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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I reload for rifles because I have to if I want them to shoot well.

I reload for pistols because I shoot a lot of steel and cast bullets are mandatory.

Why in the world would anyone reload shotgun shells for a 12 or a 20 gauge when they can buy new shells as cheap, or cheaper than reloads.

OK, I don't shoot a 28 but my kids and I shoot thousands of 12s and 20s a year.

And - we don't have to put those nasty old shells in our fine shotguns, carry around a sack of spent shells on the range or miss an episode of Friends.

I know the shotgun shell snobs will quiver at this next statement, but my favorite shells these days are the Sellier & Bellot 12 gauge, 1 1/8th Oz., #8's @ 2 ¾ Dram Eq. and their 20 gauge, 7/8ths Oz., #7 1/2s, TRAP. They pattern as well as anything else and I can honestly say I've never missed a target because of their performance. At $31 a flat, how can I justify reloading. As a bonus, they're cleaner than anything else I've shot too!

Am I the only one who doesn't reload for shotgun?
 

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Hey Bill,
Welcome to Shotgunworld.com Forum!
I'm not a reloader myself, but Lex has been educating me on the finer points. The most striking thing is the number of variables that are associated with any one load. Like...
  • Powder Burn Rate
    Shot size
    Wad dimensions and design
    Primer
    Buffered vs. Non-Buffered
    Crimp style

Plus quite a few more that I'm not remembering. Any of these variables can have an enormous affect on patterns and 'feet per second'. Reloading your own allows you to control these variables to match your shooting conditions. Plus, in most instances to get a quality load and shoot in volume it really is cheaper to reload. A friend of mine who reloads close to the Winchester AA specs has calculated that it is $1.50 a box cheaper to reload. Doesn't sound like much until you realize that he shoots 10,000 shells a year. Hope this helps answer your question some.
regards,
Jay Gentry
Shotgunworld.com
 

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I started reloading when I was about 5-6 yrs old. My dad would take me with him over to a firends shop and I would punch primers on an old Texan. I also put the loaded shells in the boxes, learning how to stack them in the alternating way so that they fit in the boxes, kept the primer tray full, the wads stocked and ready, I was part in the way and part go-for. I can remember those times every time I hear the empty AA's rattle or smell the burnt powder as I stack up another 25, all lined up like red soldiers...............yet I cant recall a single tv show that we ever watched together.

Aside from relaxation that comes from reloading, if I can reload AA's or STS loads in a 7/8-1oz 1200 fps recipe at $2-3 less than retail and I am doing something that I enjoy then I am ahead of the game.

I can duplex pellets, change the wad to suit a target presentation, and just generally tinker for the heck of it. I also reload my own steel and hevishot and use a fast load in a 2.75" shell that does everything I want for ducks over decoys for about what a normal highbrass lead load would cost.

If you dont shoot a lot or dont have much free time then you are on the right track to find a flat of shells in the $30-40 range.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is why I reload shotshells:

Between myself and my boy, we will burn about 6,000 shells this summer shooting registered and practice trap targets. That's 240 boxes. At your price of $3.10 a box (which is a very good price - most people pay more) I would spend $744.00 on shells alone. At my reloading cost of $2.16 a box (including cost of hulls) I will spend $518.40 on shells. That $225 saved equates to 46 free practice rounds (targets and shells) at my home club.
 

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Why reload shotshells? The question is best answered with a question....what do you use your shotgun for? There are some saving to the clay bird shooter if he does not count his time. As for why I develop, test, and publish loads for shotfuns? well, since the shotgun is the most versatile firearm made, I work toward expanding its use on all types of game. Few shooters realize the broad line of loads that can be developed......shot (of all sizes), buckshot, slugs, single round balls, multi-ball loads, buck & ball, sabot loads, and on & on. It is quite possible to hunt anything in this county, big game or little game, with your shotgun. Try that with any other type of firearm......Best Regards, James
 

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I reload because it makes the game morre fun.

