Home

Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All?

Posted By: IndyCA35

Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/04/15

Recently I've been shooting a lot of trap and skeet. It costs me about $5.50 per box to reload shells. I just (yesterday) bought several flats of Estate shells at the LGS for $49.95 per flat ($5.00 per box). These had 1-1/8 oz. of shot in 12 gauge and 7/8 oz. in 20 gauge. The only sizes were 7-1/2 and 8 in 12 gauge and 8 and 9 in 20 gauge.

This is not a unique experience. In December, Cabela's had a sale for $5.40 per box, shipping included, on Herter's shells.

With these prices, why hand load? 28 gauge is different, though. the same place selling 12 and 20 for $49.95 was selling the same brand of 28 gauge for 89.95 per flat.

Someone told me that the "cheap"brands had softer shot than Remington, Winchester, etc. but I tend to doubt that.
Posted By: erich

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/04/15

They don't sell 2.5" 12ga, nickel plated BB, F or ITX for those prices. I can load them for about half the going prices for specialty shells.
Posted By: J71248

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/18/15

Just goes to show how bad the compnent suppliers are screwing everyone.
Posted By: GF1

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/19/15

I load because I get a better product, tailored to my needs. I like light loads - 7/8 oz in 12, 3/4 oz in 20 - and can't find any quality loads in these specs that are reasonably priced.

There are some 7/8 oz loads for 12 gauge, notably those by Federal, but they are limited to #8s and the shot is softer than I want. Mine are loaded with #7.5 w/ hard "magnum" high antimony shot, producing great patterns. I've not come across any 3/4 ox factory loads for the 20, though I'm sure they are out there.

Find me an STS, AA or Gold Medal load w/ 7/8 oz of magnum shot at 1200 fps (not the "sporting clay" loads at 1300+) priced at under $8/box and I'll consider stopping my reloading operation. And BTW, the premium loads are better, mostly because of shot hardness and quality control. Do some patterning and you will see that.

I load a box of 12 gauge ammo as I've described for about $4.70, buying in bulk and at good component prices.
Posted By: doctor_Encore

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/19/15

I would reload 12 and 20 gauge regardless of the cost, save's me a trip to Walmart or Dick's. I only load hard ( magnum shot) so I am still saving money versus the premium AA, STS loads.

Now the 28 gauge is a necessity to load for.

Doc
Posted By: WyoCoyoteHunter

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/19/15

It is cheaper to buy target loads now.. But I have about 20 bags of 7.5 shot I bought for about $13/bag, so that makes it a bit cheaper.. If I had to buy at today' s prices, it would be a different story.. I probably would just buy flats of new stuff and forget it???
Posted By: SShooterZ

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/19/15

Originally Posted by WyoCoyoteHunter
It is cheaper to buy target loads now.. But I have about 20 bags of 7.5 shot I bought for about $13/bag, so that makes it a bit cheaper.. If I had to buy at today' s prices, it would be a different story.. I probably would just buy flats of new stuff and forget it???


I'm in the same boat and agree. I have so much left of powder, hulls, shot and primers that I'll probably reload regardless to burn it up. But with the current price of shot, it's a tough argument to say reloading is any cheaper that's for sure.
Posted By: T_Inman

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/19/15

For dove loads I would agree that it is not any cheaper to reload, but for heavy duty pheasant/sage grouse and even late season chucker loads, it is still absolutely worth it to reload. 20 gauge Prairie Storm #5s or Remington Extended Range #6 loads will run about $1 per shot these days.

That's how I see it at least.
Posted By: GF1

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/20/15

Originally Posted by Dog_Hunter
For dove loads I would agree that it is not any cheaper to reload, but for heavy duty pheasant/sage grouse and even late season chucker loads, it is still absolutely worth it to reload. 20 gauge Prairie Storm #5s or Remington Extended Range #6 loads will run about $1 per shot these days.

That's how I see it at least.


That may be true if a person shoots A LOT of pheasants and sage grouse with them. It will take a long time to amortize the cost of a bag of #5 or #6, as well as the wads and powder that are pretty unique to these loads.

The money savings are through high production of target loads, and loading for the 16, 28 and .410, IME.
Posted By: Mssgn

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/20/15

About ten years ago I published an article advocated stocking up on 22 long rifle cartridges over the next year or two. I just couldn't see it staying at 2 cents per cartridge or long.

