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Loading Shot Gun Shells The old way

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by scrat, Sep 5, 2008.

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  1. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Ok lets get one thing straight im not posting this to say this is the way you should reload shells. However for those who have ever reloaded shotgun shells using an old lee loader you will understand the concept behind this. There was an article posted in Guns of the Old West a year ago. A fantastic article where the author showed how to make 12 guage shotgun shells using black powder. The authors tools were a wooden 5/8 dowl a long 3 1/2 inch penny nail, a socket, small hammer and a xacto knife.

    Ok lets look at some lee loaders. These are some Very rare lee loaders. From top to bottom 12Guage Deluxe lee loader, .410 deluxe lee loader, (brand new never used .410 lee loader)
    llllll.jpg
    However i will be using for this DEMONSTRATION
    a hammer, shot gun cleaning rod, socket 3 1/2 inch penny nail. Supplies new primer, wad and over the shot card
    nnnn.jpg

    First step cut off the crimp use an exacto knife try to cut straight. In this picture i just cut it fast to show you For demonstration purpose
    2-6.jpg
    Next place the shell over the socket use the penny nail insert it in the primer and tap out
    2w.jpg
    Now place a new primer on a flat surface place the shell over the primer. put your cleaning rod in the hull and tap down until flush.
    sss.jpg
    now charge your case with your favorite load and powder. After you do this. Take your matching Wad. Start inserting it by hand then use the cleaning rod and tap it until it firmly meets the powder.
    2asa.jpg
    now pour in your desired measure of shot
    asasas.jpg
    Now insert your over the shot card.
    Copyofadsasasasasa.jpg

    there you go your done. One tip i learned a long time ago. A dab of elmers glue around the over the shot card. Now this method of loading shells actually works and people do use this method. Though a press is a lot better. It is possible to load shot gun shells by hand. A lee loader is very similar to doing this differences is that the lee loader has a tube that is used to make sure the shell is not swelled. by inserting the shell the theroy was the shell should go down to size. This however was originally designed to use with paper shells where you could steam them to get them straight. The lee loaders i have also use the tube to hold the shell in place then use a dowel type rod to push in the crimp. There are a few circular hand held starter crimps that make it possible to get a good factory style crimp using a lee loader. I usualy only cut the tops on shells that have been used several times or shells that i intend on using black powder. As black powder burns a lot hotter and usually melts the plastic a little. Im sure there are others than can give you some advice if you are interested in loading for shells. One thing i did not show or mention is the wads used, shot used and powder used. You need to consult to a load data chart to get that information as it is very important to use the proper load for shot gun shells. Again this was just to give you a demonstration on how shells used to be loaded in the old days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  2. scrat

    scrat Member

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    ok looking over this one thing i did not do correctly when tapping the wad in place you should have the shell over the socket so the primer does not come in contact with anything. Another thing when shooting black powder loads. Disgard the hulls they are done. the heat usually melts a good spot on the shells. So thats why i use over the shot shells so i do not get them mixed up with my regular rounds.. The same process can be used for Brass shell casings as well
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  3. scrat

    scrat Member

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  4. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Member

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    Thanks for sharing that, scrat!


    .
     
  5. scrat

    scrat Member

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    2-3.jpg

    an old pic of some. alarcon wads are what i am currently using on the fiber. i have thousands of them
     
  6. cliffy

    cliffy member

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    Olde Time Reloading SHOTGUN

    When Brass wasn't steel and paper wasn't plastic, I reloaded five hundred felt loads a week. I shot all five hundred EVERY weekend. When plastic became King, I stopped reloading shotshells. Ya, a few years back. Today I load .223, 243, .45 ACP, and .454 Casull only! I don't even have a shotgun anymore. Steel Shot ended my desire. cliffy
     
  7. scrat

    scrat Member

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    i probably have about 10 boxes full of alarcon felt wads. Blue side down. wow they sure do work good. But then they have always
     
