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Shotgun reloading is the solution you have been looking for to control the ammunition expenses on your weekend shooting. In fact, the recent price increases of factory shotgun shells have many shooters resorting to shotgun reloading. It will allow you to shoot more for the same amount of money.
If you have never tried shotgun reloading yourself and need some advice, it is advisable to go through the basics involved in the process and also the components you need. Here is an overview of the shotgun reloading process which may go a long way to help you manufacture shells and cut down your shooting costs.
A Reloading Press is the most important device that allows you to reload the ammunition. Most reloading presses have five stations that perform all the steps needed for reloading the shells. It contains all the necessary accessories, including the dies, bushings, and charge bars. It holds the dies that reform, prime and reload the shells. A Charge Bar contains a powder bushing that meters out a specific amount of powder and throws a specific amount of shot.
Before you start with the shotgun reloading process, it is critical to ascertain the amount of powder being thrown by the powder bushing and the charge bar. Since each powder varies in density, the same bushing throws different amounts of various powders. For this, you may refer to the table that comes with the press and shows which bushing throws out how much of powder. It is also advisable to use an accurate reloading scale to get just the right amount of powder drop. This will help you choose a larger or a smaller bushing, as required.
Once you get the right amount of powder drops, you are ready to move ahead with the process. The shotgun reloading press comes complete with a lever that operates all stations, which in turn perform all the steps. The 8 basic steps involved in shotgun reloading process are as follows:
Depriming: It is the first basic step that occurs at the first station. Here, the punch (bulging out from the bottom of a mandrel, fitted inside the hull) pushes the spent primer out of its pocket in the hull's base, on pulling the lever.
Resizing: The next important step at the first station is resizing the hull's plastic body (sliding between the mandrel and an outer cylinder) to factory dimensions with the help of a resizing clip that slips over the brass base.
Priming the Shotshell: At the second station, you need to place the hull on a hollow rammer tube while placing a primer in a spring-loaded cup. On pulling the lever, the rammer guides the hull onto the primer while the cup's spring allows the primer to sit in the empty pocket.
Charging with Powder, Wad and Shot: At the third station, get ready for three important operations. The first operation is charging with the powder. Here, the lever inserts a drop tube into the hull. On pushing the charge bar to the left, the powder bushing is moved from beneath the powder bottle and drops its load down the tube into the hull. The charge bar beneath the shot bottle also gets positioned, filling the shot receptacle. Next, you need to place a wad over the bottom of the tube by lifting the lever. The tube will seat the wad on top of the powder once you release the lever. The third important step at this stage is to get the shot column complete. Here again, you will need to lift the lever slightly and push the charge bar to the right. It will move the shot receptacle over the tube and drop the shot into the wad's shot cup.
Pre-crimp: At the fourth station, crimp is started which sets the proper folds in the plastic hull. However, it is important that it leaves the end slightly open.
Final Crimp Station: Here, the crimp is fully closed by a punch. The top of the shell gets a slight recess. This station also tapers the shell slightly so it will enter the shotgun chamber without force.
With this, your shell is ready to fire. With little practice and by paying attention to details, you will find that shotgun reloading is a simple and repetitive process. You can make many shells even on a basic press, every hour.
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