Author Topic: New to reloading  (Read 403 times)

Offline centerpinjosh

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New to reloading
« on: Feb 12, 2019, 11:16:15 PM »
I just picked up a 20 ga press and was given a 12 ga press.. Can't wait to get started but after looking at reloading data it looks super confusing to me. Any body else reload shotgun ammo and have any tips to get me pointed in right direction?

Offline seags

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #1 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:20:39 AM »
Hi,
 Welcome to reloading gig, yes it is very cool to do, there is a lot of reading to do, I may repeat on the reading to do. I had my first glance of reloading in the early 80’s, and seen it done many times, my first press was a 1982 Mec Jr single stage and still use it.

I like you was kind of lost in the beginning with my own press, but fortunately of few of my neighbors started reloading before I did, and they mainly reloaded for trap/skeet which was cool and helped me a lot.

The first book I had was: The ABC’s of Reloading from the late 70’s which helps a lot, but not so much on the data, now I use Lyman shotshell 4th edition for my initial data, so again there is a lot of reading and that book can get confusing as well, but you have to break it down and think what you want to get from your reloader and what type of load do you want to create.

 An example of my data would be like this for 12 gauge 2 3/4: I am very happy with Federal Gold Medal shells factory shell are ok; so here you go:
Primer Fed 209A
Powder IMR 700X
Wad Fed 12S3 or Clay buster’s 12S3
Charge 16.0
Bushing #25
Velocity (FPS) 1128 there abouts.

I kind of follow about 1200 FPS, and when we go and break clays; we normally go through about 300 shells per shooter.
 Let me know on what type of shotgun you use, and with your shotgun shells and reloader, I think that I can come up with a game plan for you.
When I do my reloading, I do always practice a few steps; do not use AA = alcohol and ammunition do not mix well, keep your distractions very minimal, if you think that you made a bad reload; toss it, create or build a user friendly work space, trust me you will rearrange it several more times before you like it, and be safe. 
 Thank you.

Offline centerpinjosh

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #2 on: Feb 13, 2019, 11:23:42 AM »
The press in was given was a mec Jr from early 80s I would guess.. I have a Lyman 3rd edition manual but did by a new manual.. I haven't even attempted to load any yet... I have a collection of spent hull but from the sounds of it they won't work as well

Offline seags

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #3 on: Feb 13, 2019, 01:36:39 PM »
The press in was given was a mec Jr from early 80s I would guess.. I have a Lyman 3rd edition manual but did by a new manual.. I haven't even attempted to load any yet... I have a collection of spent hull but from the sounds of it they won't work as well

Hi,
 With your Mec jr, that’s good so we are both on the same page and not too much confusion.
Now with the Mec press; you will see some small numbers and the right side of the charge bar; that will determine the weight of the dropped shot, then on the inside of the charge bar, will be your powder bushing with a number stamped on the bushing which gives you your powder drop charge.

As with your spent hulls, who is the manufactures of your various brands? That would give me a better direction to work with; meaning low/high brass (well some are mostly nickel now), low/high base wad (which means is the inner volume of the case, (kind of like a powder cup). The best way to do that is to cut open a few empty hulls and take a look. Then determine if your spent hulls are a 6Pt or 8 Pt crimp, that would matter on one of last stages using your press. There is another thing to consider with your spent hulls; if they are the throw away’s say like from wally world, they are not worth reloading; well you might maybe two uses from them, those are lower end shells from: Win, Rem, Fed, and there is another bad choice which I can not remember the names on those.

 Your 3rd edition of the Lyman book should help you very well, I do not have that particular issue, I do have 1, 4, and 5. The 1st edition is kind of cool to look at and goes over the basics very well, but the data is severely outdated, I have been using the 4th issues as my go to book, if you will.

 When I first started going solo with my press, I had it mounted on my work table and used a spent shell going through all of the stages on the press and that is one way how I show others how to use the press.

 I do not like to push names of manufactures, meaning good or bad, sometimes what work for you is best.
Here is a good example in my 870 I can shoot Fiocchi’s really well out of them, now one of my bud’s shoots a Stoeger and can not hit anything with the Fiocchi’s, but his go to shell for busting orange is either Win or Fed. I now refuse to put a win shell in my barrel, (That is a long story on that matter).Here is another thing; all of my reloads have only been shot through: pump, single-shot, O/U. Well you know that I use Federal reloads, and that is out of my 870 with a Wadlock barrel and a #2 Skeet choke tube or sometimes I use my 1971 Remington 30” trap barrel, those are on rare occasions. 

