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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.