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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. The following is mostly just in the brain-storming stages, but help would be appreciated. My friend recently acquired a 12 gauge press which is currently set up for 3" shells. Neither of us has reloaded before, but we have the required manuals and several books on the subject of shotgunshell reloading. Our reloading would be solely for sporting clays as that is at least 90% of our shooting.For fun, I am wondering what kind of loads can be arranged in a 3" shell. This is not for any formal competition, so meeting some international standard doesn't need to factor in. I was hoping a reloading guru had some thoughts on a 3" shell loaded with 7.5 or 8 shot. Though my friend has a pump, I have a gas-operated semi, so the shell would need to be able to cycle a Beretta AL390. I figured a 3" shell could hold enough shot to darken the skies, and would be a hoot for friendly clay-shooting.
 

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First off is your gun chambered for 3" shells? 2nd Can you handle quite a few shots of 3" shells? They men will have to help with reloading (mine is set and i never change anything) Browning, The Best there is because second best is well...second best.
 

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First, I would suggest starting with some standard reloads to get the whole process under your belt...make the simple mistakes: forget to drop the shot, or double drop the shot, or forget the wad...etc. Build some experience at the basics before you jump out of the gate. Develope the skills needed to branch out.If you are set to try the 3" stuff there are several loads in the Hodgdon manual using Longshot and 1-3/8, 1-5/8, and 1-7/8 ounces of shot. The variables are going to be the hulls and other components that you will have available. Longshot is a magnum type powder and can pack a wallop....put together some nice loads for an Annie Oakley event.....very cool flames, lots of roar, and they broke long birds with little lead. Another issue is the abuse of the loads in 3" shells isn't really all that fun, especially in the pump guns 100 rounds of those can get old quick and can create bad flinching, second the cost of the extra shot, powder, and the availabilty of the different wads make it more than worthwhile to swap the loader down to 2.75 inch shells. Some of the new 3" hulls can be tricky to set for as they are prone to crushing during the crimp stage.A real challenge is to reduce the amount of stuff in the shells, drop down to 1 oz or 7/8 th oz loads. They are lighter loads, very low recoil and can actually pattern better than the heavier ones.Another issue at some ranges will be the backstop distance allowance....if you load up some hot 3" shells they may exceed the maximum. There is a fine line between a hobby and insanity.Edited by: Rick618 at: 10/29/02 8:36:43 pm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. Here's some additional info. Both of our shotguns are chambered for 3" shells. We are willing to spend the money to make the 3" skeet shells happen, so the economics of it aren't that critical, so long as the final cost is less than store-bought shells, and that the shells are safe to shoot (and cycle the semi.) The added recoil is to be expected, we would only go through 50 or so apiece per session, so the recoil doesn't bother us that much.We intend to reload 2.75" shells as a rule, but entertained the idea of making a run of 3"'s for fun. Are there 3" hulls that you could recommend that are strong enough to handle a few reloads (and the crimping/crushing problem)? As for the 2.75", we have been saving Remington Nitro 27's for a while. We have found them to be the most reliable for us, much more so than Win. AA's. Do you have any opinions about the Remington shells in general vs. the Winchester? I ask because I hear people rave about Wins, but we have tested cases worth of many brands, shot sizes, and powder loads, and the Winchesters have performed abysmally (frequent jams, misfeeds.)
 

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You must be crazy... I've reloaded my AA shells for about the 10th time now and they still look like new shells (minus the scratch marks on the brass due to resizing). I love these new AA shells. I've tried reloading Remington shells and they never seem to crimp correctly after about 5 reloads. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nope. After trying bunches of PMC, Remington, Winchester, Federal; the Winchesters misfed or jammed at least 10 times (total between 2 guns: 1 pump, 1 semi.) Not sure if this is due to a bad run of ammo that Win. produced or what, but the Wins were purchased on 2 seperate occassions, and weren't even likely to have been from the same batch. They sometimes didn't eject fully or appeared to have failed to seat properly. Both shotguns are fairly new and religously maintained and cleaned. I don't doubt that they are quite reloadable, but I am skeptical about their initial performance enough to steer clear of them. Aside from AA's, surely there must be a few other brands that are both good out-of-the-box, and are strong enough for quite a few reloadings?
 

