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New to shotshell reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by myFRAGisFUBAR, Dec 28, 2013.

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  1. myFRAGisFUBAR

    myFRAGisFUBAR Member

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    Can I expect to save money on duck/turkey loads? Also what should I look for when collecting the shells? I know all about the brass, but this is all new. Any specific brands that are always good? There is a local public range always littered shut spent shells.
     
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Remington hulls in 12 and 20; Winchester AAHS in 28 and 410 - those are considered the best by those who reload a lot. I do not know enough about no-tox duck loads so I will pass on that; turkey loads are nothing more than target loads with a little more OOMPH behind larger shot - the basics are the same and should result in savings unless you are into loading some exotic type of shot
     
  3. Vol46

    Vol46 Member

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    All Remington shells have the same construction. Even the cheap Remmy hulls ( gun club, game loads) are constructed the same, and load using the same data as Nitro & Premier STS, and seem to hold up just about as well. I personally like their black "Game Loads". You don't even have to adjust your crimp station when switching from one type of Remington hull to another - the color is about the only difference.
    Not so with Winchester - their cheap promo shells have some sort of paper base wad, & they do not crimp well at all, may be good for one reload & then toss - they are not constructed the same as the AA. The Remington's reload a lot better than Winchester except for the .410 & 28 Ga. , in my opinion.
    If you are getting range pick ups any Remington in 12 Ga. ( Gold, green, black, high brass, low brass, steel/ zinc base) will load well & use the same data as long as it is not split or burned up from multiple reloads.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  4. BlisteringSilence

    BlisteringSilence Member

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    Not quite true. While they'll all load, Premier and Nitro are monopiece hulls, and gun club and game loads utilize a basewad. If you're looking to load hulls with basewads, you're better off with AA Super handicap rounds, as the silver is easier to inspect.

    The day Winchester, who invented the monopiece hull, quit using them was one of the saddest in my reloading career.
     
  5. BlisteringSilence

    BlisteringSilence Member

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    No all plastic. Anything you can find in .410. Remington premier sts and Nitro. Winchester AA Super handicap.
     
  6. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Just like rcmodel said. I stopped reloading shotgun a few years ago, but at the time I loaded enough to keep me in trap loads for years. I don't think it's cost effective now, and reloading shotshells is not always simple and easy. I've got a MEC 9000G, which is fully progressive and it's wonderful to use... unless you make a mistake somewhere... then it takes you a while to get things back in order and working correctly.

    What I'm saying is, it's not simple to get into shotshell loading. I would only recommend it if you simply enjoy reloading. It will be expensive and time consuming. That's my take on it nowadays. Once 25 lb bags of lead passed $20, I quit loading for shotgun and pulled my press off the bench to make more room for other equipment.
     
  7. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Member

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    For those of us that only shoot sub gauge (.410 & 28) reloading is the only way to afford the sport. At 12.00+ per box retail versus 3.00 per box reloaded I'll have to keep pulling the handle......
     
  8. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    I have almost stopped shooting skeet with anything but my 1100 in .410 for the past 3 years, so have some experience loading it. I ONLY use WW AA (not HS) I tried using Remington STS and nitro hulls but started dropping a lot of birds. I took my usual load of 14g Alliant 410 and Claybuster wad with 1/2 oz 9's and loaded the AA and the STS and shot them over a chronograph. The Velocity of the AA's was 1250 fps +/- 10 the STS's showed 1100 FPS +/- 30 . I use only standard AA's now. I like the HS but found after 4 or 5 loadings the crimp folds lost their "memory" To get a good crimp you had to pre-fold them before pre-crimp a real PITA and took too much time.
     
  9. Chevota

    Chevota Member

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    The Lee unit is a waste of time imo, assuming we're talking about the cheap $50 one with the big U shaped handle and no sizing die. It's not solid enough to crimp properly, and no sizing die is something I can't relate to.
    I use an MEC Steelmaster or the 8567 which is very cool for mass producing. I have to say the quality is excellent and I have nothing to complain about. I never really loaded to save money, I load to make better ammo and different ammo than I could buy. The stuff I do load, if it existed for sale, would cost a ton more than what it costs me to load. For generic loads I can't say it's worth it, aren't they like $20 for 100? Can't beat that... If you want better or just want to do it yourself for fun or whatever reason then I'd recommend MEC, and one with a sizer!

