Reloading 20 Ga. Need A little Help

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Robert Cooper

Apr 14, 2019
Chiefland, FL, Plantcity Florida
Okay i have just started loading 20 Ga. I am trying to figure the complete reloading manual out i have the following stuff
fiocchi 20 ga 2-3/4 8mm brass with F616 primed
20 ga wads index w29944 high base + low base field with 1oz shot
25lbs of no. 7 1/2 chilled lead shot
lee load-all one

what i am trying to figure i see the info understand what powder to use (need to buy some) but i am trying to figure what the 7/8 oz and 1 oz is that what the wad holds? i also understand the size from 2 3/4 to 3 inch any help or easy explanation would be helpful

Blue68f100 pretty much hit it on the nail.

To add, some hulls are difficult to find a place that sells components for a recipe and components that work. Look at your shots shell reloading guide and then see if the components, primers, powder, and wads are reasonably available.

As Blue68f100 said, there are some wads that can be interchanged with others. But do your homework and make sure the manufacturer says it is interchangeable. There are some manufacturers that make interchangeable wads that cost less than the main stream manufactures. Again, do the homework..

I will admit that I do not have experience with Fiocchi hulls but when I was shooting lots of 20 ga when I did not have an abundance of cash, I was trying to make any hull I got work. I finally quit this and reloaded primarily Winchester AA or Remington premier hulls. When buying new ammunition to generate hull to reload, I buy the good stuff as well. I saved money in the long run.
Understanding the loading manual really will answer your question. Buying components now, you are boxing yourself into trying to find a recipe to match the components you have, instead of researching the load data to find a recipe that shows the performance that you're looking for.
Study the process in the manual so that you know exactly why you need to stay with the specific components that the recipe calls for.
Of course, a 1 oz load of shot has more pellets than a 3/4 oz load of shot, and depending on the wad in the recipe, the wad might be limited to a specific shot charge. In some recipes, they call for a wad that can hold a narrow weight range say, from 3/4 oz to 7/8 oz or from 7/8 oz to 1 oz. but you may nee to add an overshot card, or a cork wad to take up extra space on the smaller load. Other recipes call for a wad only capable of a single shot weight. so stick with the recipe.

Search your manual(s) for a load that performs the way you want it to, as in shot weight, velocity etc, then match the components to build it.

It wouldn't hurt to build a few dummy loads to get a feel for your press before you build live rounds.
The best hulls for reloading are Winchester AA hulls, followed by Remington STS, Nitro 27 or Nitro Gold hulls. All other hulls have steel bases. Especially with a Load-all, you'll want to use the brass based hulls.
A few tips: as mentioned generally follow data without substitutions. There is a difference in primers, in size. Winchester, Remington, and Federal are slightly smaller than European primers, (Fiocchi, Cheddite, Nobel, etc., and when you use them in American hulls, (Fed., Win., and Rem.) you should continue to use them for the life of the hull. The American primers may not seat fully after the larger European ones.
Not all substitutions of 'exact reproductions' of wads are exact, either. I've found the Claybusters a poor substitute for Winchesters (WAA-12 Vs. CB1118), and Downrange DRA-12 is listed as a sub for WAA-12, but is shorter. This is good for loads of bulky powders in Win. AA-HS (High Strength) hulls, which are the current production. (Started in 2000, but the older WW-CF (Compression Formed can still be found circulating amongst reloaders.)
I don't load 20 gauge, but have loaded 12 gauge since age 9.
The Lee shotgun reloading book is the best reference for reloading shotgun shells, and I highly advise getting it.
I would suggest getting a ballistic products manual. They will have lots of recipes for fiocchi components. Fiocchi makes high quality stuff, so it will be a good place to start.

To be clear, the 7/8 to 1 ounce is what the was is intended to hold. That tells you nothing about an appropriate charge of powder. For that you need a published recipe. The process for loading a shell on the lee is resize and reprime (since your hulls are already primed you can skip this), drop in powder, seat the wad, drop in the shot, start the crimp, finish the crimp. It will take some practice and trial and error. You will want to get a scale if you do not already have one.
Robert .....for a beginning shotshell reloader... FOLLOW the recipe to the "T" ....

If your recipe calls for Winchester AA C.F. hull, Win AA20 wad, 7/8 ounce shot, X grains of X powder & Win 209 primer ...You need use all these to make a 20 gauge shotshell with 7/8 oz load ..... Do not change anything in that recipe! Later after learning you can substitute some wads and primers ....But get the basics down first!

I suggest you go over to Shotgun World forum .....lots of good reading there ....
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1. Figure out what powder you want to use.
2, Use data from that powder mfg.
3. Use the components in the powder mfg data.
One of the most important points to consider is the stack up of the components in the hull. You must have the right height to get a good crimp.
For the 20 ga I use Hercules/Alliant powders. I get the correct stack up for my hulls with Unique.
I bought the manual from Ballistic Products and it helped me a lot. It gives lots of recipes for 12 and 20 gauge.

