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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dont know anything about it other than I wanted to get started right after independance day :p

Obviously I should start with LYMANS book on reloading.
Maybe even another book ive heard about " secrets of reloading" if I remember correctly. I was told its all tricks to save you time if you use the MEC equipment , which I assume most of you do.

1. Advice on the MEC model.
I can spend up to 250 $ .
I want one that does most of the work for me :twisted:
(resizing,moving them along,producing a shell with every
stroke , etc etc)
Thats right Im lazy. I just want to be able to load as many
shells as I can in a short amount of time.

When I visited the MEC site it said :
standard 12 gauge for 1/18 oz shot. What does this mean ?
Will I have to do alot of work to change it to 1 oz or 7/8 oz ?


I like the AA's and I think I'll stick with them. What are the best and easiest ways to find them ? Any other good ones you guys recommend ?

I have to try and find it locally to avoid shipping costs , but what would be the best for : hunting and clays ?

4. Primers
again what are the good ones out there and where do I find them.

5. Wads
same as above .

6. Powder
want it to be CLEAN and easy on the shoulder.

7. Scales
DO I really need these ?

8. What are Bushings ?

9. What other stuff will I need so that I can make :

A. 1 oz loads for clays , that are really soft

b. 1 1/8 oz loads for upland game birds

10. If I want to reload for a 20 gauge, I guess that means I'll have buy another MEC right ?

This is by FAR the FRIENDLIEST site on the Web !
Believe me I have tried many of them.

I obviously dont know what Im doing and I hope you guys can steer me in the right direction so that I dont spend any more money than I have to , waste alot of time making beginners mistakes and above all AVOID blowing up myself and the house!

I just got the Lee Load All, it has all the stuff you need for 36 bucks, I loaded 500 12 gauge so far , no problems, very simple, only thing is the Lee loader leaks a small amount of powder, really just a slight few flakes , not really a problem or danger. I think its garunteed for 2 years, and parts are cheap if you ever need them...You definately need a good reload book that covers shotguns, not all do. Got my stuff from Midway online.
I shoot about 250 rounds a week and am happy with Lee.
The 1 1/8 is ounce of shot, typical load for hunting and target.
Lee gives you bushings for alot of loads, for powder and shot included.

I use the most common stuff I can find, winchester primers 209, win AA wads, and a lee scale to check and make sure the powder is right. If I had the money, I probly would have bought the mec though, but the lee does great.I dont mind moving the shell slot to slot...also I use 7 1/2 shot for clays and 1 1/8 loads. Once you load a couple hundred dont be scared to experiment on lighter or hotter loads, you will notice a huge difference, just remember to use your books for the load info to keep it safe. I just started loading and really enjoy it. I been using "Tight Wad" powder and am happy.its the cheapest but works great, hek I'm only shooting 40 yards max anyway.
The bushings are what measures your shot and powder for you, just slide them in, Lee has a mess they send you for what ever gauge your machine is for, all you need.
I spent roughly
35 - loader
15 on powder
18 on shot
primers 3.00 for a hundred
8 bucks - 500 wads, and my spent shells,
and was off and running.
I'm sure sooner or later I will get a BIG MAMMA loader like mec or some other.
Have fun !

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519 Posts
1. as for changing charge bars, all it takes is about 5 minutes and a wrench. you tip the bottles back and loosen a bolt, slide the old bar and bushing out and put the new bar a bushing in. No big deal.

2. HULLS - AA a great place to start. you can also load Remmington and federal hulls as well. Check your loading manual for load selections with given hulls.

3. SHOT - 7 1/2 , 8 and 9 for clays. Hard shot works best. For hunting it depends on the game. Quail and dove 7 1/2 of 8s, rabbits and pheasants #6

4. Primers - See you other post but Winchesters or Federals are great. Check your loading guide for the right load.

5. Wads Same as above . There are some clone wads (Claybusters) that are great and cheaper.

6. Powder - Clays works very well, 700X good, Winchester powders are all good. Look in the load guide for loads that use the same powder and primer and different wads.

7. Scales - Only to verify oyur bushings throw a true charge weight.

8. What are Bushings - little aluminum sleaves that fit into your charge bar to change the powder weight thrown.

9. What other stuff will I need so that I can make :

A. 1 oz loads for clays , that are really soft I like a Clays load (18grs) with winchester primer and a Claybuster windjammer wad.

b. 1 1/8 oz loads for upland game birds Similar to the above with the 1 1/8 oz Windjamer wad.

