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  #51  
Old 05-18-2022, 01:58 PM
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Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method? Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method? Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method? Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method? Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method?  
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20 gauge is my favorite by far. Plenty of power, plenty of shot, very diverse, and less recoil than 12 gauge. there are not as many "cool" 20 gauges guns as there are 12 gauge though... No trench sweeper 20 gauges, no slam fire 20 gauges (not that I have seen anyway...).

I was able to secure my old 12 gauge MEC 600 JR press back from the guy I gave it too! He said he has about 1/4 bottle of powder, some #8 shot, 1000 wads, and a fair amount of de-primed and re-sized hulls as well. The press is free, the rest of the stuff he said he would give me "market value" (from 5 years ago I hope).

I am waiting to hear back on the Mec 600 JR 20 gauge press, I think I will be able to get it for about $80 - Hoping it is not missing anything, but at least parts are plentiful.

The .410 loading station, i am going to make one I think, at least for now using the best info I found on Youtube, and forums online. I have de-priming, and priming down, have scale for weighing powder and shot, and have wads, powder, and shot... Just trying to figure out a re-sizer to make sure the cases don't have issues loading or extracting.. If mine does not work, I may just buy a "survival loader" from Xring off ebay, they are like $85. I don't shoot enough .410 to warrant another press, unless I can find one setup for .410 for around $100.
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  #52  
Old 05-18-2022, 04:43 PM
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You may find a Mec 600 at a yard or garage sale. I've never found a 600 but did find a 650 almost new for 75 dollars with 800 once fired cases(AAs) and a bunch of wads. To be honest. 410's are the hardest shotshells to load and they usually NEED to be resized. They normally are the highest pressure shotshells and need a good crimp. Find a shotshell loader for the 410. They are running $20 or more a box in these times...and are the cheapest shotshells to load
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  #53  
Old 05-18-2022, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeet 028 View Post
You may find a Mec 600 at a yard or garage sale. I've never found a 600 but did find a 650 almost new for 75 dollars with 800 once fired cases(AAs) and a bunch of wads. To be honest. 410's are the hardest shotshells to load and they usually NEED to be resized. They normally are the highest pressure shotshells and need a good crimp. Find a shotshell loader for the 410. They are running $20 or more a box in these times...and are the cheapest shotshells to load
Yes the .410 prices keep going up. and if I did my math right, I can reload them for about $0.24 a round. They cost $0.85-1.00 and up a round if you can find them in store. That is a pretty good savings. I am still looking for a decent .410 loader, just haven't found one yet...
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  #54  
Old 05-18-2022, 06:06 PM
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Back in the 70's, I used a Lee Load-all for a few years. Cheap, got the job done. I have better stuff now.

If cheap is important, Lee Load-all would be my first choice.
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Old 05-18-2022, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
In the hands of a good or skilled shooter the little .410 is a great shotgun.

However I think the best shotgun for starting a youngster on or for light field work
is still the old 20 Ga. that can be a light fast handling shotgun, to hit targets
big or small.
I favor the 28 gauge for new shooters, I've been told by several top shooters that the 28 produces a longer shot string than the 20 which makes it a bit easier to hit crossing targets.
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  #56  
Old 05-22-2022, 10:08 PM
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Well, I now have a complete 20 gauge Mec 600 JR setup in my possession. My sportsman club had a member pass away, and all his reloading equipment and a bunch of random ammo was donated to the club.

I got the Mec for $80 (only missing the crimp starter which I already ordered a 6 point and 8 point). It was pretty grimey, and has some surface rust on it, so I started off cleaning it with WD40 and a brass brush, got a lot of the junk off, then cleaned with carb cleaner.

I’m going to dis-assemble anything that needs better cleaning/polishing, and probably buy new bottles, and get some Orings. The charge bar says “20 Gauge :2A” so I need to figure out what it loads. It’s an older at without the replaceable bushings.

