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Bottom Dealin Mike, SASS #22273

Videos - Reloading shotshells without a press

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I've put together a three part video series on reloading shotshells without using a reloading press.

 

The first video shows what I call the "Nail & Dowel Method" which uses simple items that are probably already in your home to reload shells. This is a seminar I teach at the SASS convention:

 

 

The second video covers loading shells using a Lee Loader kit:

 

 

 

The final video shows how to load shotshells using antique reloading tools

 

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Nice videos Mike:

 

Original reloading kits came with a wooden dowel with a nice end for your hand.

I have a new (parts still in oiled paper 10 gauge kit)

The metal push-rod with the black knob came from a Lyman/Ideal hand loader.

I have one of those too!

I use my lyman push-rod with the earlier loading tube just like you do.

 

I purchased most of my loader parts off Ebay.

You can still find them on there.

 

I also found an early hull trimmer.

Early 20th century I think.

I use it to trim all my hulls to length before I load them.

From the looks of yer video, you did too.

 

Anyway, it is time-consuming, but fun.

And almost a must if you shoot 19th century guns with their shorter (2 5/8") chambers.

 

Thanks for posting them.

--Dawg

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I've put together a three part video series on reloading shotshells without using a reloading press.

 

The first video shows what I call the "Nail & Dowel Method" which uses simple items that are probably already in your home to reload shells. This is a seminar I teach at the SASS convention:

 

 

The second video covers loading shells using a Lee Loader kit:

 

 

 

The final video shows how to load shotshells using antique reloading tools

 

 

Great videos Mike. Thanks for making and posting them. These under a stickey would answer a lot of first time SASS shooter's questions.

 

Fingers (Who loads his shells that way too, sometimes) McGee

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Great videos, thanks for making and sharing them!

 

Grizz

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Thanks guys, I'm glad you liked them.

 

Prairie Dog, I've seen and passed up on lots of the nice wooden push rods because I like the steel one so much, but those old tools are certainly cool. You're right that it takes more time, but it is very satisfying.

 

Nice to see kindred spirits.

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Great videos, Mike! I've got one of those Lee Loaders somebody gave me a long time ago, but it didn't have the directions with it so I really didn't know how it all worked. Then I acquired a MEC, so the Lee Loader ended up in the "out of sight, out of mind" category. Now I may have to dig it out and play with it again. Thanks for the reminder!

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Mike how old is your lee set up ? Mine was made in '61 and is a little different then your, my rammer and cap are one solid piece I also have a rim on body to set the shell on to decap it. I am curious about the differences

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Hi Shoer,

 

I don't know how old that Lee Loader is. I bought it in the late '90's in exactly the shape you see. I also have one in 20 ga., but it is set up exactly the same way as the 12 ga in the video...don't know when they changed the design.

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Great videos again Mike!!!

I use the same adj scoop as yours and the roll crimper.

Even have one in 14 ga, but haven't found much use for it!!

Made my own cut-off tool, very high tech 1" SGH 40 gray PVC works perfect.

Plastic slides inside but the brass wont.

I don't roll crimp anymore.

I cut mine a little longer, 2 1/2 inches oal.

Star crimp and crimp, locks in the over shot wad and puts a bullet nose on the case.

Feeds in my 87 and 2 5/8 old doubles easier.

The same case with primer and plastic wad put in upside down makes a nice cheep practice round, feeds good in a 87,97,and double...because of the bullet nosed case.

 

Keep the videos coming...always good stuff!!!!

 

BH :D

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Bad Hombre,

 

That sounds like a good set up.

 

It is really good to know that there are other crazy guys like me out there doing things the old-timey way with a good dose of innovation thrown in.

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Hi Shoer,

 

I don't know how old that Lee Loader is. I bought it in the late '90's in exactly the shape you see. I also have one in 20 ga., but it is set up exactly the same way as the 12 ga in the video...don't know when they changed the design.

I forgot to mention great videos, something else I noticed is my shoot scoop is adjustable, I think I might have to find and buy me one for each 410 and 20 gauge just to have.

 

Before my Son The Kotati Kid started shooting BP with me I use to roll crimp my BP shells and star crimp his smokeless so not to mix them up.

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I just showed my wife Country Rose your videos and she loved em the only problem is I just bought a mec and now she says I should have saved the money. She says I should have found this sooner and we could do this as a family.

Country Wildman

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Question for you....

 

So you buy the powder card, spacer wad and shot card or do you make them yourself?

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Question for you....

 

So you buy the powder card, spacer wad and shot card or do you make them yourself?

