Miscellaneous Notes on Shotgun Shells

There are three major manufacturers of shotgun shells in the United States: Remington-Peters, Winchester-Western, and Federal.

Remington-Peters. All shotgun ammunition produced by Remington has plastic tubes and is loaded with flake powder. Birdshot and buckshot shells are closed with a "pie" crimp. Power-Piston® wads are used in virtually all birdshot shells. A one-piece Figure 8y plastic wad is used in some trap and skeet loadings. Filler is used in Magnum birdshot and buckshot shells.

Winchester-Western. All shotgun ammunition marketed by Winchester-Western has plastic tubes and is loaded with ball powder. Birdshot and buckshot shells are closed with a pie crimp. Virtually all birdshot shells have a cardboard over-the-powder cup wad, composite filler wads, and a plastic collar. Trap and skeet loads use a one piece plastic wad with an integral shot cup. Shells loaded with steel shot use a two piece plastic wad — a cup and disk. Some shells are loaded with copper-coated (Lubaloy®) shot. Filler is used in Magnum birdshot and buckshot shells.

Federal Ammunition. Virtually all shotgun ammunition manufactured by Federal uses plastic hulls. Federal shotgun shells use a wide variety of wad systems. The most common is the Triple-Plus wad. Some paper hull shells are manufactured for skeet and trap. These use a one-piece plastic wad. Federal hulls are color coded: red for 12 gauge, purple for 16 gauge, and yellow for 20 gauge. Plastic hulls loaded with birdshot are closed with an 8-piece pie-crimp. Paper shells are closed with a 6-piece pie crimp. Flake powder is used in all shells.

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