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Quality v.s. inexpensive junk

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  • #16
    This discussion makes me wonder if this had any influence on MEC getting into the metallic press game. The cost of lead shot has driven a number of loaders out of the game so how is the demand for new shotshell presses?
    If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

    "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

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    • #17
      Well Ed,, it has driven 12-gauge loaders "out of the game", the sub-gauge costs of ammo are nowhere near as low and are a solid incentive for the people shooting them, ESPECIALLY 28 gauge and 410 bore shooters.

      Then there's the "select few" who chase loading 1/2-ounce (and less) .410 bore loads into 12-gauge hulls.

      Comment


      • #18
        Good point. I don't shoot 28 or 410 so I never considered them. The last trap league I shot in had 6 squads and I only saw one other shooter who was shooting reloads. Everybody else was shooting Estates or Rios. Used to be the only factory shells at a trap league would be the 4 or 5 guests. The good news though is every now and then they show up with new AA or STS shells and they dump the hulls into the trash. Still not too old or proud to dumpster dive for some good once fired hulls.
        If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

        "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

        Comment


        • #19
          I hear ya Ozark, and even though I haven't been loading much shotgun in the past decade or so, I still can't turn my nose up to good hulls that are free for the taking.

          Speaking of hulls, back in the days of $5-$7 chilled shot, once shot AA's were .10 a piece at the local LGS. Now days they're free if I take the time to dig them out of the garbage. But in the event I don't feel like digging them out, I can still buy them once fired, and from the same LGS I was getting them from 40 or so years ago, difference being they're now .05.

          HBC

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          • #20
            Yea but the once-fired AA's of today are a pale almost imitation of the great old AACF of yore.

            The best hull of today (and make no mistake, it's a damn good hull) is the Remington Unibody (the STS, Gun Club, Premier, and 2-dozen other names inked on the outside).

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            • #21
              I completely concur with Damannoyed. I'm currently consuming my AAs so all my 12 and 20 gauge hulls will be STS. They last longer and they crimp better. Just about every AA I load leaves a hole in the center of the crimp. #9 shot will easily find it's way out and sometimes 7 1/2 will too. I find it tiresome to put a drop of melted wax on every shell. Occasionally a crimp will bloom open like a flower. I never have those issues with STS hulls. Besides those shiny green 12 gauge hulls are a lot prettier than those dull red AAs.
              If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

              "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

              Comment


              • #22
                I unequivocally concur, the STS and it's other brandings are about the best hull I've ever loaded. I have like three 50 gal garbage bags of them,so I doubt I'll be needing any for a good while.

                AA quality has been unreliably inconsistent for as long as I can remember. They're still worth picking up, but I'll take an STS over those any day.

                HBC

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                • #23
                  Now I'm depressed about my Buddy buying those new 12AA shells.
                  But it was all they had that would slide out of a SxS.
                  Still I'll reload those for him and keep the old hulls for me.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Walks View Post
                    Now I'm depressed about my Buddy buying those new 12AA shells.
                    But it was all they had that would slide out of a SxS.
                    Still I'll reload those for him and keep the old hulls for me.
                    Oh they ain't THAT bad, they just also ain't AACF's. THOSE were GREAT hulls,, would load literally 20+ times before petals would crack, tough, great hulls.

                    Now,, 20 yrs ago, the first incarnation of the AAHS (High Strength) hull, they had some basewads come loose in the hull.
                    I do not recall specifics I have seen discussed, but I am of the opinion that the reloader used bore some responsibility here.
                    The MEC's re-prime by pushing down on the case by pushing on the basewad using a ram punch on the inside of the hull. This has a by-product of guaranteeing the basewad is seated against the shell base head, always.
                    Some other popular machines the hull fits into a sleeve which resizes and then holds the hull as it makes it's way through operations. This re-primes WITHOUT holding the basewad down in place, which CAN let it slip upwards if the metal head crimp isn't real tight.


                    ED, what loader do you use?
                    The leaky center hole should be closeable with a tiny increase in pre-crimp, but if you are getting Tenting, your stack height is too tall and you need a slightly shorter wad (or a denser powder, or less shot). Trying to add pre-crimp with an over-full stack is just a recipe for wrinkled ruined hulls.

                    Incidentally, the length of the Remington's is ALL OVER THE PLACE, which gives the anal retentive shotshell loaders on SGW absolute fits.
                    Some of them actually TRIM hulls to get identical lengths for identical and perfect crimps.

                    They just can't cope with the "middle ground" of a few with small holes (but not leaking), a few swirlies, and the rest "just right".

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I use a MEC 9000G. My basic trap load is Winchester 209 primer, WAA 12 wad, 1 1/8 ounces #7 1/2, and 18.2 grains Clays. The tenting isn't a stack height issue. It only happens on a few hulls out of every batch, but when it happens it's always a AA. It will crimp just fine and then open up a bit when I box them. I can run it back through the crimping stations and it looks normal. When I open the box to shoot the crimp will be tenting again. I've marked and monitored individual hulls. It starts to happen after 5 loadings so I believe it's a wear and tear issue. Maybe the plastic fatigues after the bending in the crimping and firing cycle as metal will do? The hole in the center is also a AA thing. I've had new factory shells that have it. I still have a few Winchester 3" turkey loads that you can shake the buffering out of the shot just like a salt shaker. They're just annoyances for me that can be eliminated by using STS hulls.

