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12 Gauge reloading newbie...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by augustino, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. augustino

    augustino member

    I've been doing a ton of SG shooting and am thinking about skeet & trap at a local range. But with all this shooting and some hog & deer hunting too I thought maybe I should get into reloading my own 12 gauge. So I picked up a Lee Load All II for 25 bucks in pretty good shape.
    Okay so I love 12 gauge shotguns.
    I get out and shoot at the range whenever possible.
    I've got an low end reloader.
    So where do I go from here?
    What's the best powder?
    Best wads?
    What do I need to know if loading buckshot verses bird shot?
    Yes I must sounds like an a-hole. But advice, tips, brand powders & sources, etc... sure is appreciated.
    Thanks gentlermen and please don't tear into me too badly, just enough to get us all laughing is fine!
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    For bird shot you pick a recipe. This will give the exact type of components to use. Follow it. This will give you the proper crimp and pressure. The Hodgdon site has shotgun data/info. Buck shot is different. Have a look here > http://www.ballisticproducts.com/ I do not load my own buckshot.
  3. augustino

    augustino member

    12 gauge reloading

    I visited the site you included, very good thanks!
    You mention not reloading buckshot, why not?
  4. gab909

    gab909 Well-Known Member


    If you are looking for a good, cheap, and easy to load round, you should look at Alliants Promo, claybuster wads, Cheddite Primers (swappable with Winchesters) and the cheapest shot you can find. If you can grab reclaimed, use it. Lee load alls are really forgiving. I used one for 20 gauge for a while and it worked good for me. To really save anything you have to buy mass quantities. Look for guys at the range to go in on a big buy.
  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    No need for many shells as i keep #4 buckshot factory ammo on hand only for home defense. The buffered loads pattern great if a shot at longer range is needed.
  6. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    sounds like you have a good start. I have loaded sg shells for trap for years. My only advice to you is to buy quality shells like AA or STS to reload.
  7. TonyT

    TonyT Well-Known Member

    There are literally thousands of pressure tested recipes for shotgun loads. Go to the Alliant and Hodgdon websites and you will find them. I shoot a lot of skeet and trap and prefer the faster burning powders such as American Select, E3 or WST.
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Lyman's makes a good reloading manual for shotgun. You can also get data from Hodgdon and other makers web sites. Follow the recipes, different hulls require different components. Some brands can be interchanged and there are clone wads that will work in place of name brands, but there are different types of hulls, so make sure you know which are which
  9. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    I found the Lyman shotshell reloading manual to be invaluable to understand the basics. I still use it for recipe references.

    I have found that the promo/bulk pack Remington hulls reload as well as anything else, and have the advantage of being free at most ranges (just bend over and pick 'em up). They have a tapered interior that works well for light loads. If you intend to reload heavy loads, the Federal bulk pack hulls also reload well and have a straight-wall interior that works well with the 'shorter' wads made for bigger shot loads. Some folk have reported that the Federal hull can retain water in its paper interior basewad but I have not had any issues with that here in sunny north Texas. :)

    I have also found that the wad that works best for me for light 12ga loads is the Winchester AA12L. I tried a bunch of others, and the AA12L wads load more easily than most, have the appropriate length for 7/8oz loads in tapered (Rem/WinAA) hulls, and seem to pattern OK in my shotguns. I have no experience with wads made for heavier 12ga loads, since I reload shotshells predominantly to get inexpensive light loads.

    Light loads need fast powders, and Red Dot or Clays are popular. I use Clays right now for my light 12ga loads and have encountered no reason to regret that decision.
  10. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    I switched to those same wads, except I dropped the load to 3/4oz in the 12 and it is VERY soft shooting. I buy the Gun Clubs when Dick's has a sale - they use the same data as the STS hulls and reload nicely
  11. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    we bought a couple of cases of those black rem game loads. It felt like running gravel through the ol' mec.
  12. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    +1 on the lighter 12ga shot loads.
    With the cost of bulk lead shot these days, many are finding that 7/8oz loads in 12ga do a fine job of breaking targets and shoot a bit easier too.

  13. rtpzwms

    rtpzwms Well-Known Member

    I've used clay and winchester aa with claybuster wads in Remington Nitro hulls with 7/8 reclaimed shot and it works great. Soft to shoot too.
  14. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Just as follow-up to the above - I have started noticing that the Federal bulk-pack hulls will start showing signs of small splits at the case mouth after just a few reloads. They still hold crimp OK, but I have modified my reloading routines to not reload these hulls more than once due to concerns with shot-to-shot pressure variances.

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