Reloading shotshells

Bronkorob

Member
Dec 24, 2018
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First off, never reloaded anything. Getting back into hunting/shooting after years off and never hunted California. started reading up on all the rules and regs and I see shotgun hunting with lead is all but dead. Went shopping around and lead free alternatives do go for quite a bit more. And without being able to ship to my door, it just seems that much more painful.

Has the lead restrictions driven anyone else to get into reloading shotshells? The lead free shot still is nowhere near as cheap as lead, but each complete round seems cheaper doing it myself. steel is obvious, but is anyone using heck-shot, bismuth, or anything else? The purpose would be everything from dove to coyotes. Coyotes being the reason for something other than steel. What are your lead free shot sources?

A guy at work mentioned he has a shot shell reload setup that has collected dust for probably 30-40 years he would give me if I was interested. Besides being able to produce any load I would need, I do have 12, 16, and 20 gauge shotguns. It could be fun.

Considering the time it takes, and cost of lead target loads, the biggest cost savings is seen with everything but lead. The whole process does seem interesting and it's something I'd like to learn more about. So I'm not in it just to save a few pennies, but that does help.

Shotshells reloading doesn't seem to get the attention as rifle and pistol. Is the price savings just not there to make it all that glamorous? Or is there another reason why it's not as popular?
 
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SurfNHuntSD

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Oct 1, 2013
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Honestly, I don't know if cost savings are enough to be your main reason to reload shot. The guys I know that reload shot are hardcore trap guys that shoot a lot of shells and, at the end of the day, I think they just find it a nice hobby. If you're putting a lot of shells down your 16 and other gauges then maybe yeah get into it. But if you're a once-in-a-while shooter then it may not be worth the investment in reloading gear.

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ilovesprig

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Aug 3, 2012
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I used to reload a lot when I shot trap (lead).....But at under $6.00 for low base steel shells from Wal-Mart, reloading isn't worth it IMO.....Buying steel reloading components in small quantities is costly.

ps....A friend reloads TSS turkey loads and his cost is about $5.00 per shell.....Pretty good cost saving, believe it or not.
 

Bronkorob

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Dec 24, 2018
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thanks for the responses. I get lead and most steel shot, Im probably better off or would break even with what's available on the shelf. Plenty of this stuff everywhere at reasonable prices.

Im more curious of cost savings when it comes to the TSS, hevi-metal, bismuth, etc loads. And if anyone got into reloading strictly for these types of loads. These are the loads that aren't on very many shelves, or seem to be constantly sold out, and start getting in the $5+ a shell range. Now im breaking into some high end/exotic/match grade rifle ammo prices. That's also where I see the biggest potential to save a few bucks.

Did I mention the shotshell reloading equipment will be had for the price of a case of whatever beer my coworker enjoys?

I think Im going to give turkey hunting a shot this spring, and this will be the first time at this. So I will be starting from scratch as far as ammo, chokes, gun compatibility. That's a chunk of change just to shoot some paper to be prepared for the real deal.

Ilovesprig- sounds like your buddy might be on to it already. If I could load a $5-$6 dead coyote round for $3-$4, that's adds up fast. But Im not 100% sure if that's accurate. Also wondering about sources for shot.

I kind of like the idea of experimenting with different stuff, the whole mad scientist side of reloading. BUT, maybe Im better off taking that side of it and applying it to some of my rifles and handguns. lead free bullets don't carry the price tag that some of this shot material does.
 
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Quail7-08

New Member
Oct 24, 2018
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I just started loading shotshells. Picked up a used mec off eBay. Midway sells steel shot. I’m loading for hunting. I also load precision rifle ammo.
 

sherpa

Active Member
Nov 21, 2011
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First off, never reloaded anything. Getting back into hunting/shooting after years off and never hunted California. started reading up on all the rules and regs and I see shotgun hunting with lead is all but dead. Went shopping around and lead free alternatives do go for quite a bit more. And without being able to ship to my door, it just seems that much more painful.

Has the lead restrictions driven anyone else to get into reloading shotshells? The lead free shot still is nowhere near as cheap as lead, but each complete round seems cheaper doing it myself. steel is obvious, but is anyone using heck-shot, bismuth, or anything else? The purpose would be everything from dove to coyotes. Coyotes being the reason for something other than steel. What are your lead free shot sources?

A guy at work mentioned he has a shot shell reload setup that has collected dust for probably 30-40 years he would give me if I was interested. Besides being able to produce any load I would need, I do have 12, 16, and 20 gauge shotguns. It could be fun.

Considering the time it takes, and cost of lead target loads, the biggest cost savings is seen with everything but lead. The whole process does seem interesting and it's something I'd like to learn more about. So I'm not in it just to save a few pennies, but that does help.

Shotshells reloading doesn't seem to get the attention as rifle and pistol. Is the price savings just not there to make it all that glamorous? Or is there another reason why it's not as popular?
Reloading 12s and 20, you can buy these almost as cheep as you can reload. I buy powder,shot, primers and wads in bulk, and have 12, 20, and 28ga reloaders, 28 ga go for about $10 a box, 12 and 20 go about $4.95 per box.