Winchester AA vs. Federal value pack?


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oldguy870
September 7, 2011, 06:19 PM
I have always shot 7.5 12 gauge Federal value pack shells for clay games and for hunting quail and dove. These shells are about $5.50 a box ($22 per 4 boxes) at Walmart.

I have heard many good things about Winchester AA. They go for about $7.50 a box. For hunting purposes, would the AA's produce better patterns and leave fewer cripples than the Federal value pack loads?

Is is worth the extra $2 a box for hunting?

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Justin
September 7, 2011, 06:22 PM
I don't know if they're any better for clay games, but I've found that AAs are the most reliable of all of the brands of bird shot that I've tried.

They were the only brand of bird shot that functioned with solid reliability in a Franchi 612 I had back when I started shooting 3 Gun.

oldguy870
September 7, 2011, 06:33 PM
I shoot an 870. So, reliability is not my primary concern. Shot pattern and terminal effect on upland game are my main considerations.

au_prospector
September 7, 2011, 07:07 PM
Hey you need to 'pattern' your gun.
Check the Library section of the Shotguns forum, there you will find a file called Patterning 101.

Your gun will probably yield different patterns for the AA and the Federal loads. I would check it at 25 and 40 yards and then decide which one you want to use.

oneounceload
September 7, 2011, 08:36 PM
Winchester AA and Remington STS are the best hulls out there as far as the reloader is concerned.....they are brass based, and made for multiple reloading. Whether that is worth the extra $2 per box is up to you - they can always be sold form .05/each

mike.h
September 7, 2011, 08:41 PM
I agree, Win AA hulls are the best for reloading.

Burt Blade
September 7, 2011, 09:05 PM
In my Stoeger side-by-side Coachgun and Uplander guns, the Winchester AA shells pattern noticeably better and tighter than "cheapo" shells.

In my Citori XT over-and-under Trap gun, the AAs again pattern better and tighter than the cheaper shells. Remington "gun club" and Winchester Super Target shells also pattern quite well, but a little looser than AAs.

Apparenly, the back-bored gun with longer barrels and much better chokes can make better use of cheaper shells. The cheap guns are more sensitive to ammunition type.

For your use, the best way to decide is to pattern your gun with several types of shell. Is the difference noticeable? Is it enough to justify the added cost?

A typical Trap shoot consumes 300 shells, if you fire all three events. Some matches throw 200s for Singles and/or Doubles, for up to 500 shells in one day. When you shoot 12 to 20 boxes of shells, cost can become significant. The "good enough" point moves a bit.

Dave McCracken
September 8, 2011, 03:16 PM
I'll shoot about anything at clays, but I stick to good loads for game.

Good target loads have hard, round shot, wads that cushion and protect the shot, and keep more pellets in the pattern.

hoghunting
September 9, 2011, 12:13 AM
I'll shoot about anything at clays, but I stick to good loads for game.


I do exactly the same thing, and my best patterns are with AA. Winchester has a $2 per box mail-in rebate, so your final price will be the same.

Old Unc'
September 9, 2011, 06:56 AM
+1 I'm with ya' Dave...

MCgunner
September 9, 2011, 11:25 AM
I was buying AA for my 20 for doves, but the price went up and I started using Winchester high speed bargain pack ammo. I really don't see the difference for hunting. If I were a serious clays competitor, I'd spend the extra scratch when competing, would surely help I'd think.

blanket
September 9, 2011, 11:40 AM
The AA have harder shot and better wads which should mean a better pattern. If you do not reload you could sell the AA empties to offset the cost. There is always a good market for them. I shoot the AA and Rem STS loads for doves but keep the empties for loading...Russ

MCgunner
September 9, 2011, 12:14 PM
I don't reload 20 and 12, ammo is cheap, bulk pack, anyway. I'm not that much of a quality stickler with hunting ammo. I do reload my 10 gauge, my goose gun, steel T shot. If you want hard shot, shoot steel...:D I don't buffer it, no real need. It's patterns over 90 percent with 'em, good 'nuf. :D

Woodyard
September 9, 2011, 09:58 PM
Winchester AA, Rem STS and Nitro 27 and Federal Gold Medal are top of the line target loads. They contain harder and higher quality (and more expensive) shot that generally patterns better. And the hulls are better for reloading. This is probably of greater interest to serious clay target competitors. If the loads you have been using give satisfactory results, I would keep shooting them.

