New to shot shell reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Nickwashere, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    Not really alot of talk on shot shell reloading available.. I got a lee load all 2 press for christmas and want to load a few duck loads. It all seems fairly simple (press is a little cheap looking, all plastic but gets good reviews) I've got a lyman shot shell reloading manual, clay buster wads, bpi over shot cards and bpi #6 steel shot ordered. I was going to get powder and primers after I get my manual.. Any other suggestions on items I will need before reloading? I am a little intimidated by the amount of different types of wads available so I stuck with basics.. Also can you reuse once fired factory hulls or do you have to buy them special (i seen brass hulls on midway, whats up with that?) and lastly can I mix shot sizes? (#4 and #6 would make the ultimate load for me) any suggestions from an experienced shot shell reeloader would be great. I can already see I will need to eventually get a mec press
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i reload rifle and pistol cartridges. i have been thinking about getting into loading shotgun shells.

    subscribed to pick up up new information.
     

  3. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    I reload rifle and pistol as well, looks like we took the same approach
     
  4. Winchester94

    Winchester94 New Member

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    I'm not a reloaded yet but there's a channel on YouTube called fortunecookie45lc who has several shotgun reloading videos.
     
  5. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i think when i get closer to the idea of actually making the decision to load shotgun shells, i'll probably buy some specific books on shotshell reloading.
     
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Shot shell reloading is prety straight forward. Steel shot loading is NOT! Be very careful as steel shot requires special wads and unique loading data. The Lee Load All II may not be suitable for steel shot
     
  7. RaySendero

    RaySendero Member

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    Shotshell Reloading

    Nick,

    1st - Read the section in that Lyman manual regarding "Why steel shot is different". Bet those Clay Buster wads are for lead shot only. Make sure you have a wad designed for steet shot or you could damage your barrel and choke.

    There are so many ways to fill a shotshell hull. Shotshell reloading recipes basically give you a combination of powder + wad + shot such that you can get that column to end up at the right height in that specific hull to crimp it and keep it crimped.

    Yes you can reuse hulls - some can shot and reused several times.

    Yes you can mix shot sizes, but IME, the mixed load that results is not as effective as the same load with the just smaller size shot. As the larger shot will retain more velocity, thus:
    If loaded on top of the shot column, it leaves the smaller shot behind or
    if loaded at the bottom of the shot column, it knocks the smaller shot out of its way messing up the overall pattern.

    You'll do fine with that lee loader as long as your loading for a pump, single or O/U shotgun. That MEC hull sizer is best if loading for a semi-auto.
     
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    On a side note, the Load All II is a decent "starter" machine. It will turn out good quality shells, just more slowly than even the basic MEC 600Jr.

    I do not recall Claybuster making ANY wads for steel shot. BE VERY CAREFUL!!! BPI makes very good steel shot wads. Hulls can be used several times. They will last linger and give nicer crimps if you invest in a tool called a Spin Doctor from BPI. It will condition the mouths and make them last longer.

    Not all hulls are made the same. #1 make sure you use the EXACT hull the receipe calls for. #2 learn the differences in the hulls. Generally speaking a ribbed body is indicitive of a cheap hull (throw away). Most smooth body hulls are compression formed one piece bodies that will give 4-5 good loadings.

    You want
    Winchester AA or Super X hulls
    Federal Gold Medal
    Remington RXP, Gun Club, or like hulls.

    If you look into the mouth of the hull and see a uniform color all the way to the primer and a small ring around the primer you have a good hull. Plastic (usually white) or cardboard filler wads at the base are a NO GO! Do not waste your time with them. These filler wads can become detached and get stuck in the bore. This is a receipe for disaster.
     
  9. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    I use the MEC 9000 air piston. I use it to load slugs mostly these days. Shot has got so expensive loading shot shells in not worth it. I cast slugs and just have fun shooting rocks.:)
     
  10. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Nitestalker, do you fold crimp the slugs (Lee key drive slugs). I cast slugs (Lyman) and roll crimp
     
  11. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    Thank you raysendro and robocop for the information, it did not occur to me that the wad played such an intricate roll in recipe's but it make since now, they determine how much room the other components need to ensure the crimp falls in the right place.. I will wait until I get my manual to order the replacement steel wads (along with powder and primer).. I also have ordered a spin doctor..

    Two clarification questions, are the ridged hulls totally useless or can they be used for some recipes (i have 300 of them)
    Also I am confused by the filler wads statement (not using plastic or cardboard). resin and fiber wads are good, right? A wad is basically a filler that also protects the shot from hot gasses based off of my (admittedly limited) understand.. It scared me that something may lodge in my barrel acting like a squib load and I not realise it!

    Using consistent size shot certainly make sense now, makes me feel silly I didn't think of the difficulties mixing shots could create..

    Also, thankfully I use a pump and ou for hunting, I have one automatic browning that my grandfather owned but I dont take it out often (its pretty special to me seeing he has passed away)
     
  12. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The filler wads are "attached" to the base of the hull. They are intended to stay with the hull, but they are not "permanently" affixed. There is the probability they will work loose eventually. I have used such hulls in the past, but consider them one (reload) and done.

    I now have access to almost unlimited (free) good hulls so have no desire to take a chance with cheapo hulls.

    I would recommend you start with light field loads (1 1/8 oz). They can be loaded quite reasonably and they are harder to mess up. Get the hang of it before you go on to something more challenging like steel, buckshot or slugs.

    I have been loading shotshells since high school (the late 70's) and now load primarily OO buck and slugs as that is the biggest savings.

    I use a MEC 600 Jr for 12 ga and recently got a Lee Load All II in 20 ga. I have loaded about 1000 20 ga shells. About 1/2 of those are buckshot
     
  13. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    For the duck loads I would pick up any winchester buckshot hulls you come across, they are very durable. My grandmother gave me a shot shell reloading press, powder, wads and shot. She didn't give me any data, books or even tell me where she got the equipment. I was about 10 at the time. I started pumping out shells without any bushings. The shells kicked like a mule but I could wait for a woodcock to clear the top of the trees and I could still knock him down. We would pass shoot wood ducks. Everyone else was just shooting air. I was downing two or three ducks every time we hunted. Buckshot hulls were one of the few hulls that wouldn't bulge.
     
  14. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Robo, Yes I fold crimp the LEE Key slug. I pour them out of stick on WWs. I don't like to waste my "Dead" lead on slugs. These are are very accurate with a Dbl. "A" tubes and white cup wads using HS-6 powder. I fire them in a Mdl. 97 riot gun. As you know the LEE KEY is made for rifled barrels. The LEE slug has preformed great in a Mdl. 12 riot as well. I don't own a rifled shotgun barrel to test them in.:)
     
  15. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    I am not going to tell you how or what to reload, all I am going to say is, I reload everything on my Lee Load All II from salt rock to steel to lead, just don`t do anything crazy & read alot. Just remember it takes more steel to make an oz. than lead.............Stay Safe.