Shotgun Hulls


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ArchAngelCD
December 21, 2007, 12:28 AM
How many times can you usually reload a shotgun hull? I have several Hundred of each Winchester AA, Remington STS and Federal hulls and might have to reload them if shotshell keep going up like that are. Just last month Remington Gun Club Target shells were $4.29 a box on sale when bought by the case. Today the the sale was $4.79 a box by the case. I can't even touch Winchester AA anymore because even on sale they are $6 a box if you buy a case.

To figure out when the prices make it worth reloading I need to know how many times you can reload the same hull. These are going to be light loads, the 2 3/4 DRAM type.
Thanks...

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rg1
December 21, 2007, 01:24 AM
5 or more especially with the STS. Watch for cracks or splits around the crimp. The new Win 2-piece hulls aren't worth messing with but the old one piece compression molded hulls are great, but I like the Federal especially for heavy shot charges.

rg1
December 21, 2007, 01:55 AM
Have you checked the cost of components to load shotgun shells lately? A bag of 250 wads at about $7.00, 25lb. bag of shot at $39-$50, primers at $33-$36 per 1000. It's not cheap to load shotshells anymore!

Steve C
December 21, 2007, 02:49 AM
In the days when I reloaded shotgun shells, mostly for trap shooting, the AA hulls where good for 10 or more reloadings before they would start splitting at the crimp. Remington "blue magic" hulls (this should date me) where as good as the AA's.

Have you checked the cost of components to load shotgun shells lately? A bag of 250 wads at about $7.00, 25lb. bag of shot at $39-$50, primers at $33-$36 per 1000. It's not cheap to load shotshells anymore!

Everything seems like its gone up a lot but we've reaped the advantages of cheep ammo for years with competition form the former Communist bloc forcing prices down.

In 1980 I was paying $18 to $20 for a 25# bag of shot, primers where about a penny a piece, and wads where around $4 a bag of 250 and bulk Red Dot powder was $5 a lb. On the other hand, Gas was hovering around $1 a gal, insurance for my car was under $400 a year, Milk was 98 cents a gallon, bread was 50 cents a loaf and a Big Mac was a $1. Relative to everything else the current prices are still a bargain.

fecmech
December 21, 2007, 10:15 PM
Here is a site http://www.microsafari.com/trap/tcalc1.htm just fill in the costs of components and it will give you the cost per box. With todays prices for components in the Buffalo NY area, 12 ga. 1 ounce loads cost $4.25 -$4.50 per box to reload.

Pete409
December 21, 2007, 10:50 PM
How many times can you usually reload a shotgun hull? I have several Hundred of each Winchester AA, Remington STS and Federal hulls

For the AA or STS, I would figure an average of 7 or 8 reloads per hull although you may get much more on some of them.

I've had no problem at all reloading the new 2-piece AA hulls.

As for reloading 12 gauge, it probably isn't worth it if you are doing it for financial reasons only. But, if you just want another hobby that you enjoy and want to load a special type load that you can't buy in the stores, then reloading may be for you. Be forewarned, reloading takes up a lot of space in the house. All the hulls, wads, shot bags, etc just have a way of growing and growing and taking up more space.

Pumpkinheaver
December 21, 2007, 11:31 PM
Load them untill the brimp wont stay or they split. The gold remington nitros are my favorite hull to reload I usually get 10 or more loadings from them.

scout26
December 22, 2007, 12:35 AM
How many times can you usually reload a shotgun hull?


Depends.

Not to be flip, but the "hotter" the load the fewer reloads you'll get out of the hull.

I'm assuming your talking about 12 ga; so with Remington hulls, I can get 10-15 reloads. AA's are good for 10-12 before the crimps are shot.

Federal Gold Medals are good for 8, maybe 10. Top Guns are good for 2 maybe 3, and are not really worth trying to reload as they are straight walled hulls requiring more powder and more expensive wads.

Stick with Remingtons (For reloading a Remington Hull is a Remington Hull is a Remington Hull is a Remington Hull, whether Gold, Shiny Green, Black, or Dull Green, STS, Nitro, Sport Load, Game Loads, Gun Club, Shur-Shot, etc.) or AA's, although the new AA's are not a good as the old style AA's

ArchAngelCD
December 22, 2007, 04:59 AM
Guys, I know it's not worth reloading 12ga shells right now. If you read my post you would realize I'm trying to get all the information in line to punch in the numbers now and then to know when it will be time to reload 12ga shells.

I also said I'm going to reload them very light so that you had enough information to give me a good guess on hull life under those conditions.

