Steal Reloading?

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Steal Reloading?

Postby uglymug » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:29 pm

So I just finished my first box of lead shells that I'm using for my trap league and they turned out pretty well. The reloading bug has bitten me! I go through probably a few boxes of steel rounds a year. Hopefully more than that next year, but you never can tell. My questions is would it be cost effective to roll my own steel loads or stick with factory? I have a mec 600 jr (pre 1982) and I notice that they sell steel shot kits for them. Is it worth it? Or even if it is a few bucks more would the performance gain be worth it?
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby steelshotshooter » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:15 pm

If you reload your own steel shot loads, you have full control over all components that go into the load...

I would also recommend getting a MEC collet sizer as an accessory. This will keep the brass on the hulls from getting "scratched" and I think it does a better job of resizing....
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby 10gaOkie » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:34 pm

Reloading gets in your blood. For most, once you get started, you will be hooked. I use 600 presses but neither of them are modified to load steel. I do powder and shot drops away from the press. I found out real quick that a universal charge bar did not work for loading steel. I do not have to rely on factory fodder. If I run short, later in the season, I just need to spend a little time at the reloading bench and I will have more shells at hand. I still shoot factory shells from time to time and enjoy them. However, I do not get the same performance from factory that I do with my reloads.

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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby wildflights » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:48 am

You will likely save more money per box of steel hunting loads than you save on a box of 12g. lead target ammo.

If I fudge the #'s and don't count my time at any cost, I might save a buck a box on target ammo. Using that same funky math, I'm probably saving 5 bucks a box on hunting ammo.

If you load your own steel, you'll know the quality of the shot you're using.
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby 3200 man » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:05 am

That is so true about savings of reloading lead to steel shot BUT recently good quality lead loads ( AA's , STS's and FED's )
are running right at $ 100. a flat :crying: and I can reload these just as good or better for a lot less ! :yes:

And , the time spent in my reloading room , Priceless !

I look at it this way , some fellas use a cheaper gun and shoot good quality shells and then there are the guys that have
a very expensive gun and shoot Cheap Shells . It's always interesting to see who's on top of the leader-board when its over ?
With reloading good quality ammo , that place , could be you ! :hammer: :hammer: :thumbsup:
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby Rob MacK » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:10 am

IMHO you do not need the steel kit. I dont use it but I did buy one years ago when I started loading steel. You may save some money but likely not a lot at first because you will want to try different things. It will propally go like this because you have the loading bug.....

1. This loading is cool I can do whatever I want ....
2. Maybe I should try these 3 or 4 loads and see whats best....oh this one is good....I am set.( you don't mean that...trust me)
3.That was a great load I can do better I am sure....
4. I need more/different components to try...... I NEED abetter load...
5. Ok so I did get an improvement in that last batch I am happy (no you aint!!)
6. I wonder if I can get 100% at 40 yards with 1s that would be fun to try.......crap I need more components.....
7. And so on for YEARS!!!!

:thumbsup:

Cheers,

Rob
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby wildflights » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:10 am

yeah that...I need more/different components to try......
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby C M Wings » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:04 am

Rob, still LOL!!
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby Jon Bergren » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:13 am

You should have an electronic powder drop, however you can drop STEEL powder with a rifle powder drop or you van weigh it. I do all three depending on the quantity of shells. I have a new electonic Lyman powder on its way. I resize all my shells with a Mec SuperSizer after removing the primer. It will squeeze the Rio primer pocket so the Cheddite Primers are a press fit. The Cheddite primers are .003" smaller than the Rios. I seat my shotcups by hand using a 1/2" wood dowel with a Wood door pull c'sunk and glued together. I count all my shot 3's and bigger with a small rifle primer tray generally having to make three drops. I use a unslitted shotcup cut to the proper lengthe for steel 4 and 6 shot. I put a taper crimp on all my reloads using the Minni press. Good luck. Ned S
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby DoubleDutchChuck » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:43 pm

Rob MacK wrote:IMHO you do not need the steel kit. I dont use it but I did buy one years ago when I started loading steel. You may save some money but likely not a lot at first because you will want to try different things. It will propally go like this because you have the loading bug.....

1. This loading is cool I can do whatever I want ....
2. Maybe I should try these 3 or 4 loads and see whats best....oh this one is good....I am set.( you don't mean that...trust me)
3.That was a great load I can do better I am sure....
4. I need more/different components to try...... I NEED abetter load...
5. Ok so I did get an improvement in that last batch I am happy (no you aint!!)
6. I wonder if I can get 100% at 40 yards with 1s that would be fun to try.......crap I need more components.....
7. And so on for YEARS!!!!

:thumbsup:

Cheers,

Rob, you hit the nail on the head :-)

Rob
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby uglymug » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:23 pm

What's a good hull for reloading steel? Either 3" or 2 3/4".

I would never have use for 3 1/2" 12 gauge shells.
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby Jon Bergren » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:24 pm

uglymug wrote:What's a good hull for reloading steel? Either 3" or 2 3/4".

