My First Reloads....

Shotgun Ammunition Reloading.
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Scorpion8
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My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Sat May 26, 2018 5:17 am

Been a long journey from ZERO knowledge or care about shotguns and shotshell reloading, to an average trap guy with a truckload full of Federal Top Gun target hulls. A bit of knowledge about MEC 600 Jr's, and la viola'! Reloads. Federal Top Gun hull, Federal 209 primer, Federal 12S3 wad, 18.5grains of 700X, 1-1/8oz of #9 shot....

I tried to use a used Pacific DL-105 unit which I like very much, except the pre-crimp and crimp were acting wonky. Something else to figure out. But this MEC unit worked perfectly and required very little adjustment from the last owner's hobby-o'-fun.

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Synchronizor
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Synchronizor » Mon May 28, 2018 4:21 am

Looks pretty good. How do they chamber? My experiences with the Top Gun hulls (the older paper-basewad ones that you can get data for) was that they never crimped super-cleanly, and were rather stiff going into the chamber.

Also, when I'm loading really small shot like #9, I like to put a little scrap of paper on top to keep any pellets from falling out the little center hole in the crimp that can show up from time-to-time with once-fired target hulls. I use a little 5/8" circle craft punch, and just knock some paper circles out of whatever pieces of paper happen to be nearby. I use the same punch with thin cardboard to make spacer cards for slug loads, or overshot cards to get a clean crimp with very light loads. 5/8" is about 19-gauge, and it's a perfect size for over-shot or under-shot cards in 12ga loads.

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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Mon May 28, 2018 4:49 am

Synch -- That's an awesome idea, because I did get a couple of post-crimp hulls that leaked a lil' shot. Getting the right "feel" for the final crimp cost me a few shells here and there, but it's not like I don't have a few spares. All these Federal TG's are the ones I shot before I was reloading, and I still have a dozen boxes or so of them in #8's. But our club is one that just disposes of all the spent hulls, so they let you pick thru them if you want and I grab anything Remington (GC, Premier STS, Nitro27's American Clay & Field) that I see. When no one is looking. A lady shooter today gave me all of here Nitro27's, and the load I was using will work fine for them if I just switch to STS primers and Fig 8 wads. Those are due to be loaded up tomorrow. But to answer your question, a few got sticky on entry to the chamber and I think those were ones that I may not have fully resized. None of them stuck upon extraction. I like the 12S3 wads though, they go in so easy and no wad pressure is needed. I guess that is a thing of the past? Anyway, shot column height was perfect.


Now just gotta sort out my DL-105 crimp issues.....
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Synchronizor » Mon May 28, 2018 5:09 am

Were they hanging up at the crimp, or the metal cup/rim?

A few things to look for with the Federal Top Guns: First, most or all of the data is for the older-style hulls with wound paper basewads. The hulls in current Top Gun shells have a plastic basewad, and when I asked about it, Federal told me that they weren't compatible with the old data, and that they also aren't meant to be reloaded (though to be fair, the older Top Gun hulls kinda sucked for reloading too). Second, if you're working with the older paper-basewad Top Guns, make sure they weren't exposed to water. Apparently, water can cause the paper basewad to swell, loosen, and potentially come lose upon firing, creating a bore obstruction for the next shot. I'll only take Top Guns if I fired them, or I saw someone else fire them in front of me just then. I never pick them off the ground or out of outdoor garbage cans if I don't know how long they've been there.

Wad pressure is still a thing, but it's not always critical. I generally adjust my press to get at least a little seating pressure, just to be sure the wad is down where it should be, and to give me an additional way to notice inconsistent powder charges or other issues. Some loads will require a certain amount wad pre-compression in order to get a good crimp.

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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Tue May 29, 2018 2:51 am

Actually Federal posts a reloading guide (https://www.federalpremium.com/download ... ngData.pdf) that lists data for the current series of products and the load I'm using is in the lower-right box on 3rd page. Internet nerd says horsey piece to your King is "check". :D But I did go by JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts and pick up a .60" craft paper cutter and some black card stock and make myself NOT stare at all the tight black yoga pants perusing that place. Thanks again for that piece of info!


I need to adjust the pre-crimp on my MEC 600 Jr. I've been pre-crimping by "feel", but the manual says to lower the operating handle all the way. I guess that would make it more consistent. I have bulged a few hulls by too much pre-crimp, so am learning.
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Synchronizor » Tue May 29, 2018 7:05 am

Scorpion8 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 2:51 am
Actually Federal posts a reloading guide that lists data for the current series of products and the load I'm using is in the lower-right box on 3rd page.
That PDF is from 2008 (wow, when did 2008 get to be a decade ago?), and specifically says that the data is for paper-basewad hulls.

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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by John A. » Tue May 29, 2018 1:49 pm

You can make your own overshot cards to prevent the shot from leaking in the crimp if you need/want to, but they're pretty cheap to buy in bulk too.

Sometimes they help when you need to take up a little space in the hull from slightly lower powder charges too.

https://www.ballisticproducts.com/Overs ... ctinfo/OS/

Here's what I use with my roll crimped slugs and buckshot

https://www.ballisticproducts.com/12ga- ... nfo/COS12/
When people ignorant of guns make gun laws, you have ignorant gun laws.
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Scorpion8
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Tue May 29, 2018 3:33 pm

Synchronizor wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 7:05 am
Scorpion8 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 2:51 am
Actually Federal posts a reloading guide (https://www.federalpremium.com/download ... ngData.pdf) that lists data for the current series of products and the load I'm using is in the lower-right box on 3rd page.
That PDF is from 2008 (wow, when did 2008 get to be a decade ago?), and specifically says that the data is for paper-basewad hulls.
Are you looking at the same part as me? It specifically says under the section 12 Gauge 2-3/4" Hunting Type Plastic Case under the small heading "Top Gun, etc, etc..." I think the paper basewad only comment applies to the last hull-type, the Federal Game Shok w/paper basewads, not to all of these hulls.
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Synchronizor » Wed May 30, 2018 4:27 am

Yeah, I'm reading the PDF you linked previously. I've also had experience with a lot of the hulls mentioned there. The Top Gun, Field & Target, and other hunting-style cases all have (or had, in 2008) the same paper basewad, a design based on the old Hi-Power hulls. The outer hull is plastic (usually maroon, but also white, blue, or pink for some loads), and the metal can be different heights & steel or brass-washed, but the basewad is the same wound paper - which is why they're lumped together for reloading. If you have the Lyman 5th Edition Shotshell Reloading Handbook, this hull design is shown in the middle on page 32.

Last year, I think, or maybe even 2016 (I don't buy nearly as much factory ammo as I used to), Federal switched the cheap Top Guns over to a new design with a white plastic basewad rather than the brown paper basewad. I can upload pictures if you like, but it's really obvious which is which, and they're clearly different designs. According to the company (for what it's worth to you), these hulls are not reloadable.

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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by John A. » Wed May 30, 2018 12:49 pm

^ This.

I got into that same scenario with some of my 16 gauge shells. Some of them still use paper base too.
When people ignorant of guns make gun laws, you have ignorant gun laws.
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