low and high BASE

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by dgrater1, Jan 7, 2016.

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  1. dgrater1

    dgrater1 Member

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    I just viewed a person that stated he was new to shot gun shells, and ask the question what was the difference between low base and high base shot shells,everybody told him the difference between high BRASS and low BRASS It looks like the old timers haven't any more knowledge than the new comer.:mad:
     
  2. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    The internet has greatly assisted in the rapid spread of misinformation.
     
  3. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Howdy!

    Where did you view this? To most, the nomenclature means the same, just like gauge and bore size, and cartridge and caliber.
     
  4. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I always thought they were more or less interchangeable.
     
  5. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    They are not interchangeable. High brass refers to the height of the brass outside the base of the shell. High base refers to the height of the interior base wad. Often, not always,, high brass has a low base wad.
     
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Which is important to folks who reload; not so much to an occasional hunter going off the ways of his grandfather where "high brass" meant a good and powerful hunting load as opposed to "low brass" being more for targets or small birds.
    IMO, in the context of the OP's post, that's what I read into it.
     
  7. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    Oneounceload is correct. When I was starting to hunt high brass shells were the more powerful shell and low brass was used for quail and small game.
     
  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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  9. spottedpony

    spottedpony Member

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    Virginian is correct. Base wad height is an important factor in choosing components when reloading, primarily the length of the wad column or plastic shot cup length for a given shot charge weight. The old cheap "dove and quail" loads of the past were a good example. stuff an AA or federal shot cup in one and there wouldnt be enough room to crimp.
     
  10. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    As others have stated, base height comes into play when reloading and is particularly useful for varying the shot charge. You can work up different loads using mixes of wad capacity and base heights. For example, I've often used the additional volume in low base shells to load 1.5 ounce of shot in 2 3/4" shells for shooting informal trap and long-range doves/blackbirds/whatever with modified and I/C chokes. The extra shot fills the pattern and helps insure hits at distances that normally require full choke and perhaps 1 1/4 ounce of shot. You can accomplish a lot by working up loads for your shotgun, varying shot size and charge weight, and powder/muzzle velocity.
     
  11. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "the difference between low base and high base shot shells?"

    There are high base wads, but no high base shells, only high brass shells, right? But he was asking about shot shells, right? Not shot wads? :confused:

    It's all so confusing, a person new to shotgun shells asking about high base shells, not high base wads? Right?

    :scrutiny:

    Does he know the smoking paper hulls smell better than the plastic one?
     
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Crack cocaine to a target shooter........ LOL
    Them damn Federals get me every time! :D
     
  13. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    When I say hi-base, I'm talking about the old-school style that had a bowl-shaped bottom "insert" of sorts around the primer pocket (such as the some of the Federals and others). The net effect was reduced hull capacity vs. the low-base hulls like Winchester AAs. I still have a bunch of these old hulls but haven't used any of them in years because the AA type just reload so well.
     
  14. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I know that and you know that, but I'm not sure the original question about the new shooter was about that. Not that it matters, it's still a good topic. But heck, now I'm curious, were those hulls ever called high base hulls or shells?

    Fwiw, here's a heck of a read on American shotshells...

    www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=71327

    "The History and Art of Shotshells

    Photos and text by Jon Farrar"
     
  15. entropy

    entropy Member

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    JohnBT, that brings back (not always good) memories about reloading eclipse hulls back in the day.......:eek:
     
  16. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Don't forget those ACTIVs loaded in McEwen, TN
     
  17. medic15al

    medic15al Member

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    I used to use and reload ACTIV shell in my Mossberg 500 12 Ga when I was in High school in the mid 80's. Wouldn't crimp well but never leaked shot. Could get a fair number of loads out of them before I tossed them.

    Haven't seen ACTIV shells in years.
     
  18. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    The base of a shotgun shell is inside and determines the powder capacity. A high base comes up further, thus reducing powder capacity; it is used with low power shells. A low base is lower, so powder capacity is larger and the shell can contain more powder and be more powerful. The greatest pressure area is between the top of the base and the bottom of the over-powder wad.

    A paper or plastic shell usually needs some kind of metal at the base for positive extraction and ejection and also for support of the case against the powder pressure. But if the base is low, a larger (longer) area of the shell will be in need of metal support. So low base (high power) shells have a higher brass cup to surround the high pressure area; high base (low power) shells have less need for sidewall support and the low brass is mainly for extraction/ejection.

    Jim
     
  19. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    bases and brass

    I have been under the impression that modern plastic hulls had done away with the high base/low base construction and that all one had to concern oneself with was whether the interior of a particular hull was tapered or cylindirical.
    My old Lyman #2 Shotshell Handbook has an extensively illustrated section concerning the interior construction of the hulls of the time (1976). Thirty-nine years later.....does anyone see any reference in either load data or advertising to what the height of the base is in the hulls of today? No.
    What is the base height difference between Winchester CF and Remington STS/Nitro/Gun Club tapered hulls and Federal straight-walled hulls? In the normal course of events, in modern reloading, how would a reloader know the difference if there is one?
     
  20. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Kinda, yes; but it still depends on the amount of powder, type of powder, load amount of shot and the wad used as to whether any of that will matter. Slow-burning, large volume powder, versus fast burning ball powder for example.
     
  21. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Yes^^^^^^. There are many more propellants available now than there were when there was a legitimate concern about whether a hull had a high base or low base.
    Who makes a modern high base hull?
    Who makes a modern low base hull?
    Where, for either, does one find any reference in load data to base height?
     
  22. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I do not see any reference to that in the load data available from the powder makers online.
     
  23. entropy

    entropy Member

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    :eek:

    Senior moment. Yup, that's what I meant, ACTIV. It was back in @ '80, '81?
     
  24. RMc

    RMc Member

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    A proper answer would take a lot more space than is appropriate for a forum entry. So here is the "nutshell" version:

    Early shotshells loaded with black powder and later Bulk smokeless powders, had the same internal capacity - and needed it. Indeed, Dupont Bulk Smokeless powder was still in production into the early 1950s.

    Dense smokeless powder shotshells entered the scene in the early 20th century. To use dense smokeless powders required using an inordinate number of filler wads or a higher internal basewad. Long heavy wad stacks were found to distort shot patterns - the infamous "doughnut" pattern.

    The 1920s saw the introduction of slower progressive powders for shotshells like Winchester's Super-X line. Larger shot charges and dense progressive powder needed only a minimal card and fiber wad stack to utilize all the space in a low-base hull.

    Remington's introduction of plastic wall-fiber basewad hulls around 1960 did not change the need for high base hulls for lighter shot charges and low base hulls for heavier loads .Even with the coming of plastic wads in the early 1960s did not change the low/high basewad situation immediately as card and fiber wads remained widely used. in addition, there were some short cushion section plastic wads, like the Winchester AA12R, that were designed with high basewad hulls in mind.

    Traditionally a high brass shell had a low basewad - for various reasons. Conversely a low brass shell had a high basewad. Today, the high / low basewad conundrum is but a fading memory. High brass and low brass shell casings are merely a marketing nod to tradition - even on unibody plastic cases.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  25. RMc

    RMc Member

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    Newcomer or Old Timer, it does not matter - if you are a serious student of the gun!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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