Hulls For Reloading

Dear Technoid,

Would you explain the difference between compression-formed and Reifenhauser-type hulls and give a neophyte reloader criteria for selecting hulls for reloading. I’m shooting 12ga at sporting clays primarily but would be interested in small bore recommendations as well including 16ga.

Many thanks,


Dear X,

The Reifenhauser process makes the shotgun hull by basically attaching a plug to the end of an extruded tube to form a two piece hull. They are straight walled. Federal Gold Medal hulls are a good example of the type.

Compression formed hulls are molded from one piece of plastic with an inward taper at the bottom inside. The current Remington STS hulls are good examples.

Today, I believe that in 12 gauge the Remington STS or Nitro 27 hull is the best. New HS AA 28 gauge hull is good, but I like the Reminggton 28 a little better. The best 28s were the old AAs. The AA rules in .410. I have never seen much difference between the Winchester and Remington hulls in 20 gauge, but they are better than the Federals.

Be careful if you reload the same hull often. Look for the obvious loss of the crimp tabs and the less obvious, but equally important, vertical pressure split on the side of the hull above the brass. When it doubt, throw it out.

As to 16 gauge, I am afraid that I just don’t shoot that gauge enough to reload and so have no direct personal experience there.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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1 Response to Hulls For Reloading

  1. Roccaas says:

    Agree on Rem (if you can find them) for 12 gauge, including Gun Club/Clay&Field along with STS and Nitro 27.

    For 28 gauge, I have shifted from STS to Win HS; the Win hull crimps down to a slightly shorter overall length, very useful in loading the magazine of an autoloader or pump as the longer STS’s seems to often get a “skinning” from the mag tube mouth. Where length isn’t an issue, both work equally well (SxS, OU).

    Due to the shortage of primers (along with almost everything else in reloading), the availability of Euro/Cheddite primers has move me completely to Fiocchi 28 gauge hulls.

    Even at the current high prices for factory 12 gauge ($10 now vs $6 pre-pandemic); I can’t rationalize reloading 12 gauge when my limited and expensive powder and shot supply goes so much further in 28 gauge.


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