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What do I need to start reloading 12 gauge

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

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  1. augustino

    augustino member

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    What necessities are needed to start reloading 12 gauge shells.

    I know the press is necessary but how is powder & shot weighed/measured?

    I need a list of the equipment necessary to start loading 12 gauge shells.
     
  2. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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  3. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Please explain. If you're talking about the lee hammer powered tool, it's only good for paper shells, and is NOT available NEW anymore.

    Augustino, most of the loading machines made for shotshells use a bar with bushings to measure the shot and powder. You will still need a powder scale to verify the amount of the proper type of powder is being dispensed.

    The lee load-all is an okay machine for occasional use of low volume loading. The best basic single stage machine is the mec 600 jr. mark 5.
     
  4. Duckdog

    Duckdog Member

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    I have a mec 600 jr and a Lee Load All and I mainly load steel shot now for ducks, but I have them mounted side by side and find myself using both of them almost equally. Don't underestimate the Load All, as it will thow out shells with the best single stage press. I would get a scale. I have 2 RCBS and a Lee and they all get the job done. I would watch e-bay and you can pick up a good scale, as well as a good press for a good price. I think I got my RCBS scales for $25.00 or so. The Lee press uses a charge bar and bushings just like the rest of them. Are you looking to load lead or steel shot?
     
  5. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    You need:
    Hulls
    Powder
    Shot
    Primers
    A good reloading machine & powder scale.......
    A reloading shotgunshell book like the one by RCBS--best I have seen so far.
    Machines: Lee Load-all--$45.00+/-
    MEC jr--$150.00+/-
    After you get real good go to a MEC GRABBER---it turns out a lot of shells

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  6. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    The first thing you need to do is evaluate the reason to reload 12ga. If you want to save money, loading 12ga shells will take a long time to realize any savings after purchasing components and equipment. Bulk priced 12 & 20ga ammo at the big box stores are still fairly cheap.
    If you want to load to produce customized ammo, then by all means, get into reloading. Some of the specialized loads can be really expensive.

    The true savings come if you shoot 28ga or 410 bore shells, as they can cost more than twice what standard 12 & 20 loads go for. I load for 410 and can load for about $3 per box, and that's a big savings over the $10-12 and up for new shells.



    NCsmitty
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  7. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    A Mec loader will last a lifetime and will come with everything you need except for charge bar and powder bushings. Charge bars are purchased for the amount of shot they throw, powder bushings are bought separately for the amount of powder they throw and drop into the powder bushing holder in the bar.

    If you use the powder bushings a scale isn't needed to load shotgun shells, if you buy an optional adjustable bar the scale is necessary. Use the chart for the powder you select and the appropriate charge bushing. An adjustable charge bar runs about $40 while fixed bars run around $13 each. For my shooting I only load 1-1/8 oz of shot for trap, dove and quail and have an 1-1/4 oz for pheasant loads that I haven't used in years since moving to AZ where there are no wild pheasants to hunt.

    The main thing to remember in shotgun loading is that your follow the load manual exactly, no start loads, no working up, no load development. Its not necessary and experimenting can be down right dangerous. You need to match hull type, type of shot, amount of shot, and wad exactly as the data states.

    Educate yourself a bit on the types of empty hulls. Read the information about them in the data. You can find shotgun data on both Alliants website and Hodgdon's website. High brass or low brass makes no difference to the hull type for example, its the way the case is made, its material and its volume. You can load a 1-5/8 oz 2-3/4" mag load in a low brass case that was originally a trap load with no resulting problems or danger except for a surprise if it gets mixed in with a bunch of trap loads.
     
  8. dredd

    dredd Member

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    I know I'm just a newbie, but I wanted to respectfully disagree with the Powder Bushings / No Scale Required statement.

    Long story short.... while helping a couple of other buddies get up & running with their presses, I found that the Bushings & actual Charge Weights didn't always match the published data.
    Some charges were off by 3 bushing sizes. Honestly, it was minimal in the grand scheme of things.
    I would personally want to verify my charge weight.


    As for the MEC's, you can't go wrong. I'm using an old single stage that must be a million years old! LOL
    I don't think you can wear one out.
    It produces beautiful shells.

    Lots of great info in this thread and on the forum!!!

    I'll go back to lurking.

    Thanks,
    BB
     
  9. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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  10. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Yeah, I saw that damn fool with his hole-in-a-1X4 slugs. Has his obit been in the local papers recently? What happens as the hole in the board gets burned out to produce a larger "boolit"? That solid slug will tumble badly right out of the bore. Anything further than his 25 foot targets will be a crap shoot to hit anything.

    The other one, is just plain dangerous. That empty looked like it had been fired 100's of times. Rolled cardboard hardly makes a strong hull. Then the paper wads are also of flimsy construction.

    As for the BPI hull vise, you still have to size, prime and have a means of seating wads before the roll crimper can be used, and then only on new hulls. Star crimped hulls will NOT accept a roll crimp. Also you'd need a drill press to do it right, like this;

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, that's a BPI hull vise. I'm roll crimping shotshell sabot slugs in that pic.
     
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