Gun Deals
Southwest Firearms Forum
Buster Beaver Cerakote
Oregon Arms & Ammunition
Low Price Guns
Sporting Systems
J&B Firearm Sales
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Oregon Rifleworks
Welcome to Northwest Firearms
Join our community, sign up for free today!
Sign Up

Shotshell reloading with Lee Load all II worth it?

Messages
285
Reactions
270
I am looking to get that Lee loader and am wondering if its actually worth it loading 12ga. I have little over 100 shells and my plan is to just reload for a day at the range. Maybe 100-200 shots at a time when I have nothing better to do.

I've done some homework on the topic and think I want to load something else other than the birdshot. maybe some BB shot or 00buck, couple slugs maybe. Is this at all cost effective? I know the birdshot can probably be loaded for somewhat 30cents a round. I would probably easily shoot 100 shells twice a month at least during the summer.

I would get the loader almost for free from cabelas due to club points, so that cost wouldn't really be in the equasion. Anyone use the lee load all II?
 
Messages
224
Reactions
499
Generally, reloading 12 ga target loads right now is not cost effective. Your price quote of 30c per shell is $7.50 a box and you can do better than that buying factory shells. Once you get into the specialty shells like buckshot or slugs it will probably pencil out, but you need to do the math. FWIW, reloading target shells only pencils out for the odd ball shells like .410.

As for the quantity of reloading you intend to do, I assume you are talking the Lee Load All. Getting the 200 shells/hour they claim isn't realistic. That's 3.3 shells per minute on a sustained basis. I've reloaded 10,000's of thousands of rounds on single stage MECS and have gotten pretty good at it. Take it from me, that loading rate ain't gonna happen. If you break your loading sessions up into 15-20 minute intervals and spread the sessions out over the course of a week you will get your 200 shells for the month with out too much pain. I usually do my reloading while I'm waiting for the washing machine/dryer to finish doing a load.
 
OP
K
Messages
285
Reactions
270
hmmm last Buckshot I bought was $5.50 for 5 rounds. Target loads... well $25 for 100. I would only consider this if the buckshot and slugs would be substantially cheaper to load. Probably not worth it afterall!?
 

41mag

Messages
3,556
Reactions
7,957
I slid into 12 & 16ga via cowboy matches, both the Holy Black & the other kind...in brass cases....
It was interesting learning project, but later even in plastic hulls it wasn't a money saving operation.
 
OP
K
Messages
285
Reactions
270
Thank you for the input. I'll probably stick with factory ammo for a while and keep the empties incase I change my mind! I'd much rather reload 7.62x39 but I only shoot steel cases.... that's already cheaper to shoot than reloading brass cases.
 

DLS

Messages
1,023
Reactions
1,415
I have a Load-All II reloader and have used it off and on over the years to load at least five thousand shot shells, mostly with bird shot for trap and skeet.

It works but is painfully slow as @Roundball58 has hinted. Once everything is set up and tweaked you can do about 2 shells per minute. The primer feed system really slows things down, I usually just bag it and manually place a primer in the holder for each round. Having to pull the sizing ring off each hull also slows down the process.

As already stated, it's not worth if for many 12ga. loads unless you can get the components for an extremely good price. I'm going to break mine out soon because I came across a garage sale that was closing up on a Sunday evening and they basically gave me a few boxes full of wads that I can use and 7 bags of shot. So this will pencil out and keep the kids happily busting clays for quite a while.

I do keep most of my empties. I throw the hulls and their box into a plastic grocery bag and loosely tie the top. That is then tossed into an old 33 gallon trash can in the corner of my shed. So I have a great supply of empty hulls, so again my loading will pencil out since my component cost is so low.

If you think you may want to do some shot shell loading in the future I'd keep the hulls too. I'd also try and buy the same shells as often as you can so that when you do begin loading you have a consistent source of the same hull. Just a thought.
 
Last edited:

DirectDrive

Messages
4,946
Reactions
8,959
I have a Lee Load-All
Can't remember if it's a I or a II
Anyway, it works but it throws an awful crimp.
It's an inexpensive loader and does a basic job.
 

DLS

Messages
1,023
Reactions
1,415
...I'd much rather reload 7.62x39 but I only shoot steel cases.... that's already cheaper to shoot than reloading brass cases.
And...

If you are shooting the typical SKS or AK the extraction cycle not only is insanely hard on the case mouth and extraction groove, the case is flung who knows where and who knows how far causing many cases to be lost. My '51 Tula SKS has an ejection pattern from 12:00 to 4:30 O'clock and an ejection distance from just in front to 8 or 9 yards out. No two cases seem to follow the previous one. So, it's steel rounds for me just on that basis alone.
 
OP
K
Messages
285
Reactions
270
And...

If you are shooting the typical SKS or AK the extraction cycle not only is insanely hard on the case mouth and extraction groove, the case is flung who knows where and who knows how far causing many cases to be lost. My '51 Tula SKS has an ejection pattern from 12:00 to 4:30 O'clock and an ejection distance from just in front to 8 or 9 yards out. No two cases seem to follow the previous one. So, it's steel rounds for me just on that basis alone.
Very True, I have an sks, an "overgassed" ak that throws cases 30yards and a 10" one that throws them like a 1911. So yeah,I understand the problem...
 

NEW CLASSIFIED ADS

LATEST REVIEWS

  • Supporting Vendor Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    I had a second gunsmithing job completed by Mr. Copeland. As with the first, he did amazingly good work, communication was solid, and the rates...
    • CountryGent
  • Supporting Vendor Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    I brought Tim a henry goldenboy youth and a vision of what I wanted. Tim made it come true at a very reasonable price, while others quoted me way...
    • Iceman04503
  • Supporting Vendor Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    Tim, has done several projects including a sweet 1911 .38 super project
    • Qochoc
  • Mary's Pistols
    5.00 star(s)
    Fantastic small business with equally excellent folks running the place. I was given fair value for a trade in and was able to order something I...
    • Red98422
  • Gooseneck Road
    4.00 star(s)
    Very popular service road with some unmarked logging roads that branch off of the main. Relatively cleaned up from what we saw. I just wish that...
    • Benzdriver81

SUPPORT NORTHWEST FIREARMS