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Reloading - Anyone do it?

Discussion in 'California Flyway Forum' started by BlessedFowlHunter, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. BlessedFowlHunter

    BlessedFowlHunter Refuge Member

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    I've done my own share of other types of reloading but haven't done shot shells. Anyone ever do the cost analysis/performance improvement over factory loads? Especially now with all the various loads (steel, bismuth, tungsten, etc.)

    If so, do you have a go to recipe you could share publicly/privately?

    Thank you.
     
  2. JRS

    JRS Elite Refuge Member

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    I’ve gotten into it very seriously in the last couple years. The ballistics side of shotgunning is overlooked by most. It’s absolutely amazing what a shotgun can do with a little attention to the details. Cost savings for the odd gauges can be upward of 60-70% per box (not including start-up equipment).

    I mostly load for my fun gauges, not much for 12. I enjoyed the hell out of making my .410 into a formidable goose gun with TSS.

    I’m not posting recipes publicly because they either came from someone else, or I haven’t had them pressure tested and do not wish to enter the civil liability arena.
     
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  3. JRS

    JRS Elite Refuge Member

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    What gauge are you looking to load?
     
  4. BlessedFowlHunter

    BlessedFowlHunter Refuge Member

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    12 gauge, 3".

    I understand not sharing the load data. I learned about that when I started loading for rifle/pistol.
     
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  5. BlessedFowlHunter

    BlessedFowlHunter Refuge Member

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    I looked at what a case of Hevi's bismuth cost, and it was $350. I feel like you can get that down by a good margin.
     
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  6. Olfducker

    Olfducker Senior Refuge Member

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    I started reloading when steel first became mandatory for waterfowl. Very simply because the commercially available shells were crap and with recipes from BPI in Wayzata, MN, I produced shells that my hunting partners were begging for and hunters from other blinds would track me down to ask what I was shooting. Plus, be it pheasant, quail, dove, ducks or geese; I could load exactly the load I wanted and never had to look for an open store at the last minute. I didn’t buy shells for 40 years and never ran out.

    I loved reloading. But commercial shells are now very good and I don’t hunt much anymore. In fact I sold all my shotshell reloading equipment and supplies on this forum just a few days ago. If you do start reloading I highly encourage you to invest in a universal charge bar and a powder scale. Most charge bars use bushings. You need a different bushing for every load, powder and shot size and weight. In addition, bushings can be highly inaccurate. Steel are high pressure loads which demand precision accuracy. A universal charge bar is adjustable for both powder and shot. Therefore you can load virtually any load you want with one bar. And, with a powder scale you can get dialed in exactly for powder and shot. Good luck. Be safe. I hope you find reloading as enjoyable as I did.
     
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  7. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

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    I used to load back in the lead days and it was fun. I kick it around every so often and yes I think makes sense for subgauges. the hard part is finding components.

    BPI has Tungsten 7 lbs for $110, 1.25 oz shell, get 90, 1 oz get 112 , so just shot alone is $1 to $1.2, then other components, so you save money by throwing a smaller shot charge but it is just a better load. On the subgauges, price is higher and shot charge is smaller, so savings can be bigger. Kind of why haven't pulled trigger, pun intended.
     
  8. BlessedFowlHunter

    BlessedFowlHunter Refuge Member

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    One thing I learned in the rifle world was you could exceed SAAMI, *IF*, you knew how to look for pressure signs.

    I don't intend on loading hot unless there's a significant increase in performance.

    That being said, I do have a powder scale.

    Haven't looked at presses yet, but hopefully they make some nice progressives.
     
  9. Calikev

    Calikev Elite Refuge Member

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    Same here. I was a big time lead loading fan back in the day. We virtually never bought factory shotshells when I was growing up. I can't remember buying a box to be honest with you. We loaded 12 ga and 20 ga by the cases back then. Once everything went to steel my Dad reloaded a few but factory loads after a few years were frankly a better proposition.

    Now with the prices of TSS, etc. it makes sense but especially for the sub gauge crowd. Even then now we are seeing niche companies form like Boss, Nitro or Migra who do a lot of customized type stuff.
     
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  10. oleww

    oleww Elite Refuge Member

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    I have several presses that I’ll be parting with soon. I could make you a good deal, but the real hard part is getting components.

    http://www.losttarget.com/costcal.htm

    I am at $6.50 per box for lead target loads.
     

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