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Author Topic: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting  (Read 389 times)

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Offline IamJohninCT

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please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« on: April 12, 2018, 09:35:26 AM »

I am looking at getting back into trap shooting after taking a 20+ year break – and I need your help with ammo.  Years ago I don’t remember all the choices that there are today.  I used Winchester AA hulls and 700-X powder.  I figured I would go to a place like Hoffman’s and buy a case of 12ga Winchester AAs and be on my way.  Wrong. 

I want to buy a bunch of factory ammo (probably Winchester) to build a new hoard of hulls that I will eventually reload.  Well, I started looking around and there are a lot (too many) of choices out there for 12ga ammo.   Wow – things have sure changed over the years.  It looks like Winchester has a bunch of different AA choices, as well as Super-X.   

What do you guys use for trap ammo?   I am looking for ideas on both factory store-bought ammo as well as what are you using to reload (hulls, recipes, sources).  What should I look for and what should I avoid?

I feel like I am back in the beginner section since I haven’t had my BT-99 out since the mid-1990s.  Back in the 1980s and 1990s there used to be a spot in Stafford Springs called Precision Reloading that I used to get my components from.  They don’t seem to be in business anymore. 

Thank you in advance for helping me out with much-needed information and education.   



Online CTSixshot

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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 09:53:16 AM »
I don't reload shot shell, but based on my brother's word, if you are content with the typical loads available at WalMart for < $5.50 a box, it's not really worth it to bother reloading.
You'll have to acquire the shot shell manuals for hull and wad info. Ballistic Products, I think it's called, has a bunch of info too.
My brother has his preferences as to hulls, but he has reloaded the Estate, Win. Universal and other bargain hulls. They may not last as long as his other top picks, but assuming the hulls are properly ID'ed, they can be reused as a general rule. Crimp quality may be lesser quality on some of these, but even one or two reloads makes it worth the trouble, especially when reloading with "unavailable commercially" loads.
There are so many brands from so many countries. I know there are variations in primer fit too, but I'm not privy to all of that.

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« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 09:58:10 AM by CTSixshot »

Offline WaterRat

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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 12:53:19 PM »
If you're just getting back into it, I'd say go with what's decent but affordable: Federal Target Load (blue box) or  Federal Ultra Clay and Field, the Winchesters, Fiocchi makes great shotshells too from basic to premium. I don't shoot a lot of trap these days but I use the Federal for it and for 3-Gun as well. I refuse to buy any gun items from Wallyworld or Dicks anymore so Hoffmans is probably the best place locally. My friend recently did business with wholesalehunter.com for shells and had a very favorable report. Be sure to go with the  1 1/8oz shot not the 1oz or you're starting at a disadvantage in pellet count. I'm partial to Federal just because I grew up in Minnesota and had family that worked at the Federal plant. My Uncle Bud used to give my Dad a big garbage bag of once fired paper hulls every year or so that were then reloaded for trap. And, while I reloaded a ton of them, I have no idea as to what the recipe is, I just used the machine as it was setup ;)


Online SJK2

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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2018, 01:25:57 PM »
I still load & shoot AA winchester shells, #7 1/2 shot and red dot powder.........

Online jtf650

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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 01:33:44 PM »
25 years ago the Winchester compression formed AA was the gold standard for reloading hulls.  Today, not so much.  The AA was redesigned and is no longer a one-piece compression formed hull, and at least in 12 gauge the one-piece Remington STS or even the Gun Club hulls are generally considered preferable, at least by me. 

That said, unless you can buy components directly from a distributor with no retail markup, you will be hard pressed to save much money by reloading 12 gauge.  Any of the "promotional" loads- Fed Top Gun, Rios, Cabela's house brand, etc- should be available in #7.5 or 8, cost around $50-55 on sale per 10 box flat and will work just fine for recreational 16 yd trap.  I don't bother to save those hulls, especially since the Remington Gun Club hulls are usually available for the asking or maybe a little dumpster diving. 

If you're at all recoil sensitive, you may find the 1 oz loads to be more than adequate.  I know more is better, but not if you develop a flinch.  Anyway, good luck with your re-entry to trap. 

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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2018, 01:39:45 PM »
You can always buy generic Cheerios to save costs when loading 7/8 oz loads, too.

Offline richief

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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2018, 03:49:39 PM »
Remington and the old Win AA hulls are straight walled hulls and use the same components, nowadays the rem gunclubs and sts hulls are the popular choice to reload. And winnaa wads fit perfect or the clone wads by claybuster. Using the claybuster wads and without cheerios i can reload 3/4 oz. loads in 12ga gun clubs and get a perfect crimp. For skeet they are great but a handicap for trap.
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Offline IamJohninCT

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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 05:56:44 AM »
Thank you all for responding !   I appreciate the education.   I kinda thought I was old-fashioned by thinking Winchester AAs were the hot ticket for reloading and shooting trap.   

Sounds like I will keep the cover on my MEC press.   I'm gonna keep an eye on sales and start stock-piling factory ammo.  If reloading isn't really worth the effort, then I can shoot different brands instead of keeping with one hull type to make reloading simpler. 

Again - thank you!

Offline IamJohninCT

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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2018, 06:00:22 AM »
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You can always buy generic Cheerios to save costs when loading 7/8 oz loads, too.

I didn't realize Cheerios came out with a #7.5
Always appreciate your humor and advice !
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Re: please help - info on ammo for trap shooting
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2018, 08:28:04 AM »
THat's a real addition to the shot column in reduced loads. There are wads for this, but sometimes you simply add a cheerio to take up some space to make things right.