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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used Hevi-shot Duck in my 2 3/4" A-5 this year and liked it a lot better than steel. However, Hevi-shot Duck is "watered down" at 9.7 g/cc and I'm thinking about loading my own genuine 12 g/cc Hevi-shot next season. I've loaded many rifle and handgun cartridges over the years, but have never loaded my own shotshells. How challenging and how much of a hassle would it be for me to start out loading Hevi-shot as opposed to lead? Thanks.
 

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It's pretty much like loading for a rifle and pistol. You need to weigh your powder and shot and buffer if you have it in your load. I load it and use my MEC 77 sizemaster for depriming,priming,seating the wad and crimping. Get Ballistic Products load book for Hevi to get load data.
 

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Hevi-shot is among the most tempermental and hardest shot to load. It's core hardness is even greater then that of steel shot.

I've loaded plenty of it myself (it's not cheap !!!) and the Lyman shot shell loading manual has some good info but I'm not brave enough to wander outside the bounds of published loads with the stuff. I'd first do some internet searches of the powder manufactures web sites and then glance through some borrowed manuals and first see if there is any published load data for what exactly your trying to do. If not then I wouldn't waste my time and money with the supplies and equipment considering you would have to do custom load development with the particular shot which is the very hardest to do custom load development with.

If you find load data, and since your doing 2-3/4" shell length the cheapest way to go is with a Lee Load All II. Use the machine to deprime/size, reprime, seat the wad, and make the crimp. Measure both the powder and the shot with your regular reloading scale. The Lee machine works great for everything except for it leaks powder not so much as to be a big problem but very anoying, both lead and smaller steel shot flow through it just fine but heavy shot don't (not just the Lee by the way my MEC don't like heavy shot either) and it makes beautiful crimps without any messing around with adjustments so long as your loading the shorter 2-3/4" shells. The crimp on longer 3" shells are done by "feel" sort of like setting primers at the bottom of the stroke on regular metalic reloading --- can be done but takes practice and when I'm working with the longer shells I'd just rather set up the MEC.

Basically the Lee machine combined with your existing reloading scale for your metallic reloading along with a little patience will load what you want to load no problem so long as you arn't trying to load like thousands of them every week and will get you into shotgun reloading very cheaply. That is assuming you find load data. I wouldn't buy anything untill you do for your particular application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help, guys. I already have Ballistic Products' manual for Hevi-shot and it has the recipe I want. I'm trying to decide whether I should go for it or not. I'm not necessarily worried about the expense but the time I'll have to invest. If I do it, I'll get good equipment, like MEC, and good components, too. Any comments?
 

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Since you already have the BP manual and the scale, (to weigh powder and shot), just like the manual says, you are almost there. And I like your idea to use a MEC. I don't remember what I paid for my Lee Load All, but even if it was free, I paid twice too much for it! Gave it away! Best sale I ever made!

I do use a MEC 9000, progressive which most folks recommend against, but I just size, deprime and reprime, then pull the hull and load it, (in a loading block that holds 50 hulls), by dipping, then weighing the powder and hand starting the wads. Then I again weigh the shot charge and funnel it into the shell.

I then place the charged hull back on the machine for crimping. Works great for me.

Since you want the "heavier" of the Hevi Shot, you might also want to look into TSS shot, (Tungsten Super Shot). It weighs in at 18 g/cc. much heavier than even the Hevi Shot.

Clyde
 

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It took me quite a bit of "fussing" with the recipe(s) I got out of the BPI Hevi-shot manual before I got any good crimps and shells I felt where okay. I never was able to get the steel formula to load okay. I was loading 2 3/4 12Ga. shells with Hevi-shot #4 (for Ducks).

Load HS030243 worked, but only after I found out I had to trim (the top of) the TPS1275 wad about 1/4 '' shorter. Load HS030246 (for Steel powder) just wouldn't go together for me, probably don't hold my mouth right or something.

I spent probably 10 hours getting to the point where I was able to load 20 shells, and that took something like another 1.5 to 2 hours.

As to cost, by the time I bought all the "bits and pieces" from BPI I spent more than if I had just gone to GIjoes or Sportsmens Wherehouse and bought the shells off the shelf.

Roi
 

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The nice thing about the TSS product is, that it comes either loaded, or in a kit from. Their wads are already trimmed, slotted and any spacers/fillers are included. Much easier than the normal Hevi Shot, and perfectly round pellets.

Expensive, yes! But since it is so much heavier, one can use considerably smaller pellets. And they do a job! # 7 for ducks and pheasants, maybe even # 8 for the latter. #5 should do anything one wants for geese. Fills out the patterns, much more with those sizes of shot, and they tend not to stop in the bird, but come right on out the other side! Increases the range as well.

Clyde
 

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I would say go for it. I load 16 and 20 ga with data from BPI and they go together very well. The hevi shot manual leaves out some good loads that use Steel powder. Ask them for the Steel Powder load sheet. About $2. It has most of the loads I use and they are amazing on ducks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I believe I will go for it. Thanks to all who replied and to NV Guide for the tip on BPI's Steel Powder load sheet. Alliant Steel is what I had in mind anyway. As for a suitable loader, what do you guys think of the MEC Sizemaster 77?
 

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If you reload a variety of different size hulls you might want to consider the PW 365. This is my preference for reloading hevi-shot, steel and other hunting loads as well as lead. I use it for 2 3/4 inch, 3, inch hevi-shot and for 3 1/2 inch steel loads. It is also used for reloading target loads. For different size hulls, the PW 365 is a very versatile press. A little more expensive for only one size hull, but economical if you load different sizes.
 

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I don't think loading hevishot is any more difficult than loading lead. I do not have an adjustable shot bar for my reloader at home so I use a shot dipper and adjust it to the proper weight then use it for each load of shot. I have used an adjustable shot bar on a Mec but you have to be careful with hevishot due to the irregular shape of the pellets. Using the Mec steel reloader with it's larger shot drop tube helps. I prefer the cheap plastic adjustable shot dipper. You have to weigh a couple to get it right. I don't reload more than a box at a time of hevishot. I use a cheap Mec 600 Jr..
 

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Zeeks the way you are describing is the best way i have found. when i mesure it out on the scale and pull a few "pellets" out with hemostats or put a few in. then put it back on the sizemaster.

Mitchell
Too many guns to list
 

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Can anyone experienced with TSS give some details on patterning?
I'd be interested in real data if you please?
I understand "works great for......" but that leaves a lot of room for subjective interpretation.
Some pattern percentages from what gauge, hull, payload, distance, choke, and so forth would be very appreciated.
I did order some from TTS and though very costly I'm happy that it's possible to buy small amounts to try out.
 
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