Imagine being a race car driver, but driving the same car, with the same setings, in every race? Think of all the different loads, chokes, bbl lengths, stock shapes, forearm styles, and everything else out there, and you will see why reloading is as popular as it is.

I have only reloaded for 3 years, yet I have been able to test over 40 different recipes of loads, and tweak the recipes to my liking. There are tons of variables that can be tested and refined.

My reloads are 12 Ga Win AA's that I load with 7/8 oz duplex shot. I get HALF the recoil of any 12Ga 1 1/8, but still get the velocity and range. Plus, 7/8 oz loads are cheaper per round... I basically shoot personalized high-performance loads that cost me around $3.20/ 25 rounds.
 

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Why NOT reload? Personally I love reloading and have since I was around 12 years old. That's reason enough for me. But if you need justification, it boils down to this; you can buy the cheap stuff, in 12 ga.for $3.16 (+/-) a box OR you can load the good stuff for a little less. In other words, I can duplicate the quality of a Winchester AA trap load for a little less than you pay for the "bargain" shells. Most people don't realize it, but there's a big difference in components in the cheap shells and the good (target) shells; namely in the quality of the shot. Also, I have a huge variety of load types at my disposal. For example, when my sons wanted to try trap I simply loaded them some 7/8 oz. 12 ga. shells. Recio was light and they shot them well. When my 11 year old daughter wanted to try skeet, I loaded some 3/4 oz. 20 ga. shells for my 6 lb. SxS.
As one poster already mentioned, you start .410, 28 or 16 ga. and it's another matter entirely. You'd have to be rich or crazy to NOT reload.
 

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billgow,

Most Shotgun or handgun shooters shoot a lot of ammo compaired to your average rifle shooter. You won't find many guys who shoot 500 to 1000 rounds a week with his rifle. Cost is the driving factor most guys start reloading. After which you find that it is fun , relaxing and does offer added advantage of better than average shells and a lower cost. You said you reload for your rifle. You can cook up a slightly better load for your rifle over the factory stuff, but most deer would not know the difference in a 1 inch group or a 1/2 inch group of a 30-06 at 100 yards. So I guess my question back to you would be why would you spend several hundred dollars to set up to load rifle loads that you may only shoot 20 rounds a year with only a handful of shots on game that would not really be hunted any better with hand loads verses a premuim factory load (not the cheap stuff at Walmart) that would offer very similar performance? :?

Reloading shot shells like reloading handgun cartiridges really is an economic thing to most with the added advantage of tailoring your loads for your shooting style or discipline. Plus as long a no one tells our wives it really is fun!

APEXDUCK
 

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Friends All.....This is a most interesting thread! What it all boils down to is, reloading shotshells has two very different groups involved. One group is looking to save money on shells, thus giving more bucks for rounds of clay birds. The second group reloading simply because it is interesting to see how many specialized shells they can work up. The second group is somewhat new and is growing each day as more shooters realize just how versatile a shotgun really is. It also appears that there is another factor involved also in the question.....why reload. That factor is based on what you shoot....clay birds or game. Having been in the shooting industry all my life.....it is only recent that specialized shotshells have really started showing up in the dealers. I developed for sale the S&W Waterfowl Magnun many years ago and it was the first specialized high density load on the market....since then the trend has continued.
What pleases me most is the growing interest in loading shotshells for specialized shotshells. There is plenty of room for all types of shotshell reloaders! Like the metallic reloader (and I an one also) the shotshell reloader can also tailor his shells for what his needs are. Best Regards, James
 

