Reloading Shotgun Shells

txguy

New Member
Mar 4, 2008
16
1
D/FW
I would like to start reloading shotgun shells. Any advice for a new guy starting out?
 

LHB1

Active Member
Mar 4, 2008
311
16
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

Member
Mar 4, 2008
64
6
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

New Member
Mar 4, 2008
16
1
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

Active Member
Mar 4, 2008
311
16
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

Member
Mar 4, 2008
64
6
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

Active Member
Oct 27, 2011
762
93
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.
 
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