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Shot shell reloading.


Hoss

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Loaded up about 400 12G this afternoon.  These ought to hold me for a few months! 

 

If I calculated correctly about 4.50/box, about 1/2 price of factory. Not a huge savings, but I can’t always find 7/8 oz loads, and I find STS hulls shuck better, so worth the time. 
 

I started marking my hulls a long time ago. I can get on average 8 or so loadings per hull. Got 12 out of this one! 

343D2FDE-3FCA-42EA-8086-6FE019CC5A71.jpeg

DAD2C7B2-8B0F-47AF-8154-5C85AFEE7519.jpeg

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I went to my local gun shop a month ago and asked if they could order me 2 cases of STS low recoil shells.  I paid them $8.50 per box last year.  They quoted me $11.00 per box.  I told them never mind.  I may have to start reloading shotgun shells again.  I have lots of STS and AA hulls.  

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Couple of comments.   It's usually the light load (7/8 ounce) that makes it worth while to load SASS shotshells.  Light loads are notoriously hard to find in factory ammo.  (No one but cowboys, youth and clays shooters seem to want them)   That, plus IF YOU KEEP A GOOD SUPPLY OF COMPONENTS on had, you don't worry about having to run around looking for loads.

 

I use Rem STS hulls for all my loads, too.  Shuck better from doubles, and they last longer.  Now that I have switched to IMR Red powder for my loads, I am getting an honest 15 loads per hull before the crimp gets ragged.    With Red Dot or Competition, I could only get 8 loads.    

 

Good luck, GJ

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1 hour ago, Hoss said:

I can get on average 8 or so loadings per hull. Got 12 out of this one! 

 

DAD2C7B2-8B0F-47AF-8154-5C85AFEE7519.jpeg

 

Why - you otter be strung up fer cruel 'n unusual punishment ! Thet poor hull looks frazzled !!!

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9 minutes ago, Yusta B. said:

 

Why - you otter be strung up fer cruel 'n unusual punishment ! Thet poor hull looks frazzled !!!

We can’t all be rich like you Yusta! Some of us have to reuse things until they fall apart!

 

(I draw the line at TP though, not reusing that :o)

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1 minute ago, Hoss said:

We can’t all be rich like you Yusta! Some of us have to reuse things until they fall apart!

 

(I draw the line at TP though, not reusing that :o)

 

I've done that with various body parts - don't recommend it ........  1f616.png

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37 minutes ago, Grizzly Dave said:

You must have a progressive SG press.  I load on a Lee Load All 2 and after about 2 boxes I'm done.  

Grizz, I started with a load all. Found a MEC Sizemaster for $100. Used it for a year or 2.  Big upgrade. But still a slow process. Then found a Pacific 336 (now Hornaday  336) at a estate sale. Bought it for $175, sold the MEC for $150. It’s a complicated machine, but once you figure it out you can turn out some good shotshells in a hurry!

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1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Now that I have switched to IMR Red powder for my loads, I am getting an honest 15 loads per hull before the crimp gets ragged.    With Red Dot or Competition, I could only get 8 loads.    

What about IMR Red makes a difference? I was going to switch to American Select so I could use it for pistols and shotgun.

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1 hour ago, Hoss said:

Grizz, I started with a load all. Found a MEC Sizemaster for $100. Used it for a year or 2.  Big upgrade. But still a slow process. Then found a Pacific 336 (now Hornaday  336) at a estate sale. Bought it for $175, sold the MEC for $150. It’s a complicated machine, but once you figure it out you can turn out some good shotshells in a hurry!

 

Watching the vids on the youtubes, the 336 or maybe a RCBS Grand looks really nice, but with just me shooting SG for cowboy, can't justify it.  I have gotten spoiled running everything else on a 650.  Can crank out a bunch in a hurry even going slow like I do.

 

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Watch estate sales, craigslist, pawn shops. You might be surprised at what you find. 

