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Reload or not to reload, that is the question.

6649 Views 64 Replies 49 Participants Last post by  husker967
For years being a trap shooter i always wanted to start reloading my shells but never did. Now i would like to get going with it but i'm wondering about buying all the components needed. I have about 4000 Winchester AA red hulls that i been saving from last year, and looking at the Mec 9000 loader. Now days, is it a good idea to reload? Thanks for your imput.
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For years being a trap shooter i always wanted to start reloading my shells but never did. Now i would like to get going with it but i'm wondering about buying all the components needed. I have about 4000 Winchester AA red hulls that i been saving from last year, and looking at the Mec 9000 loader. Now days, is it a good idea to reload? Thanks for your imput.
If you can find the components!
Steve
 

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I think its a bad time to start reloading, but then again its a bad time to try to find ammo.
Cost of used reloaders are as high as new ones, new ones have a long wait since production is behind. Primers are nearly impossible to find, but at least it seams as lead and wads are around, power is somewhat scarce. I think on average component cost have gone up about 25% from 12 months ago, win209s have nearly doubled. Cost of ammo when you can fine it 20-25% higher also though. If you decide to starts reloading i hope you either already have components or enjoy a scavenger hunt, but then again finding enough shells to shoot is the same way.
 

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For years being a trap shooter i always wanted to start reloading my shells but never did. Now i would like to get going with it but i'm wondering about buying all the components needed. I have about 4000 Winchester AA red hulls that i been saving from last year, and looking at the Mec 9000 loader. Now days, is it a good idea to reload? Thanks for your imput.
If you start looking for a loader you might find there are people selling cheap because they can’t find components. Components are very expensive right now if you can even find them. It’s a bad time to try to start fresh. But you might find some good deals over the next year.

Good luck.
 
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If I had not started reloading a few months ago, I would have had to stop shooting because ammo dried up in January. Here we are in August and I still can't order cases of shells from any local store. Sportsmen has been getting in some ammo but have had a two box (not case) limit. But I can make as much as a I want now and maybe more importantly, I can make them any way I want.

However, getting components is has been a constant effort. Powder is pretty available now but primers are only sporadically in stock and lead shot has jumped in price. Your experience will depend a lot on your local stores, local clubs, and how frequently you monitor the online stores but getting components is no picnic.

About presses, I bought a MEC 9000 but before I used it, I read Lyman which strongly suggested not starting with a progressive. So I also bought a 600 JR and used that first. I think that advice is very good advice. The 9000 has a steeper learning curve and a lot more to adjust and go wrong. The 600 is much simpler and works fine, its just slower. Now I use the two together. The 600 is handy to have on hand when the 9000 jams up and I have to untangle six shells in various states of assembly.
 

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I decided to start reloading 20.28,and 410 for skeet (still have about 30 flats of 12's from trap shooting), With the help of friends (and about $4000) I have found loaders and enough components for 60-80 flats of sub gauge. Since I just turned 82 my son will probably have to sell whatever I don't use. Kind of silly but nice to not have to worry about where the next box is coming from, and I shoot 10-12 rounds each week..
It's available, just have to be willing to look and pay the cost.
 

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I decided to start reloading 20.28,and 410 for skeet (still have about 30 flats of 12's from trap shooting), With the help of friends (and about $4000) I have found loaders and enough components for 60-80 flats of sub gauge. Since I just turned 82 my son will probably have to sell whatever I don't use. Kind of silly but nice to not have to worry about where the next box is coming from, and I shoot 10-12 rounds each week..
It's available, just have to be willing to look and pay the cost.
Shoot more! Since your son isn't going to shoot it ,but sell what's left. Enjoy it. I had an acquaintance give me several pounds of powder, because his son and grandson had no interest. He kept the 12 gauge powders. SHOOT IT ALL UP !!
 

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The big upside I like for reloading your own shells is to be able to keep making the same load rather than be subject to variables of what commercial ammo is available. I like shooting 7/8 oz 9's in the 12ga for skeet and 7/8oz 8's for sporting clays on our course, then 1 oz 8's for trap... more control of your inventory. That being said, these shortage/hoarding cycles are a pain (mostly for primer access) in the butt, but usually eventually work their way through. Good luck!!!
 

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I began loading centerfire in 1982 and was immediately hooked on load development. It’s a hard science and has been something I’ve enjoyed since. When I got serious about trap, it just made sense to tool up and make it part of my love of the sport. I was fortunate enough to start before the components dried up and began the season with strong inventory. I eventually settled into three bucket loads and now that factory ammo is practically unobtainable, my work is paying off. I’m shooting every weekend, have some factory flats for when the lead/primers run out and should (by my math) make it into winter before It’s all gone.

