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Shotshell reloading worth it?

This is a discussion on Shotshell reloading worth it? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I see a lot of threads here on reloading for handgun and rifle. (Which I've never done, BTW.) Very few on shotshell reloading, and those ...


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Old January 26th, 2017, 09:11 AM   #1
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Shotshell reloading worth it?

I see a lot of threads here on reloading for handgun and rifle. (Which I've never done, BTW.) Very few on shotshell reloading, and those threads tend to be older discussions.

The kiddo is looking into joining a school trap team so I was wondering if it starts to make financial sense once you start shooting that volume of shells, versus buying flats from some of the local stores which sell to the kids at a team member price. I believe the current going rate for the kids is ~$57 for 250 rounds, tax included.

Is reloading cost effective and/or can it get you a higher quality load?

How is the current component availability?

I may have a lead on a cheap or free hand-me-down reloading setup, so initial startup cost may (or may not) be pretty low.



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Old January 26th, 2017, 11:54 AM   #2
 
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Feral, I have two MEC 600jr's, one set up for 7/8oz of 9's in 20ga and one setup for 1oz or 1 1/8oz of 8's in 12ga. I use Claybuster wads and Winchester 209 primers. I can load a box of shells for about $2.00 to 2.50 per box. Keep yer powder dry.........robin
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Old January 26th, 2017, 12:44 PM   #3
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FWIW and no offence intended; I hear many new reloaders or potential reloader ask; "is it worth it to reload___?". Only you can answer. Is it worth it to pay greens fees for a round of golf? Is a fishing reel worth $100 when you can get all the fish you want at the market? Not trying to be a smart a$$ but for me and many reloaders money is not the issue. By reloading I have learned much more about my guns. By reloading I have expanded my satisfaction 500%. Reloading allows me to shoot my guns with hard to find ammo. I can custom tailor each load to the particular gun it's intended for. And most important, it's fun...
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Old January 26th, 2017, 01:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWKEN View Post
Feral, I have two MEC 600jr's, one set up for 7/8oz of 9's in 20ga and one setup for 1oz or 1 1/8oz of 8's in 12ga. I use Claybuster wads and Winchester 209 primers. I can load a box of shells for about $2.00 to 2.50 per box. Keep yer powder dry.........robin
A very straightforward and to-the-point answer from someone who reloads shotshells. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
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Old January 26th, 2017, 04:32 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWKEN View Post
Feral, I have two MEC 600jr's, one set up for 7/8oz of 9's in 20ga and one setup for 1oz or 1 1/8oz of 8's in 12ga. I use Claybuster wads and Winchester 209 primers. I can load a box of shells for about $2.00 to 2.50 per box. Keep yer powder dry.........robin
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeralCatKillr View Post
A very straightforward and to-the-point answer from someone who reloads shotshells. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
Hold on a second. . . we need Hawken to share his secret with us lol.

Powder Valley Prices show per round cost to be:

$0.017 Wad in 5k quantities
$0.090 7/9oz lead in 25 lb bags @$41/bag
$0.048 Powder, 18gr Clays at $150/8lbs to reflect partial Hazmat
$0.023 Primer, Cheddite ignoring Hazmat
$0.000 Shells because most everyone throws them away
--------
$0.178
x 25
--------
$4.45 per box of Handloads

So, unless there's some secret method here, your costs will be at least the above. Maybe save $1.00 per box vs what you can get with careful purchases at Walmart.

And yes, we reload shotshell mostly because it's fun. As a standalone cost-saver - not worth the effort though YMMV.

Last edited by Twoboxer; January 26th, 2017 at 04:34 PM.
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Old January 27th, 2017, 08:34 AM   #6
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Just wondering, how many fishermen count the cost of their equipment and bait and other assorted costs and compare those costs to what fish costs in the market?
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Old January 27th, 2017, 09:29 AM   #7
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Just wondering, how many fishermen count the cost of their equipment and bait and other assorted costs and compare those costs to what fish costs in the market?
That's a logically invalid analogy. With fishing, the sport is fishing rather than just "eating fish". In this situation the sport is shooting 100 or 150 shells a week and learning/practicing to hit something in the process. The question I posed was regarding [1] specific facts about cost comparisons of factory loads versus reloads (especially considering I might be able to get some free equipment), [2] current component availability, and [3] specific facts about qualitative differences.

