Shotgun shell hulls for reloading

Its a fairly well excepted fact that Winchester AA hulls are the best for reloading, being able to be reloaded sometimes up to 20 times.
So the number one question lately that no one’s been asking me is " what’s the difference between traditional Winchester AA & the newer AA HS hulls"?
So to show the difference I have cut a couple.

Traditional AA hulls on the left, newer AA HS on the right
You can see the solid one piece construction of the original and the two part construction of the newer HS hulls, by many accounts the HS hulls can be reloaded as many times as the one piece hulls but I have not put that to the test yet so I can’t say for sure.

Head stamps of the two AA hulls with the right one showing the HS.

The two different hull are supposed to be interchangeable as far as reloading data is concerned. The ADI reloading manual groups the two hulls together and I have used the two with the same slug recipe without problems.

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There a basically 3 types of plastic shot shell hulls, the AA or tapered style, the ribbed “Chedite” style and the straight smooth walled hulls, like most Federal or Remington hulls. The three each have a wad designed specifically for them, although to a certain degree the AA wads and the Fed / Rem straight walled wads do cross over in some load data.
I only have experience loading AA & Chedite type hulls (mostly AA), the pic below shows how an AA wad fits properly.

This one shows a wad for a straight walled case not correctly fitting the same hull.

That wad seated correctly in a Chedite hull.

Chedite hulls cover most of your budget target and hunting brands as shown by these.


Being a rampant environmentalist hippy lefty with concerns about the ever increasing plastics finding their way into our ecological chains: are there non-plastic options for wads?

I’m not keen on the idea of spitting plastic wads everywhere and sure as hell don’t want to walk around looking for them! :smiley:

Yes, you can get fibre wads from
You will need over powder cards and fibre wads to go that route, you need to go one size larger than the gauge you’re loading, e.g. 11ga wads for loading 12ga shells.
You can cut your own wads with a wad punch, milk cartons / uht milk / chicken stock cartons work well for over powder cards. You can also stamp out and stack up cardboard box wads to build up and cushion your load column. It’s fairly tedious work but you can do it in front of the tv and it’s good recycling, I bribed the kidlet to do a bunch for me!

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Nice. Good to know, thanks.

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I have a bag of Chedite hulls and I am going to start cranking some slugs out on my Lee press. Also set for powder and primers (for now).

So the question is (and the only missing component) - do wads correspond to shot weight. For example, I will be casting and loading 7/8Oz Lee slugs (cast from Can I any wad that is suitable for this type of hull or do they need to be something specific? Both shape and some sort of rating/weight (bit I am asking about).


I have just been using whatever size wads I can find, a 3/4 oz slug fits in a 1 1/8th oz wad if you put a few cards under it, the cards are only really needed to bring the slug up to get a nice crimp

Just sharing a link @GUN-DMC sent me a while ago, need a place to store it :slight_smile:

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