Quantcast

Need help with shotgun loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bullethead, Jan 13, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bullethead

    bullethead Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Western Washington
    I am relatively new to loading for shotgun. Recently I loaded up 100 rounds of trap loads using once fired Federal hulls, #8 shot over 700-X powder, a load I have used before. Finally got out to the trap range only to find the crimp on about 10% of the rounds had expanded (see pics). All rounds shot fine, even those with bulged crimp. Any shotgun loading experts out there know what I am missing here?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Gadawg88

    Gadawg88 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    392
    Location:
    Georgia
    Well I don't claim to be an expert but I do load 12 ga from time to time. First, your crimp depth looks a little shallow to me. You are looking for a depth of about 0.055in. You can refer to your press instructions for steps to adjust the crimp depth. Mushrooming is usually a sign of a worn out hull, not the case here if they are once fired. Another cause can be not seating the wad deep enough or with enough pressure. I use about 30lb of wad pressure just so I know I have it seated all the way down on the powder.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Those kind of hulls are infamous for not holding a crimp.

    I'm not up on what is good anymore, but the ribbed looking two piece hulls like yours were never that great for reloading.

    Maybe try Win AA?

    rc
     
  4. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    6,146
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    I don't load the Federal hulls, but I load a boatload of Winchester AA and Remington Gun Club, Peters blue hulls and Remington dark green hulls (don't remember what they're called this late in the evening). They all hold their crimps well, but also make sure your crimping die is set deep enough.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  5. TimSr

    TimSr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,530
    Location:
    Wayne co. Ohio
    Usually its a combination of powder charge/wad/shot/ that is a little too large for the hull, not allowing the crimp to go quite deep enough. You'll find this with some of the listed combinations that may be very close, but just not quite there. Some loader systems limit your ability to tweak, but if you can reduce the shot slightly it is easiest way to solve your problem. Otherwise you need to go with a differnet combination of componenets, such as a powder that uses a less voluminous charge, or different hulls.
     
  6. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    637
    Location:
    Houma , LA
    if you continue having problems ask on shotgun world reloading sub forum. lots of good tips on handling issues like you are having.

    Bull
     
  7. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    Well I will ask the question that the other experts haven't asked yet but could solve all your problems quickly.

    What wad are you using? Without this information any advise is just a guess. Also knowing how much powder and shot your putting in the hull would be good info to have.

    As my guess I'm going to say your crimp isn't deep enough, you are using the wrong wad or using to much shot for the wad you have.

    Don't let anyone tell you its the fed hulls because its not, these hulls load, crimp and hold there crimp just fine.

    If the hull on the left in your pic is a typical crimp you are getting then you defiantly need to lower your final crimp station and maybe the precrimp as well.
     
  8. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,579
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    These hulls show that your load stack is too high for the hull. A shorter length wad would be a good start. Federal Top Gun hulls have thin walls and while they do work with a proper stack height, they don't hold a compressed crimp very well. If you tried to box these shells up you may wind up with a bunch of shot rattling around in the box and shells with less than a full load. I know this from experience :(. You can shoot the rest of the bag of wads and if you're determined, use a drop of wax or hot glue to seal the hole to keep the shot from spilling out. However, for the price of another bag of wads, it would be a lot of frustration to feel you have to shoot close to 250 or 500 more shots this way.

    Top Gun type hulls are the most abundant hull for the picking where I shoot, but I chose and search for the Remington Gun Club hull. They have nice thick walls that hold a crimp and are good for 10 shots or more (if you're really determined). However, they use "tapered hull" walls while Federal uses "straight hull" wads. Winchester Super-X and Universal are as abundant, but they are about the worst hulls with the thinnest walls.

    Yes, Shotgun world 's reloading sub forum is a very good resource.
     
  9. bullethead

    bullethead Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Western Washington
    I fiddled with the crimp before loading these, trying to get it closer to a factory look. It seemed good to me, nice and tight with no hole or overlap in the center, but I am not very experienced loading for shotgun. The load I was using is 19gns 700-x with Claybuster CB2118-12 wads. These are supposed to be 12S3 replacement wads. According to my research, I thought I had the correct wad. The hulls (all the same type) are just Federal field loads, whatever is on sale at the local sporting goods store. I guess my confusion is that not all of the loaded rounds experienced the issue, and everything I have loaded before these didn't have this problem.
     
