I love my jamamatic but dislike the dirty hulls….dust & dirt from the ground. What is the best/easiest way to rid my hulls of this static/dust/dirt?
There are several approaches to clean hulls, none are 100%.
First, you can get a $10 T&S shell catcher from Brownells, http://www.brownells.com. If you are a skeet or trap shooter, that will save your singles. It won’t save either hull when shooting two shots. They are made for Beretta and Remington autos and some others, but not all.
Secondly, you will just have to clean the hulls that hit the ground if they are dirty. I’ve tried everything from simply a quick wipe with a rag to running hulls through the clothes washer. If you wash the hulls, don’t dry them in a hot dryer or some will separate the brass and plastic. Trust me on that one. They also make the most amazing racket spin-drying. Just shake the hulls in a basket with drain holes to get rid of the water and set them in a warm place until they are dry.
Washing hulls is a real pain and I don’t recommend it. If your wife catches you doing it, you will understand what I mean by real pain. Washing doesn’t seem to do anything for the burnt-on carbon, but it will handle the dust and grit from the ground.
One of my hull sources is from hulls raked up from a gravel-covered ground. They get dusty and often have a pebbles inside. I pour the hulls into an old plastic milk box, the kind that would hold a dozen half gallons. The box has a lattice-work construction with holes just small enough not to let 28s, 20s and 12s out. I’ve seen similar ones sold at stores sold for storage. I put the hulls in the box and shake like crazy. All the pebbles, sticks and twigs come out, so I only have to deal with dusty hulls, not dusty hulls with rocks in them.
I then tap each hull nose down on the bench and wipe the outside off with a towel moistened with “End Dust” (a household dusting spray) before they go in the reloader. It’s a pain in the neck. It’s time consuming, but I haven’t found a better way to deal with dusty hulls. Of course, you could just use the dusty hulls in your auto and tell yourself that the extra abrasive will slick the gun up over time. Well, you could.
Obviously, the best way to get clean “grounded” hulls is to get them from fields that are grass or macadam, not dirt or gravel. There are all sorts of deals you can make. If you have friends who shoot O/Us and don’t keep hulls, make an arrangement with them. I’ve even seen people at private clubs put “private” hull baskets in front of the shooting positions for those who wished to dispose of their hulls and then retrieve everything after the shooting is over.
You might also make a deal with the range management. Many ranges sell the once-fired hulls, but they almost always throw out the twice-fired ones. You might be able to make an arrangement to get those if they hulls are falling on clean ground. In order to get the once-fired, everything else has to be sorted out, so try to get the everything else before it is thrown away if it is clean enough.
I realize that I’ve gotten away from clean hulls to just getting hulls, but if one club has cleaner ground than another, it would make sense to source you hulls from the cleaner club even if you don’t shoot there often.
Gas gun owners who reload have to be a clever lot to get a source of good, clean hulls. There no easy answers that I know of, but we’ll see what the readers say. Maybe someone out there has the answer. I haven’t found it, that’s for sure.
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)