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I always chrony my shotgun loads to see what they are really doing. I dialed into an all around hunting load about 20 years ago and have pretty much only loaded that 1 load since then. At the time I chronied and patterned different loads and found that changing casing or wad often had a big effect on velocity.

I determined it was cheaper to just buy my target and dove loads most of the time but loading my pheasant loads saved me money. I wish I could find more Remington sps cases. It's about time to load another case or two.

My favorite hunting load is a rem sts case, win 209, ww red wad, 1.5 ounce of #5s, and longshot.

I was excited to find bags of lead shot at our Sportsmans the other day. I need to start load 20 gauge for my kids now so I'll be chonying and patterning again. I need about a 3/4 ounce low recoil load for my 7 year old. It'll will be interesting to see how different powders and wads effect recoil.

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Originally Posted by sidewinder72
I only load per the manufactures data. Never had a problem, because they already done the work for us. Stick to published data and save time and headaches.

Ditto, my patterns were always as expected with published recipes, thus no need to deviate. Chasing that extra 50-100 fps had no chance of improving patterns, so why bother. All the competitions I shot prohibited reloads and limited velocities. And fellow competitors DID check each other out, especially the top guns.

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More variables in shotgun loading. Crimp quality, forcing cone length and others make a big difference.

The biggest elephant in the room is powder variability. The recipes are in grains, but many reloaders use fixed powder bushings, and read which bushing they need from a chart, not with a scale.


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I find a “ recipe” that fits my available components at the time.

If the “recipe” calls for Fed209 primers and I run out and am left with a different brand, don’t care, I continue to load with the same powder bushing and the same shot charge.

If I run out of “recipe” wads, then switch to a differ t brand, same size, Don’t care, I still use the same powder bushing and shot charge.

If I am loading AA hulls and there are a bunch of Rem. Cases mixed in, Don’t care as long as the case is filled correctly and crimps properly.


Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a man a welfare check, a forty ounce malt liquor, a crack pipe, an Obama phone, free health insurance. and some Air Jordan's and he votes Democrat for a lifetime.
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Used to reload AA 12 ga long ago early to mid 90,s.
Nothing major.

Trap and some sporting clays shooting on the weekends with a couple of guys from the unit.
Dove hunting.

WW112 wad IIRC???
26 or 27 grains WSF IIRC???
1 1/8TH Oz 8 shot
WW 209 primers.
Got around 1300 1320 Fps load per " book" loadings that came with the simple Lee load all.
Could get 5 to 7 reloads out of the old AA cf shells before crimp and petal issue.

Was probably around 3.45 to 3.60 a box to reload them back then compared to 4.75 to 5.50ish a box of factory super sporting Clay's


Did the math on getting all set up again minus the cost of roughly 75 bucks for the load all.

I just didn't see any major savings versus buying factory AA shells from the get.
I know the empties are part of the cost benefit ratio as you aquire and cull as needed.
But companies have powder, wads, shot, and primers priced so close to their factory loads now to squeeze out the most they can.
It just ain't their for me to save 50 to 75 cents a box by reloading shot shells.
Then throw in availability of components in a take what they are gonna make and you have to accept it market.

Double AA super sporting clays 12 ga #8,s is what I buy when they are on the shelf.
Sitting on a good number of em now 650.
Plan is to aquire 1k by August.
I might shoot 300 a yr total between 2 weekends before Dove season and during it combined.
Basically on a 2yr ammo buying mission of various needs deer hunting, turkey hunting, tree rat hunting wise.
Pretty much set on wpn ammo, and ain't shooting up that anymore doing fun schit...

I don't think their is gonna be a very bright future after the 2024 potus, senate, and congress critter " elections"
With all the election fraud that has gone on.
I think our current congress "majority" is gonna be the last token one....


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I bought all of the shotgun shells I would ever need when Dedda signed the farm over to me.

