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Old March 23, 2001, 10:09 AM   #1
Matt VDW
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Join Date: July 27, 1999
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I've never reloaded any shotgun shells, but I have collected quite a few empties over the years. Are they all created equal in terms of suitability for reloading? If not, which ones should I discard?
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Old March 23, 2001, 10:58 AM   #2
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Paper or Plastic?

No, you're not at the grocery store, I'm talking about the base wad. Take a flashlight and look down into a couple different shells. The cheap Fedral hulls (not Gold Medal) have a paper base wad around the flash hole, and will burn away after a few loads. When I first started reloading shotgun shells, I used Fedral just because I could get a fresh supply every time I went shooting.

The better hulls like Winchester AA have the base and sides molded as one piece, and can last a dozen loads. AA hulls will eventually split at the crimp, usually short splits less than 3/16" won't hurt, but if they start to burn away at the top or won't crimp right, it's time to toss them.
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Old March 23, 2001, 11:22 AM   #3
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Make sure you get the thicker Winchester AA hulls, not the cheap light ones they're cranking out nowadays. I find that I almost get more loads out of the Federals, since Winchester's frequently fray and split at the tops faster than the Federals lose their basewad.
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Old March 23, 2001, 11:32 AM   #4
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Most any hull CAN be reloaded. Some are not WORTH reloading. I, too, like the W-W AA hulls. I've also had success loading R-P, Federals, S&W, Fiochi, etc.

You might try to get a law enforcement person to collect 12ga slug & 00Buck empties from the police range. These can also be reloaded.

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