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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guess I'll be asking questions here for awhile since my wife got me an MEC Sizemaster for Christmas. I'm new to reloading and have just enough knowledge to be DANGEROUS!! I consulted my gun dealer and he got me started with some information and products to reload about 200 rounds. This is the stuff that I have.

Manual - Lyman Shotshell Reloading Handbook
Hulls - Winchester AA (once fired)
Wads - Winchester AA WAA12
Primers - Winchester W209
Powder - Hodgdon Clays
Shot - West Coast Premium 7.5

Reading my manual finding some clay loads for the AA hulls is pretty easy. In fact there are a lot of them in there that would seem to work well for my skeet and trap purposes.

Up until now I have been buying Winchester Universal shells from Wal-Mart and Estate shells from Sportsmans Warehouse. I kept all of these hulls thinking that today would come and I might get to reload them. However, I am now at a loss as I can't seem to find any information about reloading these hulls. The Winchester Universal are much like the AA and the only reference I find in my manual for Winchester is "Compression Form Plastic Cases". Does this mean all Winchester Plastic Cases? It is my understanding that Estate Cartridges were at one time made by Federal but I am not certain. If this is the case then following the instructions for reloading Federal hulls would probably work.

These Win Universal and Estate 12 ga hulls should be good for at least a few reloads but it would be really nice to hear if some of you guys have already done it. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Also, any general information about reloading would be greatly appreciated.

Dan
 

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I am not sure about your empties. They would probably load up fine but it is better safe than sorry. Do you have a local gun club? If so there should be plenty of empties there after a weekend or league shoot. I would stick with STS's or Gun club empties myself.

You can buy once fired STS here:

http://www.recobstargetshop.com/browse.cfm/2,107.html

They would be your best bet in my opinion.
 

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I have to agree with the above post, stay away from the game hulls and go to the Win. AA or the REM. STS hulls. (Note the Rem. Gun Club, Sport and Game loads you see sold in Dicks, Walmart, etc are the same as the STS, but they don't reload as many times)
I noticed in your post that you did not list a powder scale. The bushing recomandation by MEC and the powder Companies is just that, a recomandation and not the final say. You starte with the recomended and then weigh the charge and change bushings until you get what you want.
You can go online to the powder manufacturers for their data and they will send you a current loading manual if you asked for it.
www.hodgdon.com Clays, Int. Clays, etc.
www.allient.com Red Dot, American Select, etc
www.imrpowder.com (now owned by Hodgon) 700X, PB, 800X Etc.
V/R TonyG
 

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The Winchester universals are scrap, just throw them away and save yourself the trouble. I like the AA's but the Universals gotta go. The Estates use the same data as the Federal TopGun, Field and game loads. They have a 7/16" rolled paper base wad. They are good for about 2 loads then the base wad starts to deteriorate. 18 grns or close to it of Clays will give you a decent 1 1/8oz load with the rest of the components you have.
You really do need a scale though. Some of my bushings throw 2 grns light of what they are supposed too and others throw 1.5 grns heavy.
80% of all my reloading is done with Remington hulls nowadays. They are available almost everywhere, data is plentiful and they last quite a long time. Shoot up what you have now and then maybe later switch to the Remingtons.

Good Luck and Merry Christmas

Tim

Just noticed this was my 1000th post here on SGW.... :H
 

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Those Wally World Winchester hulls are no doubt polyformed promos called Universal. I don't know anything about the Estates -- and don't want to.

Burnt Powder will probably be along sooner or later to help you with some recipes for those two hulls so you can at least get a few more shots out of them. BP will reload anything and has. I don't think he's blown up any guns yet.

In the future, if you buy promos at Wally World get the Remington Game Loads. They're cheapest, use the same recipes as the Gun Clubs, STS and Nitro 27 and will reload 12 times with good crimps.

Your best source for once-fired hulls are Remington Game Loads or Gun Clubs off eBay. You can usually get them in lots of 500 or 1,000 for about two or three cents apiece, including shipping. Don't mess with lots smaller than that.

