Shotgun Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,094 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I have been posting ocassionally as a guest. Decided it was time to register.

I am interested in 20 gauge loads with slightly lower recoil. I tried loading 3/4 oz loads but could not get them to crimp right with the waa20 wads, so I have gone to 7/8oz.

Am currently using Hodgdon Universal Clays at the reccomended load of 15.5 grains (aa hull, winchester 209 primer, waa20 wad) My question is, does anyone have any experience with simply reducing the powder charge a little. How much for a perceptible, but not large, reduction in velocity and recoil? I shoot an O/U, so it just has to be reliable, not work an action.

Or maybe a suggestion for 3/4 oz loads that will crimp?? My friend uses a cardboard spacer wad but that is way too much trouble for me.

Thanks for any information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,513 Posts
Bill,

Try cutting the powder back to about 14.7 grains of Universal Clays and reduce the shot charge to about 13/16 ounce (1/2 way between 7/8 ounce and 3/4 ounce). This should give a slightly concave crimp, but it should work just fine in an O/U shotgun. You will have about the same velocity as with your previous load, but less recoil. In extremely cold weather you might have an occasional ignition problem, but keep the shells warm inside your pocket until you get ready to shoot them and they should be just fine.
 
G

·
Thanks Ulysses. That is the kind of information I need.

Actually, I just tangled with the new AA hulls tonight for the first time. Took a year or so off from reloading and look what Winchester gone and done. I don't even like the look of the factory crimps on the new shells after I started looking close. They look like bad reloads.

Anyway, I found that I was actually throwing a little over, maybe a couple of percent, on shot anyway. I had to cut it back a little to get the new hulls to close up without buckling.

I will go back and cut the shot a little more and make a slight down adjustment of the powder.

I used to be a Winchester fan. I was even thinking about looking at their new O/U's and I spent the last year religiously paying more for double A target loads because I knew the hulls were so good. Hah! Winchester can keep their guns and I am going to switch to remington target loads.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
I just picked up a bunch of dropped once-fireds this weekend. 20ga in STS and AA. We'll see what the better hull is, but I think I know by now....

Anyhow. Try an STS hull with:
3/4oz your pref shot size
Winchester AA20 wad (easy to find).
Win 209 primer.
12gr Hodgdon International.

I think this load might end up being dirty... it should be better than cheap 12ga stuff but perhaps not as good as a particularly hot 12ga load with Clays.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
Unique is a soft recoil powder in the 20ga. The new formula unique is quite a bit cleaner than the old stuff. The recipe I use in AA hulls is:

13.8g powder
7/8oz shot
AA wad
1100+ ft per sec.

If your on em, you grind em up.
 
G

·
Try putting a 28 gauge card wad in the bottom of the shotcup to elevate the shot column a little (check with Ballistic Products, Inc for card wads of various gauges and heights). By elevating the shot charge, you ought to be able to get tight and good looking crimps.

But whatever you do, follow load recipes meticulously! Don't just haphazardly reduce loads.

As for reducing a measured powder charge, you ought to be okay reducing a charge by 5% perhaps, but that is a very miniscule amount! I would not reduce a charge by more than that. Shotgun load recipes are carefully arrived at, so don't just change things.

You might get a powder pamplet from Accurate Arms powder company and look at their 20 gauge loads for Cowboy Action shooting. Accurate Arms lists many reduced loads in twelve and twenty gauges.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,513 Posts
Cougar,

Please explain the danger in using reduced loads in shotgun shells. Keep in mind that this is not metallic cartridge reloading where the volume available for the powder is often much greater than the volume of powder used to propel the bullet. In shotshell loading, the wad is pressed right down on top of the powder. IMO, the only real danger is that you might get a squib load which could leave the wad in the bore. Then, on the next round which fires, you would have an obstructed bore. However, if a person is observant about any off-sounding load and checks the bore before firing the next round, that shouldn't be an issue. Besides, with an O/U, it's easy to look down the bores after EVERY shot.
 
