Two Inch Shells

Dear Technoid,

I am trying to locate a reloader that can reload 2″ shells for a 12 or 16 gauge and be used to load 2-3/4″ also. I have been told that there are no reloaders for 2″ shells.

Please help me if you can.


Dear Jim,

2″ reloaders? Darned if I know. I get the same question about 2-1/2″ shells too. I have never seen a manufacturer advertise a reloader for 2″ 12s, much less 2″ 16s (???).

Here’s what I’d do. I would first contact Mayville Engineering Co., 715 South St., Mayville, WI 53050, tel: 800-797-4632, <> and ask them if one of their reloaders can be adapted to 2″ 12s. The reason that I would contact MEC first is that they make the cheapest reloaders that actually do a good job. If you aren’t going to reload a huge amount, their single stage loader will be fine. Price is a factor because you are going to want one reloader in EACH configuration. You may or may not be able to switch shell length in all the MEC reloaders, but you don’t want to. It’s much simpler to get a modestly priced reloader and set it up for your short 12, 16 and then get a faster carousel reloader like the MEC 9000G for your high volume standard loads. Trust me. It’s worth the extra money.

If MEC doesn’t do a 2″ ( I am sure they don’t) and cannot recommend a machinist to convert one of their 2-3/4″ to a 2″ 12, then I would try Ponsness/Warren, 768 Ohio Street, Rathdrum, ID 83858, tel: 800-732-0706, <>. PW makes an excellent single stage called a 375 Duomatic, in addition to their expensive progressives. A PW progressive costs about 3X what a MEC progressive does, but they are nicely made. I don’t know what the price difference in the single stages is. PW may be able to set up a 2″ die set for you because some of their models hold the hull in a die during loading. This may work better for a 2″ hull, especially if you are trying to make 2″ hulls from cut-down 2-3/4″ hulls rather than buying new hulls or using hulls from fired 2″ shells. A lot of 2″ stuff is roll crimped and that will take a separate step with a roll crimp die in an electric drill. Crimp closure uses up a great deal of space, something that the little 2″ hull can ill afford.

You might also contact Spolar and Dillon, but my guess is that you will have the best chance with MEC and PW. It might also be helpful if you post your question on the <> forum. They have a lot of threads on light weight game guns and I am sure that this topic has come up before. Consider also the forum at Sometimes they turn up some useful stuff.

Frankly, I think that no matter what you do, you are going to end up trying to convert a 2-3/4″ loader into a 2″ by replacing or altering the dies. There aren’t a lot of customers for 2″ shells so you are pretty much on your own. The thing that I want to recommend most strongly is not to commit yourself to trying to find one machine that will do all gauges and lengths. I believe that Spolar, Dillon and PW (though I could be wrong here) offer either complete or partial gauge interchangeability among standard lengths and gauges, but it is seldom worth the hassle. It is generally a far, far more economic use of your time to leave one machine dedicated to 2″ 12, 2-3/4″ 12, 16, etc. That’s what makes the inexpensive single stage reloaders so nice for low volume production.

As to components for your 2″ 12 and 16, you might try Ballistics Products, Inc., 20015 75th N., Corcoran, MN 55340, tel: 612-494-9237, <>. They carry all sorts of that stuff and may just have reloading information too. Worth a try.

There it is. Once again 250 words of infinite wisdom on something I know absolutely nothing about.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC

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2 Responses to Two Inch Shells

  1. Bill E. says:

    First thing I would do is I would explore getting brass cases of the 2 inch size and learn to load them. Obviously more cost up front, but will last indefinitely.

    I have loaded many 2 1/2 inch shells on a PW 375 and it is not a problem because PW will provide a 2 1/2 sizing die plus a paper crimp cone die and that is all you need. Of course you don’t need the paper crimp die for plastics. The rest of the dies can be lowered the small amount necessary to complete the reloading process.

    For that reason, I would first try on that machine for the 2 inch hull because of its ease in converting between gauges and because it supports the hull completely. Whether the 2 inch sizing die is available or not, it would not be a big or expensive deal to have one shortened on a lathe for the 2 inch hull size.

    I would first check with PW to see if the other dies could be lowered the amount necessary to be able to load the 2 inch hull, but I am betting they are because of their construction.

    The 2 inch shells I have fired were all roll crimped but don’t know that with adjustment for the load, could not also be pie crimped.

    IMO the PW is the best for this because the DuoMatic allows you to have dies for both 2 3/4 and 2 inch on the same “head” and then by simply turning the head 180 degrees and changing out the sizing die plus a small adjustment on the wad seating die; you would be ready to load 2 inch.

    It is a lot easier to do than describe and even working slowly, it only takes about 2-4 minutes after emptying powder and shot bottles.

    You would still need to remove the hull for roll crimping and that is the only area that may require some fiddle-de-dee to figure out. That is why I would explore a standard crimp and for that the PW 375 would work fine.

    Good luck and hopefully you can find this of some use. BTW, I always wanted a fine British 2 inch gun but alas, too poor to buy one.


  2. Jim Hall says: snap in brass spacers for MEC loaders from Precision Reloading. They sell a few different types and sizes. They let the MEC loader stay set for 3″ or maybe 2-3/4″ so the decap/size – prime – powder charge – wad – shot load stations do not need to be modified. They are used in the crimp start and crimp stations to accommodate the short shell. I would think that 2″ shells would be roll crimped, but I do not recall ever seeing any to know.

    MEC also sells a short kit for the crimp stations of the single stage loaders.


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