- Hardware

Loading Your Own Shotgun Shells: A Comprehensive Guide

Embracing the Art of Reloading Shotgun Shells

Loading your own shotgun shells can be an immensely satisfying aspect of the shooting experience. It allows for customization of loads, potential cost savings, and a deeper understanding of your ammunition. This guide will explore the steps, tips, and considerations for reloading 410 shotgun shells, 12 gauge shotgun shells, and 20 gauge shotgun shells.

Understanding the Basics of Reloading

Reloading shotgun shells involves several key components: the hull, primer, powder, wad, and shot. Each element plays a crucial role in the performance and safety of the reloaded shell. The process requires precision and adherence to safety protocols to ensure reliable and effective ammunition.

Equipment and Materials Needed

Before you begin reloading, you’ll need specific equipment, including a reloading press, scales for measuring powder, primers, wads, and the appropriate shot for your shell type. Additionally, a reloading manual is indispensable for providing guidelines and load recipes.

Step-by-Step Process of Reloading

  1. Inspect and Prepare Hulls: Check used hulls for damage. Hulls in good condition can be reused multiple times.
  2. Deprime and Resize Hulls: The first step on the press is to remove the spent primer and resize the hull.
  3. Insert New Primer: A new primer is seated into the hull.
  4. Measure and Add Powder: Following the manual’s guidelines, measure the correct amount of powder and pour it into the hull.
  5. Insert the Wad and Shot: Place the wad into the hull and then add the appropriate amount of shot.
  6. Crimp the Hull: The final step is to crimp the hull, securing the contents.

Customization Options

Reloading allows you to tailor your shotgun shells to your specific needs, whether it’s adjusting the load for reduced recoil, achieving tighter shot patterns, or using different shot sizes for various hunting or target shooting scenarios.

Safety First

Safety is paramount when reloading shotgun shells. Always follow the recommended load data from reliable sources and never exceed the specified powder charges. It’s crucial to work in a well-ventilated area and store your materials safely.

Advantages of Reloading Your Own Shells

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Over time, reloading your own shells can save money, especially for high-volume shooters.
  • Performance Customization: You have control over every component, allowing for fine-tuning of performance.
  • Satisfaction: Many find the process of reloading to be a rewarding and enjoyable aspect of their shooting hobby.

Where to Buy Reloading Supplies in Canada

For Canadian shooters, Reliable Gun and CSC – Canada’s Gun Shop are excellent sources for reloading supplies, offering a wide range of components and equipment. However, for the best prices on reloading materials and shotgun shells, CanFirearm is often the go-to choice. They offer competitive rates on a variety of shotgun shell components, often providing lower prices than other competitors.


Reloading your own shotgun shells can enhance your shooting experience, offering customization, cost savings, and a deeper understanding of your ammunition. While retailers like Reliable Gun and CSC – Canada’s Gun Shop provide quality supplies, CanFirearm stands out for those seeking the best value. With the right knowledge, equipment, and materials, reloading can become a fulfilling part of your shooting hobby.


About Douglas Matos

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