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 Post subject: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:07 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:21 am
Posts: 71
Location: San Antonio Texas
I've been reloading and casting my own boolits for pistols and rifles for nearly 15yrs now. But, recently I've ventured into the world of shotgun reloading. I have a MEC 600 Jr, but no other components other than hulls(Rem sureshot). I do have access to reloading manuals, powders, shot, wads and such. What I'm looking for are possibly components to stay away from or some that you'd recommend. I'll be reloading loads for 12ga and 20ga for dove and occasional sporting clays. The loads will be fired from two Citoris with 28" barrels with fixed choke(20ga) and Mod/Lt. Mod(12ga). Any short falls I should be aware of with the MEC600 Jr? I'm not looking for load data just simply component suggestions. Thanks gents.



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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:32 pm
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Location: Long Island
Read through the tips & tricks stickied at the top of the reloading forum here. Great write-ups on Mec machines as well as a host of useful info. I like Remington STS & Nitro hulls the best. Gunclubs are good but I prefer brass bases to steel.

If you give an idea of what payload & velocity you're looking for I'm sure others will jump in to get you where you want to be.

Best of luck to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:38 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
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Location: Eastern Nebraska
A few things to keep in mind:

Although a lot of recipes for Rem hulls use Rem primers, the Rem primers are grossly overpriced, no one has ever pointed to any real advantage in using them, almost no one here will pay the price or use them.

Remingtons are very good hulls for reloading- good choice.

They do have tapered walls which means you need a wad designed for tapered walls (Remington or WW, TYPE, but they do not need to be Rem or WW OEM.)

Remingtons have a bit more room in them than WW AAHS. The Downrange DRA series of wads are shorter, fit well in AAHS, are a bit short for Rem. Downrange Dusters and the CB1xxx series both work quite well in Rem.

FYI:
There are a few (very few) Rem hulls that have a flat separate basewad. The vast majority of them are all one piece tapered wall. They might be various colors and might be brass or steel but they all load the same. If you want to buy factory ammo and shoot your own empties, look for Rem Gun Clubs on sale for $5.00/box. Dove loads, sport loads, and sure shot and Gun Club are all the same hull.


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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:58 pm
Posts: 1140
Joel -- You can also go to the powder manufactures (Alliant , Hodgden, etc.) web sites for reloading recipes.

If you want to keep it simple, try these two basic loads since they are easy to assemble, many component combos will work, and they will handle your intended uses.

12ga 1 oz of hard (high antimony, magnum, etc.) #7 1/2 lead at ~1200 fps
20ga 7/8 oz of hard #8 lead (high antimony, magnum, etc.) #8 lead at ~1200 fps

I pretty much use STS, Gun Club or WAACF (old style) since I have a good supply of them and W209 primers, Alliant powders (12ga Clay Dot, 20ga 20/28), and Claybuster wads since they are available in my area.

Of course, purchasing supplies in bulk is the way to go.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:47 pm 
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I would use the same loads for doves as for sporting clays. I would pick between a 1 oz and a 1 1/8 oz load for 12 ga. I don't recommend loading anything over 1200 fps. If you stick with 1200 fps, it settles you into a range of fast burning powders for 12 ga. I would looks at powders like Red Dot, IMR Red, Clays, Promo, Titewad, and 700X. For 20 ga., I would look at loads using Unique, Universal or 20/28. I would not try to use one powder for both 12 and 20 ga. Unique and Universal will work for both 12 and 20 ga. but those powders are outside their sweet spot for the applications you indicate (light game and target). Unique and Universal shine in heavy 12 ga. field loads.

And as far as wads are concerned, the Dusters, for both 12 and 20 ga., are hard to beat.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:16 pm 
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Are the Rem Sureshot hulls one piece, ie no separate base wad?
I would guess that they they are steel based. You can check with a magnet. If so were they fired from your guns and they still fit those chambers? Especially if they are not one piece hulls I think that you will be better off getting Rem STS or Nitro hulls that have a brass base.

The 600 Jr has a friction type of base resizer and it is a little harder to resize steel bases than the collet sizer. If the hulls still fit your guns I would adjust the resizer to not resize.

Rem cases often are sized for the Rem 209P primers that are a little shorter than most others. Often there is a lip of plastic that forms over the top end of they primer and that causes other brands to be difficult to seat completely. Reaming the primer hole with a #1 drill bit will make other brand fit. I use a cordless drill with out the battery and just shove the case down on the bit then back up.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:59 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:21 am
Posts: 71
Location: San Antonio Texas
Thanks a great deal gents. Youve steered me in the right direction. My MEC came with both 12ga and 20ga dies. Gonna clean it up a bit before I start this venture. Thanks again gents for your assistance.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:04 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6055
Location: Eastern Nebraska
waverider wrote:
Are the Rem Sureshot hulls one piece, ie no separate base wad?
I would guess that they they are steel based. You can check with a magnet. If so were they fired from your guns and they still fit those chambers? Especially if they are not one piece hulls I think that you will be better off getting Rem STS or Nitro hulls that have a brass base.

The 600 Jr has a friction type of base resizer and it is a little harder to resize steel bases than the collet sizer. If the hulls still fit your guns I would adjust the resizer to not resize.Really? How exactly do you ADJUST the resizer on a 600jr?

Rem cases often are sized for the Rem 209P primers that are a little shorter than most others. Often No, not often. It does happen, but it is not common. Regardless, a 600jr WILL seat a primer, the primer seating ram is not spring loaded. there is a lip of plastic that forms over the top end of they primer and that causes other brands to be difficult to seat completely. Reaming the primer hole with a #1 drill bit will make other brand fit. I use a cordless drill with out the battery and just shove the case down on the bit then back up.
This is all true, but really not applicable to a 600jr.


