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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 13 year old daughter entering her second year of trap shooting on her school team. We have been buying ammo on sale when we can find a bargain. She prefers to shoot softer 7/8 or 1 oz loads in her BT-99. Locally we struggle to find 1 oz. One of the coaches made up some loads for her that were enjoyable.

This past year I started reloading pistol and rifle for 9mm and .223 for myself on a Dillon Precision. I do enjoy reloading metallic ammo and realize enough savings for the ammo that I need to make it worth my time. Buying the press was one thing, but buying all the associated tools, accessories, and support equipment really caught me off guard at first. I am finally well equipped and productive.

Last season I was considering reloading 12gauge, but all the local guys have given up reloading 12 gauge because the cost of supplies negates the time/effort.

Are busy dads reloading for their teen shooters? I would love to hear about your personal experiences, advice, warnings.
 

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I think it would be beneficial for you and your daughter to learn together. Try to find a good used loader and you can load premium shells for what you are now paying for economy ammo. Also more quality time with your daughter.
 

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Look around for a MEC single stage loader. Good machines and you can't make a mistake like a double charge. Good learning tool and used ones can be found cheap. I just sold 2 of them for $50 a piece. If you live near me I could loan you one as a trial to see if it is your cup of tea.
 

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I reload for both my boys. They prefer to practice with 7/8 oz loads.

If you have young shooters it’s a lot easier to load 7/8 oz load than try to buy them at reasonable prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am pleased with my Dillon 750 progressive press for brass. I see the MEC name mostly for shotshell presses. Is MEC more popular overall for 12 gauge?
 

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Mec is probably the most affordable shotshell press that will give you a quality finished shell if set up correctly. If you watch for a good used size master it would be a great press for the two of you to learn the process on. Mec also has great customer service on all of their shotshell presses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What volume can be expected from progressive 12 gauge reloaders? Currently it takes me about 10 minutes from opening a box of primers, a bottle of powder, bag of brass, and box of projectiles to load up the machine and drop 100 rounds into the finished bin for metallic rounds. I usually load 100-300 rounds in a session.

I have never loaded 12 gauge or witnessed it.
 

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You won't save much, loading 12 gauge. But you will have independent supply.
If you shop the best sales, get free shipping, and order in a year or two supply you have another solution.
Buying when manufacturers rebates are offered also cuts costs.
Depends if you have time, want to make the investment, and want the reloading experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am afraid the savings won't be realized as much with 12 gauge as I am enjoying from metallic loading.

For 9mm I am saving $85 per thousand rounds.
For .223 rifle I am saving about $220 per thousand match grade rounds.

We buy 12 ga Remington gun club for $5-$6 per box, $50-$60 per case.
 

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I keep this on my computer because it comes up frequently:

A word of caution.

If you are getting into reloading strictly to save money, don't. Buy factory ammo.

If you are going to get into it to make it a sub-hobby of your shooting or hunting hobby, then by all means.

If you don't enjoy it, it's not worth your time. Because you aren't likely to save enough money to make it worth the time you spend in front of the reloader.

I reload for clay target shooting, so bear in mind, what is written below is based on high volume target loads. Some of the answers may be different if you are reloading for hunting.

Step one, before you even buy a press (sounds like I'm too late on that...), is to go online and buy Lyman's Fifth Edition Shotshell Reloading Manual. Read it cover to cover, then re-read it.

I wouldn't use the data in the Lyman manual though, since it is a bit dated. Use the powder manufacturer's online data.

Then, pick a reloader. There are single stage and progressives. If you plan on reloading a few boxes of shells from time to time, a single stage press will be fine. If you plan to reload a LOT of shells, plan on getting into a progressive. There are a lot of brand choices, and prices, and others may chime in here with opinions and advice.

Then, pick what kind of hulls you want to reload. Remington seems to be the best choice these days (they are what I use) but there's absolutely nothing wrong with Winchester AA's and Federal Grand's.

I would steer away from other hulls and stick to these. Other hulls work fine, but there is less data available for them. They all work. It's just a matter of preference. Bottom line, stick to one style of shell and don’t waste your time with others, once you decide.

Like I said, I use Remington, but even then, I don’t mix and match when reloading, even though the load data is identical. If I’m reloading Gun Clubs, I’m reloading Gun Clubs; if I’m reloading STS’s, I’m reloading STS’s, if I’m reloading Nitro’s, I’m reloading Nitro’s, and so on.

I prefer Winchester primers, because they are reliable and cost effective, but the other brands are just as good. They all work. It's just a matter of preference.

Absolutely, positively, invest in a good scale, and use it. The electronic ones are nice, but the balance beam scales are just as accurate.

