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Cleaning shotshell hulls


Grizzly Dave

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As I took inventory of my shotshells last night I also noticed the large box of empty hulls that I've kept for when I finally get around to reloading shotshells. That made me wonder, do folks clean hulls before loading them? For black powder I'd think the answer is yes, but smokeless, I don't know.

 

Do you clean your smokeless powder shot shell hulls before reloading?

 

Grizz

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I personally do not 'clean' my hulls. I have been known to rummage around the garbage buckets at the unloading table grabbing every shell that looks usable, but when my hulls start to look bad, I throw 'em away and just grab another one to load.

 

I do, however, wipe all my shells down with a rag with some BP lube on them prior to boxing them. I have also heard of pards wiping down their shells with a rag with some Ballistol on it. For me, the wipe with the lube takes care of any dirt that may be on the shell as well as slicking the shell up a bit to a near factory shine.

 

Before I started wiping them down, I found that a shell might stick in my double every once an a while.

 

Since I started wiping them with a bit of lube, I have not had any problems...

 

YMMV

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For smokeless hulls, I wash only when there is caked on mud - otherwise, wipe the dusty ones and load 'em.

For BP hulls, soapy water, rinse until clear, dry well. Cause I'm trying to get four BP loads from a Rem STS, and have the hulls shuck easily. Don't need fouling on the ouside of the hulls to make them sticky.

 

Good luck, GJ

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No

 

Neither Black Power nor Smokeless. By the time they get dirty enough to worry about, they are all worn out anyway.

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I don't clean the plastic hulls and all I shoot is BP. I just look them over before I load them to see if they are loadable. Now my brass shot shell I clean just like regular brass

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I don't clean mine unless like others have said , when something is caked on.

 

Shooting tip, I wipe my loaded rounds down with"........lemon Pledge from J&J. Not only do they smell good, but it cleans the hull and puts a real light coat of wax on them.

 

Them babies fly out of my SXS when I remember to do it.

 

Ike

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Shooting tip, I wipe my loaded rounds down with"........lemon Pledge from J&J. Not only do they smell good, but it cleans the hull and puts a real light coat of wax on them.

 

I am going to have to try that! Might make my wife happy that I am bringing a nice lemon-fresh smell to the man cave! :) :)

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As I took inventory of my shotshells last night I also noticed the large box of empty hulls that I've kept for when I finally get around to reloading shotshells. That made me wonder, do folks clean hulls before loading them? For black powder I'd think the answer is yes, but smokeless, I don't know.

 

Do you clean your smokeless powder shot shell hulls before reloading?

 

Grizz

 

If they have something caked on I will rub it off with my fingers when reloading. When I am at the match every shotgun shell is wiped off with one of those yellow silicone rod and reel cloths. Sometimes you can find those for .25 apiece at a gun show or flea market. When I use the Nitro shells they look nice and shiny, like a brass shell :) . Never had any buildup in the shotgun chambers, still get a good grip when pulling them and they fall out of the gun easily.

 

Regards

 

:FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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One hull per match that requires removal by hand is one hull too many.

I try to make my reloads Black or Smokeless as near to new as possible and for an annual match only use once fired hulls.

 

 

Yep, that one hull made me about as mad as I could be couple of weekends ago. It was on the very first stage, got my brain all out of whack and ruined the entire match for me. (Yeah, I SHOULD be smart enough to forget it and move on. Talk to my wife about how smart I SHOULD be. :blush: )

 

Anyway, for that very reason I'm gonna start cleaning my hulls. From what I've been able to find, the folks who do this put their hulls in a mesh bag of some sort and throw the bag in either the dishwasher or clothes washer.

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With BP, I only load once and leave 'em in the basket. Gun Clubs are easy to come by around here and shuck great. Real BP gets the plastic pretty hot and leaves sear marks that help the shells stay in the chamber. I also carry a chamber brush and run it through a couple of times a match.

 

For for the wife's smokeless ammo, I load 'em 'til they start to split at the crimp. Never have cleaned any.

 

CR

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No

 

Neither Black Power nor Smokeless. By the time they get dirty enough to worry about, they are all worn out anyway.

