Remington's Premier STS Low Recoil
by: Tom Armbrust

Posted: 06/15/2008

Remington's R & D crew have come up with another winner, Introducing their new 12 GA Premier STS low recoil target load.   The order code of this load is STS 12 LR8 Lot BH26W510.   A few months ago I conducted case life tests on various target hulls checking velocity and pressure in a SAAMI test barrel as I went along.   All hulls were reloaded twelve different times.   To my surprise, the Remington Premier STS hulls looked darn near as good in the crimp area after the twelfth firing as the first with very few minor case splits at the mouth.   Ballistic uniformity in regards to velocity and pressure remained almost unchanged through the twelfth loading.   This most definitely proves the reloading durability of the new and improved Remington Premier STS hull for the cost conscious reloader.

Remington's 209 Premier shotshell primer has also undergone improvements by reducing the diameter of its flash hole for ballistic extreme variation reduction, regarding both velocity and pressure uniformity.   Ron Reiber, of the Hodgdon Powder Company, told me in recent ballistic tests at Hodgdon's lab the new improved Rem-209 STS Premier primer has showed a marked improvement regarding consistency in their tests.   Wallace Labisky conducted ballistic tests on the new Remington Premier 209 STS primer at Dak-tech Ballistics, 1323 Fourth Avenue, SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401-4928.   Phone Wallace at: 605-225-7906 for shotshell load development and Ballistic Research.   Wallace put together the following load:

Shell: 12 GA 2-3/4" Remington Premier Nitro 27
Primer: Remington 209 Premier and 209 STS Premier
Powder: 22.5 GR Alliant American Select
Wad: Remington Figure 8
Shot: 1 oz 8 lead West Coast Magnum

On a ten shot series using the Remington 209 Premier primer, velocity averaged 1351 FPS with an extreme variation of 55 FPS.   Pressure averaged 10330 LUP with an extreme variation of 2400 LUP.   Switching to the new Remington 209 Premier STS velocity increased to 1365 FPS with an extreme variation of 44 FPS.   This new primer decreased the velocity spread by 11 FPS.   Pressure increased to 11000 LUP with an extreme variation of 2100 LUP or a variation improvement of 300 LUP.

Back to the specs on the Remington Premier STS light for recoil load.   Powder charges on a five round sample averaged 15.84 GR with a variation of .04.   Color of the flake propellant was a grayish black.   Judging by the minimal charge weight of this powder it was a fast burn rate type with a high energy content.

Remington's wad was the Figure 8, weighing 37.4 GR with a variation of 0.5 GR.   The outside diameter of the wads over powder gas seal measured 0.694, depth of the gas seal's interior dome measured 0.050.   The Figure 8 mid section cushion measured 0.680 in height, with two circular supports measuring 0.305 in height.   Shotcup height measured 0.830 with four full length slits to the shotcup base.   Wad petals measured 0.025 at the shotcup base tapering to 0.015 at the top of the shotcup.   Overall wad length ran 1.625. Color of the Figure 8 wad was a very light green.

Shotcharges averaged 489.3 GR on the five round sample of Remington high Antimony 8 lead pellets, with a minimal variation of 11.7 GR or 12 pellets.   Shot count averaged 455 pellets.   Shot pellet quality was very good with almost no surface imperfections, showing a smooth polished pellet.

Crimp depth ran 0.045 with a well rounded appearance for positive feeding in semi auto shotguns.   The eight point crimps were very uniform in appearance and slightly dished.

All powder charge weights, shotcharges, and wad weights, were carried out on a Dillon D-Terminator Electronic scale available from Dillon Precision Products Inc. (8009 E. Dillon Way, Scottsdale, AZ, 85260, contact Mike Dillon at: 800-762-3845, fax: 480-998-2786). The Dillon Electronic scale is a very handy instrument saving valuable time for the reloader who has to weigh a number of different components very accurately, in a very short period of time.

