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12 Gauge Reloading - Get me started

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  • 12 Gauge Reloading - Get me started

    I'd like to get started on reloading for my 12 gauge. I've read most (if not all) of the posts in the reloading forum. I didn't find my answer. The reloaders in those threads didn't mention shot shells. I don't know if they handle that type of load. Ya, I know nothing about this, other than counter price of new shot shells.

    I'd like a good (not inexpensive) (re)loading setup for my 12 gauge. If the setup handled 20g and others as well, great. If not, okay.

    Again, I'm looking for quality. Not just the cheapest setup out there. Other 12gauge reloading comments or thoughts would be welcomed as well.

    Help me. I'm brand new to this.
    Thanks in advance.


  • #2
    I really like my RCBS Grand Progressive Press. Midway has them, check it out.


    • #3
      Ok, I've started reading up on the descriptions... coming up with more questions.

      I want to load buck shot and slugs. I see one descriptor state that it "does not hold heavy shot"
      - What does that mean?
      - Are all reloaders capable of loading slugs and buckshot?


      • #4
        Buckshot and slugs require diffrent reloading the procedures the birdshot or BB shot. With buckshot you need a buffer and this must be figured into your load weight. Have not loaded slugs.
        As for loading both 20 and 12 ga. buy a reloader for both as it is not practical to change from one to another on the same machine.


        • #5
          I have been loading 12 for a long time. I started with a cheap Lee Load All and it works great. I still have it and use it for slugs. I got a Lee slug mold and use it with the Lee press and standard trap wads, It works great and I have compared my reloads to factory slugs and don't see a difference other than mine are WAY cheaper. I use a MEC for all my shot shells from buck all the way up to #7.5. I would recommend starting with the lee press and get going then see if you require more. I have loaded thousands of shells with the Lee and it has not had one problem.
          A government that can give you everything you need is also strong enough to take it away!


          • #6
            If you're loading small buckshot, #4, you can get away without the buffer. Ive seen basically no difference in my own testing between no buffer, corn startch, and the actual plastic shot buffer crap. With anything bigger, I'd say use the buffer for sure. Lots of old timers I've spoken to say corn starch is great for that, but it does absorb water. Sawdust works good too, and it's generally close to free, just don't try using planer shavings or chainsaw dust, it's too big.

            If you want an easy way to count out the pellets, get a block of wood and drill holes in it just deep enough for one pellet to sit in there. Just drill the number of holes you want pellets and use it as a scoop, for #4 a shot shell primer trey works great, just fill the extra holes with wax. I've been meaning to make a scoop with a thumb lever for leveling it off for counting out buckshot.

            For slugs, I've always just cut the end off the shell (the crimp part) and pushed the slug in with my finger, then dripped candle wax on it to hold it in place. Simple, crude, but really quick and works great, If you have hot enough wax it seals the shell for you too.

            I particularly like the #4 cause it's easy to load (just dump the right number of pellets in there and shake it) and because it's still got enough penetration out to 50 yards on two legged varmints, but has a denser pattern at that range. Also one exterior wall of a house takes the vast majority of power out of it for safety reasons.


            • #7
              Here is a video of a guy reloading slugs the same way I do, Well close to the same way. My press is actually mounted to the bench and works better that way.

              The slugs he is using are cast from the slug mold like mine.
              A government that can give you everything you need is also strong enough to take it away!