What am I doing wrong?

I've recently gotten back into shot shell reloading and I'm experiencing some issues with Winchester AA shells. When I pull the lever to seat the wad inside the shell the wad doesn't go all the way down... Its like it wants to push up about half way and when I drop the shot load into the cup I have shot almost at the rim of the shell. I can push the wad and shot down with my thumb and it'll stay down there and I can put a crimp on the shell, but if I push it down without shot in the cup it seems to just always pop back up... I don't have this problem Remington Gun Club, STS, or Nitro Gold shells, they seem to load perfectly fine. I also didn't experience this issue with the old AA shells a few years back... Is this a common problem with the new AA HS hulls or am I doing something wrong?

I use Alliant e3 and Unique powders.

My wads are Claybuster CB 1100-12, CB 0118, Down Range XL-1 (jammer), and Down Range XL 1 1/8

My reloader is a single stage MEC 600jr mark V.

I appreciate you guys takin' the time to read this, thanks guys.


Oh and I'm reloading 12 gauge shells**

Update 2:

Guys... I adjusted my wad pressure and it didn't work. I increased it in increments all the way to max wad pressure (which totally effed up the wad) and they still would pop up. I brought it back to my original setting then I called my friend and he brought over his Federal wads and Federal hulls and it worked fine. I mean this thing reloads Federal shells fine, and it reloads Remington shells fine... It has to be the new 2 piece Winchester HS hulls.

Update 3:

Hey Staap are your 600jr's the new Mark 5 model? I'm seriously stumped buddy... I mean I just squashed that wad in there and it still popped out. I only had a couple of them do it on the first reload, but it seems like 3 out of 4 are doing it on the 2nd reload. Think its a 1 time bad case of shells or something?

Update 4:

SM There's a huge difference in design. All the Remington shells are a single piece of molded plastic, the new AA shells have a 2 piece design with a white cup inside the bottom on the shell. I think the cup in the base is causing my problems... Its the only major difference I can find...



Update 5:

Staap... If I push on the wad with my finger before adding shot it'll just pop back up again. If I add shot I can push it down far enough to get a decent crimp. Like I said buddy I've reloaded 2 different types of Remington shells, 100 of the old style AA's and I've reloaded Federals and they didn't have this issue... I'm completely flabbergasted and annoyed. I believe I'll just stick with Remington shells from now on... Thanks so much for your help and for everyone else too, thanks guys.

4 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Best Answer

    First thing I would do is to set up the center station of the loader. Check and be certain all is correct.

    Very hard to determine exactly what you mean. Is the punch simply NOT reaching the bottom to press the wad against the powder ? Or is the wad being pulled back out from bottom by the seating punch ? Or is the wad being " squashed " and expanding back, while never having been pressed to the bottom ?

    I believe these issues can be fixed by getting you allen wrench, wrench and screw driver and resetting the center station. While you at it check your wad guide fingers. It is not very dificult to change for STS or AA hauls. Really very simple.

    I also load the Double A wads, OR windjammer wads, and have ALWAYS used AA hulls. Saving the STS for when my AAs are used up.

    Added : You got me ? I have 3 MEC 600 JRs setting here I use daily, and I do load AA hauls mainly. I load 12 ga - 20 - and 28. No problems whatsoever. Just loaded 500 12 ga. AAs for this weekend.

    Added 2 : Two of them are MK.5s. I am wondering if you may be compressing the air below the wad, and it is NOT venting it past the wad, so pops back up when the punch pressure is released. If you look at most plastic shotshell wads they have three grooves in the base wad portion. Hence are normally meant to allow blow by. I honestly have never had this problem. I load both the Red AAs, and the " Silver Bullets " as we call them. And I do use both Clay buster windjammers, and the true windjammers wads.

    What happens if you just shove the wad down with your little finger ? Does it pop back up then ? That should eliminate anything to do with the press and may point to compressing the air. Now for years I have watched the inside of AA hulls. Unlike some others once fired they get a roughness inside the case walls. This was a big difference from the old AAs and the more modern ones. Also leads to a short hulls life. Compare this to your STS and you will see what I mean. You are using the RED AAs right ? I have 55 gallon barrels of RED and Silver hull I have been working through.

    * A cool side note, I have shot with the man who patented the Plastic shotshell wad for many years, back in the early 60s I believe is when he sold the patent to Remington.

    If needed you can hit my email here. I have tried to duplicate this and can not so far. I can compact the wad column by pressing it too deep, and if allowed to set a moment it expands back. But, the base does NOT raise off the powder charge. Must be compressing air under the wad if it is popping back up after the punch is lifted. OR the wad is getting enough friction on the punch to pull the wad. If this could be the case try polishing the punch. Maybe even some auto wax polish to slicken it up.

    While I enjoy figuring out things, I know this is aggravating for you. Sorry.

    • Staap It
      Lv 7
      6 years agoReport

      Really sorry we could not get to the BOTTOM of this Mike. Hehe. I am stumped also. The STS are much better hulls, but you know this. I have so many AAs, that is what I am using up before starting my STS. And "Green Weenies " ( the old green STS Remington ) Green Weenies some of the best ever made.

  • SM
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    Mike, I haven't reloaded any AA cases in years, mainly I reload Federal game and Fiocchi for the matches I shoot. That your able to reload the Remington as Nitro without issues would make me want to look at the AA design. Two things I would do, first is I would take a AA case and a Remington case and cut them about 1.25 inches from the base and see if there is a visible difference in the inner base. If the AA has a rounded cup or possibly a higher inner base that could be the difference you see. The other thing you may try is to do a volume measure on the different cases. I know a lot of folks will do a water capacity test, but I've found that extra fine ground coffee works well for this. I will fill a case to the top, tap it a couple of times to "soft pack" the volume and top it off. Take a powder tray and zero the scale then dump the coffee onto the powder tray and get a total weight. Buy comparing the volume weight of the different cases you can see if there is a difference in total volume capacity; this may be the issue your seeing. Good luck and in the mean time I wouldn't load the AA till you see if there is a difference in design or volume.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    The first thing I would do would be to email MEC customer support and get their input. And check your wad seating pressure setting. The AA wads may require more pressure to seat well.

  • 6 years ago

    Just give MEC customer support a call. They are there to help you.

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