Folkestone Engineering Supplies.

Cartridge Reloading.

Why reload?

Normally the single biggest reason for initially considering to reload is to save money. 

For metallic cartridge shooters (e.g. rifle and in the good-old-days pistol) the savings have always been significant. However, ask any rifle man why he reloads and he will probably also say "accuracy (my home loads are better than commercial ammo) and enjoyment".

Shotgun cartridge reloads are the equal of any commercial product. Because you will be assembling exactly the same  components* as they do and in the process you will (hopefully) gain further enjoyment from the sport and yes save money see below.

* Generally the only exception to this is the lead shot. For a lot of home loaders make their own shot.
Why? Because you can unlike the other components (that you cannot make at home) and it adds to the enjoyment of reloading. Making shot at home is not new. Search the web and you will find several forums offering information and several DIY and one USA made commercial shot maker. 

Can all cartridges be reloaded?

Yes 12ga, 20ga, 28ga and .410 are very popular to reload.  

Reloading Machines?

The Lee Load-all is a good entry level press but only available in 12ga and 20ga. 

The MEC is more expensive and better engineered but both give excellent results. All American machines are designed and supplied for use with plastic wads. Fibre wads can easily be reloaded in the machines but the process is a little slower than using plastic wads. 

Cases?

Cases are normally free, just ask your local clay ground. but small gauges may be harder to source and hence some use MagTech brass cases especially when reloading 410. However these type of cases have two significant limitations.
Due to the Violent Crime Reduction Bill (VCR) you will need a Firearms Certificate (FAC) to purchase from an RFD the primers used in brass cases, also if loading fibre wads both the driving wad and cards will need to be oversized e.g. 12ga will need 11ga wads. 
A useful web site for the .410 shooter is 410resource.

How much money can I save reloading cartridges? Is there really a saving?

Unlike some other component sellers/websites we are open and honest and we show below the cost of reloading various cartridges.

Our competitors claim that if you reload a FAST 12ga 28gm cartridge then significant savings are possible,
well, none of our cartridges are slow! And FAST or SUPER FAST is not necessary best, for speed without a decent pattern is useless especially given that the small shot size used in clay cartridges loses its initial velocity very quickly (e.g. see Ballistics what its mean to the gun in the field).

But sadly It can be seen that in practice no savings are possible when reloading 12ga 28gm loads to make a budget club clay pigeon cartridge unless you make your own shot. But the pleasure and satisfaction in dusting clays with your own brand of cartridges is priceless.  

The 12ga 28gm club budget clay cartridge is the "bread and butter" for the manufacturing industry and competition among the many manufactures and retailers is extreme and hence price is extremely competitive.  

However when buying commercial shot savings are possible;

If you shoot an expensive competition clay cartridge
shoot game loads in 12ga, and the heavier the load the greater the savings
or shoot other gauges (20ga, 28ga, .410) then significant savings are possible provided a ready supply of used cases are available.

If loading slugs then again significant savings are possible.

Below example costs of reloading 1000 clay or pigeon cartridges in plastic wad, our shot is one price regardless of size.

Note powder prices for 12ga, 20ga and 28ga are calculated from the 5kg bulk rate and primers from the Fiocchi bulk box of 9600,
lead shot at the 50kg bulk rate. Further significant savings are possible if you make your own shot.

 

Total

* Nearest cheapest
commercial clay load
*Nearest cheapest
commercial pigeon load
12ga 28gm
primers 28.44
plastic wad 20.00
powder 1.35gm 48.60
lead shot 28gm 95.20 29gm
192.24 189.00 218.00
20ga 24gm 
primers 28.44
plastic wad 20.00
powder 1.15gm 45.31
lead shot 24gm 81.60 25gm fibre
175.35 238.00 266.00
28ga 21gm
primers 28.44
plastic wad 20.00
powder 0.95gm 37.43
lead shot 21gm 71.40
157.27 269.00 339.00
.410ga 13gm 11.5grains powder
primers 36.00
plastic wad 19.00
Alliant .410 powder 70.00
lead shot 13gm 44.20
Over shot cards 7.50 14gm 12.5gm fibre
176.70 252.00 255.00

* From Just cartridges March 2018