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Reloading after absence

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Wingman54, Jun 24, 2010.

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  1. Wingman54

    Wingman54 TS Member

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    Hi All,

    Newbie here...
    Well, not to shooting and reloading which is the basis of my queries;
    As a 55 year old who had been reloading/shooting since the age of 12, I have to ask y'all a question, albeit a loaded question (pun intended)...
    Caveat: I have been away from reloading, shooting and really, guns in general for the past 10 years (at least).
    About a month ago, I decided that the Senior PGA Tour has nothing to worry about me being the next gray-haired Tiger Woods, so I decided to get back into the shooting sports, particularly, skeet and trap that I've shot in a past life (it seems).
    Anywho, wandering around the nearest Bass Pro Shops about a month or so ago, I couldn't help but notice the price of components (at least the price that THEY wanted for components).
    I made a mental note of the prices, came home and did some calculations....
    I guess what I'm really looking for is verification of my findings....
    10 years ago, as I remember, it was very MARGINAL reloading shotgun shells for any kind of cost savings, even given free hulls when you can pick them up from the trash cans and grounds of your local shooting range.
    Having said that, I cannot even come remotely close to justifying reloading a box of 12 ga target loads when I can and have bought them "on sale" at my local Dicks Sporting Goods for $3.94/bx (25) after coupons and mail-in rebates.
    Now, unless you're a purist, or just love reloading for the sake of reloading (and that's OK), am I way off base here?
    To put it more directly, why would anyone reload shotgun shells nowadays??
    Centerfile metallic, especially pistol, I can directly understand the cost benefit.
    But shotgun shells?
    Comments very much welcome.
     
  2. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

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    Yes, I reload for cost. I reload a round that replicates the Remington STS load for around $4.25/box, the STS shells sell for $7.50 box (min).

    A lot of people will tell you that cheap shells are all you need but after seeing a guy at an ATA shoot a few weeks ago come across a factory RIO shell that wouldn't fit into his chamber I think I'll stick to reloading, where I know that all of my shells are properly sized.

    Next, I also reload for custom loads. I like the ability to load real light loads for the first shot of doubles and real heavy loads for caps.

    Personally I don't see how anyone who takes trap shooting serious can't reload.

    Not to mention, if you shoot 1000 rounds a month every month that alone is enough to save a minimum of $480/year if you save $1/box.
     
  3. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    First of all ... buying components at Dicks is NOT the way to go!

    Depending on where you live ... buying in bulk from a real supplier like Connie's Components, Graff & Son, Midway, etc. are the places to buy.
    For 16s, Doubles and/or short yardage, use reclaimed shot and save the new shot for long yardage.

    I am reloading (using reclaimed shot) for $3.19 a box ... well worth it!
     
  4. Wingman54

    Wingman54 TS Member

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    Hi Rich,
    Thx for the feedback.
    I'm looking at the box of shells that I bought "on sale" at Dicks, and the box says (well, it can't talk LOLOL):
    Remington
    Gun Club Target Loads
    1200 fps
    1-1/8 oz shot
    size 7-1/2
    Now granted, even though they have an 8-star crimp and a white metal base (brass?), don't know what kind of life you might get out of the hulls.
    But, I understand about the RIO rounds that you mentioned, and I wouldn't shoot them, even recreationally.
    In any event, these are the rounds that I paid $3.94/box for.
    I guess, I went into sticker-shock when I seen the price on the various components nowadays vs. 10 years ago. Especially shot. Powder wasn't really that bad given the inflation rate in the past 10 years. Shot was the killer.
    The last time I bought shot was $14.50/bag (ahh the good ole days).
     
  5. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

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    I don't personally reload the gun clubs because they run rough when sizing them in my ponsness warren 800+. I do however have a good friend who reloads nothing but gun clubs and he gets a lot of reloads out of them.

    I like reloading, it's almost a hobby in a hobby for me. But like mentioned I also like the ability to customize loads. Instead of going and stocking up on flats of a certain load I can just stock up on components and make different loads as needed. Gun clubs are a great value shell and if you're only going to shoot a flat a month then reloading probably wouldn't be a must do for you.

    Shooting is an expensive hobby, I get sticker shock every time I go to the local place to buy components. I have to go tomorrow to buy powder, shot, and primers for a shoot this weekend and the components are going to set me back about $100 and then $75-80 in target costs this weekend. I've had a lot of hobbies and enjoyed a lot of them but have never had as much fun as I do shooting trap.
     
  6. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    To many, the exercise of reloading our own custom shells is a significant part of the shooting experience so that we continue to do so without being too worried about whether it's cost effective or not. Those that want to factor in their time, the cost and maintenance of loaders, and don't bother hunting for best prices of components seem to be completely happy buying new shells; often questionable quality new shells. One must decide which type person he is on this issue......breakemall......Bob Dodd
     
  7. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

    Joined:
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    5,722
    Reloading prices today at the Ohio State shoot from AJ Brenner, Shot $27.99,
    Promo Powder $73 Red Dot, Green Dot, Herco $83.99 Windjammer Wads $63.00 case
    Primers Fiochi $104 Rios $109, Winchester $128, Remington $138 this is close on costs.

    This is substantial savings over new shells.

    Remington STS 68.99 -$20.00 rebate same with most shells Winchester, Federal Etc. That brought case price to $48.99 to compare to Gun Clubs, Estates, Top Gun Etc.

    You have to buy right and be the the right places and times for bargains.


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  8. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I shoot about 5,000 reloads, 5,000 discount shells (Estates) and 5,000 new Winchester AA each year. The last 5 flats of AA shells came out cheaper than the Estates when I used the coupons from Dicks and counted the $20 rebate. At times it is convenient to shoot the discount shells and eject the empties on the ground. At my state shoot next week, I will shoot a lot of new AA shells. At my small local shoot this Sunday, I will probably shoot my reloads. I only reload AA hulls.