Buy

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I load all my CAS BP shotshells in a very similar way as what Mike does, except I made a sort of press out

of a piece of 1x3 about 20 inches long with a "U" shaped piece of strap steel at one end, screwed to the 1x3

with the "open" end up.

 

There is a chunk of hockey stick about the same length as the 1x3 centered and pivoted at the end in the open end of

the "U" that acts as a handle and is used to press on a depriming punch to pushout spent primers,

(thru a washer & hole in the 1x3 like Mike showed).

 

There is a flat metal disk on the 1x3 next to the depriming hole

that is used to seat new primers with a rod that has a hole bored in the end of it and goes inside the shell and pushes the primer in against the flat disk when you press down on the hockey stick handle. This seats the new primer

flush with the case head.

 

The hockey stick handle is also used to seat the powder and cushion wads uniformly

up to a mark on a dowel that goes into the shell after the powder is dippered in and the wads started

in to the shell mouth.

 

I cut the crimp folds off of "range pickup" fired shotshells with a special cutter that has a crosswise dowel

the shell goes on over, and a cutter pivoted on it with a piece of sharpened hacksaw blade let into

it. When you turn the shell on the dowel and hold the cutter down on it, you get a nice square cut. The dowel

"inside length gauge" seats on the base wad inside the shell so you get a consistent volume inside the trimmed shells regardless of the make of the shell.

 

After the wads are seated tight on the powder, I put in a paper shot cup that has been rolled on a

dowel with the end folded over and pour in the shot from the same adjustable powder/shot dipper used for the powder.

The paper shot cup retards the melting of the shot by the powder gases that escape from the shortened shells around the card wads in the modern 12 gauge guns with the 3 inch chambers and long forcing cones. I got tired of getting leading about six to eight inches ahead of the chambers in my TTN hammer double due to this. The paper cups seem

to help keep this from happening so much.

 

After the shot is in, a top card is seated with a tight fitting dowel in the end of the shell, and then

they are roll-crimped with an old time crank tool same as Mike uses.

 

I've got a Mec shotshell reloader, but I haven't used it in years, preferring to load my BP shells in this

oldtime traditional way. With the home made tools, I can load a box of shells (25) in 45 minutes or so

and that is plenty good enough for my amount of shooting.

 

If anyone wants photos of these tools, I can send 'em via PM..Haven't figured out how

to add photos to posts here.

 

Bp

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I load all my CAS BP shotshells in a very similar way as what Mike does, except I made a sort of press out

of a piece of 1x3 about 20 inches long with a "U" shaped piece of strap steel at one end, screwed to the 1x3

with the "open" end up.

 

There is a chunk of hockey stick about the same length as the 1x3 centered and pivoted at the end in the open end of

the "U" that acts as a handle and is used to press on a depriming punch to pushout spent primers,

(thru a washer & hole in the 1x3 like Mike showed).

 

There is a flat metal disk on the 1x3 next to the depriming hole

that is used to seat new primers with a rod that has a hole bored in the end of it and goes inside the shell and pushes the primer in against the flat disk when you press down on the hockey stick handle. This seats the new primer

flush with the case head.

 

The hockey stick handle is also used to seat the powder and cushion wads uniformly

up to a mark on a dowel that goes into the shell after the powder is dippered in and the wads started

in to the shell mouth.

 

I cut the crimp folds off of "range pickup" fired shotshells with a special cutter that has a crosswise dowel

the shell goes on over, and a cutter pivoted on it with a piece of sharpened hacksaw blade let into

it. When you turn the shell on the dowel and hold the cutter down on it, you get a nice square cut. The dowel

"inside length gauge" seats on the base wad inside the shell so you get a consistent volume inside the trimmed shells regardless of the make of the shell.

 

After the wads are seated tight on the powder, I put in a paper shot cup that has been rolled on a

dowel with the end folded over and pour in the shot from the same adjustable powder/shot dipper used for the powder.

The paper shot cup retards the melting of the shot by the powder gases that escape from the shortened shells around the card wads in the modern 12 gauge guns with the 3 inch chambers and long forcing cones. I got tired of getting leading about six to eight inches ahead of the chambers in my TTN hammer double due to this. The paper cups seem

to help keep this from happening so much.

 

After the shot is in, a top card is seated with a tight fitting dowel in the end of the shell, and then

they are roll-crimped with an old time crank tool same as Mike uses.

 

I've got a Mec shotshell reloader, but I haven't used it in years, preferring to load my BP shells in this

oldtime traditional way. With the home made tools, I can load a box of shells (25) in 45 minutes or so

and that is plenty good enough for my amount of shooting.