I also got a unopened bag of 25 pounds lead #6 “Lawrence brand chilled lead shot” for $15.

I hope to get my 12 gauge press this week, but we’ll see. As luck would have it, Cabelas had some Hodgdon Long Shot too! I hit everything right in the last two weeks!
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  #57  
Old 05-22-2022, 11:00 PM
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Once you get it all cleaned up, spray it with a good rust preventative. WD-40 isn't one.
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  #58  
Old 05-27-2022, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMSgt View Post
Once you get it all cleaned up, spray it with a good rust preventative. WD-40 isn't one.
I know WD40 is not a good rust preventative, I was using it more as a degreaser which is works OK as.

I picked up all my 12 gauges reloading equipment today from my buddy... Holy ****, I had no idea how much he had!

I got the loader of course, a set of 20 gauge dies etc for the loader (didn't know he had those, so I have spares for my other press), maybe 650 de-primed tall brass hulls, all sorted in plastic totes by brand and or color, maybe 1000-1200 primers, some powder (not sure what brand or model yet), some shot (no idea how much yet, but at least one full bag), a lee slug mold and a bunch of cast slugs, a couple containers of wads (maybe 300-400), and a ton of 7.62 nato shells that he never got around to buying reloading equipment for.

I paid $300 for everything, and I bet I have closer to $600 worth of stuff. I still don't know exactly what I got.

Now I am almost ready to reload all three calibers that I shoot.

For my .410 reloading equipment, I bought a MEC resizer from a press that I will use for resizing, I have the MEC pre-crimper and final crimper coming, and have a steel plate that I am setting up for de-priming, and priming and holding the shells as I load them. If it proves cumbersome or too slow, I will look for a better .40 reloader. But I shoot less .410 than 20 or 12 gauge so I don't think it will be an issue.

Now I have a lot of reloading reading to do, and then I will practice some and test fire.
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  #59  
Old 06-08-2022, 03:58 PM
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Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method? Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method? Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method? Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method? Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method?  
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well, a couple weeks have gone by, and I have gotten both my MEC presses set up and running, and I bought a bunch of MEC press parts for reloading my .410 shells

I loaded a bunch of 7 1/2 shot, 1 1/8 oz loads in Federal 12 gauge Grand hulls, and some top gun hulls as well, and loaded some 1 oz lee key drive 12 gauge slugs, and I had good results with them all.

I bought reloading books for 12 gauge, and the other smaller shotgun gauges and I am glad I did. I have been absorbing hours of videos on shell design, wad style, stack height, what to look for if your crimps are looking crummy...

i had mostly success in reloading, and only a few shells with swirled crimps and depressed crimps due to the wrong wads in a couple shells (again still learning...).

I am completely hooked on reloading though, even though there is a lot more science to it then I originally thought.

Finding loading data with powder, wads, and hulls I have in stock or are readily available is the most challenging part of it so far. I have been able to pick up a couple more types of powder, and have a lot of flexibility in my loadings too.

I did take a bunch of my reload birdshot out, and some of the Slugs I loaded, and they all shot pretty well.
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  #60  
Old 06-08-2022, 05:34 PM
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All this shotshell reloading talk got me motivated to dust off my Mec 9000 and crank out a couple of flats.
Havenít used it in a couple of years. A little lubricant in the right places and away it went. They really are good machines.
Now you just have to shoot enough to use all that new ammo. 😁



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  #61  
Old 06-08-2022, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
In the hands of a good or skilled shooter the little .410 is a great shotgun.

