Reloading Starter Set

Discussion in 'Shooting - Reloading Forum' started by huntineveryday, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. huntineveryday

    huntineveryday Senior Refuge Member

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    I have been interested in reloading shotgun shells before, but am pretty cheap and the initial cost of equipment to get started has held me back. This season it seems like I have constantly had trouble finding the shells I shoot in stock when I need them. The ability to reload a quality shell for what I need when I want would be nice. I have a rough idea of what I need, but was wondering if I am missing some things to get started. I would probably weigh each charge individually to ensure consistency, as my volume would be low (hunting loads only, I don't shoot trap) and I would want quality shells over speed and quantity. Over the course of a year I regularly shoot lead and steel 2 3/4" 7 shot dove loads, 3" 3 and 2 shot steel loads for ducks and non-tox pheasants, 2 3/4 and 3 inch nickel plated lead for pheasants, and 3 inch nickel plated lead for turkey loads.

    What would you list as all the necessary equipment needed to start reloading today if you were putting together a good quality starter kit?
     
  2. 10GAGENUT

    10GAGENUT Elite Refuge Member Flyway Manager

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    Best bet is to get a few manual first and read them so you know what your getting into. Lymans 5 th edition, Ballistic Products Status of Steel and the Reloading Specialties manual all have a wealth of information.
    Today unfortunately your not going to get away cheaply for a press, scale and all the other things you may need. You have to approach this not for money savings but as a performance/ custom ammo hobby. You will save money on some types of shells however your not going to do it all the time with all the ammo available today.
     
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  3. Dave in AZ

    Dave in AZ Senior Refuge Member

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    What 10gagenut said up above.
    Just so you have a list of items, good quality and assuming 12ga, I would say:
    1. MEC Sizemaster 12ga; used is OK if set up correctly and working
    2. digital scale; Hornady or BPI or whatever, but for reloading so grains /grams as units.
    3. small plastic funnel, some small cups for shot/powder dumping.
    4. a "load block" you can set your shells in, bottom down, while reloading... havn't found a 12ga one, I just use a 2x4 with correct sized holes drilled in it.

    Components: DON'T PURCHASE THESE FIRST, and THEN look for a recipe! Get exact advice here or at DHC for what load you want, and THEN purchase your powder/primer/wads! Most reloading errors happen from folks trying to force pre-purchased components into incorrect recipes that are "close"...

    Of the ammo you listed, some comments:
    1. Don't discuss ammo using hull length-- it's meaningless. Only two things matter and determine the load, and it's not the packaging: payload (weight), and speed. Pick the Payload and speed you want and talk about it that way, not "three inch 3's"-- this starts you on the path to separating marketing hype from actual performance info.

    lead and steel 2 3/4" 7 shot dove loads-- just purchase these. You can't load them as cheap.

    3" 3 and 2 shot steel loads for ducks and non-tox pheasantsp-- honestly, you can purchase these for about as cheaply as you can load. Don't buy gimmick blackcloud/hevimetal/blindside, and just get a case when on sale/rebate from Rogers or whatever... Fed Speedshok is like $105/case, Rio is $85, etc. If you want to load these, then I would load this: 2.75" 12ga hull (herters/Rio/Fed/Fiocchi), 209 primer (size depends on your hull), Alliant Steel powder, CSD118 wad, 1-1/8 #2 or #3 shot. Around 1450-1500 fps. Replaces 3" shells fine, free hulls, this is probably the "standard" 12ga reload.

    2 3/4 and 3 inch nickel plated lead for pheasants, and 3 inch nickel plated lead for turkey loads.-- You could load this up in about any hull/wad setup. You need to pick the payload and speed you want, then post up for a recipe that's good with your hulls, then buy the components needed for the load. You only need one single load for the pheasants, change the shot size of that load if needed, and probably one turkey load.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

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    Great experianced advise above.
    I would look for a used MEC Sizemaster for sale. Better yet buy a whole outfit from someone who is getting out of reloading.
     
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  5. gadwall52

    gadwall52 Elite Refuge Member

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    Find an old Lee bandleader on eBay. And get a scale thats what i use it ain't fast but it works.
     
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  6. gadwall52

    gadwall52 Elite Refuge Member

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    Oh btw i have 5.50 a box in my reloads.
     
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  7. huntineveryday

    huntineveryday Senior Refuge Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far. I should have added that I have helped reload trap loads with a friend and rifle cartridges for my .22-250, so I know a little about the work that goes into reloading. I have been on the fence about diving in for about five years now, and have researched it pretty hard a few times. I know I could buy some shells cheaper than the Kent Fast Steel And Fiocchi Golden Pheasant loads I shoot, but my gun likes them, I seem to shoot them well, and I'm confident with them. I'm tired of having a load I know I like and not being able to find it when I need it. The solutions I see are (1) buy what I like by the case and deal with it, or (2) start reloading so that once I find a load I like I can load up what I need whenever I need it, and I may save a buck or two per box.

    I hadn't thought about reading some manuals, I will definitely head that route for the next step.

    I am all ears to what you have for recommendations on presses and scales!
     
  8. 10GAGENUT

    10GAGENUT Elite Refuge Member Flyway Manager

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    Best advice is get what suits your needs, everybody has favorites and you'll get all kinds of suggestions that may or may not work for you.
    I'm partial to the older Pacific presses basically because they work, are very simple to operate and because in my mind a lot of what's on the market today is overpriced junk. Other people may not feel the same way and have good luck with a certain brand.
    For scales most of the digital scales work fairly well, I like to have a balance beam scale on hand to check a digital scales accuracy, the RCBS 1010 is a good one for shot shell reloading.
    I'd say determine how much or how little you want to reload and buy equipment that will work for the amount you want to produce.
     
  9. dla

    dla Senior Refuge Member

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  10. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

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    How well I remember loading shell one at a time as a kid with the cheap Lee setup. You used your bathroom scale to set wad pressure.
     

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