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 hand 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 (reloading is big in the states) are designed and supplied for use with plastic wads (they have no environmental requirements to use fibre wads). Fibre wads can easily be reloaded in the machines but the process is a little slower than using plastic wads. 


Cases are normally free, just ask your local clay ground. Minor gauges may be harder to source and hence the use of *brass cases when reloading 410. For perfection new primed cases can be purchased but they add to the cost of the home loaded cartridge. A useful web site for the .410 shooter is 410resource.

* Regretfully due to the Violent Crime Reduction Bill (VCR) you now need a Firearms Certificate (FAC) to purchase from an RFD the primers used in the .410 brass cases. 

Example costs of reloading "pigeon cartridges" in plastic wad.

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

12ga 28gm
primers 28.44
plastic wad 20.00
powder 1.35gm 48.60
lead shot 28gm 95.20 192.24
20ga 24gm 
primers 28.44
plastic wad 20.00
powder 1.15gm 45.31
lead shot 24gm 81.60 175.35
28ga 21gm
primers 28.44
plastic wad 20.00
powder 0.95gm 37.43
lead shot 21gm 71.40 157.27
.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 7.50 176.70