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Old January 18, 2007, 11:51 AM   #1
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can you reload...

are the Federal Field & Target shotgun loads ok to reload?? im always buying those at walmart. its about $3.27 a box. the shells are like a dark red "burgundy" color. if they are, im planning on saving those until i buy myself a press for reloading.
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Old January 18, 2007, 01:23 PM   #2
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A couple of times

You can generally get 2 decent reloads from the federal game load empties. The crimp will start to crack and that makes for less crimp pressure that you need for proper powder burn. Others, like the AA, gold medal, or sts can be loaded up to 10 times.

If I'm going to shoot at a range where they don't let you pick up your empties, I load some of those game loads, they can have 'em! Also for field use, if the shells will fall in tall weeds where they can't be found, you didn't loose a valuable "good" empty.
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Old January 18, 2007, 01:46 PM   #3
Smokey Joe
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Reload hulls

Chris--Snuffy has it, although IMX the Federals will go 3-4 loadings. Win AA's? When they were bringing those out Winchester loaded and reloaded a set, to see how many reloadings they'd get. IIRC, the testers finally gave up, but the AA hulls were still good. They turned all black, but were still reloadable, folds didn't crack or anything. Those AA's are real primo hulls.

If the Federals are what's cheap and common in yr area, that's what I'd load. (This is true in my area.) Go to a public range where they let you scrounge, and pick up a zillion of 'em--then you won't have to worry about how many loadings you'll get. You can get the shell boxes out of the trash, too, and there's one more problem solved.

Note Well: When reloading shotgun shells, the recipie is different for EVERY different hull, and every variation! Make sure when you start reloading that all the shells you propose to load are the exact same model, and that you have a recipie for that exact model. A good shotshell reloading manual will have several pages on hull identification, usually with color pix and a description.
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Old January 18, 2007, 02:29 PM   #4
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If they have the paper base-wads in them, NO, they are not...sort of!


I mean that the paper base-wads found in some Federal shotgun ammo can detach and go down the bore, sometimes staying IN the bore...BAD NEWS when you fire the next shot.

Yes, I have seen this happen, it's not hearsay or what something I read in a forum.

Consequently, I would DEFINITELY NOT use them in repeating shotguns where you can not check the bore after a shot, but WOULD (and *I* do myself) use them in double-barrel/single-shot shotguns where after shooting, you break it open and can glance down the bore to BE SURE no "doughnut" base-wad is in the bore BEFORE putting in another round.

Usually, the base-wads will start detaching after only a few reloads but it's best to treat these kind of shotshells differently right up front to avoid problems. I would say that this WILL happen if you shoot these kind of reloads...not a matter of IF it will happen but WHEN.

So for safety's sake, reload them all you want (they do require a bit more powder so be sure to to check that) but use them only in single/double barrel shotguns and check the bores when reloading them with fresh rounds.

AND, when you reload the cases, BE SURE the paper base-wad is STILL THERE! If not, destroy them so no one else can reload them and throw them out.

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Old January 18, 2007, 03:48 PM   #5
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I've reloaded a few federal target hulls, but the fav hull at the trap and skeet clubs I've been in is the AA Winchester or the Remington gold or sts target.'s hard to get the Federal wads locally and load data is sometimes hard to find for Federal components. You do not want to substitute wads. Both Remington and Winchester have said they design these hulls to be reloaded; I've never seen Federal say the same. I've never tried to load any Federal hulls more than once or twice and I only got them because there was a huge clearance of Fed target shells when a gunshop here went out of business. I never cracked a fold, but the crimps required a lot more fiddling than either the Winchester or the Remington. The easiest hull I've reloaded is the Remington gold. I've got some of those that I've loaded 10 times and still look good.
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