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What is the typical cost of reloading shotgun shells for skeet shooting?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ATTHECROSS, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. ATTHECROSS

    ATTHECROSS Member

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    Hello All -

    Just wondering if anyone knew of their typical cost to reload shot shells for skeet shooting.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Shot shell loading has become a labor of love, not much savings over buying loaded ammo.
     
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  4. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    How much skeet?
    12ga? 28ga?
    Will you be able to save your own hulls?
    Do you have a good ammo store nearby?
    Do you have any equipment already, or starting from scratch?
    In general, you can reload 12ga just a bit cheaper. You can reload sub gauges a bunch cheaper.

    Using jimkirks calculator and prices found online, you can figure actual cost. Dont forget to figure the satisfaction of reloading your own.
    You can also make your own premium custom target ammo.
    20180213_152931.jpg
     
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  5. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Good point
     
  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Depending on ga, and load, you can be all over the place on price. For .410 you can be in the $2/box range, for 12 ga it is hard to break the $4/box low end price, and to get there your pretty much doing considerably sized bulk purchases. For heavy loads or for anything special you are paying considerably more, but that’s not usually gonna be the case for shooting games. I keep investigating the costs and looking at my usages to see when I go all in on all of my guns. It will probably be soon though.
     
  7. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    With low cost 12 gauge like Rio, you about break even when you figure your time. But for 28 and .410 gauges, which I mainly shoot, you save a bunch.
     
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  8. George P

    George P Member

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    I reload 3/4oz for 12 and 20 and buy in bulk; my loads cost ~ $3,85/box,

    If you shoot 28 and 410, you can shoot factory for $4/box by buying Win AA for $9/box at Academy. Win has a $2/box rebate going on and the 28 gauge hulls sell to reloaders for .012 to .015. Using the lower cost, that is an additional $3/box savings, making that $9 box cost only $4
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Right now, one can get pretty good and cheap 20/12 ga already loaded for less to not significantly more than loading them yourself, depending on exactly what loads we are talking about. Not like the olden days when the cheap 12&20 used flat cardboard wads, where inexpensive reloaded shotshells were a lot better than the cheap factory stuff.

    One can save more with the odd balls and special stuff. Not much difference between metallic and shotshells in that area. Your going to save a lot more per round loading your own 300 Weatherby mag, than .223 or 9mm.
     
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  10. ATTHECROSS

    ATTHECROSS Member

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    Thanks everyone for the great info! Sorry I didn't say initially but I am reloading 12 ga. I realize the initial equipment investment is an obvious consideration so I am just trying to get it figured out if it is worth it in the long run to just buy cheap factory or reload. Is the equipment for reloading shotgun shells different from bullet reloading? Thanks
     
  11. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Yes
     
  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    There are MEC and Lee Loader units sitting around gathering dust all over the country, like my doorstop, er, MEC 650 Jr. Ask around, someone might give you one. Not me, though, mine has many happy memories of pounding out Trap loads starting when when I was 9.
    But to answer your initial question; unless you are reloading 10,000 or more shells a year, and buy components in bulk (on sale, too), probably not worth it from a financial aspect. As others have mentioned, specialty shells and the smaller gauges are worth reloading.
     
  13. George P

    George P Member

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    ?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.midwayusa.com%2Fproductimages%2F880x660%2FPrimary%2F389%2F389536.jpg
    Yes, it is - a MEC Jr can typically be found (used) at garage sales, flea markets, Craig's List, etc. for about $75 (hopefully with an optional primer feed attached) you will still need a scale as the powder bushings drop by volume, not weight, but the recipes go by weight. There are different charge bars such as 1/2oz, 3/4, 7/8, 1, 1-1/8, etc. Another alternative is the Universal Charge bar - you will find folks either love that or hate it - personally, I have them on my single stage machines; not my progressives. Reloading is fairly quick and easy; you do need to pay attention to the recipes a little more in certain areas - especially if you are trying to load uber-hot/fast loads for shooting in older guns.
     
  14. Browngirlsdad

    Browngirlsdad Member

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    I currently load 7/8oz target loads for 16ga and 12ga. Both end up about $4.25-$4.50 per box. Lead shot has gone way up, powder as well, so I am not saving much on the 12ga. The 16ga reloading is a must for me with factory loads more expensive and harder to find. I like tayloring my velocities and getting good patterns through my specific guns, so it is worth it to me. If I am just shooting pasture clays though, the cheap 12ga loads work just as well.
     
  15. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    I think if you're shooting 16, 28 ga or .410 reloading is economically mandatory.
     
  16. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  17. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    I bought a used Mec 9000GN for $350 and with lead shot being the biggest variable, I can get reclaimed shot at $25/bag and use 3/4 oz for skeet and 16 yard trap which is more than enough to break the targets at all stations with authority even on 3-4-5.

    Prices after tax for components bought locally
    3/4 oz shot at $1/lb = $1.17/box
    19g powder @ 160/8# = $1.357/box
    $10/500 wads = $0.50/box
    $30/1k primers = $0.75/box

    Total of $3.77/box or a savings of $2.71/box over store bought shells @ $6/box with tax.

    so it took me 129 boxes to pay for itself which I easily ran through in the first year. After that, it's pure savings and when you tend to shoot 4 rounds each time you go out, you save quite a bit even with 12 gauge. Loading buckshot or slugs is no different and costs the same per shot as a target load because you can used the reclaimed shot to cast with. For me, I found the best benefit from tailoring my loads to both cycle my gun properly (Remington 1100 with an IC barrel) and still be easy on my old shoulders. Where I shoot, Remington Gun Clubs are everywhere and I've stopped collecting them because I have several 5 gallon buckets plus a couple of leaf bags full of once fired hulls.

    Shooting the 12 gauge gun is now as light as shooting a 28 gauge gas operated gun and the days I shoot 6 rounds of skeet, I don't even notice it other than it being a long day of shooting.

    If you shoot trap or skeet with regularity, I seriously recommend a progressive loader. One shell per pull is a whole lot easier than 5-6 pulls per shell and restocking 4 boxes of shells takes a lot longer with a single stage press.
     
  18. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    rsrocket1, good summary of the costs involved, thank you.

    I think the same applies to certain metallic cartridges such as 9mm. When asked the question on that subject I try to give the same general answer but it seems like those asking already have made up their minds one way or the other and are just looking for validation of their feelings on the subject. It really comes down to how much ammo you consume/year and do you desire a load tailored to your particular situation(s)? That covers the economy of the equation. The other aspect is do you find handloading an enjoyable task or a burden?
     
  19. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    The reloading startup costs for serious four-gun skeet competition can be rather considerable, as witnessed in attached photo, but only a fraction of the investment in good guns. DSC06723.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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  20. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    Unless you own something like a MEC 9000G, reloading thousands of the same old 12 ga or 20 ga hulls is terminally boring.
    Certain cheap dove and quail field loads sold by Remington used to have excellent compression formed hulls. Shooting that factory ammo at least gives you decent hulls to reload.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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