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Need a place to start please

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Old 10-05-2015, 06:37 PM   #1
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Need a place to start please

Hey Guys, brand new to shotgun reloading, been doing rifles for years now so not completely ignorant of how this works, but I don't know where to start. I mainly want to get back into duck hunting and want to reload steel shot. I just got my LLA II and looking at charge tables. I want some punch for longer range shooting so I skip over to 1.5oz loads, it shows blue dot power and .171 bushing #. This is a 2 3/4" hull. Can anyone point me in the best direction of the best hull and wad that they have had good luck with and best suppliers? Have I picked a good combination? I really don't know what I want just need to start somewhere, thanks, Mike
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:55 PM   #2
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Any decent load manual (whether print or online), will give you all of the data necessary to make safe loads. Look at Hodgdon and Alliant on line to start

And howdy from FL

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Old 10-05-2015, 07:02 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard BigBass!
I don't know anything about reloading, but many on this blog are experts. For myself all I know how to do is lead the target and pull the trigger. While patience has its virtues there is a lot to be said for quick and dirty!

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Old 10-06-2015, 12:09 PM   #4
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Lots of suppliers online from Graf's, Gamaliel, Able's, CAC Associates, Powder Valley, etc.
1.5 ounce loads make my shoulder hurt just from reading that........
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Old 10-06-2015, 01:05 PM   #5
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Hi BigBass, and welcome from Missouri to a great forum!

Definitely get a load manual, e.g., Lyman's to get a full range of loads. The online sources (Hodgson, Alliant) are good, but they don't list all the possibilities you'll find in Lyman's. Avoid buying the manuals from BPI as they only have info for their brand wads, etc. - unless you like to use their materials for loading.

For online purchase of wads and shot, I've found CAC Associates has the best prices, particularly if you buy larger quantities. I haven't looked at their steel shot and wads for those kind of loads, so you'll have to check that. Folks also buy from Graf & Sons. Again, you need large quantities to balance out the shipping costs.

I use a LLA II for loading lead shot and it works great for that. I'm sure it will work fine for steel shot as well.

Good luck, follow the recipes, and have fun!
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:04 PM   #6
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I would suggest you start on some low velocity target loads until you are comfortable with the reloader. These loads can be a bit more forgiving than serious hunting loads.
The powder and wad manufacturers web sites can be very helpful.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:56 AM   #7
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Start by accumulating a sizable collection of good hulls and learning which powders and primers your local shops stock (because powder and primers require haz-mat shipping, making mail orders on the costly side) and of course, some reloading manuals. Once you know what ingredients you'll be working with, finding a published recipe is pretty straight forward.
Verify all suggested recipes you get on line with reliable, published data! Anyone can post anything on the internet and there are plenty of "Bubbas" out there.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:12 PM   #8
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Alliant Powder - Steel

Follow the link on that page to the recipes.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bigbass2 View Post
Hey Guys, brand new to shotgun reloading, been doing rifles for years now so not completely ignorant of how this works, but I don't know where to start. I mainly want to get back into duck hunting and want to reload steel shot. I just got my LLA II and looking at charge tables. I want some punch for longer range shooting so I skip over to 1.5oz loads, it shows blue dot power and .171 bushing #. This is a 2 3/4" hull. Can anyone point me in the best direction of the best hull and wad that they have had good luck with and best suppliers? Have I picked a good combination? I really don't know what I want just need to start somewhere, thanks, Mike
You are going to have fun putting 1.5 oz. of steel in a 2 3/4" hull. You have to begin by understanding that steel is lighter than lead, but when it comes to reloading you're no longer talking weight but volume. I shoot 1 1/8 steel loads and use an 1 1/2 oz. lead dipper to measure the volume of steel shot. You're talking 1.5 oz. of steel that means using a 2 1/8 lead dipper to measure the volume of the shot. That is one long shot column for a load of shot in a 2 3/4 in hull. Steel wads fit tighter than lead wads, that in part is why they require a magnum or slower burning shotgun powder to drive them. Your next surprise is when you do close in shooting you don't get the spread with steel that you do with lead, when I found at 20 yards I was shooting something comparable to a slug, I introduced spreader into my shot column to pick up the close in fowl. I still found the loads quite effective out to 40 yards even with the spreaders in them. Reloading Specialties Incorporation, put out a STEEL SHOTSHELL RELOADIND HANDBOOK you might find it well worth the read. Good luck.
-Gun Nut
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