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Winchester AA HS and GA Base Wad Differences

3648 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Oluwadamilola
I picked up another couple thousand Winchester AA hulls and I have found maybe 100 boxed AA GA hulls in great condition.

I cut a few apart from the first batch and this second batch I have. There appears to be at least 3 designs of the AA base wad that I have found. There are two versions of the “GA” wad. One is a two-piece and one a one-piece. The HS is a two piece base wad with 2 added ridges however they only would help retain it to the hull and not the base.

I load with a MEC, I shoot a single barrel break-open and at this point and I’m thinking that I will use the Boxed AA hulls. I have spoken to one of the wad manufactures and they said there could only be a problem using them if you load on a Spolar or a Ponsness Warren which push the primer in from the bottom only and IF the base wad was undersized because it was not left in the injection molder to cool long enough and it shrank upon ejection. This condition occurred early on in production I was told.
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Interesting, don’t remember anyone looking at base wads with this much deep study before.
 
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What is "ga"? Only hulls I know of are compression or hs.
There are AAHS hulls that have "GA" on the headstamp. Those are G1 and they have the box around the "AA" on the tube. Later versions of the HS have "HS" on the headstamp. Those are G2 and G3.

The CF hulls have both "GA" and a box around the "AA" printed on the tube, too.

The dark gray HS hulls are all HS, whether they have the "GA" on the headstamp or a box around the "AA" on the tube.

The trouble is with the red ones that say GA on the headstamp and have a box around the "AA" on the tube. This describes both the 1st G HS and the older, CF hulls. The way to differentiate these hulls is by the quality of the plastic. The CF will have a dull, matte finish to the plastic. The HS has a shiny, slick, almost oily feel to the plastic.
 

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The GA is gauge, as it is right across from a 12 (or 20, 28 I guess) on the base. They are still HS hulls just the 1st Gen. as Nebs says. I've loaded and fired about 1000 of them, with 1200 and 1250 fps loads, have never had a problem.
I have enough newer hulls now that I have them separated out, as 'reserve' hulls, to be used if the only primers I find at some point in the future are Cheddites or Rios, they would be only used for those primers.
 

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Lou, your observation that the HS base-wads evolved from a single to a 2-piece design is new information. I don't know if anyone before you took that 2nd step of slicing one and making this observation. Thanks for taking such a close look. Some macro-photos of the detail would be appreciated.

And, technically, this makes the HS hull a 3-piece design.
 

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My rule of thumb is,,,

Headstamp must be "WIN" and "HS" must be part of headstamp.

I was there at the introduction of the new style hull. Many hulls suffered wad migration, collected a bunch of them on the other side of the trap house. Also observed a top ten shooters' gun suffer a barrel bulge about the length of the base wad. Shooter never reloaded, had ammo sponsor. Only had a 12 ga gun.

A contact at Accokeek (Beretta) told me he had seen all too many barrels that were bulged using new Winchester AA loads. You know the drill. Winchester blamed Beretta, Beretta (rightly) blamed Winchester.
 

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As you have undoubtedly found , the base wad is hard to get out.
I have at least 19 cases of AA's that are at least 15ys old. Most are just like the red hull pictured with the AA in the box.
I shoot them when I need hulls to reload. I have been reloading those AA's since they were introduced, on a PW press.

There was a guy here years ago that posted a picture of a coffee can full of base wads he claimed fell out of AA's.

After shooting and reloading many thousands of the new type AA's for years, I have never seen a loose base wad and don't know anyone who has seen a loose base wad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've recently talked to a powder company and a high end shotgun manufacturer and both said they were unaware of problems with base wad separation with any vintage Winchester AA hull

I have taken all of the "boxed" AA hulls I have and measured the base wad depth and they were all the same.

If it takes some thing like these (see pics) where you can clearly see the overuse and the center of the wad burned out to get the basewad to come out there isn't going to be a problem reloading them a few times.


I have still not been able to find the mechanism that would cause the wad to come out of a normal AA.

Researching the 20 million threads on this subject there are on this forum I found all manufactures are discussed, Remington, Rio, Nobil, Federal etc. and supposedly have "the issue"

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