    Another post you mentioned Turkey loads, for that I'd use 3-1/2" Federal hulls, more room for powder and shot, and they crimp well. I use them almost exclusively, my Rem hulls collect dust.
     
  10. berettashotgun

    berettashotgun Member

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    Reloading shotgun shells is the only way to go.
    I reload 10ga, 12-20-28-410. I could not justify buying ammo and paying freight ( or gasoline ) after reloading most of the 90's. Plenty of hulls and wads, pallet of shot . 4 Cases (#2, #3, #6,#7)of the zinc plated steel that looked so nice.
    Just shot up a box of orange hull fiochi 1oz 1550 fps #5 zinc plated my youngest loaded in 1998/99. 34.5gr STEEL, Precision wad, winchester primer. Worked just like fresh.
    Reloading is the only way a person can reasonably expect to get the hunting shells to match you needs. If you want pheasant loads -shot bushing change.
    Easy.
    Simple cheap shells at the local Walmart are exactly that, cheap.
    They work, but ain't the best for the chore at hand.
    Reloading assures you can meet your needs of cartridge performance.
     
  11. Roosterfo

    Roosterfo Member

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    I'm new to THR, or any forum stuff for that matter. Maybe somebody could help me with a couple things? Whats probly the best equip to start loading .410 ? That's all I would load. And the other thing... How to start a new thread or conversation. I just picked this one to jump in on cuz it was relative. Thanx for any help.
     
  12. Vol46

    Vol46 Member

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    Best equipment - Mec if you have a limited budget, maybe Spolar if you want to get very high end. . 410 can be tricky to get crimps right because of the small size, & you should probably stick with Win. AAs. .410 hulls are pretty hard to find scrounging at ranges you will likely have to buy them.
    To start a new thread, go to the main sub forum page ( hand loading and reloading in this case) & look for the little button thingy at the upper left that says " new thread" click on it, pick a title, & write your post.
    Welcome!!
     
  13. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Roosterfo, like Vol46 said, you should see a "new thread" button at the top left when you click on a subforum. It's pretty easy.

    Welcome to the forum. There is a wealth of knowledge here. These guys probably saved my life a time or two when I first started handloading. lol
     
  14. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Roosterfo

    A MEC jr. In 410 will do the job for what you need and want
     
  15. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    I second that. I think a single stage 600Jr press is best for the .410. Due to it's small diameter compared to it's length, it is very easy to screw up the .410 case when inserting the wad. Using a progressive press would increase that likelihood. I use a progressive on 12 & 20ga but not .410.
     
  16. BlisteringSilence

    BlisteringSilence Member

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    I want to agree with OneOunce and MSgtEgress here.

    A MEC jr. is a fantastic press for .410, as well as being the perfect starter press for EVERY kind of shotgun shell reloading. And, once you've learned the ins and outs, you can keep it to do all kinds of other reloading, like your specialty turkey or waterfowl loads that aren't worth setting up on the progressive.

    If you think centerfire progressive presses are finicky, you've never dealt with the beauty that is finding that rogue piece of #9 shot that's jacking up your progressive shotshell press.
     
  17. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    Granted, the Lee Loadall II is not nearly as good as a MEC 600Jr., but it DOES include a sizing die. And mine crimps just fine. I roasted and ate 2 pheasants for Christmas dinner, killed with shells loaded on my Lee. Grouse for New Year dinner, too.
     
  18. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Or just drop 5/8 (after increasing your powder charge) and drop a Cheerio or similar to take up space - what I used to do before they had 3/4oz wads
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  19. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    I have used the MEC presses. I have the MEC 600 Jr in 410, 28, 20, 16 and 12. I also have the MEC progresive grabber in 16 and 12. For a while one could obtain bargain basement 12 ga loads at such prices that it really did not pay to reload standard 1 oz loads. I load 3/4 oz 12 ga skeet loads. In the smaller gauges the savings are much more significant.
     
  20. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Thousands and thousands of shells later- I really have to disagree.

    I'd also add that the lee does indeed come with a sizing ring in whatever caliber you buy it in, along with dang near every bushing you'll ever need.