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Lots of good discussion and many good points. I personally use published data that matches the components I can find (used to be alot easier of course). Dutch has a great point about the use of poweder 'bushing' - I bought my first scale for use reloading shotgun shells and then quickly bought an adjustable charge bar. Bushings were all over the place as far as what they were supposed to 'throw' and what they actually did. At $3 a piece I wasn't going to possibly destroy them by reaming! And back in those days in this area (pre internet) they were hard to come by anyway.

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I had sticker shock when I went to my local dealer and found 8 shot at $60/25 pounds. Several months back when shot was unobtanium I could still find some for around $45/25.

Even at that I can still load for much cheaper than Factory ammo.

AA 1 1/8oz 8 shot at Midway is $13.30/box.

If my math is correct, even with the $60 price tag on shot I can build that load for $8.30/box.

My two sons shoot a lot, so $5/box savings can add up quick.

That's 12ga, I have 3 410 shotguns and a Judge. 410 ammo is crazy expensive, usually around $25/box, when you can find it. I can load 3 inch 410 for about $6.50/box, that's a big difference.

Last edited by steve4102; 02/24/23.

Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a man a welfare check, a forty ounce malt liquor, a crack pipe, an Obama phone, free health insurance. and some Air Jordan's and he votes Democrat for a lifetime.
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A supplier here is charging $75 for 25 pound bags

Supposedly most of the lead supply comes from South America and mines are being shut down?


Originally Posted by Bristoe
The people wringing their hands over Trump's rhetoric don't know what time it is in America.
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Both our local scheels and sportsmans had shot in most sizes over the weekend. $65/25# at scheels. $57/25# at sportsmans.

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That’s what’s going on here as well, but they do have “reclaimed” shot for $40 Something a bag.

Duno what that is as I have never seen it outside the sack.


Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a man a welfare check, a forty ounce malt liquor, a crack pipe, an Obama phone, free health insurance. and some Air Jordan's and he votes Democrat for a lifetime.
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Originally Posted by mjbgalt
Hm. Thanks for that. I guess I just need to make damn sure my components match the recipe. Haven't started yet but my press and hulls and wads are under my bench waiting for a rainy day

I'm awaiting not having to give my first born and the deed to the farm for a 25# bag of shot. I done run out of all the $11.00 a bag shot I got on sale at Carter's Country a while back.

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The longer you wait, the cheap it will not get.


Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a man a welfare check, a forty ounce malt liquor, a crack pipe, an Obama phone, free health insurance. and some Air Jordan's and he votes Democrat for a lifetime.
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Chamber pressures for most shotshell reloads are in the 7-10,000 pounds per square inch range, most pistol reloads in the 20-35,000 psi range, and most rifles in the 50-60,000 psi range.

Using the same components, reloading manuals all list a powder weight spread as much as 4 grains in shotshell loads, 5 grains in pistol loads, and 10 grains in rifle loads. Load recipes also vary between manufactures and even between editions of manuals by the same manufacturer.

Loading recipies are not cast in stone, but maximum loads must be approached with caution.

I started rifle reloading in 1967 and pistol and shotgun reloading in 1970. I currently reload 6 pistol cartriges, 12 rifle, and 4 shotgun gauges.

I like to shoot, and reloading has allowed me to shoot for a fraction of the cost of factory ammo. I no longer do competition shooting, but I still go to the range at least one day, most weeks throughout the year. On a typical range day I'll shoot up to 4 pistols, 3 rifles, and at least 3 rounds of Skeet. When I was competing in Trap and Skeet from the mid '80s and through the '90s, I was shooting and reloading about 10,000 shotshells each year. Since 2000, I've dropped down to about 4,000 shotshells each year.

To help hold down the cost of my shotgun shooting, around 1984 I started making my own shot.

All of this background to say that I don't follow reloading recipes "to a T". I taylor my rifle and pistol reloads to maximum accurcy in my guns, not maximum velocity. Most of my shotgun shooting now is 3/4 oz 12 gauge loads at Skeet. For my shotshell reloads, I match the wad to the case (I only reload Win AA cases in all gauges), and usually pick a powder charge in the middle of range of powders. Especially now with the shortages of primers, I shoot any primer that I can get.


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