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I recently started reloading for the purpose of saving money and then after reading many of the threads on this forum I started experimenting with custom recipes. I now have a load that I use consistently that produces very little recoil in my gun and still busts the targets. I also recently created a load for a buddies wife. She had been shooting with him on a very infrequent basis because of the recoil effects to her small frame (5'1" 100 lbs) out of his Baikal 27. I loaded a box of Rem STS with 17 gr of Clays behind 1 oz of shot and after the first four rounds she was smiling. After 25 targets she was grinning and I got a big hug, a kiss and a date with her sister :shock: . He had to buy her a Fausti O/U at Wally World that evening and a MEC 650 at the local supply house the next day. He is now reloading at least 16 boxes of shells each week as she goes to the range as much as he does. Why Reload? He shoots more, she likes the fact that he shoots more and now they have a sport that they both like and can enjoy together. I am also reloading more now because the sister (now my steady lady friend :D ) is also addicted to skeet and has bought her own gun. Nuf Said -- AFG
 

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Okay you guys talked me into it.I bought a Mec 600 on Ebay for fiftyone bucks,the guy lives in the same city as I do so there was no shipping charge.I plan on buying a Lyman shot shell manual, for around thirty bucks.I should be able to buy all the coponents in town.Now when my wife finds out I did all this are you guys going to be in BIG TROUBLE.Has anyone reloaded Bismouth , in place of lead shot or steel shot?My shotgun can't shot steel shot so thats my excuse, when my wife finds out about all this.Thanks for all your help.Can the moderater burn this so sweet thing can't use this against me?
 

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Hello
I reload shells because I can make things I cant buy from the factories doing so.

Because the art and science of ballistics is interesting.

Because it saves me money.

One thing that has gotten little mention is the environment.
And one of the biggies why I do it.
Handloaders save the environment. Each time a brass case or a plastic hull gets left, that hurts it. And there is plenty of useful life left in both. Maybe it gets recycled, most of it ends up in the landfill.

A shotgun handloader, can even make up shotgun shells that have the old-style felt and card wads in them. Those will dissolve in nature, and if you want a really cheap (not for steel) handload, will give it to you. There are some drawbacks, but they did account for many quail and pheasant in their day.

I cant help but wonder if we hunters switched back, maybe over time a few more acres would open back up?

Now I dont think that all non-handloaders are made of money like the poster above. Quite the contrary, there is a segment of the population that for whatever reason, handloading is just not for them. Nothing good will come of forcing the issue.

But to those people, I encourage, pick up the empties, see that they get recycled, or give them to somebody that can put them to use.
 

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I reload for about $2.60 per box. I do it for three reasons.1. I enjoy reloading, it is a diversion for me. 2. I shoot a lot so it saves a lot of money over even the bargain shells. 3. I can tailor a load for me. I use a MEC 9000-H. It will really spit them out with very few problems.
Jerry :lol:
 

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Like most have said in early posts. Its a good hobby. You get a good quality custom load if you use quality components. It can save you money. I haven't reloaded in over 3 years now, here's why. I've been buying Remington Sure Shot 1 1/8oz 12ga & 1oz 20ga. shells for $32.50 a 10 box case. This is a good quality shotshell for $3.25 a box. Now for reloading. A $16 bag(25lb.) of chilled shot will give you 400 1oz. loads @ .04 cents each, A $16 can of powder(1lb.) will give you 333 21.0grs. loads @ .048 cents each. A $22 box of 1000 primers comes to .022 cents each. A $4.50 bag (250) wads comes to .018 cents each. Add that all up and it comes to 0.128 cents x 25 = $3.20 per box that is if you have the empty shells and a reloader. Keep in mind the cheaper you buy the components, the cheaper the cost per reloaded box is. Keep your eye on the price of chilled shot, the lead market makes the prices go up and down. Keith
 

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Hello
Bismuth is a really expesive way to fly. As long as you are in trouble with the woman anyhoo, I would just go out and get a new shotgun with steel-certified barrel(s). As soon as you start BUYING bismuth, you will see that you can quickly wrap up the investment in a new shotgun.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
HEY,FIRST TIME RELOADER LONG TIME READER. FROM WHAT I'M READING I WOULD BE CRAZY NOT TO START RELOADING. I PREFER TO SHOOT AA SUPER SPORTS,ANYBODY KNOW A GOOD RECIPE? :idea:
 
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