Originally Posted by clearfield12
Where can I get reasonably cheap components to reload 2 3/4" 7 1/2-9 trap shells? Any tips or tricks?
Sadly, as we all know, the days of "reasonably priced" are gone.
However, there are a few corners you can cut without affecting anything.
First is wads. Skip the Win or Rem brands. I shoot Claybusters at about half the cost. There are others as well. Just look for "AA clones" and you'll find replacements for the big name brands.
Another, though harder, place is in shot. That's really the killer right now. I hesitate to shoot reclaimed shot. I could've just bought tons (literally) of it, but passed. Some is quite good, others not so much, and some is downright terrible. I'm not risking my bores to something like that. However, there are still a handful of guys that will take reclaimed shot, melt it down, and remanufacture fresh shot out of it. Cheaper than the big name bagged stuff, but price and quality vary, along with the trouble of finding a small operation that still does it.
An obvious area is hulls. You can go to your local club and likely scrounge all the hulls you need for free. Look for Win AA, Rem STS, or Rem Gun Club hulls. Skip the rest. Those mentioned are the universal hulls, that everybody makes components (wads) for, and that you can find load data everywhere.
Compare powders. A few recent entries in the powder field are designed to offer more loads per dollar. Use those and you'll stretch your money as well.
I still reload. Yes, it's not nearly as cost effective as it once was, but it IS still cheaper, and for a better quality shell. I use rainy evenings, or bitter cold winter days, to just load up hundreds at a time. It doesn't take long to put a season's worth on the shelf, in time that wasn't otherwise useful.