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Discussion Starter #1
Been shooting at least 250 rounds of target loads every week, usually 350-400 rounds, so i think I'm past the point where reloading will pay off.

My shotgun club doesn't have a bunch of "good" hulls laying around, but does have a metric shitload of Federal and Estate hulls I have have for free, and everything I've read is that they're good for a couple reloads before you trash them. Seems like I could pick up a couple thousand, load them and then not worry about chasing down my hulls.

So, all other things being equal, same powder/primer/wad/shot, will I see much of a difference between a Federal hull on it's second loading and an AA that I've loaded a few times?

Next question, what's press should I be looking at?
Thinking either a Mec Jr
Graf & Sons - MEC 600 JR 12ga MARK V SHOTSHELL LOADER

Or is it worth the extra $80 for a Sizemaster?
Graf & Sons - MEC SIZEMASTER 12ga SHOTSHELL LOADER

Thinking the auto-prime would make it worth the extra $80

What's the official PBB opinion?
 

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Do you have a good source for cheap shot?

Unless you can find a cheap source for lead shot, either new or reclaimed, or you're shooting an odd size like 410 for 28ga, then you can usually find ammo for the same price or cheaper than reloading for shotgun. Buy in bulk when 12 ga goes on sale.

Having said that, you could always shoot reduced loads, like 7/8oz which can help reduce costs.

I'm not too familiar with the MECs, but my reloader does not have auto prime, but it would be handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Would have gone to Shotgunworld, but I've been getting infected site warnings on both Firefox and Safari.

Not too many used reloaders on Craigslist around here, and most are missing parts, would rather spend the extra couple bucks and just get it all delivered in a single box.
 

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I'd spend the extra on the sizemaster. I have a 600jr for I use for 1-1/8oz 12ga loads and occasionally get fail to feeds with my 1187. The size ring on the 600jr doesn't resize as well as the grabber (same resize system as the sizemaster) I use for my 7/8oz loads, use these in the same 1187 with no feed issues, and the auto prime is worth it.

I use the Federal, Estate, Fiocchi, and Rio straight wall hulls with claybuster pink 1-1/8oz and green 1oz wads, red dot powder and primer of choice and get 3-4 loads before the hulls get too bad to load again.
 

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I would get a MEC that is automagic, like the 9000? (it's been awhile)

I have a Versa and a Steel for my 10. It gets old doing them one at a time.

And lead is where the price problems will bite you.

Also make sure to experiment with different hulls, wads, shot cards, etc. Otherwise you are better off buying off the shelf.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The best price I've seen on 1oz #8 target loads is Walmart @5.99+tax for 25, so $0.258/round. And I usually buy 40 boxes at a time and then have to wait for them to restock, or order Estate/Federals from Cabelas when they have their free shipping deal and it works out around the same price per shell.

Looking at it it seems like I'm right about the same price per shell at $0.255/round using Claybuster wads, Universal Clays powder, Winchester primers, and new shot. I'll have to see what reclaimed shot is going to cost me and what that does to my numbers. But it's looking like my only advantage is being able to load cheaper 7/8 loads than factory AA, and never worrying about Walmart being out of stock.

So you guys seem to be right, doesn't look like I'll see much/any savings by the time you factor in time and the cost of the press.

Could save a hell of a lot loading .410, and may see some savings with 20ga, but I don't shoot all that much .410 that i really have to worry about cost and I'm still in the market for a 20ga gun, have not actually found what I want yet. So Scratch that idea.
 
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