However I think the best shotgun for starting a youngster on or for light field work
is still the old 20 Ga. that can be a light fast handling shotgun, to hit targets
big or small.
An old former competitive skeet shooter told me that he didn't believe in 410's for starting kids out. He said it just frustrated them because it was too hard to hit anything unless you were standing on top of it. He said he waited till his kids could handle a 20 or 12 before starting them on shotguns. I have to agree. My father gave me a 410, but after a couple weeks sold it and gave me a 12 gauge.
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  #62  
Old 06-09-2022, 01:00 AM
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I started my kids with 20 ga shotguns. Gkids too...and I love to shoot the 410 competitively. To be very honest though...the 410 can be frustrating. Even in registered skeet there are relatively few consistent 410 shooters. Believe me...I always wanted to be one...and I was a 4 gun AA class shooter. Another gun that is a good starter for young'uns is the 28 ga. but ammo is too expensive and harder to find. I set up a 12 yr old gal with a 28 ga load in her 12 ga and she made her father look a bit bad! She has shot so well he bought her a high grade K-80 with tubes.
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Old 06-09-2022, 10:34 AM
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About any gauge, 12,16 or 20 can be an excellent choice for a starting shotgun for a younger person if you reload.
That's the great thing about reloading. Make the loads up to your needs.

I have been shooting 5/8oz in 12ga for nearly 25yrs.
I shoot it at Skeet and SC.
I use a low pressure recipe right out of the Lyman book. It's orig loading uses a 7/8oz payload. I just reduce that to what I want and use a filler on top of the shot to fill the empty space and get a nice crimp.
I started reducing the load to 3/4oz at first then went further.
I see no difference in performance.
Using #8 shot and for the filler I use a Cheerio or 2 on top of the shot then crimp.
.
Very low recoil, low pressure for elderly guns if you use them.
Cheap(er) to reload that the heavier payload shot loads. Lead is expensive these days.

My 20ga loads are 'Cowboy Loads' as listed on the Alliant Powder site.
These are 3/4oz loads and GreenDot powder.
Nice easy on the shoulder loads as well.
They will operate a recoil op semiauto Rem 48 and an Ithaca 51 as well.

16ga when I do load them has a similar load to the 20.
These get loaded on a
LeeLoadall and have never had a problem with it.

I was given a 410 to use as a youngster.
Nice gun , bad choice.
Very frustrating, no confidence in yourself at all.
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  #64  
Old 06-09-2022, 05:33 PM
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I'm a big 28 ga fan (I have 3 of them). The price differential for them makes reloading a great option.

Cirrusly, when it comes to skeet, 28 will do the job. No heavier gauge required.

As for hunting, I do consider it a shorter range gun. With some choke, say 25 yards.

Great for opening day of dove season, but that's it.
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  #65  
Old 06-09-2022, 09:24 PM
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Actually the 28 is a good gauge for more than the dove field .Back when lead was legal I used my ol M-12 28 for ducks(teal and woodies)out to about 35 yds. Doves all season long and a great quail and late season grouse shooter(no leaves). I shot an awful lot of doves with it. Doves with the 410...that is a 25 to 30 yd early season combo. At one time Federal had 28 ga 3/4 ounce premiums in 7 1/2 and 8s. I loaded my own 28 ga copper/nickle plated 5s and 6s for ducks. I have an early Ithaca double skeet gun that shot doves very well. Choked Skeet out skeet in. About skeet/ IC
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Old 06-19-2022, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS336 View Post
All this shotshell reloading talk got me motivated to dust off my Mec 9000 and crank out a couple of flats.
Havenít used it in a couple of years. A little lubricant in the right places and away it went. They really are good machines.
Now you just have to shoot enough to use all that new ammo. 😁



Like you , I got a little motivated with this thread.
A year ago, a friend of my brother in law gave me this press. It was covered in years of dirt and dust. I got it out, cleaned it up and down loaded the manual for it. It obviously was missing the priming station, so I got that ordered. I have very few shotshell components, but managed to find some 7 1/2 shot, some Red Dot, AA12 wads and lastly, only 39 primers. Managed to get it up and running with minimal problems. I loaded up 5 rounds for a test run and took them to the range. All went bang the way they were supposed to, so I loaded the rest up. Now, to find more primers.
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  #67  
Old 06-22-2022, 04:02 PM
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I now have reloaded a bunch of 12 gauge based on my initial loads, and components I have. I have loaded a bunch of 1 0z lee Key Drive slugs as well, and those shot very well.

