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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do have a fair understanding of pistol caliber reloading, but need recommendations on 12 guage equipment to get. I have been saving my hulls and have a good supply of WST. Any recommendations and tips would be greatly appreciated. I am also interested in getting a clay thrower so I don't know which way my investment might go first.
 

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loading shotshells is pretty straight forward. you pop out the primer and resize the brass ring at the bottom, usually in the same step (just like pistol or rifle). you replace the primer, dump your powder in (usually a powder bar slide), then put a wad in. throw the bar back to the other side and it dumps in your shot load. the next station starts the 8 fold crimp and the last station seals the deal.

I've found that loading for shotguns isn't really scientific if you know the relationship between "projectile" weight and powder charges. wads will come in various shapes and sizes. stick with the book and you'll be fine.

primers, powders, wads, and hull data are all in shotshell reloading books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What presses do you recommend? Is the cheap Lee any good, or should I go with one of the countless MEC options?
 

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I have a mec 82 that I may be willing to sell. comes with the 20 ga die set and has the spring loaded primer feed. It's the versa mec 82'

I've never used it, but it is well used.

I'm even down to trade reloading components. just let me know and I will get some pics to you etc.

You can get a clay thrower from Wally World dirt cheap , and it works just fine. personally I like the hand throwers duck taped to a golf club. Throws the hell out of em.
 

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IMO, unless you are shooting cases a week, loading 12ga just isn't worth the time & effort. The cost of shot is ridiculous, wads & primers are also up. You might save $1/box for 15m work, $4/hr, not worth my time. I just buy cheap game loads for clay shooting, but I only shoot about a case a year. Now 20ga or 28ga, worth reloading as there are few cheap alternatives.
The Lee press works, but not recommended for volume. A MEC progressive would be a time saver. It's a little more involved than metallic, you have the wad to deal with, but other than that, it's pretty much the same. JMO, do NOT waste your WST loading shotgun. Get some Red Dot or Promo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
IMO, unless you are shooting cases a week, loading 12ga just isn't worth the time & effort. The cost of shot is ridiculous, wads & primers are also up. You might save $1/box for 15m work, $4/hr, not worth my time. I just buy cheap game loads for clay shooting, but I only shoot about a case a year. Now 20ga or 28ga, worth reloading as there are few cheap alternatives.
The Lee press works, but not recommended for volume. A MEC progressive would be a time saver. It's a little more involved than metallic, you have the wad to deal with, but other than that, it's pretty much the same. JMO, do NOT waste your WST loading shotgun. Get some Red Dot or Promo.
I wonder if I should invest in the thrower then. Either way sporting clays and dove hunting is getting to be an expensive addiction.
 

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I wonder if I should invest in the thrower then. Either way sporting clays and dove hunting is getting to be an expensive addiction.
Target and light game loads can be had for $.25 per round down here. Not bad at all.
 

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I wonder if I should invest in the thrower then. Either way sporting clays and dove hunting is getting to be an expensive addiction.
I used to load custom 12ga for light recoil CAS loads. Just busting clays or dove, I buy a case. I doubt you can load for much less than 20c-25c / rd.
Hull, free
1 1/8oz of reclaimed shot, 14-15c
Wad, 4-5c
Primer, 3c
So 21-22c each, or buy field loads for 23-24c? Even if you could load a case an hour, saving even $1/bx, $10, not worth my time, but everyone has a hobby.;)
 

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I pretty much agree with Fred on this one. Buying a case of shotgun shells is still pretty cheap and hassle free. Don't get me wrong, if you intend to do some custom loading like casting slugs (got lead?) and working loads up for them you could save substantial money on that kind of thing, but trap loads using small sized lead shot or something like that is chasing the dragon if you are trying to save money with today's component costs.
 

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What presses do you recommend? Is the cheap Lee any good, or should I go with one of the countless MEC options?
Get a Mec. I bought a 600 Jr back in the late 70s and its still working just fine. Plus its easy to find powder bushings, charge bars, etc.
 

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I load shotgun because I can always find the cheaper light loads on the shelf and when rabbit and squirrel season is open I like to shoot #5 and there isn't any cheap ammo.


My prices are $43 25# bag of magnum shot of any size, I can get reclaimed for $33 (355 shells @1 1/8oz)
$17 /1000 wads
$30 /1000 federal 209 primers
$20 /lb 800-X powder (291 @24gr)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I load shotgun because I can always find the cheaper light loads on the shelf and when rabbit and squirrel season is open I like to shoot #5 and there isn't any cheap ammo.


My prices are $43 25# bag of magnum shot of any size, I can get reclaimed for $33 (355 shells @1 1/8oz)
$17 /1000 wads
$30 /1000 federal 209 primers
$20 /lb 800-X powder (291 @24gr)
Are these prices local or online?
 

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I load shotgun because I can always find the cheaper light loads on the shelf and when rabbit and squirrel season is open I like to shoot #5 and there isn't any cheap ammo.


My prices are $43 25# bag of magnum shot of any size, I can get reclaimed for $33 (355 shells @1 1/8oz)
$17 /1000 wads
$30 /1000 federal 209 primers
$20 /lb 800-X powder (291 @24gr)
Thats my point. Buy a case of 12ga, $6-$7/25, load them for $5-$6/25. Unless you want specialty loads, you not save much for your time. If I only saved $1/50 of 9mm, I wouldn't reload it.:confused:
 

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I have loaded lots of shotgun shells on what would otherwise be called a single stage press. It is a Versa MEC 700. Unless you are heavy into trap or loading for others you don't really need a progressive press. Formal Trap shooting does have it's rules: you are limited to a 2 3/4 12 gauge shell, with a three dram or less equivalent powder charge and number 7 1/2, 8 or 9 shot size. The cheap field loads you get at Wally World aren't always allowed on the line. I think the MEC reloading manual is on the web.
 

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So far in our area shotgun ammo has remained plentiful with the exception of .410 shells. The get scarce and they are always expensive. 12's and 20's are plentiful though...so far.
 
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