Good trap load?


Malone LaVeigh
March 16, 2004, 12:02 AM
I tried several searches and don't seem to be able to choose the right words. I'm wanting to load some light target loads in 12 ga. I have a mix of shells, mostly cheap Remington. I was thinking 1 or 1 1/8 oz of #8 shot. I have Red Dot powder, but am willing to buy others.

How important are the shells? The manual I consulted didn't have the specific shells I have.

This will be my first sg load, in case you can't guess.

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Jim Watson
March 16, 2004, 12:14 AM
Red Dot is a fine target load powder, made by Alliant. See
and call up or download data or request a free manual.

Sort your hulls. The make and type of shotgun shell matters and should be matched with powder charge, primer and wad as listed in the data for safe pressure and decent pattern. Box labels may not be much help, you may have to study some to determine what hulls you are working with.

What type loader do you have? Instructions?

Malone LaVeigh
March 16, 2004, 01:32 AM
I have an old MEC 600 Jr. (not Mark V). I've downloaded the manual and figured out the first 2 stations. I have 25 Federal "Game Shok" cases primed and sized as well as a few assorted Remingtons and AAs I've just been experimenting with. I wanted to do 25 to try a round of trap, and thought I'd start with the Federals. My Alliant literature doesn't list that case, but they do list several Federal 2 3/4" cases. Also, they list a couple of different primers. I have 1000 Win 209s, but again am willing to find others.

A "guy at a gunstore" told me to get Win white wads, so I have them, also.

Now I need to figure out which bar and bushings to get. That's why I thought I'd check here for good loads.

Thanks for the advice.

Jim Watson
March 16, 2004, 09:21 AM
I'd inspect or dissect one of those shells to see if it was one piece or had a separate base wad. If a separate paper base wad, the data is there, sort of. They do not show a load for a Federal hull, Winchester primer and wad, and Red Dot, but a study of the data indcates you would be about right with 18.5 or 19 grains of Red Dot and 1 1/8 oz shot.

If all plastic, treat like a Gold Medal target hull. I see they call for a 20 gauge card wad in a Winchester WAA12 to stack the shot up for a good crimp. You might want to look through your collection to find some shells that they do not think requires that added step and expense.

See if you have enough Remington hulls to use. Their hunting shells load much like the STS target hull, just not as many times.

I'd trash those mixed hunting hulls and get some Winchester AAs. Remington STS and Nitro 27 are better quality these days, but Alliant doesn't show loads for them with Winchester primer and wad.

Do not trust the powder bushing charts. Get two or three in the range and select the one that delivers the actual weight.

March 16, 2004, 09:49 AM
One of the best investments you'll make with a MEC is to get one of the adjustable shot/powder charge bars; it's so much easier to get the PROPER weights for what you want with them that I'd never go back to the bushings again. #8 might be a little small for trap, but good for skeet; my "do everything" load for trap,skeet, IPSC, steel, etc. is 1 oz. of #7 1/2, and as long as I do my part, it works well. Also, it's usually worth it to buy a case of AAs at the start of the season, then just reload those hulls through the year.

March 16, 2004, 09:51 AM
I agree with Mr. Watson, Stick with the AA , STS or Nitro 27.

I found a recipe or two for Red Dot.
[I]The Handbook of Shotshell Reloading - (1984 )
page 137

Using Winchester - Western Compression- Formed Plastic Shell .
[ Use for AA hulls].

Shot wt. 1 1/8 oz
Primer. Win 209
Powder 17.0 gr Red Dot
Wad Win WAA12 ( white)
Velocity 1145 fps
Pressure 10,000 psi.

[ Equates to the 2 3/4 dr target load]

According to an o-l-d Mec bushing chart (1990)
Bushing # 30 throws 16.5 gr
" # 31 " 17.1 gr
" # 32 " 17.7 gr

Naturally you will throw some charges , measure and take an average to maintain safety.

For the 3 dr target load , Same Recipe above except throw 18.0 gr of Red Dot.