Ole Humpback
September 9, 2011, 10:00 PM
Federal Value Pack all the way. When you go to clean your gun, you'll thank yourself. Winchester ammo leaves the same amount of fouling in 25 rounds as 250 rounds of Federal.

Mark8252
September 10, 2011, 08:23 AM
I shoot either a 20 ga Remington Wingmaster or a Browning BPS 410 when I shoot skeet. I use shot size 7 1/2 or 8. I have never noticed any differance in any shell ....cheap or not.

evan price
September 11, 2011, 01:39 AM
I'll go the opposite of Ole Humpback. The Federal Field & Range in the silver box with the sort of 'medal' on the front is dirty filthy stuff, and the so-called 'wad' is nothing more than a flat piece of plastic. I have great results with Winchester Super-Target shells and the Remington Gun Club shells and both use a quality wad and are clean firing.

Dick's sports was running the Rem Gun Clubs for $4.97 a box on special from time to time and WalMart has the Win Super Target for $5.97 a box.

TonyT
September 11, 2011, 08:42 AM
The Win AA and Rem STS are premium shells with excellent patterning - you get what you pay for. Only you can determine if the difference in patterns is worth the price differential for the intended use.

Gun Geezer
September 11, 2011, 11:04 AM
I shoot the cheapest shells I can buy. I shot a round of clays yesterday, breaking 89 of 100. I don't think paying an extra buck or two or three would have gotten me those extra 11 birds.

Same goes for field shooting. I rarely walk out of the field with less than a limit unless the doves just are not flying.

Cheap ammo works for me.

eastbank
September 11, 2011, 12:22 PM
i reload with a mec 9000g and if i buy all my reloading supplies at a store,i can,t load any cheaper than buying a flat of federal game loads(3-1-1/8-8) at walmart. in the last year i have shot 8 strait 25,s and 2 strait 50,s with the federal loads thru a browning bt-100. if i can do that the shells aren,t to bad. eastbank.

benzy2
September 11, 2011, 02:32 PM
I've found my local Walmart carries Federal Top Gun 1 oz 1180fps loads for $4.79/25 which is cheaper than the value packs (at $22.99/100). I like the 1 oz shot weight over the 1 1/8th as well as being a bit slower. Works real well for the playing around I do. Not sure it's what I'd use if I were serious in the game, but for playing around I can't beat them. I haven't had a bird get away that I could honestly blame the gun/ammo on rather than me. I'm sure if I were better the difference between the better loads and these would be more obvious but at my current skill level my scores don't show much/any repeatable difference to justify any price increase.

That said, if every bird mattered I'd pick whatever patterned the best regardless of price or load my own to whatever patterned best.

Nickelplate
September 11, 2011, 04:32 PM
Hey you need to 'pattern' your gun.
Check the Library section of the Shotguns forum, there you will find a file called Patterning 101.

Your gun will probably yield different patterns for the AA and the Federal loads. I would check it at 25 and 40 yards and then decide which one you want to use.
I swear! This is the best forum I've ever used! For any subject matter! I love this place! Thanks for the Patterning 101 tidbit. I wonder if my county-run range would let me perform that.

Ole Humpback
September 11, 2011, 04:41 PM
The Federal Field & Range in the silver box with the sort of 'medal' on the front is dirty filthy stuff, and the so-called 'wad' is nothing more than a flat piece of plastic.

I didn't know there were two kinds of Federal Value packs. The one's I've got since I was 15 have all been maroon colored boxes with a sporting clay on the front.

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