  10. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Central Utah
    I load lots of federal/estate hulls (because I can get them for free) and I don't have any issue getting a good crimp.... except when I use Federal wads. I've tried 1 1/8 oz w/ the 12S3 and 1 oz with the white one, but the load stack was too tall. I ended up using Winchester wads (or replacements) and don't have an issue. I don't remember exactly what the load recipe was, but I just couldn't get it to work with the Federal wads. I know that the Winchester wads are made for tapered hulls like AAs and STS/Gun Clubs, but they have worked fine for me in the straight-walled Federals for the last couple of years.

    ETA:
    I never reload them more than once. I use them mostly for very light (7/8 and 1 oz) low recoil loads for my nieces, nephews, and grandkids then toss them (the hulls, not the kids). I save the good hulls (Gun Club and STS/Nitro 27) for my own usage.

    Matt
     
  11. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,832
    Location:
    SW Arizona
    Crimp is not deep enough, not even close.

    Or, you may be using the wrong wad, thus not allowing the crimp to attain the necessary depth due to the shot column preventing it.

    I've loaded with those hulls, and as long as your crimp is adjusted correctly, and you use the appropriate wad, they'll hold a crimp just fine.

    GS
     
  12. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    Post a pic of a good round that way we can see what most of the crimps look like. My thinking is your crimp is shallow and you ran across a couple shorter hulls thus getting a loose crimp. Every once in awhile I have come across a hull that is somewhat shorter or longer then the norm.
     
  13. kennedy

    kennedy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    southern Ind.
    I have the same problem with one of my loads using 16 ga rem black hulls, and its the hulls fault, its a tad to small, but they shoot just fine
     
  14. bullethead

    bullethead Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Keeps coming back to shallow crimp or wrong wad. Here are a couple of pictures of finished shells. Like I said before, I did fiddle with the crimp trying to get it to look like factory crimps. I have to admit that adjustment is a bit tricky for a novice. There is a fine line between too loose and a crushed shell.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. PapaG

    PapaG Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,155
    Location:
    Il
    Wrong wad and/or crimp station not adjusted correctly. All wads are not the same height.
    I load a lot of Top Gun Feds with just the same load on my Grabber and have no crimp problems. Double check the hulls to be sure there aren't game shells in there as well as the wads being really 12s3 substitutes.
     
  16. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    All right bullethead lets see what we can figure out.

    Your load is a very doable load in the Fed hull but your crimps are way shallow. Have you weighed your shot drop to confirm its 1 1/8? What's your wad pressure? And lastly what press, from one of your photo's I see a Mec and assume its a 650 JR?

    Set your wad pressure around the 20 or 30 mark just to give the crimp a little help. Some guys don't use any wad pressure and rely on the crimp station to do all the work which is fine to do but I find I get a few buckled hulls this way. By seating the wad with a little pressure your getting a good compaction on the powder and setting your stack height so there is less pressure on the hull while crimping. To much wad pressure and all your doing is compressing the legs of the wad which will rebound once the pressure is removed or get damaged and not work like they are supposed to so generally anything over the 40 mark on the wad pressure gauge is just a waist. I say mark because who knows if the gauge is really telling you its 40 pounds or not.

    Next set your precrimp station so after precrimping a hull you have a small hole where the folds come together. Something where you could set a primer flash hole side down on the top of the crimp and it won't fall through. You will notice that this hole size will very hull to hull because not all hull lengths are exactly the same. Sometime the hole will be almost closes and other time the end of a primer may fit in the hole but a little variation here is fine.

    As you already stated a little is a lot at the final crimp station. First thing I would do looking at your last pics is leave the outside part of the crimp die alone and drop the center crimp punch. Put a screw driver in the top of the stem and hold it in place while loosening the lock nut so you don't loose your current position. Turn the stem down 1/4 to 1/2 a turn, probably need about 1/2 a turn at least from your photo's. Tighten the nut and give it a try, you will probably need the stem down a little more but from this point go 1/8 to 1/4 turn adjustment down then try a crimp. Once you have the depth of the crimp looking like a factory hull or something close its time to move onto closing the hole in the center.
    To close the hole in the center of the crimp adjust the outside part of the die, cam deal. Make very small adjustment with this die as well.
    Realize that not all hulls are the same length so your crimps will vary a bit but in general they should all be the same depth, but you will get a hull or two with a hole in the crimp or a swirl.
     
