mmig wrote:I have started doing some research and I want to reloading my own shotgun shells. I have read most of Laymans shotshell reloading book. I would like to reload 12ga shells 3.5",3", and 2.75" for both lead clays and steel for waterfowl. I know that I would most likely start with a single press over a progressive as this would suit my needs just fine as I would only be loading 1-2K rounds a year. I was told to get a steelmaster, but I've been reading that most who load steel just measure out powder and shot from a scale for each load. What do you suggest would be the best press for my needs? Also what accessories would be needed on top of the press that the book may not mention? What scales are the best at a fair price? Any other equipment and brands that works best for shotshell? Thanks for helping the Newbie in advance.
I have steelmasters. They're great presses. Sizemaster is the same thing with a smaller shot tube. Also a great press. I also have 600 jr.'s, and they're fine as well. FWIW, I prefer a steel master or Sizemaster because of the collet resizing station, as opposed to the ring sizer on a 600. Particularly with regard to high brass shells, they do a better job. The down side is that they also require more maintenance. I also have a PW progressive that will load both lead and steel, but I would strongly advise that these machines are neither for the novice nor the man without a great deal of patience. They're messy, temperamental beasts. If I were buying, I'd definitely go with the Sizemaster.
As for absolute necessities, you need a good set of scales. BPI has a decent one that can be had on the cheap. I'd definitely spring for a 1,500 grain model. If I were gonna splurge, the next thing on the list would definitely be a digital powder dispenser like the RCBS Chargemaster, Lyman 1500 DPS, or One of the similar machines. They're absolute life-savers. You'll also want a funnel, as it will become an indispensable part of loading steel. A piece or two of wooden dowel is helpful. Razor blades or a good knife, pliers, good scissors, a set of wrenches, and a sharpie are useful too.
Ultimately, you'll need countless Rubbermaid-type containers, cardboard boxes, shelves, and closets to house the innumerable hulls, wads, and other goodies that you'll probably never find, much less use. Welcome to hoarders-are-us.
Good luck, bro.
Smell that? Smells like sumthin died in here.