  8. scrat

    scrat Member

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    bump for saturday
    who else had made shot gun shells this way
     
  9. wittzo

    wittzo Member

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    I lucked out and got a couple Lee Loader kits when I first started driving 25 years ago or so, one for 12 gauge and the other for 20. If I knew they were that scarce, I would have picked up a couple for some real oddball gauges, too. One of them isn't a Lee, it's a MRI, but it's identical to the Lee kit. I loaded several 12 and 20 shells with the Lee Loader. It's even able to load brass shells and has the loading data for black powder.
    The other day I was goofing around with my brass shotgun shells from Magtech. They use a large pistol primer. I was able to seat a primer into the shell by using a dowel rod and a block of wood, just like your instructions.

    More about old time reloading. I read an article years ago about a guy using a nail with .30-06 shells and reloading them on the bench to work up a handload for his rifle. He said the old timers did it that way. He said he sometimes gets better accuracy by using a nail as a primer punch because the casing is resized for that bore when it's shot. Most primer punches are also resizers to bring the casing down to a one-size-fits-all-but-might-not-fit-yours-right. I can't remember what he used to seat the bullet and crimp it, I think he used a Lee Handi-Loader (I picked up one of those not long ago, they're really neat.) He used a pencil as a dowel rod and the wooden bench to seat a fresh primer.
     
  10. otrman

    otrman Member

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    Nice post. I load both ways, have a MEC and a bunch of Magtech brass shells. I have a 12 ga. side by side that belonged to my great great great grandfather. I load it with BP, 7/8 oz of shot and it is a hoot. Usually keep the loads light but it still takes its share of rabbits and squirrel.
     
  11. Afy

    Afy Member

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    Looks like fun, must try it for novelty some day.
     
  12. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I used to use some hot candle wax to seal the wad end.
     
  13. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    I found my old Lee hand loader the other day. I got it when i was about 13 or 14. It is 410. Wow, that thinks is old now that i think about it! :)
     
  14. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    Nicely done tutorial.

    Here's a couple of items I use from Ballistic Products when loading slugs. A hull vise, trimmer, and roll crimp.


    http://www.ballisticproducts.com/

    hullvise288.jpg

    trimdr1.jpg

    rollcrimpers.jpg
     
  15. Rugg_Ed

    Rugg_Ed Member

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    That was interesting scrat
    Brought back some old times of evenings after school loading shells for the weekend. I think the 12 an 20 gauge Lee Loaders are still on the back shelf with the Acme 20 ga. press.
     
  16. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    Cool stuff.

    Thanks Scrat and thanks wittzo for digging it back up.

    ST
     
  17. PA Freedom

    PA Freedom Member

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    There was an article in Backwoodsman magazine a couple years ago (IIRC) that was very similar to what the OP is describing. It even had drawings and instructions on how to make your own "reloading station".
     
  18. Uncle Chan

    Uncle Chan Member

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    This intrigues me. I collect Lee Loaders and have not used the 12 and 20 ga loaders I've bought. I'd like to try it this way first.

    However, I'm curious about the thickness of the wads or overshot cards used.

    Recommendations? I'm thinking for both 12 and 20 and for CAS shooting.
     
  19. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Wow, a thread over a year old!

    Where are ya SCRAT? Haven't seen him around here for quite a while.

    As for the over powder, and shot wads, here's where to go;

    http://www.ballisticproducts.com/

    Oops, I see Rembrant already has their website linked, but they also have just about anything you'd want for loading shotgun shells.

    As for loading roll crimped shells with just the lee loader, can't be done. You need at the very least a drill motor and roll crimper. And the shell must be new, or a 3" shell cut back to 2 ¾. Here's my set-up for roll crimping shotshells;

    PA170068.jpg

    PA170070.jpg

    Also, for using the lee whackamole loader for modern plastic shells with a star crimp. It's very hard to close the crimp on a plastic shell. Those lee loaders were actually made for star crimped PAPER shells. For that they work well.
     
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