Trapshooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Never been happy with my caps reload. Mostly used International or Universal, loaded in an STS with a Win209 primer and various wads. Just never pleased with on-field performance (27 yard shooting). Read a great deal about Green Dot, so I decided to give it a try. Many posts extolled the virtues of Green Dot in a Federal Gold Medal hull, so that is the direction I headed. Loaded some up (with oem Fed 12S3 wads) and headed out to the range. I was very pleased with the performance. (Krieghoff fixed choke barrel, 34”, Wilkinson, .036 restriction). I wanted to see if I could improve the performance, so I went in search of additional wads. I kept in mind (as I had always been told) that you must only load wads designed for the Fed non-tapered hulls, as opposed to the tapered STS. But when I research Windjammer wads, I found recipes for using the same wad in both types of hulls, which made no sense to me at all. So I decided assemble some components and take some measurements.

It was my plan to test STS/Green Dot reloads right along with Federal Gold Medal/Green Dot. I was already playing a bit with Remington oem fig8 wads, so I decided to use them. I have also loaded a ton of downrange Spolar windjammer clones, and they are among my favorite, so I added them to the mix. At the Federal end, I bought some oem 12S3 wads and also got some Downrange windjammer style clones (DRHF3). I then took five STS hulls and five Gold Medal hulls and sectioned them for measurement.









So are tapered hulls really tapered? Are straight hulls really straight? The answer is yes…barely. The Federal Gold Medal hull has an ID of .72 throughout. The Remington STS measures .715 at the top, .705 at the middle, and .695 near the base. So it is tapered, but not much. (As a side note, do not use these measurements as gospel, as I’m measuring plastic, which is not susceptible to precise measurement. However, the relative measurement DIFFERENCES should be fairly close).

Now, what about the wads? Is there a significant difference between “straight-hulled” wads and “tapered-hull” wads? For measurement, I recorded two figures for each wad. I measured the OD of the bottom (powder cup) and also measured the OD of the bottom of the shot cup. Results were interesting….

OEM Remington Fig8 – Powder cup .69; Bottom of shot cup .70

DownRange Spolar Windjammer - Powder cup .705; Bottom of shot cup .71

OEM Federal 12S3 – Powder cup .72; Bottom of shot cup .715

DownRange 12S3 Windjammer (DRHF3) - Powder cup .695; Bottom of shot cup .705


Next, I decided to “try” the fit of the wads in the sectioned hulls. Results were again interesting...

First, the Remington oem Fig8 wad in the STS:





Next, the DownRange Spolar Windjammer in the STS:





Next, the Federal oem 12S3 in the Gold Medal:





Finally, the DownRange 12S3 Windjammer (DRHF3) in the Gold Medal:





As you can see, the wads in the STS are a nice tight fit. In fact, the DownRange Spolar Windjammer seems to “seat” best. The “fit” in the Gold Medal could at best be described as sloppy, with the DFHF3 being the worst of the lot. Not sure what all this means, if anything. (Might mean that it’s 21 degrees outside and snowing, so I have nothing to do). Obviously, I have a lot of different loads to pattern and shoot before drawing any conclusions. But I was really surprised at how little taper really existed in the STS shells. I was also really surprised at how “loose” the factory 12S3 is in the Federal hull. And it makes me wonder, other than powder migration, does it make any difference? And if it doesn’t make a difference, then the wads I checked are all about the same, with a very slight taper down to the shot cup. And, does that mean there is really no difference between “straight” wads and “tapered” wads?

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
678 Posts
For what is is worth here are 2 good 27 yard loads: 1st is AA hull (new or old style), Win Primer, 20 grains WST, Dr AA12 wad and 7.5 shot. 2d is the same combination except for a powder change 19.2 WSH. Both shoot very well. I also use the same loads in gun club and sts hulls.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,913 Posts
Better Handicap load? Hmmmm? Better?

I'd guess Neil Winston would say better means tighter. If that is the case, most of that equation is explained by choke and pellet quality. I'm more and more convinced that wads, powders, hulls, primers and changes in velocity btween 1100 to 1300 fps have very little affect on density.

If you are talking about lower velocity variance, well, I just don't know about that. Your pics make me think wads could affect velocity variance. But I have pics of trout flies that that make me think they would send a trout into a feeding frenzy. But no trout ate them. It might be time to get a chronograph and do the hard work.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
275 Posts
I found out the same as you: the DR 12S3 clones , DRF3, have a smaller cup diameter than the OEM Federal or ClayBuster CB2118 wad. For that reason I would not use them in the GM hull even though Alliant's data shows the same recipe for the Federal and DR wad with Green Dot powder. I don't know how they could be the same (velocity and pressure) with 0.025 inch difference in the cup diameter.

Maybe it's just my monitor, but the wad you show for the Federal 12S3 looks the same color as the CB wad. My Federal S3's have more orange color to them. I have some real old Federal 12S3 wads and their cup diameter is 0.73, the newer ones measure 0.72. Bpb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,154 Posts
Paul, I prefer my handicap loads at 1145fps. I now only reload STS hulls (even though I have 1000s of Gun Club). I now only use W209 primers and wads that were specifically designed for the STS hull (with one exception). Why? I experimented just as you have, but I tried every wad and hull combination I could get my hands on. I patterned, measured and chronographed. Sticking with components that were designed to be used together provides the most consistent results.

