Win ammunition diferences? AA12 vs TRGT12


November 1, 2007, 10:08 PM
(I've hunted THR threads, but haven't discovered the magic search terms to separate the wheat from the chaff.)

Can someone please explain why Winchester AA Light Target AA12 shotshells are more expensive than Winchester Super Target TRGT12.

Winchester's web site doesn't shed any light on this mystery, which is rather disappointing.

I would like to pick something that doesn't have the grief of Walmart cheapie shotshells with dimensional issues and steel bases that cause intermittent extraction issues. I'm just getting into aerial shotgun target shooting.

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November 1, 2007, 10:21 PM
I would like to pick something that doesn't have the grief of Walmart cheapie shotshells with dimensional issues and steel bases that cause intermittent extraction issues

Don't buy the Winchester bulk ammo, then. A lot of people report extraction problems with them, and I have experienced the problems myself. The bulk Federals (cheap), and especially the Remingtons (more expensive), are great, and they feed perfectly.

AA's are a waste of money for practice. And for more serious shooting, I'll take STS's. That's personal preference, but I think STS's shot is better, for the same price. I use STS shot for handloading when I can get the stuff.

If you're going to start an addictive new sport, it's best to keep the costs down, at least insofar as possible.:)

Shell Shucker
November 1, 2007, 10:46 PM
Winchester AA is premium target ammo. The best of everything: case (with BRASS head), powder, primer, wad, and shot.
Super Target is ammo manufactured to a (LOW) price point. They are cheap because corners are cut so they can be sold for the lowest possible price.
Premium ammo costs more for several reasons. You get what you pay for.

November 1, 2007, 11:05 PM
Pattern it and see.

Part of what you pay for with premium ammo is reloadable hulls.

Now cheap Remingtons are also quite reloadable, but most others aren't worth crap.

Either way, if you're going to toss 'em, why pay for reloadable hulls with brass bases?

Paying premium prices to get practice is like shooting cans with Eley .22LR. Sure, you can do it, but you're wasting your money.

At longer distances, or when you're missing one clay per round, hell, buy the good stuff (STS), but to practice, save your money. But don't buy bulk Winchester Universals. They really are junk. Never had any trouble with anything else from Winchester, or anything from Federal or Remington.

November 1, 2007, 11:09 PM
Actually, I have problems with bulk Federal from Walmart
(purchased several years ago). I've thorougly cleaned the chamber and polished it too (with no change). No problems with some better non-cheapie Federal. Since others are reporting problems with cheapie Winchester too
(all I currently see at local Walmart), it looks like I need to bypassie cheapie shotshells.

So, what's the difference between AA12 and TRGT12?

I will now wildly speculate, which usually elicits an answer when simply asking a question does not...

I would speculate that the AA12 shotshells use more uniform, harder shot.

Some Canadian pricing on some shotshells

Gobles select special:

Remington STS Nitro Handicap Target 12ga x 2-3/4", #7-1/2 or #8/Case of 250 $72.00

LeBaron select specials:

Winchester TRGT12 Case of 250 $56.45
Winchester AA12 Case of 250 $71.45

November 1, 2007, 11:20 PM
What are you shooting?

Nitro Handicap is a different load from standard STS.

There are various velocities you can get.


Hull: STS and AA hulls can be reloaded 10 times or more. Some say the newer AA's are not as good as they once were, but the plastic is a good deal thicker, and smooth. Bases are brass, which tend to stretch less when fired so they resize easier.

The above is a waste of money if you don't reload. Furthermore, ANY cheap Remington hulls reload 5-7 times, and you can get those from the trash. I can't find any difference in performance between STS hull reloads and Sport Load hull reloads. However, other brands' plastic and crimps are not so conducive to reloading.

Wad: God knows. You'd have to look in the thing. The wads are probably different, though "better" is a good question.

Powder: Cleaner. That's it. Some powders are slower and recoil less, some are faster and involve less delay, but the box doesn't tell you that anyway. Hunting loads work fine, they just smoke a tad more. Otherwise, like I said, there are a number of different AA and STS loads. If you really care about something as esoteric as burn rate, though, you'll start handloading.:)

Primer: God knows if there's a real difference. I use Winchester standard primers for my handloads, but I've used others. They work fine. I don't have problems getting anything to go off in my guns when I pull the trigger.

Shot: Harder, rounder. More consistent shot size, supposedly. I know someone who mic'ed 100 pellets of shot from a factory AA and 100 from a factory STS. His results are one reason I like STS's. If you are interested, get an Xacto knife and try it.

Find some cheaper shells and pattern them. Compare the pattern. Patterns don't lie. If the pellets hit the clay, the clay will break. It doesn't care if it's the cheapest shell or the most expensive.

If you start missing one clay per round, then you're ready to blow your money on "premium" shells. Or if you will reload the hulls.

That doesn't mean buy complete junk, but if your Wal Marts have Remington Sport Loads, try 'em. They're great ammo for relatively cheap.

