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Beginner Reloaders Looking For Vetran Advice

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by bkeeney, Mar 4, 2007.

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  1. bkeeney

    bkeeney TS Member

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    To begin with I gained some experience by reloading with my father when I was a teenager but in those days we prety much didn't have a plan but rather reloaded shotshells of all sorts with whatever recipe my Dad had al;ready established. And since so many years have gone by, I decided to get some education before attempting it again. With that said:

    I recently purchased an MEC 600 Jr. reloader after studying Lyman's Shotshell Reloading Handbook (4th Edition) and am planning to begin reloading with the AA's I currently have. I have electronic scales (up to 1000 g's)and am plan to follow recipes (from the handbook) for reloading 12GA 2 3/4", 1oz. through 1 1/8oz. loads. I decided on Red Dot powder, Win 209 primers, with Win WAA12 wads to start with. If you can provide and additional adive before I get started it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    bkeeney
     
  2. Hill topper

    Hill topper Member

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    bkeeney,

    Looks like you have the resources you need.
    Follow the published recommendation in your loaders guide, and use your scale to check powder and shot drops.
    Winchester primers have gotten a bit pricy, may want to look at other primers.

    ed.
     
  3. TC

    TC TS Member

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    Devote all of your attention to what you are doing. Don't watch TV, talk on the phone, or BS with your buddies. Have a good light available and look inside every hull before depriming. Find one load that works and stay with it. Go slow, and PAY ATTENTION! Tony
     
  4. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    Looks like your there. Some people are getting out of reloading now. Along with the primers, shot has skyrocketed, may be approaching $30/bag soon. At Walmart, field load shells are $4.00 box. Thats .16 cents each. You may want to experiment with 7/8 oz. Hard hitting load with some economy in mind. Dave
     
  5. SShooterZ

    SShooterZ Member

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    Instead of Alliant Red Dot, get Alliant Promo instead. Ballistically the same and you save about $20 per 8lbs. Just make sure you measure your drops to ensure they're accurate. Never trust a bushing chart.
     
  6. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Good advice above, the only thing I'd add is mount your loader to a solid table or bench. It takes 5 pulls on the handle to make a shell so make it a habit to always pull the handle the same for every stroke, same with pushing the shot/powder bar back and forth. You'll load some might fine loads with it. Good luck. Hap
     
  7. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    And wear glasses!....Bob Dodd
     
  8. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Since you are just beginning, I would suggest that you go out and buy a cheap cookie sheet and mount it under your loader. I have one under both of mine and they keep all of my spills (now getting less frequent) pretty much in the same vicinity. Good Luck.

    -Jollytrapshooter
     
  9. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    I wouldn't suggest that you buy a progressive right off the bat because it can be a bit humbling if you don't have experience with a reloader, I loaded with a 600 jr. for a year and had some trouble understanding the concept on the 650. But, if you buy a progressive reloader as magnumthunder just suggested, you'll REALLY want to do the cookie sheet thing. I bought my first progressive 2 months ago and am just now getting the hang of it. It really sucks when you forget a wad cause there goes powder and shot. Or when the primer tray doesn't drop the primer right and you rotate around and find that there is powder draining out of the bottom of your hull, thankfully I took the advice of some of the guys on here and bought the cookie sheet and it saved me a lot of trouble from messes...But it is much faster than the single stage 600 Jr.'s. Good luck.

    -Jollytrapshooter
     
  10. GordonWood421

    GordonWood421 TS Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with "jolly" --- getting to "KNOW" what happens at each station is easier learned with a single stage press --- EVEN THOUGH a progressive -- should say a good progressive -- should be able to negotiate in single stage . A 600 Jr is a GOOD one to start with .

    If you run into a snag , don't worry about being thought of as a nincompoup --- ask a queation --- the only dumb question is one that isn't asked .

    Charlie
     
  11. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Drain the powder out of the machine at the end of your reloading session. Powder should not be stored where it may be affected by light and humidity.

    If you do not want to buy an assortment of bars and bushings, there is a "Universal Charge Bar" that allows you to fine tune both shot and powder drops. Nice to have but not necessary.

    DO NOT SELL your 600 when you "move up". It is handy for loading experimental loads without having to re-set your progressive press.

    Another vote for the cookie sheet. They should come standard with MEC's.

    Don
     
  12. hawk57

    hawk57 TS Member

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    I was using exactly the same components as bkeeney. But I had nothing but throuble with the AA hulls on my MEC jr. I even called MEC. The hulls on final crimp would create a "ring" type buldge about 1/3 of the way up the hull and would spiral the crimp. I tried some old AA's and they worked fine. I since cut apart a new AA hull and conpared it to an old AA hull, and discovered the issue. I had heard that the new AA hulls were 2 piece but didn't understand what they were talking about until now. If you cut the new AA hull apart you will see a plastic cup inside the hulls base that will cause your wad to hang up on the edge of it during the final crimp. I'm switching to STS hulls when I run out of the old AA's.
     
  13. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    I think you got a lot of good advice above, except that I would stay with Red Dot for a while at least. One of the things you may learn the hard way is that not every published recipe makes a good shell. Just because a load is published as safe does not mean that everything fits well.

    For starters I'd suggest you use factory components and Red Dot. The everything will fit properly and you will be able to adjust your dies properly. Since you want to use AA hulls use the appropriate Winchester wad. Winchester primers are first rate, so start with them as well. You'll end up making good performing shells, and will have a good baseline to compare future loads to. There is plenty of time to experiment with other components and recipes later, so keep it simple for now.
     
