Preparing for Shotshell Reloading: Components

Just like everyone else right now, I’m having to exercise much patience when shopping for reloading components. Shotshell components are typically much easier to find than some other more popular reloading components (small rifle and pistol primers, 9mm and 22cal projectiles, etc) – but it’s been a challenge to get all geared up for shotshell none the less! The moment has finally come when I have all of the equipment and components that I’ll need to load shotshell (and share the experience with you all).

Equipment and components needed to load shotshell - Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader
Equipment and components needed to load shotshell – Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

Over the past months, I’ve been working on understanding the shotshell reloading process, obtaining equipment, deciding on load specifics/data, preparing the gear, and obtaining all of the components needed to load shotshell. I’m finally at the point where I’m ready to load primers, dump in powder, fill up the shot column, and start loading. Finally! The following is a quick overview of the components that I’ve collected to start loading.

A selection of powders that can be used for shotshell loading  - Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader
A selection of powders that can be used for shotshell loading – Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

I decided to make a bet on Alliant Red Dot since it seems to be one of the most popular powders for loading 12 gauge. So I got an 8lb cannister. I also had some other powders on hand that I’ve seen load data for including Alliant Blue Dot, Alliant Unique, and Alliant 2400 which I use for a lot of magnum handgun loads.

Buckshot and lead shot - enough to get me started - Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader
Buckshot and lead shot – enough to get me started – Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

Based on the most popular loads, I decided to get 25lb of #8 and #9 shot – I should be able to experiment with quite a few different 20 gauge and 12 gauge loads with this collection of shot. I also got ahold of some buckshot to keep things interesting.

Hulls - both new/primed (bags) and range pickup (tub)  - Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader
Hulls – both new/primed (bags) and range pickup (tub) – Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

You have to have hulls to load shotshell – and I decided to get some new primed hulls, and to also collect some range pickup hulls so that I can show the internal components when loading (Cheddite translucent hulls) and also show the difference between reloading previously-fired hulls, and loading brand new hulls.

Primers - usually easy to find, not in this case -  - Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader
Primers – usually easy to find, not in this case – – Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

Primers are normally REALLY easy to find for shotshell, but It took 3 online order attempts to get these primers. They are European size (metric) – so that should make for some interesting experiments comparing the European hulls with American hulls.

Wads (left) and boxes (right) - both will be needed to load shotshell  - Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader
Wads (left) and boxes (right) – both will be needed to load shotshell – Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

For hulls, I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of styles, choices, and brands, so I used Alliant load data to figure out exactly what the most popular component combinations would be for the most common shotshell loads for both 12 gauge and 20 gauge. I just hope that when I start loading that the shot column height is correct, and that the loads will work correctly. I’ll just have to try and see!

Next up: Preparing the Hornady 366 for loading duty! Stay tuned.

Thanks,
Gavin

 

 

 

About the author

4 thoughts on “Preparing for Shotshell Reloading: Components”

  1. I’m a skeet shooter, and we reload most everything. I personally rarely buy a factory load. An under the radar tip, you can pick up Remington Gun Club hullsl in 12 and 20 right off the ground at most ranges. Just ask if it’s ok first. 12 gague Gun Clubs can be reloaded in shot weights from 3/4 ounce to 1 1/5. All you need is different wads. Promo is the powder to use, just as clean as the higher price.
    http://www.alliantpowder.com/products/powder/promo.aspx
    As far as wads, Claybuster is the choice. Theyhave wads in many weights. My current favorite is the
    CB 1075-20. It’s a 3/ oz 20 gague wad. It uses less lead gives less recoil nd breaks clays great.
    http://www.claybusterwads.com/
    If you need odd ball components, Ballistic Products is the source for this like waterfowl components, buck shot components and slugs.
    http://www.ballisticproducts.com
    Hope I can help from the perspective of someone who goes through and average of 200 shells a week, and 500 on a competition weekend.

  2. I’m somewhat puzzled so bear with me here.

    Using new Cheddite hulls…according to Ballistic Products website….the Cheddite hulls use a 209 primer but of the standard US primer size such as Winchester…CCI..Remington. However…the Fiocchi is metric which is just a little larger than what Winchester/CCI is. Ballistic Products and I’m just going on what is said there…is that the primers…such as Rio/Fiocchi are .001 larger than US primers.

    I’m hashing this in my head here….if one loaded a metric primer into say the Cheddite…I’m sure the primer would seat….but wouldn’t this open up the primer pocket and relegate the hull into a metric only primer hull? Which what I’m seeing on the market…this wouldn’t pose an issue of finding primers….just that you’d have to keep accurate memory to assure you’d not use a standard US primer to reload these hulls.

    I’ve never used a imported shotshell primer….and since I’m not schooled in all aspects of shotshell reloading (I just reload shotshells and never had a problem but I cerainly am taking a much much greater interest these days in shothell reloading!)….the obvious perspective seems common sense about the primer pockets….but curious as to more insight.

    Also…has anyone ever bought componets/etc from a company called Connie’s Componets.

  3. Just curious as to why you went with the Fiocchi hulls rather than the much more common AAs. I think you’ll find a whole much more AA hulls or STS hulls as range pick up as well. Makes it a whole lot easier to add to the collection. Can’t wait to see how this turns out for your. Thanks for all of your hard work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reloading Safety

Polls