12 guage reloading to do or not to


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kev778
November 6, 2011, 12:38 PM
I have been contemplating reloading 12 gauge shells for my weekly clay sports habit. Up until now I buy a case of shells (250) for about $53-$58 a case

My question is would I ever recover the money I invest in all the equipment and supplies needed for reloading shot shells?

If so what kind of re-loader would be both an easy machine to use yet economical (no more than $200 since I would probably have to spend at least that much on hulls, powder, shot, and primers)

Anyhow any insight into the matter would be great.

Thanks!

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T Bran
November 6, 2011, 12:48 PM
At the current price of lead shot I only load for .410 these days every thing else I just catch on sale and stock up. If you use a serious volume of 12 ga shells it might work out in your favor over time. Stay away from reclaimed shot unless you dont mind picking out all sorts of equipment damaging contaminants. I learned that one the hard way.
Luck
T

Blue68f100
November 6, 2011, 01:23 PM
I still reload for 20 ga, the main reason is that I can still reload my heavier High Brass #6 squirrel loads cheaper than what I can buy. I looked at the number on the light field loads and it's a even break with a slight edge to buy new. Unless you can find a cheap source for shot it will be hard to beat factory ammo. The flat rate shipping has helped a little.

I'm still using a 40+year old Mec 600. You can pick these up pretty cheap <$50 used. This is not a progressive so it will not be near as fast but it still works for me. For I only need a box every 2-3 mo at most.

rule303
November 6, 2011, 01:35 PM
You won't be able to load for much less than the cost of cheap target loads. However, you will be able to load AA quality loads for the price of the cheapos. You also have the option to tailor your load to exactly what you want.

vaskeet
November 6, 2011, 06:26 PM
I do because I shoot 7/8oz 12 ga. Randy

rbernie
November 6, 2011, 07:23 PM
You won't be able to load for much less than the cost of cheap target loads. However, you will be able to load AA quality loads for the price of the cheapos. You also have the option to tailor your load to exactly what you want. This. I can create 7/8oz AA-quality loads at WallyWorld bulk pack SuperX/HiSpeed prices. Having said that, I'm not a serious enough shooter to make that worth my time, for the most part.

About the only shotshell loads that I reload these days are 28ga, simply because 28ga factory loads are more expensive than their 20ga and 12ga counterparts.

kev778
November 7, 2011, 10:15 AM
Thanks for all the info. It sounds like the case I bought this weekend for $53 is the cheapest way (Federal Premium 2 3/4" 1 1/8oz 7.5 lead)

Considering the time it takes to actually reload it doesn't appear worth it to save a nickel per round if you reload.

HOWARD J
November 7, 2011, 10:24 AM
If you don't have the equipment it is not worth starting to reload hulls

ilmonster
November 7, 2011, 10:27 AM
Based on the last purchases of components, I am reloading 12 ga. rounds for approx. $4.74 a box. Not a huge savings, but not bad. The savings were greater seven years ago when I began reloading and I paid for my MEC9000 in one season. The other reason I reload is I like to shoot 7/8 oz., 1200 fps loads for skeet and SC's, and I've never seen these on the shelves at my local Gander, Cabelas, et al.

If you do decide to get into reloading, MEC makes great machines (almost everyone I know who reloads has an MEC), and they can be had used most everywhere. No need to buy a new one.

kev778
November 7, 2011, 11:00 AM
$4.74/box equals $47.40 per case (10 boxes)

That is a savings of $5.60 per case (difference between a $53 purchased case) which equals $0.0224 cents per round you are saving by reloading. ($5.60/250 shells) That is 2 cents of savings per round. Hardly worth it for me. No way could I recoup money after buying everything to start...

I understand for those who do it for the 7/8 oz loads and any other custom options you want. Especially for the .410, 16, 20 and 28 guage shooters. The prices on those boxes is far more expensive than 12 guage target loads.