10. If I want to reload for a 20 gauge, I guess that means I'll have buy another MEC right ? - YES

Hope this helps


Try this;
1-Don't buy the Lee load-all. I got one after I had a mec. It is kind of an enigma. If you shoot enough to reload, you will need a loader that is convienient enough to use, and durable to last through many thousands of rounds. I think many of Lee's products are inovative, and durable, but you would be better off to use themoney to buy factory loads. If that seems like a waste, spend the extra bucks to buy A Mec, or other quality loader. I gave mine away after I used it a few times. The resizer was particularly annoying, as it needs the rings, and they have to be removed,
5-wads-Claybusters work fine for some applications, but I'll tell you one area where they won't work-very cold weather. I went to 1oz. 12ga. loads a long time ago. When it got cold, especially below freezing, I started getting a lot of bloopers. I thought it could be the powder. I was using WST I think. I called Winchester, and was told to try AAPlus -T. No change.I tried Clays, 700x, and finally Red Dot. no luck. Then one day I had a high overhead shot at sporting clays, and it went bloop, and broke the bird, but I was able to watch the wad come down, and when I picked it up, the Bottom, over powder seal was blown in half. I was told that one way Claybuster saves money on their wads, is to use recycled plastic. They are more brittle, and break when cold. I switched back to Winchester wads, and the problem went away. I later went to 7/8oz. loads, using Red Dot, and the Winchester Gray wads, and they work great, even close to zero.
7- Get a Scale, it is a MUST for any kind of reloading. You are flying blind without one
9- Consider using 7/8oz. loads for any clay target sport. You are only trying to break a clay pigeon, Your'e not trying to smash a goose. If you drop a clay pigeon unto a concrete parking lot from 3 feet, it will break. Look at how well 28ga., and 410's break birds with 3/4oz., or 1/2oz. loads. I started using the 7/8oz. loads when I got a Beretta Ultralight, which is less than 6 pounds. This gun can get your attention, even with 1 oz. loads. I went to 7/8oz.-of 8 1/2's, and now use it for at least 90% of my sporting clays shots, and all skeet, and trap. It breaks clay pigeons. Period.

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171 Posts
Along with the Lyman book I suggest you get "Reloading For Shotgunners"
1. Mec 600jr I what I have, It turns out more shells than I can shoot, And I'm averaging 850 12ga a month.

2. Stay away from the new-style AA's, they will only lead to frustration, Stock up on STS's.

3. Starshot works fine, you may want magnum shot for hunting.

4. Winchester 209's, buy them at ;least by the 1000, if not more to save $$$.

5. White AA's work well, I also like Windjammers and Fig. 8's

6. Red Dot is a good all-around powder, I like International Clays for trap loads.

7. Yes, scales are a good idea, I use Herter's "Ballistic Lab" balance scales, RCBS 5-0-5 are good.

8-9 have been answered

10. I used a cheapo Load-all foir 20ga because i only shoot about 750-1000 a year.

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1 Posts
I have been reading all these great things about red dot powder and I am wondering why.
Red dot was the first powder that I used when I began to reload. Someone recomended that I should use it. It worked fine, but the powder left a very thick, gummy, black residue in my shotgun. I thought something was wrong with my gun the first time I cleaned it. After firing only one shell my barrel was fowled for the rest of the day. I just got sick of cleaning up after the mess and ended up throwing the powder away. Now I use WST and cannot be more happy. No thick gunk in my barrel.

Well thats just my opinion of Red Dot

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519 Posts

The MEC reloaders come with a power bushing chart for several powder manufacturers powders. IThe chart also recommends you to check your weight for a given bushing since temperture and humidity can make a difference.
Also check into purchasing a powder baffle. It fits between the bottle and the reloader to help throw an more consistant charge. If you think about it a full bottle of powder is going to place more weight on the powder at the bottom of the bottle, thus throwing a heavier charge. The baffle helps to eliminate this. There about $5. I have plastic ones I use but I have seen aluminum ones as well.
One other add on is the powder and shot bottle support ($16). This allows you to use the magnum bottles for both powder and shot. The big bottles mean you have to stop less to re-fill them.


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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanx for all the advice guys .

Apex Duck : let me run through my list real quick here -
1. Mec grabber ( I think Im going with this one)
2. powder baffle and bottle support
3. additional power bushings. Ofcourse this depends on which powder I'll be using. I'll continue with this soon......
4. scales for measuring , before a reloading session for a given recipe and sometimes during the loading session to insure everything is going smoothly.
5. Lymans book to learn some more.....

Anything else Im forgetting as far as equipment ?

Now on to components :
1.Hulls - most people dont like the new AA's. I guess I'll look into Remingtons. Does the hull really matter that much as far as recipe's are concerned ?

2. POWDER - based on what Ive read Hogdon clays seems like a good place to start. What about something that will throw really soft loads ? I heard Green Dot is really soft.

3. SHOT - any suggestions here ? Or will any lead shot do ?
How about nickel plated lead shot ?

Im not going to skimp on components. I want to load soem real quality shells for target and hunting.
Please feel free to bring to my attention something that I may be missing.

1. The hull is critical in choosing recipies, substituting exactly with no substituting.hulls is a recipe for disaster, only use published loads and follow them exactly.

2. Clays is the only powder you'll need for target loads, it shoots plenty soft.

3. For casual shooting any shot will do, the only time most people use the plated shots is when they are hunting or participating in a money shoot.

on the subject of books, the lyman book has good data but I think the "Reloading for Shotgunners" is a much better book for beginners as it is less confusing for someone who doesent yet understand all of the terminology involved in reloading, the lyman book is a good read after you've read "Reloading for Shotgunners"

good luck

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519 Posts
1.Hulls - I load AA's but have a couple of barrels of the old ones to keep me going for a while. I have tried the Remmingtons and they load quite nice with almost identical components if not the exact same load.

2. POWDER - I load Clays and love it. Use to shoot 700X, Wichester Superlight, Unique and Green dot. Green dot is good but DIRTY! As is any of the Dot powders. nique is very versitile but dirty and does not perform well in the cold. I stick with Clays to start.

3. SHOT - Use hard shot. It will say this on the bag. I do load copper plated shot for hunting loads but it is expensive. For every day shooting stick with hard shot.

See your other thread for a couple other pointers. But your almost there !

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