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I've read here that the new (relatively) AA hulls have a separate base wad where the old ones were one piece. I also read here that you can tell the difference because the "old" ones have a box around the "AA" and the new ones do not. Is this true? Is there any way to tell if there is a separate base wad short of cutting the shell, which would make it hard to reload? :) I'm starting to get paranoid on this base wad issue. Using a MEC 9000 machine.
thanks...Bruce
KB1IIX
 

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the old ones have boxes around the "AA" and they are much better to load i think. You can reload them at least 8 times before you have to start thinking about throwing them away. The new ones you can only load 4 or 5.
 

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I suggest you take one of the new AAs apart and see if you can move the base wad. I think you will find that it ain't going anywhere. Load them on your Mec and they should be just fine. HMB
 

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The new red AA have a shiny finish. If you look down into hull you can see the base wad. When they first changed, the AA was boxed. Actually these are the ones to avoid as there were reports from shooters of the base wad dislogding. Winchester quitely improved the quality control and/or the hull then started using the unboxed logo. All the while denying that there was a problem. I have not heard/read much about the base wad dislodging lately. But then not as many people are reloading them.

Jason
 

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I shoot nothing but AA hulls, and have both the old and new that I use. The new hulls definitely do not last as long as the old and the plastic is much stiffer. The old hulls had more "give" to them. So the new ones crack very easily. You have to be careful about your choice of wads when you use the new AA hulls. For instance, Downrange wads have a larger diameter at the base of the wad than Wincester wads and that will cause interference with the sleeve at the bottom of the new hulls.

I use Winchester wads and Winchester hulls and haven't had a bad crimp in probably 4000 shells. When I used claybusters and downrange wads, I was fighting the bad shell crimp constantly until I made the change.

Happy shooting
 

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Bucko43, were you using the Downrange DRA series wad built for AAs or generic DR wads? Since I have a few thousand Downrange Wads in stock, I used to throw in any wad into the AA. One night I put in the DRAs wads which were designed for the AA and now that is all I like to use. The 1 1/8 oz are whie and the 1 oz are a pinkish read tint. In fact, I have had good luck with these wads in both the old and new wads. I don't count reloads as it takes a year or two to reload through the cycle of use hulls. IMHO Omaha
 

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Omaha,

The downrange wads I was using were the (colorblind here) Blue/Purple 1 1/8 ounce.

I was getting a bad crimp about 1 shell in 10. It was extremely frustrating until I figured out the difference in diameters.

Kevin
 

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How can a wad possibly hinder the crimp? A reloader press has tremendous leverage and would crush the cushion area of a wad to get the crimp the machine is set for. The problem lies elswhere. Sure, a wad with no cushion area that is used for the wrong application would not work but that is not the topic.
 

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JerryP,

If you take a Winchester AA hull (the new style) and cut it in half about 3/4 of an inch from the base, you'll see a black sleeve inside the hull. That sleeve is what makes the difference between the new style and the old style AA hulls. You can use just about any wad you want on the old style AA hulls, but not with the new style.

Some wads on the market do not fit down inside that sleeve. In order to get a good crimp and not have shot fall out of the top of your shell, the wad must seat just inside that sleeve. If the wad's diameter is too big, it sit's on top of that sleeve, therefore causing the bad crimp. I'm not saying all wads do this, just certain ones. I have taken a micrometer and measured the diameter of the purple downrange wads versus the same diameter on a Winchester wad, and there is .010 of an inch difference in size, with the downrange wad being the larger.

That's how a wad can cause a bad crimp.

Kevin
 

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Kevin, I have loaded many thousands of the AA's and have never encountered this. You say some wads do this. Which ones? I am currently using the Purple Downrange 1 oz wad, have been for a year. They work fine. I have measured these wads and they are the same as Win. They both neasure .700 to .705. Your number .010 is way off. I think the "sleeve" is the same color as the hull, red or gray.
 

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JerryP,
I was measuring the purple 1 1/8 ounce wads. I am color blind and they could be dark blue, but they were 1 1/8 ounce.

Occasionally I would have the same problem with the 1 1/8 claybusters (pink I think?) but not as often.

When I was loading with the 1 1/8 downrange wads, I could actually watch the wad and the shot rise in the hull (using a MEC9000G) before the first crimp. I would have to reach over and shove it down with my finger to get the crimp to close the end of the hull. Once I figured out the problem, I started buying nothing but Winchester wads. Problem solved...

Kevin
 

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Kevin, Do you really think wad makers are selling wads made for one the most popular hulls, AA's, that are too large to work? They are the correct size. I use the Claybusters also and they work fine.

What you see when the wad rises is not abnormal. I see it too. The hulls are tapered. The wad seats in the tapered area. When the press ram is raised the wad can back up a little. That is why it is a joke to be concerned about wad pressure settings. That is not a wad stuck on top of the AA basewad either. The fact that you can easily push it back down with your finger shows the starter crimp and the final crimp station should seat it with no problem. My PW handles this easily.
 

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I did this for some folks who were attempting to use the AA wads in Federal hulls (a no-no), but it does show the wad base cup diameters. THe AA is, I believe, 0.702 or 0.706... too lazy to go get one and measure it now.

FYI

Whiz
 

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Whiz, That's about what I measured on the AA's. Hard to be exact on those things. Some of those wads you pictured are big. They must be for straight walled hulls. I was thinking the subject was centered around wads for AA's as that was what was mentioned. If people are trying to stuff straight walled wads into tapered hulls, all bets are off.
 
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