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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting a real sticker shock from Dove, Duck, and Turkey loads.

Considering reloading.

What press to you have, likes and dislikes, is it worth getting into the game at this point?

Tips, tricks, things to consider when getting into shotshell reloading. I have read all the posts about safety and that is a top priority. But ease of use, speed, and ability to adjust from 2 3/4 dove loads to hot ducks loads.'

Thanks for sharing your expirence.

Robert
 

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I think that when you get to pricing components, that Wal Mart ammo will start looking pretty good. I used to reload shotshells, but it just doesn't seem cost effective now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is the kind of real world expirence I was hoping for.

I guess what got me thinking was the price of Dove shot. I paid $3.27 a box two years ago, this year the cheapest I found was $5.99 and Wal-mart wants $6.79. That is a heck of a mark-up!

I normally shoot about 3 cases of dove loads, about a case for ducks more if I am LUCKEY, and then a handful of turkey (one for the bird, and about 6 for me to pattern and adjust). I know this is not a lot of shooting, but the prices are not going to come down anytime soon.

I was planning to keep shooting for a long time to come plus I have two little ones that will be in the dove field with me very soon. My daughter is a first rate bird fetcher now, and my son just took his first steps this week so he should be ready for September! I am sure when they start hunting, my ammo bill will go through the roof!
 

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Mec sizemaster

That is what I have. I first started using one to reload shells when I was on my highschool skeet team back in the 80's. It is easy to use and safe.

The only shells I have loaded in the last 15 years have been steel shot for waterfowl. I still have a few store bought cases of #8 bird shot and since I don't have anywhere to hunt dove since being stationed in AR I still have a lot of shells left.

When I did reload some dove loads to try when I was in OK I used Winchester AA hulls. They are fairly easy to buy as once fired hulls at trap and skeet ranges and on the internet.

reloading steel shells is way cheaper and in my opinion do a better job at killing ducks outright. I have had to finish off one duck that I can remember out of all of them that I have shot at with my reloads. Not so with store bought stuff.

Still I found out that it was cheaper to go with store bought loads for dove, rabbits and other small game but like I said the last time I bought a box of shells was probably around 1995.

Metalic cartridges are a whole different story. It is way cheaper to reload your own. Doesn't matter what caliber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Started looking at MEC presses last night. I was shocked with all the different configurations.

Biggest question - Will a single press do 2 3/4 and 3 1/2 inch shells? I saw some that claimed adjustability. But that was another concern.

Thanks for the information.

Still on the fence with this one, may need to suck it up and spend the money.
 

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I don't reload shotshells anymore but I used to. I used a Lee Load all for 20 and 12. 2 3/4 and 3". I used to do a case a year mostly High brass for squirrell hunting. I find the time and effort isn't worth it anymore as I do all my squirrel hunting with a 22 now.
 

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I think you will find your biggest cost is lead shot. Since I haven't bought any in ~10 years, what I am about to say is what I have been told. Reloaders tell me lead shot is ~$50 per 25# bag. When I was buying it, I waws paying less than $15 per bag.

If my calculations are right, you can get 12.8 1.25oz loads per pound of shot, and 320 loads per 25# bag. At $50 per bag, that is $3.90 for 25 rounds, before you add the cost of primer, powder and wad. If you shoot a lot of shotshells, it might be cost effective to reload shotshells, but you would need to calculate your cost to see if it is. No more shotshells than I shoot, I'll just buy a few boxes a year and call it good.
 

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Started looking at MEC presses last night. I was shocked with all the different configurations.

Biggest question - Will a single press do 2 3/4 and 3 1/2 inch shells? I saw some that claimed adjustability. But that was another concern.

Thanks for the information.

Still on the fence with this one, may need to suck it up and spend the money.
Good question about different leangth hulls. Now that I have thought about it the MEC we had in high school loaded 2 3/4 shells and the mec that I have is for 3" shells. I don't know if it is adjustable or not. By just looking at my current Mec I don't see anyway to adjust it for different leangths. I'll see if I can dig up the manual and see what it says. I've only loaded 3" shells with it.

I did have a Lee Load All as someone else mentioned and it worked but seemed flimsy to me. Never had a problem with it just didn't seem as well built as the Mec.
 

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I've got one at the house that belongs to Jam. I need to tinker with it a little, he's needing some loads for dove that will eject out of his 1100. For some reason it won't throw the light loads and if ya get in to some good shootin the heavy stuff gets rough after a little bit.
 

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I started reloading steel 3 years ago for goose hunting. Me and a friend went in together and bought the equipment. They first year we pretty much broke even. Now we our loading steel 3inch duck loads that are 1730 fps for $7.50 a box and steel 3.5 inch goose loads that exceed 1600 fps for $9.50. My favorite duck load in a 3 inch 2x3 duplex load. I am also playing on loading a 3 inch steel 3 x 5 hevishot for this year. The cost per box should be around $8.25. We also have a 3.5 inch steel 2 x B hevi shot which is deadly beyond 50 yards for geese if needed. I suggest getting together with a friend or friends and splitting the initial startup costs. It takes me right at 30 minutes to reload a box. I plan on having 300 duck shells and 400 goose shells to start the 2008 season, I already have 25 3 inch 3's and 4's for teal season ready to go. 1730 fps..Believe what you want, but ive seen it first hand, "Speed Kills!!!" I pick up all my buddies empty hulls. They can be reloaded 2-3 times as long as there not spilt at the top.
 
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