  17. Morrey

    Morrey Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    South Carolina
    After loading thousands upon thousands of rounds, I have concluded that most all shotshell loading issues hover around the wad you use. I have tried all the variables such as the combination you are using. Powder with more volume needs to be packed more tightly using higher wad ram pressure which also "breaks" the legs of the wad allowing the shot cup to compress slightly. However, as Muddydog states well, these legs will rebound, then your "good" crimp will volcano and you have spilled shot in your containers holding the loaded shot shells. I feel that CB 3118-12AR may work better for you in this configuration. I have abandoned all of this experimentation and stick strictly to Remington STS or Win AA hulls. Claybuster's Win 12AA wad replacements are great with Clays powder and Win 209 primers. Not being a know it all, but I know what to avoid.
    Typically when you reach out to a cross section of members as you have, you'll get lots of advice, some of which is going to suggest using a different component than you are currently using. Mostly this is personal preference, but in your case I'd bet the wad you are using may be too tall for the case. Check both powder and shot charges to make sure you are not way over your target throws. If all that lines up, your wad is certainly the culprit. Luckily, a bag of wads is the cheapest component to experiment with.
    If you'd like to try a handful of CB3118-12AR wads to experiment with, PM me with your address and I'll send you a handful in an envelope. No problem, consider I'm paying it forward which you will do for someone else one day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  18. bullethead

    bullethead Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Lots of good info here. When I get done with this post, I might pass a respectable shotgun loader!
    Morrey, thank you for your most generous offer. Don't be surprised if I take you up on it.
    This afternoon, I adjusted the wad pressure (I hadn't done this before), and changed the crimp plug setting. I'm not sure how much difference the wad pressure change will make, but the crimp made a big difference. I set these on the loading bench to see if they swell up like the others.
    So, for the wads, from my research, I used what I thought was correct for the hulls and load (1 1/8). Other than height, what other differences are there that would impact the issues I am having? Are some tapered, thinner, shorter legs, etc? Morrey, what differences would I see with the CB3118-12AR wads, or any other wads?
    Thanks to all for your input.
     
  19. bullethead

    bullethead Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Lots of good info here. When I get done with this post, I might pass a respectable shotgun loader!
    Morrey, thank you for your most generous offer. Don't be surprised if I take you up on it.
    This afternoon, I adjusted the wad pressure (I hadn't done this before), and changed the crimp plug setting. I'm not sure how much difference the wad pressure change will make, but the crimp made a big difference. I set these on the loading bench to see if they swell up like the others.
    So, for the wads, from my research, I used what I thought was correct for the hulls and load (1 1/8). Other than height, what other differences are there that would impact the issues I am having? Are some tapered, thinner, shorter legs, etc? Morrey, what differences would I see with the CB3118-12AR wads, or any other wads?
    Thanks to all for your input.
     
  20. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,831
    Location:
    Texas - Born and Raised
    I think your already on the right track so no need in me wasting time retyping wehat folks have already said.

    It has been years since I loaded any shotshells. When i did though I used two shells for two different type loads. One was a Peters black shell which I got at one of the local trap ranges for the picking, the other was the Win AA's. I got those from a couple of folks who went to S Tx whitewing hunting each Labor Day and would bring me back hundreds of them at a time in big plastic garbage bags.

    I went through everything your going through when I switched fro one type/brand to the other. Luckily for me though, when I decided to load them it was in different times of the year so I wasn't switching things up but twice a year. I would load all of the Peters 1 1/8oz loads in about a month which gave me nearly 2500 shells to work through, then I would switch to the AA's and load the 1 1/4 heavy field loads that I actually shot the most of and hunted with. I honestly could not say how many rounds my old Pacific 105 has turned out, but I used it almost consistently from the time I got it when I was 13 up into my early 20's. I can say that I honestly went through several cases of wads for each type shell and put hundreds of doves, quail, duck and squirrels in the pot.

    Your post is timely as I am setting that same press up for my oldest grandson who just turned 14. I will be checking in with a local fellow here to pick up hulls and wads shortly. This little exercise is one I had forgotten all about but I am sure I would have remembered once I picked up some of that shot off the floor.
     
  21. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    You are using the correct wad and load for that hull, I know a half a dozen or more guys that shoot that load every Wednesday night from the 34 yard mark to win money and fame. Well the fame is all in there head but what do you expect from a bunch of guys that have had their brain rattled around from way too many trap loads.

    99.5% of the shotgun reloading recipes published are very loadable and perform just fine. Are there better wad options for some of the recipes, you bet there are. Trouble is guys don't know how to adjust a press, don't want to take the time to learn how to adjust a press or in this day and age want to blame everything else but themselves. So what do they do, they try another wad that has shorter legs or a taller wad cup and adjust their components to fit there press settings instead of adjusting the press.

