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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

I have never reloaded a shell in my life, I've seen it done a couple times but not enough to be able to even come close to doing it myself.

I am very interested in loading/shooting my own reloads ( for hunting pheasants, grouse, dove, ect.) What I am wondering is how much this would cost me to get into.

I shoot a 20ga. I would have access to probably any hulls that I want beings the guys out here at the Rod-Gun don't ever reload. They just burn the emptys.

I would like to to reload steel also. So just throw out some numbers for me.

Could I get started and well on my way for $1000?
 

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Under a 1000.00? Sure!

Reloader...ebay 100.00
Scale............. 80.00
Wads............. 15.00
Shot.............. 45.00
Powder........... 25.00
Primers........... 35.00
Hulls............... free
Loading Manual 20.00

Reloading used to be a money saver, but nowadays its just part of the hobby for me. I enjoy sitting in my garage loading shells almost as much as shooting them.

Good luck and welcome to the hobby!
 

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You could get started for a lot less than a 1000$. I got my start with just under 200$. If you can buy a used reloader or have one given to you then you'll save even more money.

I bought a used Mec for 70$
bag of shot 50$
bottle of powder 15$
wads 12$
primers 12$
Lymans 5th edition 20$
charge bar 10$
powder bushing 3$
and I had all the hulls.

edit, Bobshouse beat me to it.
 

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$1000 or less should have most everything you need depending on how much you have to spend for a reloader. You mention steel shot therefore I would recommend looking at the MEC Sizemaster/Steelmaster. A very good loader and with some parts from MEC can be configured to load lead or steel. Probably there are others that may be configured the same way but I have no experience with them.

Dan
 

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Even though you can get into reloadind for<$1K you need to ask yourself if you want too. Reloading target / dove loads will cost almost as much as the factory promo specials available at the Big Box Marts. You do not indicate how many rounds per week you shoot. If you shoot several varieties, target / dove, heavy field and steel shot you will need to stock several diffrent wads and multiple powders. You may find if you do not shoot a lot purchasing factory loads may be more cost effective.

That said if you don't mind spending some hours at the loading bench kicking out shells you may have a very rewarding hobby, it sure beats the boob tube. Many of us get pleasure from our reloads and tayloring our loads to suite our game and sport. It's addictive and before you know it you can hear and ejected empty hitting the ground from a 100' away and dive for it. Get a Lyman's 5th edition shotshell manual and start reading up.
 

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If you have to ask....

BT
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great to get some info. I don't shoot too terribly many shells a year. My brother and I shoot about 20 boxes of dove/target loads and about 8 boxes of pheasant loads a year. I would llike to load them for the pheasant preserve also. I am not too terribly concerned about the money issue. I would like decent equip. obviously.

How many shells can I make in about an hour. Please consider the novice factor.

I'll continue and throw out another bone. I have been thinking about shooting bismuth or another Hevi non tox load, to give a bit better payload on birds......I hunt alot of bogs and such around here and if you only break a wing, (which does sometimes happen) :roll: the bird will run for miles through some dense stuff. Often times the dog can find but there are times when that bird is long gone and his scent is mixed with about 50 other birds. Is reloading Bismuth something easy to get into once I get the reloading equipment.

I am for the most part interested in this for the reason jtclays mentioned. Maybe not too much of a tip top standard type guy but someone who wants stuff done right and with a bit of pride to go with the precision of making my own hand made load and harvesting with it.
This hobby would fit right into my other hobby, tying fishing lures. I sold around 10000 walleye spinners/harnesses last year to fishing outlets around Nwestern MN, and a whole bunch more to fishermen and such. Landon's Lures !!!
 

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Brits_and_O/U's,

One thing you may have never thought of, and that's it illegal to manufactire and sell Ammo without a Federal Munitions Manufacturer's license.

Not only that but a huge liability is associated with doing this.

Making and selling fishing lures is one thing, but manufacturing and selling ammo is quite another.

I suggest you investigate this matter fully and very carefully, before venturing into it.

DLM
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
D L Marcum,

Sorry I didn't mean to state that I planned to sell the shells. We often do a large hunt on the pheasant preserve every year and I was thinking I could load about 25 boxes of shells for that hunt. I was just comparing the reloading hobby to the tying fishing lure hobby. I think I tried to write too many ideas in a paragraph.
I ment to say money doesn't concern me in the equipment expenses. I would like to buy the best stuff possible to get started and use it for many years of course.
Sorry for the mix up. I am not trying to sell ammunition. I do know that it is illegal!!! I just would like to possibly get started on a new hobby. The fishing lure thing was just another hobby and maybe an advertisment swing.... :wink: (anyone feel like tying for me?) :roll:

But back to the previous questions....

How long does it take to load shells..can I get a box or 2 done in an evening?

How much does it cost to make a box of shells? just to throw out some ideas....
20 ga 3" steel
20 ga 3" Bismuth

or the same in 2 3/4"

Maybe give me some ideas for loads for a Browing Citori, and a ruger Red Label both 20ga.

What wads? Shot? just some ideas....

How dangerous is this also?? It sounds fairly safe to someone who knows their stuff. Has anyone had any "accidents"?

Please just post anything...My mind is a sponge right now on this subject....wish it could also be like that when I am sitting in my College Calc class. :roll:
 

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Once the machine is set up: It is pretty easy to load a box of shells on a Sizemaster in about 15-20 min. On a Grabber, it takes about 6 min. These times are just sorta lazying around.
I might take you an evening to set the loader up for a load and learn the rudiments.

Every time I change the load I have to look at the manual, or the internet site, and then change the bushings and check the powder drop. Then perhaps adjust the crimp a little. Takes maybe 30 to 60 min to change the setup from one type of load to another.

Loading is not particularly dangerous. The main danger is mixing up the powder. You do have to pay attention and follow the loading manuals.

I have had one mixup of powder (fortunately one that made totally no difference in the load) and set off one primer (my mistake when using a very poor excuse for a loading tool, one of the little Lee loaders with the hammer deprime.)

Loading takes a bit of space for storage of hulls, wads, powders, etc. If you load both target and hunting loads you will have to buy several types of wads and several different powders.

I have spilled, and still do spill, a lot of shot and powder. So you need to factor that possibility into your choice of space.

I like loading. I particularly like the idea that I can load some shells that are a little softer shooting than the cheap factory loads.
 

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If everything is already set up and I don't need to measure the shot and powder drops I can easily load one hull every 10 seconds on my 600 jr (it's a single stage loader and really easy to use). Of course this time will slow down quite a bit if you change loads.

You can easily do several boxes of shells in an hour.
 
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