                      In the old days when I only loaded 12 gauge I used the STS hulls for my light skeet loads and the AA hulls for my trap loads. I could tell by the color of the hull what any loose shells were. Now that I load 20 gauge for skeet I don't need the light 12 gauge loads anymore so I'm using up the AA hulls and getting rid of them. Once I start to see the tiny cracks in the crimp petals they get loaded for handicap trap and dove fields and then it's off to that great AA burial site known locally as the landfill.
                      If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

                      "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Yes Ed,, the hull mouths do "get tired" and not hold a crimp locked after several uses, but still that tenting is a "stack height" problem,,, just not a very big problem.
                        The newer hulls are strong enough to hold it, as they weaken, they pop.
                        If the load was just a bit shorter, the weaker hull mouths wouldn't pop.
                        If the "problem" was more egregious, it would pop once-fireds.
                        Remove as little as 6-10 pellets from the payload and the crimp likely stops popping.

                        The hole isn't a "AA thing" any more than it is a 'slightly shorter hull' thing than the Remingtons. Stand a few side-by-side and lay a ruler/straightedge across them. I bet you'll find the Remmy's are slightly longer (like 1/10 of an inch, so blatantly longer).

                        The slightly taller Remmy's basically give you more pre-crimp at the same machine adjustment setting, which closes therm w/o a hole.

                        Lowering the pre-crimp a half-turn or so moves more plastic from the hull side to the crimp itself, closing the hole, no adjustment to the actual final crimping die needed (or the taper lock die).

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Damannoyed View Post
                          Well Ed,, it has driven 12-gauge loaders "out of the game", the sub-gauge costs of ammo are nowhere near as low and are a solid incentive for the people shooting them, ESPECIALLY 28 gauge and 410 bore shooters.

                          Then there's the "select few" who chase loading 1/2-ounce (and less) .410 bore loads into 12-gauge hulls.
                          Yeah, Here's my reloading cost per box:
                          12 gauge = $5.39
                          28 gauge = $5.14

                          28 gauge is still worth reloading!
                          Ray

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Damannoyed View Post
                            Yes Ed,, the hull mouths do "get tired" and not hold a crimp locked after several uses, but still that tenting is a "stack height" problem,,, just not a very big problem.
                            The newer hulls are strong enough to hold it, as they weaken, they pop.
                            If the load was just a bit shorter, the weaker hull mouths wouldn't pop.
                            If the "problem" was more egregious, it would pop once-fireds.
                            Remove as little as 6-10 pellets from the payload and the crimp likely stops popping.

                            The hole isn't a "AA thing" any more than it is a 'slightly shorter hull' thing than the Remingtons. Stand a few side-by-side and lay a ruler/straightedge across them. I bet you'll find the Remmy's are slightly longer (like 1/10 of an inch, so blatantly longer).

                            The slightly taller Remmy's basically give you more pre-crimp at the same machine adjustment setting, which closes therm w/o a hole.

                            Lowering the pre-crimp a half-turn or so moves more plastic from the hull side to the crimp itself, closing the hole, no adjustment to the actual final crimping die needed (or the taper lock die).
                            Aye, you're correct the STS are slightly longer than the AA, however, if I lower the pre-crimp to close the hole then I will most certainly have a stack height issue. Been there done that. Hence, my solution is to shoot up the AAs and leave them in my rearview mirror. I have 15 gallons of 12 gauge STS hulls and I'm down to maybe 1 gallon of AA. In my mind the shorter hull is, in fact, a AA issue.
                            If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

                            "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Ozark Ed View Post

                              Aye, you're correct the STS are slightly longer than the AA, however, if I lower the pre-crimp to close the hole then I will most certainly have a stack height issue. Been there done that. Hence, my solution is to shoot up the AAs and leave them in my rearview mirror. I have 15 gallons of 12 gauge STS hulls and I'm down to maybe 1 gallon of AA. In my mind the shorter hull is, in fact, a AA issue.
                              I load both interchangeably in my MEC 12 gauge Grabber (Basically a manual indexing MEC 9000). With a bunch of messing around you can get it adjusted to close both. I don't use many of the new AAs and I don't even dumpster dive for them anymore. I will dumpster dive for STS hulls.

                              As to the tenting problem I have not noticed it to any great degree. I do know that the STS closes and stays closed better. I load STS hulls until I see a split in one of the petals. Even then, if I already have the components in the hull when I notice it, I'll crimp them and have no problems with the coming open. I usually sort those off into a "junk" box of reloads for a non competitive trap round. RD
                              Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

                              Et Canis Manducare Canis Mundi

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by RaySendero View Post

                                Yeah, Here's my reloading cost per box:
                                12 gauge = $5.39
                                28 gauge = $5.14

                                28 gauge is still worth reloading!
                                yep.
                                Cabellas: $7 to $9 a box.
                                Academy Sports: $10.50 a box for AA's.
                                Luckygunner: $8.50 to $12 a box, hunting loads go upwards of $19 a box.
                                Able Ammo: $8 to $10 a box.

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