    In a ton + of shotgun reloads, I have no idea what I have reloaded but I did keep track of what I shot last year which was 10,000 reloads, I have only had one load that I changed the wad on and for the life of me I just couldn't get a consistant crimp. Load was 7/8 oz load with a bulk powder and reclaimed shot, which made for max stack height. I know I wasn't getting great shot drops due to the inconsistency you reclaimed which was affecting my crimp. Changed up the wad and all my problems went away.

    To be blunt and to the point, If your crimp doesn't resemble a factory crimp with this load it's your press and not the wad as the load you posted above crimps great.

    Have you weighed your shot drop to make sure the bar is actually dropping 1 1/8 load and not something higher?
     
  22. bullethead

    bullethead Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Western Washington
    My bar is dropping 485gns (<1 1/8 oz) of shot, so I am close there. I am getting schooled here on the press adjustments for sure. When I started, I adjusted from on line and loading manual research, which left a bit to be desired. I feel I am on the right track now and have learned a lot. I will load up a box tomorrow and see how they turn out. My next adventure will be changing to 1oz loads. I'm just shooting very informal trap, so that should work just fine. I have a partial bag of Winchester WAA12 wads that I will try. That brings up another question (I'm full of questions) My research shows that Claybusters wads are different for 1oz and 1 1/8 oz loads. I would expect that. However, it shows that the Winchester WAA12 wads will work for either weight. I didn't expect that.
     
  23. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    I shoot 7/8 oz for 16 yard trap with a full choke, heck half the time I'm shoot my dripped shot at the clay targets which looks more like a doughnut then round shot and the clays break just fine. For sporting clays I shoot a combo of 1 oz and 7/8 oz loads. When there is cash on the line I pull out the 1 1/8 oz loads and have been know in the winter when the clays are frozen to shoot 1 1/4 oz of 5 or 6 shot this is of course from the 34 yard mark and usually when i'm shooting 3rd or 4th gun.

    I think you will find the waa12 wad a little too tall for 1 oz loads. I prefer to use the CB 4100 or CB 1100 in Win and Rem hulls. For Fed and Estate hulls I use CB 2100 and CB 4100. The CB 4100 is a wad that is supposed to work well in both straight wall hulls and taper wall hulls. So far I would say it does. I haven't really used factory wads in quite a while, generally just load Claybuster wads.

    If you promise to check load data before you trust my numbers I will send you an Excel spreadsheet of load data that I have put together from powder companies internet sites, load books and misc info I acquired over the internet. It's not all inclusive as it covers the powders and hulls I am interested in. It has load data for Fed, Win, Rem and a couple foreign hulls.
     
  24. boneandbass

    boneandbass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Had the same problem using a MEC Jr. The problem is to raise the adjustment where it is hinged in the rear. Use an allen wrench to loosen and raise the adjustment. You might then need to lower the final crimp adjustment. This should take care of your problems.

    It nearly drove me nuts until a trap shooting friend who reloads a ton told me how to fix it. Ever since making these adjustments I have perfect crimps with both AA and Remington Gun Club.
     
  25. Morrey

    Morrey Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Like Boneandbass stated, the cam (adjusts crimp) on the back of your press can be adjusted up or down by releasing the allen head setscrew. The adjustment is in a slotted area of the cam, so I hold the cam lever with my fingers so it doesn't slip when I loosen the allen set screw. From there I make tiny adjustments on the cam, and while still holding the cam with my fingers on my free hand, I tighten back the allen head set screw. Pushing the cam down is more crimp, up is less crimp. Small adjustments at a time.

    When I first started loading, I'd go to the clays range and pick up anything and everything I could get my hands on. I had failed to realize most of the desirable stuff had already been snagged, so I was grabbing hulls that nobody else wanted to load. I had the biggest mess and worse looking reloads you could imagine. Some caved in while others volcanoed out....I had no clue. Over time, I began becoming more selective. Some hulls are just not good to reload. Others are meant to load once and pitch. Fiocchi purple hulls are a good example (to me)...the crimp seems to burn easily and the third load loses ability to hold a solid crimp.

    As a novice it took me some time to figure out what worked well. I began focusing on Win AA and Rem STS/Nitro hulls. I can get multiple loads with them until the crimp begins to split. Over time, and once you get the hang of adjustments (it takes experience which you're getting now), I suspect you'll develop you own load combination preferences and narrow your scope of components. It is confusing right at first.

    I noted you said you're changing around shot loads, which may also mean your powder charges may change too...but not always. Are you using the standard charge bar with drop in powder bushings? Long ago, I abandoned that system on all my MEC reloaders, and began using universal multi-charge bars. They are easy to use and make a world of difference if you aim to make various shot loads with various powders and various powder charges.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice