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 Post subject: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:48 pm
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Along with a nice "American" Browning A5, I inherited a shoe box full of old shotgun shells. From the appearance of the shell boxes inside the shoe box, I'd say the shells were likely purchased in the '50's at the latest.

1. Any chance these shells are still good?

2. Any harm in testing them to see if they'll fire?

3. Assuming they're history, how do I dispose of these thing? I live in the city, and I feel a little queasy about putting them in the garbage receptacle.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Russell




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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:54 pm 
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Location: E. Rochester NY
If they were stored OK, they SHOULD shoot OK.

But, if you get a mild report on any shells, check the barrel for a wad stuck in it and remove it with a cleaning rod before shooting again. That's the biggest cause of burst barrels....

BobK

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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 8:41 pm
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Are they paper???

What kind and what color?

I would keep them.

I like old shells and old shell boxes.

Send me a couple three or four for my collection. :D


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:52 pm 
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I agree with BobK however shotgun shells and all ammunition is cheap compared to the gun or misfire resulting in injury.
Most gun ranges have dud bins for misfires or dud rounds, or brake them up and the should be harmless in there component pcs.


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:15 pm 
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A lot of people collect old shells, some are pretty pricey (especially some slugs and paper!!!). As an example, check Auctionarms and Ebay. Ebay doesn't allow live rounds to sell, but the boxes go pretty fast, I have bought some there myself.

Also they are always people at the local gun shows (at least here) that buy/sell/trade shells.

Look at it this way, You got a head start on shell collecting!!!


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:19 pm 
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Among my endless bunch of shotgun accoutrements, I have a large shoe box about half full now of paper shotgun shells from the fifties. Every time I've tried them out, they work wonderfully. There are collectors of old shotgun shells, but they seem to want the boxes, especially unopened boxes, more than single shells. Any shotgun shell made after WW2 and even ten years before has modern non corrosive primers. They won't hurt your gun. Try em. If they don't go off punch out the wads with a dowel rod and try some more. Don't ever throw away shotgun shells. They may be in short supply some day :lol:


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:05 pm 
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I have a shelf in my hall with a lot of old shotshells. All the way from 20 ga paper to old 20 gague RED Winchesters. To keep old shells is keeping a part of history alive.

Shotgun Red

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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:12 pm 
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i agree that trying them is ok as long as you bring along a cleaning rod to punch out any wads that might get stuck. however, why chance it? the old shells are a cool thing to hold onto, or pass along to someone who wants them. if you just don't want them, and don't want to pass them along, don't just throw them away. dismantle the shel first. cut it along the side and dump the powder out. throw the live primer holding hull in a container with some oil, used motor oil is fine, to make the primer useless. then you can throw the powder on your plants, it's excellent fertalizer. the rest can be thrown in the carbage, it's now safe (no oil of course).

but, again, why not just keep them? put them on a shelf and think about how neat it would have been to have hunted with them. :P


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:17 pm 
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I'd keep the box--history and relic or find a collector and sell the box and the shells.

They may be worth more than the 4-6 dollars you'd spend if you had to buy a box of shells.

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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:22 pm 
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What I want to see is an American Browning, a dolled up Model 11 Remington, with a magazine cuttoff, made while the Belgian plant was in the hands of the Nazis, and right after WW2. That's cool. I've read about them but never seen one.

I still have about half my old paper shells to preserve history. But I want my heirs to have a better way to earn money than by selling my guns and gun stuff. I shoot shotguns. And, occasionally, it sure is fun to shoot old paper shells in old shotguns. They aren't worth very much to sell. But they smell good after you shoot them, and the memories they bring are priceless. Shoot that American Browning with the same shells your relative never got around to shooting, is what I say. They would want you to enjoy your inheiritance. You can save half the shells for shooting later on. Someday your kids or grandkids may inheirit your American Browning and a box of paper shells. You want them to hoard them or shoot them?

Go have some fun. I'll bet you every one of them go off.


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:22 pm 
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Location: Skeeter Bottom in the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Hey SupreXOne,

I resent the implication that Old and Paper go together. :wink: :wink: I still reload and shoot Federal papers.
The smell must come from the combination of the paper and burnt powder. My reloads even smell GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRReat. :D :D


Shotgun Red

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 Post subject: Re: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:40 pm 
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Shotgun Red wrote:
Hey SupreXOne,

I resent the implication that Old and Paper go together. :wink: :wink: I still reload and shoot Federal papers.
The smell must come from the combination of the paper and burnt powder. My reloads even smell GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRReat. :D :D


Shotgun Red



Have you noticed how they leak pressure, hot gas, dirt, etc. back through the primer/case head annular junction? I was using them for black powder and was quite happy with them, until I noticed the black smoke deposits around the fired primers, and on the breach face, some going on back through the firing pin channel.

No more! Even the smokeless flash and deposits going out into the action back there can't be for the good of the gun.

