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Old September 15, 2019, 15:00   #1
Douglas S Graham
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question on shotgun reloading

Just getting into the trap game, have an electric trap for home use on the way. How feasible is it to reload SG cartridges. I just bought 250 rounds for 59.00. Seems like you would have to shoot a LOT of trap rounds to justify the expense of a press, et al. Please weigh in with your thoughts.

TIA. Doug.
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Old September 15, 2019, 15:29   #2
W.E.G.
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I gave away my basic MEC press.

I will never reload another shotshell unless I’m swapping birdshot out for blackeye peas.

Unless you have a press-bitch, or your time is worthless, or you just love the process of feeding a press, handloading shotshells is a fool’s errand.
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Old September 15, 2019, 15:31   #3
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Besides figuring everything else, I would check availability and price on shot first thing...You might be in for a big surprise, especially if you dont have a convenient local source and need to pay shipping.

I gave away my mec loaders back about y2k, because everyone was always out of shot and the price difference between reloading and just buying new wasent but maybe $.50 a box...but ymmv.
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Old September 15, 2019, 17:01   #4
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You may also be aware that some semi-auto guns are finicky about cycling cheap ammo, or reloads.
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Old September 15, 2019, 19:15   #5
okiefarmer
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I've reloaded all my life, shotshell and metallic. It's therapy as well as some savings. Yeah, ya gotta figure your time at a pretty low rate, but being retired, all my time is cheap. If ya don't buy your stuff in bulk or belong to a club with some discounts through their supplier, it's tough to save much. I load mostly 7/8 oz on all my 12 ga loads, it's easier on the shoulder. These loads are typically harder to find. Winter is my reloading time, and I'll sit in my play room and load about 80 flats and hope that last the rest of the year.

When I get that done, I get the metallic press out and start on rifle and pistol, loading mostly all cast boolits, that's where I save the most. If I made my own shot, I could cut my shotshell loading in half, but I just don't want to start that project this late in life.

Edit to add: You've got one of the best reloading supply sources in the country there in Pennsylvania, CAC Associates. Hard to beat, I just can't afford the shipping to Oklahoma.
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Old September 16, 2019, 09:28   #6
Douglas S Graham
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Thanks guys!! I kinda figured it was a lost cause to reload. WEG, have an O/U and a semi. Interesting to see if the semi. has issues with cheap ammo. Once I get my launcher and start shooting, I will let everyone know the brand and what the issues were. Thanks again for the feedback!!
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Old September 16, 2019, 09:50   #7
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Reloading

I shoot mostly 28 Ga and .410. These are a little more costly to shoot. So, you can save a lot of money reloading them.
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Old September 16, 2019, 10:05   #8
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Have bought from Academy for decades..49.00 to 59.00 a case these days. Free shipping & no sales tax here to N.M.

Never a problem with these “cheap” shotshells in a myriad of shotguns.
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Old September 16, 2019, 10:07   #9
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when i was shooting trap and clays i reloaded with a MEC 650. at that time i did the math and it made sense since you can reload a hull five to seven times. i know things change but there was enough demand for hulls that the club's policy was any hulls that hit the ground belonged to the club. Component prices may have changed the economics. Chernobyl caused a world wide spike in demand for lead so much so that the club had the range scooped three times in 18 months. Several years later the resort decided they needed another golf course community and closed the range. About that time i dumped the MEC.
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Old September 16, 2019, 10:47   #10
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I enjoy reloading.

I also enjoy being able to reload too. Even during the last few panics' though, shotgun ammo has been readily available, but I still like the ability to keep my stock replenished despite what the market is doing. Or, despite what laws came around.

If you shoot a lot of buckshot or slugs, reloading is the way to go. There is no dispute where cost is concerned that it's easier to cast your own slugs using wheel weights than it is to buy a box of 5 slugs for $4 or more.

Birdshot pellets, are expensive, take up a lot of room, and are expensive to ship 25 pounds of lead at a time. And honestly, not as cost saving.

But like I said, I like the ability to load whatever I want, however I want. Whether light handicap low brass or hotter than store bought magnums.

The #1 reason why I started reloading though was due to a few of my older shotguns because it's harder to find 16 gauge shells and they're usually pretty expensive too. So, I don't worry about not having shells whenever I want them.

FWIW, I load for 410, 20, 16, and 12 gauge. I made my own reloading hand tools for .410 because unless you have an expensive MEC, that's about your only choice since Lee stopped making hand loaders.
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Old September 16, 2019, 16:49   #11
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I have a MEC, and have enjoyed pulling the handle and turning out shells. But, when I am out of pellets I am going to quit and sell the press.. I bought out an older retired competitor and the press and a bunch of components came in the deal. It just does not make sense to load if I have to pay to ship lead in. Heck, it does not hardly pay to load 9mm or 5.56 either. But I am not selling my metallic loading stuff, yet.
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Old September 16, 2019, 17:08   #12
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I loaded my last 9mm ten years ago.

If you are shooting 55FMJ 5.56, it makes no sense whatsoever to handload. I'm serious. When I hear about people handloading 55-grain 5.56, I want to run out of the room with my hair on fire.
  • police the brass
  • sort the brass
  • tumble the brass
  • remove tumbling-media residue from brass
  • lubricate the brass
  • resize the brass
  • wash the lube off the brass
  • dry the brass
  • swage the primer pocket
  • prime the brass
  • drop powder charges
  • stuff bullets (shitty 55-grain ones)
  • package the product
  • go to range and shoot 4 MOA groups

All that to save what - a nickel per round?... maybe a dime?

