Reloading 12 ga Shotshells – On the Cheap! (Part 3)


Some sockets, a dowel, the 1/2 inch washer from before, and a screw driver to use as the decapper.  In the photo, the 7/8″ and 22 mm sockets, and the two drivers are redundant.  You only need one of each.  And, as you will see, I used the punch from part 2, rather than one of the drivers.

So, the idea with the large sockets is to use something your shotshell will fit inside, without binding, or moving around.  It also needs to provide enough clearance to punch the primer out.  The best sockets I found for this were the 7/8″ and 22 mm sockets, in 1/2″ drive.  You only need one.

The smaller chrome socket has to fit inside the shotshells, able to reach all the way to the bottom.  For 12 ga, I found 1/2″ and 12 mm sockets to be the best.  However, different tool brands have different wall thicknesses, depending on the tool’s quality and purpose.  So you may need to use a smaller size, if the walls are thick.  Obviously, this should be a “deep well” socket.

The black impact socket is optional.  You can use it to slightly expand the hulls, if needed.  The example is a 10mm, but the size really doesn’t matter.  It just needs to be able to expand the mouths.

So, let’s run through this.

Expanding the mouth with the impact socket. (Ignore the taped finger.  My thumb cracks and bleeds all winter.  I had it medicated and taped, in an attempt to get it partially healed.)

The inner socket should be inserted base-first, so the (square) drive socket guides your decapping punch right to the primer, and doesn’t let it slip.

Any of these punches will work.  I passed on the square and Torx drivers, because it was easier to take the photo while using the steel punch.

The 12 mm socket is left in the hull base-first if 3/8″ drive, but turned around (mouth first) if 1/4″ drive.  Then it is placed inside of the larger socket.

Not shown:  Charging with powder, seating the wad, and charging with shot is just like the previous method.  I have omitted those steps here.

Carefully starting the crimp with my thumb nail.  Once I get the creases showing well, I’ll pinch every fold between my thumb and index finger.  Normally, this isn’t required, but this particular type of Remington hull is very strong and stiff.

Pinching the folds.

Using the 1/2″ washer as my “crimp starter” again.

The final crimp is set.

The finished shell.  This one has an ugly crimp, but I didn’t pay a penny for the tools needed to load it.  I already had everything on hand.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed the article, and may have thought of some ways you can create your own “On the Cheap” shotshell reloading tool kit.

In the next few weeks, I may be posting some write-ups covering the Lee Loader (hand tool) and Lee Load-All (press).

However, my current priority is the rebuilding of my reloading bench.  I would really like to be posting videos with these articles, but my bench makes filming nearly impossible.  I could film the process, but it would be very clumsy and awkward for me.  Testing so far has shown that the video ends up being more annoying, than helpful (due to lighting, viewing angle, and obstructions).  Once the new bench is done, we’ll see where the reloading winds take us.


  1. Jamee Riffon says:

    It can be rare to come across an expert in whom you will surely have some confidence. In the world at present, nobody truly cares about showing others exactly how in this subject matter. How lucky I am to have now found a real wonderful web site as this. It really is people like you that make a real difference in this world through the tips they share.

  2. sem calcinha says:

    Adoro me mostrar peladinha na web cam

  3. Nga Cezar says:

    Computer question (How long does an average person keep a computer for?