I hope that some of my insights work out for you; just let me know
Thank you
1377crosman At gee



Offline SlickRockHounds

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #4 on: Feb 25, 2019, 02:21:28 PM »
i started reloading in 1959, summer of.

first decide what you are trying to do, cheaper target or hunting ammo, specialized shells,loads for a certain reason, then you can focus on what components you need.

your best option is to look for free hulls, most sporting clays courses and trap skeet five stand fields will fill a pickup truck bed with empties for $20 to get rid of them ...start there.

if you get all Winchester AA 20 gauge hulls then build your shells around them.

the only components that you need are primers, hulls, wads and shot, and you don't even need all that, for decades we reloaded without wads, over powder and under shot pover shot cards is all we had and we still use only that shootiung flintlock fowlers, so dont let it overwhelm you.

one time we had a couple thousand pigeons dead on the ground and were running out of shells, we broke out the presses and went to work, then ran out of wads and my best buddy, long since dead now, decided the SHOOT MUST GO ON! and loaded rounds for us using papertowels as under shot wadding ( you can use hornets nests very well too) the problem was as the paper towel loads went off the towels caught fire and came down as a rain of confettti on fire, picture a confetti parade but on fire.....glad we had eye protection that night....needless to say, that ended the shoot.

bottom line is its not witchcraft kid, start with what you can get for free, namely hulls then we can build a load around that, Lyman makes great loading books and load data is available from all powder makers, the powder you can get easily and cheaply may decide your recipe too.

then, punch a primer out step 1, install new primer, drop powder, slide bar, put in wad, seat wad, slide bar and drop shot, pre crimp, final crimp, done. we used to do this one shell at a time using a chunk of broom handle to smack the primers out on the tailgate.

welcome to reloading!

Offline centerpinjosh

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #5 on: Mar 05, 2019, 02:08:44 PM »
Thanks for the info guys ... Greatly appreciated

Offline SlickRockHounds

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #6 on: Mar 18, 2019, 11:25:45 AM »
you bet.

heres some links to powder bushing charts.

https://issuu.com/grafandsons/docs/mec_powder_bushing_chart_singles

Offline centerpinjosh

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #7 on: Mar 24, 2019, 11:07:45 AM »
So I loaded up some 20 ga shells and used green dot powder... I followed the load data  completely  and if any thing a little light on the powder.. Winchester AA hulls Winchester AA wads green dot powder and Winchester primers... The shells shot just fine but I noticed they were very dirty after shooting them (gun was disgusting afterwards)...my thoughts are it wasn't burning whole powder charge.... Any ideas on what went wrong??

Offline seags

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #8 on: Mar 24, 2019, 03:38:09 PM »
So I loaded up some 20 ga shells and used green dot powder... I followed the load data  completely  and if any thing a little light on the powder.. Winchester AA hulls Winchester AA wads green dot powder and Winchester primers... The shells shot just fine but I noticed they were very dirty after shooting them (gun was disgusting afterwards)...my thoughts are it wasn't burning whole powder charge.... Any ideas on what went wrong??
Hi,
The powder is burning.
  Green dot burns slower then Red dot, the dirty/burned spent hulls sounds like something from 800X powder.
 I would put your powder charges on the scale and see what your actual grain weight is, as with the right size bushing, then again Green dot might be too stout for your 20 Ga.
Thank you

Offline SlickRockHounds

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Re: New to reloading
« Reply #9 on: Apr 01, 2019, 04:27:29 PM »
So I loaded up some 20 ga shells and used green dot powder... I followed the load data  completely  and if any thing a little light on the powder.. Winchester AA hulls Winchester AA wads green dot powder and Winchester primers... The shells shot just fine but I noticed they were very dirty after shooting them (gun was disgusting afterwards)...my thoughts are it wasn't burning whole powder charge.... Any ideas on what went wrong??

Nothing went wrong, green dot at low pressure is a dirty powder, nature of the beast.

Green Dot is NOT a Great 20 gauge powder. 

if you are planning on shooting low velocity loads in a 20 CLays or Unique will be much better cleaner) burning for you, even red dot will burn cleaner. maybe a decade? ago green dot makers came out with a warning not to load it in anyhting in 20 ga over 3/4 oz loads because of pressure problems in AA hulls, the newer ( last 20years) AA hulls are very inferior to the hulls we have always had from W AA.

 7/8 loads in a 20 make for dirty burning with a 20, just the way it is...if you are only going to load target loads for 20 gauge I'd think about Clays , I have not used it much because i buy pallets of green and red dot at a good price and I'm set up for them the last 3oplus years, i hate to change itits working fine...but if i was starting out I'd probably try Clays in the 20s

certain powder burns dirty

I'm glad you are cranking them out, just keep shooting and loading, I'd think about saving the green dot for the 12 ga and try Clays or Unique in the 20 for cleaner loads.

 


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