Hi From uk
some years ago I was bought 1000 whichester trap shells they have plastic wads and now I cannot find anywhere to use them as the trap clubs here only
allow fiber wads
My question is can I dissmantle them and change the wads to fiber then re assemble them as I cannot think of any thing else to do
being in the UK I cannot believe the shooting know how and gear you can get
I think it is great
Regards to all
Wow, that's a strange predicament. Is there no place at all where you can fire those shells? Strange you can guy ammo which cannot be used, did you buy them before the law change?
Before I go into shot-shell disassembly, some other options to try.
Are there any dealers who will take them in as trade? Because this is not going to be a fun job.
Okay, so here's the uphill battle you face.
If the shell is something other than a Winchester AA hull, then the crimp is fused/melted shut, and disassembly of the shell will ruin the hull.
If the shell has a Winchester AA hull, then you insert something like a long center punch into the center of the crimp, and pry the end of the hull open, but here's the problem. You'll need some sort of mandrel to stretch the hull all the way open and remove all of the crimp or you'll never get the wad out of there.
And that brings us to the next hurdle, getting the wad out. Wads are pressed in with anywhere from 20-50lbs of pressure so the wad is not going to just fall out. What's more, wads are slightly oversized so they're not even easy to pull out. So to get them out, you'll probably end up destroying the wad in the process. Something like a small screw extractor with a handle on the end, or there's this other tool that I saw once (never did determine what it was for). But it looked like a screwdriver except when you got to the end, instead of having a Phillips head, it turned into what looked like a sheet metal/wood screw. You could use such a thing to screw into the wad, and then just pull it out.
So that's how you can get it all apart. Now you have some other real issues.
1 - You can't just substitute a fiber wad straight across for a plastic wad, doing so will greatly affect pressure. In most cases pressure will be reduced because the wad will most likely be smaller with less bearing surface, but know that in some cases pressure could spike upward. Shotgun shell loads are specific recipes and it's generally a bad idea to deviate from the recipe. So you'd want to essentially change the recipe to something that will work. But there are problems with that, which leads us to issue #2
2 - Winchester (or any other manufacturer) doesn't tell what their load is, or which powder is used. Manufacturers often will use powders that are not available to you and I. And if by chance they did use a common off the shelf powder, you won't know that it is, nor will you be able to identify the powder in the shell just by looking at it. And guessing is just asking for trouble.
3 - Fiber wads and plastic wads are as different as night and day. Plastic wads tend to reduce pressures (if all else is equal), and fiber wads tend to push pressures upward (as a rough rule of thumb, it can be the other way around depending on the load). Moving from a plastic wad to a very thick fiber wad will raise pressures. Moving from a plastic wad to a thin fiber wad will greatly lower pressure. So you can see, if you're not an experienced shotshell loader, there's no way to tell.
4 - Trap loads tend to be at or close to maximum pressure to begin with, so a single component swap could put you over the edge.
5 - So finding a load in a load book is going to be difficult and the only way to pull it off is by experimenting, and that experimenting can be dangerous.
So I'm pointing out the problems so you can see that to convert your shells to a fiber wad is a very difficult and potentially hazardous endeavor.
I would just cut my losses (that sucks, I know) and buy new ammo. If you can, see if you can find anyone who will buy them from you, or find a place where they'll allow you to shoot them.
So a couple other ideas for recouping your money
If you disassemble the rounds without doing any damage, you can sell the components (or use them if you're an experienced reloader).
If the hulls are in good shape, you can sell them as factory primed hulls
You can put the plastic wads on Ebay and someone in the US will buy them. Just need to figure out which hull it is, and that's easy enough. You already know the manufacturer is Winchester, so just compare it to photos in a load book and you can nail it down.
The shot can be sold and the powder can be sold.
There are a lot of people who will buy a powder of unknown make. For a handloader with advanced skills, it's not hard to experiment to figure out what powder it is, or close to which powder it is; I've done that from time to time when I got a smoking deal on an unknown powder.
So you can recoup some of your losses, but doing what you originally wanted to do is just not worth the trouble.
Best of luck to you sir.