Not really Rudy. In today's environment and with the price of a bag of lead shot at around $50 you can actually buy 12 gauge promo ammo cheaper than you can reload. For 12 gauge trap or skeet unless you just have some special requirement for a load you gotta use that's not offered it's cheaper and far less hassle to buy them. Same for 20 gauge really unless you get into the heavier hunting loads.
Now for 28 and .410 you gotta reload as the cost of them now is about $10 a box and climbing. This year I've bought RIO brand 28 and .410 as cheaply as $55 a case but more often paid $65 for that brand. Remington STS and Winchester AA to get the hulls have more often cost me $80 to $100 per case.
I can buy 12 gauge target loads from Estate or RIO or even Ficocchi for $4 or less a box and same with 20 gauge. Wal-Mart sells Federal even cheaper for 12 and 20 gauge.
I'd seriously look into buying the promo loads from Federal or the RIO, Estate or Ficocchi loads rather than reloading. I think you'll get just as good ammo for less or same money and far less hassle.
I no longer shoot 12 or 20 as my shoulder just cannot take the recoil of them. I shoot the .410 almost exclusively at skeet with some limited use of the 28 when my shoulder is feeling OK on a given day. I'm about to conclude the shoulder really isn't gonna outlast me and that rotator cuff surgery is gonna have to happen even if I don't want to do it.
If you decide to go with reloading Spolar, PW and the MEC 9000 are considered the top presses for progressives. Most around here use the MEC 9000 if they go progressive. I actually don't think anyone I know personally uses the Spolar or PW. The Hornady is liked by some but I've tried two now and not been able to make either work for me.
I enjoy reloading, to me it's relaxing and a hobby I can actually benefit from. I stock piled enough components when I started to see the huge price increases on the horizon that I'm still reloading for less than $3.50 a box. Biggest is lead costs, luck had it that I had enough foresight to buy lead when it was less than $20 a bag, I still have 28 bags to work from. If you can find good quality reclaimed lead shot, it's worth buying, around here it's selling for about a dollar a pound. With the quality components I'm using I figure my reloads are about as good as AA and STS which have almost reached $7 a box.
Now I'm also agreeing with Graybeard. Every time I run into a deal on promo loads for $4 or less a box I'll buy a number of flats. Right now I have 36 flats of Gun Clubs, Top Guns, Estates, and Remington Sport sitting in my reloading room. I find these to be very good loads for 16 yd targets and handicap back to the 20's.
I hear rumors about shotshells increasing in price by as much as 15% come Jan. so between now and then I'm stock up on as many additional flats as the budget allows.
Trap shooting, or for that matter any shooting is becoming very expensive and I'm seeing a decline in shooters at some of the events I'm going to. I hope this trend is just temporary.
As for reloader for the beginner I'd recommend a MEC . The Grabber is OK and I use one for all my 1 1/8oz loads, but a 9000 with the auto advance is great and I use this one for my 1 oz loads. Moving up to a PW or Spolar is big bucks, but if you have the $$ they are great machings and built to last.
Thank you gentlemen! The possibility of buying promo Estate or Rio trap loads is very tempting. Where do you get those? I'd rather use trap loads than game loads if possible. Not reloading is a great idea for me. I'd rather use commercial ammo if I can afford it.
A friend of mine got the rotator cuff surgery and it's scarcely more to be dreaded than a haircut. It was messing up his fishing badly as he is a fly caster. With a bit of recovery he is back in action. His only regret is that he waited so long to get it done.
Another comment about surgery. Not related to rotator cuff, but interesting anyway. My buddy the trap shooter just had surgery to remove arthritis from his back. The arthritis was really painful and debilitating for him. He was out of the hospital the next day, and he is considered recovered only two weeks after surgery. He's not allowed yet to do stuff like chopping wood, but all of his usual activities are OK. I'm so happy for him I could bust! It was tough to see him in such pain.
Rudy several of the guys I shoot skeet with have had the surgery. Most recommend NOT having it done if at all possible. One is still in the process of recovery over six months later but of them all it seems he is likely the one who had the most success with his. Perhaps it's just the local doctors dunno.
All the local gun stores carry the Estate and RIO ammo in stock at all times. Walmart has the Federal stuff. Any large chain store that sells ammo in your area are likely to have some of them.
It's more likely that my information is incomplete somehow. I only have that one relation that has had the operation and it may have been something simpler. Or maybe he's one of the ones it worked great for.
I spoke with James the guy who had the operation earlier this year to inquire how his is doing. He said "it's coming along" but also noted that it was a long way from back to normal yet and that his movement of it is still quite restricted and he can't swing the shotgun normally yet. He then added that if I can avoid it he sure would recommend I do so.
He couldn't as his rotator was torn and his bicep was tearing loose as well.
So far of those I know personally who've had it more recommend not doing it than to do it if it can be avoided. I'm just not sure with the pain and limited motion I have that avoiding it is gonna cut it.
I guess there must be advantages to not reloading too. I just don't see it being worthwhile for me. I can get Walmart promo ammo for $4.25 a box and it would take quite a long time to amortize equipment costs at that price. The stuff works fine.
Yes it would Rudy. If you shoot only 12 and 20 gauge the savings per box is tiny unless you need specialty loads that cost far more. So long as the lower priced factory loads will do for you reloading for those two gauges really saves little and unless you buy the really expensive progressives takes a lot of your time.
If you shoot the smaller guns as I do (28 and .410) then reloading makes sense as it's hard these days to find them priced less than $80-$100 per flat of ten boxes and they use so little shot and powder that the savings do mount up with them.
That makes all the sense in the world. If I shot a 28 or 410 I'd certainly be reloading.
But I only need 12 and 20, and there's no chance of that ever changing.
One question about using the 28: When I was researching loads for the 20 I was interested in making low recoil loads that would be good for my kids to learn with. I quickly learned that you can get a good performing 7/8 ounce load that hardly recoils. Have you tried reloading the larger bores in this manner? I'd be happy to send you my excellent 20 gauge recipe. The recoil in our Mossberg pump and my Beretta O/U is more like a vibration than a recoil. And these guns weigh a maximum of about 6.25 pounds. I've read of people doing similar light loads for 12 gauge in 7/8 ounce for the same reasons. I would think that such a load would be easy on your shoulder and still allow you to shoot the full spectrum of skeet bores.
GB I have the same problem with my shoulder. It feels as if it pops out of joint. I need to have it done but don't want to. That's why if i am small game hunting i normally reach for the .22 and not the 12ga.
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