I am now advising anyone who will listen to stock up on shotgun shells if you can find them at under 20 cents per shell. They just wont stay that cheap for long.
Posted By: LeonHitchcox

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/20/15

First, I enjoy loading. I spend nasty winter evenings at the bench while the wife watches American Idol or some other noxious show. Second, I can load premium loads at the price of promo loads that use soft shot. Third, I already have the equipment, so I may as well put it to use.
Posted By: T_Inman

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/20/15

Originally Posted by GF1
Originally Posted by Dog_Hunter
For dove loads I would agree that it is not any cheaper to reload, but for heavy duty pheasant/sage grouse and even late season chucker loads, it is still absolutely worth it to reload. 20 gauge Prairie Storm #5s or Remington Extended Range #6 loads will run about $1 per shot these days.

That's how I see it at least.


That may be true if a person shoots A LOT of pheasants and sage grouse with them. It will take a long time to amortize the cost of a bag of #5 or #6, as well as the wads and powder that are pretty unique to these loads.

The money savings are through high production of target loads, and loading for the 16, 28 and .410, IME.


Absolutely agree on the 16, 28 and .410 thing. I have all three of those but not the loading gear. I should change that.

I also can buy a #25 bag of lead or copper plated shot for $50 or less, and 250 wads for about $10 and primers for $.05 at the most. I can load a few hundred heavy game loads with all that shot, wads and primers.

Adding that moola up would only equate to about 65-70 factory heavy pheasant loads, at $1 a piece, which is the going rate around here.

I probably shoot between 150-200 of those heavy 20 gauge shells a season, mostly at chucker...
Posted By: mag410

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/22/15

+1 GF1

I load to muzzle speeds that suit my need, 1125 fps 1oz 12 gauge and 1150 fps 7/8oz 20 gauge shells with hard shot.

Michael
Posted By: 16gauge

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/25/15

I will load up the wads/hulls I have now for the 12 gauge, and when they are gone.......I'm done. I will buy my target loads for both 12 and 20 (quit reloading for the 20 years ago).
I will continue to reload for the 16 gauge; shells are now impossible to find except at large gun stores. I used to be able to find a box or two when I needed them, and got some deals at the end of season, but no longer. frown
I will continue to reload for slugs, buckshot, nontoxic waterfowl loads, blanks, etc. I will also buy shot, as I shoot muzzleloaders in 20 bore (flintlock) and a 10 gauge SxS. However, with the price of shot reaching $2/lb, and powder for reloading shotshells/pistol loads being almost nonexistant, I will take my savings anywhere I can get them.

I will, however, keep my presses and data.........just in case.
Posted By: battue

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/27/15

Originally Posted by IndyCA35

Someone told me that the "cheap"brands had softer shot than Remington, Winchester, etc. but I tend to doubt that.


Believe it. The high end Remington, Winchester and Federal shotshells hit harder and most often pattern better due to better shot.

Have some friends who have cut shells open and compared shot roundness between the good and lower end. They say the difference is obvious. Also most of the lower end brand velocity readings are at at muzzle. The USA good stuff at 3 feet. Small difference, but the good stuff is moving along faster.

Have also shot more than a little RIO shotshells to know there is often a noticeable variation is recoil from shell to shell. Most often seen in the winter. Powder, wads or how they are put together? Don't know the why, just know they are not as consistent.

Will you score better with the high end brands? Some days yes, some no. But a consistent shell is part of a consistent game.
Posted By: texasbilly

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 05/11/15

Is it cheaper to reload shotgun shells than it is to buy factory shells? It all depends on what the question is. If you are looking at "normal" 12ga and 20ga shells, then the answer is maybe. If you are looking at "unusual" shells like 1/2ounce 12 gauge shells, then the answer is yes. If you are looking at 410bore, 28ga, and 16ga shells, then the answer is hell yes.
Posted By: Mssgn

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 05/12/15

FAR cheaper to load slugs and buckshot if you cast your own too!
Posted By: bobski

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 05/14/15

its an art that needs to be continued. its part of being an individual and not totally reliant on monopolies or supply chains. thoughts of the ww2 warsaw ghetto come to mind.
Posted By: doctor_Encore

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 05/16/15

Originally Posted by Mssgn
FAR cheaper to load slugs and buckshot if you cast your own too!



Yep....I load my 20 gauge slug loads with the Hornady .452 250 gr SST bullets for $1.35 each. Many deer have fallen to this bullet.

Doc
Posted By: halfmile

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 05/18/15

You can try cheap shells at the 25 yard line, and you will get beaten.