For example, a thread respondent might have firsthand information about the hardness of reload shot compared to factory promo loads, and might have objective, firsthand information about resultant pattern quality. Or a respondent might make his or her own shot and have firsthand information about that.

If you don't reload shotshells for high-volume shotgun shooting games, it's perfectly acceptable to not respond to the thread.
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Old January 27th, 2017, 11:31 AM   #8
 
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Shot shell reloading isn't going to save you a whole lot of money for casual shooting. I dunno about reloading for $2.50 a box, maybe if you are using shot, powder and primers bought 20 years ago. Even at twoboxer's conservative $4.50/25 estimate you will still save some cash if you are shooting a case or more a week. Reloading may save you anywhere between $250 to $750 a year but it depends entirely on how much you practice and if you have the time to reload.

The guys I know that reload shot shells are competition skeet and trap shooters and they do it mainly for more consistent velocities and patterns. Not so much for the savings.

One guy I asked about this (because I shoot trap and was curious about the same question) said reloading only improves his score by about a bird or two per round. For a casual shooter, like myself, it's not really worth the expense, time and effort just for a bird, but for competitors one bird is often the difference between a trophy and a participation ribbon.
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Old January 27th, 2017, 01:27 PM   #9
 
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First, I don't reload shotgun (but I do for pistol/rifle) but bear with me here!

For the cost of most shotgun shells I'd suggest letting you kiddo do the trap team for a while and see if it's something he's going to stick with before really getting into reloading.

Granted in your situation you can get a press cheap but much of the components are bought in bulk (if your child changes their mind, what are you going to do with 20+ pounds of shot?)

Scorpio summed up the $$ side and consistencies quite well
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Old January 27th, 2017, 01:39 PM   #10
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Thank you Scorpio and John. Yes we're definitely going to go though the first "season" with commercial loads before we dive into any other projects.
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Old January 27th, 2017, 02:07 PM   #11
 
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I don't reload for shotgun, but one of my buddy's does. he reloads for .410, 12, 16, and 20.

He shoots 500 rounds a week through a $17,000 Krieghoff with all the interchangeable tubes. Its nothing for him to go to the local shop and drop $500 on supplies. He says its a money saver and his loads are exactly the way he wants them.

If you get into competition shooting, its worth it, for the average shooter, no.


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Old January 27th, 2017, 02:23 PM   #12
 
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I'd say it's worth it because your kiddo will be learning a valuable skill.
I've thought about reloading shells for my daughters (and myself as I get older) and copy the Winchester AA low recoil bird shot. I haven't yet, but may in the future.
I'd keep an eye out for sales and start slowly buying the materials you need. I may do the same.
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Old January 28th, 2017, 10:24 AM   #13
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My analogy is as accurate as any posted. Reloading, for any cartridge is more than just supplying a gun with ammo. Fishing is a hobby/sport just like reloading, the results of fishing is catching fish. Reloading is a hobby/pastime and the result is shooting a gun. IMO reloading is the most "money driven" hobby I see and I read similar questions almost daily. So, I wondered if anyone used the same motivation (money) for other hobbies?

I've seen many, many times forum members laugh (in a reply) at the idea of saving money by reloading...

FWIW; I just reread the OP and saw no mention of shot hardness, equipment needs/costs, load data or process, which all will affect $$$. All I saw was component availability and cost per round of a discounted factory ammo...

Last edited by mdi; January 28th, 2017 at 10:31 AM.
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Old January 28th, 2017, 02:51 PM   #14
 
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As I have said in other posts like this on reloading for handgun or rifle...
For me, reloading is part of the sport/hobby of shooting.
I'm 57, got my first firearm when I was 10. Just started reloading last year.
Next I will learn to cast my own bullets.
As I learn these skills I try to drag my children along with me, hoping that they also learn.
Just in case they can't buy ammo at the store.
I have done the same with archery. I can restring and tune my compound bows. I can make my own strings. I made my own string jig. I made my own bow press. Teaching as I learned.

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Old January 28th, 2017, 03:09 PM   #15
 
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410's are very high priced shells.
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