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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that both will break targets, but just for fun, how many of you out there actually believe that the so-called "bargain" shells such as the ones sold at the discount stores are as good in overall performance as a reload made with quality components.

p.s. When those of you that do wake up, you will realize that it was all a BAD DREAM!
 

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If I am in charge of quality control, that trumps pricing in every aspect, now days especially.
 

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Shoot Federal Top Guns from the 16 yard line all day long... They work fine. When I drop a target, I have a hard time believing I would have hit it with an STS or a "high quality" reload. There's no way to prove it anyway so this comparison is kind of questionable. Sure you can pattern the loads and compare on paper, but there are a lot more variables when actually shooting at the line. Just my opinion...note that I am limiting my comments to 16 yard.
 

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I made AAA and the 27 shooting Walmart shells, both Winchester and Federals and Estates never caring much which brand or shot size. I have shot 10s of thousands of them and have never had a misfire or needed a wad knocker. Most of the guys I know who reload carry a wad knocker. So, go figure.

It ain't the shell and it ain't the gun and it ain't the choke, it's where you point that counts 99% of the time.
 

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I got into the trap game as a hand loader and made my own trap loads for many seasons. I believe my shells were comparable to the better factory loads in performance/consistency but then I got into several group purchases of lower cost target ammo and that ended my trap shell hand loading. What I discovered with the factory loaded ammo was that I wasn't wasting so much time messing around with hulls, loading ammo and constantly searching for good buys on components. I also started to shoot more as I always had loaded ammo ready to go. With regards to performance, well I don't have any Neil Winston quality data or test work but I do know for a fact the factory loaded ammo will break 100x100 scores all day long and when I hear the dreaded 'loss' I never think it was a result of my ammo quality - its always a result of my shooting errors.
 

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I think that in large part the difference between cheap factory (and sometimes even premium factory) and reloads is mental. I always shot reloads until component prices went up and cheap shells were about the same price as reloading. Starting shooting Estates and absolutely loved them. Smoked targets and I had no concerns they weren't as good as my reloads. Then Estates got hard to find and I bought some Kemens. The breaks I got with those shells were terrible, hard to smoke a target. Did they affect my overall score . . . no idea. Never found out. Mentally I knew they were inferior and would produce a lower score, so they got relegated to practice use. I'm pretty sure there is nothing wrong with them, but I wasn't confident with them.

Scott
 

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My son and I have this banter back and forth all the time. He is always wanting me to buy high end factory ammo, says he will shoot better. I do from time to time when I need hulls. The funny part is, all of his 100 straights, including 1 from the 21 and his doubles including a C Class Grand American Win are on on my reloads using reclaimed shot. He does well and still shoots 97-99 with he STS's and Rio's but never a 100 straight.

I think our years of "see I told you" jokes are weighing heavy on him and he just tries to hard so he can prove his point. To funny either way!

I agree with Scott and am in full belief that it is all mental, Both Jared and I shoot with things that logically we know don't help that much but have convinced ourselves that we shoot better with it. When we don't have it then we can find a place to blame with out admitting our own faults and can still look at ourselves in the mirror. All Mental!!!
 

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Reloading has and always will be about saving money. When I first started reloading (1975), savings was 40-50% of new shells. That is AA's, Fed Papers, Gold Metals or Remington's. Today the premo's cost about $8.00-$9.00 and a box of reloads about $5.00. About a 37.5% savings. We also had cheapo's back then, like Peters Brand, but no one used them for Trap. Today some think the cheapo's are great. But, I dare say, none of the Big Dogs use them. And they didn't back when I started reloading.
 

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I have found that premium reloads do pattern better than promo shells put a lot of hole in paper, but I also enjoy reloading as well. I shoot my reloads and feel confident that I am using the best ammo. I have shot lots of promo shells in league shoots and such but my register shoots I use my reloads.
 

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When a gun blows up at the range, I never hear anybody say: "It must have been a new shell."
Ahhh, except for a few cases of Federal factory ammo and small bore Perazzis. I have a friend who is a gunsmith who had it happen to him and another friend who had it happen to him as well. The gunsmith's theory is that a disgruntled employee put something like a 5/16" washer in the shell and while it would pass through many chokes, it didn't in the 2 cases he personally witnessed and several he's had folks communicate to him.

I'm not trying to start any Federal bashing but would be interested to hear if others have any data here.

-Scot
 

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There's been a couple of confirmed failures in guns using early rendition of Winchester's HS hulls with the plastic base wad, but no one can say absolutely this was the cause of those failures. Stuff happens.................

When the plastic wad came into being it turned a lot crappy loads in acceptable ones, good enough to break all their targets. There's still some junk mainly imports but even those do a fairly good job of breaking targets at close distances.
Surfer
 

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I think it's hard to argue with basic science that harder lead shot deforms less. So are premium shells or reloads with premium components better? I think it's hard to say they aren't technically better.

However, plenty of anecdotal evidence supports that a poorer quality shell seems to be good enough in most situations. Some people at some point will decide that past a certain distance that cheap shells will not work as well and either through fact or through belief, they will be correct.
 

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I used to shoot reloads exclusively until component prices went nuts and powder became non existent. Prior to that the only new shells I ever shot were at the Grand, and only because they required them at that time. Now I almost exclusively use the walmart specials for singles and doubles however I'm undecided as to what I'm going to do when I run out of PB for handicap loads.
 

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I think it's hard to argue with basic science that harder lead shot deforms less.
This very true and premium shells should perform better at long yardage because you should get fewer flyers and because high antimony makes each pellet lighter you get more pellets per ounce in hard shot shells. Consequently, you get a few more pellets in your pattern and this could pick up a target every so often. However, I would bet that about 99% + of misses from the 27 are poor shooting rather than cheap shells.
 

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Me and others shoot fed topguns for single and doubles. AA and AAA doubles and singles averages. 56 a flat its well worth it to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Thanks to all who replied to my original question. Not surprised to hear of some of the excellent scores shot with "bargain" shells...I never said that couldn't be done. I just thought it would be interesting to read the different opinions/comments to my original post.

Personally, I will always believe that a reload made with quality components will outperform the "el cheapo" bargain shells.

Good luck and good shooting with whatever shells you shoot!
 
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