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Ammo and Reloading Factory Ammunition, Reloading, Components, Load Data and more.

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Old 02-01-2013, 12:22 PM
Hobbyhorse Hobbyhorse is offline
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Default Suggestions for where to start with Shotgun Reloading

In light of the recent shortages of ammo I'm convinced that I need to start reloading my own shells. I'm shooting clays and and doing some upland hunting mostly and average around 1k to 1.5k in shells shot a year.

I know that I will need AA hulls to start versus what I'm using now. I've read several threads here on CG but am not sure where to start in terms of a reloader. While I'm impressed with the Dillon presses, the cost is concerning.

Any suggestions on what press to start with and where (I know the shortages will make this a bit more difficult) to purchase reloading supplies in So Cal. I'm local to the IE but willing to make a drive if it makes sense.

I just refuse to deal anymore with walking into a store hoping that they have ammo at a marked up price.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:30 PM
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1911 gone wild 1911 gone wild is offline
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MEC 9000G. It's eazy to set up and get started.
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Old 02-01-2013, 1:23 PM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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For the volumes you are talking (25-30 shells a week), I think I would pickup a MEC Jr and start there. You can make a weeks worth of shells in less than 20 minutes.

I see used MEC Jr's and Sizemasters on the reloading for sale section here on Calguns from time to time, also see them on Ebay occasionally. They aren't that expensive to buy new and you know what you are getting that way.

Good luck, have fun.
When asked what qualities he most valued in his generals, Napoleon said, "give me lucky ones."
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Old 02-01-2013, 1:30 PM
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morrow morrow is offline
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That Lee Load-All 2 or whatever it's called looks pretty awesome for the price too.
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Old 02-01-2013, 2:39 PM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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Originally Posted by morrow View Post
That Lee Load-All 2 or whatever it's called looks pretty awesome for the price too.
There are a lot of reasons why this is also good advice. The Lee press is like $50 new to buy. It also comes with all the shot and powder bushings you will ever need. The only downside to this press is I think when you really start cranking out the volume, it likely won't hold up, for sure it won't last as long as a MEC, but for $50, it is a great way to learn whether you want to keep doing it. Maybe by then you will be ready for a progressive.
When asked what qualities he most valued in his generals, Napoleon said, "give me lucky ones."
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Old 02-01-2013, 2:56 PM
revo1911 revo1911 is offline
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Mec Jr
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Old 02-01-2013, 5:26 PM
Revoman Revoman is offline
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The above posts for a MEC 600 Jr are good ideas for the volume that you are looking at. If you start to shoot more though, you may wish to step up one rung to a MEC 650.

The 600 Jr is a single stage and you put each shell through once for each operation. It takes a little more time, but with your volume, it shouldn't be a real hassle. Used are between $100 - $175.

The 650 on the other hand is a progressive press that does six operations at every pull of the handle. Once the turret is full, a loaded round pops out each pull. Much faster yet it's not an overly complex machine and easy to use and work on/adjust. Used are between $200 - $275.

Be forewarned though that lead shot is expensive (what isn't in reloading right now) and will be the biggest cost per shell. If you buy the components in volume, you save money. If bought in small batches, not so much and equals pretty close to what a store box would cost. For the most part wads are about 2 - 3, powder primers the same, shot could be between 6 - 9 each depending on cost and load. A one ounce load would be a great starting point as it has good patterning, velocity and recoil is slightly lighter.

Instead of buying empty hulls, I buy factory the first time, that way I know they are once fired for sure and it gives me reloadable hulls too.

Many times the range that you're shooting clays has components for sale at reasonable prices. Or the bulletin board is a good place to start your search.

As I have found, you may find that reloading is a rewarding hobby that enhances your shooting hobby.
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Old 02-01-2013, 6:36 PM
Sideline Shooter Sideline Shooter is offline
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bubble bursting starts now....
For that small amout of rounds you should just be scrounging for hulls and not investing-yet. Your local ranges are your best bet for components since they are doing the heavy lifting (shipping). Lead shot is still over priced and ordering wads, while cheap will get you because of the their bulk size in shipping.
Shooting 4 rounds of trap is 100 shells. Say you shoot that twice a month (200 shells), x 12 months (2400 shells), thats already double of what you estimated. Every componet you get will have to be in bulk if you want to be cost effective. Reloading used to be done to save (alot) of money. That is no longer the case in todays world. You reload now to be a better shooter with a specific load while TRYING to save a few bucks.

Wads $9-$12 bucks a bag for 500 wads
Lead shot $30-$45 a 25lb bag, maybe $25 for reclaimed shot.
Primers $130 for 5000
Hulls 2-5 cents a piece
Powder $125+ for 8lbs.
Reloading press and accessories $100-$500
And this is not including shipping or the $25 haz-mat fee. And the AA hull may not be your best hull to reload, depending what type of shotgun action you are using. PM for details
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Old 02-01-2013, 7:32 PM
rsrocket1 rsrocket1 is offline
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Go to Shotgunworld's Reloading Forum.

10 years worth of posts. Everything you need to know is in the messages if you read them all but you can get a lot of info from a shotgun reloading book.

I can load skeet/16 yard trap for $3.40/box using nothing but locally purchased retail stuff. The big savings is using 3/4 oz reclaimed lead shot @ $22/bag. The nice thing is that I can shoot 6 rounds and my shoulder doesn't feel the least bit fatigued. I can also load up buckshot or slugs and it doesn't cost any more than loading up a plain target load.

I did get a used Mec 9000 because after loading with a Hornady LnL AP, I couldn't imagine pulling the handle 5/6 times per shell. A leisurely 1/2 hour for 4 boxes of shells is a nice relaxing pass time.
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Old 02-01-2013, 7:34 PM
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NoNOS67 NoNOS67 is offline
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The others have given some sound advice. One thing I will add, is that you may want to stay away from the newer AA hulls. Years ago, Winchester AA hulls were the standard in shotshell reloading. A few years back, they switched to their HS or high strength hull, and it does not reload as easily as the old ones. Once I deplete my supply of old style AA hulls, I will be switching to Remington. Good luck!
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