An interesting Peters shotshell


I recently got this box, partially filled, of Peters shotshells from an IAA member, to whom I am gratefully indebted!
This is a one piece box but the address shows the Kings Mill plant on the back of the box. That alone should put the box between 1935 and 1944 because of the Remington markings but since normal production ended when we entered the war, I believe this is no later than 1941. (opinions welcome)
Note the word SPREADER on the top lid.

This is the bottom of the box.

The paper hulls may have faded from their original color. Note that the top wad is also marked SPREADER.

Now the big question is; What makes this a Spreader load? Well, this I would think.

The shot in the bottom cup were mostly oxidized but the upper two compartment’s shot are bright and shinny! Obviously the manufacturer believed these wads would cause the shot charge to spread after it left the muzzle. I have no documentation to support the results of this idea but I know attempts to create spreader loads continued into the plastic wad era.



Very interesting shell there. I guess I never saw the guts of a “spreader” load as I always figured there was a divider in the shot charge along the axis of the shell rather than the multiple disks separating the shot column seen here. Thanks for expanding my limited knowledge of shotshell construction!



Peters was using a well established method going back to 1907. Here is a exert from my book covering Concentrators and Spreaders. Go to google and use “google patents” to find the patent drawing and description.

It was called the Christie Method of Loading Short Range Shot Shells

UMC Company’s new short range entry on the market in 1907 was titled “UMC SCATTER LOAD’ and was followed by “SHORT RANGE’ using the Christie design. The Christie design creates layers of shot separated by card wads. It was a simple adaptation of available materials and popular and effective and still used by hand loaders today. Lewis D. Christie of Bridgeport, Conn. is credited with the design which was used by UMC beginning about 1907 as a short range load. Western Cartridge Company later used this technique calling them “Thicket” loads.

Christie, as assignor to Union Metallic Cartridge Co., received patent no.
873.346 on December 10, 1907 for “A scatter load for shot cartridges comprising a shot charge divided into a plurality of sections separated by wads, top and bottom wads and a covering of light paper enclosing the charge and secured in place independently of the cartridge shell.” This technique reportedly solved the problem of slow loading each shot compartment of wad and shot. This patent of December 10, 1907 was adopted by UMC.

The paper wrapping evidently was dropped by Western and later by Peters it appears from you sectioned round. Spreaders came about after most shotguns were choked for long range shooting. Several methods and patents were tried to quickly open up the shot pattern. Dividing the shot columns with wads or a paper cross seemed to be most popular.


Here is a Remington “Scatter” load that uses the same wad dividers as seen in the Peters “Spreader” load. It’s plastic with a rolled crimp and a white unmaked card top wad. I think I got it in the late 1960’s. When did Remington discontinue these?



Paul–The RSL12 load was last listed in the 1981 catalog.

Top wads - little summary from IAA forum

“Spreader” and “Scatter” for Peters and Remington, “Thicket” for Western… Is “Brush” the Winchester version?

Do these have an axial (paper cross) divider?


Thank you very much for the interesting information. Great specialty!

I remember seeing somewhere that, in times past, skeet shooters used these loads for a particular station where a wide pattern at close range was an advantage. Neat they made it to the '80s.



United States Cartridge Co. used BUSH & yes Brush is Winchester.