 

If anyone wants photos of these tools, I can send 'em via PM..Haven't figured out how

to add photos to posts here.

 

Bp

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Howdy BDM,

 

Although I load all shotshells regardless of powder on my MEC 650, I sure did enjoy the videos. A shooter could load a box without to great an effort using any of the methods you explained. I usually load 300 to 500 shotshells during a reloading session. If I was only shooting once a month one of these simple & inexpensive methods would be the way to go.

 

Thanks, Keystone

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BDM

 

You have the patience of a Saint!!!

 

My hat is off to you.

(not a Saint) Waimea

 

:FlagAm:

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It doesn't require that much patience. I only shoot one or two matches a month. During the long cold winter months I can load enough shells in a few sessions to get me through the season.

 

Usually I'll deprime and trim shells as I get a chance, and put them aside. When I have a good sized batch I'll prime them. Then, when I'm ready to load it goes pretty fast. I'll usually do between 100 and 200 during an afternoon session.

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Mike, thanks so much for the videos. I was actually reading an article of yours (in Guns of the Old West) about shot shell reloading and was hoping you'd make a video about it. Anxious to try my hand at it. Shot my very first CAS match ever last weekend, and one of my new friends on my posse was shooting Frontier Cartridge. Loved the smoke and fire.

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Waimea:

While it does take some time, I consider it therapeutic.

I put on some music & get into a rhythm.

We shoot less than 2 boxes at a match & it makes for a better evening than watching TV.

& like Mike said..........a good Winter activity.

Awful cool to pull out a 2 1/2 inch roll crimped round with the load written on the overshot card too -- love them style points!

It's like reloading on a non-progressive reloading machine.

It's the experience that counts, not the rounds per minute!

 

Too Much Fun!

--Dawg

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I just unpacked an old lyman setup I got over on Cast Bullets and Got a box of Federal Paper Hulls in from Fairshake, Just need to get some #209 Primers and find a load that fills the hulls and I'll be good to go. Thanks for posting the video.

 

Sam :D

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Back in the 19990s I loaded Federal paper hulls for a few years...wicked cool on style points.

 

But in the humid North east, I found the paper hulls would stick in my chambers, so I switched to non-historic plastic hulls.

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Very interesting and quite innovative. Shows what can be done when the necessity comes around.

 

However, the method is about as effective as entering a Model T in the Datona 500. While it may be a novel thing for some to do, my time is worth far more doing things constructive and truly necessary. If I want to kill time, I can better do that sitting down comfortably and reading s worthwhile book or instructive manual.

 

There was a time, 50 or 60 years ago when we did shotshell reloading much as is detailed in the above topic. It however was a necessity back then, and we never would have gone thru all that agony if we had, or could have afforded, even a primitive reloading press.

 

Anyway, the topic brings back memories from many years ago.

 

RBK

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Does the Elmer's glue cause any fouling in the barrels? I would imagine not, or you wouldn't use it. And, do the shells, not being resized, fall out of a SxS as easily as resized shells?

 

Thanks for the trip back in time.

 

Rufus

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I have done it before, matter of fact prior to moving my Dillon into my Toy Hauler last summer that is how I reloaded most of my shells for Frontiersmen and Plainsman. I would switch between doing it that way and reloading brass shells using a Rock Chucker and RCBS 12 Ga. Cowboy Dies. Wish The videos would have been out back then.

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Does the Elmer's glue cause any fouling in the barrels? I would imagine not, or you wouldn't use it. And, do the shells, not being resized, fall out of a SxS as easily as resized shells?

 

Thanks for the trip back in time.

 

Rufus

I've shot a lot of Elmers glue through my old doubles...never noticed glue residue.

Plastic wad crud (when I use them)...yep!!! But a little Simple Green and hot water, it falls right out!!

You can get single stage and hand-held sizing dies..I use one from an old Mec 250.

Drive the shell in with a mallet...Drive it out with a rod.

If your using them in the same SxS every time, you may get away with not resizing.

As long as both chambers are close in size...better plastic shells "spring back",that's why they fall out...they never get bigger than the chamber their fired in!!

 

BH

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Thanks BDM! I really enjoyed that “reloading shotshells without a press” video. Nicely done. I’ve been looking for a way to deprime and reload some old brass shotshells that I have and that’ll work just fine.

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Glad to be of service Jed.

 

With these videos and the magazine articles, it is hard to know sometimes if the stuff you produce is helping anyone or not. So, I'm glad to hear when a video or an article is interesting and useful.

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I hope you're happy now. Because of your videos I just made somebody a little richer. My roll crimper should be here by the end of the week... :D :D :D

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