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I'm sure there are but I still love my AA hulls. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
 

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Winchester has changed recently to a different hull...reloads the same as the AA but does not last as long as the old ones. Sure you are having problems with AA's instead of the promo shells? They have a silver base not the brass colored. I too like the STS hulls and have no problems with crimps on either one.I would check which one of the shells you are using, try the handicap loads as they may cycle the autos better till the get worked in or cleaned.....sometimes that stuff builds up in the butt stock spring that causes slow cycling.With 3" shells I'm not sure unless you buy in bulk quantites if you are going to come in less than store bought, I guess it depends on the local cost vs the extra in shipping--which is where reloading gets pricey. There is a $17 hazmat fee on powder and primers and obviously lead weights a lot.So, most of the 3" hulls are fine if they are once fired...its the damn new ones that are prone to crushing. Would suggest getting these catalogs: Precision Reloading catalog, Gamaliels, and Reloading for Less.Then you want to see what all this will cost ya? Reloading cost calculater There is a fine line between a hobby and insanity.
 

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Hey rick. I think you're mistaking. The new AA hulls last longer than the old ones. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
 

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Nope, I've got some older hulls that my dad reloaded with that have been reloaded many times before, as well as others that I've collected from retired shooters that still do fine, yet some of the newer AA's are NOT holding up to as few as 3 reloads of a relatively light 1oz target load, really bad about splitting and is not gun specific occurs in both O/U's and autos nor loader specific, off either a 650 or a 9000G.....the old farts at the shooting club were the first to start complaining about the new hulls...one of the reasons I keep using the STS. There is a fine line between a hobby and insanity.
 

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That's strange... I reload mine as heavy loads (3 drams) and they're still holding up like new at 12 reloads. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
 

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Hay PMMX I think you are one of those guys that if we say yes you say no. On the Lanber Post you said they are junk, well I'll tell you they are not junk. I've been a gunsmith for over 30 years and the new ones are a fine gun. Some clay shooters in the UK have over 20.000 rds. through thers with no trouble. Your reputation soon catches up to you no mater what the cost, and Lanber is still doing well thank you. Go to the Trap Shooting Web and see what thoses guys think of the new Winchester hulls!! Not near as good as the old ones. And I got news for you, 3 drams is not a heavy load, but very light in fact.Dave
 

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yep, 3 drams aint handicap loads...the new hulls are 2 pc, and seem thinner, or maybe its a cheaper plastic....seems to have more of the swirl marks from forming, which really show after a few reloads....the same thing as seen in those promo hulls.Maybe after enough complaining Winchester will re-reengineer the hulls....or this is a great time for another company to step up, I'll stick to STS.....I still use the Gold Medals for steel and Hevishot. There is a fine line between a hobby and insanity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will check the hulls I've saved to see if their bases are brass or silver. It's possible I'm mistaken. Thanks for the help and the heads-up about the catalogs (and calculator.)
 

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David... When I was talking about the lanbers, I was talking about what I saw at my local gun shop not my experiences. As for the shells, I was talking about my experiences not what I heard about. Stop dissing me just cause your damn experiences was different. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
 

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Hey Pigmy... have you looked on Winchester's site about adjusting your reloader for the new AA's??? That might be the problem for people who are having trouble with the new AA's. Anyways... here's the site FYI www.winchester.com/ammunition/store/new_products/reloadAA.eye A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Actually, the AA's we're having trouble with are new store-bought shells, not re-loads. That's why I'm sort of hesitent to dump any more money or effort into them, and why I'm trying to find the next best (or better) alternative. I will definitely check out that FYI link. Thanks.
 
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