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You should have got a single page sheet of recommended loads with the Lee Loadall when you bought it?

I have one I've been using for 40 years with out ever buying any other manuals. I load shot shells, slugs, buck shot and about anything else you could stuff in to a shot gun at one time or another over that time.
I got this 2nd hand no manual or paper with it i have been looking around seems simple to operate my original question not to sound like an ass was with the wads i have 1oz then i would need to follow a 1oz recipe Would that be correct? i understand i would need one for the fio. hulls etc... i have reloaded pistol and rifle but was wondering about shotshell thank you for all the help

Yes, if you want to use the 1 oz. wads you have, you would find a recipe that uses the components you have/want to use.The Ballistic Products BP2090 wad is a hunting load wad 7/8 oz. steel shot, or 1 ox. lead, not really good for Trap or clays games loads. I'm not sure you are going to find data outside of Ballistic Products, so I'd start there. Wads are cheap; if you want to load lighter loads, try these;

Fiocchi hulls need a straight-base (Federal-type) wad; The BPI's you have are a 'hybrid' type designed to work in both; the Federal wads would work a bit better.

Above is a lighter load for Skeet and Sporting Clays that uses a powder you already have. (Or should!) It uses the wads in the link above that. Below is a hotter version; note 1 grain of powder makes the difference!
I got this 2nd hand no manual or paper with it i have been looking around seems simple to operate my original question not to sound like an ass was with the wads i have 1oz then i would need to follow a 1oz recipe Would that be correct? i understand i would need one for the fio. hulls etc... i have reloaded pistol and rifle but was wondering about shotshell thank you for all the help

Yes. If you have and want to use 1oz wads, you need to use the recipe for 1 oz shot loads.
Loadall 20ga_4202.jpg loadall 20ga_4200.jpg

I used mine for years and years with out any other type of reloading equipment and just about nothing but the seat of my own pants for know and "how to", while shooting it all out of an Ithaca 20 gauge 37. Never had the slightest hick up.

Most difficult thing I ever ran in to is getting the stupid crimps right. I think it is a choice of 5 fold crimp or 8 fold, I don't remember exactly but one is not many folds, the other is about twice as much. Shells with the MANY fold crimp normally seem to seal shut better, and then there is making your load recipe fit the shell and other components you are using. Basically if it is to far wrong, the things don't stay crimped and the shot falls out all over the place.

Now that I have scales and chrony and a little more experience, I'll use that stuff to back up what that chart is suggesting. I've found as I suspected all along, Lee leaves a pretty good margin for error there in their suggested loads and bushing sizes.
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Yes, it matters! Though I'm surprised it recommends the Winchester wad, which is for tapered hulls, in the Fiocchi hulls, which are a straight walled hull, and should have Federal type hulls. The downside with Lyman's 5th edition is, even though it's the newest, it's still out-of-date, (Doesn't have Remington Nitro hulls at all) and Win. AA-CF and HS hulls supposedly can use the same data, which is untrue.
In my experience loading 12 ga, you can substitute Win. 209 for CCI 209 and vice versa, but I don't load 20 ga., it might cause higher pressures.
Both the Unique loads listed in the Target load section are pretty low in pressure, your biggest danger is probably sootier loads from the pressure being too low, and poor patterning.
What are you trying to accomplish? target loads, hunting loads. something else?

What are
fiocchi 20 ga 2-3/4 8mm brass with F616 primed

Fiocchi are Euro straight-walled hulls; you need to use wads designed for that as opposed to tapered hulls like Remington or Winchester

High or low base means nothing; that's left over from days of yore.

Standard 20 gauge loading is 7/8oz. There are some 1oz loads readily available in 2-3/4" loads as well, Typically anything heavier will be in a 3" hull. Hull type, primer type, wad type and powder type will dictate your load. Follow the recipe, but realize with a LLA, you have zero adjustability except by "feel".

Good luck!
Right now just shooting target bird shot is what i normally shoot (purchase from store) this fiocchi 20 ga 2-3/4 8mm brass with F616 primed is the hulls i have so i am thinking now trash the fio. hulls and find some Winchester or Remington might be a lot easier
I'm still befuddled by the 8mm brass part - is that the height of the brass base or something else?
thinking now trash the fio. hulls and find some Winchester or Remington might be a lot easier[/QUOTE)

This would be a very smart move and will make your reloading much less complicated. If there is a skeet,trap or sporting clays range nearby you can usually get all the fired hulls you want for free and just ask first and dig thru the dumpsters. avoid rainy days as the metal case heads rust, best to pick up hulls after a big tournament. Winchester AA and REM hulls are the best for reloading. There are cheap Win hulls that are not AA.any REM hull reloads well.

The hulls he should be picking have brass bases. These are Winchester AA (all AA's), Remington Nitro 27, and Nitro Gold. Especially since he'll be loading them in a Lee Load-all.
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