    Pat Ireland
     
  9. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    "Anywho, wandering around the nearest Bass Pro Shops about a month or so ago, I couldn't help but notice the price of components (at least the price that THEY wanted for components). "

    This is part of your calculation problem. When I'm wasting time in our local Gander Mountain I come up with the same data. Even the Farm & Home thinks you'll pay $5.99 (that's right, $6/100)for a 100 remington 209s. Check around at the gun glub and plan to buy in bulk. The price of shot has taken a lot of fun out of reloading, but there's still some left. Good luck.
     
  10. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    If you don't shoot and buy in case quanities (5000), your wasting your money reloading.
     
  11. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I think you understand the economics of the question pretty well Wingman, what it comes down to is the satisfaction of making top quality ammoking ammo versus the convienience of just buying the stuff and not messing around with all those hulls and the never ending search for affordable components.

    I still load my own but do suppliment that supply with a few flats of Estates and spoil myself now and then with new STS ammo. It wouldn't take much at this point for me to opt for all factory loaded ammo which is what most of the guys I shoot with are doing.
     
  12. 870

    870 Well-Known Member

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    LS:

    Thanks for posting those prices. Earlier I thought someone posted that shot was in the $19 range at that shoot. Sounded too good, and I guess it was BS. Oh well.
     
  13. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    Wingman, Why not shoot Rio's. Its not like Rem. Gun Clubs never had a cocked wad or a bad primer right!!! I like the Rio's when I can buy them at the right price. Same for gun clubs as well. Now Reloading today can still save you money. My 12 ga. loads run $3.51 per box for l l/8th oz. of lead. I bought my supplies in bulk and drove to buy them so no shipping or hazmat fees added on to my prices. So Its $3.51 for a box of reloads that match Rem. STS's or Win. AA's loads that will cost me $8.50 at my local bass pro or Gandermountion plus tax for both. So my reloading saves me about $5.00 a box on those loads and save me tons more on 20/28/410 gauges as well. I do enjoy reloading my own custom loads, and breakig targets with shells I make. But I still shoot some throw aways in 12 ga. from time to time as well. Do you have the time to reload again??? Do you want to spend $l,000 or so at one time to buy components in bulk to get started back up??? The choice is yours reload, buy economy loads or buy premium shells. Good Luck and Break-em all. Jeff
     
  14. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    I reload because I can't find the load I like in any store, I save a little money, and I like reloading. Don't be misled by Bass Pro Shops prices. They price components so high I think they are daring you to buy them.
     
  15. Gary Waalkes

    Gary Waalkes Well-Known Member

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    reloading is not all about saving $$ for me. just one exampe is: I like to shoot one ounce of 8 1/2s for singles - easier to make than buy them around here. Additionally, there is a real savings of my loads versus factory ammo plus theirs can actually fail to fire, or eject, or 24 in a box.
     
  16. Wingman54

    Wingman54 TS Member

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    Thx for all the input.
    I think that with the small amount of shooting that I immediately plan on, probably in the ballpark of MAYBE 200-300 rounds/month, I'll stick with the new cheapo "Gun Clubs" for now. Now, if the better half and I get addicted back into some serious trap/skeet shooting, maybe I'll just have to get my old presses back.
    I had three old MEC 600 Jr single-stage reloaders that I gave to my one son because he wanted to get into reloading. A 12, 20, and 410. Probably have loaded well over a 100,000 rounds on the 12 ga press alone. Bought it for $24.99 back in the day, probably circa 1970. Had to replace the big center return spring once, because I flat wore it out.
    Now to clean up the 870 "All American" and hit the range.
     
  17. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    Wingman54, your missing the very best and my personal favorite ga. to shoot, the 28 gauage. My favorite by far. If you get back into shooting again do look into getting a 28 ga. even if you get one of your guns tubed. Their is just something special, majical even about the 28., and you have to shoot them to really get it. It can't be explained. Have fun and Break-em all. Jeff
     
  18. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Despite the cost savings from buying components at the right price in bulk, I can custom tailor a load for my own preferences. I just can't seem to do that when buying factory shells. I might come close, but I make what I want and do enough testing on my loads to have confidence that they will shoot better than I do. My cost with premium components averages a little under $4.00 a box. I feel they are better than the bargain stuff and about on par with the premium factory loads. I won't shoot a any of the "Eurotrash" ammo. Too many issues like cold weather performance (Lack thereof) and basewad migrations for me to feel the need. Factory rep wasn't concerned about quality issues and basewad migrations. I shoot a gaspipe, so I don't need to use shells that have a known issue with basewads. At least one I have personally observed many times in a variety of "Brands" from the same manufacturer. (UEE) I won't reload those hulls either. I load Remington one piece, Win AA old or new, and some select Federal hulls. I don't have much trouble at all, except some hull length variations with the Remingtons.

    I would also recommend that you do not rely only on your memory, and do some research before you start loading again. There is a LOT of new data on old loads. Many loads are not listed anymore. Either they were not what they originally thought and were retested, or some change in component(s) changed the results. New methods of testing have had some loads "adjusted". I prefer to look for new data and do a reality check and compare the loads to known standards.

    Make sure your equipment is up to snuff, use a good scale, and don't swap around with components unless you have data to support it. Ask questions of the manufacturers if you don't know, or post them here. We'll tell you to call them back and get the answers from them. As a rule, Alliant Powder and a host of others have been very helpful in answering many questions for their customers.

    Welcome Back!
     
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