  14. bkeeney

    bkeeney TS Member

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    Hey All,

    Sounds like very good advice and I will definitely pay attetion to what is being said and what I am doing at the bench. As for trying to save money, I really didn't get into this for the money, just want to have a fun past time and something I can share with my boy. Thanks for all the advice and I look forward to any additional as it comes along. The cookie sheet idea sounds like a must, cool. One thing about powders though. What powder(s) are say, produce the most consistent results and are most commonly used. Red Dot was one I chose based on the numerous recipes specified and for a starting point. From what I am hearing Red Dot may not be the choice for other based on price? I guess I would like to reload with a powder that I will be happy with over time.

    Brian K.
     
  15. Jim H.

    Jim H. TS Member

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    You might want to get one of the reloading manuals, such as Reloading for Shotgunners 5 ed by Rick Sapp, or the newly minted Lyman's 5th ed of their shotshell reloading book. The Lyman's books from the past give detail in component identification to make sure we use the right things. I would expect the new edition to have that up to date for what is available now.
     
  16. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Brian

    Promo uses the same recipes as Red Dot. The good news is that is costs a lot less; the bad news is that it varies lot to lot so you need to check drop weights, and it only comes in 8 lb jugs (which is a lot of powder if you are not reloading a lot - 3200 shells with 17.5 gr loads - that is a lot of time in front of a 600 JR!). Promo is denser than Red Dot so you will want to start one or two bushing sizes smaller than what the charts recommend for Red Dot - BUT VERIFY WITH YOUR SCALE.

    Have fun. I love to reload. It is a rewarding hobby.

    Don

    PS I use Promo exclusively for my 12 ga trap loads.
     
  17. rjdden

    rjdden TS Member

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    I have used Red Dot Exclusivly from the begining of my experience of reloading. Yes As Dodd Said in his post wear protective Glasses. The Cookie sheet is a great idea. I my self just here in the past have had to get away from shooting because of the onset of a disease. I am now back and things have changed for me in many ways. I never in the past used a recipe out of a book. We went on what had been said by the other shooters at the time. Now I am using the books. I have them all. You can go to each of the powder companies except Alliant. They will send you a load book of theres. Alliant has a Download area you can go to and download the recipies. That is if you have a computer. If not someone out there will download them and send them to ya I'm sure, I will if you need. My E-mail address is above and you can send to probably any of us on here and we will help! I also am loading with a Mec 600jr. I always have had on in the past. As it stands now I have owned 3 of these same loaders. As was said in the prevous posts do not get in any hurry and if there arises a question get on board with it and someone will jump in and head you in the right direction with the answer. I am loading Rem Nitro27 shells with 17 Grains of Red Dot and 1 oz. of shot with a CB1100-12 wad. Nice even load. This load should be close to the AA shell to. As to the components you have mentioned. Might be a Grain or two more though. They are great components to start with. But read your books and take your time. As was said experiment. Get a couple boxes loaded and give em a try . No harm. If you don't happen to like it(the load that is) check your books and make your adjustments powder wise or shot wise or even the shell. I also have a shooting partner that I am teaching. My Grand Daughter of 12 is very interested in shooting. She has gone with me now three times and for Christmas she got a Savage Semi Auto 22 Rifel. It basicly has the same comsepts except for the wad. It shoots as like a shotgun shoots, but she is learning the ten commandments of shooting and some of the other important items she needs on this, Such as stance, mounting, sighting, and the proper way to shoot standing and sitting or bench resting. How to carry a gun in an area where there are a lot of people. Many things as we go along. I even have her on the reloader with my supervision. She loaded her first 25 two weeks ago. She will and so will you and your boy do great with time. Welcome to reloading and to ts.com!! Rich. (inPeoria,Az.)
     
  18. bkeeney

    bkeeney TS Member

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    Loaded my first four boxes of shells and gained some good experience already.
    1. I discovered that it does make huge difference on how one pulls the handle in terms of getting a consistent powder charge when weighing the charges in succession. Found that I needed to smooth it out to get any kind of consistency.
    2. Found that the cookie sheet (thanks for that advice) is probably the most critical component next to following safety and recipe.
    3. Went to Sportsmans and bought a Universal charge bar of which I found produced more consistent charge weights and easy to set up.

    Now I will get those loads out in the field and see I they turned out. I think the first half of a box of 1 1/8 oz. loads may not be as consistent of loads as I would have hoped but think that I have the remainder of the lot quite consistent. The first few I kept getting powder charge differences between 0.4 gn's to 0.8 gn's with same bushing. Changed bushings and still same variances (a little frustrating until I used the universal).
    Ended up loading two boxes of 1 1/8 oz. and two 1 oz. target and light field loads. I will report back my results.

    Rich I tried to email but email came back (some problem with address. As it turns out we just live down the road from one another. I am in fountain Hills, AZ. Sounds pretty cool that you are getting your Grandaughter into shooting etc. My son is seven and is just getting aquainted with his 410. Took him to the High Desert Hunt Club near Cortes Junction a few weeks ago and he just had a great time. In fact when he wasn't taking his turn at shooting birds, our guide used him as a "Bird Dog". I think the guide found a new Buddy. Feel free to email me at bckeeny1@msn.com of call 602-620-2920. Maybe we can get kids out shootin some time.

    Brian
     
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