I quit loading steel because of the wear & tear on my MEC sizing collet and my aching right "loading" arm. The brass base and reloadability of Remington STS hulls carry the day. Other shooters seem to have no problem, but the steel base does not like to resize very well and tends to spring back. Regards, Ed
thank you guys for the replys---the biggest reason im considering the steel , is at the practice range I shoot at , shooters are throwing them away , and its no problem getting them for free.very few brass , almost none are thrown out . . does this mean that steel is not good for reloading , or is it because your buying factory shells with no need for the hulls..? ,, Dean
Brass is certainly easier to resize than the steel hulls. But, that being said, I reload Gun Clubs with no problem and they perform quite well. By using Gun Clubs for 1 oz loads and STS/Nitros for 1 1/8 oz I can tell at a glance what a loose round in the bottom of the bags is.
I think you will find that there is a very good reason that the steel based hulls are being "thrown away" at your range and why it is hard to find brass based hulls. Steel base hulls often do not resize well, and place a great deal more strain and wear on your reloader. Many experienced reloaders simply do not consider these cheap hulls to be worth the trouble to reload, even if they are cheap (read free). The long term cost may be greater than simply buying good once fired hulls in the first place. They also do not have a integral base wad, and this can be problematical as a loose base wad can cause serious problems in your gun. Not likely of course, but it has happened and a few gun blow ups I have noted on this forum might be attributable to a base wad coming loose and sticking in the bbl throat. Check some the "blow up" threads for this discussion. I personally will never reload a hull with separate base wad. Many will disagree of course, citing years of use with no problem. But speaking for myself only, I simply will not take that chance.
I reload everything for trap on an old Grabber I picked up around 1980. It sizes the base with a collet die and gives no trouble whether the base is brass or steel. I try to stay away from steel bases when I'm making up a few huntin' shells or slug on an old MEC 600 jr. The steel shell bases stick in the sizing die.
Does the sizemaster use a round die in the decapping station or a collet down in the base of the press for sizing? If it is a collet, I'd not worry too much about it. If it is a sizing ring on the decap station, I'd stay away from steel bases.
No problem sizing steel heads on a newer sizemaster. I have loaded countless steel headed hulls on my 9000s, grabbers, and others. The collet sizer is the way to go, but the ring type could work in a pinch. I usually size the hulls on a separate collet style mec sizing tool before loading in non-collet presses. Mec provides the "size to" specs and I usually try to get just a little smaller than .810" for the 12ga. I've never broken a collet, knock wood, but I clean and lubricate my presses often. I don't notice much difference in effort between steel and brass either. I ALWAYS size my hulls. Some people prefer not to, but I've never had trouble chambering a shell because of an oversized case head. It's just one thing less to worry about.
I use a Mec Supersizer and it actually takes less effort to resize steel base shells than brass. I have loaded a truck load of steel based shells, Gun club, Top gun, Kemen, Dianna, Winchester. You name it I have reloaded it. If I have had a problem I sure haven't seen it.......................Roger