Resizing Hulls

Dear Technoid,

I like shooting 20 gauge, but I don’t like paying the price for AAs. As a result, I’ve taken to reloading my used compression formed AA hulls. Now I started collecting AA hulls fired exclusively out of my gun and built up a large stock pile. I’m currently running to the end of this stock pile and the hulls’ usable lifes.

To help control costs I was considering purchasing some once fired AA hulls from This will help keep costs down.

My concern is that when I got into reloading years ago I was cautioned to only use hulls fired from my gun (i.e. don’t buy once fired hulls). When it comes to reloading, I’m “by the book”–no desire to have anything blow up on me or the people I’m shooting with. As a result I’m curious about the once fired hulls. What are your thoughts?

Many thanks,

Dear Geoff,

I don’t see anything wrong at all about shooting hulls from guns other than yours. Almost every reloaded hull I use has come from someone else’s gun. I’m sure that the advice originally came from someone who was referring to the need for resizing. If your reloader does not resize, then using a shell from another gun with a large chamber could cause a problem feeding into your gun if your chambers were on the tight side. Like metallic rifle and pistol casings, the brass base of a shotgun hull will expand to the chamber walls of when it is fired. If the gun in which the shell was used had larger than standard chambers or if your chambers are particularly tight, it could be hard to insert the reload into your gun. I’ve even seen small chambers on Browning 425 20 gauge guns cause problems with even certain types of factory shells.

If you reloader has a resizer, using outsourced hulls isn’t a problem as the brass on the shell is properly resized during the reloading operation. That’s exactly what the resizer is meant to do. I run a great many “foreign” reloaded hulls through my guns. My MECs all have resizers and I can’t remember ever having a problem on any gun I owned or was testing.

Obviously, you should inspect every hull you intend to use in reloads before you run it through the machine. That’s only common sense. That said, I don’t see any problem using other people’s hulls if they are properly resized and in good condition.

By the way, the old compression formed AA hull is excellent in the 20, but don’t overlook the Remington compression formed hulls. They are just as good, though they often require slightly different reloading recipes.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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