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I want to get started reloading for hunting. I have never done it before and I am primarily interested in experimenting with heavy lead loads. All the recipes I find online seem kind of whimpy. I would love to be able to load some 1 1/2 to 1 3/4oz lead loads and get them to 1400fps or more. Whats the trick? If you can push steel at 1500fps or more why cant I do the same with lead of the same weight? Keep in mind I have never reloaded so I may sound ignorant. Thanks for any help or recipes.

Christian Wahl ( Augusta, Ga)
 

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Fred may be a little busy, but steel does not have the same cross sectional density as lead. Basically, a one inch ball of steel will not weigh nearly as much as the same one inch ball of lead. It takes more energy to get that lead moving at the same speed as steel, but lead retains that energy for longer periods of time, ie. more knock down power at longer ranges. Steel runs out of steam and speed in a hurry, muzzle volacity is impressive, but thats it. That is why it is so damn hard to bring those ducks/geese down at a distance with steel, and why those who can afford to use tungsten use it. As far as load data goes, just get a shotshell reloading book online or at a local shop, bass pro etc.

Nick
 

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Christian:

I didn't check data for 3" hulls but Alliantpowder.com and Hodgdon.com both have 1.5 oz. lead loads for 2.75" shells at velocities of 1200 to 1300 fps.

I thinking any wild game you can't effectively take with those loads is probably best left alone.

sissy : )
 

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An ounce and a half at 1,400 FpS is possible but why? It will be brutal to shooter and gun. I tried some Federal loads a few years ago that had 1 3/8 Oz #5 advertised @ 1,500 FpS. They recoiled terribly even through my heavy 391 Beretta and they didn't kill roosters any better than the old standby 1 1/4 Oz @ 1,330 FpS pheasant getters. The trick is get within range and put the shot on target not more shot faster.

What ever you do, stay within the guilines of the loading data published by the powder manufacturer.
 

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Lead is not like steel. My 20 gauge steel waterfowl loads are 1550 fps and they pattern fine. That is because steel shot does not deform like lead. I have reloaded some lead shot in 20 gauge at 1450 fps for fun. The patterns were terrible and I couldn't hit anything with them. The fastest lead that I have reloaded and been happy with were 1350 fps with my 20 gauge. I don't shoot any better with the fast loads but they do smash targets. The only reason you need extra fast loads for steel shot is because steel is such a poor shot material.
 

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Your tittle says it all... "need help reloading". My first stint at reloading was to build "Super Hunting Loads": Max 300 Win. Mag. for white tail deer, Max 44 Rem. Mag. (in a S&W Mod. 29 which I ruined), and SUPER duck loads (1 1/2 oz. #2's with an ungodly amount of Blue Dot gunpowder). At the time it seemed to be the best way to go... but looking back (with a lot of good memories), I can tell you, it wasn't the brightest idea. As a sportsman... you never want to only wound game animals. They should be brought down humanly, but trying to build a "super shell" is not the way to go. If you want more gun, use more gun i.e. 10 gauge for example. My advise is to stay in the realm of acceptable loads, and use your skill to get closer for the sure kill. Reloading can be the best part of shooting. Have fun, and be safe.
 
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