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Luke_(NL)

Reloading shotshells

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Luke_(NL)

Given all this time spent not shooting, I've been considering a start in reloading shotshells. I have plenty of experience reloading regular centerfire cartridges (meaning brass for rifle), so I wouldn't consider it a huge leap. Either way, I thought I might ask the lot of you what you would consider to be the pros and cons, and ask for recommendations on what gear to source where.

I won't be reloading high volume, nor do I consider cost-saving a real motive (likely it'll be more expensive, given the prices for components here) so its mostly about "being able too" and a remedy against idle hands and such. Any considerations are appreciated, including do's and don'ts and what (not) to look out for gear-wise. Thanks! 

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Jan Powell
3 minutes ago, Luke_(NL) said:

Given all this time spent not shooting, I've been considering a start in reloading shotshells. I have plenty of experience reloading regular centerfire cartridges (meaning brass for rifle), so I wouldn't consider it a huge leap. Either way, I thought I might ask the lot of you what you would consider to be the pros and cons, and ask for recommendations on what gear to source where.

I won't be reloading high volume, nor do I consider cost-saving a real motive (likely it'll be more expensive, given the prices for components here) so its mostly about "being able too" and a remedy against idle hands and such. Any considerations are appreciated, including do's and don'ts and what (not) to look out for gear-wise. Thanks! 

I looked into this years ago when I was shooting NSSA skeet regularly.

Irrespective of the cost element, you’ll find it’s not worthwhile unless you’re intending to reload on a large scale. There’s a case for reloading 28g and .410 shells but only if you’re shooting the gauges. For 12 & 20g it’s simply not worth the hassle.

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ips
16 minutes ago, Luke_(NL) said:

Given all this time spent not shooting, I've been considering a start in reloading shotshells. I have plenty of experience reloading regular centerfire cartridges (meaning brass for rifle), so I wouldn't consider it a huge leap. Either way, I thought I might ask the lot of you what you would consider to be the pros and cons, and ask for recommendations on what gear to source where.

I won't be reloading high volume, nor do I consider cost-saving a real motive (likely it'll be more expensive, given the prices for components here) so its mostly about "being able too" and a remedy against idle hands and such. Any considerations are appreciated, including do's and don'ts and what (not) to look out for gear-wise. Thanks! 

Lee loadall is cheapest 0ption, works very well . Getting the powder and lead is main problem depending on were you live. If your interested in joining a reloading fb group drop me a pm

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Wonko the Sane
Posted (edited)

As much as I dislike disagreeing, particularly with Ian :poke:, I would recommend at ANY level of production that you look into the MEC machines.  I never kept track of how many reloads I cranked out over the last +/-30yrs but I'm sure it was tens of thousands.  For manymany yrs (like 15 prolly) it was easily 20K+/yr.  Only about 5-6 of those were on a MEC Grabber and then I moved to a Hornady366 just to jump the production level.  The MEC was as problem free as it gets and way durable.  I know a gent in Texas who has only MECs from Jr.'s up and has never used anything else - - for 50+years and he shoots WAY more than me so you do the #'s on that.

anyway all the other aspects you'll have to decide on your own but let me do this one for you - - - get a MEC

 

JMO of course

Edited by Wonko the Sane

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ips
37 minutes ago, Wonko the Sane said:

As much as I dislike disagreeing, particularly with Ian :poke:, I would recommend at ANY level of production that you look into the MEC machines.  I never kept track of how many reloads I cranked out over the last +/-30yrs but I'm sure it was tens of thousands.  For manymany yrs (like 15 prolly) it was easily 20K+/yr.  Only about 5-6 of those were on a MEC Grabber and then I moved to a Hornady366 just to jump the production level.  The MEC was as problem free as it gets and way durable.  I know a gent in Texas who has only MECs from Jr.'s up and has never used anything else - - for 50+years and he shoots WAY more than me so you do the #'s on that.

anyway all the other aspects you'll have to decide on your own but let me do this one for you - - - get a MEC

 

JMO of course

Only reason i mentioned the lee was because its cheap as chips to get you going, totally agree the mec seems more business like so i wont argue with that 👍

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Luke_(NL)

Thanks gents, plenty to choose from and I consider the selection process is part of the fun.

