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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I recently aquired this old Lee Loader "Delux Set" for reloading 20ga shot-shells.

As soon as there's a good weather day that coincides with a day off for me in my part of the verse, so I can empty out some 20ga hulls, I may try out reloading some 20ga hulls with the Lee Loader.

Thoughts? :rolleyes:
 

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I used to load 20 gauge shells on a Lee Loader about 35 years ago. The most difficult part was getting a good star crimp on the shells, one that would stay down and not pooch outward over time.
I had to put the shell on the floor and kneel over it, to get enough compression. A tedious process, but it taught me the basics.
The MOST IMPORTANT aspect is to match your fired shells to your components. Reloading shotshells is not like reloading rifle or pistol cases. You can't just grab any ol' shotgun shell and use any ol' powder, wads and primer.
You need a modern reloading book to guide you.
Don't rely on a 20-year-old or older shotshell reloading book, or the instructions in the old Lee Loader. Components and shells listed in these old books may no longer be made.
If you have a large variety of fired shells, this means you'll have to buy the proper wads, primer and possibly powder for each shell type. This can be complicated and expensive. Most shotgunners try to use only one or two types of shells, from the same maker, so they don't have to buy a variety of components. It's a good practice.
After a while, I found that I used so few shotgun shells that it just didn't pay for me to reload them. I just buy mine, anymore. If I shot skeet or trap, where I'd use a lot of shells, I'd certainly reload. But for hunting, and the occasional plinking session, I just buy factory shells.
 

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Gatofeo is correct on many issues. I would add that the Lee loader does not resize the base of the hull, so if you fire actual brass base factory ammo such as Win. AA or Remington premier in the same gun, then those same empties will provide excellent hulls for reloading. You may be able to save a couple of bucks reloading 20 gauge as its priced the same as 12 gauge but uses less shot (shot is your most expensive component now). Loading a 7/8 oz. target 20 load will probably cost you 3.50-4.00 now days and that using off brand replacement wads, buying off brand primers in 1K quantities, buying powder in 4-8 LB. containers and shot from the cheapest source which often times is trap ranges. So if you can snag 100 round value packs (these have cheaper hulls that are usually thrown) for under $20, its hard to justify the upstart cost these days.
 

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You may find the Lee Loader takes quite a bit of time to load a box of shells . . . . In my neck of the woods, I can pick up 100 round value packs of 20 ga shells for around $22. With the cost of lead and primers, I can't load them for less than $4/box. Saving $6 is saving $6, however!

I see used MEC single-stage presses for $50. I can turn out 100-125 shells in around an hour on mine. The Lee does not resize (as noted previously) so you may find the shells a tight fit in some chambers. My father started loading with a Lee Loader 40+ years ago and quickly changed to a single-stage MEC press because he could never get good crimps.

That said, I find reloading shotshells tremendously relaxing and something that takes my mind away from whatever might be bothering me at the time.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all. Copy and agree with all. I'm not thinking of doing serious production with the Lee Loadar. I just want to try it out some time. This fast Friday I empted out some Winchester AA 20ga Super Sport hulls; the new HS kind. I've got a couple of modern shot shell reloading books, went with WAA20 hulls instead of the less expensive Clay Buster imitations (although I hear they're okay) and a 25lb bag of #8 shot from Midway... I just closed my eyes and hit send on the order without thinking too much on the price. I wanted to try out the Lee Loadar yesterday or today, but got hit hard with a dry cough, slight feaver, aches, pains and runny nose yesterday. Its been a rough couple of days. No meds and not much food in the house. Work tomorrow is going to be rough. Anyway, when I get better, I'll let y'all know how it goes. Thanks again.
 
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