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Old June 25, 2010, 05:36 AM   #1
darkgael
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problem loading 20 gauge Fiocchi hulls

I realize that this post could be filed under "reloading" but there is always a lot of good advice about shotguns and "stuff" here that I thought to post about this issue.
I've run into a problem using my MEC 650 to load 20 gauge Fiocchi hulls. The same machine loads Remington hulls flawlessly.
I had a bag of primed low brass Fiocchi 20 gauge hulls and a bag of Trap Commander wads. The BPI load book specifies 21.9 grains of 800X and 7/8ths ounce of shot.
The first few hulls through the machine were crushed just above the brass. I adjusted. The best I can get so far have crimps that look like this:


And a dent on the side of the crimp that looks like this:


Only Fiocchi hulls.
Suggestions are welcome.
Pete
(posted also on one other forum)
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Old June 25, 2010, 11:39 AM   #2
BigJimP
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I load 12, 20, 28ga and .410 hulls - but I don't load Fiocchi hulls because they aren't really considered a durable long term hull. But, to give you some thoughts ( without really being able to measure anything of course ..)

The last I knew Rem STS 20ga hulls and the Fiocchi hulls are a little different height - so that is probably part of the problem - but that is usually resolved in the start crimp, crimp punch adjustments. But mixing hulls causes all kinds of crimp issues - so most of us stay with one hull exclusively on our reloads - and mix and match wads or powder to get what we need.

The component mix - I can't really comment on /I've never used or seen Trap commander wads - so I don't know if they're really compatible or not - but for our discussion, I'm assuming you are following a published recipe 100%.

But when you have case denting like that it is often a wad height / or overall component height ( powder and wad ) issue. I would try another more mainstream wad - like a WAA20, Rem RXP20, Windjammer - and see if it resolves it - if you have a published recipe for those components.

The other issue that scares me - is you said they were pre-primed / the question is with what primer ?? I presume you know that not all 209 shotshell primers can be mixed. If I were you - I would certainly want to know what primer is in the hulls.

Most of the guys that are reloading Fiocchi hulls in my area / use Chedite 209 primers, Hodgdon Universal powder and Win WAA20 wads ( or one of the WIN clone wads - like Duster, etc ) ... But I happened to be shooting with a guy on Tue / that was shooting and tossing some Fiocchi hulls ...and he was saying he just couldn't get decent crimps on them so he was giving up on them and going back to Rem STS in 20ga. He was saying he finds the plastic in the case brittle / and it wasn't worth the trouble.

All I can say is its a trial and error process - until you get the right mix of components / and get your press set just right. Its aggravating ...and probably not worth it unless you're going to load a few thousand of these hulls .... Good Luck.
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Old June 25, 2010, 12:17 PM   #3
oneounceload
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Fiocchi's require a straight wall hull, not a tapered one so they seal the powder well. If those Commander wads are called for by the recipe, then I'm sure they are correct.

Are those crimps dished too low, or?? I'm having a hard time telling. Typically adjusting the pre-crimp, final crimp, and maybe the cam might need adjusting.

I'm now loading 3/4 oz in my 20 gauge, and to get rid of the low dish and not use a Cheerio, I had to adjust the cam, the pre-crimp, and the result is very acceptable - no hole in the center, no rattle of loose shot.

Is that a little lip on you top-view pics? I get those when I reload STS in 28 because my 600 is set up for AA hulls. To get rid of that I'd have to adjust the machine due to differences in hull length.

I suspect that is what you have here - a machine set up for the STS and the Fiocchis are different
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Old June 25, 2010, 01:16 PM   #4
zippy13
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darkgael,
Pete, my friend, I don't know about your data sourceā€¦
Typically when loading 20-ga @ 1200 fps w/ 7/8-oz of shot, in Rem and Win hulls the correct charge of 800-X is in the neighborhood of 16.0 to 16.5 gr. Your 21.9 gr seems on the high side -- you're trying to use a third more powder than a typical load!!! This may be due to some inefficiency in the Fiocchi hull.

If you go to the Hodgdon-IMR-Winchester site, their interactive reloading data center doesn't list 800-X with Fiocchi hulls. They recommend International, Universal and Longshot powders in the Fiocchi hull. Like BigJimP, I don't reload Fiocchis, it's not worth the bother. I stick with Remington, AA and Federal (paper) target hulls.
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Old June 25, 2010, 07:58 PM   #5
darkgael
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data

