Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

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Scorpion8
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Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:29 am

I understand these are now made by Federal, and can be reloaded using Federal data. A lot of i'Net info says make sure the hull base hasn't separated and moved upward. Anybody reload 12-GA Estate hulls? Got any good data recipes?
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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:34 am

Never tried myself. If I want inexpensive hulls, Gun Clubs are far superior.

Be aware that there are often variations in these cheap promo hulls. Federal recently switched their Top Gun bulk-pack hulls from a two-piece design with a wound paper basewad that was compatible with load data for Federal's paper-basewad hunting shells like the Hi-Powers, to a different design with a plastic basewad that Federal says will not take the same load data. I've seen different internal geometries & basewad designs in Estate-branded hulls, depending on the specific load.

When in doubt, cut some samples up and compare them to a known hull. I have a hull sectioning jig that I use for this, but it's not hard to get a hull split lengthwise with basic hand tools, especially if you de-prime them first.

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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:40 am

Synchronizor wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:34 am
Never tried myself. If I want inexpensive hulls, Gun Clubs are far superior.
Our local Sportsman's Warehouse sells the Estate line of shells by the caseload, and the guys at the trap range consider them "just fine". But until I build up a base load of quality hulls, I gotta use what I shoot. I have 500 1x GC's on order over the web, but until I get them, I was going to try up some loads with the Estate hulls.
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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:08 am

Oh, the cheap promo loads are fine as ammo. I shoot through them by the hundreds when I need factory-loaded shells for things like reviews. But as far as reloading, once-fired promo hulls aren't great. Generally a one-and-done prospect in my limited experience. The few Federal promo hulls I tried to reload twice showed a lot of gas leakage around the primers, and even with the first reload, the crimps were never clean enough for reliable function. I may have been able to improve the crimps by monkeying with some of the adjustment points on my press, but as it is that press crimps the high-quality target hulls that I normally use perfectly, so I didn't want to screw that up.

Promo hulls just aren't meant to stand up to anything beyond that first factory loading. They're made cheaply, with thin metal, separate paper or plastic basewads that don't stay together well, primer pockets that deform easily, etc. The Remington Gun Clubs have the benefit of being based on the same unibody construction as the high-end Remington Premier STS, so they stand up much better through reloading even with the cheaper materials used.

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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:19 pm

Thanks. I guess (being new to this) that the following statement confuses me a bit:
Synchronizor wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:08 am
Oh, the cheap promo loads are fine as .....
What is inferred by "promo loads" I'm not sure they are promotional items, as these Estate lines have been offered for years. Didn't Federal buy Estate? I read that somewhere and that certain Federal load data was good to use with the Estate hulls.
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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:41 am

"Promo load" is kind of an older term, but it's still a commonly-used one for the inexpensive shells that ammo manufacturers offer alongside their higher-end stuff for folks who just want something that goes "bang". They're generally engineered for low manufacturing cost above all else, with soft shot, basic wads, cheap hulls, and whatever fast-burning target powder cost the least per ton that month. As such, performance isn't always the best, and tends to vary from lot to lot. Promo is short for "promotional", and reflects the original marketing purpose of these shells.

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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:54 pm

Synchronizor wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:41 am
"Promo load" is kind of an older term, but it's still a commonly-used one for the inexpensive shells ....
Thanks. Makes sense now. I think everybody runs a stock system similar to Sears hardware section of bins labeled "GOOD-BETTER-BEST". I've got lots of good tools from the GOOD bin, but they don't compare to the Craftsman tools in the BEST bin. Of course, they also don't cost as much.
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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:09 am

Ya know, up till now I scoffed at the Estate's and preferred cheap Top Guns for bulk shooting and cheap reloading, and Remington Gun Clubs or Clay & Field (and STS when I had money to burn) for more dedicated trap shooting. But I shot a couple boxes of Estate's earlier this week and they performed superbly. I'd notch them better than Federal Top Gun Targets. More moderate recoil. I'll have to dissect one to look at the wad used.

Thoughts on the Estates?
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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:12 pm

Well, in my zeal to use my new-to-me Grabber, I reloaded 3 boxes of Estate hulls. Used the same load data as I use for the Federal Top Gun Targets. End result? A double-blind taste test shows no difference. No perceived improvement or flaws either way. Conclusion? Yea, they can be used, but I have "many" Gun Clubs and STS hulls so why worry about adjusting crimp depth and other minor fidgets for a new load when I have a perfectly good Remington load and I have a lot of confidence in it.
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Re: Estate-brand Shot shell hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:21 pm

In a continuing brain-dribble, I've been shooting more and more Estates because my LGS seems to have them in 7-1/2 trap loads and the Federal Top Guns only in 8's and 9's for trap. So, a revised plan was needed, and I've decided to keep the Grabber set up for Remington hulls, and the MEC 600 Jr set up for straight-walled Federal or Estate loads. Yes, the MEC 600 is slower than the MEC Grabber, but what's time for an old fart...
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