And it bears repeating: The Remington Gun Clubs and Game Loads will reload just as well and as many times as Remington's premium hulls, which will go for five or six cents apiece, including shipping.

Hands down, they're the best deal around for once-fired 12 gauge hulls.
 

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You really need a scale as TReX300 explained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys for all of the great info and links. After playing with my reloader most of the day today I can see where a scale is a must. I haven't loaded any shells yet, just getting all of the pieces put together and reading all of this literature. I can see quickly that going to the AA or Remington hulls will for sure pay off later. I likely won't be buying any shells for quite some time now. I'll research for some loads for what I have and see what they do for me. I have quite a few AA hulls and these will get me going well with straight forward recipes. I might try the Win Universal and Estates after some luck with the AA. I'll let you guys know if I come up with anything. Again, thanks for all of the great info! Please keep it coming. The more the better!!!

Dan
 

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The Win promos can be loaded, but it isn't worth the trouble to me, I would toss them. The Fed game load hulls load fine, just get your machine set and are comfortable with it first. My problem with them is them holding a primer more than one reload.

If I end up with any Fed Promos, I save them for my mustache pullers because of their internal capacity, ease of loading, and for one round they are as good as anything else. They crimp very well.

As was said, you need a scale, and ultimately what load you want to pursue would help, though there are several in the Lymans you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think this will be my first run at loading my AA's.

Powder - Clays
Charge - 16.5
Primer - Win 209
Wad - WAA12
Velocity - 1152
Pressure - 8700 LUP

This is a 1 1/8 oz load and based on my limited knowledge this should work okay for my Win SE as well as my wife's Rem 1100. It is pretty close to the factory loads we have been shooting with the Estate's. I am not that certain about the LUP vs. PSI calculation. I have read the definitions of both and the general rule of adding 1000 to the LUP rating. If I keep the PSI below 10,000 I think that I'll be pretty safe. I think I understand about the velocity but I'm not certain about the amount of pressure. I know it takes pressure to make velocity but not sure where I should keep the pressure based on the shot and wads that I am using. I am taking a guess that if I stay between 8500 and 10,000 psi I should have a decent load. I'll be off to find a scale and some bushings tomorrow before I try to load any shells.
 

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That load is fine, no one can give you a direct translation to the LUP thing, just know that it is low enough to pursue.

After you get set up and comfortable with the process, you can start thinking about going to 1 ounce for most of your target needs. This will help with recoil and your pocketbook, and ultimately the versatile nature itself adds alot to the enjoyment of loading.
 

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Dan, check your loads with the data Hodgdon provides at their website. The load you mention is a little differently described there.

http://www.hodgdon.com/data/shotshel/12win118.php

Bob

1 1/8 oz Clays Win. 209 WAA12 16.1 gr/7,700 LUP 1090fps
17.3 gr /8,800 LUP 1149 fps
18.2 gr /9,800 LUP 1200 fps
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmmm....Now I wonder which one I should believe. I think that if I keep the powder between 16.5 and 17.0 I should be in the ballpark. According to the bushing chart a 31 bushing should net 16.9 and a 30 bushing should net 16.3. Between these two bushings I should come up with something that will work.

Still the question remains which should we believe. Only trial and error will tell the tale. I don't think that I'll go wrong following either of these.
 

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I load using the 17.3 grams, still gives some leeway. Definately get yourself a scale to make sure your bushings is really throwing what the paper says its throwing!

I check about every 4th round when starting and slow down to maybe 1 in 15 when I get going. After stocking up on more powder or shot, I go back to the 4th round checks till im confident that Im back on track.

Have fun reloading, its a great hobby!

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Bob. Knowing you are loading at 17.3 with no troubles then if I can stay in the 16.8 - 17.0 range with the 31 bushing I should be in good shape. Thanks Again!

