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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to get back in to shotgun reloading. I used to do it years ago with a sizemaster but sold it all.

I'll be loading 12, 20, and 28. I don't think I need a progressive, I'll only be loading a few boxes at a time.

Any suggestions on what to get? Are there any good reloaders out there that can be converted to different gauges quickly?

Thanks!
 

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Two gauges at one time for the 375c, but then you can get additional die sets for other gauges. I have one that is in need of significant clean up, but I will sell it cheap and I am currently looking for the second die set that I have. I believe I have the 28 gauge and 410. I now have 7 Grabbers.

The Spolar has changeable die heads. I looked at them and would love to get one as soon as I have about $5,000 spare to buy the base machine, all the heads (5 gauges) and the covers and accessories.

Bob
 

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I would have to agree that in terms of ease of changing gauges for a single stage loader, the PW 375 is hard to beat. You can get a separate die head populated with tools for the 3rd and/or 4th gauges and just swap heads, rather the horse around with changing the tools. Used ones come up frequently on eBay.
 

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Three MEC jrs would also work for the volume you mentioned.
 

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The key phrase in the OP is "only loading a few boxes at a time." Unless I totally misinterpret this phrase, he needs multiple 600jrs or Sizemasters. If "few" means around 4-6 boxes then I'd say 600jrs, 10-12 boxes- probably Sizemasters, 20 or more- progressive. I suspect you can get complete used machines on E-Bay in all 3 gauges for less than one new machine that can be changed over. And, each gauge is set up and adjusted, ready to go when you need it.
For planning purposes:
600jr- around 4 boxes an hour, right around $100/gauge on E-Bay, 28ga might be more
Sizemaster- around 8 boxes an hour, around $150/gauge on E-Bay, 28 does not come up real often

Loading all 3 gauges you will need a good variety of charge bars and bushings. These can add up. When shopping E-Bay be sure to note what extras are or are not included. For a Sizemasster be sure the auto primer feed is included. All three presses would not have to be the same. If you are loading a bunch of 12 gauge with steel heads, a Sizemaster would be good. If it's just a few boxes of 28 with brass, 600jr is fine.

Anyone thinking of buying a press /presses needs to consider:
How many of EACH gauge do I think I will load, how many of EACH gauge at one time, how much time can I invest, at a loading session will it be all one gauge then another gauge at the next session or all three gauges in each session
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help everyone. Maybe multiple used loaders is the way to go. I'll keep hunting around for deals. And I haven't totally ruled out progressive either, if I find a deal on one I'll probably get it.
 

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I would buy a loader for the 28 ga, shoot it a lot and call it good. The price of ammo and what you can save compared to buying factory is significant.

12 ga ammo is not much more than loading your own and that is not taking into account the cost of equipment and components. You can shave some off the start up cost by buying used equipment which will allow you to recoup the costs quicker. You can further cut down the time to regain your investment by loading 7/8 oz in the 12 ga but still it isn't much less than buying your own.

For the 20 ga you are much the same as with the 12 ga with the lighter loads. You will save some but it will still be a close run thing when taking into account the cost of starting up.

Start with the 28 and then pick up the other two when a smoking deal on used equipment comes along. If enough extras come along with the loader it can offset the initial cost a fair bit. Until conditions change and components become cheaper, there isn't a great incentive to start loading the 12 and 20 ga at the moment.
 

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For three gauges, look into buying components in bulk, especially shot, primers, and powders. Look on Craigslist for used MECs in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah I've ran the numbers and the 28 is for sure the gauge to save money on. I'm not really super concerned about saving money, I just used to enjoy reloading. And plus it would be nice to have all the stuff to reload in case something happens or gets changed and ammo is hard to find or too expensive to afford. It's not anything I have to have right away so I'll keep looking online for good used deals.
 
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