20 gauge reloading help!


April 27, 2011, 10:52 PM
Hey guys,

After reloading a few AA 20 gauge shells, it appears as though they have buckled a little bit where the base wad ends. They are only buckled a little bit, on one side. My questions are, can I still shoot these, and how did this happen? Did I apply too much pressure while crimping?

These hulls have only been reloaded twice!


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April 28, 2011, 06:17 AM
Sounds like you over crimped just a bit. I have done that once or twice using my Lee Load All. If it is as described...just a little bit.....then you should be ok to fire them. Having not seen them I say should. My slight over crimps I have fired and reused the hulls again as they got ironed out upon firing and didn't show stress lines / cracks. Bad overcrimps with a serious dent on the bottom were relegated to the scrap heap.

Some here will probably disagree with me and tell you to cut them apart and recover your components. They are not wrong; they are just being cautious.

April 28, 2011, 06:41 AM
Thanks SRH970, I too was using a Lee Load All. It seems like if I don't put a lot of pressure on the crimp, the crimps come out as not crimped enough, showing a "mound" on the top of the hall, instead of a nice flat crimp.

Maybe switching to a hull that has no base wad, like remington, would solve my problems.

April 28, 2011, 06:41 AM
It they chamber easly, i would shoot them.

April 28, 2011, 10:50 AM
If your buckled shells fit the chamber, then they should be ok to shoot.

It may be that your shot column is a bit too tall, and in crimping, the case is buckling.
You can try changing wads, or the shot count.
Reducing the amount of shot being dropped by the bushing, by putting some masking tape inside of the bushing to reduce its volume, may take care of the problem.
Try hand filling a few hulls first to see if it makes a difference on the crimping and the buckling, and check the weight/count difference of it and adjust the bushing volume accordingly.

Lee Load-all's have virtually no adjustment for crimping except for component adjustments. But once you have it dialed in, they make great ammo.


April 28, 2011, 11:54 AM
Maybe switching to a hull that has no base wad, like remington, would solve my problems.Maybe you have the wrong wads for AA hulls.

Each type or brand of hull takes a very specific wad intended to fit it, as well as powder type & weight, and shot weight to fit and crimp properly.

You might check into that and make sure you have all the correct components for AA hulls.


April 28, 2011, 05:28 PM

I was using WAA20 wads with Longshot powder and #9 shot. It seems to me like the winchester wads should be usable in winchester hulls. But I agree, certain hulls are designed with certain wads in mind.

After closer inspection of the hulls, I can see the basewad has folder over on one side, and based on other people's experience, it appears to be quite a common problem. I'll shoot these, and buy a few boxes of remington sts targets to get a reloading stockpile going.

April 28, 2011, 05:35 PM
Try loading the components into the shell. Before you make the starter crimp, look inside to see the level of the shot. That level should be just below the line formed when the original crimp was opened. If it is over, you need to reduce either powder or shot. If not that, you need a different wad appropriate for your powder charge / shot weight that will get you there. Since you already have a bunch of wads reduceing shot is a good alternative.

That said, you need to learn the feel of your press. You are not required to bottom it out to form a proper crimp. You need to know the feel of the system hitting the resistance point where you need to kinda force it to move more. That is the point where you start buckling cases.

April 28, 2011, 06:13 PM
It kind of sounds like you might be using the wrong wad for that hull for your application. If the wad is too tall it could cause your shot to stand too high, which would explain why your crimps are difficult to get deep enough to stay closed. You shouldn't have to be using that much pressure to close the crimp. How much wad pressure are you applying? If your having to compress the wad at all, you need to take a second look at the wad your using for that hull and make sure it matches the application.
Give me all the components, wad type and brand, weight of shot, and powder weight and type. You already said you were using AA hulls, right?

April 28, 2011, 08:15 PM
I believe rcmodel may be correct as I do remember a question similar to this and the shot wad was contacting the base wad and tipping under pressure putting a crease on one side. That may be happening here.
You may need to check your hulls and make sure that you match the correct shot wad.


April 28, 2011, 08:28 PM
Gamestalker, here is a list of components I'm using:
Winchester AA HS hulls
WAA20 wads
15 gr hod. Longshot
1 ounce bpi #9 shot

April 28, 2011, 09:09 PM
The load is well within norm per Hodgdon published data. He is running a 1165 fps load shy 1/2 gr. of powder. Looks like the problem is that he is bottomiong out the press where he really doesn't need to. Basically it's a feel problem as I described earlier. BTDT.

April 28, 2011, 09:27 PM
The issue with the LLA is that you cannot adjust anything to make it work properly. Depending on the recipe, you might have too much powder with the wad being used. On the low end, the MEC Jr, available used for about 50-75 bucks, allows for adjustments when using different components in different loads

Typically buckling comes from 10# of you know what trying to get placed in a 5# bag. In the last few years, I have moved totally away from Winchester hulls, as I have found their lengths to vary considerably, whereas Remington's hulls have always been consistent

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