So here are some outstanding performing 1 1/8oz loads using the following components:

STS hull, W209 primer and 1 1/8oz WCM shot:

19gr Green Dot and Rem Fig-8- 1145fps

19gr American Select and Rem Fig-8- 1150fps

19gr Solo 1000 and Fig-8- 1150fps

You can substitute a DRM Fig-8 clone or a Windjammer, DRM Windjammer or Spolar Windjammer for the Fig-8. Patterns are almost identical, as are velocities. SDs for all are quite low.

If you substitute the Rem TGT-12 for the Fig-8 in the Solo 1000 load, targets seem to be hit harder. I have no idea why. It is one of the things I'll check out at my next patterning session.

All of these loads can be bumped up if you want to get to 1200fps. I feel no need for more speed and recoil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,980 Posts
I have reloaded a lot of shells years ago. In my opinion, I never found a powder that could stack up to PB. Numerous friends of mine use to shoot from the 27 and most I know used this following load.

Federal Gold Medal Hull
22 to 23 grains of PB
Federal 12s4 wad, the brown wad as you need the larger wad for a good crimp.
Federal 209 primer

I have not tried the latest in powders that are now being offered, but if money is no problem splurge for the PB, you won't be disappointed.

I am looking forward to responses as I would like to know if any of the newer powders compare to PB or possibly even better? It's fun to experiment.
Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
I'll say this much about this subject, it you use 12S3 or 12SO wads in an STS or Gun Club hull, you just about have to cram it in and it creates a circular ring around the hull on the outside at the bottom of either wad and then try to pull it out with needle-nose pliers...it fits pretty darn tight and I don't like the ring around the case. You would have to talk to me pretty hard to not use the appropriate wad in any hull. I can't help but think there have been a lot of wheels re-invented trying to prove or disprove all the data that has already been developed and published by people that know a lot more about this subject than any of us shooters. If you want the best handicap loads out there, just go buy any brand you like and you'll have better loads than you can build yourself.

JMO

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
I noticed that there was only a couple of brief comments on the quality of shot for long handicap loads. Years ago when I was much more serious about Trap shooting (I now enjoy mostly 5-stand, sporting clays, skeet, etc.) I shot many, many patterns on paper and counted pellet holes until I was totally frustrated. Then I bought my first bag of high quality, target shot and was amazed at what a difference it made where switching primers, wads, hulls, etc. all failed to produce dense "full choke" patterns at 40 yards. My advice is to START with quality shot and then assess wads, hulls, primers, powder, crimp depth or whatever pleases. JMHO, Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm going to try and respond to some of the issues raised....

Yes, I failed to mention velocity. For caps, I generally shoot loads that are a bit over 1200...usually around 1220-1230 fps.

I am aware of the importance of hard shot, and have in fact extensively tested most of the commercially available shells, as well as the bagged shot. I know what is hardest, and that is what I load. My post is about wads and hulls...

Don't know that I can agree with the statement that shells purchased are "better" than well developed reloads with premium components, particularly the lower cost stuff. To each his own....

I agree that a 12S3 wad is a tight fit in a STS hull. I certainly am not suggesting the combination, but note that the Hodgdon reloaders guide has no issue with it, and uses it extensively (with other powders)!

I have never tried PB, but would love to test some. So where do I get it (lol)?

ZZT, your suggestions are well taken. In fact, I have loaded a bunch of the stuff you suggest for singles. Really is hard to beat a fig8 in an STS. Good point.

My Fed 12S3 oem is very much pink (at least to my eyes).

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,982 Posts
Steve has it down...when I reloaded special handicaps I did the same exact load with PB..real crisp with instantaneous breaks..excellent even patterns..super consistent..I just reloaded Top Gun hulls when Gold Medals were scarce...popped em and dropped em
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,701 Posts
This guy is scaring me! His tests and methods suggest the regimen of an attorney!? After all of this, I would be interested in his evaluation of "room" for a proper crimp as some of the loads do not allow enough "room" for a proper crimp! For example: Using one of the bulky powders and the new style AA case will not allow enough room for me to make a great crimp if I use a std AA white wad! By the way, his former hobby of making babies was very successful! Tom Rhoads
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Tom....you always find a way to make me laugh. For the record, it took me seven times to get the baby thing right (then I got cable). Can't comment on the new AA case, as I don't load them. But I can tell you, Federal Gold Medal cases can hold about a half pound of powder and shot, and STILL get a great crimp!!!

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,701 Posts
Paul: I only had five of them! Never liked them til they got over 21! But I sure liked the process! Anyway, looking forward to the Buckeye! By the way, holler if you need help on loading! Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,866 Posts
I won't comment on Federal plastic hulls, but I can say that in my Federal papers, the OEM wads are a MUCH better fit than their clone counterparts. The tale of the calipers says that the OEM's are larger in diameter at the powder cup.

I like bulky powders best in a Federal paper with the S4 wad since there is not room for the S3 and a good crimp.

Have heard lots of supporters of PB but I can't find a good published recipe for a 1250 ft/sec handicap load in papers with PB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,609 Posts
Try a Remington hull with 18 or so of Titegroup and a Chartreuse Downrange wad. The TG is dense, so you need a one ounce wad with 1 & 1/8 of shot. More than 18.5 punishes, 18.2 is about 1235.

Best handicap load ever.

HM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Here's a great handicap load: Gun Club or STS hulls using a W209 primer with International Clays (19.6 grains) with a Versalite wad made by Downrange,with 1&1/8 Magnum 7&1/2 shot. Tested by Downrange and by myself using a Chronograpf they are 1225fps.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top