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I haven't loaded anything but the black Remington Game Load hulls. They are hard to find and expensive when you find them, so I normally just make my own empties. For the loads I need, paying any more than 12 cents for a hull is going backwards.

How well do they reload??? Well...about the only way to tell a new shell from a reload is to look for resizing marks on the brass.
 

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I am a seriously addicted hull whore. I can't pass a trash can at a range without taking a peek. I have over 20k hulls (in 12 and 20ga.) Almost all came from scrounging. How many 16 gauge hulls have I found? Maybe 5 or 6. Based on this, I'd say the answer is: anything you can get. I would have to say the prevalence of hulls available for the picking is:
1. 12 ga
2. 20 ga
3. 28 and 410 Tie
4. 16 ga way down the list
 

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The absolute best hulls to reload in the 16 ga are Winchester's compression formed AA style hulls. Unfortunately, they haven't been made in about 30 years. I have a few hundred left but they are beginning to get a little ragged. They last as long as the 12 ga versions which is fortunate for those who have than.

I my next favorite hulls are the Remington/Peter's SP/Express hulls. They are sort of translucent so one can see the load inside. Unfortunately, they are also long out of production as well as having a smaller sized primer which is also no longer made. I have a couple boxes of these which will eventually be loaded enough times to make a dent in my supply of 57 sized primers.

The best of current hulls, at least for me for 1 oz loads, are the black Remington hulls. I bought 3-4 flats of them many years ago and I still have a couple hundred left. I get around 6 loads before they get crispy at the mouth and splits begin. At this point I'll continue to load them for informal shooting but expect to toss them soon.

Federal hulls are my choices bluish capacity but I suspect they will end up as a 7/8 oz load. for 1 1/8 oz loads as they are roomy and fairly common around here.

I haven't used many other brands, just a box here and there. Most load fine with Federal or Fiocchi data though I have some which have even less capacity than Win AA. I haven't played with these others enough to get a good read on them. Considering how few the options for the 16 get are, the best hulls are those you can find consistantly followed by cheaply.
 

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I find Remington Game hulls are crispy critters quickly; 5 loads is optimistic.
Federal Game hulls last longer for me, but finding the right wads/powder to take up their generous capacity is more of a challenge.
Cheddite hulls with Z16 wads make as pretty a 1 ounce crimped load as you could wish for. I have not yet found the life limits of these hulls, having only loaded a few of them 3 or 4 times.
We have a severely limited supply of 16 gauge components for sale in Canada.
 

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I have a case and a half of the Herters.
I just shot a box, first time, and upon trying to reload them I found about 1 in 5 had a tear at the mouth upon crimping that made one petal fold over. Looked good until the final crimp... so I'm worried about their longevity if that's what I'm seeing after first firing.

Other than those, I have a bunch of Win CF and Rem from 1990 or so, and 5 boxes worth of Activ. As noted before, those all reload nicely, but I had a long 16ga reload break from 1995 til recently, which is why I'm still lucky enough to have those old hulls.
 

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saskbooknut said:
I find Remington Game hulls are crispy critters quickly; 5 loads is optimistic.
Federal Game hulls last longer for me, but finding the right wads/powder to take up their generous capacity is more of a challenge.
Cheddite hulls with Z16 wads make as pretty a 1 ounce crimped load as you could wish for. I have not yet found the life limits of these hulls, having only loaded a few of them 3 or 4 times.
We have a severely limited supply of 16 gauge components for sale in Canada.
Once fired 16 ga black Remington hulls sure look crispy to me too. Cabela's Herters 16 gauge shells are the easiest (and cheapest) to find and reload just fine with Cheddite data.
 

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Dave in AZ said:
I have a case and a half of the Herters.
I just shot a box, first time, and upon trying to reload them I found about 1 in 5 had a tear at the mouth upon crimping that made one petal fold over. Looked good until the final crimp... so I'm worried about their longevity if that's what I'm seeing after first firing.

Other than those, I have a bunch of Win CF and Rem from 1990 or so, and 5 boxes worth of Activ. As noted before, those all reload nicely, but I had a long 16ga reload break from 1995 til recently, which is why I'm still lucky enough to have those old hulls.
I found the plastic MEC Precrimp die causes the problems with the Herter's hulls. If you grind the 3 longest internal ribs back to match the 3 short ribs and the problem goes away. My $0.02 and results may vary.
 

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uglydog said:
The absolute best hulls to reload in the 16 ga are Winchester's compression formed AA style hulls. Unfortunately, they haven't been made in about 30 years.
I couldn't agree more and am lucky to have about 2,500 o/f hulls and two cases of Xpert and Upland shells with eight point crimps that I have been hoarding since the eighties. These hulls reload beautifully with R16 wads (also fairly hard to find) and Claybuster AAs. Fortunately WW compression formed 16 gauge shells show up at gun shows from time to time but don't sit there long. I buy all that I can find no matter what load they are. Like others though, I find that Remington Game Load hulls make very serviceable reloads and I use them when I'm shooting my 16 gauge 1100 so I don't have to worry about losing my c/f hulls.
 

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Glad you asked for best, instead of a good hull in 16 ga. There really is not a good curret good hull made.
I have had decent luck with the Herters Cheddite hull, but as others have said, the crimps split pretty early, 3-4 loadings in my experience.
And I found that the standard pre crimp module on a MEC sizemaster does not work real good on these hulls. Someone gave me an open type of pre crimp that seems to work much better on the Herters hulls.
And lastly at this point in time, the Herters 1 ounce #8 shot seem to be non existent at Cabelas.
 

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I've found the Rem hulls to be brittle and don't get more than a few reloads. Currently I like the Estate (Federal) target hulls. Mostly because they are the correct color. I know they have the cardboard base so I only load once or twice and check them but the purple color makes them a keeper.
 

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rem black game loads for me, when the crimps spit, I trim them down to 2 1/2 inches for my older 16 ga. I may get one more reload them toss
 

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sneem said:
I've found the Rem hulls to be brittle and don't get more than a few reloads. Currently I like the Estate (Federal) target hulls. Mostly because they are the correct color. I know they have the cardboard base so I only load once or twice and check them but the purple color makes them a keeper.
Herter's shells are also purple.
 

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I had two boxes of WinAA CF 16-ga hulls... crimps split after first handload... I was truly surprised.

My best experience was with Rem SP hulls.

BTW: for hulls with the small 57-primer, I simply force fit a 209 and never look back. It actually works. YMMV.

Capt_C
 

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uglydog,

Winchester 16 ga. AA cf hulls haven't been made for 30 Years? That explains things. From time to time over the years I've come across 16 ga. load recipes published in magazine articles calling for AA hulls, but could never find any new ones for sale anywhere. I finally concluded that 16 ga. AA cf hulls were a figment of someone's imagination or the result of some typographical error.
 
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