About paper shotgun shells

paper shotgun shellsBefore shotgun shells that were made from plastic were introduced in 1960, paper had been the most popular material for making shotgun shells. The reason why paper shotgun shells were so popular is because they were much cheaper and a lot easier to make than an all-brass shot gun shell.

The paper shells were manufactured using a paper tube that had been impregnated with wax to make them less permeable to moisture. The paper tube was fastened to a brass case head. A gunpowder charge would be placed inside the tube, followed by a wad column. Lead shots or a single lead slug would then be placed on top of the wad column. At the very top, there was an over shot card.

Original shells were roll crimped. This means that a cardboard disc was placed on top of the lead shots and a tool was used to crease the ends of the paper tube in order to seal the paper shell. These days, most paper shotgun cartridges use a folded crimp.


The paper shells were ideal for a number of activities, including:

– Squirrel or rabbit hunting

– Sport hunting

– Clay hunting and trap hunting

– Exhibition and speed shooting

– Cruise ships that offer trap shooting over water prefer paper hulls. This is because international agreements prohibit the dumping of plastics and metals in the ocean.


Paper hulls are made in smaller quantities these days. However, there are still very popular with some shooters. The following are some of the main reasons why a lot of people prefer to use paper shotgun cartridges.

1. They are associated with nostalgia. These hulls were very popular a long time ago, and most people use them in order to bring back the feel of an older shooting method.

2. They smell great when fired. Individuals who hunt and shoot for sport will admit that nothing smells as good as shooting a paper hull.

3. It is easier to load black powder in paper shells than in other types of shells.

4. The paper shells roll crimp much easier than plastic and brass. They are therefore easier to make.

5. It is much easier to clean a shotgun that had paper hulls. This is because plastic hulls may melt when hot, and this makes it more difficult to clean the shotgun.

6. They usually have a lot of power and are more accurate than other types of shells. This is the main reason why they are so popular with trap shooters.

7. They can be loaded and ejected easily, especially when the person is shooting rapidly.

8. The paper shotgun hulls have excellent patterns when shooting at longer ranges. This makes them more accurate.

9. Collectability There are some collectors who are very fond of paper hulls, and who may be willing to purchase them if they are still in good condition.

10. Environmental Impact One of the problems with most shooters is that they never pick up their shells after they are done shooting. If the shells are made from plastic, this is bad for the environment. However, this is not as much of a problem with paper shells, as they are bio-degradable and they will not affect the environment as much. Both types, plastic and paper, should be disposed of properly.


Paper shells are quite common these days, and a lot of people still prefer them over brass and plastic. The only problem is that they absorb moisture faster. However, for those who prefer them, these paper hulls will offer an excellent shooting experience.

More shells:
dummy shotgun shells
rubber shotgun shells
tungsten shotgun shells
black powder shotgun shells
bean bag  shells

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