Here is a site http://www.microsafari.com/trap/tcalc1.htm just fill in the costs of components and it will give you the cost per box. With todays prices for components in the Buffalo NY area, 12 ga. 1 ounce loads cost $4.25 -$4.50 per box to reload.
fecmech,
That's a good link you provided, thank you. I have been using something similar. You can check it out Here (http://www.trapshooters.com/rlcalcadv.htm).

Like I said in my first post, even the cheaper Remington Gun Club Target shells are up to $4.79 a box with the purchase of the case. I bought a case of those because the Remington STS and Winchester AA Light Target loads were supposedly on sale but the price was $5.98 a box but only with the purchase of a case. The non-case price is $7.99 a box for both the STS and AA. (I do like the way the STS and AA ammo shoots though)

scout26
December 22, 2007, 06:42 AM
I also said I'm going to reload them very light so that you had enough information to give me a good guess on hull life under those conditions.

Umm, once again not to sound flip, but no.

You didn't tell us what primers and powder you'd be using. Things like pressure, primer brisance, and powder burn rate will all effect hull life. What equipment you use and whether you resize each time you reload and/or you use the hulls in different guns or the same gun will also effect hull life.

The hulls for the light loads that my daughter makes for her 20 ga don't last as long as the regular loads that I make for my 20 ga.

So the best guess we can give on hull life is "it depends".

Also given the recent price increases it can be cost effective to reload 12 ga. Unless you're shooting in competition/matches you can use reclaimed shot, and then buying components in bulk will help to keep your cost at or below $5.00 per box.

Here's a pretty good calculator:

http://www.trapshooters.com/rlcalcadv.htm

If your (re)using hulls from factory loads that you bought (or scrounged from the trash/ground at your range/club), then your hull cost is free. The only time hull cost becomes a factor is if you're buying empty hulls from someone else.

ArchAngelCD
December 22, 2007, 12:49 PM
scout26,
I did say I was going to load them light, in the 2 3/4 DRAM range in my original post.

targetshooter
December 22, 2007, 07:22 PM
I reload STS's using about 18 gr. of Clays, Winchester Primers, and Rem Fig 8 or Winjammer Wads. W/ 1 1/8 oz. of shot that's a good 2 3/4 DE load, and chrono's about 1150. The STS's and AA's reload virtually the same. I get about 10+ out of hulls with my load.

The issue with the [new] two piece AA hulls is that there have been several reports of either the head of the hull separating - or worse - the base wad separates from the hull and lodges in the barrel. Never happenned to me, but I've seen it on my squad. Since I'm not in the habit of looking through my barrel after each target - I stopped reloading AA's quite some time ago.

All the STS's (green or gold) are the same hull. The Rem promo Gun Club hulls (black or green) are also tapered hulls, the same dimension as STS's and reload the same - but they'll only give you about 5-7 reloads. I stop reloading when the crimp folds start to crack, the hull cracks, or the shell is way crystalized from heat. I've seen some people load a lot longer than that - but I'm pretty anal. Aside from the powder and load you're using, the gun makes a difference too. You'll get more reloades out of a good tight chamber. Shells fired in autos typically reload fewer times since the shell is ejecting while there's still pressure and a lot of heat present - ergo, the crimp fold begin to overheat and crystalize earlier..

I'm still reloading with inventory I purchased when lead was $11 a bag. But I only have about a year's worth of stuff left. If prices do not go down before it's time to replenish, and since I shoot about 15,000 trap targets a year - I'll need to re-evaluate the economics of reloading as well.

Hope this helps.

ArchAngelCD
December 22, 2007, 07:33 PM
targetshooter,
Thanks for the good information. Thanks to everyone who posted here too...

nitesite
December 23, 2007, 02:46 AM
I use Remington STS green and gold hulls exclusively. It's easy to get eight reloads (making nine total) when I use Fig-8 wads and load to around 1250-fps.

With the recent price increase of Remington STS and Nitro ammunition ($6.74 +tax) it's still worth loading your own if you already have a press and bought your shot a few months ago.

smkummer
December 23, 2007, 12:06 PM
Win states the AA is good for 15 reloads. Many factors effect this and another one is how the crimping stage is adjusted.

snuffy
December 23, 2007, 01:27 PM
A few observations from 40+ years of reloading shotshells.

First, you can load any variation of shot size and amount that will work in any gauge. You just have to get good load data and the proper components. That flexibility allows you to fit a load for any intended purpose. I've been loading 1 ounce loads for the last ten years. Every 8 shells, you geat a free shell! Lighter recoil, less powder, cheaper wads, all pay off.

