All plastic Winchester shotgun shells


#1

The shells in the picture came from a full box of Winchester AA trap loads, marked on the end flap E-O-4012. The shells themselves have no headstamp, but have FQC AEP hand scratched on the heads. These were given to an ex-employee of Winchester sometime after U.S. Repeating Arms took over. He was advised that they were produced on an experimental basis only. Can anyone provide any information about these.


#2

I don’t know anything particular about them but they sure are exciting! Winchester was known to experiment with all-plastic hulls from time to time and everything I see supports your story so I’d say they are legit factory/shop experimentals. Sure would be a lovely addition to a shotshell collection! Thanks for posting them Guy.


#3

I’ll take a shot at dating the shells. Based on the Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp in the company name, the box that the shells are in was made prior to 1970. While the shotshell illustrated on the box (see the first picture below) shows a standard shell with a separate head, I have no reason to assume the box is not correct for the shells, as there is no load information on the end flap where it normally would be. That said, I believe the shells were made in the late 1960s to early 70s. There is also a lot number, also shown below.


#4

Hi Guy:
I believe these were made in the late 1960’s as well by the box…Is the FQC and AEP scratched on as if etched by hand?
I have heard (and this is only rumor) that this could mean "FQC: Failed Quality Control testing and the initials of who put on for the experimental shells. I have seen a box of aluminum ones with weak case spots (mess up in manufacturing) that had FQC stamped on the box. Maybe someone out there has proof of this?


#5

It’s FGC not FQC. FGC = “Franchised Gun Club” See IAA Journal 463 Page 33 and 468 page 31.


#6

It sure looks like a ‘Q’. The letters are slightly raised, and so consistent from one shell to the next that I would have to assume they were marked in the mold. I can’t seem to locate Journal 468; does it address these all-plastic shells?


#7

I have checked the references Chris pointed out and Journal 468 has some helpful information but the most enlightning thing I found from 463 is; “Since your editor doesn’t know a shotshell from a hole in the ground, does anyone have further info?”

Indeed, Marvin Briegel’s Gun Club box with the E-O-4012 on the top (#468) is identical to the identifier in Guy’s photo above but of course Guy’s box is not a Gun Club box. Marvin shows one shell that he states has the FGC etched at 12 0-clock on the head. From Guy’s photos it certainly looks to me to be FQC but an in-hand inspection would be nice. I don’t think there is any doubt that Guy’s shells were intended for the box because of the E-O-4012 marking but I don’t know why they are in the AA box unless it simply replaced the Gun Club boxes. A definition of E-O-4012 seems essential. In another Journal there is a piece on all-plastic hulls that shows a number of Winchester experimentals into this arena so I am not at all convinced these are not some attempt at competing with the ACTIV product.

I’m still looking.


#8

I have looked at all the shotshells in the box, and have to afree that the marking should be FGC, but on about two thirds of them, the ‘G’ is poorly formed and appears to be a ‘Q’, as on those heads that are shown in the picture above. These letters were definately scratched into the molds, and it appears that only two molds were used to produce the shells in the box, as the markings on all of the shells match either one or the other set of marks, if that makes sense.

While studying the head markings, I figured out why all of those in the picture match. The other set of marks is much lighter, so when I was selecting a few to photograph, naturally I selected those with the prominent marks that would more readily show up in the picture, without realizing that the other marks were slightly different.

Thanks Chris for pointing out the references, and Shotmeister for sharing the information in #468, which I still can’t find. Sounds like the electronic version of the Journal may have been a wiser choice for me.