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Thread: Need some pointers for 12 Ga reloading

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Need some pointers for 12 Ga reloading

    I’m looking to get into 12 GA, reloading, I was kind of “pushed” in this direction. A friend gave me a LEE load-all and a BUNCH of hulls and wads. I picked up a couple boxes ofW209 now I need to figure my next step.
    I cast Lee 1oz slugs, Lee .311, .678, These are the wads, cards and some of hulls he gave me.
    I will be shooting these out of a WINCHESTER RANGER MODEL 120 12 GA 2 & 3 L 207#### 28” Barrel
    If you could give me suggestions for the proper combinations for the supplies I have. some of your favorite loads would help speed up the learning curve and show me if I want to pursue shotgun reloading.
    I'm looking at target shooting, which of these wads/cards do I use with Lee 1oz slugs, Lee .311, .678,

    Last edited by Grmps; 07-07-2018 at 04:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

  3. #3
    Vendor Sponsor

    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ojai CA
    Get a Reloading Manual that has shotgun recipes in it. You have too much random stuff to steer you to a specific load. All the stuff you have is usable but it won't all work for the same load. That's why you need the book.

    Ballistic Products has all the data you need to load any kind of shotshell you could ever want.

    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    39.7594 N, 84.1917 W
    You can always check on line with the powder manufactures for their load data as well.

    here's a couple


    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

    38 Super - DOB 02/06
    Commander - DOB 02/12
    Delta Elite - DOB - 1989

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Central Virginia
    Totally agree with the above.

    Obtain a reloading manual and then pick the loads you want to make.

    Shotgun reloading involves a lot of variables and you can get into trouble if you start substituting components, particularly if you are operating at the upper limits of acceptable pressures.

    Shotshell reloading isn't the great bargain it once was. Lead shot has become very expensive.
    I still load shotshells but I have greatly reduced the types of loads that I make. I mostly confine my shotshell reloading to target loads and buy the occasional box of special loads when I need something I don't load for.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Hogtamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    East central GA, Appling near Augusta
    You've got a good start on components but first decide what you want to load. I don't sense a lot of enthusiasm in your post. First determine the choke of that barrel. Modified or full most likely means buck or birdshot and the .311 is great buckshot. The .678 RB is easy to cast, easy to load and is a good 50 yd performer out of most guns. Again, first decide what YOU want to shoot and work it up one projct at at time to avoid a lot of expense and frustration. Hope this helps.
    "My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
    Leonard Ravenhill

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    plains of colorado
    watch out for foreign brand hulls, they use a metric 209 primer and a normal 209 will fall out with vibration over time. I stock a lot of the rio primers because I find a lot of foreign hulls at the trap range I collect from.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  8. #8
    Greetings Grmps, let's take the first step, build your self a depth gauge:

    The wooden dowel should be fiction fit in straight wall hull, second go to dollar store to pick up " O " ring set for $1
    After you choose a load then drop the powder in the hull and push the depth gauge all the way in now mark the gauge as shown in the picture for fold crimp like this picture:
    Now you see how much wad column needs to be.

    You will need to learn to read pressure signs like this:
    Very bad and high pressure:

    I usually would ask you to buy brand new Fiocchi hull to start to learn the basics to play it safely.

    Powder seeping through the wad is a No No like this, mismatch of components:

    Hit the dead end can't post more pictures, please increase it to 12 instead of 10 picture limit ! !

    Best of luck.

    Ajay Madan
    Super Blazing Sabots
    Last edited by SuperBlazingSabots; 07-07-2018 at 05:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Powder gases blow-by:


    The Lee 1 oz slug mold comes with loading data that is way too Hot:

    If you are using a smooth bore shot gun the you will need to do a backward push through test like this with the slug in wad:

    This you are doing for safety.

    Here are the OD with different wads and slugsin wad or RB of .678 or .690"

    Start with only one project at a time ! !
    Best of luck.