And mind you, all those steps omit the recurring step of packaging and storing the brass between steps if you aren't reloading it from grunge to loaded-ammo all in one operation. You might collect, pack, store, un-pack a half-dozen times or more in the process of all those other steps if you manage your brass in stages.

PRVI 69 and 75 make it very questionable to handload magazine-length "match grade" ammunition for most competitors. Very reasonable price.

The PRVI match-grade stuff hammers the 10-ring from service rifle. Moreover, if you do want to reload the PRVI 5.56 brass, you don't have to deal with primer-crimp that is present on most LC brass.
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Old September 16, 2019, 19:54   #13
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Thanks for the PRVI 75s recommendation.

$0.575/round is a hell of a lot better than $1.00/round for the Hornady Match 75s.
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Old September 16, 2019, 22:43   #14
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It used to be that reloading shotshells was pretty economical.

You could buy bags of shot, primers and powder in bulk at the big trap meets off of semi trailer loads. Used to cost about $4.00 to load a box.

The MEC progressive press was great when you had to get up early and load 500 shells for the days shooting at a big meet.

I used to shoot on Sunday league shoots, Mondays for practice, Tuesday league nite, wed league nite. 500+ per week

Fri-sat-sun big meets would also eat up shells at 300 per day.
Shooting 5000 shell per year is a low average for a dedicated trap guy.

I also used "Clays" powder with 7 1/2's.
Clays is a high bulk powder. Why do I use that powder, instead of a low bulk powder like red dot, and get twice as many loads using red dot per lb?

EZ...I saw too many double loads with low bulk powders ruin guns. If you accidently create a double load with a high bulk powder---the shell would have a very obvious, high rounded bulged crimp.....safety!!!

Double loads of Red dot would look just like a normal shell...........boom

MEC Progessive loaders are the cats meow. Plenty of guys got the hydraulic foot pedal to run the machine while loading the hulls to speed things up.
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Old September 17, 2019, 06:58   #15
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BTW, Graf’s sells the bare PRVI match bullets for 14 cents apiece.

I’ve been stuffing them in new pre-primed 14-cent Wolf brass.

Once I blow through all my supplies on hand (will take years) I’ll probably just buy factory PRVI for 300 yard line and for reduced-targets. Still need to handload 80’s for 600. Assuming I’m still in the game at all.
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Old September 17, 2019, 07:52   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V guy View Post
It used to be that reloading shotshells was pretty economical.

You could buy bags of shot, primers and powder in bulk at the big trap meets off of semi trailer loads. Used to cost about $4.00 to load a box.

The MEC progressive press was great when you had to get up early and load 500 shells for the days shooting at a big meet.

I used to shoot on Sunday league shoots, Mondays for practice, Tuesday league nite, wed league nite. 500+ per week

Fri-sat-sun big meets would also eat up shells at 300 per day.
Shooting 5000 shell per year is a low average for a dedicated trap guy.

I also used "Clays" powder with 7 1/2's.
Clays is a high bulk powder. Why do I use that powder, instead of a low bulk powder like red dot, and get twice as many loads using red dot per lb?

EZ...I saw too many double loads with low bulk powders ruin guns. If you accidently create a double load with a high bulk powder---the shell would have a very obvious, high rounded bulged crimp.....safety!!!

Double loads of Red dot would look just like a normal shell...........boom

MEC Progessive loaders are the cats meow. Plenty of guys got the hydraulic foot pedal to run the machine while loading the hulls to speed things up.
You can still load for about $4.00 a box, many of us do. And whoever gets that many kabooms with double charges shouldn’t be loading. Both Clays and Red Dot are about identical in density by the way. A grain is a grain, and both powders call for averages of 18 grains per load, so impossible to get twice the loads from either powder when there is only 7000 grains in each pound of powder.
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Old September 17, 2019, 08:50   #17
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I guess my memory of the blow ups and powder used was not correct.

Some hot powders used only about 10 grains per load, while clays used 17.2 grains per 1 1/8 oz load. The double loads always came from guys who shot a lot and who were cheap, trying to save money.

I have related the story of the $12,000 Krieghof that sent its bbls downrange and the shooter to the hospital. THAT was a great gun, too. Had to be double load,as that is what this shooter used all the time.

I use the high bulk load to avoid such problems.
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Old September 17, 2019, 09:37   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V guy View Post
I guess my memory of the blow ups and powder used was not correct.

Some hot powders used only about 10 grains per load, while clays used 17.2 grains per 1 1/8 oz load. The double loads always came from guys who shot a lot and who were cheap, trying to save money.

I have related the story of the $12,000 Krieghof that sent its bbls downrange and the shooter to the hospital. THAT was a great gun, too. Had to be double load,as that is what this shooter used all the time.

I use the high bulk load to avoid such problems.
17.2 gr about right. I don't know of any powder in the 10 gr range, heck, even 20 and 28 ga use 15 gr of something. I know guys who are very recoil sensitive, and load way down for that reason. But, 10 gr won't even set most inertia triggers, and likely won't launch the shot out the barrel fast enough to break the claybird. In the burn rate chart, there are not many powders ahead of Clays or Red Dot. Titewad and E3 the only more popular used shotshell powders I know of, and they still call for 15 and up in most loads, and only in 12 ga, too fast for any smaller guages.

Moral to story: Reloading is not for dummies
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