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  #1  
Old 04-08-2011, 9:34 AM
bearing01 bearing01 is offline
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Default Reload 12 gauge Shells or Walmart?

Hi All,

I'm starting to shoot my 12 gauge a lot more now, maybe 200 rounds a month. 75% of what I shoot is bird shot. The rest is buck and slug. I'd like to reload my own shells but, by my calculations, the cost savings does not seem worth it. It appears that my cost would be around the same as Walmart ammo, plus the time.

Any of you out there able to reload 12 gauge bird/buck/slug significantly cheaper than Walmart? They currently sell 7 1/2 bird 1 1/8oz for $23/100.

Any other reasons (besides education) why it's better for me to reload shells?
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:00 AM
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It breaks even. The thing about reloading shells is you can make it to what you want.if your shooting bird shots I would just buy walmart shells, if your loading slugs and buckshots it's worth it since you'll make 4-5 dollars per 25 buck/slug shells.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:40 AM
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My friend reloads for the shotguns. It used to be cheaper reloading. But, now with the rising prices of the materials, it is almost even with the price of the shells at the stores. At least you can load the shells to your liking when you reload.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:36 PM
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For birdshot, don't bother; it's not worth it. Just buy it at Wally World.

However, for, say, 00 buckshot or slugs, it can be a very large cost savings. Remember that even Wal-Mart Remington Sluggers are about 70 cents/round. 00 Buck is roughly $1.00/round no matter where you go.

What makes it a cost savings for slugs/buck are moulds for casting your own. Several companies have slug moulds, and Lee Precision just came out with a version of their 6-cavity mould that drops 18 balls of 00 Buckshot! Hunters in shotgun-only areas would do well to consider this.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:49 PM
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If you want better consistancy and you are able to load your own, you'll end up ahead. If you are just shooting fruit in the desert, any old ammo will do so, WM is the place to go.Chances are, you are somewhere inbetween the two. So, it's really up to you to determine if making better quality ammo for the same price as cheap Walmart ammo is worth it to you or not.
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Old 04-08-2011, 1:20 PM
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Sure, it's economical to load shotshells even with birdshot. You just need to get good prices on the components.
In my area, there's a reloading shop that specializes in shotshell reloading. It's a 2 hour drive from San Diego, but maybe there's a store closer to you.

Reclaimed shot - $26 / 25 lbs
Wads $8 / 500
Alliant Promo = $95 / 8 lbs
Cheddite primers = $25 / 1000
Used AA hulls = It varies, so I put $0.10 each in the calculator below.
Note: I paid about $20 for about 1000 used AA hulls before

http://www.10xshooters.com/calculato...Calculator.htm
I used 9% tax for the calcs since I don't know the exact rate for Covina, CA.
calcs.jpg

The bottom line is that I can reload a box of birdshot for $4.15.
Wal Mart shells are about $6.25 per box.
$2 a box is not a lot, I know. However, never having to run out and pick up some shells on the way to the range or getting jacked from the range store is nice.
Plus you can load your own buckshot or slugs, especially if you cast.
Try loading up some lower recoil 7/8 oz or 1 oz loads. You can still hit skeet with them and they're much easier on the shoulder. Plus you save some money on shot, too.

I would recommend a simple Lee Load All II. Cheap and effective, albeit slow. You can always upgrade later if your volume goes up.
$43 - Lee Load-All 2 Shotshell Press 12 Gauge 2-3/4", 3"
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=436640

Here's a link to the reloading store in Covina. Great shop, but only open Thursday to Saturday.
http://www.phillipswholesale.net/phi..._specials.html
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Last edited by bumpo628; 04-08-2011 at 1:23 PM..
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Old 04-08-2011, 2:39 PM
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$4.15 is a good price. I'd do it even if I could for $5/box. Some time I'm up that way I'll have to drop into that store.

The thing is, to reload cheaply you typically have to either know someone or know the place where to buy the components on the cheap. Phillips seems to be that type of place.

I was looking at the Lee loader at Midway for $43 and it seems like a great buy, even if all I do is just make dummies / snap caps for reload practice.
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Old 04-08-2011, 6:07 PM
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In another thread - I calculated what the break even was if you bought a Dillon SL 900 - I thought I posted a link to the spreadsheet I used - I will post that (again) if anyone is interested - but here's the link if anyone wants to read it. Break even was sooner than I thought - basically 30 trips to the range and it's paid for -

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...07&postcount=5
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Old 04-08-2011, 7:15 PM
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What Bumpo628 said.

Understand also that the more you buy, in bulk, in reloading components, the less it costs to produce a box of reloads.

I realize that you are talking about reloading 12 gauge, but when you load for 28 and 410, the cost savings are huge. A 'cheap' box of those even at WM is in the $11-$12 neighborhood, reloads are about $4.00.

Learning on the Lee might be a good thing too, but as stated it is tedious. A MEC loader is a good investment if you plan on reloading for awhile. You can find them used for really decent prices.
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Old 04-08-2011, 7:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearing01 View Post
$4.15 is a good price. I'd do it even if I could for $5/box. Some time I'm up that way I'll have to drop into that store.
The thing is, to reload cheaply you typically have to either know someone or know the place where to buy the components on the cheap. Phillips seems to be that type of place.
I was looking at the Lee loader at Midway for $43 and it seems like a great buy, even if all I do is just make dummies / snap caps for reload practice.
I found that doing batch processing on the Load All is the most efficient way to do it. I size & prime all the hulls and then store them until I need to make more shells. Right now I've got the press set up for 7/8 oz loads and they work pretty well. You don't really notice a lack of accuracy when shooting trap and at close range it is still pretty impressive. Much less recoil though - I can dump nine shots into a paper target without feeling it afterward.

You should try to find a local store too, or just stock up when you make the drive. You might find better deals on the web for components. At least you have an idea of what the parts should cost. The prices I listed are Philips' current prices as of today. I called them before posting to get some real numbers for the comparison.

www.powdervalleyinc.com has pretty good prices too.
ALLPRO-08 ALLIANT PROMO (8 LB) $84.75
CB1118 CLAYBUSTER 1 1/8 OZ 12 GA WADS (500) $7.75
CB1100 CLAYBUSTER 1 OZ 12 GA WADS (500) $7.75
CB0178 CLAYBUSTER 7/8 OZ 12 GA WADS (500) $7.75
CHE2091000 CHEDDITE #209 SHOTSHELL PRIMER (1000) $25.50

$20 for 200 once fired AA hulls:
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Winch...h-All+Products
www.Gunbroker.com is another good source for hulls.

Shot is a little harder to find good prices on the internet, obviously because of the weight. The best I could find is $80 for 50 lbs delivered.
http://www.rotometals.com/product-p/...laim_clean.htm

Shotshell reloading is a little different than regular - you do not work up a load. You need to use components that are in the recipe. However, there are some substitutions that you can do. Like Cheddite for Winchester primers and Claybuster instead of Winchester wads (they even have the brand name number on them). Otherwise, pick a hull like the AA, the powder, and the amount of shot - then make sure to put the proper amount of powder in there for that combo. Promo is the best powder I've seen for shotshell since it is just a bulk version of Red Dot and the price per pound is right. You can use either Promo or Red Dot load data.

You can download a copy of the Alliant powder manual here: http://glarp.atk.com/2011/2011_Catal...derCatalog.pdf
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Last edited by bumpo628; 04-08-2011 at 7:34 PM..
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