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3 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Couple of comments.   It's usually the light load (7/8 ounce) that makes it worth while to load SASS shotshells.  Light loads are notoriously hard to find in factory ammo.  (No one but cowboys, youth and clays shooters seem to want them)   That, plus IF YOU KEEP A GOOD SUPPLY OF COMPONENTS on had, you don't worry about having to run around looking for loads.

 

I use Rem STS hulls for all my loads, too.  Shuck better from doubles, and they last longer.  Now that I have switched to IMR Red powder for my loads, I am getting an honest 15 loads per hull before the crimp gets ragged.    With Red Dot or Competition, I could only get 8 loads.    

 

Good luck, GJ

How many gns of Red? Which wad? I've been using Extra Lite (#23 Bushing) with a Claybuster Gray wad and any Green Remington hull,  and like it, but I did pick up a large jug of Red just because it was there. 

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1 hour ago, Cholla said:

What about IMR Red makes a difference?

 

Don't have the complete recipe for what's in Red powder.  It was developed about 4 years ago, so it could be taking advantage of newest additives.   It sure burns clean in shotshells.  Loads to same weight as Red Dot in my experience - in shotshells. 

 

If that is REAL true also for pistol loads, you might just try starting with same weight you used with Red Dot.  But that is a guess.  Use your own readings of pressure and velocity and report to gauge whether it is suitable!

 

And, I never give out bushing numbers because that varies depending upon your type of loader and how you run it.

 

Good luck, GJ

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I recently gave away a 366 with a box of extras. It was a bit finicky for me. I used to use American Select with very good results. I'm using Clays now.

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I resurrected/rebuilt this ~40 year old, single stage, Ponsness Warren 375 Duomatic in 12 and 20 gauge I bought off ebay for $175.  Put another $100 in it for taper crimp dies.  It puts out a phenomenal shell that drops right in a shell checker everytime.  Win AA stay crimped, don't start opening up, months after loading. 

20201107_081817.jpg

20201107_081935.jpg

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When I load and or shoot Smokeless powder .

I use Unique powder .

Rifle,  Pistol,  Shotgun  .

It's not great at everything. 

But it will work for anything. 

So saith the Rooster 

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19 hours ago, Hoss said:

Grizz, I started with a load all. Found a MEC Sizemaster for $100. Used it for a year or 2.  Big upgrade. But still a slow process. Then found a Pacific 336 (now Hornaday  336) at a estate sale. Bought it for $175, sold the MEC for $150. It’s a complicated machine, but once you figure it out you can turn out some good shotshells in a hurry!

I bought one used, and can't seem to make it run right... Can't get a complete revolution of the machine without one station or another messing up a shell and then spill either powder or shot!!!  Usually shot!  It's still faster for me to load on my old decrepit MEC 600 Jr! 

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7 hours ago, Griff said:

I bought one used, and can't seem to make it run right... Can't get a complete revolution of the machine without one station or another messing up a shell and then spill either powder or shot!!!  Usually shot!  It's still faster for me to load on my old decrepit MEC 600 Jr! 

 

Griff -

 

Yes, a 366 can be tough to set up, especially when it's not set to factory settings before starting to tinker. 

 

I've set up 2 in the last year.  First one almost made me toss tools.  Second one, by following the manual instructions EXACTLY, and working gradually around from first station to the last, I got running fine in about 3 hours.

 

One thing to do right off the bat is slice an opening at the station for powder drop.  It's MUCH faster to set one up that has an opening there, because powder weight can be checked immediately, and a poor drop can be fixed.  And, you can take powder-ed shells off and stockpile a few, and then feed those shells back in to make settings on the wad seating, shot drop and crimp stations (which are the most sensitive stations to get adjusted right).  I've attached a picture of how I modify the shell retaining ring.