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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:14 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 2628
Location: Newton Kansas
As far as I know,,,, the Remington Shur-Shot hulls should be the exact same Unibody hull construction as any other Remington hull they've inked some other name on in the last 3 decades.
A look down inside will make it obvious to you if they are or are not.

Slug and buckshot hulls are always risky in this.

There is no "adjusting" the Power Ring resizer on a 600 Jr. without a grinder, and I do not advise trying that route.
Just use it as is and have no problems with shell fit.
I have long years of use of this resizer, on both a 700 Versamec and a 310.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:51 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:51 pm
Posts: 9322
Location: Fairport NY
The ring resizer is NOT a problem, real or imagined. They work, and very well.

And yes, I have a lot of years of experience with both ring and collet sizers. And I never heard of anyone "grinding a ring sizer" to fit!

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
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Location: Eastern Nebraska
Ring type resizers are what is used on all versions of Hornady presses, all Spolars, all PW, RCBS, and the most popular model of Mec. Other than STS, Nitro Gold, AA, and Federal papers, ALL shells on the market are steel head. Rest assured: they are compatable with each other. Shure Shots thst I have seen are exactly what Old Stuffer says: Gun Clubs with different marking on them. Some have silver colored heads and some brass COLORED, but the metal itself is steel.


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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:10 am 
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Stay away from European branded primers in your Remington hulls. Most European primers (especially Rios) are larger than American branded primers and will enlarge the primer pocket especially with brass headed hulls. The steel heads are somewhat more resistant to being enlarged by bigger primer. I use Winchester primers almost exclusively with no problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:17 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:21 am
Posts: 71
Location: San Antonio Texas
Just to warn you gents, but I'll be asking a boat load of questions on here in the next few wks as I gain momentum moving forward. :lol: Gonna download the setup manual for the 600 jr and I'm also thinking about getting a designated machine for each gauge. Ebay is my friend at the moment.:mrgreen: Whatcha ya'll think? Thanks for your candid responses gents.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:04 pm
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Location: Eastern Ohio
Changing dies on a 600 jr. is a real pain. I think you will find that once you set them for a gauge you will not want to change them often. Look for another press for your different gauge.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:21 am
Posts: 71
Location: San Antonio Texas
dutch7373 wrote:
Changing dies on a 600 jr. is a real pain. I think you will find that once you set them for a gauge you will not want to change them often. Look for another press for your different gauge.


Thanks Dutch that's kinda what I was thinking too. So, the search begins for another toy(cough cough) I mean a viable tool I desperately need. Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:58 am 
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I would hold off getting another press until have you have learned the ropes on the one you have. Once you have learned the ropes, you will be in a position to upgrade to a progressive press, which greatly amplifies the speed with which you can produce shell. And eBay is your friend. I would look at used progressive loaders made by Hornady, Ponsness Warren, RCBS and Dillon. Some of these have simple and quick ways to change gauges.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:30 am 
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Best advise is to get yourself a copy of Lyman's Reloading manual 5th edition, then read it. I believe that you will find answers to almost all of you questions. I have been loading for years and I still use it for a reference.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:56 pm 
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Both Nebs and Casonet are right. I started with a hand Lee Loader and and progressed through the Mecs and Honaday's until I ended up with a Dillon. I can't express how much I like Dillon and their customer service. The Lyman manual will allow you to safely "play" with your loads if you are into tweaking your loads.
I will reload any hull but only if I run out of AA's or any Rem's. I find Clay Buster to be inexpensive and reliable. The CB-1100 seems to be my go to wad and yes stay away from the euro-primers unless you ONLY use them.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:07 pm 
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Location: Fairport NY
One thing you will learn over the long haul is BUY IN BULK! This will save you money over the long haul. Find a recipe that you like, and buy powder in 8 lb. jugs, Claybuster or Downrange , etc. "clones" of factory wads, and "sleeves" of primers for lowest prices. Also, light loads are a pleasure to shoot, and break targets just fine.

Good shooters use 7/8 oz. loads of 8s 0r 8 1/2s in 12 ga. for clays, and many are going to 3/4 oz. loads. And 3/4 oz. of 8 1/2s works fine in a 20 ga. and breaks clays just fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Venturing into shotgun reloading
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6055
Location: Eastern Nebraska
You are on the right track with multiple presses. Used ones on E-Bay often cost about what a die set costs. Some don't like E-Bay but I have bought a number of presses there and had no disappointments. If it says "as is" an no pictures there is a reason for that. If it includes good clear pictures and is not the lowest price press listed, there is a reason for that too.

I would suggest you give some serious thought as to how many of each gauge you might want to load. And, your loading "schedule." Do you plan to accumulate a lot of hulls and do all your loading in a couple months in the winter? Would you be happy loading a flat every week or two? Maybe you are a trap shooter. You might need 10,000 a year of 12 gauge but maybe 500-1,000 a year of some other gauges. This info helps you pick a press/presses.

If you are thinking Mec (and Hornady and RCBS make good machines too) in round numbers:

600jr- good solid machine that will turn out quality loads and hold up well, takes a bit of force to resize steel head hulls, they pop up real regular on E-Bay for around $100, will crank out about 100/hr

Sizemaster- pretty much the Cadillac of single stages, has an adjustable resize collet (not ring) that eats up and spits out steel head hulls, comes with a primer feeder and will do around 200/hr, used on E-bay is more like $150-200

Mec 9000- by far the most popular progressive (but certainly not the only) out there. Lots of guys here can give you all the help you need. It an be manual, electric, or hydraulic. It will turn out 500 shells per hour that are every bit as good as any factory. It is a machine, and takes some understanding of machines to operate. Prices are all over the place depending on options.

Grabber- this is a 9000 without automatic advance on the shell plate- you rotate it.




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