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Old Ranger

Shotgun Reloading Info

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Interested in getting started in reloading, I’m shooting Win AA, 12 gauge, 2 3/4” , low noise , low recoil ,# 8 shot, . For now I’m looking at a Lee press. My question is what powder, primers, wads, and  shot should I look into purchasing along with press, and what else would I need to get started ? Any help would be appreciated.

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29 minutes ago, Old Ranger said:

Interested in getting started in reloading, I’m shooting Win AA, 12 gauge, 2 3/4” , low noise , low recoil ,# 8 shot, . For now I’m looking at a Lee press. My question is what powder, primers, wads, and  shot should I look into purchasing along with press, and what else would I need to get started ? Any help would be appreciated.

I use Winchester primers, Clays powder, STS hulls and a grey 7/8ths oz Claybuster Wad with 7.5 shot.  I load 15 grains of Clays to get something very close to Win AA low noise, low recoil.  That setup will work fine with #8 shot too.  I've gone lower on the powder, but you'll begin to get unburnt powder fouling things up if you go too low.

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12 gr of Clays, 7/8 oz #7 1/2 shot, Claybusters grey wads , Federal shotgun primers. Others will chime in with their favorite loads, but this is a bit lighter than what you're shooting now.

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Hi Ranger,

 

     I make what I call the Prairie Dawg Lite Load  12 gauge shotgun round.  I make them on a hassle-free MEC Sizemaster.

 

     Clays powder:   13.9 grains -- MEC bushing #25.   MEC 302  78  Charge bar.

 

     AA or Remington STS or Gun Club hull.

 

     Winchester or Federal 209 primer. 

 

    Clay Buster Gray Wad.   #WAA12L

 

     7/8 oz.  of #8 shot.   (MEC 302  78 Charge bar.)

 

     This makes a nice low recoil load that will bust trap machine thrown birds and take down bunnies at 19 yards.  

 

     I got this load from Prairie Dawg many moons ago and I haven't used anything else in years.  I hope this helps.

 

     Mo

 

     

 

 

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Hodgdon Reduced Recoil Shotgun Shells

 

Alliant Extra-Lite Powder

 

I prefer Remington STS for Nitro hulls with powder, wads and primers as specified by the powder manufacturer.   Remington Gun Clubs are my second choice.  You can also reload your spent AA hulls.  Claybuster wads work fine.  I prefer small shot like 8's or 8 1/2's as some of the SG targets I encounter are in poor repair and I get hit in my face with my own shot.  Lee presses work for many CAS shooters as do MEC Jr's.

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9.2 oz. Of  Alliant extra-lite -

Federal primers 209-

Clay buster lightning wads -

1-1/6 oz. #8-

Feels similar to featherlites- and it's super clean -

Used this load to win world speed 97 at EOT and others. 

Side note I use 1.8 -1.9 in my pistols with 105's its extra clean. Why spend more on other powders when this one does it all .

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I have loaded some shells using the chart that came with my Lee Load-All-2.  Using #8 shot in the 1oz bushing and Clays powder in the .155 bushing gives me something that is pretty close to the Winchester Xtra-Lite Target loads.   It's not quite as nice as the Low Noise Low Recoil rounds, but I have yet to find any published load data that approximates the LNLR rounds. 

 

The only published reloading data I have found that duplicates the LNLR uses WAALite powder and I dont think that powder is commercially available any more.  I've had quite a few folks that I shoot with offer recipes for shells "softer than the featherlites" but I am not ready to start experimenting with my loads yet.  

 

Lee product data say that the bushings are calibrated using #6 shot and that smaller shot will meter "slightly" heavier so I am guessing that the 1oz bushing drops a teeny-weeny but more than an ounce.  I would guess that using the 7/8 (0.87 oz) bushing with #8 shot would be pretty darned close to the 26 grams (0.91 oz) that Winchester uses in the Featherlites - sooner or later, I'll find a safe powder load to match it with. 

 

 

 

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I forgot to mention I use a Dillon SL900.  No need for bushings as the charge bar is adjustable.  The same for the shot bar.  It will load about 400 rounds an hour if you have the hull feeder and do your job right.

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Go with a MEC 600jr press.;)

12ga-Use 17.0-17.5 gn of Unique and 3/4-1oz of shot.

This load has less recoil Than what the WW loads do that the OP listed.

OLG

Edited by The Original Lumpy Gritz
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1 hour ago, Hells Comin said:

9.2 oz. Of  Alliant extra-lite -

Federal primers 209-

Clay buster lightning wads -

1-1/6 oz. #8-

Feels similar to featherlites- and it's super clean -

Used this load to win world speed 97 at EOT and others. 

Side note I use 1.8 -1.9 in my pistols with 105's its extra clean. Why spend more on other powders when this one does it all .

Do you mean 9.2gn for shotshells and 1.8-1.9gn for pistols? I might take a look at this powder too. I'm about out of Titegroup, and this stuff is cheap.

