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Shotun Shell Reloading Questions Please

sigarmsp226sigarmsp226 Member Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
Lately I have started shooting skeet and LOVE it - I go out to the club where there are 55 gallon drums FULL of spent shotgun shells. Now I am seeing that the average 25 rd box of 12Ga - 2 3/4" 3 or 3 1/4 Dram Wt of powder under 1oz or 1 1/8 oz # 8 shot is now costing me between $5.50 and $6.00 a box for 25 rds. If I can go out and retrieve 1000 rds of re loadable spent shells(know they need to be brass base units but that is about all I know) can someone give me an idea of the cost per 25 rounds if I were to start reloading. I do not view the cost of the equipment as a per unit cost. I view the equipment a capital expense that I understand I have to pay up front. I have reloaded handgun and rifle cartridges for over 30 years but never considered reloading shotgun shells until now.

Thanks for your support and recommendations - My next question will be to ask what reloading system is recommended by the members here. I am shooting about 400-500 rounds a month right now......

Thanks again, Mark

Comments

  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 31,137 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Shot shells seem to be a world of their own. With the cost of shot, primers, powder and wads it is not really worth the effort to reload. Some clubs are buying shells in bulk saving even more.

    I would ask some of your fellow shooters in the area to see what they are doing and go from there. I load every single rifle and pistol centerfire round I shoot (except mil-surp 7.62X54R). I have a shot shell reloader, shot and other components. It is still cheaper to buy the factory shells in bulk than it is to load them.
  • sigarmsp226sigarmsp226 Member Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks Bruce for taking the time to reply. I will do what you suggested. There is a group of guys that shoot a lot and I know they have a truck that comes thru our area every 2-3 months with supplies. I appreciate your reply and time......Mark
  • trapguy2007trapguy2007 Member Posts: 8,959
    edited November -1
    The lead shot is the main cost now.
    With 25lb bags running better than $40 it makes reloaded costly.
    With a 1 1/8 oz load you get 350 rounds (?).
    Add powder, wads, and primers and you might as well buy factory.
    Many clubs have members that have their own shot makers and will sell some.
    I just bought 50 lb for $50 and think I got a good deal.
    Also some clubs will get up special orders on shells.
    They are usually 100 flats on a skid with total upfront payment.
    Get enough people together and you can save a few bucks.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I used to load a lot of target shotshells but things may have changed.

    If you want to try it, sort out a supply of "hulls" all the same type. I used to favor Winchester AA but the last I had were not as good as they had been being. Maybe Remington STS.
    I can load bulk rifle and pistol ammo for casual shooting in mixed brass, but you are really a lot better off to use the same shotshell all the time.

    Get a manual and follow it.
    You can depart from rifle and pistol "recipes" and get good results, but shotshell loading is very cookbook.
  • Mk 19Mk 19 Member Posts: 8,170
    edited November -1
    It is very diffacult to reload 12ga for a cost savings, however it can be done.
    Buy reclaimed shot over new shot.
    Load for 7/8 oz of shot. Use Cheddite primers.
    Your hulls will be free so you dont have to worry about that.
    Find a good load with TiteWad powder.
    Claybuster wads are great and cost less.
    A MEC 600 Jr is a great press for a very low cost, it is what I use and I love it.
    Doing all of this you might save a few bucks per 100rds, but you will have a load that is custom made to pattern out of your gun.

    I must say that I have found a full proof way to save money while loading shotshells. It is actually really easy. Load and shoot nothing but 410 or 28 gauge. I can load a 25rd box of 28ga for $3.25, but it would cost $14.00 to buy it, 410's are only $3.00 for 25 and $13.00 in the store.