 

Good luck, GJ

366 shell removal slot.jpg

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I just dug out my MEC Grabber as all my WallyWorlds stopped carrying shells and I bought my trap STS/Nitro's there. I have a couple of years worth of cowboy shells, but only a couple of flats of trap shells. Anyhow, spent over an hour relearning how to use the critter. Getting it to drop 18.6 grains of Clays was especially annoying. Went from bushing #34 to 29 until I found the misplaced #31 which is the correct one. Also had difficulties with the brass powder bushing; finally discarded it. Finally quit without loading a single shell. Hopefully can get started tomorrow. Regret the day I "upgraded" to a progressive from the MEC 600 Jr. which was simple, slow, but not annoying.

 

I live in WV near the Kent shell factory. My local club buys directly from them. They were forced to shutdown for a while due to lack of lead shot. My guess is that shooting sports are in for a very rough future.  

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7 minutes ago, Church Key, SASS # 33713 said:

I just dug out my MEC Grabber as all my WallyWorlds stopped carrying shells and I bought my trap STS/Nitro's there. I have a couple of years worth of cowboy shells, but only a couple of flats of trap shells. Anyhow, spent over an hour relearning how to use the critter. Getting it to drop 18.6 grains of Clays was especially annoying. Went from bushing #34 to 29 until I found the misplaced #31 which is the correct one. Also had difficulties with the brass powder bushing; finally discarded it. Finally quit without loading a single shell. Hopefully can get started tomorrow. Regret the day I "upgraded" to a progressive from the MEC 600 Jr. which was simple, slow, but not annoying.

 

I live in WV near the Kent shell factory. My local club buys directly from them. They were forced to shutdown for a while due to lack of lead shot. My guess is that shooting sports are in for a very rough future.  

 

Rogers Sporting Goods. Buy 2 cases and shipping is free.

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5 hours ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

The US no longer produces anything lead, a very few exceptions. So lead for shot has to come from somewhere else....China?

 

The US no longer produces lead in smelters that treat ore dug from the ground.  (Primary smelters)

 

BUT  - The US is (I believe) the largest "producer" of recycled lead (AKA secondary lead).   Lead is easily recycled to be just as clean as ore-smelted lead (primary lead).   And we are a major importer of lead from the countries that do produce lead from ore - Peru, China, etc.

 

A more direct impact to shotgun sports, though, is that there are fewer SHOT manufacturing plants in the US than there used to be.   Waterfowl hunting can't use lead, so there went the demand for probably 25% of the total production of shot.   Clay target shooting is down.  Reloading is down due to cheap US and European (even Mexican) factory loads.  Ammunition manufacturing is going through another major consolidation (Vista Outdoors buying Remington ammo production plants, RotoMetals buying two long-time shot production companies).  All of these mean it's just hard to find good quality shot anymore, in any quantities, or at reasonable prices. 

 

Good luck, GJ

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When my hulls start going south I trim them down & Roll Crimp them.I get Short Shell wads from Ballistic Products & use bassicly the same loads.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Largo

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11 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

Griff -

 

Yes, a 366 can be tough to set up, especially when it's not set to factory settings before starting to tinker. 

 

I've set up 2 in the last year.  First one almost made me toss tools.  Second one, by following the manual instructions EXACTLY, and working gradually around from first station to the last, I got running fine in about 3 hours.

 

One thing to do right off the bat is slice an opening at the station for powder drop.  It's MUCH faster to set one up that has an opening there, because powder weight can be checked immediately, and a poor drop can be fixed.  And, you can take powder-ed shells off and stockpile a few, and then feed those shells back in to make settings on the wad seating, shot drop and crimp stations (which are the most sensitive stations to get adjusted right).  I've attached a picture of how I modify the shell retaining ring.

 

Good luck, GJ

366 shell removal slot.jpg

I definitely see the advantage to that mod.   I've got all the stations adjusted, (wad "flipper"(?) was the most fiddly). but after about 4-5 hulls,  shot starts dribbling out.

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Shot dribbles out - you mean out of the crimp?   Or down from the shot drop tube?  That's a rather vague problem description.

 

I'll assume it's shot coming out of the loaded crimped shell.