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13.4 grns. Of clay dot(sorry,forget the Lee bushing number)

Gray Claybuster wad

AA gray or red hull 

Nearly any 209 primer

7/8 oz. Of # 7 1/2 shot

This is one of the easiest to load,most forgiving 12 ga. loads I've  ever used.Loaded thousands of them on a Lee load All  II.Very low recoil and handles knock downs easily.

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You will see me encourage folks to experiment with blackpowder powder charges in shotshells, but not with smokeless powders.  Stay within manufacturer’s published minimum and maximum powder charges that you find in reloading books.  Smokeless powders need a certain amount of pressure to burn reliably.  Going below minimum published powder charges for any brand of powder invites problems.  I’m not criticizing anyone for sharing a pet load.  Just trying to give a new reloader a guide to staying safe.

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As note by others Clays makes a nice load. Mine is 15gr Clays, Gray wad, 7/8oz shot. Good Luck:)

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Does anyone have any experience with Federal 209A primers.  I got a deal on them and want to know if I need to adjust my powder drop to account for the fact that they are reportedly hotter than Winchesters.

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Thank you all for your helpful tips and information. I think I have a better understanding of the what I need to get started. All that’s left to do is start spending some more money.

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If you go with the Lee Load-All, one key thing to remember is the crimp starter isn't self-indexing. Look up inside the tube to see how its positioned and make a mark on the base so you know how to position the hull or you'll end up with some really crappy crimps. The new two piece AA hulls are easy to crush at the seam, so go easy on the crimp til you know just how much it will take. Skip on the auto primer feed - it's quicker to put 'em in one at a time.

 

We have a shooter who used 9 grains of Red Dot and 7/8 oz of shot for many years (WAY too light), and this year he went to 10 grains. I use 12 grains of Red Dot, any 209 primer, Claybuster Windjammer or Lightning wad, and 7/8 - 1 oz shot.

 

If the shot column isn't tall enough, I use a piece of foam packing peanut on top so the crimp doesn't fold down inside and let the shot leak out when you turn it over. ;)

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If you need 7.5 shot, please let me know. I sell 65 pounds for $120 directly to your door. New, #7.5, tumbled and graphited.

Fox

Edited by SHOOTIN FOX
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On 7/22/2019 at 11:16 AM, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Go with a MEC 600jr press.;)

12ga-Use 17.0-17.5 gn of Unique and 3/4-1oz of shot.

This load has less recoil Than what the WW loads do that the OP listed.

OLG


I'm shooting 75 rounds of trap every week now.
This will go up higher when we both start shooing CAS matches.

Now that Walmart has dried up,  shotshell price is about $0.32 each here in CA.
Availability is sketchy, and will no doubt get worse.

I ponied up for all Redding equipment for cartridge reloads.

Q: is the MEC 600jr you mention in a similar class?
I want to buy once, buy right.
 

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11 minutes ago, bgavin said:

Q: is the MEC 600jr you mention in a similar class?
I want to buy once, buy right.

 

Depends on how much time you have. I can very comfortably do about 4 to 5 boxes an hour on mine.  The 600 Jr. is questionably the most popular reloader on the market. If you're retired, it should be able to do what you want.

 

Edit: By 75 rounds do you mean 3 boxes?

Edited by Yusta B.
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On 7/22/2019 at 2:16 PM, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Go with a MEC 600jr press.;)

12ga-Use 17.0-17.5 gn of Unique and 3/4-1oz of shot.

This load has less recoil Than what the WW loads do that the OP listed.

OLG

 

I agree with OLG on the MEC 600jr. It's just plain reliable. I had a MEC 650 Sizemaster and 600jr in 12 ga. I converted the 600 to 20 ga a couple of years back to load for the misses. The 650 did fine but as with most progressives you have to keep an eye on it because if you have one misstep everything gets messed up. A month ago I bought another 600jr in 12 ga on ebay for $100 with shipping. Just going to sit back and take my good ol' time.

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Yes, 3 boxes of 25 every Monday.

I run a single-stage Redding because I'm simple minded, slow, methodical and retired.
That $100 eBay sounds like a deal... the price makes me suspect something was broken...
Usually if it sounds too good to be true, that is indeed the case.

Reliable is my #1 criteria.

Q: what is recommended for dies, wads and bushings?

Edited by bgavin
added question

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:31 AM, Old Ranger said:

Interested in getting started in reloading, I’m shooting Win AA, 12 gauge, 2 3/4” , low noise , low recoil ,# 8 shot, . For now I’m looking at a Lee press. My question is what powder, primers, wads, and  shot should I look into purchasing along with press, and what else would I need to get started ? Any help would be appreciated.

would look at a MEC 600jr,look on ebay,great prices

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I got a used MEC Jr from a friend who refurbishes them and sells them at gun shows.  It only cost $60.  Spare parts are available.  

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The MEC Jr. is a great press. I went with a MEC Sizemaster, because it has a resizer at the decap station that does a great job resizing the bases; a little more expensive.

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13 minutes ago, bgavin said:

Yes, 3 boxes of 25 every Monday.

