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Just joined the local gun club last weekend and didn't take me long to realize that with my son and daughter tagging along to shoot with me, I'll be going through a lot of shotshells :eek: . Will reloading save me much money? Currently I just buy the value packs of shells at Wal-Mart for about $15 per 100 shells. What would a batch of 100 shells run me if I'm reloading with "generic" supplies? Other than saving money on ammo, my secondary reason for looking into reloading would be the ability to load light target loads (2 3/4 to 3 dram equiv, 1 oz shot).

If i go the reloading route, I'll probably look for some second-hand equipment, but would appreciate any info on what to look for, either in new or used equipment.

Thanks.
 

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You can get a Lee Load All at a good price on Ebay....
When you load get the Magnum lead shot, it is harder & won't deform the lead as it pushes against itself, you get less flyaways.... I load 20 ga with the Lee & use the Remington STS hulls which can be loaded around 15 times...You can buy the STS on Ebay at around 6 cents each...watch the shipping charges... Check with your Gun Club, someone may be buying in Bulk for other members...
 

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Check at your local friendly trap field, I have found and heard that every trap field has someone who deals in reloading, and that is the best way to get your supplies, especially powder and primers (save yourself the hazmat charge), as well as once-fireds.
 

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Crusher T,

Reloading may be just the thing for you and your family. Reloaded shells will run you about $2.50 to $2.75 per box assuming you buy components in reasonable quantity. More importantly, you can reload light loads which are often hard to find at Wal Mart.

I load on a Hornady 366 which will cost you about $400 or more to buy new. I would suggest that you start with a MEC Grabber. They work just fine and turn out nice shells at a much faster rate than some of the least expensive reloaders. Since you are loading for 3 shooters, you don't want a single stage reloader. You need a progressive loader which will do about 8 operations at once. Used MEC's are often available as shooters move up the ladder in reloaders. MEC makes about 7 or 8 different loaders. You need one that is about in the middle of the MEC pack. If you like it and decide to stay with reloading, you may consider moving up to the top of the MEC pack or to a different (usually more expensive) loader brand. The MEC's do a fine job if you pay attention to what you're doing and follow the instruction book. They also have great customer support. I don't own a MEC, but I will recommend them. Happy shooting and congratulations on getting your children involved. Enjoy. :lol:
 

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I would also recommend the Mec Grabber. I have 4 of them in 12, 20, 28, and.410. I shoot 6 to 10 boxes of shells per week.

I have not found the need to upgrade the machines. They are easy to use, and relatively maintenance free if you keep them clean and lubed. Used ones can be had for a reasonable price on Ebay.

When I was growing up, reloading was a family affair. I spent much of my evening time on a resizer or seperating shells. I was ecstatic that I was ableto help my father and partipate in the reloading process.

Finally, you wont save any money reloading.......you will just shoot more ! :lol:
 

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I saw MEC 9000g's on sale at Cabela's tonite. 295.00 brand spankin new. I have one, and it is the best loader EVER. Probably the last one i'll ever have to buy. They sell on the MEC site at around 400.00. So if I were you, i'd check out that deal at cabela's. And yeah, every city has the "guy" who sells reloading stuff at chep prices. Shot @ 10.00 a bag. Powders at 7-8 dollars a pound. Primers @ 12-14 dollars / 1000. Find that guy, cause hes the one that can usually answer all your unanswered questions.
 
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Reloading your own?

Another hobby! Within a hobby you already enjoy, and ANOTHER opportunity to spend more with your children as you supervise any reloading you do with them. Think about this, FWIW.

Off hand, reloading will permit you to save one third to two thirds the cost of new ammo, besides making your own loads better, better for your purposes, and even permit you to load loads not available on the market (2 3/4 inch magnums in 12 GA with 1 3/8 ounces of shot versus 1 1/2 ounces of shot; building 1 ounce loads for the 20 GA 2 3/4 inch shell in 8's and 9's, which you cannot buy factory loads, etc.).

To maximize the 1/3 to 2/3 savings, you need to buy your components in bulk (1000 primers or more at a time, a keg of powder versus only a pound of powder, 100 lbs of shot when its on sale versus only one bag at a time, etc).

I've been reloading for thirty-plus years and its indeed a hobby with in a hobby, and one more way my dad and I spent time together. Some of these things don't have a price tag.
 

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Cougar said:
...reloading will permit you to save one third to two thirds the cost of new ammo...
Really?

Reloading a 12 gauge shell costs about $3.00 a box, not counting amortizing the cost of the equipment and assuming no cost for your time.

I can buy 12 gauge Remington Premier STS Target shells for $4.50 a box. I can sell the hulls for about $1.25 a box. I can sell the empty shell box for 10 cents. That gets the factory shells down to $3.15 a box. I can buy real cheap shells for about the same price. At 15 cents a box savings on reloads, I can't make a good financial case for reloading. It would take 50,000 reloads to break even if my reloading equipment cost only $300 at that is not very likely.

Reloading makes a lot of sense if I want to shoot a load I can't buy.

Yes, reloading is fun and can be a good family activity. But the cost savings argument is not a very good one. So let's not try to sell the idea that a shooter is going to save big money reloading his own shells.

Scott
 

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Scott;

Really? You'r getting a nickel a piece for emptys and a dime for the box. Evidently somebody wants to or would rather reload thier own?? I don't spend over abpout $2.35 a box to load my shotgun shells and I don't do it to save money either. I do it for the therapy. Lots cheaper than a session with a shrink! But, your point should be well taken! Loading shotgun shells today is not nearly as cost effective as it once was. I wonder if we are being ripped off when we buy components or are we getting Cheapo factory loaded shells. How much money would you have to save per box to make you feel good?? If I can load a flat an hour and save $2 a box, that's $20 an hour. A shrink is about $100 an hour. If I subtract what I save from what the shrink costs, I still make about $80 per hour and I still load 10 boxes an hour. That is $8 a box I'm making by loading my own shells? If I don't load my own I need a cheaper shrink!

BP
 

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Burnt Powder,

Don't get me wrong! I love reloading and plan to start soon. I think it is fun and makes me feel more involved in the sport. I used to reload all my .22-250 and 7MM Remington Magnum cartridges myself. I saved big money there and got better performance and accuracy.

My only point is that most folks are not going to be saving a lot of money reloading. The ones that do buy large quantities of powder, wads, primers, and shot upfront. They also shoot enough to justify the equipment expense. No matter how you look at it, that is a big investment upfront to save a little bit of money.

Scott
 

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In years gone by reloading was indeed 30%-50% cheaper than factory shells. Not any more. I can't rationally justify my time spent at the reloading bench when I'm only saving 50 cents a box. But I do it like a heroin addict does junk! Reloading is addictive (in my opinion). I let my wife shoot the new shells and I nab her hulls for my reloads. I agree that "handle-jerking" whether that be shotgun, rifle, or pistol reloading, is indeed therapeutic. More than once in the past four years I've told myself: "I'm gonna sell all this reloading stuff 'cause it ain't worth doin it no more." And the next day I go to the gun shop and buy some new brand of powder that is just now available and go to handle-jerking. (Like right now I'm waiting for Alliant E3 to hit the shelves so I can stack it up against Hodgdon Clays, Rex1, and IMR 700X).

So don't get hooked!
 

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I have boy/girl twins and nothing more fun than to watch them reload. At only 8 kids sure catch on quickly. We use a sizemaster with great results.
 
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