Again the o-l-d Mec bushing chart ( 1990)

Bushing # 33 throws 18.4 gr
Bushing #34 throws 19.0 gr.

I concur with buying a Case of AA and reloading them. Even buy once fired AA . I'd keep it simple.

Don't know what gun but if can shoot ( runs the gun) and the load PATTERNS in your gun a 1oz. or even 7/8 oz will let the recoil be softer...and the shot and powder will go a bit further .


March 16, 2004, 12:14 PM
My 2 cents:
Buy the Lyman Shotshell Reloading Manual. There is no better manual for identifying hulls. It's available at Barnes and Noble or online at Amazon. That will help identify your wads as Winchester WAA12's instead of "White Winchester Wads". It also has TONS of load data, as does another fine publication: The ABC's of Shotshell Reloading. Between those and the powder company manuals, I can find loads for almost any combination of hulls, powder,wads and primers.

Cut a sample hull in half to help identify it in cross-section.
Most Federal hulls (the bulk packs that WalMart sells for example) are usually known as "Hi-Power" hulls. They have a plastic hull with a seperate paper basewad (cardboard like stuff) at the bottom of the hull.
Most cheap Remington hulls are actually pretty good integral basewad hulls that are similar to or identical to STS or Nitro 27's.

March 16, 2004, 07:47 PM
For trap loads I like Green Dot best. It puts a MEAN hot center in the pattern with most reasonable loads. Winchester Super Field is another good choice.

Red Dot and Clays are possibly the best choices for 'all-around' clay target powders. They are fast powders, with nice upper end pressures to seal wad skirts to the bore and ignite well regardless of temperature or primer used. Red Dot smells better when burnt than ANY other powder on the planet. Clays is a little cleaner and a little cheaper. I've burnt a hundred weight of both powders and both of them are really darn nice. I stuck with cheap, but missed Red Dot all the while.....

March 16, 2004, 09:09 PM
Lots of good advice so far. Though I'm a Green Dot man, your Red Dot is fine. I also recommend the Lyman manual. I also concur with the recommendation for AAs. If you shoot in a National Forest shooting area like I do, you can often find once-fired AA's laying on the ground for free. A bargain for you and you benefit your fellow shooters by picking up what some dolt left behind as trash.

Malone LaVeigh
March 16, 2004, 09:47 PM
Thanks for all the advice, folks. Sounds like I need a couple more books. I have an old edition of Reloading for Shotgunners.

BenW, what forest do you shoot in? I work in the Mendocino and it seems like I spend most of my field time cleaning up after slob shooters.

March 16, 2004, 10:27 PM
Malone -- I shoot in the Los Padres off hwy 154 near Santa Barbara. I don't mean to hijack your thread, but slob shooters are a big pet peeve of mine. I always end up taking a box or two of someone else's trash out whenever I shoot. Doesn't make a dent, but I always feel like I have to at least do something. The mess in my shooting area is always tough to explain when I introduce someone new to shooting -- it definitely shouts "redneck" to people. I imagine you have a hard time yourself when you're cleaning up with coworkers who may be anti or even on the fence. Certainly doesn't give a good impression of us. I keep meaning to take my camera shooting so I can post a picture on the forum as a "how not to portray ourselves" incentive.

Anyway, back to topic -- definitely get more manuals. I don't think a reloader can have too many. Not just for looking up different loads, but because each manual seems to have its own "specialty" focus on reloading. When playing with stuff that goes "boom", the more reference material the better. :)

July 21, 2004, 05:04 PM
How are things working out Malone? I'm curious how your reloading effort has come along and how the loads performed. My wife just bought a 28 gauge Wingmaster and the time to get into reloading is now upon me. It looks like the 600 jr is just the ticket. I picked up the Lyman manual today on my lunchbreak and am reviewing old threads before jumping into reloading. Your experiences thus far would be greatly appreciated.


ps I shoot in the El Dorado Nat'l Forest and the slob shooters made it there too......

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