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Reloading Shotgun Shells

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  • LHB1

    Active Member
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    Mar 4, 2008
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    Houston
    1. Get all one type of hull!! In pistol or rifle reloading, you can get by mixing brands but in shotgun shells this can lead to problems. Different shotgun hull brands/types can have different inside dimensions, thickness, taper, and base wad. These differences can require different wads and/or different powder charges. Save yourself a lot of headaches and standardize on one brand and type of hull.

    2. Follow the suggested load recipe. Mixing or substituting components can have unforeseen consequences in pressure, cimping, and/or load performance.

    3. As usual in reloading, the components (primer, powder type, powder charge, wad type, and shot weight) must be correctly balanced to avoid excessive pressure charges. BUT ALSO, the total volume of powder charge, wad column, and shot MUST fill the case to the proper depth to allow correct crimping of the hull. If the components volume is too high or too low, the hull will not crimp properly.
     

    machinisttx

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    Mar 4, 2008
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    What exactly do you intend to do with your reloads? Hunting, targets?

    I posted in another thread regarding shotshell loading. In my experience, you can buy the factory game loads cheaper than you can load your own. If you're loading for something like 16, 28, or 410, you can save a little bit of money.

    The only real use for shotshell handloading now is to load stuff that isn't commonly available or is seriously overpriced in factory loads. For instance-- I load an ounce and an eighth of hard, target grade shot over a roughly four and one eighth dram equivalent powder charge which gives me about 1425 fps. I can't find that in a factory loading.

    My advice is not to think you're going to save money. Components have gone up even more since I last figured my cost to load a box, and I was coming out behind then. Sucks, but there it is.
     

    txguy

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    Mar 4, 2008
    16
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    D/FW
    I was looking to reload for shooting clays and saving money. The price of shells lately is just plain scarey. If I could'nt save any money by reloading (thus keeping the wife quiet(er) than it probably isn't for me.
     

    LHB1

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    Mar 4, 2008
    311
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    Houston
    Like most other reloaders, I started reloading to save money. But somewhere along the last 44 years, reloading became a hobby in itself. Now I prefer to reload even if it doesn't save me money. I just like a) creating loads to my desired criteria, and b) enjoy shooting my reloads more than shooting factory loads. Gives me a sense of satisfaction. YMMV
     

    machinisttx

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    Mar 4, 2008
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    I was looking to reload for shooting clays and saving money. The price of shells lately is just plain scarey. If I could'nt save any money by reloading (thus keeping the wife quiet(er) than it probably isn't for me.

    Best advice I can give you is to calculate what it would cost you to load something equivalent to what you're shooting for clays. You might be able to come out slightly ahead if you can find some good deals on components...but it all depends on what you're shooting now.

    I'll do a little figuring here

    Claybusters CB1118-12 wads $9.99 per 500 or $0.01998 each
    25 pound bag of Lawrence #7.5 shot $45 or $0.1265625 per 1 1/8th ounce load
    1 pound of Red Dot $20 or $0.05 per 17.5 grain load
    1000 CCI 209 primers $40 or $0.04 per shell
    Hulls are roughly $0.10 each, but reusable

    Right there you're at $0.3365425 per shot or $8.4135625 per box of 25 shells. :(
     

    single stack

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    Oct 27, 2011
    1,519
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    FL
    Reloading 12 and 20 won't save money but, you can customize your load and reloading is a nice hobby.
    Reloading 16, 28 and .410 saves lots of money.
    If you can afford to buy in bulk, 5000 primers and wads at one time and 2 or 4 eight pound jugs of powder, the savings are substantial.
    I'm an avid clay shooter. I buy in bulk to save money because I shoot between 5 and 6 thousand cartridges a year. Buying in bulk gets you cartridges for around $4.00 a box, regardless of bore.
     

    single stack

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    Oct 27, 2011
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    I hope so. That would be fun.
    On my tablet it was only about 5 threads down.
    I'm not thoughtful enough to pay attention if anything I say is relevant.
     

    dsgrey

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    Oct 25, 2015
    1,909
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    Denton County
    I didn't even know you could reload shotgun shells. Looks like I need to start payin attention in class...

    When I was a kid my dad and his buddies built their own shotgun shell reloaders. These were guys that grew up on farms and even their ground trap throwers were individually built. Shells were mostly paper back then and as a 7 year old he'd let me load my own shells (light load) but watch. Kind of neat and I also recall we'd let a drop of candle wax hit the center hole to ensure nothing leaked out of the shell.
     

    ROGER4314

    Been Called "Flash" Since I Was A Kid!
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    Jul 11, 2009
    10,444
    66
    East Houston
    Been loading shot shells since around 1968.

    Some loads, like field loads, aren't economical to reload. I buy them at Academy for what I can reload them for. Others are very economical to load. High brass, 00 Buck and 410 shells can be loaded at considerable savings! Still, I like reloading and got a wild hair to whip up some field loads. I stopped at 100 boxes and had to quit when I ran out of places to store them!

    The guys are right, do not fiddle with the recipes. Follow them and buy your components to comply with what the manual specifies. In the 60's, we messed around with the recipes by stacking nitro cards and cushion wads until everything fit. With cushion wads, get the correct components so everything will fit.

    Sooner or later, you'll get crimps that don't quite close and they will dribble shot everywhere. Take the leaky ones and light a candle. Drip hot wax into the gap in the crimp. It works like a charm!

    Buy the Lyman shotshell reloading book. It's a great investment!

    Flash
     
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