Trapshooters Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 83 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,941 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As winter tapered off last spring and we ran through another iteration of 1200 fps or "valid" Grand Slams, I got a chance to find out what used to go on for all of us.

While I'm a relative newcomer (1982) and so never shot the shells of the 1970's, two contributors here decided to give me hand and gave up what must have been treasured centerpieces of their shell collections. I thank them for their help and public-spirited donations.

Olliedawg sent examples of Western Super-X's and the first Handicap shells, Western Handicaps from the mid-70's. Ed Y sent some 1976 Bicentennial Federal Champion II's. All three were regarded as first-rate in their day.

I first chronographed them and while the Western Super-X's were more like lights than the heavies they were labled, the Champion II's were about as expected. The Western Handicaps were lightning-fast, just as people remembered them. At 1276 fps, they disproved the assertion that the Handicap shells we see now were something entirely new. We've had similar shells to shoot, off and on, for two generations.

Patterning was put off until recently since I was registering targets instead and first things first in my book.

When I tested the hardness of the shots in each, the Super-X pellets were very soft, the Western Handicaps harder but not much, and the Federal Champion II the hardest, but still somewhat softer than you get in today's premium factory load.

The eight's - the Super-X's and the Champion II's were compared with some current Winchester AA lights. First, let's take a look at the shells themselves:

The Western Super-X's:

Mark5shellboxweb_zpse4f52530.jpg


Mark-5-taken-apart-web_zps650ba9fb.jpg


The Champion II's:

Champion-II-apartweb_zpsa9b44397.jpg


Here's how they performed.

ChampionIInextbest_zps33a14ba9.gif


The shot hardness - Western Super-X softest, Federal Champs next, current Winchester very hard - goes a long way to explaining the differences. Clearly, shooters in 1970's were under a big performance handicap with the shells they had to buy compared with the ATA competitor today.

The Western Handicaps of the 1970's:

Western-Handicap-box-web_zps3ae59f5c.jpg


Western-Handicap-taken-apart-web-_zps63bd85fa.jpg


were far, far behind what we can buy off the shelf today.

CurrentWincheserbest_zpsf4e84788.gif



In my opinion, there was a big-enough performance deficit in the "old days" pictured here to account for much of the dramatic increase in the number of high scores shot today at long-yardage handicap, Grand Slams, and so forth.

Yours in Sport,

Neil

Thanks again, Ollie and Ed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,760 Posts
Thanks Neil, another great report.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,608 Posts
And if you think that's a big difference, try the built up shells of the late 50's and early 60's. (before overpowder wads and shot protectors.)

HM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
Question from ignorance...

Could the age of the shells degraded their performance? i.e. the paper wads and shells absorbing moisture and possibly nitro, causing performance degredation.

Thanks for the work Neil. Good Stuff.

Chip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
Thank you Neil, will be interesting to see what Mr. Roger Smith thinks, he was a top competitor at that time with 4 out of 5 Grand Rings, that is the caliber of shooter Roger is, and ATA Hall of Fame member. Also this goes hand in hand with what Roger said, "Federals were the best to shoot at the time". He was lucky enough to get to tour the Federal facility and they wanted feed back from him and other top shooters of the day. Neil, once again you research stuff that is very interesting and helps us all see what really was going on then. Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Thanks once again Neil. As always I have found your research to be both interesting and informative. Have you ever considered possibly writing articles for Trapshooting USA ?. They definitely could use some good material in their magazine, such as what I'm sure you could provide. Just a thought anyway. Hugo Rinke
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,106 Posts
Shells got better-so did guns-but they changed the game to easier. And to think shooters made the 27yd. line with ammo that usually patterned below 70% with cardboard wads and soft shot. No wonder we're on a collision course with non-relevance.

Great job Neil!!
 

·
Supporting Vendor
Joined
·
9,948 Posts
Great thread and information Neil. But, I too wonder about a shells degradation over the decades having an effect on the older shells. No way of really knowing that I guess.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
275 Posts
Thanks Neil. There wasn't room for error with those old shells. What would the elite shooters of the 30's-60's do with today's ammo and guns?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,941 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I've tested some Federal Papers from the late 80's and they are a match for anything today, but that's 25 years, not 40.

If you are thinking of wad degradation of similar, consider that when I did the speed tests I got SD's of 8,9,and 12, no different from what I would expect today. So you can't invoke "shattered wads" or anything like that. And what else is there?

I think the combination of better shot and more experience designing and making plastic wads could account for what I found.

Neil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,941 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Not only was there no room for error, K005, there was a much greater chance of a "LOST" bird even when there was no error.

Gun are better in the sense that they are more adjustable and some custom stockmakers really know what they are doing. But Danillo's triggers were available since 1968 and I suppose that unsingles and high ribs and choke tubes appeal to some, but ballistically, I have a lot of evidence that nothing has changed - for the better that is!

Thanks for reading my post.

Neil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
The Federal ammo of the 60's, 70's and 80's was the best bar none, superior to all the ammo of that period. This is a neat and informative posting Neil.

Roger Smith Wichita, KS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
Roger, in your era, sounds like you made a wise choice on shells (Federal) just imagine if you didn't, somethings "may" have taken longer, well done Roger, well done. Speaking of Federals, Martin, is that not what Leo shot also?? Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
GREAT THREAD NEIL, But lets not forget to thank Winchester for the Mark V shotshell released in 1962. That year 7 of the top scores in the GAH were shot with that shell along with the winning score. That started the revolution in performance with the development of the AA in 1965--the rest is history. The Federal Champion came out later and was a great performer and arguably the best patterning design!

There can be NO question---shotshell performance definitely is the main contributor of the high scores we are seeing today--along with soft targets!
Another item is you probably shot the old shells in a modern over bored barrel--it would be interesting if you had shot them in a period gun ie. Model 12 with .040 choke and standard bore???
Thanks again for a great Post! Phil SImms Prosoft Recoil Systems
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,941 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
No Model 12's here, Phil, but I too thought that the gun used should be "appropriate to the period." The test gun was an MX-3 Special bought here from Guy H. It's "old style Perazzi (18.3 bore, 0.040" choke, short forcing cone.)"

And look how it shoots today's Handicap shells! At singles it just can't be believed - just a spot of dark air where the target was. . . just like a Model 12!

Neil
 
1 - 20 of 83 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top