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Thread: reloading 20 ga shot shells

  1. #1
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Default reloading 20 ga shot shells

    I've never reloaded shot shells but have decided to get the new Lee shotshell press ordered next week. I have a loading buddy that says he's always had problems with loading 20ga shot shell cases. Crimping seems to be his problem. Anyone here had any experience with that problem. My buddy says he has no problem with 16 and 12ga loads. Just 20ga.
    Just thought I'd throw out that question. Really bored today.............lol
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    I've never had any problem with crimps on 20's, but I'm a wonk for following loading recipes and getting the right combo in the right case. The one guy I know who had problems was always messing around and putting together combos that were a little long for the case. That's a sure recipe for problems, no matter the gauge. While I do my loading up here on an old PW loader, I bought one of those inexpensive little LEE presses and mounted it in our place in the Southwest. It works so well, I kinda wonder why I own a PW that costs something like 10x!

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I've never had any problem with crimps on 20's, but I'm a wonk for following loading recipes and getting the right combo in the right case. The one guy I know who had problems was always messing around and putting together combos that were a little long for the case. That's a sure recipe for problems, no matter the gauge. While I do my loading up here on an old PW loader, I bought one of those inexpensive little LEE presses and mounted it in our place in the Southwest. It works so well, I kinda wonder why I own a PW that costs something like 10x!
    Ya, the Lee's price is a killer compared to other loaders and yes, my buddy is an experimenter and probably is trying to fit 10 pounds of S*** in a 5 pound bag........lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    As long as you have the right wad-shot combo, they'll crimp just as well as anything else, but I'd suggest the reloading equipment has considerable effect as well. I don't do 20g, but a friend does and he never has problems. As for my experience with 12g reloading, I had lots of poor crimps with the single-stage Lee press that I used many years ago. I've had very few crimp problems with the progressive MEC loader that is much higher quality.
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  5. #5
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    As long as you have the right wad-shot combo, they'll crimp just as well as anything else, but I'd suggest the reloading equipment has considerable effect as well. I don't do 20g, but a friend does and he never has problems. As for my experience with 12g reloading, I had lots of poor crimps with the single-stage Lee press that I used many years ago. I've had very few crimp problems with the progressive MEC loader that is much higher quality.
    Thanks for the input Joat
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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    The shot/wad/hull combo makes all the difference. Use the wrong wad with the given shot charge or case type, and crimping can be difficult. Also, some cases just crimp better than others. Target hulls with 8-point crimps work much better and last a lot longer than some of the cheap field load hulls with 6-point crimps.

    With proper components, however, loading 20ga shells should be just as straightforward as loading 12ga shells.

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    Exactly Dan I have had nothing but troble with fed. field hulls and unique, why unique cause I got 8lbs some years back for cast and shotshell work the problem is its to bulky 1 in 5 does'nt ignite my bud James like to have killed me at least 6 grouse he hit with the wad and they would blink and take off win. target hulls no problem incidentlly great year for birds here in nortern mn. shot 10 one day myself bad year for deer though

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfonzo View Post
    ...1 in 5 does'nt ignite....
    I wonder if something else is going on. Unique has been my powder of choice for 3" since the early 1970's, and I don't recall a single failure to ignight. I'm not questioning your experience, but looking beyond the Unique for the cause. In fact, it's my favorite powder for 20 gauge and handguns.

  9. #9
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Grizzlyh,
    As others have stated stay with good rec components and you should be fine - I competed in ALL gauges and loaded tons of 20's 28's, 410's etc. They won't be a problem unless you fudge on wads and hulls.... 8 pt hulls do tend to stay sealed better than 6 over time. All I ever had were Mec 600jrs slow but reliable loaders....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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