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Recommend an easy/cheap 12ga re-loader for backyard clays

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by F2CMaDMaXX, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Just after something that won't cost much, is fairly reliable and easy to use. I only ever buy the cheapest shells on sale as back yard clays is about all i do.

    Thanks.
     
  2. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Depending on how much you want to shoot that's the real question.

    For loading a few hundred rounds/day it's really hard to beat the mec 9000, if you want more production, or have some physical limitation, you could try the 9000 hydro.

    For the more informal, the mec 600 jr is a great starter press, usually they can be had used for under $100, have a decent production rate (even though it's all 1 at a time). If you just need to bang out 1-2 boxes/week this is the perfect press. If you're shooting hundreds of rounds per day, go with the 9000.
     
  3. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Hmm, i guess the 600 would be fine for the numbers produced, i'd like to do more, but not as often :)

    Looking at the Lee stuff, which is very cheap, it's fairly prehistoric, especially compared with the MEC stuff. The problem i'm having right now is that MEC's site has no comparison feature, or even a layout suggesting the position of their range of loaders.

    I'd love to know how their range is setup and what each one adds, it's really not easy to see right now :(
     
  4. rick

    rick Close to Corvallis, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  5. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A guy on Craigslist (North plains area) has a couple 12 gauge Lee Loaders for $40.00 / 35.00
    You can't get much simpler then that.

    Lee Loaders for all in one reloading, just need a hammer CL ad --> gkjhv-4099613162@sale.craigslist.org

    12 gauge 2 &3/4" shells $40 has original instructions

    12 gauge 2 &3/4" shells$35 older box, but no instructions
     
  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The lee shotshell stuff is pretty crap. Frankly, the only company I trust for shotshell loaders is MEC, even dillons SL900 is kinda've a pile of junk.
     
  7. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm not too bothered about paying out for a MEC, especially seeing the quality/ease of the equipment in vids Vs the Lee stuff.

    Just really wondering about the cost/shell now, what are peoples experiences with this? if i'm only paying 24c/shell, reloading needs to be 20c or less, right?
     
  8. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Yeah, from the videos i'm seeing, it doesn't look very good, at least not by MEC standards, but then you don't pay anywhere near the price for it, you'll make the money back way sooner.
     
  9. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    I own a 12 gauge loader and it is not cost effective to reload for trap loads. I can buy a 100 round value pack at wally world for $23 and if I was to reload it would cost me around $25 to reload 100 shotshells. That is buying everything in bulk and not including the press or hulls. The only way I figure it could have it cost effective would be to build a shot maker and get your lead on the cheap. I have been kicking around building a shot maker but I don't have the time or extra space at the moment.
     
  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I'd just get a Lee. They work. I know a guy that runs a/is part of a boys club that has some Lee shotshell loaders. The boys load their own, with supervision, and those loaders have provided tens of thousands of perfect loads, with no problems to the presses, with little apes manning them.
    Way better than a nail, dowel and hammer any day.
     
  11. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I too have a Mec 600. Great units for the price. I use to use it a lot, but I dont shoot shotgun that much anymore. The other reason I dont use it anymore like the others have said it is not cost effective most of the time. When I quit loading I was saving less then $0.25/box in materials, that does not count my time..... I have no plans on getting rid of it though incase there become a shortage of ammo. Or if you want to load a more expensive style of ammo you can do it much cheeper. Also you never know when you will run across deals on supplies and that might make it worth using the unit.
     
  12. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Yeah, looking like it's not worth it for the savings, it does look fun, and not as much messing as reloading pistol/rifle rounds. But it as primarily for saving, oh well.
     
  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't mind getting a Lee .690 round ball mold and a Lee shotgun loader.
    Slugs are generally well over a buck a pop and cast of wheel weights those balls are tremendous penetrators.. very accurate also. They also sell buckshot molds.
     
  14. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The trick with mec gear is to buy used, especially when starting out, I bought my mec 9000 for $150. I regularly see 600JR's places for about $50.

    The Lee slug mold is awesome, but don't expect a lot of accuracy out of it unless you have a rifled barrel. I never tried the balls, but I've shot hundreds of lee slugs, they're a hoot. The nice thing about them is you can just drop the slug into a AA 1 oz wad and load it just like you would a 1oz shot load, no need for roll crimping or the like.

    The trick I learned is you can actually skip the slugs across the ground... skipping them into a big patch of pumpkins is absolutely devastating and is a lot of fun.
     
  15. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Now pumpkin skipping, *that* sounds like fun!
     
  16. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    I bought a Lee shotshell loading system when my kids got interested in trap shooting years ago to replace my lee hand presses in 12 and 20 ga. We loaded a lot of shells with that crappy junky machine and my son won an inter club (continental) meet and placed third in regionals with ammo loaded on it. It looks like it should fall apart after a dozen rounds but it does not. After the kids moved away from home, I sold it to a friend who loads for duck and other bird hunting. Last time I heard it was still working for him.
     
  17. My 3 sons

    My 3 sons Bonney Lake Active Member

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    I own a MEC 600, Sizemaster and 9000.
    MEC is the way to go in the long run. I tried a Possness Warren and got out of it quickly. For the cheapest the 600 works well but if you can get a Sizemaster I would recommend it for insuring the brass is resized correctly.
    As for the expense I'm at about $4.50 per box and make them to my taste and need.
    It is definitely more forgiving and easier than rifle reloading.
     
  18. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    How are you getting them for ~$4.50/box?

    What kind of prices on parts should i be looking at for that?
     
  19. usagi

    usagi Redmond Well-Known Member

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    i looked at reloading 12ga for target loads, no matter how cheap i found components i couldn't find a way to reload them any cheaper than you could get bulk target loads. the math just doesn't work out.

    for full power hunting loads it makes sense. for target loads it's a loss.
     
  20. Lilhigbee

    Lilhigbee SE Portland Visit Target550.com Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have five MEC 600 jr's. Two 12 gauge, two 16 gauge and one 20 gauge. Didn't pay over $60 for any of them. They work great and are reasonably fast. 200 rnds/hr isn't too difficult with practice. However, unless you are doing it because you want to, you are wasting your time. For standard loads I don't find that there is enough savings in it to make it worthwhile. For components I have found the Cheddite primers at Powder Valley ($24/1000) to be the best buy, presuming you are ordering enough stuff to justify the Haz-Mat fee. Reclaimed shot from the local trap range ($24-$30/bag) is the only way I can keep the price reasonable.
    200 rounds from Wally World $46. (See earlier post)
    reclaimed shot for 200 rounds (1 1/8 oz load) $14.10
    Primers for 200 rounds (Cheddite) $4.80 (Plus some portion of the Haz-Mat and freight)
    Wads for 200 rounds ($10/500) $4.00
    Powder for 200 rounds (18 gr.s Red Dot/ $20/lb.) $10.28
    We'll presume no cost for the used hulls since they can be reloaded multiple times and no cost for the equipment because the more you load the less per round the equipment will cost.

    Total cash out-of-pocket in the cheapest way I have been able to do it; $33.18 per 200 rounds. And that is reclaimed shot, not new which you get in the shells from Wally Land. New shot is almost double the cost of reclaimed and cuts your savings per hour to about $8.

    By this you are working for less than $13/hr, not counting time to acquire supplies, clean hulls or set up and maintain equipment. Financially, just spend the hour at your job, by the shells and be money ahead. Of course, those of us who do it because we like to or want a specific load that is not commercially available, aren't trying to save a buck.

    The point being, figure out WHY you want to load, then see if it makes sense.
     
    F2CMaDMaXX and (deleted member) like this.