G

·
I recently started using this 3/4 oz. load and I was really impressed with the pattern, felt recoil, and how clean they shoot (straight from the Hodgdon Annual Manual):

Rem 20 gauge STS hull
12.3 gr Hodgdon International (#19 MEC bushing)
Win WAA20
Rem 209P
3/4 oz shot

1,150 fps
8,600 psi

Broke 23 and 22/25 on the skeet field with them just the other day. Good Luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,094 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wish there was some way to edit previous posts. I would soften my rant against Winchester.

What I found after several hours work was that my reloader setup was pretty bad. After being forced to work on the buckling problem with the new hulls I finally found some settings that almost work well with the new hulls and certainly work much better than what I was using for the old AA hulls. Now it takes me a lot less effort on the handle and the crimps are more reliable on the old AA hulls.

I stlll ain't fond of the new hulls, but at least I can see now that they can be reloaded okay. Have not shot any yet, so will have to see about hull life.

One problem with following everything "exactly" is that it pretty much can't be done. An example is the WAA 20 wads. I have several bags of older WAA 20 wads and a new bag. Both say exactly the same thing on the package, but the wads are markedly different. Likewise the new AA hulls say AA, but the case capacity seems to be slightly different.

I am gonna make about a 5% reduction in both powder and shot in my 20 gauge load. I think it will be fine in the "new hulls" and the old ones also. One reason I am using the Universal powder is that it is supposed to be "universal" and probably less senistive to exact loading conditions than a real fast burning powder. My exerience in previous times of reloading is that this load will not produce "stuck" wads. I had a factory duck load squib on time and just the primer managed to clear the wad. but of course I had to stop and look.

Probably looking down the barrels each time would be a good idea. I am pretty sure I do not now, but I will start.

Thanks for all the helpful information. Fortunately I do have a pretty good load of old AA hulls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,513 Posts
Bill M.,

Look in the upper right hand corner of your old posts. See the word "Edit"? Click on it and edit to your heart's content. If you don't see the word edit, check on your profile. You must have something turned off or not selected.
 
G

·
Reduced loads, Ulysses?

Reloading you are aware no doubt, requires the ability to follow instructions and produce a "product" that meets certain minimal standards to function and be safe. And when a person starts telling another person how to "cut corners" or change things, the situation changes - maybe dramatically and BECOMES EXTREMELY SUBJECTIVE. I'm leery about spouting off loads in a post like this, because the propensity to make mistakes might be great. And who's left holding the bag? Or blown up gun? Or missing eye and maimed face?

What I'm saying is, IF I list a load for someone who is a stranger to me, and perhaps a really green-novice, am I doing a favor for this person by telling them how to change "the basics" while they're still learning 'the basics,' perhaps? And who's accountable if I make a mistake while typing my recipe and no one catches it till they pull the trigger? There's a lot to be said for looking for oneself in a manual to make sure a load is read properly, and then checked again, and even again!

As a "safe policy" I follow what a recipe says to do. I didn't always do this as a novice, and wasn't aware of how dangerous this might be. I won't prolong this post over this point, but to say the Lyman shotshell manual (3rd) explained quite well why "changing things" is a bad idea.

As for sqib loads (as opposed to "blooper" loads), I use "sqib" quite loads reliably in rifles. But semmantics aside, I think its a bad idea to be indescreet about arbitrarily changing components in a recipe. Understand Ulysses I'm NOT criticizing you or your reloading experiences and abilities. I'm only answering your question to me. Its very obvious form your posts you're quite experienced as a reloader and in the field, and you share a loy of insight and good information. But I try to be careful about talking to anyone I don't know who might be nothing more than a beginner.

