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With the scarcity and price of 20 gauge ammo now is it worth loading? I may shoot 3 cases a year at dove and crow, and another case at small game.

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Been loading 20's for 55 years. 3 flats a year is prolly 5 to 10 times what the average schmuck uses yearly. Keep it simple the Mec 600 jr will load 100 to 125 rounds an hr. Some call it idiot work but I find it a relaxing and productive way to use my skill , knowledge, and abilities to save a few bucks while doing what I enjoy. Back when you could buy 7/8 oz loads for $6/ box is one thing but cheapest 20's I've seen lately are $10/box. You have been keeping your hulls I hope?..mb


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Been loading 20s for 30 plus years and have components to finish out my life. I enjoy it and bought the components long ago, so financially it’s a good deal. But I’d do it if it was break even or worse.


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if you like to be self sufficient, yes, from a cost perspective, it is about a wash


I may not be smart but I can lift heavy objects

I have a shotgun so I have no need for a 30-06.....
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You can break it down easy. Factory dove loads for a 20 run at $10/ box. With the components I have accumulated over my life I can load them for 3.50/ box with the components of today off the shelf maybe $7-8/ box. Thing is like Dale 06 we've been buying stuff that was good deals for years accumulating it. You can't go back in time and pick up 5000 1 oz power pistons for $50 for your 20 like I did, you have to do it initially with off the shelf prices. Reloading is a necessary hobby for me and isn't for everybody. One thing for sure factory ammo will never be cheap again from what I can see...mb


" Cheapest velocity in the world comes from a long barrel and I sure do like them. MB "
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I load all my centerfire, as well as my tss turkey loads, but I roll crimp those so I can't reuse the hulls. I've been saving my federal tip gun and field and target hulls. From what I understand they are a cheddite hull? I've seen some load data for 1 oz loads at 1300 fps and that will satisfy me for everything I do, just have to change shot sizes

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For years and years the 1 oz express load for the 20ga has been 2 3/4 dram equivalent which is 1220 fps and the field load 1.oz 2 1/2 dram equivalent at 1165 fps. Some of the ammo makers have come up with some real hammer loads at 1300+ fps. Don't know how they get those velocities with out max pressures. Maybe Longshot powder but sounds to me like a good way to beat a gun to death. Was a time a few years back Federal got some 12ga hulls from cheddite for their Estate line of shot shells in 12 ga. I believe all the Fed 20 ga hulls are reifenhauser straight wall hulls with rolled paper base wads of their own make. Old style had a thick case mouth and 6 star crimp, the newer ones have a skived case mouth and are 8 star. You need to buy a Lyman shotshell reloading manual and do some reading to see what is possible. Good luck..mb


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Originally Posted by Magnum_Bob
For years and years the 1 oz express load for the 20ga has been 2 3/4 dram equivalent which is 1220 fps and the field load 1.oz 2 1/2 dram equivalent at 1165 fps. Some of the ammo makers have come up with some real hammer loads at 1300+ fps. Don't know how they get those velocities with out max pressures. Maybe Longshot powder but sounds to me like a good way to beat a gun to death. Was a time a few years back Federal got some 12ga hulls from cheddite for their Estate line of shot shells in 12 ga. I believe all the Fed 20 ga hulls are reifenhauser straight wall hulls with rolled paper base wads of their own make. Old style had a thick case mouth and 6 star crimp, the newer ones have a skived case mouth and are 8 star. You need to buy a Lyman shotshell reloading manual and do some reading to see what is possible. Good luck..mb

The hulls now, have a plastic base wad.

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Do yours all have plastic base wads ? Or do you have a mix? I'd separate them if they were mine.


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Originally Posted by Magnum_Bob
Do yours all have plastic base wads ? Or do you have a mix? I'd separate them if they were mine.


As of right now all have a plastic basewad

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I do simply because I can load the shot sizes I want.....usually #5 shot. Also, I've the equipment for 46 years.


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Originally Posted by Magnum_Bob
You can break it down easy. Factory dove loads for a 20 run at $10/ box. With the components I have accumulated over my life I can load them for 3.50/ box with the components of today off the shelf maybe $7-8/ box. Thing is like Dale 06 we've been buying stuff that was good deals for years accumulating it. You can't go back in time and pick up 5000 1 oz power pistons for $50 for your 20 like I did, you have to do it initially with off the shelf prices. Reloading is a necessary hobby for me and isn't for everybody. One thing for sure factory ammo will never be cheap again from what I can see...mb

And I believe the days of decent priced components (if you can find them) is in our rear view mirror.


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Dale I believe your right for the most part. 2 week ends a go I hit a gunshow and scored a 25 lb bag of WW # 4 chilled shot for 35 bucks. I find odd bags of wads here and there, and powder is where you find it. Same show I scored (3 ) 8 oz containers of Alcan AL 5 for $4 ea. Big thing in my book is load data for a lot of these older components. In the op's case he sounds like he would be better off buying new shells as his 1 oz a 1300 fps is unrealistic...mb


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Right now I can still load 20 gauge for less than I can buy them but in the near future that will change as my older components will run out. If you have to buy shot and primers at todays prices I can't see loading standard 2 3/4" shells being cheaper than buying them. I will continue to load my short 16 and 12 gauge shells because it cost a lot more to buy them mail order and they are impossible to find where I live.


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Originally Posted by Magnum_Bob
Dale I believe your right for the most part. 2 week ends a go I hit a gunshow and scored a 25 lb bag of WW # 4 chilled shot for 35 bucks. I find odd bags of wads here and there, and powder is where you find it. Same show I scored (3 ) 8 oz containers of Alcan AL 5 for $4 ea. Big thing in my book is load data for a lot of these older components. In the op's case he sounds like he would be better off buying new shells as his 1 oz a 1300 fps is unrealistic...mb

Hodgon data shows ot to be very realistic.

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For 7/8 oz didn't see any 1 oz loads that fast.


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My 3/4 oz 20s are at about $5.25/box, using current replacement values. Last club buy, 7/8 oz 20s, was $8.50/box.

A 1 oz Longshot load off my press would set me back $7.50/box.....and that using Eagle shot.

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Here is one example.

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Maybe if you want to be certain of a long-term supply, but I can’t see trying to get started under current conditions. I shoot 50-75 shotshells a week, and as long as I can get ammo for $10-$12 a box, I’m content staying ahead of my needs with factory.

When I started shooting clays last year, finding shells was tough. Now decent target loads can be found online and locally for $10 pretty much all the time.

I have no idea where I would setup a loading outfit. A third of my basement is already devoted to metallic cartridge loading and gun tinkering.


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Originally Posted by Magnum_Bob
For 7/8 oz didn't see any 1 oz loads that fast.

Federal has a 1350fps 1ounce 20 gauge...


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