Dan
 

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TexasTon said:
After you get set up and comfortable with the process, you can start thinking about going to 1 ounce for most of your target needs. This will help with recoil and your pocketbook, and ultimately the versatile nature itself adds alot to the enjoyment of loading.
And when you are ready for more versatlity and expense reduction check out this http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtop ... highlight=

DanAKAL said:
any general information about reloading would be greatly appreciated.
Try to find loads that fit the hull. As I have been told here, just because a load is published does not make it a good fitting one. For example, I tried loading 15.3 grains of Nitro 100 in a Rem hull and my wad did not sit high enough in the hull--I like to have 3/8 to 7/16" of hull above the shot. But when I switched to the AA hull I got good crimps because the WAA12L sat higher. Why? The AA has less capacity than the Rem hull. Now more experienced reloaders than me, could probably make the Rem work, but I knew from reading on this forum that Rem hulls have more internal capacity than AA's. Also, try to make your crimps look like factory ones--about 1/16" deep, with no hole or one too small for shot to leak through. OKShotgunner has a site you will probably want to look at too. Hope you enjoy your Sizemaster.
 

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DanAKAL said:
According to the bushing chart a 31 bushing should net 16.9 and a 30 bushing should net 16.3. Between these two bushings I should come up with something that will work.
That tells me right there that you still may not really understand why you need a scale.

Those charts -- all of them -- are inaccurate and useful ONLY as an approximation of what a particular bushing will drop with a particular powder.

The difference between what a chart says a bushing will drop of a particular powder and what it actually will drop can be as much as three full grains -- and frequently is.

It's just a ballpark figure. You must drop a half dozen or so charges to get the powder stabilized in the bottles on the press, then weigh several drops to determine how many grains the bushing is actually dropping.

NEVER trust the figures in a bushing chart.
 

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DanAKAL said:
Hmmm....Now I wonder which one I should believe. I think that if I keep the powder between 16.5 and 17.0 I should be in the ballpark. According to the bushing chart a 31 bushing should net 16.9 and a 30 bushing should net 16.3. Between these two bushings I should come up with something that will work.

Still the question remains which should we believe. Only trial and error will tell the tale. I don't think that I'll go wrong following either of these.
Don't fall into thinking that the velocity and pressure data you see are absolutes. There are too many variables involved to allow for absolutes, and this becomes especially obvious when you look at data developed using different equipment separated by a significant time span.

Also don't put too much reliance in the old rule of thumb of adding 1,000 units to LUP data and call that psi pressure. If you can manage to wade through all the extraneous BS in Lyman's 4th edition, see their little table at the bottom of page 120.

Hodgdon's Clays is a fine 12 gauge propellant for payloads up to 1-1/8 ounces. The particular load you listed is on page 202 of Lyman's 4th edition, and it is a fine light 1-1/8 ounce load. With the components you have, you can load from around 16 grains of Clays up to around 18 grs. without any problems. Velocities will range from about 1100 to 1200 fps.

I suggest, however, that you take some time and learn a little about the general burn characteristics of various propellants. For example, there are three Clays-type propellants: Clays (much like Red Dot), International Clays (much like Green Dot), and Universal Clays (much like Unique), with burn rates from faster to slower in the order listed.

The point of this burn rate thing is that each propellant type has an appropriate span of application that as a new handloader you really should make it your business to understand. I listed Alliant's propellants that are similar to the listed Hodgdon's propellants so that you would have a starting place for reviewing the data in the manual you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all of the great information. If there is anything that I have learned is there is no exact science. Everything that I have ever believed exact always has an exception. For sure there is no way for a single little "choke" going to exactly measure my powder. Only after trial and error will I know what the bushing is doing. I like the pour ten and average method. That is probably as close as I could ever get. Then check every five to ten while loading.

The particular load you listed is on page 202 of Lyman's 4th edition, and it is a fine light 1-1/8 ounce load. With the components you have, you can load from around 16 grains of Clays up to around 18 grs. without any problems. Velocities will range from about 1100 to 1200 fps.
That's where I got the recipe from. It seemed about what I needed that would match what I have been shooting. I figure betweeen the 30, 31 and 32 bushing one of these should net a repeatable amount of about 17. I believe this to be a good place to start. Especially with the info from OKShotgunner.

Thanks Again for all of the great info.

Dan
 
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