I was lucky to have only "one" relaoding accident early on. I was duck hunting in Florida, when I was still in high school. I was using Peters hulls to make 2 3/4" magnums with Herco, behind 1 1/2 ounces of #5 or #4 lead shot. Unbeknownst to me, when I deprimed/primed this shell, the compressed sawdust-like base covered over the primer hole. I am left handed, but shot a RH M1200 during this time, and fortunately decided to wear glasses that day out hunting. When I shot this round and got a hang-fire, I was already pumping the RH-ed action I was shooting left-handed when the powder finally ignited - in my face! Lucky for me my eyes were protected. The wads got stuck in the barrel and the shot only went about 20 feet. Of course I recognized the difference in sound and the shot "bloop" out the end of the barrel. I disassembled the gun and with a reed pushed the wad out. I was able to resume the hunt and not blow up the gun. I also sh!#canned all the Peters hulls and loads too.

Like I said I'm leery about telling a beginner or unknowledgeable shooter how to cut corners and "change things." I place a lot of value in being able to go to a manual (like a "bible!") and see with my own eyes how something is supposed to be. I certainly trust myself to type accurate information too, but I'm not necessarily going to trust someone I don't know with information they might want from me. I'm not worried about being sued from this or any other post, but I'd still feel like sh!# if I helped someone hurt themself.

Hope I answered your question Ulysses. Thanks for your posts on many topics too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
You have recieved quite a few good responses. If you have some 20 ga Federal hulls (High brass or low brass hunting type hulls) here is my favorite 7/8oz load that I used for shooting doubles in Trap for several years. I thought they were pretty light, so did my wife when she started shooting trap. And she only weighs about a buck thirty.
14.0 grains Red Dot
CCI 209 Primer
Federal Pushion-Cushion #20S1
1165fps
9800psi

There are plenty of light 20ga loads in the reloading manuals.
 
G

·
I should have added, that I have looked for reduced 3/4 ounce loads to use in both the 12 and 20 gauges - for quail over a dog.

It was fortuitous to find the data I did in the Accurate Arms reloading guides for Cowboy Action shooting-type loads. I haven't loaded any yet, but hope to change thing this spring.

As for remembering to always look down a barrel between shots, that's not always an easy thing to do in the field, especially when the shooting is fast and furious. Why not build safety and dependability into ALL AMMO we reload? I suppose we might have differing opinions on how to do this!?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,513 Posts
Cougar,

You have a good point about not giving advice to beginners because they may interpret it the wrong way. I've thought about that many times and generally refrain from giving reloading recipes on this forum.

However, if we look at it from a little different perspective, we could consider nearly ALL advice we give as potentially dangerous if some beginner reads it or interprets it in the wrong way. Since we don't know who is reading these posts, ANY post, regardless of the subject could be read by a beginner or by THOUSANDS of beginners.

A few days ago I recommend that a guy clean his gun with mineral spirits. The next day he wrote back that since he didn't have any mineral OIL, he decided to use some spray-on degreaser. It turned out fine. He got the gun working again. But what if he had decided to use gasoline instead (a VERY BAD idea) and got a spark from somewhere and had the stuff explode into a fireball in his face? Would that have been my fault for recommending mineral spirits? Or what about when I recommend that someone use a power drill and a bore brush with 000 steel wool to polish their chamber? What if they get an electrical shock from using a faulty grounded drill? Is that my fault?

These are all good questions, IMO, and I don't know the answers to them. I suppose that everytime someone asked a question I could just say to read the Owner's Manual or contact the manufacturer, but somehow that answer just doesn't seem to be what people come here for. So, I guess I'll just continue to try to provide answers that seem clear and unambigious and hope that the person reading them can read clearly and follow directions. Or perhaps I could put some disclaimer at the end of all my posts to the effect that my comments are for amusement and entertainment purposes only and I don't really intend for anyone to try it. :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
Might I suggest a good reason not to reduce loads?

Consistancy. When you start going below recommended charges, you can run into problems maintaining velocity shot after shot, and the differences can be large even in a shotgun, to the point of one load being just under published data and the next being subsonic.

Obviously this isn't good for your shooting average.

If you're that worried about recoil, buy a 12ga gun and tube it down to 20 or 28 and just shoot that. Don't try to make it up with underloaded hulls.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top