Joined: 30 Nov 2011
I have a box of fired Western Expert paper hulls and wondering if they are reloadable with any of the usual plastic wads we all use. Also have 3 boxes of Western Super X papers, all different design boxes that I haven't fired yet
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Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Savage16 -- The Western X-Pert (low brass) paper hulls you have will have multi-piece inside basewads that are quite high -- i.e. they are low capacity hulls -- quite different from the modern papers made by Cheddite, et al. If you encounter them, paper Winchester Rangers will be the same inside as those paper Western X-Perts. Winchester/Western branded paper high brass hulls (SuperSpeed and Super-X respectively) are of same multi-piece inner basewad construction, but have lower insides -- i.e. higher capacity -- still not as high capacity as paper Cheddites.
Neither of those hulls will load the same as the very high capacity paper Cheddites and other paper hulls of recent European origin. Recent European paper hulls have the same capacity and basewads as plastic hulls from the same manufacturers. Those paper X-Perts will require the shortest plastic wads you can find, and even then it might require some fiddling. Whatever, the recipies for Cheddite papers do not apply. I'd load them with conventional card and filler wads; that way you can tailor the height just right to get good crimps. If you think you need an obturating plastic gas seal, buy some from Ballistic Products or Precision or wherever. If you think you really need a shot cup, I'll send you a bunch -- I have hundreds of Federal 16 gauge plastic shot cups. Just pay the postage and I'll get a bunch in one of those standard rate postal boxes. Apparently these were used in an era where Federal used card and filler wads, but wanted shot protection in premium loads. I have also made plastic protectors of Teflon sheet (from BP or Precision, but othe sheet sources you can cut yourself are cheaper, of course), or from heavy polyethylene sheet (5 to 10 mil), or, best of all, Mylar! Do not bother buying the little pre-cut Mylar strips from Ballistic Products or wherever -- they are never the right size anyway. Simply get some clear plastic file folders or overhead projector slides, and cut them to the size you need. Very easy.
Another thing to think about, which has been mentioned on this forum several times, is that the multiple piece paper basewads of Winchester/Western paper and early non-compression-formed hulls can come apart with age and use. I've never had much of a problem with that with well-kept once or twice fired hulls. Probably your hulls fit into that category at the moment. However, I have had the surprise of finding the basewad of one of those hulls in the barrel of my gun, so I check like crazy nowadays and don't push my luck with multiple reloadings of such hulls. I'm one of those fellows who can't resist reloading just about any shell, but I have to say I avoid it, and I'm super cautious about barrel checking after shooting any papers, and I'm not going to shoot reloaded old papers in guns that are not break action -- i.e. break action guns lend themselves to the checking of barrel obstruction so much easier than repeaters.
Joined: 01 Dec 2005
And further, Savage16 -- There are loads for those X-Perts in old Lyman books. Due to my current house collecting/modifying proclivities, I am temporarily unable to access my reloading stuff, so would anyone reading this that has the first two or three editions of the Lyman shotshell reloading books please chime in and send some reloading info to Savage16. Thanks.
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