I’m reloading so I can keep shooting.
 

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I will say it again, because others have already said it. The best part is having exactly the load you want at the speed you want, whenever you want it! Nevermind that it is fun and a hobby unto itself. You can save a lot of money with reloading, if you buy in large quantities. I am still shooting components I bought in 2005, I cant tell you how much I am saving today, or how much they have gone up since I bought them, because I cant remember what I paid for it way back then. LOL.
 
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It is sort of a toss up now. Reloading components ( if you can find them) are pricey but, then so a new shells ,which are hard to find as well. I reload because 1 oz. offerings are few and far between in factory shells these days. A few Wally worlds have a VERY LIMITED number of shells but, they are heavy target loads and some WalMarts won't sell you but 3 freakin boxes at at time. I am good for awhile on everything but POWDER . That I cannot find. Nobody knows when this will ease up and so far, ALL predictions of it getting better have proved to be wrong. The only thing for sure is that ,reload of buy new, it's going to cost a lot more. I think the days of 5 bucks a box target loads are GONE and I don't see them coming back.
 

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I have been a reloader since 1981 when I started shooting. I am happy shooting reloads and have not had bad reloads that hampered my shooting. For me if I have 2 different powders in stock, primers, 2 or 3 different wads and 3 or 4 different sizes of shot I can load any shell I want to shoot. I can load ammo that the factories don't offer. Having all this in stock right now and having enough to last is a blessing.
Now the downside, having to find this all now is near impossible and the cost is prohibitive. If you wanted to get into loading at todays costs I'm guessing you'd be looking a around 3 grand with a Mec Loader and a minimum of materials. If you did you would be set until you run out of components. Finding components a bit here and there is easier than finding flats of shells to purchase. There is no good answer that I can see. Feel lucky to be a reloader for the last 40 years and stocked up to last a while.
A little piece of history, when I started back into shooting in 2001 and shooting registered Cheddite primers were $54.99 per 5,000. Now days there was a guy at a local gun club who purchased 5,000 Chedite primers for $100.00 per thousand and was happy to get them. Winchester 209's used to run $135.00 per 5 thousand not that long ago and now people if lucky to find them are paying $60.00 per thousand. In 2001 Dupont 7625 was $129.00 per 12 pound keg, today Red Dot is $250.00 for 2-4# cans. I purchased 2 Mec 9,000 loaders for $125.00 each used and after a tune up they load great. I have no idea what a Mec 9,000 would be worth today but i'm guessing $700.00 new and you have no extra bushings or components to run through it.
For me if I was serious about shooting as I am I would set up to reload, God help you to find what you need for components but once you have what you need to load for a while it's all good. Paying for it all not so good in my opinion though. Good luck whatever you decide and may your pockets be deep.

PD
 

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I reloaded for years......Then I moved to where I couldn't really shoot and sold all of my equipment in 2016. I moved back home, started shooting again and seriously considered recreating my old set up. My problem is that components are so scarce right now and expensive. I decided to keep buying whatever I can get my hands on for the time being.
 

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I’ll offer my .02 as someone who decided to hop in to reloading in the last month. As others have said, components are scarce - and a lot more expensive in the current climate when you can find them. But, like many others here, I was after being able to load the recipes I will find that I like. I’ve been trying to find powders and primers here and there just to have them, and I’ve been slowly accumulating components as well as recipes - along with a lot of insight from folks on here and at my club.

That said, with everything being so scarce it’s forced me to slow down and do a life more reading, research, and question asking up front. Which I think offers a bit of a benefit

It’s entirely likely that reloading will never be as cost effective as it once was, or even to buying factory loads. But I am intrigued by and enjoy the technical aspects of it, and I anticipate it will be a stress reliever out in the garage late summer or early fall as I get going.

As others have said, pick up the Lyman manual as well as the various load data booklets from the powder companies.

Michael
 

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It all has to do with your perspective. I started reloading more than a half-century ago and back then it seemed like everyone who shot trap and skeet reloaded. It was a part of the sport and there didn't seem to be much to question.

Flash forward to the days when reloading components are more expensive relative to the cost of factory ammo. Also, until most recently, there was a surfeit of cheap, promotional ammunition available that made it questionable whether it was economical to reload.

Today, we are an unanticipated situation where both factory ammo and reloading components are scare and expensive. The reloader who was well stocked with components before this $hit happened has the advantage of being able to shoot more and more economically than any other shooters.

I would say the better bet is to be set up for reloading with a good supply of components so if this ever happens again, you can dust off the reloader and swing into action and keep shooting. With the kind of volatility we have been experiencing in the past several years, hedging your bets seems to be the wiser move, has no downside other than the investment in a reloader and components and is likely to pay off in the future, if the past is any guide.
 
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