My First Reloads....

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

Post by Scorpion8 » Wed May 30, 2018 3:39 pm

Synchronizor wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 4:27 am
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.
These pink hulls have a dark brownish basewad, might be paper, might be something else. But they reload just fine. The red hulls (same exact box just not supporting breast cancer awareness) have a grey plastic or aluminum basewad but are otherwise identical.

This load is hardly an extreme-edge loading and is fairly mild all around. I seem to recall somewhere that it duplicates the factory loading. Once I got the pre-crimp dialed in, I cranked thru 50 hulls last night and it was a joy to reload these.
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Thu May 31, 2018 1:15 am

Synchronizor wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 4:27 am
If you have the Lyman 5th Edition Shotshell Reloading Handbook, this hull design is shown in the middle on page 32.
Actually that's NOT the Top Gun hull, at least not exactly. The Top Gun Target is a low-steel (no brass) head, 8-point crimp (not 6 as shown in the manual) but the basewad is indeed a form of pressed paper. Close, but no cigar. Gawd a guy learns a lot in this stuff. And gotta admit, they stink and smoke a lot, but the inside of this hull was clean. I did not rub it down or anything, but it smokes a lot in the barrel after a few shots.

Image
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Synchronizor » Thu May 31, 2018 4:14 am

Like I said earlier, the height of the "brass" varies, as does the hull color & crimp, but those things don't matter for reloading data. It's still the same straight-walled interior with the same Hi-Power paper basewad, so the internal components don't care. That's why those Federal hulls are all lumped together in reloading data.

Here are some pictures. Please excuse the complete hash I made of sectioning these; I'm moving soon, and all my good tools are boxed up in a storage unit. I had to cobble together two rusty old hacksaws to get a working one, and the only blade I could find looked like a hobo's smile.

This is an older Hi-Power-style Top Gun hull (one of the pink breast cancer awareness ones) compared to the guide in Lyman 5th Edition:
IMG_2927_C1.JPG
IMG_2927_C1.JPG (128.61 KiB) Viewed 3788 times

This image shows four sectioned Federal hulls. The middle two are older-style Top Gun/Field & Target hulls. The one on the left is a fired hull from a vintage (mid-80s, probably) Hi-Power Duck & Pheasant load that was hanging around in my dad's old shooting stuff. These three are all Hi-Power-derived hulls with the same internal construction & geometry. The hull on the right is one of the new plastic-basewad Top Guns from the 100-shell value packs sold at Wal-Mart. You can see that in addition to the change in material, the plastic basewad has a different shape & depth than the paper Hi-Power basewads.
IMG_2928_C1.JPG
IMG_2928_C1.JPG (100.59 KiB) Viewed 3788 times
I've read some theories online that these new Top Guns are based on some Euro hull, and can use that data, but I never heard a definitive answer for which one exactly is a good match. I never really bothered to spend much time looking into it since I almost never bother with these cheapos - old or new. But if you're not as much of a snob about hulls as I am, maybe you could do some digging and see if someone on another forum has figured it out.


Keep in mind, I'm not saying don't use the newer Top Guns if you come across them. Just be aware that Federal doesn't recommend them for reloading (or at least they didn't, when I contacted them about it a year or so ago), and that they are a different hull design that can't be counted on to produce the same results with data meant for Hi-Power shells. Maybe pressures will be lower, maybe they'll be higher, maybe the difference will be negligible, maybe the answer is all of the above depending on the wad or propellant you're using; I don't know. Just be aware that shotshell pressures are hard to predict, and that there's increased risk when you stray from published & pressure-tested data.

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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Thu May 31, 2018 5:22 pm

Synchronizor wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:14 am
Just be aware that Federal doesn't recommend them for reloading (or at least they didn't, when I contacted them about it a year or so ago), and that they are a different hull design that can't be counted on to produce the same results with data meant for Hi-Power shells.
Truth be told I don't think any manufacturer recommends reloading their stuff simply out of liability concerns. But then you find it odd that they provide reloading data for that exact hull using their components (and others). Yea, I've got abunch of Gun Clubs, STS, Nitro 27's, and I could grab all the AA_HS I wanted at the gun club, but I also have shot up a big box of these and they reload very well. I checked their website (albeit quickly) and found no warning that the modern hull was a 1x-only fire-and-forget. Some of mine are on their 2x reloading so we'll see how they stand up. I can toss them if there's any issues, but so far we'll have to wait.

That is some cool info above though. I slit my hull with a utility knife which went straight down like butter. Of course it won't do the base, but I got the info I needed at the basewad.
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:04 am

It's actually pretty common for ammo companies to advertise their shotshell ammo as being good for reloading, or sell components directly to customers, and even release reloading data like the PDF you found. Remington, Federal, and Winchester have been doing that for years and years, and continue to do so. The new line of target loads Remington recently introduced included good reloadability among the advertised features.

Federal might be saying the newer plastic-basewad Top Gun hulls shouldn't be reloaded because (if we believe the rumors) they're an outsourced component, and are subject to lot-to-lot inconsistencies that they can't really control. Or, perhaps they haven't put the time & money into generating reloading data for these new hulls yet; Hi-Power hulls have been around forever, so it's easy to keep up whenever someone comes out with a new powder or primer formulation. Starting from scratch with a new hull would be a much bigger undertaking. Or maybe they're just trying to push customers to their higher-priced ammo & components.

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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:30 pm

All very true. Of course none of us spoke to the person who gave you that info, who may simply have been overly conservative. But Federal does publish data for reloading these specific hulls. The loads they publish are consistent with similar loads in similar hulls.
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:45 am

Just as a follow-up, I'm on my 4th reload on these Top Guns. A light load of 17.6g of 700-X, a Champion 12S3 wad, Federal 209A primer, and (now) #8 shot and they break targets well if I do my part. And internally no degradation of the pressed paper basewad that is visible. And a very moderate recoiling load. Probably my last round on them as the crimps are looking less precise each time, and I got my hands on a bunch of Remington American Field and Clay hulls. Just shot a 22/25 with a box of them, close to my all-time-high score round.
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Scorpion8 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:32 pm

Uhhhhhhh, still scratching my head over that last post ^.
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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by John A. » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:03 pm

Yeah, I caught that the day it posted it.

Yep.

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Re: My First Reloads....

Post by Vitaly » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:47 pm

Deleted posts and accounts of spammers. Sorry for that.
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