I duplicate the Remington Nitro Handicap load for about 60 per cent of the retail price. Plus I can tailor the velocity and shot charge to my desires if need be.

I use reclaimed shot for 16 yard and practice, costs about 4 bucks a box. If you count the sales tax, new crap shells are 6 bucks.

So I load my own crap shells, and my own good shells. It also makes for good arguments at the gun club.

HM
Posted By: passport

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 05/19/15

For my general 16 yard line, skeet and sporting clays I run the cheapest chit I can get my hooks on. If Im in a tournament I will spring for better ammo but over all if you factor in the price of the press and value your time at anything she's a wash at best for 95% of the "regular" shooting most people do.

I use to love to reload, had 9000G's in all 4 gauges, but after buying cases for a few years I sure like the extra time to shoot.

To each his own, the die hard reloaders will say there reloads are better than factory and I wont agree with that but wont argue the point either. For me its cases, less money in the long run and WAY less hassle. Cant tell you how many times after a long day at work I needed to come home and reload so I could shoot the weekend.

I use to butcher my own deer but would rather hunt than cut deer. I would rather shoot than reload, simple choice for me

YMMV
Posted By: Dutch

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 05/22/15

There is no doubt that the best, hard, spherical shot will make the best shells. I've done some amazing things with Remington STS's out of my 20 ga. LC at a stupid long crossing Sporting Clays station.

Unfortunately, finding that perfect shot is difficult, if not nearly impossible.

On the other hand, I still have half a ton of lead I bought at 11 bucks a bag, a closet full of wads and a small stack of sleeves of Fiocchi primers picked up at 75 bucks. My practice shells, most of them 7/8ths, run just north of $2.55.

If I were still competing, though, I'd shoot the best lead I can find, be that in my reloads or in factory premium loads.
Posted By: shorthair1

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 03/05/17

My reason is that I can custom tailor loads for my needs like my favorite Pheasant load over pointing dogs is just a bit over 1 1/4 oz @ just 1050 fps that patterns wonderfully. When you can not buy factory then you must load your own.
Posted By: hh4whiskey

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/06/20

For most stuff, it’s kinda pointless these days....at least for wingshooting. Time vs expense vs offerings vs performance, it just has zero effect on taking game for me....sure, I might get better patterns, but I get pretty darned good patterns and dead birds, ducks, geese, rabbits, etc....and I don’t waste time trying to make them more dead with my 12s or 20s. Other gauges, there’s a better case for it. Custom TSS turkey loads? 2-3 ball specialty buck loads? Sure. Those are small batch propositions, for low volume turkey and big game stuff. I’m not wasting time anymore for a better, cheaper, cleaner clay, dove, duck, or rabbit load. They ain’t THAT hard to kill. JMO
Posted By: bartman

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/07/20

Me......I load for a 16, not because I have too because I am well stocked, but because it is fun. Start off with a bunch of miscellaneous components and finish with a nicely crafted shotgun shell. If it ever becomes not fun I will stop doing it.
Posted By: Phillip_Nesmith

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/07/20

I loaded up a few hundred rounds of 12 gauge 1150 fps with 1 ounce and 1-1/8 ounces of #5 shot to use on squirrels and rabbits, that combo is not available in any factory load.
Posted By: buffybr

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/07/20

I've been reloading since I bought my first centerfire rifle in 1967 and my first centerfire pistol and shotgun in 1970.

In the mid 1980s when I was shooting in our gun club leagues and competing in ATA registered Trap shoots and shooting 10K or more 12 gauge shells per year, I bought my first shotmaker. That homemade shot was good enough to put me on the 27 yard line for handicap and in class AA singles and class A doubles.

Ten years later I switched to Skeet and my homemade shot was good enough for me to shoot NSSA class AA in 20 and 28 gauge events and class A in 12 ga, .410, and doubles events.

I no longer compete in registered events, but I still shoot about 5K shotshells every year, mostly 3/4 ounce 12 gauge reloads at Skeet.

Our gun club sells components to club members at slightly under retail prices, and I buy my components in bulk quantities from our club. The shot is the most expensive component, and our club sells re-claimed, re-dropped, and new shot.

My 3/4 ounce 12 ga reloads cost me $1.88/box with my homemade shot or $3/box with re-claimed shot.

1 oz 12 ga reloads cost me $2.05/box with my homemade shot or $3.55/box with re-claimed shot.