 

Either crimp dies are set a little "high" on the shell, leaving a hole in the middle of the crimp for shot to get out.  A hole can also mean component stack doesn't quite fill the shell.

 

Or the crimp is opening after being formed, usually caused by the crimp plunger not being set low enough, or you have too much of a component stack that won't quite fit, and the crimp suffers from the internal pressure of that stack of components expanding slightly after crimping.

 

A good rule of thumb for how high the components should all sit before you apply the crimp starter or the crimp station, is the top of the shot should be 3/8" below the mouth of the hull.  That leaves enough hull wall plastic to let the crimp die push the petals down to meet exactly in middle of the 12 gauge shell.   Without either a hole or a swirl in the crimp.   Although a swirl is better than a hole (which I seal with a little candle wax melted into hole).  

 

If your new load data does not give you shot that measures up close to the rule of thumb, you will not have very good crimps and even poorly performing loads (like, squibby or leaky or crimp openers).

 

And Rem hulls are currently known to vary in length enough to, even when loader is adjusted for the average shell, any loader can leave a few holes and a few swirls in the same batch!

 

Good luck, GJ

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You're right, t'was a bit vague.  Out of  the shot drop tube.   I can't tell if there's supposed to be a seal both top and bottom of the bar.  

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1 hour ago, Griff said:

You're right, t'was a bit vague.  Out of  the shot drop tube.   I can't tell if there's supposed to be a seal both top and bottom of the bar.  

 

Rubber washer on the top of the bar (actually a recess in bottom surface of the slide housing) only.  Hornady has fresh parts, of course.

 

You've probably got a hole chewed in the washer and a few pieces are sticking there until the machine is bumped hard enough to dislodge them.  If that's not it, then see if the slide bar is making a FULL travel to the front after you complete the cycle. If not, bushing/slide may not be completely closing off the shot hopper.

 

Be real careful and follow the instructions closely when putting the powder/shot measure assembly back together.  It usually only takes me three tries and an assistant monkey to get the shutoff slides exactly right.

https://www.helmuthofmann.de/pdf/anleitung_hornady_eng/366_loader.pdf

 

Good luck, GJ

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23 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

Griff -

 

Yes, a 366 can be tough to set up, especially when it's not set to factory settings before starting to tinker. 

 

I've set up 2 in the last year.  First one almost made me toss tools.  Second one, by following the manual instructions EXACTLY, and working gradually around from first station to the last, I got running fine in about 3 hours.

 

One thing to do right off the bat is slice an opening at the station for powder drop.  It's MUCH faster to set one up that has an opening there, because powder weight can be checked immediately, and a poor drop can be fixed.  And, you can take powder-ed shells off and stockpile a few, and then feed those shells back in to make settings on the wad seating, shot drop and crimp stations (which are the most sensitive stations to get adjusted right).  I've attached a picture of how I modify the shell retaining ring.

 

Good luck, GJ

366 shell removal slot.jpg

I’m goi g to have to look into this mod. I would like to be able to check the powder drop occasionally. 
 

the 366 is a complicated machine. But if I can figure it out anybody can!

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Quote

think I'll just stick with my Sizemasters.

Quote

might have kept my 366 - was a great machine when it was working

 

That 366 in the pic - came from a fellow Cowboy shooter who grew weary of trying to make it run. 

I have loaded on Bair Honey Bair, Mec 600 Jr, RCBS MiniGrand, and Mec Grabber.   All of them are trashed or sold or stored since I started using the 366s.  If one has the patience, it will be rewarded with a 366.

 

But if you can learn to run one without losing at least 20 shot drops, you are a faster learner than I.

 

Good luck, GJ

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I'm sticking with my Grabber!! Although it occasionally like to spill powder or shot all over the bench! Especially if I forget to lock the bar back before installing the bottles. I can usually make 3-4 hundred before a faux-paw! Then spend a while cleaning up the mess. I'm always praying the necks don't break off the bottles when tipping them upright. :D

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