 209s......as for shot. perhaps you should talk to folks at your gun club.as fro wads - buying from Midway? That seems to be your problem....my costs are as of last week, so they are current

I have had hulls from Dicks, etc. and they are free

RandKL
May 23, 2010, 03:48 PM
Well, Randkl - Nobels ARE the equal of Win 209s......

Not saying they aren't, OOL. They're pretty much identical to Win 209's and can be subbed for such in a recipe....but the average reloader isn't going to find them in stock at their local shop or range. I can pop into any reloading thread and declare my own reloads to be half everyone else's because my neighbor gives me free lead....but that isn't going to effect the OP and the prices he's going to run into when he starts buying.

I envy you your prices. I've been reloading for going on to three decades and I can't match your prices. I doubt 99% of reloaders could. That's my point.

rich

oneounceload
May 23, 2010, 05:30 PM
There are guys I shoot with who are still working their way through the reclaimed the club got when the field was mined- that came out to $14/25# cleaned and lightly graphited, so their costs are less than mine. Load lighter loads, use less shot, and buy in bulk either from your club or with a group of folks from your club. Use cheaper powder like Promo and your costs go down even more. Yes my wads are Claybuster, but I'm thinking of going to DRs when these are gone. I have no issue with Nobel as I used Win 209's for decades, and if they are equal in the recipe, all's well. I load 7/8 to 1oz at 1180 fps using 17.3 of Clays. If I can get Clay Dot next time, I'll save over $20/jug for more cost savings

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