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what weight and speed are you trying to load? What powder and primers do you have?

I think you should start, at least, with a listed load that specifies a hull type (tapered or straight), powder and primer that you have or can get, and weight. Then you can play around with the build to get things to fit. Changing wad will change the pressure some but if your basis load is not too close to 11500, you will have some leeway.

So, for example, in my Project Buckshot thread, I settled on two basis loads. They both use Cheddite hulls and primers, one uses 22.4gr WSH with 1.25oz lead ( #00buck) and the other uses 28gr Longshot, with 1.5oz lead (12 #00buck). I used various methods to get the build nice.
 

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The only tapered hulls (that I know about) are Rem (STS, Gun Club, Nitro 27) and the Winchester ones. Cheddite, Fiocchi, Fed Top Gun, etc are all straight wall. Most here will say you c an use loafds listed for them more or less interchangeably. That said, they do have minor difference in base wad thickness so you will get different stack heights. The Hodgdon website has data for Longshot at 1.25oz for both tapered and Straight Hulls. 1 3/8oz too for that matter. You can look at the recommended wads and see if any of them give you a decent stack and fit or look into something like the BPI FS12 gas seal. You may still have to adjust the height above the FS12 with spacers and an overcard. With my #00buck loads, I had similar builds with the FS12 and a wad with petals removed but that was needs to get layers of 3 balls with #00. I have no experience with #4 or how they fit into rows.

There is also for Universal at least in Fed GM hulls (straight) at 1.25oz also so start pouring over the Hodgden data
 

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Sounds good. I can play with spacers, but I have no experience doing that yet, so I wanted to make sure I am doing safely. So my question now is, adding spacers and over shot cards won't effect pressures? As long as I match the powder charge to the shot weight I'll be OK?
Other than the small amount of added mass, I can see no reason why spacers would change the pressure. I do think that changing the wad can change the pressure because there is a lot of variance in the compliance of the wad's mid-section. You could expect that stiffer mid-sections would yield a higher peak pressure. This is why I suggest choosing a listed load starting point that isn't too close to the 11500 SAMMI limit. Then you know you have some leeway. It is always a good idea to send your load off for testing when you get a build that you like.

Both BPI and Precision Reloading sell spacers and OS cards. You can use those or make your own. I do both depending on what I need. I have been making spacers with 1/16 cork sheet that I bought a a local Michaels. It measures an actual .070". You can punch our spacers and OS cards with "leather" punches that you hit with a hammer. A 5/8" punch makes spacers that fit well inside wads. If you use a gas seal or cut the petals to get more ID, I found an 18mm punch works really well. There is kind of gap in available imperial punches above 5/8. The BPI OS12 is 40mil thick and I use that in my 12-ball load. For my 9ball load, I make my own OS card with file folder paper. That stuff is 10mil thick.

You might buy the BPI Buckshot manual. There is a lot of "how to" info that talks about spacers, OS cards, liners, etc. I looked for you to see if there were any useful #4 loads but they don't have much in 2 3/4". So don't buy if for the loads unless you equate the weight of some other load.

You might look on Youtube. There is a guy with a ton of Buckshot videos including a video about #4

This link of BPI Load of the week is all buckshot loads and looks to have quite a few #4. I tried some of the #00 loads in that link with Longshot but IMHO, they did not build very well (lumpy, out of round after crimp so would not feed in my Semi Auto). That situation would be less of a problem with #4.
 

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I think you will like this one. Sounds like exactly what you are trying to build.

By the way, I do like using the clear plastic hulls. You can really see what is going on with your build. Things like powder migration, how much the wad compresses during crimp, and the load stack are all easy to see. I have clear hulls in Cheddite, Fiocchi, and Federal that all came from BPI as new, primed hulls. I have been using the Fiocchi ones for my trap loads for some time now.
 

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I think I've solved the Super X mystery....
I think you can see the problem when dealing with commercial ammo. Sounds like you are seeing "SuperX" ammo with different hulls. The ammo companies have no responsibility to to supply consistent hulls just because they use the same brand name or ammo class. Winchester hasn't even been especially consistent with their Trap loads. You see lots of posts here and on TS about the different versions of the Winchester hulls. Federal Top Gun is found in different versions with different base wads, etc. I understand your desire to use stuff you have on hand and you can do that but you will be much more on your own.
The distinction between tapered and straight is not really super well defined either. One thing to tray would be to take samples of your hulls and cut the tube off about .5" above the bottom so you can easily see the base-wad and hull-shape at the bottom. The Remington STS or Gun Club hulls are clear example of a "tapered hull". The plastic is rounded off going from the wall to the base. Straight hulls are more squared off. Also, with most of the tube cut off you can easily check the fit of whatever wad you are trying. Place the powder cup into the shortened hull and and if you get a sloppy or nice fit.
 
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