Second, you can load BETTER loads than the econo,( cheap), promo loads that everybody brings up as a reason to NOT bother reloading shotshells. Spending the extra for the hard magnum shot pays dividends in pattern quality. Time spent shooting patterns pays off in being able to make better shells than even the high priced premium ammo.

Third, it's not how long can you possibly load that empty, it's how long you can load that empty hull so it works like it should. Or in other words, how long will the ballistics stay where they should be? The crimp starts to tire out the first time it's reloaded. It gets weaker each time it's loaded. A weaker crimp,(speaking of the force required for it to open), results in a lower velocity. I did a test using the same 5 AA shells that started as once fired empties. I was working at a gunshop that had a progressive loader,(apex), set up for demo purposes. Also a test range in back with a chrono set up. The five shells were fired, the velocities recorded, then averaged. The drop from once fired to the last test at five reloadings was 150 FPS! That's enough to cause a miss at a hard right/left at trap, or a crossing shot at sporting clays. You COULD allow for that by slightly increasing the powder charge, but there goes the cost per shell.

Forth, re-claimed shot or something somebody made by dropping hot lead into water is a crap shoot. Re-claimed shot is NEVER round! It's all dented up, will get worse when fired again. It's like shooting square shot! The patterns will be terrible. Missed targets may be blamed on poor form, not enough lead, or even the shotgun. When it's actually blown patterns caused by deformed shot. Unknown alloys melted and dropped into water will usually be too soft, and will not be very round. Shot has to be dropped from at least 50 feet, to allow it to form a sphere. Dropping it a couple feet forms a teardrop shaped pellet.

Sunray
December 23, 2007, 03:24 PM
"...the "hotter" the load the fewer reloads you'll get..." Exactly. This applies to rifle and pistol cases too.

Bailey Boat
December 23, 2007, 05:46 PM
I have about 2 or 3 thousand, 12 ga, WW AA compression formed hulls for sale if anyone is interested???????

ArchAngelCD
December 24, 2007, 05:25 PM
snuffy,
Thank you for the information. Great post...

snuffy
December 24, 2007, 07:29 PM
Thanks AA. Here's couple more I thought of.

The Remington promo or game loads,(gun club), are actually 1970's RXP compression formed hulls. Nothing wrong with them, just for the info category if you want to use data meant for the RXP hull.

The first rem. plastic shells were formed from a straight tube, locked into the brass base with a poured fiber base wad. The base wad was notorious for getting crushed by the re-prime punch, covering the flash hole of the primer, causing miss fires or at best a hang fire.

Next came the all-American. It had the fiber wad replaced by a card board wad the was encapsulated in plastic. It was jammed into the brass base, supposedly locking into a groove in the base,(it also locked the straight tube that made up the body). It failed! A lot of times the base wad would come loose, or get a little powder under it. This allowed it to go part way down the barrel. Even though it had a hole in the center for the primer flash, it was a bore obstruction. A lot of shotguns were "egged" by those base wads.

Then came the RXP, as mentioned above. It was a one-piece, compression formed hull. It was meant to be direct competition for the AA. It WAS, but it was green! It had a ribbed finish. Reloadability wasn't as good as the AA.

Then came the premier. It's smooth outside was better for functionality, but it was still GREEN! It was made of a harder, stiffer plastic, with too much crimp memory. Reloading machines didn't have any way to get that crimp out of the way for wad insertion. The result was torn powder gas seals on the wads, with a funny sounding hollow report from the shotgun. Reload ability was AGAIN not as good as the venerable AA.

Finally, fast forward to today's STS. Finally a BETTER hull than the old AA. Smooth, dark metallic green,(many other colors as well), softer plastic, one-piece. It's worth spending the extra money for the premium STS just to get the empties.

The story I heard about the AA was; the dies for forming the one piece hull were wearing out. So Winchester decided to return to the 3 piece rifenhouser type of shell. The jury is still out on it, but most don't like it nearly as well as the old compression formed AA.

Oldnamvet
December 24, 2007, 08:34 PM
Number of reloads doesn't matter anymore to me. People at my club shoot the game club loads and toss the hulls. I can pick up a few hundred from the trash box any time I want. I reload them once and then throw them out since there are lots more free for the taking. One guy even does tosses out the remington premier hulls.

fecmech
December 25, 2007, 03:54 PM
Oldnamvet--Thats the same road I go down eith my 390 Beretta auto. Nobody saves the Gun Club or game load hulls so I use them in my auto. Using once fired hulls all the time will get you the most uniform ballistics you can get with reloads. I also have a shooting buddy who shoots an o/u with new gun clubs or game loads and he just gives me the hulls when we are done for the day.

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