+1

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The black powder shells are not dirty

Well, if that were true, I wouldn't get lots of particulate carbon from washing my shells after shooting either Goex or Diamondback powders. Have to disagree, and sometimes that fouling is even sticky to the touch. Not what I want to leave on my shells and stick back in the gun a couple of weeks later. So, they get a wash in a jar of soapy water, and thorough rinsing.

 

Good luck, GJ

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My Dad was a trap shooter, and he reloaded the hulls dozens of times. Kept reloading them till they split and would then throw 'em away.

 

I still have many hulls in my bucket that were Dad's. Some of them are decades old and God only knows how many times they have been reloaded.

 

Not one has ever been cleaned.

 

Dad and I both used Red Dot smokeless in them.

 

Never loaded black powder, but I do know one pard in the New England area who never reloads BP, as he says it melts the hulls. Don't know if that is true or not, but if you are reloading black, I guess inspecting the fired hulls is a good idea.

 

For brass hulls, I just drop 'em in the tumbler like my rifle and pistol stuff. :)

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As I took inventory of my shotshells last night I also noticed the large box of empty hulls that I've kept for when I finally get around to reloading shotshells. That made me wonder, do folks clean hulls before loading them? For black powder I'd think the answer is yes, but smokeless, I don't know.

 

Do you clean your smokeless powder shot shell hulls before reloading?

 

Grizz

 

My personal experience is that it's totally unnecessary. You will want to wipe off any dirt or sand from the outside of the hulls, but that is it.

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Howdy Again

 

To add to what HK said, I too shoot a lot of Trap. And I hang out with Trap shooters. We shoot tons more shotgun then most CAS shooters, during Trap season I can easily go through ten boxes a week, all through the spring and summer. I can assure you that trap shooters do not clean the hulls. We just pop them into the press and reload them. After a whole bunch of loadings, when they are getting really burnt, we just throw them away.

 

Yes, Trap and CAS are not the same. Trap guns have ejectors, CAS guns do not. And most of the time Trap shooters pop the empty right into our hands, then into our shell bag, they usually don't fall into mud puddles. Still, if you are using a high quality shell, like the Remington STS, they are so slippery they are not going to get stuck in your chambers, unless your chambers are dirty to begin with.

 

If there is dried mud caked on a hull and if it has salamanders living in it, then of course, wipe it off. Other wise, it is a waste of time.

 

In This Cowboy's Humble Opinion, of course.

 

Never loaded black powder, but I do know one pard in the New England area who never reloads BP, as he says it melts the hulls. Don't know if that is true or not, but if you are reloading black, I guess inspecting the fired hulls is a good idea.

 

HK, why are you passing on information about Black Powder from a guy who does not know what he is talking about? You do know somebody in New England who loads Black Powder in shotgun shells all the time. It does not melt the hulls. It tends to melt plastic wads, but that is a completely different story. When I reload hulls with Black Powder, I usually can get about three or four reloads out of them before they are too burnt up to be any good anymore. Not because they melted, because the crimps have gotten too crispy to hold a crimp well. But they do not melt.

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Driftwood, That is the very thing that I have never been able to figure out. We have several pards who have never fired a BP round down range but don't hesitate to give a answer or quote some one else who knows about as much as they do. See it but can't see the reason. I don't shoot Ruger revolvers as I use the USFA's so I will not answer a post on how do I change my hammers out on my Ruger.Funny world we live in.

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no

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I tried it once and discovered something - primers rust.

 

Washed 'em, dried 'em, and put them in my spent shotshell box. Went to reload them a few weeks ago, and the washed ones had corroded primers. The unwashed ones were fine. Keep in mind, they were stored in a finished attic, so it's not like they were in a damp & moldy basement.

 

Won't do that again. Just shoot 'em until the petals are too burnt to hold a crimp.

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no... but I do re-size them as the brass doesn't get sized in most loaders, even my PW. It looks like it gets re-sized, but if you get one of TL's sizing dies you'll discover pretty quickly why hulls hang up. (MEC re-sizer)

 

Otherwise, I do wipe them down as I put them in the boxes with silicone. That's when I find the burred ends, scratched hulls, split crimps. Those go in my 'clays' bag.

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I've reloaded 10's of thousands of shotshells foe skeet and trap and never washed one. Cut one in half lengthwise one time and see all of the places for water to hide, especially around the base wad. Additionally, most of the cheaper shells have paper base wads which would come apart if they got wet.

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