Thanks for the replies. Thanks also for the concern shown about my reloading practices.
The load comes directly and exactly from Ballistic Products Inc. loadbook "Advantages IV".
Tha Mec drops exactly the called for charge of 21.9 grains of 800X. I was surprised when I saw the charge, having done some homework related to using 800X with Remington hulls which are what I normally load.
i have not tried adjusting the precrimp. The others are done.
I had the Fiocchis sitting around. I'm thinking that they will go back to sitting.
Pete
PS - The primer is a Fiocchi 616 and the Trap Commander wad is a BPI product.
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Last edited by darkgael; June 25, 2010 at 09:53 PM.
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Old June 25, 2010, 10:04 PM   #6
zippy13
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Quote:
The Mec drops exactly the called for charge of 21.9 grains of 800X.
Back at the dawn of time, I bought my first MEC (a 12-ga 650) to feed my fresh Skeet addiction. In those days, IIRC, the charge bars weren't adjustable -- they had two holes, one for shot and one for powder. For years and years, I loaded AA 12-ga hulls w/ 18.5 gr of Red Dot because that's what the bar's chart recommended. I upgraded my loader with a new bar that had a fixed shot charge but accepted powder bushings. Now I had the option of using various loads; but they were tied to my bushing selection.

Many shot shell reloaders are in the same boat, using only a few loads that are tied to the bushings that came with their loaders. But, there's good news, life exists beyond those boring OEM bushings: Consider the Universal Charge Bar by Multi-Scale. With fully adjustable powder and shot charges you're free to explore load recipes to fit your specific needs. You may reasonably ask, "So what?" Well, I now have a load that hits the targets harder (than the old 18.5 gr of Red Dot), has less recoil, is more consistent and is a little cheaper to load.

Two more reasons I have adjustable bars on all of my shot shell loaders: The OEM bushings don't always deliver exactly what you think they do, and with a fixed volume bar, the weight of the shot varies with the size of the shot. With the adjustable bar you don't get any surprises.
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Old June 26, 2010, 05:26 AM   #7
darkgael
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OK

Zippy: I was looking at that adjustable bar. It's a good idea. I use them on both my pistol and my rifle presses. I'll be ordering one presently.
Pete
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Old June 26, 2010, 10:36 AM   #8
oneounceload
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All of my MEC wear the UCB; I have now developed a 3/4 oz 20 gauge load and will be starting to look at a 3/4 12 gauge load and maybe a 5/8 28 gauge load - those UCB's let you dial it right in without buying a bunch of bushings
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Old June 27, 2010, 03:24 PM   #9
BigJimP
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I'm the odd guy out here ... I don't like the Universal Charge bar. I tried them 20 yrs ago or so ...and gave up on them because the set screws would periodically loosen up ...

I have Mec 900 HN's in 4 gagues ( like Zippy and OneOunce ) we all load 4 gagues / and I do have a complete set of bushings ...but they're easy to adjust by spinning them on a lathe or drill press - and opening them up a little with a touch of emery cloth ...or you can tighten one up by borrowing some clear nail polish from your wife ... coat a bushing - / use a dremel tool to remark them if you want.

But in the long run / I rarely change powders for a gague - and I rarely change the velocity of my load - so I tend to match a set of bushings for the charge bar that I use for that gague...and just keep the bushings in that bar / and if I need the same bushing for another bar, I just pick up another bushing.
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Old June 29, 2010, 12:05 AM   #10
olddrum1
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In that I do not own a 650 this is just a guess but you may be having a problem with the finishing die and the steel hull of the Fiochi where you do not with the brass hull of the Remington. If the steel hull is forced into a die it takes more pressure to release it thus the crushed hull.
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Old June 29, 2010, 02:47 AM   #11
zippy13
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olddrum1, my friend, when Pete first mentioned that he was having problems with his MEC 650 and Fiocchi hulls, my first thought was of a sizing problem. The MEC 650 doesn't have brass resizing as part of it's normal sequence (the next model up, the Grabber was basically a 650 re-designed to accommodate a sizing operation at the de-priming station). I thought he was going to report that he'd shot the shells in one gun, and the reloads wouldn't chamber in another gun.

Those who've had MECs for any length of time are intimate with the crimp adjustments: There's a height adjustment on the crimp starter where it's easy to forget to change between 6 and 8-point starters. On the crimper there's two adjustments -- the height of the die itself and the height of the ram.

If you spend enough time making accurate adjustments, the MEC will deliver very nice finished crimps. On the other hand, if the load data give you an incorrect total component column height, then a nice crimp is out of the question. I suspect this is the case with Pete's Fiocchi hulls. And, the smaller the bore, the less forgiving the crimping operation.
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Old June 30, 2010, 12:57 AM   #12
olddrum1
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Z13, I wasn't sure if the finishing die encompassed the steel hull of the Fiochi. I have seen several hulls this way and usally its the force taken to dirive them out of a resizing die. My PW is of an age that it does not like steel hulls and they turn our like the pictured shells due to tighter tolerances than on many of the newer machines.
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