@Jan Powell, it's not really about cost efficiency or freeing myself from hassle: The hassle in itself is kind of the point. I would like to be able to produce a quality shell when the mood strikes me or when the need arises. The latter is unlikely, so its more of a pass-time really.  Could be that it gets boring quick, but I have always sort of enjoyed reloading brass in a wax-on, wax-off kind of way. 

@ips, hopefully I'll be able to sort the powder and primers as shipping those here from anywhere but inside the Netherlands would require import licensing and such. I'm hopeful though as a friendly RFD can usually get whatever I'm after. Our 'nextdoor neighbours' (ze Germans) are a plentiful market for this stuff at any rate. Lead, wads and cups I can just order online and hulls are plentiful (I know of only one shooter who cares about taking her empties from the range). I am presently looking at loaders, and did indeed consider the load-all, although it seems mostly plastic..

@Wonko the Sane , thanks for the recommendation. The MEC machines seem like the better options out there. I saw some youtube stuff (Ultimate Reloader has pretty good reviews/ instructions) which made me look up the Hornady 366, but that is hard to obtain here and the pricepoint is ehm.. premium too. Likely I'll go with MEC if I can either find one second hand or new at a good price. 

I'll post on progress if anyone is interested in how things turn out.   

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Wonko the Sane

On the 366 thing - I have four of them and the most expensive one was $125.  ATA shooters are mostly way too stupid to use a machine more complex than a hammer.  Which a couple of the 366's looked like had been used on them.  At any rate it was only a few $ to fix them up and go for it.  But something like that is hardly necessary for the low volume shooter.

Not necessary for me either anymore since the price of powder and shot have become stoopid it is cheaper to shoot bargain loads which I've been doing now for a couple years.  The loaders are all disassembled and in boxes under the bench.  Ah, well.

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Luke_(NL)

I'm pretty good with a hammer :)

Wish I was on your side of the pond: Cheapest I've seen a 366 is far in excess of US prices and many times what you paid. I'd jump at the chance, as overkill is preferable to underachieving machinery in my book.  If one of those machines is taking up space you need elsewhere, send me a PM. 

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Deershooter

Please don’t dismiss reloading you can still load a shell that’s equally as good as a sovereign for the price of comp -x 

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Hamster

If I’m not mistaken you can’t use reloads in registered competitions.

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Salopian

Correct , it is forbidden to use a re-load in a registered competition shoot in the UK, also many ground owners do not allow them to be used  ( safety reasons).

Reloading can be very interesting providing that you proceed with caution . I would think it could be extremely interesting and useful in the Netherlands learning to load Steel shot cartridges . Initially please consider handloading just a few to see if you like it and it is worth all the faffing about .You can hand load cartridges without a machine , using no more than a 4" nail , a drill press , and a set of reliable accurate jewellry scales. 

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Luke_(NL)

Steel it would have to be indeed, as lead is banned almost everywhere I think. It is certainly not allowed on my home grounds, which is in the middle of land designated as a water source. 

I have decent enough experience reloading other types of cartridges. I was surprised to see that some VihtaVuoir powders commonly used for revolver cartridges are recommended for shotshells too. I have (or can make) most of what I would need (apart from primers, shot, powder obviously), but I still need to find a die to form and (star-)crimp the reloaded cartridges I think. I've been trying to source one of those old-school 12G Lee kits that includes the basic materials, but unfortunately they aren't available anymore. I'm scouring E-gun for a bargain but no luck so far. 

I'll update once i find what I need. Thanks for the feedback meanwhile!

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Wonko the Sane

or I could just ask around here - might be someone has one gathering dust

but again, duties and post could make for an economic pit

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jwpzx9r
Posted (edited)
On 4/22/2020 at 3:40 PM, Luke_(NL) said:

Given all this time spent not shooting, I've been considering a start in reloading shotshells. I have plenty of experience reloading regular centerfire cartridges (meaning brass for rifle), so I wouldn't consider it a huge leap. Either way, I thought I might ask the lot of you what you would consider to be the pros and cons, and ask for recommendations on what gear to source where.

I won't be reloading high volume, nor do I consider cost-saving a real motive (likely it'll be more expensive, given the prices for components here) so its mostly about "being able too" and a remedy against idle hands and such. Any considerations are appreciated, including do's and don'ts and what (not) to look out for gear-wise. Thanks! 

