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1960 and 1970-era Shells tested. New test!

8577 Views 59 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  pheasantmaster
Thanks to the generosity of oleolliedawg who not only parted with two boxes of "Collectors'" shells but even paid the freight to get them to me, we have a chance to revisit those thrilling days of yesteryear and see what was on the gun club shelves in the early 1970's.

There will be three phases to the tests and so three phases to the quiz which all you old timers should participate in: Shot speed, shot hardness, pattern percentage. The patterning will have to wait until it warms up, but we can do the rest this week.

Shell type 1. Western Xpert Mark 5 three-dram eights with the patented shot collar visible in the second photo.





Shell Type 2. AA Western Handicap Trap, also three-dram but 7 1/2 shot.





Many readers here remember these shells and we have all heard about them. The quiz is, how accurately do you remember their performance, or how accurate were the stories you were told?

The Quiz:

Question 1. How fast were they?

Question 2. Did they have hard shot in them, or soft shot, or something in between?

Question 3. Once we have a chance to pattern them, how will they stack up against AA shells of today going the same speed?

No prize for this quiz, just bragging rights and a chance to reminisce in print about the old days. I hope you will all take part.

Yours in Sport,

Neil

© 2013 NMW
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Both 1200 fps and chilled shot on the first and magnum shot on the second? My guess, and I remember shooting both. I may still have a few shells around. I know I still have the boxes.
 

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EDIT: OK, in the interest of science I'll delete that.

My guess will be: speed range of 1190 - 1230, shot: in between; will pattern worse then current using modern analysis, but probably look about the same to the eye.
 

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Mark 5's

1190fps

1.0% antimony

67%

Handicaps

1280 fps

3%

65%

I presume your using a full choke. Also my answers are by a 3.5 decade ago memory. I didn't test ones I have and I have no idea where my notes from those years are. But one thing I do remember as clear as yesterday, those "Handicaps" recoiled like first run silver bullets! And I was a big boy!
 

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The Mark 5's velocity is very near 1200 fps, with chilled shot, and will not pattern as well as modern ammo.
The black AA's velocity will be 1235 fps, with hard shot, and will pattern as well as todays's ammo
Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess no one playing so far will win. But the game is only into the first period; there is plenty of time to predict that and I'm logging your prediction as "the same," Aaron. But we already do have at least one winner in the speed quiz though there are surprises there too.

Neil
 

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The Winchester Mark-5 with the shot wrapper (collar) in a paper hull was before 1965 and filled with chilled shot at about 1-3% antimony. (Those were Winchesters main shell till the advent of the AA wads in 1965. I'd guess the velocity was around 1215. I shot a lot of those Mark-5s for bird hunting with larger shot which worked well. I wasn't too impressed with them on long range clays though. I tried them in fun shoots.

The "Black Handicaps" weren't available till the early 70s and included AA wads with a little higher percent of antimony shot. The velocity on those things was about 1260-80 or so in my estimation as I never shot them over a chrono. The recoil was quite a bit more than the red AAs 3 dr. 1-1/8 oz. I did shoot a few boxes of the black handicap shells but they kicked too much to suit me!

Hap
 

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I'll guess around 1180 for the Xperts and 1210 for the AAs.

Can't guess the shot, but am thinking the patterns of the AAs are like today's shells. The Xperts may be a bit more open, but I even doubt there's much of a difference there, either.

One more thing, I'd bet the Xperts are closer to 1965 than the 70's.
 

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Neil, I started shooting league trap in 1961 at the St.Paul Rod & Gun Club and my first reloads were with Federal paper hulls Red Dot powder and Alcan Flitemax #4 wads. One time (around 1966) I saw Dan Orlich shoot at the St.Cloud Steer & Calf Shoot and he was using Federal Light 8's to our great surprise.
 

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The old Black AAs I saw some had Nickel Plated Shot you could see the silver streak at night My guess is 1310fps for the Black ones.

These shells had special 3 legged wads and only partially slit wads for tighter patterns, which added to recoil

These Black Shells had 6% Antimony hard shot, Will pattern with the AA Super Hdcps of today.

Never had to oppurtunity to shoot any of the X-Pert Mark 5s, was shooting Remington All Americans and Red AAs. Shot in the Mark 5s is softer shot less than 3% Antimony.

Patterns will be poor on the Mark 5s

Gary Bryant
Dr.longshot
 
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