    You can do it, it all depends on how much you enjoy loading.
  • Mk 19Mk 19 Member Posts: 8,170
    edited November -1
    It is very diffacult to reload 12ga for a cost savings, however it can be done.
    Buy reclaimed shot over new shot.
    Load for 7/8 oz of shot. Use Cheddite primers.
    Your hulls will be free so you dont have to worry about that.
    Find a good load with TiteWad powder.
    Claybuster wads are great and cost less.
    A MEC 600 Jr is a great press for a very low cost, it is what I use and I love it.
    Doing all of this you might save a few bucks per 100rds, but you will have a load that is custom made to pattern out of your gun.

    I must say that I have found a full proof way to save money while loading shotshells. It is actually really easy. Load and shoot nothing but 410 or 28 gauge. I can load a 25rd box of 28ga for $3.25, but it would cost $14.00 to buy it, 410's are only $3.00 for 25 and $13.00 in the store.

    You can do it, it all depends on how much you enjoy loading.
  • bambambambambambam Member Posts: 4,801 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Lead is biggest cost in reloading.

    My cost in my area:

    25# 7.5 Shot=$37
    1000 Win209=#35
    1lb Red Dot=$17
    500 WT12 wads=$13

    Cost per each:

    1 1/8oz=$.14/shot
    primer= $.035/shot
    18gr powder=$.044/shot
    wad=$.026/shot

    total $.245/per shot. $6.125/box

    I can buy Remington Gun Clubs & the Win/Fed 4 box brick's for the same price & cheaper. I don't have to reload them or by the equipment. Until the price of lead goes down, a person that doesn't already have the equipment would loose money reloading 12ga.


    10 years ago I was reloading for about $2.50/box
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think that you cannot beat the cheap light loads prices but if you hunt with heavy loads/slugs then you could save some money.
  • sigarmsp226sigarmsp226 Member Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks to everyone who took the time to provide the details you did. For now, not having a loader I will take the recommendation of this group and stick with buying. I do think I will take the $500-$600 I was going to invest in getting my initial basic set up and use it to see if I can buy a couple thousand rounds now from one of the local gun stores knowing that the shells they have they might have had since July when they ordered for dove season. I went today and my local WalMart has about 150 cases of "bird shot" the standard 3 dram powder with 1 1/8 oz shot number 7.5 and/or 8's in Federal and Winchester for $22.97 per 100 round packs. I might go ask if they will provide any discount if I were to buy 2000 rounds......Well anyway - thanks again to everyone - this Mississippi boy will wait before investing in a shotgun reloading system. In the mean time I will start watching videos ond reading on line to learn more......Mark
  • sigarmsp226sigarmsp226 Member Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Where I messed up was last year when our local WalMart put their 250 rd cases of "bird shot" Federal and Winchester 3 dram 1 1/8 oz of shot on sale from $49.97 a case of 250 rounds to $25.00. Yep - $25.00 a case - I bought 10 cases but should have bought more....They had over 200 cases that they needed to move to make room for Christmas stuff.....I go in twice a week now waiting to see if they are going to discount what they have now (100 rd min-cases for $22.97) - Not yet but if they do I am going to buy all I can......Mark
  • AJ100AJ100 Member Posts: 244 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Mark, you can go on line and find a reloading calculator that you can use to figure the cost of reloading. As the guys above have stated, it all depends on what you are shooting.

    http://www.shootpita.com/reloading-cost.htm

    Up until Oct.31st, Fed and Win had their rebate program running. They have been doing this for a few years. Rem used to but stopped this year. You have to talk to the guys in your club and find out who the closest wholesaler is. You can buy top of the line target loads for a little more than the low end shells.

    For instance, here in PA, Dunham's was selling Fed Top Guns for $52.95 per flat plus tax. FYI, the price has GONE UP this week, post election, to $56.95.

    The remington Gun Clubs were always around the same price. Sometimes you could find them for $49.00 plus tax.

    The wholesaler price for top of the line Win AA or Federal Gold Medals was $71.00 out the door. The rebate was for $2.00 per box. Limit 50 boxes to any one address. That brings the total to $5.10 a box for the best shells. You can sell the Fed empties, AA not so much any more, for 4 cents a piece. That knocks another dollar off each box. $41.00 a flat for Gold Medals is tough to beat.

