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Old April 2, 2012, 10:09 PM   #1
jaughtman
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Solid Brass Shells?

I have only been seeing the full-brass (full length made of brass instead of brass head and plastic body) shotgun shells for a couple of years now. What advantages would they have? Being made entirely of brass, they would have to me muchmore expensive to make than plastic hulled ones. Anyone on here shoot them?

J
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Old April 2, 2012, 10:43 PM   #2
zippy13
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They are special purpose and expensive. A few TFL members are brass shell shooters, and I'm sure they'll check in on the subject.
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Old April 3, 2012, 07:33 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
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All brass shells were common from the introduction of the modern shotshell (1870s, right through World War I, when paper shells (introduced in the late 1880s, IIRC) began to dominate.

They saw a slight renaissance for military use during World War II, especially in the Pacific, where high humidity made paper shells a very iffy proposition, and then slowly faded again, especially as extruded plastic took over. Alcan was making brass hulls into the 1970s, and they've been available hit and miss since then.

Advantages are their extreme durability through many reloading cycles, they're largely impervious to water, they can take a beating without damage and, for the cowboy action crowd, they're just all sorts of authentic.

Disadvantages compared to modern shells are they're expensive, require special loading techniques and tools, it can be tough to find components specifically for brass shells, and they're significantly heavier than plastic shells,
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Old April 3, 2012, 10:04 AM   #4
Salmoneye
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M19 Military 00 Buck...
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Old April 3, 2012, 10:58 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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Interesting aside, in the 1950s the Air Force also contracted with Winchester to produce all aluminum hulled .410 shot shells for the various survival rifles that were included in aircraft.

Those, however, were not reloadable.

A friend's father had a bunch of them. When I helped clear out the estate I grabbed one for my cartridge collection.
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Old April 3, 2012, 08:18 PM   #6
jaughtman
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Interesting notes....

Thanks! Other than seeing them in some ammo catalogs (usually from eastern block ammo makers) recently, the only mention I had heard of them (being a history geek) was their military use.

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Old April 3, 2012, 09:04 PM   #7
Mike Irwin
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Another aside...

At one time some manufacturers offered nickel plated brass hulls. I have one in my cartridge collection.
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Old April 4, 2012, 07:00 AM   #8
darkgael
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brass hulls

I load brass hulls for my old SXSs.
\There are two types of brass hulls - a) drawn brass hulls like those made by Bell Extrusion Labs (no more) and also by Magtech/CBC.
The Magtech hulls are about one dollar a piece. They are primed with large pistol primers and, despite the 12 gauge designation, they must be loaded using 11 gauge components - modern 12 gauge wads are too small.
Properly loaded, they work just fine. Very popular with BP shotshell guys.

b) Lathe turned brass hulls made by Rocky Mt. Cartridge Co. These are the top shelf in brass hulls. Things of beauty. They use regular 209 shotshell primers and normal 12 gauge components. They are expensive at $6.00 a hull last time I bought some. Worth every penny. Very well made.....I will probably be able to leave them to my grandchildren.
Pete
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Old April 4, 2012, 11:26 AM   #9
zippy13
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Quote:
...I will probably be able to leave them to my grandchildren.
Hey Pete, at $6/ea, I'd try to take them with me.
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Old April 4, 2012, 12:09 PM   #10
darkgael
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Ha!

Quote:
at $6/ea, I'd try to take them with me.
LOL.

And maybe a new thread..."What shotgun would you take to heaven if you could only take one?"

Pete
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