I would never have use for 3 1/2" 12 gauge shells.


Gold Medal, Cheddite, AA new and old models, STS and equals, Activ if you can find them and Rio. With the Rio hulls you have to inspect each one before loading for a cracked plastic basewad. This is my favorite 7/8 oz load using 4, 3, 2and B's.

GM hull
Fed 209A primer
45 grs STEEL
2 3/4" MM shotcup
1/8" filler
9000 psi 1767 fps
This is an excellent goose load and will penetrate to kill to 66.5 yds. I generally use a Mod choke and it loses a killing pattern after 50 yds. With the Terror choke it is good to 60 yds. I like the 3" Rems for 3 inch loads, RSI 88 with 1's for snows and RSI 75 with BB's for geese. We shoot a lot of LS2 a 1 oz load with 3's for ducks and 7/8 oz of 4's in LS2 #14 in a Fed case with paper basewad for ducks also. 6's in this load is good for dove and teal. Ned S
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby z51 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:04 am

uglymug wrote:So I just finished my first box of lead shells that I'm using for my trap league and they turned out pretty well. The reloading bug has bitten me! I go through probably a few boxes of steel rounds a year. Hopefully more than that next year, but you never can tell. My questions is would it be cost effective to roll my own steel loads or stick with factory? I have a mec 600 jr (pre 1982) and I notice that they sell steel shot kits for them. Is it worth it? Or even if it is a few bucks more would the performance gain be worth it?


You can't save any money reloading steel for just a few boxes a year. Factory shells are very good and loadings are plentiful and reasonably priced. I loaded steel starting in the mid 1980's when that wasn't the case. I quit about ten years ago and spend my time now loading lead and rifle and pistol cartridges. Just wait for sales and buy steel shells by the case. Also don't go for the gimmicks and buy shells with nice round shot at medium velocities and you will be money ahead.
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby cannon » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:55 pm

z51 wrote:
uglymug wrote:So I just finished my first box of lead shells that I'm using for my trap league and they turned out pretty well. The reloading bug has bitten me! I go through probably a few boxes of steel rounds a year. Hopefully more than that next year, but you never can tell. My questions is would it be cost effective to roll my own steel loads or stick with factory? I have a mec 600 jr (pre 1982) and I notice that they sell steel shot kits for them. Is it worth it? Or even if it is a few bucks more would the performance gain be worth it?


You can't save any money reloading steel for just a few boxes a year. Factory shells are very good and loadings are plentiful and reasonably priced. I loaded steel starting in the mid 1980's when that wasn't the case. I quit about ten years ago and spend my time now loading lead and rifle and pistol cartridges. Just wait for sales and buy steel shells by the case. Also don't go for the gimmicks and buy shells with nice round shot at medium velocities and you will be money ahead.


I would agree that saving money is no reason to load your own unless you shoot bunches of shells. On the other hand, I save about $1,000 annually over what factory ammo would cost me. When I started reloading, I was shooting Winchester dryloks that are about $18/box locally. I make my hand loads for roughly $7.50/box.

If I'd stick to that business model, I'd be money ahead. Unfortunately, there' are always 10 bags of wads, 15 lbs of powder, 5,000 primers, some kind of gadget, a roll crimp, and 4 more presses that I think I really need at the moment. Nope, I need all the money I save at this point just to support the habit. But it's great therapy.
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby Jon Bergren » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:55 pm

I can still load my 7/8 oz load for $5.50 a box of 25. Ned S
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby mudpack » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:43 am

z51 wrote:You can't save any money reloading steel for just a few boxes a year. Factory shells are very good and loadings are plentiful and reasonably priced.... Just wait for sales and buy steel shells by the case. Also don't go for the gimmicks and buy shells with nice round shot at medium velocities and you will be money ahead.

+1
If you just want to save money over factory steel, it won't happen shooting just a few boxes a year....not for about 25 years.
If you want a new hobby, then I say go for it.
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Re: Steal Reloading?

Postby wildflights » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:16 am

mudpack wrote:
z51 wrote:You can't save any money reloading steel for just a few boxes a year. Factory shells are very good and loadings are plentiful and reasonably priced.... Just wait for sales and buy steel shells by the case. Also don't go for the gimmicks and buy shells with nice round shot at medium velocities and you will be money ahead.

+1
If you just want to save money over factory steel, it won't happen shooting just a few boxes a year....not for about 25 years.
If you want a new hobby, then I say go for it.


What are the additional costs that I'm missing to get 25 years? He's already loading lead target ammo so he has the equipment and is probably real close to joining a support group.
A pound of ASTEEL will load almost 200 shells, $20.
A bag of steel shot will load 160 +/-, $20
A bag of wads will load 250, $15
A couple hundred primers and shipping for wads/shot $20
Rounding all those numbers up and assuming that he orders the wads/shot online by themselves, I come up with 11.75ish a box with components left over. I wouldn't call that saving a bunch of money but it wouldn't take years to break even. Plus he can have tomorrows fix in hand, ready when he needs it.
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