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Hi,
I am moderately new to the clay sport but am thinking about re-loading and wanted to hear your opinion. I shoot skeet/sporting clays and go through about 1.5 flats a month (about 350 shells/month). That works out to about 17 - 18 flats a year (ish). Each flat costs me about $55.00 Cdn each (tax in), or about $35.00/each US. So in all it is costing me about $990.00 Cdn/year for shells.

Should I be thinking about re-loading? How much cheaper is it to re-load than buy (cheap ones)? If so what re-loader would you recommend?

For what it's worth I am shooting a Beretta 391 and a 687.

Thanks in advance!
John
(Your token Canadian) :?:
 

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John - I reload for a 12 ga and a 20 ga. Your materials cost can vary widely, but if you get in with a group that does a large order, or if you buy in large quantities, you can get a pretty good price. I do 12 ga 1 oz target loads for about $2.50 (US) per box... 20 ga 7/8 oz loads for about $2.30 (US) per box. At that rate, it doesn't take long to justify a reloader, plus, it's an enjoyable hobby.

My 12 ga reloader is a MEC Grabber, 20+ years old, and my 20 ga is a MEC 9000, only about 8 years old - both of 'em long since paid for in terms of savings on ammunition.

Token Canadian, eh? (Couldn't resist that)
 

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I'm a beginner in the world of clay shooting but I took the plunge on the reloader. I shoot trap 200-400 birds per week and it is just way to expensive to not reload. Winchester AA Target loads are $4.99/box and if you can find them on sale they are $4.50/box.

You can reload for about $2.60/box(US) if you buy the supplies in bulk. Like 5,000 primers at a time. 8 lb jugs of powder. 5,000 wads etc. The only thing I don't buy in real big quantity is shot. The price break is only .50 different per bag and I don't have anyplace to store 80 bags or 2000lbs of shot. 1 bag = $13.49, 10 bags = $12.99/bag, 1 ton of shot; 80 bags = $12.49/bag. I buy all my supplies from one local shop. He gives me the 10 bag price no matter if I buy 1 or 10. But the fact that I also bought a Browning Citori XT Trap gun from him also helps I'm sure.

Anyway, I doubt I'm "saving" any money reloading but I can sure shoot more on the dollars I have to spend. The only thing that keeps me from shooting hundreds of clays a day is time(gotta work and sleep) and my wallet.

I work to shoot. :D
 

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I don't reload, but am thinking more seriously about it. Yeah, you can get commercially loaded cheapo shells for nearly the price the reloaders claim*, but you end up with cheapo components, powder, and low antimony lead.

The biggest obstacles to my reloading are time & space. I do need to spend a little time with the family, and I don't have the space to dedicate full time to a reloading operation.

* Most reloaders I talk to claim $2.50-$3/box for 12ga 1oz loads. You can get Federal ammo at WallyWorld for $3/box.

-- Sam
 
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Sam, I was buying the Federal chaepo loads. The problem is they are game loads mostly. Those 3 dram equiv. and 3-1/4 dram equiv. loads were just beating me to death.

The $2.50 to $3.00 per box is a good number. It's easy to figure out really. Primers and wads are a fixed number. You can load X amount of shells dropping 19 grains of (your powder here) and X amount of 1-1/8oz per 25lbs of shot.

7000 grains in 1 lb. 7000 / 19 = 368 rounds. 8lb keg = $94.00 which = $11.75lb 11.75 / 368 = .0319... per powder drop.

Wads WAA12 = $5.47 per 500 or .01094 cents each.

Winchester 209 Primer = $18.60/1000 or .0186 cents each.

Shot 12.99 per 25lb. You can make 14 rounds per pound of shot loading 1-1/8 oz or 350 rounds per 25lb. 12.99/350 = .0371 cents per round.

Powder - .0319
Was - .0109
Primer - .0186
Shot - .0371

Per round total = .0985
Per box = $2.46

I bought about 1,000 once fired AA hulls @ .04 each to add to the AA I already had. If you add those in and divide it buy the number of loads you can get per hull which is somewhere between 10-15 loads then you are still at that $2.50-$3.00 range. The only thing you don't have in the price is your time. I got more time than money so I don't count my lever pulling time. :D
 

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I agree with everything Shaggy said but would add one thing. Shoot 1 oz loads for 16 yard trap, skeet and most clays. You will not miss targets and your cost per shell will go down for shot and powder (a little less of each). Pick up some silver AA hulls to load up some 1 1/8 loads to shoot handicap trap. That way you can quickly see red are 1 oz , silver are 1 1/8oz loads. You get 45 more shells from a bag of shot by loading 1 oz loads. Every penny helps! If you don't have the space to store lots of powder/ shot/ wads, go in with a couple of buddies and split the bulk stuff to get your cost down. Power keeps fine in any good airtight container. I've used old 2 liter soda bottles (cleaned and dried of course). Also you will be amazed at how many folks let new AA fly. Always keep an eye out for them and grab them if you can. Some clubs will let you pick them up others will not , ask before you grab.

APEXDUCK.
 

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Well, I have not really started flying on my loader yet. I've never loaded shotshells until 2 days ago so I'm still trying to make sure everything is the way it should be. I loaded my first hundred, shot them and didn't blow up so I'm good to go.

I have the RCBS "The Grand". It will go as fast as I care to pull the handle. The shot hopper holds 25lb of shot and the powder hopper holds 1lb of powder. Reloading the primer tray is the slowest part of the operation but it takes only a minute or two. A motivated individual could do 250 rds in an hour easily, maybe more.
 

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If I really get serious about it, I can do about 12 boxes an hour with a MEC Grabber - that includes loading the primer tray, powder and shot bottles, and fetching the empties and wads. I chuck the loaded shells into a big plastic bucket, and then fill a couple boxes before I go shoot. When the kids get a little older, they'll load the shells into boxes for you.
 

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I originally posted this over in the Reloading forum, since it was more appropriate there, but have not gotten any responses, so I'll ask again here:

What equipment do you need to start reloading for shotgun, other than a press? I know that in brass cartridge reloading you need sizing dies, case polishers, powder scales, and all sorts of things that push the "entry fee" (equipment price) higher and higher. At one point I figured it would cost about $300 to start reloading .45ACP brass, not including components.

I see shotgun presses for sale used for $50. What else would I need to get going? Do the hulls have to be cleaned? How do you de-prime and re-prime them? Crimp?

Thanks in advance,

-- Sam
 

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Sam, all you need is the press. I just bought an RCBS Grand press. Other than the different shot and powder bushings($5.00 items) everything you need to get going is there.

It comes set up for 1-1/8oz of 7-1/2 shot over XX? grains of Red Dot powder. It's a fantastic press with many features for ease of use that other presses do not have.

I have a friend that loads on a MEC9000 and he likes it fine. Now that he's seen mine, he will probably sell the MEC eventually.

When it comes to reloading equipment, I buy the best I can afford or more than I can afford. You get what you pay for.

http://www.rcbs.com/default.asp?menu=1&s1=4&s2=2&s3=135

 
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