I run a single-stage Redding because I'm simple minded, slow, methodical and retired.
That $100 eBay sounds like a deal... the price makes me suspect something was broken...
Usually if it sounds too good to be true, that is indeed the case.

Reliable is my #1 criteria.

Q: what is recommended for dies, wads and bushings?

 

Keep watch on Ebay - I found a used, practically new 600 Jr for $75 +shipping. Go to estate sales, garage sales, etc.

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18 minutes ago, bgavin said:

Yes, 3 boxes of 25 every Monday.

I run a single-stage Redding because I'm simple minded, slow, methodical and retired.
That $100 eBay sounds like a deal... the price makes me suspect something was broken...
Usually if it sounds too good to be true, that is indeed the case.

Reliable is my #1 criteria.

Q: what is recommended for dies, wads and bushings?

 

If you get a MEC press, get one of these to go with it:

 

https://www.ballisticproducts.com/Universal-Charge-Bar-C-single-stage-w_Powder-Baffle/productinfo/2100001/

 

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On 7/23/2019 at 12:21 PM, Captain Bill Burt said:

Does anyone have any experience with Federal 209A primers.  I got a deal on them and want to know if I need to adjust my powder drop to account for the fact that they are reportedly hotter than Winchesters.

 

I've used Fed and Win SG primers and don't know that I noticed a difference, then again I didn't do a side by side comparison either.

Edited by Grizzly Dave

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On 7/22/2019 at 10:11 AM, Slow Mo Dern said:

Hi Ranger,

 

     I make what I call the Prairie Dawg Lite Load  12 gauge shotgun round.  I make them on a hassle-free MEC Sizemaster.

 

     Clays powder:   13.9 grains -- MEC bushing #25.   MEC 302  78  Charge bar.

 

     AA or Remington STS or Gun Club hull.

 

     Winchester or Federal 209 primer. 

 

    Clay Buster Gray Wad.   #WAA12L

 

     7/8 oz.  of #8 shot.   (MEC 302  78 Charge bar.)

 

     This makes a nice low recoil load that will bust trap machine thrown birds and take down bunnies at 19 yards.  

 

     I got this load from Prairie Dawg many moons ago and I haven't used anything else in years.  I hope this helps.

 

     Mo    

 

 

That's my load too ... (do it on a Sizemaster as well) ... except 7/8oz shot is too stout for me!!

I use the Claybuster "PINK" wad CB0175-12 w/ 3/4oz shot ...  ^_^

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14 minutes ago, Grizzly Dave said:

 

I've used Fed and Win SG primers and don't know that I noticed a difference, then again I didn't do a side by side comparison either.

Thanks!

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I use 14 grn. of Clays or Clay-Dot in an STS hull with grey Claybuster wad and 7/8 oz. of #8 shot. The new AA hulls suck!

Using either a MEC 600jr. or lately my Mec grabber. I always seem to spill some powder & shot with the grabber, but I like the last station that forms the crimped end to a little bit of a rounder end if you will than the 600.

When chronoed out of my Stoeger coach gun I'm getting 960-1000 FPS, right about the same as AA feather lights. Can't go wrong with a 600 jr. and you can usually find them inexpensively to boot. It does a much better job than the Lee Load-All in my opinion.

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2 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

THIS ^^^^^ is the best thing you will ever buy for a MEC shotshell loader.

 

I have a MEX 600jr and an old 76 Series Grabber. Both have the adjustable charge bar.

 

Best peice of additional advice I can give is to not reload AA hulls. Reload Remington Gun Clubs or Remington STS hulls.

 

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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2 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

THIS ^^^^^ is the best thing you will ever buy for a MEC shotshell loader.

 

I have a MEX 600jr and an old 76 Series Sizemaster. Both have the adjustable charge bar.

 

Best peice of additional advice I can give is to not reload AA hulls. Reload Remington Gun Clubs or Remington STS hulls.

 

 

Why the unconditional condemnation of AA hulls? I get that some are not happy with the new ones. My collection of old models are working well for me. The man says , "shoot'em until they fall apart". I am more judicious than that, but some ugly ones still work fine.

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43 minutes ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

Why the unconditional condemnation of AA hulls? I get that some are not happy with the new ones. My collection of old models are working well for me. The man says , "shoot'em until they fall apart". I am more judicious than that, but some ugly ones still work fine.

 

With a few exceptions old style AA hulls are non-existant.

 

Given the poor quality control that Winchester has had over the last few years I have found that reloading the new style AA hulls to be an exercise in flustration. I reloaded thousands of the old style hulls way back when I was shooting skeet with no issues. I finally gave up reloading the new style hulls because so many had buldged walls, out of spec bases, and damaged base wads. For non CAS uses those flaws might be acceptable but for CAS they are not. Seemed I was spending more time more time inspecting hulls than I was loading them so I quit reloading them all together.

 

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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18 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

Why the unconditional condemnation of AA hulls? I get that some are not happy with the new ones. My collection of old models are working well for me. The man says , "shoot'em until they fall apart". I am more judicious than that, but some ugly ones still work fine.


Here is a short tutorial I found that explains various hull types.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX4SqH6I5PE

 

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