Filling The Shot Bottle


Enjoy your web page immensely! Your writing style – just the facts – and experienced driven opinions are appreciated.

Simple question:

I reload for skeet – all 4 gauges. Buy shot like everyone else in bags. The bags are a pain to open – sometimes I try to cut the string closure at the top and other times just get frustrated and cut open the bag. Then, storing the shot is accomplished by pouring the bags (using my tipsy funnel) into some large plastic bottles (old laundry detergents – dry).

Is there a better method?? Spillage is always a fear, and the whole process is dreaded – delicately trying to open the bag and transferring to the storage bottle without some shot on table or floor. Then, no way to get the little “fuzzies” – the shot bag string tags which fall into the shot – from cycling through my MEC Grabber loaders. What do the experts do, if anything which might help.

Best Regards,


Dear Ed,

Everyone has their own way. I just use an ancient plastic funnel that seems to be about 6″ across at the top and has had the spout cut back to about 1-1/2″ long with an opening of almost 1″. When I want to refill the shot bottle on my MECs, I just stick the funnel in the hole at the top of the bottle and pour in the shot.

I get my shot in bags like everyone else. Currently the bags are some sort of reinforced plastic mesh, much like feed or seed bags. Cutting stitching and stuff is far too complicated for me. I’m a blunt trauma kind of guy. With my trusty scissors, I just cut off one bag corner at an angle, exposing a hole of 2″ or so. Then I pour the shot into the funnel on top of the bottle. That’s it. It’s been working for 30 years.

Sometimes, on the cloth bags, there’s a little string that you have to fish out, but other than that it’s clean.

I had a friend who just loved to mechanize everything. He put a heavy duty storage container in the rafters above his reloader and ran a plastic tube from it into the shot bottle. That container would hold bags and bags of shot. He’d fill that sucker up with shot until the floor above would sag. He only reloaded one gauge and pellet size, so it worked for him. You and I swap around too much to have such simple lives.

I can’t conceive of a much simpler way to get the shot into the bottle than cutting off the corner of the bag and pouring it in through a funnel, but if I’ve missed a better way I sure would like to hear about it from our SR readers.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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3 Responses to Filling The Shot Bottle

  1. Tim DeVries says:

    I have a little plastic bucket that holds about 2/3 of a MEC shot bottle or so. I put the shot in the little bucket and then pour it through a plastic funnel into the MEC bottle. I have my loaders set up to the top of the shot bottle is about 6″ above eye level. That makes the reach with a 25# shot bag uncomfortable, but I like working the loaders at that level. The little bucket did the trick for me.


  2. Dave Goddard says:

    I used to hoist 25 lb shot bags up and dump them into my shot bottle, but I found an easier way. I dump my shot into a 2 1/2 gallon bucket I keep under my reloading bench. I then use a 2-cup measuring cup to transfer the shot to the bottle. Even though it takes probably a dozen cups of shot to fill the 25 lb bottle on my Spolar, I don’t think it takes any longer as it’s easier to control the measuring cup compared to a bag that wants to flop around.

    The bucket holds four bags (100 pounds) of shot. It works for me and I haven’t spilled any shot with this method.


  3. Ian says:

    If you can find the lead string in the stitching, it’s an easy “zip” to open the bag. Same technique for feed bags.


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