I think the smell must come from the adhesives in the paper and or wax, and the hot flames, but it sure is addictive.

Clyde


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:29 pm 
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I've reloaded a fair amount of paper hulls myself and have never had problems with them. Sure they don't last too long but they sure are fun to shoot and man do they smell good.

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"Point and shoot, don't think about it too much"


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:32 pm 
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shotgun red-reload some and send some my way! i've always wanted to try some. maybe someday i'll spend the bucks to buy all the stuff to make some. i think it'd be neat to shoot a box or two at some clays. 8)


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:23 am 
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The nice smell of paper shells comes from the WAX they impregnate the paper with.

BobK

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 Post subject: Re: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:50 am 
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Clayslayer wrote:
I've reloaded a fair amount of paper hulls myself and have never had problems with them. Sure they don't last too long but they sure are fun to shoot and man do they smell good.


Winchesters especially don't last long, but they don't leak like the Federals do after reloading, even the first time.

Hard to notice with smokeless powder, but virtually every one will be leaking hot gas back into the firing pin channel. I was an unbeliever as well, until I fired the rest of what I had loaded with black powder and inspected the gun and the black stuff/smoke deposited on the breach face and the primer of every empty shell.

I had a big stash of them. I now reload them ONCE, with smokeless and throw them away. Won't be acquiring anymore for reloading, because that just can't be good for the firing pin and the rest of the related area.

I have seen lots of old antique guns with the firing pin hole enlarged. Lots of reasons possible for this, material and normal wear included, but here is another one that that only recently was brought to my attention.

It is the way the Federal paper hull is constructed, the annular ring of the paper base wad just being a natural leak path.

Clyde


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:48 pm
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In answer to the question of what kind of shells there are, here's the inventory:

1 box of of 25 Remington "Shur Shot Smokeless Wetproof Shot Shells" (16 ga., 2 9/16 in., 1 oz. no. 8 shot, 2 1/2 drs.) in original box (the shells are a dull orange and to be paper, but with a coating of something on the ridged paper). There's another 14 of these shells loose with not box.

9 Western Super X "Long Range Short Shot String" shells in original box (12 ga., 2 3/4 in., 1 1/4 oz no. 5 shot, "Maximum Load") (the shells are red and appear to be coated paper; the brass is higher on these than the others ["high brass"?].

1 Western Super X "Long Range Short String" shell in original box (.410 ga, 2 1/2 in., 1/2 oz. no 4 shot, "Maximum Load") (this looks like the 12 ga. Western's [paper], but the brass is low.

6 Winchester "Super Speed" shells in original box (w/box lid missing) (12 ga., 2 3/4 in., 7 1/2 oz, but no indication of amount of shot or drs.)(these are red paper shells with the higher brass like the Western's

7 Peters "High Velocity" shell, no box (12 ga., 2 3/4 in., 1 1/4 oz. no. 7 1/2, 3 3/4 drs. [marked "HV"]) (these are gray paper shells with the higher brass.

There're also 2 Federal plastic shells (12 ga., 2 3/4 in., 1 oz. no. 8 shot, 3 1/4 drs.)

That's the inventory.


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:41 am 
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Good morning Volgunner: Well lets talk "SAFETY" first, you will want to go through the shells one by one and look for corrosion on the brass, and any swelling of the paper beyound the brass. Anything found like that should be separated out and not shot! Bad brass could split or fragment, swollen paper most likely will get stuck in the chamber. Bad shells can be dropped off at the local Trap/Skeet or Sporting Clays range. Or you could call your local police dept. and see if they can dispose of them.

Now paper shells generally means made before the 1962/63 time frame when plastic hulled shells frst came out.

Since you have some of the shell boxes, there may be an ammunition lot number stamp on the box lid, those numbers translate into the month and year the shells were made.

As to value generally on "loose shells" about $1.00 to $5.00 each depending on rareity.

Partial boxes with shells such as the 16ga Remingtons in 2 9/16s this could be a keeper! Value may surprize you as this is the old chamber size but "Sure Shot" I believe is a Post War. Would need a description of the box and colors.

The Western Super X if it's pre-war, could be in the neighborhood of $40. and up would need a better description of the box and colors.

the 2 1/2in .410 with #4 shot is rare, probably worth $2.50-$5.00 by itself for someone who is trying to fill a box.

the Peters will sell for a $1.00 or more, depends on if it has a star crimp, (*) or rolled crimp.

Rolled crimped shells usually means pre-war.

Providing you have eliminated that bad shells, they should shoot fine. I would not hesitate in using them from a safety point. However from a value point, I probably would not.

Regards Dave


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 Post subject: re: Old shotgun shells
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:34 pm
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Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
I still have some old paper 28 gauge CIL Imperial and Super X shotshells.Not sure just what type of wax and powder were used in the old paper Imperial shells but they sure do smell sweet when fired.Bring back lots of memories of times gone by when you fire them.

I reload the paper hulls once then get rid of them.




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