I don't know if you have access to this website  www.naturabuy.fr/PRESSE-A-CARTOUCHE-CALIBRE-12-item-3381789.html 

I think you could get what you need there the dealer ships internationally .

Edited by jwpzx9r
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jwpzx9r

This thread had me thinking for a moment then I did a quick recce of the ingredients required... got to 28kg of lead shot for only one thousand shells and thought ... I won't bother... I ask where the hell do you go for lead shot? If it has to be delivered then that cost alone is going to tip the balance to just buying your own. It is not until you sit down and actually go through what you need and how you are going to get it that it dawns on you that ready made are actually a bargain... ish sort of:lol: . I really think reloading is purely for the pleasure of making your own thunderflashes also perhaps a game shooter may be better reloading the cost of some game cartridges is outrageous. The other thing of course is the cost of the loading equipment need to make a fair few to recoup that?

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Luke_(NL)

Ah mate, that would only be 24 kg in my case, so no worries at all. I can't even shoot lead here and as we all know, steel is a lot lighter than lead anyway. 😎

Purely for the pleasure pretty much sums it up really. 

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jwpzx9r
On 6/9/2020 at 10:01 AM, Luke_(NL) said:

Ah mate, that would only be 24 kg in my case, so no worries at all. I can't even shoot lead here and as we all know, steel is a lot lighter than lead anyway. 😎

Purely for the pleasure pretty much sums it up really. 

 

I get the for pleasure bit but regardless you will still need 24 or 28kg to make the shells.. the mass is the same it is the density that is different. I would not even know where I could buy the stuff to be honest.

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FESkent
On 6/3/2020 at 8:54 AM, Salopian said:

Correct , it is forbidden to use a re-load in a registered competition shoot in the UK, also many ground owners do not allow them to be used  ( safety reasons).

Think the real reason is commercial or unfair advantage, rather than safety, thousands and thousands of both shotgun cartridges and rifle ammunition are loaded at home each year by lots of people in this country yet how may accidents do you know or read about as a consequence of home loading?
Follow the load data and all will be good or for belt and braces get the Birmingham proof house to test them for you.

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Wonko the Sane
2 hours ago, FESkent said:

Think the real reason is commercial or unfair advantage, rather than safety, thousands and thousands of both shotgun cartridges and rifle ammunition are loaded at home each year by lots of people in this country yet how may accidents do you know or read about as a consequence of home loading?
Follow the load data and all will be good or for belt and braces get the Birmingham proof house to test them for you.

In the US even now you'd prolly be talking more like millions of reloaded carts.  Some comps do ban them tho I have no idea what the rationale might be.

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Hamster
19 minutes ago, Wonko the Sane said:

In the US even now you'd prolly be talking more like millions of reloaded carts.  Some comps do ban them tho I have no idea what the rationale might be.

The rationale is that the unscrupulous would use 32g loads in order to gain an unfair advantage. 

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Wonko the Sane

 

8 hours ago, Hamster said:

The rationale is that the unscrupulous would use 32g loads in order to gain an unfair advantage. 

All of the ATA and skeet  type comps (and sporting too maybe) allow 32gm 3dr loads.  They probably comprise the majority of events by far.  Not may even ATA'ers are desperate enough to use a 36gm load   :lolu:  :lolu:

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Luke_(NL)
On 6/10/2020 at 7:10 PM, jwpzx9r said:

The mass is the same it is the density that is different

Sorry to have missed this earlier. As it happens, there was an element of jest in my remark. There are several vendors here selling it by the KG, and I saw an ad on a Dutch side for a guy selling 7 and 7,5 shot at 4 Euro per kilo. Haven't yet found a suitable press though, so I've held off for now.

 

 

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jwpzx9r
20 hours ago, Luke_(NL) said:

Sorry to have missed this earlier. As it happens, there was an element of jest in my remark. There are several vendors here selling it by the KG, and I saw an ad on a Dutch side for a guy selling 7 and 7,5 shot at 4 Euro per kilo. Haven't yet found a suitable press though, so I've held off for now.

 

 

This I think is the problem when you consider to make just a thousand you need 24kg by the time you add the cost of primers, powder and then wads and factor in a press... I think I will stick with a decent manufacturer cartridge also there is the added inconvenience that they cannot be used in competition... to much faff :lol:

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