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 Post subject: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:37 am 
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So I've seen a few post around here about bad shotgun ammo. So what do you guys consider good or bad shotgun ammo, or is this more of a personal preference? I know your name brands "Remington" and "winchester" have been around for a long time, but I see a lot of other stuff out there and I don't know what to buy or stay away from.


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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:30 pm 
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I think that "good" or "bad" is a reference to the quality of the ammo. Probably any of the ammo you buy will be safe to shoot. Some of it is just better quality than others. Until you become a pretty good shooter, it's doubtful, IMO, that you would be able to tell the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:37 pm 
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Even in the same company, some ammo is of higher quality and some is cheaper bulk stuff. The only ammo I have ever used that didn't work was PMC. I have never had problems with the following brands; Winchester, Remington, Estate, Kent, Fiocchi, Federal, Sellior and Bellot, and Wolf.


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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:39 pm 
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Argon, I'm not sure about everyone else and each has their own opinion. For myself, I've never found any shotgun shell to be extremely bad from a design standpoint or manifacture, now I've had some duds but they have been few and far between. Any time you have an automated reloading system that these companies use there is always room for error.
The only shells that I stay away from is the Winchester Super Speed 12 gauge. They are normally offered in 12 gauge with a shot load of only 7/8 ounce. They decrease shot capacity to increase the velocity. They sell these at lower prices but I've found that they do not fit my need. I will normally use 1 ounce or more to insure a proper pattern. But in a reliablity standpoint they function just fine in my shotguns.
I would just buy different shells and form your own opinion you will find some that are extremely clean burning, give good patterns, and the most important area is that they function in your particular gun. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:44 pm 
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I have been using Estate shells, I can get them for a good price and they seem to work good. The guy I buy them from told me there made by Federal, but do not meet there standards or something, but they seem to work just as good in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:07 pm 
Argon, when people talk about good vs. bad shotgun shells often times they are talking about the hull. For those of us who reload, the hull is critical. Cheaper hulls typically do not reload well. That is why many people pay the premium for Winchester AA and Remingtion STS shells. They want the hulls to reload. There are other differences however. Cheap hulls often have lesser wads, which in my opinion increases perceived recoil. Also, the powder is often not as clean burning. They can also have softer shot. If you are going to reload then I would recommend buying the Wichester AA (28ga and 410) and the Remington STS (12ga and 20ga). If you are not planning to reload then less expensive shells would be a good choice. If they are available in your area, Challenger and Wolf are two good inexpensive choices. I have shot both without any complaints. Both are available in my area for about $37.50 a case. Fiocci is also popular. Estate is another less expensive brand, however I have heard that the shot is not the best quality. The Challenger shells are a favorite of trap and skeet shooters in my area. The Remington Gun Club shells are a little more expensive, but they are fine shells. Stay away from the 7/8 oz 12ga high velocity shells. They are less expensive, but produce truly inferior patterns. The combination of light shot load and high velocity causes the shot to spread too rapidly.


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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 10:21 am 
Deadeye600 wrote:
I have been using Estate shells, I can get them for a good price and they seem to work good. The guy I buy them from told me there made by Federal, but do not meet there standards or something, but they seem to work just as good in my opinion.


They are in fact made by Federal. I wondered about them because I am starting to reload and I have several spent boxes in the garage. I gave Estate a call then was transfered to Federal. They guy I talked to was really great and helped out quite a bit giving me the history and how to tell them apart.

The older ones have a gray plastic basewad and were not made in the Federal plant. The newer ones have a spiral paper basewad and are the exact same as the plastic hunting shell (what they are called in the reloading books). They are made in the same factory as other federal shells.


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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:59 pm 
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Skimming thru all these posts, it looked to me that just about everyone knows more about shotshells than I do. However, that never stops me from rendering an expert opinion. :D I think it's best to stay away from the really cheapo "promo" shells because in some guns they are prone to jam (Remington 870's are notorious for this). Some older guns like shells of slightly lower pressures, and the Remington Express type shells are a bit much. If you have an old shotgun, educate yourself on this. I shoot Bismuth No-Tox out of my Ithaca 16 ga (made in 1951), because the dr. equiv. is reasonable. I like an oz. of shot, call me old fashioned, but the "square load" still appeals to my traditional old mind. Sometimes I shoot 2 1/2 in Sped-r shells because my choke is fixed at modified. The Spred-r's are about 8000 psi and that is quite low. Ulysses, et al, can prolly tell you what constitutes too much pressure for your particular gun. One thing you might want to consider is that some lead shot deforms easily and throws your pattern off. In my opinion, this just gives you a great excuse for a miss, but many good shooters get copper jacketed stuff.

All the Best!

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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:52 am 
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There are differences in the quality of various shot shells. The best way to tell is to see how your guns handle and pattern with them. One brand in particular, Winchester Super Speed Game Loads, has given me problems - poor patterns. I just refuse to use them. Maybe you do get what you pay for! :D However, for the most part, I haven't had many problems with most shells, regardless of the manufacturer or price. I do have a Mossberg that won't eject Remingtons. Have never figured out why. All my other 12 gauge semi-autos/pumps eat 'em with no problems.

A side note. I've never had a shotgun shell misfire! I've shot probably several hundred thousand shells without a failure. That includes tens of thousands that I reloaded. That must be some kind of record! :)

I can't say that for centerfire rifle cartridges though. I've had several factory shells do the big "click!"

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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2003 4:32 pm 
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Jeff23 is right! My 870 jams about once every box when I use cheap shells. Estates will fire just fine, but then don't want to eject.

-Andrew


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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 2:39 pm 
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A pump-action shotgun should eat anything you feed it. If the ammo's out of spec that's one thing, but dirtiness/hull construction doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot on a pump gun.

I've never had any of my pumps refuse to cycle (Mossberg, Benelli, Winchester, Remington) a shell of any kind in -thousands- of rounds downrange. Problems were always traced to short-shucking (or other user error) or a physical problem with the gun (broken ejector).

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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:51 pm 
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I buy Remington Game loads and I find they are really good for clays and birds. I buy them 250 shells for $30

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 Post subject: Re: Good vs Bad Shotgun ammo.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:25 pm 
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I have a gas auto (11-87) and have switched to Remington Gun Clubs. For me they are a lot cleaner, after 4 boxes the magazine tube is a smooth light gray, instead of looking like I just picked it out of a charcoal grill! The Gameloads broke birds just fine, but they were dirty.

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