Claybusters Reds in Hodgon 2 3/4 Longshot mag loads


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We've used this recipe in the family for decades-

Hodgdon Longshot 28.0 grains with Win. 209 primers and WAA12R wads which produced 11,500 PSI at 1,260 fps.

It calls for 1 1/2 ounce lead but we were able to run it at 1 5/8 since the Win AA wads were good at crushing down but still holding form due to their plastic firmness. With the discontinuation of the WAA12R wads we've finally run out and are giving the Claybuster replacement version a try this year. However reading up on them, I see complaints from slug shooters that they don't hold up as well as the Win AA due to the plastic being more pliable even though it is the same thickness.

I'm wondering if we will get as reliable a load with the Claybusters if anyone has run this reload setup?
I have run Federal Gold Medal's - 27.2 Longshot / Win 209's with 1-1/2oz #5's with the Claybuster WAA12R. They seem to be quite reliable and run in the 1200fps range and run in the 9-10K PSI. I haven't chrono'd them but that is what Hodgdon calls out. I only go that heavy towards the end of the season when birds are jumping farther out. I also tighten up my choke at that time.

I have better results with 1-3/8oz in Federal Gold Medal shells with the FedS4 wad with 25.5 Longshot / Win 209's. Again in the 10K range at 1200fps. They pattern well from my Citori with both IC and Light modified chokes.

I have used AA, Remington STS, and Federal Gold Medals for heavy shot loads. The AA's don't seem to like to crimp well and give the crimp a bit of a pregnant bump. The STS's crimp pretty well. Better than the AA's. I think the Federals crimp the best with the heavier loads.


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We do end up with some very pregnant rounds as we push the load to nearly 1 5/8 oz. But this also required that the wad was compressed a bit in the 2 3/4 shell. The Longshot was a good product for this mix as it is a very compact ball. AA wads and single reloaded shells held up to these pressure and stresses. Second attempts at reloading AA shells ended up in a lot of splits so this takes some care and attention as this brought shell, wad, load and pressure to the extent of their design limits.

I think I got a few Claybuster wad rounds that we used with this recipe and there were splits and bulges at the base where they shouldn't have been. I think the Claybuster plastic is stiffer than the Win it replaced and that is causing the issues. Slug reloaders are say it is not standing up to the shearing forces like the Win. This lack of being pliable/stretching well may not be allowing it to crush as easy or evenly. We are really squeezing down on the lever with these and I think they are deforming different.

These are great rounds for 2 3/4 only stacked barrels (assuming you check on the pressure handling ratings) since they give you 3 inch loads and speeds in that size. Also very nice for pumps and autos that you get an extra shell vs using 3 inch but don't loose any pellet numbers or speed.

Last year I had the best shooting opportunity ruined by bad reloads. A 20 ft wide bushy rock pile in front of a mowed ditch and harvested field held a dozen roosters. They got up one and two at a time about 5 seconds are apart. My brother was bringing them down on the right like shooting trap and I was cursing and pounding on my ejector handle on the left as one bird after another did slow left to right flushes into the wind, 20 yards in front of me.

It will take me a long time to get over not trusting these reloads after that incident.
Pete -- Not trying to be the reloading nanny here but... I would be concerned about your addition to the payload of a published 1 1/2 oz load. Could you tell us where that 1 5/8 oz load is published?

Hodgdon does list the 12ga 2 3/4" 1 1/2 oz lead load you mentioned but doesn't list any loads for a 2 3/4" 1 5/8 oz lead load. And, the 1 1/2 oz load is already at SAAMI Max Average Pressure for 12ga 2 3/4" and 3" loads so increasing the payload may push it over those limits! Have you had that load pressure tested?

On the subject of fit, are you using the older WAA Compression-formed hulls or the newer WAA HS hulls? I believe the older WAACF hull has a bit more room inside.

Good luck.
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I do normally get a lot of skeptics and by the books comments so I appreciate that. It's not published with the 1 5/8 which is why we've been selective about the guns it goes in. I've never seen a breech pressure test but the chrono is often 1300 which matches 3 inch prairie storm at the same load characteristics so the pressure is likely to be in that range if you work the math backward from fps and load to pressure. Thousands have gone through a Charles Daly O/U 2 3/4 only and any 3 inch gun handles it well.

We get older style hulls, used once since the pressure is somewhat higher with the compressed power and extra 20 pellets. Newer hulls made the wad ride high, the crimp a problem and the shot pattern tighter since what lead we could get in there was all in the cup. The older hulls are also stiffer which is a good thing so the crimp holds tight over the bulge.

They do kick hard but throw a nice wide pattern with lots of pellets that hit hard at distances. They are indispensable on long shots for wily birds, follow up shots, windy days and late season. You also have to be disciplined on the close flushes and give them about 2 Mississippi.