I just picked up an 1897 Winchester and was thinking about reloading for it. I'm not a high volume shotgun shooter by any means and would mostly pattern it and keep it around for normal shotgun stuff, mostly annual range fun and maybe upland game. I only have buckshot currently and I've read shooting lighter loads will extend its life which is where the reloading comes in.
As I only plan to load one kind of shell for this one gun would a LEE Load all 2 be a good press? I only see myself shooting a box or two a year. At that volume is it even worth reloading?
At the volume of shooting you're thinking you'll do, I don't see reloading as being a viable option unless you like the self-sufficiency aspect of the hobby. Now if you were to add a couple of six-guns and a 1873 Winchester to the mix to do Cowboy Action Shooting, then reloading would be the most practical and cost effective way to go.
Personally, I will have a shotshell reloading setup up at some point because I like the self-sufficiency aspect so I'm interested hear other opinions on the subject, and reviews of the Lee Load All.
I do like the DIY aspect of reloading and the ability to make light loads even if its just for 1 gun but I agree it may not be practical. Still the cost isn't terribly high for the Load All which attracts me.
I was 14 when I bought a Load All, taught myself to use it, and enjoyed it for many, many years. Probably filled two or so 3lb coffee cans with spent primers, and it never missed a beat. This was the version with a metal base, single primer feed, no spent primer catch.
Loaded everything from slugs/buckshot/super lite loads to 1 7/8 oz mags. For your use, it would seem buying a few boxes of shells might make more economic sense, but I'd still buy it simply for the pleasure of rolling your own, and ability to customize loadings.
It's nice that you get a very full set of powder and shot bushings with the LLA, but changing them out is a bit tedious, as is emptying the two hoppers. The sizing ring works well, as does the crimping dies, but the sizing ring has to be added/removed manually... No big deal, but perhaps again, a bit tedious. Crimp quality was excellent, producing very fine looking final crimps.
After 20 years of use, I did buy a MEC Sizemaster and gave the LLA away still working perfectly. Even thought Lee will supply a bushing chart, IMO and experience, purchasing a good quality scale is mandatory. Good luck, and if you have any questions drop me an email from my profile.
Nitro smoke rewards a long days toil...
|Plowing straight ahead come what may|
If you are not going to be a high volume shooter and are considering reloading for softer recoil to be easy on the gun...I would recommend these...a lot of Cowboy Action shooters use them and swear by them...
"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
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