November 1, 2007, 11:26 PM
Armed Bear
Speaks true.

I am recommending Rem STS to folks that are "maybe" just considering reloading, or going in with someone to reload to get a better loading, and quality control.

Understand, I used to buy Win shells in all 4 gauges by the pallet. All I used was Win powder, shot, wads , primers.
I was using AA Compression formed hulls.

For 40 years, this AA compression hull was THE hull.
Win said the machine broke that made the compression hull, and therefore went to this HS hull.

Sorry, but this HS is not even an itch in its daddy's pants to what the AA compression hull was, did, and proved.

November 2, 2007, 08:04 PM
I'm just getting into the aerial shotgunning thing. I've done a ton of metallic reloading, but I doubt I'll get into reloading small shot shotshell loadings.
(I've reloaded slugs and buckshot, but that is a very different proposition in production volumes and suitable equipment.)

What I'm trying to do is select a "getting started" loading that:
- I can order a few cases from a catalog
- Have some prospect that it will be reasonably
suited to my humble needs
- Won't cause me function issues in my 870 Express that the bargain
dimensionally-challenged steel-bases cheapie Federal shotshells
sold in the past by WalMart.

It looks like an 1145 fps 1.125 oz 12ga loading (say in 7.5's) would be the ticket for my initial needs.

I don't have local dealers with case-lots in stock, current local WalMart bulk offerings are Win econo-packs. Remington and Federal target shotshell loadings seem to be scarce in the Canadian distribution channels.

This makes the excellent advise "try some for pattern" and "disassemble a sample" difficult to apply. I can't even easily run a magnet over a TRGT12 hull to answer the brass or steel question.

Are the Winchester TRGT12 loadings brass-based, and reasonably dimensioned? If they are that would seem to be the best choice given my current skill levels and aspirations.


November 2, 2007, 09:04 PM
For economics and catalog ordering I'd recommend Rio's, Game Club's or Estate's. All three are available on-line. All are economical. Watch the Game Club's. They can be 20 to a box rather than 25 and they often are offered in one ounce loads. You may want and ounce and an eighth.

Sorry I don't know TRGT12's as I reload AA hulls.

November 2, 2007, 09:11 PM
Mswestfall, do you mean Gun Clubs?

November 2, 2007, 09:38 PM
Remington Gun Club or Sport Loads (1200 fps, close enough to 1145). Estate target loads have been good to me, also.

It doesn't have to say "target" on the box. Rifle shooters who start shotgunning are often far too worried about loads than they should be, generally, and often not worried enough about their technique. I know I was. The load doesn't matter at all until you push the range you are shooting at. 1100, 1200, 8, 7.5, whatever. If you find some for cheap, buy a case.

What sort of shooting? Trap? Skeet? Sporting/5 Stand?

Don't know about Rios. People use them. Never heard of Game Clubs or 20 round boxes of any standard loads.

November 2, 2007, 10:48 PM
I'm in Canada, none of the US online sources are available to me unless I'm buying minimum of probably several pallets in a single shipment, due to cost of export/import/hazmat paperwork and minimum transborder shipment sizes.
(A carrier isn't going to give decent per poind rates for such a complicated shipment unless it's probably at least 500lbs of product).
So I'm limited to what is being offered thru Canadian distributors.
I'm sure most of the US retailers don't want to touch export, so to access US vendors I would have to deal with US distribution or manufacturers - not likely to happen at the quantity levels I would want individually even in a lifetime.

I'm not especially fixatated on designated "target" ammunition, but the designated hunting loadings are heavier recoiling and more expensive than I need. Most of those use steel shot too, which is more expensive than lead for range usage.

I think it's informal trap. Might give sporting clays a try elsewhere when I get a little more up to speed, assuming I can learn the game.
(I'm starting on the aerial shotgunning thing late because of cross-dominance issues).

I just tried a Google search of Canadian web sites
specifying "12 ga target 1145 7.5".
Found the Rem "Gun Club" GC12L7 loading offered by a Canadian retailer.
The writeup implies steel bases, can someone confirm/deny?
$C44.99/case of 250, which is comparable to the Win TRGT12 pricing.

November 3, 2007, 12:12 AM
Steel bases, yes. That's not a problem, though.

I've never had any trouble with them feeding in an 870, and I've shot literally thousands of them. Same 870 HATES bulk Winchesters. Unlike other companies, it seems Remington's bulk loads are sized properly. Can you tell I like Remingtons? I've tried them all, and that's what's come out in the wash.:)

I've reloaded thousands of Gun Clubs and Sport Loads as well. I do resize the bases, but they're good for 5 reloads minimum. The hull quality is almost too good if you're not reloading them. When I hunt with them, I feel bad for throwing them away, though I still do because they're usually muddy or full of sand.

November 3, 2007, 10:05 AM
Yes, sorry, Gun Clubs not Game Clubs.

I agree w/ArmedBear about the steel bases. They aren't a problem in pumps or autos and they reload well.

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