This new Remington Premier STS loading lived up to its low recoil designation in my Remington 1100 trap gun as felt recoil is almost nil.   Lack of recoil sensation is achieved by the 2-1/2 dram equivalent velocity level of 1100 FPS printed on the box top, behind 1-1/8 oz of 8 shot.   Sixteen yard trap shooters and the first shot in doubles shooters should really welcome this very mild low recoil loading as well as skeet and the sporting clays gang.   The 16 yard targets simply disappeared in a ball of smoke, if I did my part with these loads.   Double shooters will have no problem staying in their gun for a quick second shot due to the lack of felt recoil.   This lower velocity concept pushing a full shot charge weight of 1-1/8 oz of shot makes more sense to this shooter versus a 1 oz shotcharge at a higher velocity of 1235 FPS.   In this way our choke constriction can be somewhat loosened up and we still have the advantage of an extra 1/8 oz shotcharge.   These 50 additional pellets of 8 shot help put a number of extra shot pellets into the annular ring of our pattern-just in case we don't center our target.   Just a slight bit more margin of error.   To this shooter I perceive slightly less felt recoil shooting a 1-1/8 oz shot load at 1100 FPS versus a 1 oz shot load at 1200 FPS.

Velocity and pressure tests were carried out in a 12 GA Krieger SAAMI test barrel 30 inches long, with a 0.726 bore and skeet choke, with 0.003 constriction.   Pressure was recorded by a PCB Piezotronics transducer Model 167A02 in PSI at one inch from the breech face.   Oehler's M-35 P chronograph was used to record velocities at 4 feet from the muzzle in conjunction with Oehler's Skyscreen III skyscreens.

Velocity averaged 1150 FPS on a five round test series with a velocity variation of 29 FPS.   This velocity level exceeds the 2-1/2 dram equivalent of 1100 FPS and puts this lot of ammo into the 2-3/4 dram 1145 FPS designation.   Pressure averaged 11320 PSI with an extreme variation of 800 PSI.

To better protect the electronics of the Skyscreen III eyes from the high noon day sun, a new and updated plastic box to house the electronic eye positioning them lower down in the box is now available, plus wider overhead orange light diffusors for superior shading.   This updated equipment is now available from Oehler Research Inc. (PO Box 9135, Austin, TX 78766, contact James at: 800-531-5125, fax: 512-327-6903).  

Pattern tests were carried out at 35 yards as this is a meaningful distance for the 16 yard shooter versus the traditional 40 yard distance.   First shot doubles shooters may even want to pattern their gun, choke, load, combination at 28 to 30 yards.   I chose a Briley 25 ML modified choke tube with .018 constriction and screwed it into my Remington 1100 trap gun.   This shotguns bore measures 0.728. Prior to the Briley choke tube installation my shot charge point of impact was about eight inches to the left of center.   This told me the original choke was not in alignment with the bore.   Shotcharge point of impact is very important to the trap shooter, as I can't stress this point enough.   So please take the extra time and effort required to properly check your trap gun's pattern to carefully determine its point of impact.   I use a standing rest to eliminate all human error.   Attach a one inch blaze orange or black rifle aiming dot to the center of a 48 inch square of Kraft white paper.   Then, taking careful aim with my front bead right on the dot, shoot at least three patterns at the same sheet of paper.   Then inscribe a thirty inch circle around the densest number of pellets.   Then measure the distance from the orange dot to the pattern's center, if it's off by more than a few inches possible stock or barrel alterations may be called for.

Briley had no problem correcting my point of impact problem by the meticulous installation of their 25 ML choke tube to be in perfect alignment with the shotgun bore.   Contact Briley Mfg., 1230 Lumpkin, Houston, TX 77043, phone: 800-331-5718, fax: 713-932-1043 for barrel or choke work.

Now back to pattern results at 35 yards using the Briley tube with 0.018 constriction or modified choke.   Patterns averaged 74.1 percent with 337 pellet hits in the 30 inch circle.   The 20 inch core contained 201 hits for 44.1 percent and the 5 inch annular ring contained 136.2 hits for 29.9 percent.   The 136 pellet hits in 5 inch annular ring is a help in the right direction, as the modified choke constriction is not concentrating an overkill situation of pellet hits into the center core of the pattern.   A fast doubles shooter may even be able to get away with a little less choke constriction say 0.015 for his first shot at 30 yards.   Many full and improved modified choked trap guns average only 100 to 110 pellet hits in the pattern's annular ring at 35 yards, with the 20 inch core smothered with shot pellets.

So by scientific pattern tests this shooter has found an excellent pattern combination existing between this load and choke combination at the distance he breaks 16 yard and first shot double clay targets.   Remember the name of the game is to find your right shooting style and gun and load combination that works for you.   If I have learned one very important lesson in clay target shooting it is: If you don't stay with your gun caused by lifting your head when tracking the target due to excessive recoil, your scores will suffer.   The very mild recoil of these new Remington Premier STS low recoil shells is just the ticket for the recoil sensitive shooter.   Try a box.   I think you will be pleased.


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