Shotgun Shell Reloading Data

By Chuck Hawks


Here are some selected reloads for shotguns. Most are target or upland bird loads and all are for LEAD SHOT ONLY. These loads are not for use with shot made of steel or any other substitute material. This article is not intended to be, or to replace, a reloading manual. It is merely a list of some reloads that I feel are well proven and useful.

I have listed the gauge, brand of case, weight of shot, wad, powder and primer, as well as the approximate muzzle velocity (MV) and maximum average pressure (in LUP or psi) for all loads. The reloads listed below are derived from the 3rd edition of Reloading for Shotgunners by Edward A Matunas, or other sources.

Plastic shotgun cases for target loads are supplied by Winchester (AA), Remington (Premier STS), Peters (Blue Magic), Federal (Gold Metal), Activ, Fiocchi, and others. Paper shells are still manufactured by Federal. Plastic target hulls from Federal, Remington/Peters, and Winchester can be identified by their eight star crimp. Cheaper hunting type cases usually use a 6-star crimp. I have reloaded only Winchester, Remington/Peters, and Federal compression formed plastic target cases. All loads listed below use one of these three cases.

The interior shape and volume of Winchester AA and Remington STS/Peters Blue Magic cases is similar. Federal cases have a different interior profile and require different wads. Loads developed for Winchester or Remington/Peters cases should not be used in Federal cases, and vice-versa.

The best reloads traditionally use hard shot for minimum deformation during firing. I usually use West Coast Shot, Inc. Premium Magnum Shot. This is lead drop shot alloyed with 5% antimony. Shot for most hunting loads contains 3% (or less) antimony and is not as hard.

The muzzle velocities (MV) for these reloads are based on the figures provided by the source used to develop the load. Individual guns will ordinarily give different velocities from the same load, so the figures quoted should be viewed as approximate.

All of the reloads listed below have proven to be safe in my guns, but they may not be safe in your shotgun. Shotguns vary, so before attempting to duplicate any of these loads please consult the major shotshell reloading manuals. If you are a shooter and a reloader, you must be a responsible adult, so I accept absolutely no responsibility for your actions.


12 GAUGE 2 3/4" Shells

Federal Gold Medal case, 1 1/4 ounces of shot, Federal 12S3 wad, 25.0 grains 800-X powder, Fed. 209 primer. MV 1220 fps; 8500 LUP.

Federal Gold Medal case, 1 1/8 ounces of shot, Federal 12S3 wad, 20.0 grains Red Dot powder, CCI 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 10,000 psi.

Federal Gold Medal case, 1 1/8 ounces of shot, Federal 12S3 wad, 17.5 grains Red Dot powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1145 fps; 9500 psi.

Federal Gold Medal case, 1 ounce of shot, Federal 12S0 wad, 19.0 grains Red Dot powder, CCI 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 7600 psi.

Remington Premier STS case, 1 1/8 ounces of shot, Win. WAA12 wad, 19.0 grains 700-X powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 11,000 LUP.

Remington Premier STS case, 1 ounce of shot, Win. WAA12F1 wad, 17.5 grains 700-X powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 8,500 LUP.

Remington Premier STS case, 1 ounce of shot, Win. WAA12F1 wad, 16.5 grains 700-X powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1145 fps; 9,000 LUP.

Winchester AA case, 1 1/8 ounces of shot, Win. WAA12 wad, 17.5 grains 700-X powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1145 fps; 8,000 LUP.

Winchester AA case, 1 ounce of shot, Win. WAA12F1 wad, 17.5 grains 700-X powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 8,500 LUP.

Winchester AA case, 1 ounce of shot, Win. WAA12F1 wad, 16.5 grains 700-X powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1145 fps; 9,000 LUP.


20 GAUGE 2 3/4" SHELLS

Winchester AA case, 7/8 ounce of shot, Win. WAA20 wad, 14.5 grains Green Dot powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 10,500 psi.

Winchester AA case, 7/8 ounce of shot, Win. WAA20 wad, 17.0 grains 800-X powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 10,000 psi.

Winchester AA case, 7/8 ounce of shot, Win. WAA20 wad, 14.0 grains Green Dot powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1155 fps; 10,500 psi.


28 GAUGE 2 3/4" SHELLS

Winchester AA case, 3/4 ounce of shot, Win. WAA28 wad, 14.0 grains 800-X powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 11,000 psi.

Winchester AA case, 3/4 ounce of shot, Win. WAA28 wad, 12.5 grains Green Dot powder, Win. 209 primer. MV 1200 fps; 12,000 psi.




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Copyright 2005 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.



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