Understanding Gauge, Chamber Length, & Choke Tubes

Semi-automatic shotguns fire a single round each time they are pulled. This allows you to fire off shots quickly. Hunting with semi-automatic shotguns is prohibited in some states.

Semi-automatic shotguns have a higher rate of jamming than pump-action or broken-action guns because they automatically load rounds and are more complicated. Shotguns measure the barrel’s diameter using a gauge, not calibers like handguns and rifles. Since the days of muzzleloading guns, the indicator has been used to measure the diameter. The gauge Primers 209 number of a shotgun is determined by how many lead balls are smaller than the gun bore to roll down the barrel. Twelve lead balls having a diameter equal to or greater than the barrel’s diameter will make a 12-gauge shotgun a pound.

Many turkey hunters load their high-performance shotgun ammunition using Tungsten Super Shot, Hevi-Shot, and Hevi-Shot. But reloading increases performance for all shotgunners.

Competitive clay shooters have developed that are suitable for any game they play. Red Dot versus Green Dot and Universal versus Clays Powder can quickly get you in the weeds. The debate extends far beyond what you can cover in this article about how to start reloading shotgun shells. It will not take you long to find your favorite, and that is only possible by doing some experimentation. We’re here to help get you started.

First, you will need a reloading book. There are many available, from Winchester to Hodgdon to Alliant. You can find many other resources online. But, make sure only to trust reliable sources in the firearms sector.

In a manual, data sets are arranged by gauge, payload, and shell. The manual will include a section that covers 12-gauge 1-1/8-ounce loads, including Winchester AA hulls (Remington STS hulls), Federal hulls (Feder hulls), and others. It will also list the recommended powder charges and primers. Similar sections will be provided for the following: 16-gauge (16-gauge), 20-gauge; 28-gauge;.410-bore. Each load will be weighed for chamber pressures as well as muzzle velocity. A shotgun-reloading press can perform all the necessary functions to create a reloaded shotgun cartridge. The MEC Sizemaster can be used for 12-, 20/16-, and 28 gauge.

The Semester has stations that are in a circular arrangement. This is where all the steps are performed. It starts by depriving the shotgun shell and resizing it to factory dimensions. A primer station installs a brand new primer—the next station dispenses powder into the surface. The next station will install the wad. The next station allocates the shot, and the final station crimps your mouth.

MEC presses come standard with a charge bar and three bushings to measure the powder and shot weight. These bushings can be pretty accurate. However, I replaced the stock charging bar with a universal one that allows you to dial in the exact weight to one-tenth the grain of both charges. This eliminates any disparities between powders and shot sizes.

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