A Couple of reloading questions, rifle and shotgun

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 44stevenson, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. 44stevenson

    44stevenson New Member

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    One question I have is that I have noticed is that most recipes call for a specific bullet (i'm talking about info such as brand and type, not weight). As long as the style is similar and the weight is the the same, is there any problem in using a different brand?





    Now for a lot of questions on shotgun shell reloading, as i have a new reloading press that I've not yet taken from the box.. As I've seen in some of these recipes, they call for a specific shell, are shotshells really this particular?

    Also, when looking at wads, how do you tell which shell length the wad is good for? Do they work for any length (i.e. 2 3/4, 3, 3.5)?
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I sure that you have noticed that if you are reading the Hornady manual, that they only specify Hornady bullets. If you are reading the Sierra manual, they only specify Sierra bullets, and so on and so on. They only test their loads with their bullets. If you take a manual like the Lyman manual, they don't mention bullet names, just the weights, because they test only the loads since they do not make bullets.

    To answer your first question, in a word NO. As long as the weight are the same (or close) there is no problem substituting bullets. I do not reload shotgun shells so I cannot help you on your second question.
  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    There are some differences, so long as you're working up the load and going with the same weight and style you're going to be ok as long as you follow the following step : Ensure that the seating depth and resulting case volume is the same or greater.

    The one example that comes to me at the moment is for 45WinMag, take a look at 240gn -260gn bullets and especially the 250gn XTP's with Accur #9. You'll notice that the charge wts do not follow the typical heavier bullet / lighter charge theory. XTP's seat deeper than your generic HP.

    So, while I say it is a safe general rule that you can interchange for different bullet mfgs, you should never assume anything; double check all that you can. If you're working up the load properly, there won't be a problem.
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Worm and moody answered your bullet substitution questions very well... Ill answer the shotshell question.

    Reloading shotshells requires more attention to following EXACT recipes. A simple difference in hull can cause the round to blow your weapon apart. This is mainly because shotshell loads are compressed loads and there is just less room for error.

    That said, you can substitute a different brand of hull in most cases as long as A) youre loading light field loads and B) youre using a hull of the same design (i.e. one piece or fiber basewad)

    I personally only reload one piece hull designs and thats mainly because they last longer. But since I only load 1 recipe in 12 ga and 1 recipe in 20 ga I will collect different manufacterers hulls and use the same data for all 12 ga loads and same 20 ga data. Point is, its far more important to identify what type of hull youre using and mainly the type of basewad it has in it.

    As for wads, I have subed different wads as long as they are of similar construction. Its always best to try to use the EXACT wad in any given data due to patterning differences and the pressures effecting the wad. My favorite wads are figure 8s for both 12 and 20 ga. The wad is rated for a certain amount of shot, I use figure 8s which will handle 1 - 1 1/8 oz of shot in 12 ga, which suits them to 2.75 and 3 inch shells..

    I dont load any magnum loads or heavy field loads. All my shotgunning needs are covered by standard field loads using 3.25 dram green dot and 1 1/8 oz of shot. I prefer #6 for general purpose shooting/hunting and #8 for doves...

    I would not try to do any subbing with any load in the heavy field category or the magnum 3 or 3.5 inch category. pressures are too close to max for comfort...
  5. 44stevenson

    44stevenson New Member

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    JLA,

    So if I'm just reloading low brass, all plastic hulls, and loading lightweight #7's then I'm probably going to be alright, right?


    I'm going to have a lot of steel 3" shells and a few boxes of 3.5" to do probably next year but they will pretty much be all the same shells with an occasional different brand, but originally the same type of load.
  6. noylj

    noylj Member

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    If you look at Hornady's manual, you will see that they group all their jacketed bullets together for the reloading data and simply specify different minimum COL.
    Pressure will be affected by the case volume (internal case volume below the base of the bullet) and the bullet's bearing surface. If you seat a bullet deeper than the recommended minimum COL, pressures will be higher. If you use a bullet with a larger bearing surface, pressures will be higher.
    In ALL cases, if you look for the lowest starting load from various manuals and begin there, there will be no problems. The problem is that too many people want to know the magic load that will perform best in their gun and don't want to start at the starting load and work up.
    Now, lead bullets (cast, swaged, or thinly plated) will have a different pressure curve than jacketed (or thickly plated bullets like Gold Dots). Also, solid copper and frangible bullets have their own loading data.
    Years ago, everyone was happy just being told that for 115gn jacketed bullets, the starting load was 4.5gn of XXX and the max was 6.0gn of XXX, and EVERYONE started with the starting load, no matter what jacketed bullets they had.
    Any way, my own philosophy is that guns cost too much, my life is too precious, and there are too many variables in loading to EVER start at what someone says is a good load.
    I compile all the loading data I have from all my manuals and from various magazines, and ALWAYS start with the lowest starting load and work up. I have been amazed how many times I have reached what I consider to be max before I ever reach what one manuals or another calls a starting load.
    Remember, all they can tell you is what worked in their test barrel. They can not make any guarantee what will work in your gun.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, As long as you use data for a one piece hull you should be ok regardless of the components brand name because pressures will be on the low end, worst case is you will use a primer and wad that doesnt match the data and end up with a heavy field load (pressure wise).

    I personally would trade the 3 and 3.5s to someone that loads them and get more once fired 2.75" hulls. But thats just me, I dont load my own magnum shotshells, and rarely even shoot the factory stuff I do buy. Bustin clays and tearin stuff up is done nicely with light field loads...
  8. 44stevenson

    44stevenson New Member

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    Well I will use the 3 and 3.5s because I duck hunt with them.
  9. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    Just to be clear, shot shell reloading is VERY SPECIFIC.
    1) SPECIFIC hull, i.e., Win AA, Rem STS, FEDERAL etc. That does not mean that all Winchester hulls OR REM hulls OR FED hulls are the same. THEY ARE NOT!!
    2) SPECIFIC wad,i.e., Use wad specifically named in reloading manual. HOWEVER, some wads can to be substituted in place of another. The wad package will clearly state which wad can be substituted.
    3) SPECIFIC shot load, i.e., 1/2oz, 3/4oz, 1oz, 11/8oz, etc.
    4) SPECIFIC primer, i.e., There is a big difference in one primer over another, i.e., A Federal 209A can not be substituted for a Cheddite primer. Use the specified primer.
    5) SPECIFIC powder charge with a SPECIFIC powder,i.e., "Clays" is not the same as "Universal Clays".

    There is SOME savings loading "run of the mill" 12 ga target loads but, not a lot. There is a HUGE savings on on other gauges like 28ga shells. Do the math. Last time I checked prices on 25lbs of shot it was about $45+ here in SOCAL. If you can buy like 1000 lbs you can get a pretty good break.

    If you want to reload shot shells and don't want any problems, use the recipe to the letter and you will be happy. Otherwise, you can damage a very expensive shotgun.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011
  10. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Complicated, and I don't get along! That's why I reload hand gun ammo only. I don't shoot enough rifle ammo in a year to come out ahead by reloading, and the same for shotgun. I don't participate in any of the shotgun shooting sports, so my shooting is done for fun, and for hunting. And you guys just fortified my thinking on this one.
  11. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I very very seldom ever shoot a shotgun, therefore I saw no need of reloading them. I truly have enough shotgun shells on hand to last the rest of my life. I have some that are probably 30 - 40 years old and maybe more. I use them mostly to cut open and take out the shot when I reload the speer shot shells for pistols.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I have 1 shotshell loading session per year, right after 4th of july when my wifes cousins come up and we shoot clay pidgeons for the entire day.
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