Things to ponder when I retire in 40 years

mdi
November 7, 2011, 02:40 PM
Money isn't my only motivation for reloading. If I could get ammo cheaply, I'd still reload some because I like to "customize" my ammo, and it's really satisfying and fun...

USSR
November 7, 2011, 03:04 PM
...I like to "customize" my ammo, and it's really satisfying and fun...

+1. In addition to loading skeet and upland game shells, I cast and load "single aught" buckshot and slug loads.

Don

JO JO
November 7, 2011, 04:11 PM
I load shotshell and metalic I can load better ammo then store bought, The thing is
you have to like to reload as a hobby a fun thing to do, if not it becomes more like a
job and you wont like it.

1KPerDay
November 7, 2011, 05:20 PM
While we're on the subject:

I just dragged out my New Old Stock MEC 250 12 gauge reloading machine from its dusty box last night, and have a couple of questions:

1. I assume the only way to adjust shot volume/weight is with a different charge bar, correct? I have a "12 gauge number 1" bar in mine.

2. Can you reload cheap/steel based hulls, or do you HAVE to buy the brass ones?

Julian537
November 7, 2011, 06:04 PM
Money isn't my only motivation for reloading. If I could get ammo cheaply, I'd still reload some because I like to "customize" my ammo, and it's really satisfying and fun...
I reload, because I can make the rounds whatever speed, weight, and shot size I want. I shoot a 1oz load with #9 shot. This gives me the same # of BB's as 1-1/4oz #8 shells. You can load stuff like this, that you cannot find at the store. You can also load good quality shells.

Kev778; you are comparing apples to oranges. When you reload a box for $4.74, you are getting the quality of an $8.00 box of AA's or Rem Nitro's, not the quality of revo or Wally world federals. You are getting hard cast lead, that is new. Not reclaimed and washed lead that has been recycled.

Buy a box of AA's and shoot them next to the cheap ones. If you see a difference in your scores, you may want to try reloading.

As someone already said, "If reloading is work for you, and not a hobby, it may not be for you." If you try it and like it, it is something fun, to add to your shooting hobby.

BYJO4
November 7, 2011, 07:31 PM
I"ve been loading all 4 shotgun gauges for years. With the cost of lead today. the savings is small compared to the cost of the lower quality factory loads. As already mentioned, you do have superior loads and the savings over Win AA or Remington STs will add up. It would not take long to pay for a basic press if you shoot 200 to 300 rounds monthly.

oneounceload
November 7, 2011, 07:38 PM
I don't shoot that much, maybe 10-12K per year. I reload because I can still reload cheaper than the wally world promo loads AND load a better shell.

For your needs, a MEC Jr. used can be found for about 50-75 on Ebay or Craigs List.

Where the savings come into play is buying components in bulk - that means primers in minimum 5000, powder in 8# jugs, wads by the case of 5000 and shot by the hundredweight or even better, by the ton

Going in with friends can help divide that up.

Shooting reclaimed or locally made shot, as opposed to the national brands, can also save even more on the most expensive component -lead shot.

Shooting 3/4, 7/8, at the most, 1oz loads will also save money, recoil, and still break targets

ilmonster
November 8, 2011, 09:55 PM
I forgot to mention, but as someone else said I can reload rounds comparable to Winchester AA target loads, a much higher quality shell than the cheap promo loads at Wally World.

kev778
November 8, 2011, 11:06 PM
Julian,

Thanks for the apples to oranges. I didn't think there would be that much difference in store bought target loads and custom loads. I have never shot AA. But I will try out a case of it the next time I buy shells and see what it is like. You make a compelling argument if it can increase accuracy/clays broken

TonyT
November 9, 2011, 03:22 PM
I customize my load, 3/4 & 7/8 oz. #9 for skeet, 1 oz #8 for trap and a great pheasant load 1 1/2 oz #4 at 1050 fps - m,ild and very effective.

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