I loaded up a bunch of target loads in 20 gauge over the weekend, and it took a little more work to get my 20 gauge press set up- the pre crimp was too high, and my crimps were TERRIBLE> Dropped it about 1/4" and they look like factory crimps now.

I loaded a bunch of .410 shells as well, with 1/2 oz #6 shot (just what I had open at the time) and I bought some 000 buck shot to replicate the .410 defensive handgun loads that Federal made with the 4 balls of 000 buckshot


I am loving this as a hobby and good skill to know. And thank you all for steering me away from the Lee Loadall and towards the Mec presses. the Lee's seem to be cheap **** from everything I have seen, not at all made to last a long time.

The Mec presses are imPRESSive and work very smoothly
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  #68  
Old 06-22-2022, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT_80 View Post
I now have reloaded a bunch of 12 gauge based on my initial loads, and components I haveÖ
Iíll offer a bit of advice learned the hard way.

Donít reload a huge surplus of shells or cartridges. Only reload what youíll use in a few outings. Things happen!

My first shotshell reloader was a MEC 600 that I got in the 70ís. It worked fine for 12 gauge when I only shot occasionally. When I got serious about shooting skeet and trap in the late 90ís, I bought MEC 9000Hís for 12, 20 and 28. I got a Grabber for .410. Back then, I could reload a box of shells for $3 or less.

I burned through a lot of 700X and 296 powder. Here are just some of the empty 12# kegs of 700X I recently cleared out of my reloading area. Iím in the process of making room and throwing out junk.

Thinking of getting into reloading shotshells, cheap and easy method?-f06c211a-8bd1-4d5a-ae78-75f606e92db5-jpg

Yup, that represents 120 lbs of powder! I went through a lot more than that.

Back to my original pointÖ
When I was shooting 4 days a week and firing about 200 shells per day (some for score and others for practice), I thought it was a good idea to build up a large surplus of shell in my off time. I had about 10 flats of 12 GA stocked up. At some point, I developed an intermittent problem where the powder charge didnít throw consistently. Many of the shells were fine, but others were ďpoofersĒ. I missed some birds because of the issue and would only use the rest of that large batch for practice.

If youíre shooting a lot, youíll probably buy previously owned powder and primers when you find a good deal. You can occasionally run into problems there too. Even factory new components sometimes come under recall.

Store your components in a cool, dry place and only load what you need.
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Old 06-22-2022, 08:20 PM
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The powder bar sticking is one of the problems with the progressive Mecs. The shot doesn't throw light generally. Powder doesn't flow like shot. And some powders are not conducive to good precise charges. . I once loaded 200 410s on a P-W 800. none had powder. I was using 296 and the fine powder locked the powder GEAR and the powder shutoff together. I wired the powder shutoff in the open position after that debacle. I use a Spolar for the 410(20,28 also) now and it is good with the 410. I always load a bunch at one time and have no problems. I think I have 14 1/2 cases of Remington 410s loaded right now and probably 30 1/2s of 20 ga. During this shortage I have had quite a few people ask me for my 410 reloads. Last gun show 2 1/2 in 410s(new) were 30 bucks a box. With the costs I have in 410 reloading supplies I can load them for about 3.00-3.25 a box
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Old 07-16-2022, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s&wchad View Post
Iíll offer a bit of advice learned the hard way.

Donít reload a huge surplus of shells or cartridges. Only reload what youíll use in a few outings. Things happen!
Very good points! I only loaded about 200 rounds of 12 gauge, and only 100 of 20 gauge (about all I had in 20 gauge)

I will shoot that in one outing when I get back out to sporting clays again. Been too long since I went... Have to go with a buddy from work, and prices went up- used to cost between $50-60 an outing, now its over $100

Thats an expensive day...
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