    That rebate is for 50 boxes FOR ANY ONE ADDRESS. Now if you shoot a LOT you will need to use the address or addresses of fellow shooters so you can buy 300 boxes. Just sayin.

    I still load 16 yard line, doubles, and Sporting Clays shells. That is because I have about 1/2 ton left. I shoot the new ones for registered caps. When the shot is gone I'll shoot the new ones at everything.

    One loader is for regular 3 dram loads and the other is for Annies and Buddies. Saves time instead of changing bushings and shot.

    [img][/img]reloadingroom.jpg

    AJ100(Tom Vogt)
  • BGHillbillyBGHillbilly Member Posts: 1,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I started reloading about 30 years ago in my teens after dad bought me a REM 1100 in 3" mag. Darn thing would not cycle light loads. At that time light 20 gauge loads could be bought all day for under 3.50, any magnum shells were 11.50+. Mom bought me a MEC 600jr. Reloading light loads cost between 2.59-2.69/box, 3" mags cost 2.75-2.84/box. My son recently started trying to reload 12 ga and discovered the same thing I did and what others have said.

    If you are shooting light loads you are much better off buying them in bulk/on sale. Reloading shotshells becomes financilly viable when loading heavier loads. I suppose if the volume was there you could buy componets in bulk and get the cost down but for the average shooter barring certain exceptions it's much easier and cheaper to buy. The drums full of hulls should tell you something.
  • sigarmsp226sigarmsp226 Member Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    AJ100 - Very nice set up - thanks for the information related to the rebates. I will continue to look for deals in the area while I wait to see if reloading prices come down. Love the idea of reloading but right now for me I am only shooting 12ga so I will wait.....Thanks again to you Hillbilly for your comments and suggestions......Mark
  • llamallama Member Posts: 2,778
    edited November -1
    Our local skeet/trap club organizes a group buy on flats of shells every 3 months... usually end up with Kemen low recoil 20ga loads for $5.25/box ($52.50/flat). Cheaper than Walmarts cheap game loads from Winchester/Federal.
  • longspur riderlongspur rider Member Posts: 2,620 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I reload 410 & 28 ga. That is all the wife & I shoot on sporting clays. I make my own shot. average is about $20.00 for #100 of ready to use shot, (if you don't count labor making it). The only 12 ga or 20 ga I load are hunting loads or light loads for cowboy shooting.
  • BGHillbillyBGHillbilly Member Posts: 1,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by longspur rider
    I reload 410 & 28 ga. That is all the wife & I shoot on sporting clays. I make my own shot. average is about $20.00 for #100 of ready to use shot, (if you don't count labor making it). The only 12 ga or 20 ga I load are hunting loads or light loads for cowboy shooting.
    Another example of where it is benifical, Just as my 3" shells had .25 worth of additional componet cost, they cost $6-8 dollars more per box retail, 410 shells with less shot and powder cost retail at double that of 12 ga light loads locally. I would guess 28 gauge shells suffer the same pricing imbalance but I've never seen 28 gauge ammo or guns stocked for sale.
  • jce12gajce12ga Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have been reloading with a Mec 600 for several years in 12 ga. usually 1 oz. loads for target and field and 1 1/8 oz. for heavier target and field. The 1 oz. loads work best for me for target,(trap, 5 stand, skeet), and helps keep cost down. If you really want a challenge or need a lighter load try 7/8 oz., will really sharpen your shooting.

    Shells/hull: I like using the Remingtons because so many of them have the same internal dimensions and very easy to come by.
    I have found that the most if not all of their one piece shells are identical internally. These means you can reload using fewer types of wads, with wad size being determined by load weight you want.

