Shotgun reloading questions


November 21, 2012, 12:57 PM
This is how I got into reloading. For Christmas one year my late father got me a LEE Load AAll II, some wads, IMR 700x, CCI 209 primers and a 25LBS bag of shot. Like a fool I got rid of the Lee loader:banghead: as I was far more enamored with rifle reloading. Thankfully for me the Lee Load All is not that expensive to replace and I plan on getting another.

However now that I know more about reloading than I did as a teenager, I'm at a loss on what powder to choose. I plan on loading mostly upland game loads consisting of 1oz to 1 1/8oz of shot in 12ga. I'm also thinking about dabbling with some buckshot loads as well. Anyone know what would be a good powder for both applications? Or I am I going to need to have two powders for this?

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November 21, 2012, 02:26 PM
It would be better to go with 2 different powders for those applications. For upland I would use Red Dot or Herco. For buck shot loads Longshot, HS6 or Blue Dot will serve the purpose very well.

I'll take a glance at the gobbs of data I have and see what we can come up with that I may have used in the past that would serve both load purposes with satisfactory performance. I don't load too much 12 ga. any more, but fortunately I have log books packed with published data that I have used and have chronographed.

Just a quick thought on a loading set up though, being that if it were me I would take a look around for a used Mec 600 JR.. The Mec is just so much nicer to work with, faster, and will out last the Lee, as in a couple of life times longer.


November 21, 2012, 02:35 PM
Thanks gamestalker, I kinda' figured I might be stretching it trying to find one powder.

November 21, 2012, 02:42 PM
So what would be a good powder for upland loads? Like I said above I used to use IMR 700x as that is what I was given. Are there better choices out there for upland game loads? What are some favorites and why?

November 21, 2012, 07:11 PM
Honestly, I've almost always gone with Red Dot. It is a relatively fast burning powder, so it doesn't use all that much powder per charge, and it will get you some decent velocitiy as well.

I've tried a bunch of different powders for 1 oz. to 1-1/8 oz. upland game loads and Red Dot just always seemed to get the job done just fine. 700X will deffinitely do well for those light upland loads, probably just as well as Red Dot will, it's just not a powder I've had a lot of time with. 700 X will get you in the high 1200's fps with a charge weight about that of Red Dot.

I don't remember what Lee Load all powder bushings meter in terms of grains, but with the Mec 600 I've always used a #36 bushing with Red Dot. That charge books out pretty hot, but I've never had problems with it in my 870's using AA's, STS, or Gold Medal hulls, or any other low base hull for that matter.

Now as for pheasant loads, I go to Longshot of HS6 for that, and simply because I run with heavier shot charges,1-3/8 oz to 1-1/2 oz..


Magnum Shooter
November 21, 2012, 08:25 PM
I have loaded thousands and thousands of 1 1/8 oz 12 ga loads with Red Dot, Win AA cases and win12aa white wads.

November 21, 2012, 09:08 PM
I started out with Red Dot for skeet and trap loads, but then a seasoned shooter told me that Solo 1000 was cleaner burning and softer shooting, and well, he was right.


November 21, 2012, 09:15 PM
HS-6 will serve you well in both, as will Unique.

Depending on your loadings, Unique might not cycle some autoloaders at the charges listed in the lee charge tables- but they'll fire !

I'm starting to hover in the 1.25 oz category, and 30.5grs of hs-6 (134 bushing average from a lee loader) does the trick, lemme tell ya. It drives 1.25oz of whatever you want just fine- in all the weapons I've tried it in. And it drives 7/8th oz slugs at incredible speeds, with substantially reduced recoil.

In lighter slugs you pick up some velocity, in heavier loads the horsepower drives the payload at the right timing for faster quarry.

November 21, 2012, 09:42 PM
if you have 700x, you're ok.

A titch slower, like HS-6, Herco or 800x might give you a bit higher velocity, but nothing that you would need to write home about.

November 21, 2012, 10:08 PM
Don is right, Red Dot is deffinitely a snappy powder and will leave your shoulder feeling pretty sore, and colorful too, after only a round of skeet / trap. But it is also a more economic powder to use in comparison to the slower burner's such as HS6.

And yes, HS6 will deffinitely function well for just about any shotshell load and is one of cleaner burning powders for shotshell loading. I remember a good friend of mine who was a die hard Red Dot fan had switched over to Solo 1000 after many years of Red Dot.

So we don't lose the element of topic here, 700X is well published for those 1 to 1-1/8 oz. loads in my books. I've probably used it at one time or another, but if memory serves me right, it was an expensive powder in comparison to trusty ol Red Dot. Since you have a pound of 700X already 336A, go ahead and use it up. I glanced at the books today and saw lots of loads using 700X as well as your current wads, hulls, and primers that were given to you.

If you need the specific data let me know. The only thing I don't think I have is the powder bushing chart for that Lee loader. But that's a process of weighing and throwing a few charges anyway, and I do strongly recomend that you scale check the bushings before just using what Lee charts indicate. I don't think I've ever had a bushing throw anything close to what the chart indicated, no surprise though.


Good luck!

November 21, 2012, 10:17 PM
Thanks gamesstalker. I no longer have the 700x and have decided to go with Green Dot for the upland loads. The only thing that I still have are some CCI 209 primers, which I'm not seeing mentioned on Alliants web site with this powder. For wads I'm thinking about WIN WAA12SL from Claybuster.

November 22, 2012, 01:40 PM
My next question is how economical is it anymore to reload shotshells/ I was browsing the prices of lead on several websites.... Goddnight is it expensive:what: 41.99 for a 25 pound bag is the cheapest I've been able to find so far.

November 22, 2012, 03:59 PM
Depends on what you load.

Beating promo factory shell prices is hard unless you buy in bulk.

Now, buckshot and slugs- different realm entirely.

IF you consider the quality of promo factory loads, that might be your concern. Usually the hulls aren't even worth saving..... And they pattern like an LSD infused spiderwebbing- lemme tell ya.....

$43 per # is the market price for new shot. This month. Welcome to the spot metals market, my friend !

You can get slightly better prices if you use reclaimed, or bulk. If you have no options for buying either locally, give these folks a try :

November 22, 2012, 07:13 PM
Red Dot is deffinitely a snappy powder and will leave your shoulder feeling pretty sore, and colorful too, after only a round of skeet / trap.

HUH?? Not even close to true IF your gun even comes somewhat close to fitting you. I have used Clays, Clay Dot and now Red Dot and have been reloading for almost 35 years - no bruised shoulder - in fact my shooting shoulder has torn cartilage - but then I shoot light payloads and always have - to save recoil and money on lead.

Buying things in bulk - powder in 8# jugs, wads and primers by the 5,000, and shot by the hundredweight or ton, and then making it reclaimed, will save even more

November 22, 2012, 07:54 PM
$43 per # is the market price for new shot. This month. Welcome to the spot metals market, my friend !

to quote Remnar Soady, "..yah, I know 'dat very much,eh?.."

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