WEIGH your powder charges, especially when setting up a new load or starting with a new container of powder, and never believe the bushing charts. They are notoriously inaccurate.

I like Downrange wads because Kevin Lewis is a good guy and a friend, but the brand name wads are fine (a bit expensive) and Clay buster wads are fine too, though some people complain they leave more plastic residue on your choke tubes. They all work. It's just a matter of preference. Just make sure you use a wad made for a tapered hull if you use Remington or Winchester hulls, and a wad made for a straight-wall hull if you use any other brand of hull. This is covered in the Lyman manual.

I like Hodgdon Powders (and their other brands, IMR and Winchester) because Chris Hodgdon is a friend of mine, and their home offices are near my home. Supporting my local economy. But Alliant, and other brand powders work just fine. They all work. It's just a matter of preference.

Stick to the powder manufacturer’s published online loading data.

Good luck!

Tim
 
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I loaded light 7/8 oz loads for my daughter when she started shooting because she preferred them. I didn't save much money but my daughter was happier, shot them well and I enjoyed our time shooting together. Nothing else mattered. Just my thoughts, your mileage may vary.
 

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Best thing about reloading is that the load I WANT to shoot is always available at a great price. Reloading for juniors may have an advantage, since you can have a reliable supply of low recoiling shotshells. However, 12 gauge 1.125 ounce shotshells are readily available in 1145 fps and 1200 fps loads most of the time for the same or slightly less expensive than I can reload (note that I load with better quality shot than cheap loads - I think). I have found that one ounce loads at 1150 fps are most often MORE readily available from my reloader.

I like reloading. The physical task of reloading is pleasant to me and much better than watching television. I reload for short periods when my garage is cooler than the planet Venus and yet I never run out of reloads that I want, but I am the only shooter in my household.
 
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I just got back from shooting with my 13 year old daughter for the first time and she did great. I loaded up a box of 3/4 ounce, a couple boxes of 7/8s, just to see how she would do, and she was smoking them:) I did sneak a 9/8 handicap in there, like when dad snuck the 357 in with the 38s, and she didn’t flinch. We also took out my CZ competition pistol, which I load for, and I was very proud of the way she shot that too. It’s kind of like when I make a meal for my family instead of ordering out, there is great satisfaction knowing my kids are shooting the ammo I make for them.
 

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I load Remington gun clubs with 1oz loads for $43 a flat (10boxs) it saves me 10 dollars a flat not much savings I do it for me as I enjoy reloading! A used mec is a good start parts are available if needed.
 

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I'm with TMX here. Buying in quantity in regards to powder mostly you can get your costs down. I shoot lots so I load lots and can save a buck a box on the loads. I enjoy the reloading and end up with ammo that suits my needs. I shoot lots of 7/8 oz. 12 gauge skeet loads and they are a pleasure to shoot. I think more important is having your daughter help you with the reloading process allowing the two of you to spend some real quality time together.
 

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A Grabber will spit out shells at a little over 4 dollars a box, less if you load 7/8 ounce. I have a TV and a boom box in my loading room. When the rest of the house is going nuts, it's my little oasis of calm. Plus my handicap loads are fantastic.

HM
 

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Shipping is always less than $40. I'm just about done with the rebuild. This was donated to the Reloaders for Youth Program and it's a progressive so you'll get a new shell with each down/up of the handle.

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Will throw in a Mec Jr for the resizing tool because the one on the 650 is kind of hard to use. If interested respond here and I'll get the ball rolling.

Joe
 

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I have a 13 year old daughter entering her second year of trap shooting on her school team. We have been buying ammo on sale when we can find a bargain. She prefers to shoot softer 7/8 or 1 oz loads in her BT-99. Locally we struggle to find 1 oz. One of the coaches made up some loads for her that were enjoyable.

This past year I started reloading pistol and rifle for 9mm and .223 for myself on a Dillon Precision. I do enjoy reloading metallic ammo and realize enough savings for the ammo that I need to make it worth my time. Buying the press was one thing, but buying all the associated tools, accessories, and support equipment really caught me off guard at first. I am finally well equipped and productive.

Last season I was considering reloading 12gauge, but all the local guys have given up reloading 12 gauge because the cost of supplies negates the time/effort.

Are busy dads reloading for their teen shooters? I would love to hear about your personal experiences, advice, warnings.
People that talk about savings are usually NOT used to trying to find the lighter loads you mentioned. The ones on sale tend to be the somewhat heavier ones that may be less enjoyable for younger,smaller shooters. Keep it enjoyable for your kids and you will save$ too.Check out Craigs List or put up a WTB sign at your local venue. I just shipped my progressive to MEC for service-figure $30 to 40 for one way so it makes sense to look locally.
 
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