Well Worn Hulls

Dear Technoid,

You recently mentioned in one of your answers that it is really a false economy to reload a hull too many times. Pressures and velocities may be affected by loading more than a half dozen times or so. I would very much like if you would extrapolate on this issue.

I’ve been loading under the pretense that all is well until they “split” or die a different death. I was loading Remington Premiers until recently switching to the newer STS hull. I know I must have loaded MANY beyond a dozen times. I also use Winchester AA hulls for #7 1/2 & #9 shot (color coding you see) and find that while my MEC cranks them out nicer and smoother than the Remington premiers, they don’t last much more than a half a dozen times without splitting.

Please, feed me more TECHNO STUFF oh Great One! Show me the way!


Dear Terry,

Here is the deal on old hulls: As the hulls are used they get softer in the crimp area. The crimp area is not only important to hold in the shot, but it is also important in that it provides some resistance to opening and permits the powder to burn a bit before things get shoved out of the hull and the pressure builds up behind the wad. When the hull is badly worn, the crimp releases too early, before the powder has built up sufficient pressure (and properly burned), and full velocity may not be reached. Old hulls tend to produce lower and less consistent velocities than fresh ones.

You might not notice the difference at skeet distances, but when you want to reach out for the longer shots, ballistic uniformity takes on a more important place in the scheme of things.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

This entry was posted in Shotgun related. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Well Worn Hulls

  1. Mike says:

    I have seen data on worn hulls and it confirms lower velocity. I can sometimes hear the difference particularly with 410’s.


  2. Jim Garren says:

    Sounds good in theory, but I’d like to see some chrono/pressure test data to back it up, until then especially with ammo and components in short supply I’ll load them till crimps split or burn through.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.