    The mec comes with no sizing option, and 2 bushings if you're lucky- buying one used.

    If you aren't sure if shotshell loading is gonna be your bag of tricks, the loadall is a nice cheap way to do it, and load everything from pop-gun to 3" mag.... right out of the same $50 box.

    What it will teach you is what parts matter in loading, what tools you might like better, and how proper crimp relates to load height and volume.


    Is it the very best tool in the box ? No.

    If you load 200-1000 shells a year, its economy is hard to beat.

    If you shoot competition, and need tons of the exact same shell week after week, you will be better served with another machine. If you like experimenting though, try pricing out a full set of mec bushings........ ouch. The adjustable bar thingy is handy, but also the price of the entire lee setup in and of itself, and I hear they are questionable on steel ? I don't own one- thats just what the 'net says about this tool

    I'd also add that for $20, you can do another gauge- 20, for example, or 12 if you get the 20. Good luck on a caliber change of that economy on any other system.

    What it wont do is 3.5" shells, 10 gauge, 28 gauge, or .410


    I bought all new components, and got my BBB steel goose loads for less than half of what storebought would be, and they perform better on target- and over a chrono.

    High end loads are where quality matters- and where handloading saves you the big bucks.



    Lots of people overlook lee products because they do have a learning curve, require finesse, or simply aren't $1,000.

    The loadall is no exemption to all three- but it works, works well, and you'd have to work pretty hard to destroy it.

    Like most lee products, you need to know more about what you are doing than " I PULLZ DA HANDLE, AND BBBBULLLETS FALLZ OUT" in order to get good results. It takes a little practice, a little learning, and a little skill. All of which will translate to better loads for you further down the road- regardless of what machine you end up using.



    There is plenty of reloading kit I'd sell if I had to if things got rough.

    My loadall is probably one of the last things I'd sell- and the best part is, its not worth that much anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  21. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I also started out on a LLA when I didn't know better and there was no internet. I loaded a few boxes of hunting ammo - but you cannot adjust crimp depth or pressure, the plastic bushings are not exactly the best thing since sliced bread; and the cost of a used MEC in great shape is about what a new LLA costs.

    One thing that sucks for both is their bushing charts as to powder drops. You MUST use a scale to verify the drop and not rely on the chart. Where you live, humidity, how you operate the press all play a role with the powder dropping consistently.
     
  22. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    Well said.
     
  23. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I'm gonna have to try the LoadAll. I've got a brand new one sitting in the man cave that I've never mounted on anything. The week after I got mine (for a steal), I got 3 MEC Jrs. So they got set up instead. I'm gonna try it one day just to see which side has it right. lol
    There seems to not be anyone on the fence about them. Folks either love em or hate em.
     
  24. Duckdog

    Duckdog Member

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    I have a MEC and a LLA and load a lot of steel and I use the LLA the most because I like the crimp the best. With steel, you'll be weighing every powder charge, or at least getting a close dipper after weighing what the dippers are throwing, and you'll be either counting pellets or using an adjustable shot dipper. More Lee tools. The Load All is plastic, but it has no issue crimping anything you want to put through it. The Lee uses feel, where as the MEC is fully adjustable, which for hunting loads, can be a pain in the butt because you'll most likely not be loading a ton of any one load at a time.

    Now, if I was shooting trap, I'd be using the MEC, but I'm not shooting trap.

    Also, felt or cork fillers are a must for steel loading and work to adjust the crimps on hunting loads if the recipes are not just right for the listed hull. In the end, you decide. You will not throw the Lee out. If you decide to, send me a PM!
     
  25. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Ok, since I keep hearing this one- but never finding it :

    Can someone please point me to a used mec 600 in 12 ga, with a full set of powder bushings ( 15 grs to 45+ grains) Shot bushings ( 3/4oz to 2 oz ), powder and shot bottles, and a 12 ga sizemaster for $50 ?

    I'll buy it all day- but for as much as they are advertised, I can never find one.

    Oh, and please throw in that other crimp starter- most of the mecs I see only do 8's, and that new 6 is like $29 at BPI.

    Brand new crisp $50, right here !

    Got space right next to my texan shovelhandle, I think it'd make a nice addition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
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