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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never loaded shot shells before but got a good deal on a MEC 600JR MARK V. I am a regular pistol and rifle reloader buthave Not yet load shot shells. I am loading 12 gauge for my M2. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Wish me luck.
 

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A shotgun data set is a true recipe in that use exactly the same listed components in a load and nothing else. It's fine to use off brand wads that are replacement wads, but that's about it. Like Claybuster wads has an equivalent of the Winchester wad, that's fine. The whole thing about shotgun ammunition is the height of the powder charge, wad, shot charge all need to be a certain amount for a proper crimp and ballistic performance. It's pretty much do this, get this result.

I've got a 600JR for 20ga and I love it. I got rid of the MEC charge bars and got the MultiScale universal charge bar instead. Love it. Think of it this way, instead of using bushings to measure out powder, you can dial it in just like a metallic powder measure. One bar for everything.

Everything is about the crimp and is about the most common issue in shotshell reloading. If you use good hulls and match the 6 or 8pt crimp, you should be fine. Remington hulls are the best, Winchester are second, and Federal are the worst.

Get both the Lyman shotshell reloading manual and the Reloading for Shotguns manual. Both have excellent data and articles, though I prefer the Lyman for content. And shotgun primers are pricey compared to metallic primers.

Best way to save on shot is get in with a group buy at your local gun club. They usually buy a few pallets at a time to cut the price down. I only reload hunting rounds and slugs, so I'm fine just buying a bag or two and being good for a couple years. I only load 7/8oz in the 20ga so a 25lb bag of shot will give me 457 rounds worth of shot. I shoot maybe 50-75 rounds a year between squirrel, rabbit, and grouse hunting. Been playing around with 3/4oz loads and that will stretch a bag out to 533 rounds per bag. Pretty simple too. Use the Claybuster 3/4oz only wad and use the same data as 7/8oz. Faster and less pressure. For an autoloader, pick the 7/8oz load with the most powder so it's got the energy to work the action. Still going to be less recoil than a 7/8oz load. Figure a 3/4oz 28ga works perfectly on ruffed grouse, so why not load the same in the 20ga, save on shot, save on recoil.

There is no sense in reloading for shotshells if you aren't going to pattern your load. It's simple to do. Slapping ammo together so it goes boom isn't the thing to do. You need to pick the best pattern for your needs and then load that. Otherwise just buy factory ammo and blast away.

Hope that helps. Sorry for the drift. I got carried away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Tubby. Sounds like a lot of good advice. I've got a good bit of research to do before I even start. I'm interested in loading for sporting (clays), rabbit and duck. Mostly though, I just love to reload. It's therapeutic for me. I appreciate the great info.
 

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Only reason I reload shotgun is for the same reasons you state. It's what I do to escape the world. I get a little cost savings in the process. Basically I load custom tailored loads that my shotguns patterns optimally for the same price of Walmart blasting ammo. Custom ammo for $3.50/box? Of course! With steel loads you'll save a lot more.
 
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