How many times can you safely reload a Federal Gold Metal plastic hull, loaded with a Federal primer, 17.8 Clays, Federal 12S0 wad and one ounce of shot? Just a ballpark number of times is OK. Won't hold your feet to the fire!
I have been loading Federal Gold Medal (ribbed kind) since 1985, great hulls for reloading. At one time I loaded the ribbies up to 12/15 times. I experienced hull separation at a registered shoot, had a hell of a time getting the stuck hull out of the barrel. Now, I only load those 8 to 9 times and chuck'um. Have not had any problems since.
I would list my load, however, I used many powders and wads throughout the years it would not matter what load I use, I still only load 8 to 9 times for safety reasons.
I have acquired several thousand Gold Medal smoothies. The individual I got these from shot then as NEW hulls and had several that the brass separated from the hull. Not trusting them, I only load them 6 times and than discard them. I have loaded over a thousand 6 times without any problems using these smoothies.
I use the same load in the smoothies as in the ribbed kind. My present load is:
The older ribbed hulls would go 6 or 7 times before I would notice sufficient deterioration from the majority of the hulls. Mostly in the crimp area where splits, pin holes, or softness, etc would allow me to retire them before some people would. The smooth hulls I have not trusted and don't load many of them. The most I loaded any of the smooth hulls was about three times.
At Vandalia they had a board with a bunch of reloaded GM hulls, each one loaded once more than the previous. They went up to 20 times. It was ridiculous. The 20X loaded one had 8 little strips of plastic where the crimp used to be.
Just purchased a case of the DRF3 for reloading in the Federal Gold Medal.
Problem - the over-powder cup is too small and the base of the ridge going up to the powder-cup, well, one side is real thin and the other side is much larger. Haven't shot them yet but expect powder blow-by. However, they seem to load great in a Rem. Hull.
Surprised Kevin would let this product be out in the market. Switched from CB and I never had a problem - just wanted to try a Downrange.
Yes - I noticed the same thing. Quite a significant difference in the diameter (smaller) of the DRF3 powder cup. I have loaded and shot several bags worth - cant really say I noticed anything unusual in performance. I have since started loading the CB equivalent wad ... but am finding more plastic residue left behind in my barrel. I dont know - maybe have to pay the extra $ for the real Federal wads ????
The last case I purchased were fine. No obvious distortions and they patterned well. It's my second case. First one was fine too. I also use the OEM Federal wads and had used the Claybusters until I used the last ones up. If there are some with obvious defects, get hold of Kevin at Downrange and send a couple of samples back out to him. If there's a problem, I'm sure he'd want to know about it.
Kevin responded to my email in less than 6 hrs. by phone - now that's good ole American service.
After approx. 30 minutes on the phone, and him telling me more than I really needed to know, the bottome line is - go shoot it. The plastic composition make-up of the DRF3 expands at ignition at a rate where the gas seal is complete. Through there lab testing along with Alliant and Hodgdon, this plastic composition for the DRF3 was arrived at, including the size and dimension of the over-powder cup.
I was well satisfied with the conversation with Kevin and will shoot the DRF3 1 1/8 oz. loads in the Fed. hull tomorrow along with the same wad in a Rem. hull. Will post my thoughts on the comparision and performance.
Well, shot 5 stand today and tried out the new DRF3 in a Gold Medal Hull and a Rem. Hull. Sorry DRF#3 fans, but I was not impressed.
1 1/8 oz. #8, 21 grs. Green Dot, Fed. primer and DRF3 wad @ approx. 1235fps. - not impressed. Tried the same exact load with same targets and choke with the Rem. hull - not impressed. Then tried a 1 oz. load of 8's @ approx. 1300fps. with DRA-12 wad and Fio. primer with 19 grs. Clay Dot - much, much, better. The bad part, purchased a case of the DRF3 wads.
I have been loading Federal Top Guns, (free), for two years. Use Fed 209, Drg- XL-1,(lime green), 17.5 Promo, 1oz. Load 2-3 times and discard. Usually avg. 2 times. Just smokes targets, low recoil. Just my experience. Good Luck!!!!