Trapshooters Forum banner
1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry if this question has been asked before, but how much do you have to shoot to justify getting a reloader?
I am fairly new to Trap and was wondering how much I'd need to shoot to see a benefit from reloading my own shells. Also generally speaking what is the start up cost for getting into reloading? A good beginner reloader? And where is the best place to look for new/used loader?

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,076 Posts
If you are looking for a financial reason, probably best stick with bargain ammo. Find it on sale, load up several cases when the price looks really good to you.

Reloading 12 GA is really a personal preference. I save a few bucks by buying in large quantities and shopping components. Many of us at our local gun club go in together on large orders to both get good pricing, cheap freight and one hazmat fee often. But you have to be willing to put out for a large supply of product. Lead being biggest influence on reloading costs. Not that you should ignore primers, wads and powder but lead seems to move the needle more. My joy comes from it being an extension hobby of shooting, and I can make a world class 1 oz load for less than the cheap steel based shells. I have a lifetime supply of Nitro hulls to reload.

If you were to entertain reloading, you need a buddy to help get you rolling in the right direction, and help with selection of components and competitive pricing on them. This site is a great resource for questions, and finding a unit that you would want. There are many reloaders to choose, from very inexpensive to top of the line. Mec honestly is the most common, and a grabber or 9000 would be hard to beat starting out. Won't break the bank either. Once you know if reloading is for you, then you can look at the high end presses, with Spolar being on the top of that mountain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you are looking for a financial reason, probably best stick with bargain ammo. Find it on sale, load up several cases when the price looks really good to you.
Reloading 12 GA is really a personal preference. I save a few bucks by buying in large quantities and shopping components. Many of us at our local gun club go in together on large orders to both get good pricing, cheap freight and one hazmat fee often. But you have to be willing to put out for a large supply of product. Lead being biggest influence on reloading costs. Not that you should ignore primers, wads and powder but lead seems to move the needle more. My joy comes from it being an extension hobby of shooting.
If you were to entertain reloading, you need a buddy to help get you rolling in the right direction, and help with selection of components and competitive pricing on them. This site is a great resource for questions, and finding a unit that you would want.
Thank you for your advice. I think it would be interesting to reload my own shells, even just as a hobby and a new skill to learn. I doubt I would benefit much from it financially unless I did find friends to go in with me. I do have a couple friends who reload so I may get with them for help/advice. I am just starting to entertain the idea of reloading my own shells, so I still have a lot of looking and learning to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,719 Posts
With 12 ga ammo prices what they are and the cost of components you are better off just stock piling ammo. You will not save much if at all, especially if you put a price on your time.

Now if you really need specialized shells like 7/8 oz 12 ga shells doing 1200 f/s then go ahead and get into reloading.

Jason
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,892 Posts
Good advice from Didreckson.

Reloading time consuming and I don't recommend it unless you REALLY want to reload. Reloading for the sole purpose of saving a few pennies becomes drudgery.

I enjoy it.

First things first: Get a good scale. Good, low cost ones are the Lee Safety Scale and the one sold by MidwayUSA call the Frankford Arsenal Digital Scale. Both work well.

Weigh your charges often. Make sure your machine is throwing the powder charge you want it too, but don't get too hung up on a couple of tenths of a grain of powder one way or the other. You won't be able to tell the difference.

A used single stage is nice to start with, and I would recommend a MEC 600 Jr. But if you load any volume of shells, a progressive will be preferable. Used progressives can be had on eBay or here on trapshooters.com, among other places. Hornady 366, MEC Grabber or 9000G are good progressives that can be bought for reasonable prices on the second hand market.

The difference is, of course, you pull the handle 6 or 7 times for a single shell with a single stage, and with a progressive, a shell drops out with each pull of the handle.

I like Hodgdon gun powder products because Chris Hodgdon is a friend of mine, but Alliant makes good powder too.

I like Winchester primers, but they all work. Even the European stuff.

I like Downrange Wads because Kevin Lewis is a friend of mine, but all the other brands work too.

A big cost savings, especially if you primarily shoot singles or doubles, is reclaimed shot. One of the guys who posts here and goes by Lead Miner sells reclaimed shot that is top quality, and costs probably half what new shot costs.

FOLLOW THE RELOADING TABLES AND DON'T FLIRT WITH LOADS HIGHER THAN WHAT IS IN THE TABLES!

Ask around at the clubs you patronize and find out who reloads, and see where they get their components. Often times reloaders are advertised on the post boards at shooting clubs.

Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: MasterMason0719

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good advice from Didreckson.

Reloading time consuming and I don't recommend it unless you REALLY want to reload. Reloading for the sole purpose of saving a few pennies becomes drudgery. I enjoy it.
Thank you so much for your advice. Your reply was more than I could have asked for, you gave me insight into all aspects. I will certainly look around and talk to fellow shooters for help. And definitely continue to explore this site for help and advice.

Jesse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,719 Posts
Jesse,

You married? Got kids or planning to have kids? Check out your reloader friend's house. Then make sure you have the storage space for the components and a place to reload. A case of 5,000 wads take up a lot of space. Then discuss it with the Mrs. to make sure that you will not be taking over space that she had plans for.

Got a friend that his wife suggested that he sell his reloading stuff and just stock pile ammo. I am not sure of the details leading up the suggestion, but I though it was interesting. This was when you could save some money reloading.

Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
There is no savings in 12ga. I reload as a matter of preference. I bulk buy, like 5000 wads, 5000 primers, 8-10 pound containers of powder, 10 bags of lead, and have many hulls to reload. It is an escape for me to sit quietly and load ammo. I use a progressive press to optomise the quantity per sitting.

Since you are interested in it as an extension of the shooting sports, go for it. Get a progressive press to begin with, if you don't it won't be long until you tire of a single stage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
There is money to be saved in reloading if you source your components from a wholesaler. Using all American components it's about $50 a flat to load 24 grams 1350 fps using Red Dot. If I ordered an entire pallet from J&S I could get the clear Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics for $53 or so but you'd probably want others to chip in.
 

·
Well-Known Member
Joined
·
5,396 Posts
Geez... what naysayers.

Self loading allows you to load what you want whenever you want... cost savings be damned...

It doesn't take a fortune to get started. Single stage or progressive... its your choice.

Pick a hull, powder family and have at it... leverage your enjoyment of the shooting sports.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Been loading for years and wouldn't have it any other way. But I'm still loading $9.00 per bag shot and will be for many years. To me, loading is an extention of the hobby. Like others have said, get a progressive loader.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
I second what Didreckson and timb99 said. In fact, it'd be nice if there was a sticky with their sage words. I have reloaded metallic for some years and just started shotshell reloading this year. I started on a single stage and then quickly found the need/want for a progressive. The cost of those alone will buy you lots of ammo. Granted, if you get sick of reloading you can fairly easily resell a good press and recover some of your cost. I reload because 1) It's fun. 2) I can tailor my loads to what I want to shoot. 3) I can go downstairs and "make" some ammo when I want and don't have to worry about trying to get to the store before it closes or fight the hoards at the local Wally-world. and 4) Cuz it's still fun ;-)
 
  • Like
Reactions: MasterMason0719

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jesse,
You married? Got kids or planning to have kids? Check out your reloader friend's house. Then make sure you have the storage space for the components and a place to reload. A case of 5,000 wads take up a lot of space. Then discuss it with the Mrs. to make sure that you will not be taking over space that she had plans for.
Jason
Married, yes. Kids, not for atleast 2 more years. Wife is in nursing school, so kids won't come until after that. I have the space because my wife said the garage is mine, until she decides to take it over too haha.
I will definitely check out my friend's reloading set up, and might be able to take it off his hands. I know he doesn't use it much anymore because of back and hip injuries, and might be interested in parting with it.

Jesse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It is an escape for me to sit quietly and load ammo. I use a progressive press to optimize the quantity per sitting.
Since you are interested in it as an extension of the shooting sports, go for it. Get a progressive press to begin with, if you don't it won't be long until you tire of a single stage.
Yeah I really just think it'd be something I could be good at, and something that I would enjoy. Thanks for your comment.

Jesse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There is money to be saved in reloading if you source your components from a wholesaler. Using all American components it's about $50 a flat to load 24 grams 1350 fps using Red Dot.
Do you have any wholesalers that you could suggest or where I could look for possibly the best deals?

Jesse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Geez... what naysayers.
Self loading allows you to load what you want whenever you want... cost savings be damned...
It doesn't take a fortune to get started. Single stage or progressive... its your choice.
Pick a hull, powder family and have at it... leverage your enjoyment of the shooting sports.
I like your line of thinking. Do it for the enjoyment and fulfilling feeling of loading my own shells, regardless of saving. Good advice. If I were strictly trying to save money it may not be a good option, but if I am only interested in expanding my knowledge of the sport then it's a great skill to learn.
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top