    Ajay Madan
    Super Blazing Sabots
    Last edited by SuperBlazingSabots; 07-07-2018 at 06:14 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master copdills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South Carolina
    you have great information above and a very good friend to let you have all the goodies you got from him

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Thanks, guys, SuperBlazingSabots, you gave me a lot of good information that I was looking for.

    I found load data at ballistic products
    I got the capacity of the shells in the load data so I can compare it to the ones I have (of course none of them are mentioned in the load data)
    I assume I use the depth gauge to trim the higher capacity wads I have to work with 1 oz slug and .311 (OOBuck) shot?
    does the slug/ wad test in the end of the barrel work if you have a choke?
    some videos show putting the cards in my last picture over all the wads (with both shot and slug) before crimping, is this needed?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Fargo ND
    Ok couple of points.

    A Ballistics Products aka BPI.

    Bookmark it. Good prices, great selection, awesome service, help if you get in a bind.

    B Agree, buy a manual. BPI Advantages works. Loads of recipes.

    C Normally they have great prices on new hulls from Rio, Fiochhi, etc. I loaded up on new primed hulls from Rio at 9 cents ea, 9$ for 100 hull bag. For learning the basics, hard to beat new hulls.

    Be aware, there are straight hulls, and there are tapered hulls. There are wads for straight hulls, and wads for tapered. Don't mix.

    I do think more wads should have an "ideal for XXX and YYY hulls, not for ZZZ or WWW" tag on them. Would make life for new guys much easier.

    In my case I started with simple Lee 7/8ths oz slug loads, and a lighter #1 buckshot (9 pellets, 3 stacks of 3, self stacking mostly) over a fairly light charge of Red Dot. I really need to pattern those this summer.

    Accept that there is a learning curve. If you don't get a good crimp with a good recipe and a new hull, stop. Think. Is the load short or tall? Crimp caving in? (add a overshot card maybe) Or if not staying closed may be a smidge tall. There are several options to try. The good news is, if you go about it systematically within 5 more rounds you should have something that works.

    Take your time, if you stick to the recipe it should be close. Should only need minor adjustments.

  13. #13
    Please don't put no card above the Slug in wad or RB and the backwards push through you check with whatever choke you plan to use, remember 6 to 10 lbs pressure ( Fiction fit )

    Please keep it simple and above all have fun cooking your own load.
    Please feel free to check my Gold mine right here but don't forget to have a pot full of coffee:!!
    We worked 24/7 just to help our fellow shooters put meat on the table for pennies a Pop and thus created fun loads for the family yet deadly ! !
    Ajay Madan
    Super Blazing Sabots
    Last edited by SuperBlazingSabots; 07-08-2018 at 12:09 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Jacksonville, FL
    Hogdon and Alliant both have load data free. I like the Hogdon sit because it is searchable. If you have a account, the have everything but BPI's data. The Alliant data is kind of sortable. The site isn't very well layed out for shotgun, but its a massive data base.

    Shotgun reloading is frustrating due to exact recipes. Its the nature of the beast. There is a good article at BPI about how simple primer substitution can cause 1-2k pressure spikes. I would take all those components and organize them. Then make a catalogue of what you have on hand. Then you can search the recipes for what you can make. Jump over to hodgon then plug in those Remington gun club hulls and primers and see what pops up. Then you can see the wad and powder you need.

    If you get 5/8 punch and 3/4 punch you can make your own filler wads and shot cards and over powder cards.

    Pro Tips for the Lee Load All:
    1) Use a Paint Pen to mark an index line on the crimp starter. That way you have visual mark to line up on the crease on the shell with and don't mess up crimps on starting them.
    2) Over shot cards make factory looking crimps. I punch mine out of thin construction paper. Like the thin file folders. I put them in everything but slugs. Doesn't effect the pattern.
    3) When reloading slugs, get the slug started enough to make sure you can see if you damaged the wad petals. Then start the crimp and use the crimp finisher to finish seating the slug for you.
    Last edited by Rcmaveric; 07-08-2018 at 03:37 PM.
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    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check