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Finagler 6853 Life

20 gauge reloading

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So this weekend I'm playing with the 20 gauge reloader.  I've  been reloading these for years now.  For some reason, I look at the data from the powder makers and all of them reference 2 3/4" shells.  I look at the shells I'm loading and all of them are 2 1/2" shells.  Anyone have any idea what is up with this?  Even the MEC reloader seems like it was set up for 2 1/2".  Does it make a difference in the load or just the chamber length difference?  Thanks for your help.

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Are the shells you are loading marked 2 and 1/2 inch, or did you measure them?

 

If you measured them, did you do it before you loaded them or afterwards?

 

Are you aware that shells are measured after they've been fired, with the crimp fully open? Since a 20 gauge is 0.615" in diameter, the crimped portion is 0.3075".

 

So a loaded 20 gauge shell will be .308" shorter than a fired one.

 

A loaded 2¾" 20 gauge shell will be 2.442" long.

 

 

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I'm sure somebody must make them, but I don't think I've ever seen a factory 20g 2 1/2" shell.

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I measured them.  It says right on the yellow Win AA shells, 2 1/2".  Measures 2 1/2" before loading.  Had one Remington yellow shell that said 2 1/2 inches on it.  Measured 2 1/2 inches.  It is weird that all the load data books only have 2 3/4".  I have to do more looking.  Inquiring minds have to know.

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Ok, so I go to Winchester's web site and the only 20 gauge shell they offer is a 2 3/4" shell.  This is a mystery I now have to solve.  I may call Winchester direct.

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That is weird. I thought that none of the major ammo companies had loaded 2 and 1/2 inch shells since World War II.

 

And the "we must make all 20-gauge shells yellow, for safety's sake, so some moron doesn't accidentally stick them in a 12 gauge and then put a 12 behind it and blow themselves up" thing didn't come about until the late 60s.

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I will endeavor to persevere!  I'm going to take more measurements and pictures tonight.  I started a conversation with a technician at MEC so I should have an expert walking me through this.

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What a maroon. Alpo was right. I was reading the 2 1/2 as length. It was drams.

 

Don't mind me. Move along, nothing to see here but an embarrassed doofus. Move along.

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On 1/19/2020 at 12:35 PM, Alpo said:

Are you aware that shells are measured after they've been fired, with the crimp fully open? Since a 20 gauge is 0.615" in diameter, the crimped portion is 0.3075".

So a loaded 20 gauge shell will be .308" shorter than a fired one.

A loaded 2¾" 20 gauge shell will be 2.442" long.

 


Next time, I think you should strive for more accuracy... ;)

(Thanks for the useful info!)
 

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Normally I give that explanation with 12 gauge. 12 gauge is something like .723 or thereabouts in diameter. So I say, "A 12 gauge is 3/4" in diameter, whch makes the crimp folds 3/8". Thus a loaded 12 gauge is 2 3/8" long."

 

Roughing it with fractions. I've given that explanation so many times I know it by heart.

 

But I had to look up the diameter of a 20 gauge, and then do the math.  Since I had the numbers right in front of me, I used the correct numbers, instead of rounding.

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I normally use that explanation for telling why you can shoot a two and three-quarter inch shell in a two and a half inch chamber, why it hurts more to do that, and why it is hard on the gun.

 

Then I drew the picture. Because Confuse-us was right. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Long shotshell fired in short chamber.jpg

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