    The shells I have used are: The old blue max, STS,Nitro, Field and Gun Club shells. Hulls may be black, metallic green or gold, or just plain green. The black or plain green hulls may also be ribbed.

    Although costs for reloading has gone up, I still find it cheaper than buying off the shelf unless there is a really good deal available.

    Many of the powder companies have load books or websites for info.
    Their loads will normally produce good results and have been tested.

    Good luck
  • DieHard4DieHard4 Member Posts: 2,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I am also interested in learning to load for my 12 gauge. I am not concerned with a money savings, just in learning how to do it and be able to make my own, as I do not reload anything right now, and figure shotgun shells will be easier to start with.

    Now my questions are:

    1. Can use reuse spent shells like spent brass, and if so, how many times can each be reused?

    2. You need a shell, a primer, powder, a wad, and whatever you want to shoot right? Anything else?

    3. Can these be put together without presses or other expensive equipment? By hand? My thinking with these is that I can do these without buying a lot of equipment, but I may be wrong, as I have not even begun to learn anything yet. I'm trying to avoid buying hundreds of dollars of equipment at the moment. I'm not concerned with producing 100s of these at a time, just some as needed since time and money is short right now.

    4. Am I missing anything else? Going to find some good books, but I'll still be lost on which powders and primers to use, at least right now.
  • ltcdotyltcdoty Member Posts: 3,900 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by DieHard4
    I am also interested in learning to load for my 12 gauge. I am not concerned with a money savings, just in learning how to do it and be able to make my own, as I do not reload anything right now, and figure shotgun shells will be easier to start with.

    Now my questions are:

    1. Can use reuse spent shells like spent brass, and if so, how many times can each be reused?

    2. You need a shell, a primer, powder, a wad, and whatever you want to shoot right? Anything else?

    3. Can these be put together without presses or other expensive equipment? By hand? My thinking with these is that I can do these without buying a lot of equipment, but I may be wrong, as I have not even begun to learn anything yet. I'm trying to avoid buying hundreds of dollars of equipment at the moment. I'm not concerned with producing 100s of these at a time, just some as needed since time and money is short right now.

    4. Am I missing anything else? Going to find some good books, but I'll still be lost on which powders and primers to use, at least right now.



    1. You can reload the hulls. I find that Remington hulls can be reloaded about 6 to 8 times. Gun Club are their low end target loads and reload well for me on a MEC Jr..

    2. You will need lead shot, I can get a 25 lbs. bag of #9 shot for about $35.00. Also get a good scale and a reloading manual.

    3. You tube is your friend, just search shotgun shell reloading.

    4. Go to a skeet or trap club and pick a few brains. Clay busters are friendly people and like to share their sport.[:)]
  • rsnyder55rsnyder55 Member Posts: 2,626
    edited November -1
    I reload for 20ga and 12ga and started when I was very heavy into trap and skeet.

    Often you can find field 20ga and 12ga loads cheap, but I wouldn't necessarily compare them to Winchester AA trap and skeet loads.

    I reloaded originally for the cost savings (at the time I could reload a box of shells using once fired hulls for $2.50 a box vs. $5.00 a box of Winchester AA loads), but also for the ability to adjust pressures, patterns, velocities, and reduction in barrel fouling.

    For 12 ga, I currently use Win AA hulls and WAA wads with 700-x and Fiocchi primers and found a nice low pressure load with good velocities and very good patterns that leaves my barrel very clean after shooting. One run through the barrels with a swab with CLP and a TICO tool and the barrel is usually clean.
  • XP100XP100 Member Posts: 413 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    You can reload 1&1/8 12 ga for about 4.60/box.

    Lead 37.00/25#
    Wads CB 4118 or 0118 8.00/1000
    Fiocchi 209's 24.00/1000
    Promo powder 88.00/8lbs.

    used Mec jr loader for 65 to 80.00

    You can also make a load your gun likes and get the same load time after time. Cheap shells may have different components from lot to lot.
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