For comparison, 1 1/8 oz reloads would cost me $4.45/box with new shot.

I also enjoy reloading and I get great pleasure in shooting a 25 straight or 100 straight at Trap or Skeet with my reloads and homemade shot, or shooting a trophy big game animal or filling my freezer with an animal that I shot with my reloaded rifle or pistol cartridges.
Posted By: bobski

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/07/20

I reload to use up everything I bought 25 years ago.
at the rate I shoot it up, i'll be dead before its all gone.
Posted By: doctor_Encore

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/08/20

Originally Posted by bobski
I reload to use up everything I bought 25 years ago.
at the rate I shoot it up, i'll be dead before its all gone.


Are the shotshell wads still usable. I was given some Win "AA" 20 gauge wads recently whose petals broke off in my fingers.....and not 25 years old.
Posted By: bobski

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/08/20

all stored properly and flex.
Posted By: catnthehat

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/11/20

Originally Posted by erich
They don't sell 2.5" 12ga, nickel plated BB, F or ITX for those prices. I can load them for about half the going prices for specialty shells.

Yup, and for the stuff like brass and black, hand loading is mandatory!
I love shooting vintage guns for upland and waterfowl, and Nice Shot and Bismuth , etc., are a Godsend to us guys, but hand loading is the way to go there.
Cat
Posted By: dale06

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 02/22/20

I load four gauges. The 16 and 28 saves money. The 12 and 20 probably no savings or minimal savings. But I really enjoy reloading and shooting my own shells. I have no plans to stop.
Posted By: Crockettnj

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 03/29/20

Originally Posted by bobski
its an art that needs to be continued. its part of being an individual and not totally reliant on monopolies or supply chains. thoughts of the ww2 warsaw ghetto come to mind.


This is a great response. In an era of everything tacti-cool, I think the message of reliance and tradition sometimes get lost.
Posted By: ldholton

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 03/31/20

Getting it from a pretty reliable source that the cost shot could double shortly
Posted By: teamprairiedog

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 03/31/20

Originally Posted by ldholton
Getting it from a pretty reliable source that the cost shot could double shortly

Why would that be? The spot price of lead is down $.20 a lb. or so from what it's been for months.
Posted By: Magnum_Bob

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 03/31/20

Been loading shotshells since I was 13 years old... Just can't imagine ever not making my own. Buys components whenever they are a hot deal that's how to keep your costs down. MB
Posted By: Hawk_Driver

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/02/20

Originally Posted by dale06
But I really enjoy reloading and shooting my own shells. I have no plans to stop.


+1
Posted By: Magnum_Bob

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/03/20

A. I have all the equipment and been loading all my life.
B. Specialty needs shells 2 9/16 16 ga.& 2 5/8 12 ga.
C. I have a life time supply of hulls,wads,primers, and loading ideas.
D. Buy shot when I find a good deal and I can make my own.
E. Buy different powders when a good deal is offered.
F. I try as hard as I can to not be part of the throw away everything society. MB
Posted By: battue

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/08/20

Why or why not depends on how much one shoots....
Posted By: ldholton

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/08/20

Originally Posted by teamprairiedog
Originally Posted by ldholton
Getting it from a pretty reliable source that the cost shot could double shortly

Why would that be? The spot price of lead is down $.20 a lb. or so from what it's been for months.

One of the more local and bigger gun shops the guy that owns the the shop made the statement to a friend of mine shot was right now $50 a bag and if he ran out and had to order more it was probably going to get close to $100. Whether that's because he didn't want to bother with getting anymore or he see something we don't know or what I can't answer
Posted By: teamprairiedog

Re: Wy Handload 12 and 20 Gauge at All? - 04/08/20

Originally Posted by ldholton
Originally Posted by teamprairiedog
Originally Posted by ldholton
Getting it from a pretty reliable source that the cost shot could double shortly

Why would that be? The spot price of lead is down $.20 a lb. or so from what it's been for months.

One of the more local and bigger gun shops the guy that owns the the shop made the statement to a friend of mine shot was right now $50 a bag and if he ran out and had to order more it was probably going to get close to $100. Whether that's because he didn't want to bother with getting anymore or he see something we don't know or what I can't answer


Might be worth a drive To Linn Creek when they have the state shoot. Last year Graf had shot for $37 and change IIRC. I buy my shot and wads there, sometimes powder. Pay for a fun roadtrip pretty quick at that kind of price difference.
© 2020 24hourcampfire