Shot Shell Info Needed-Winchester 14 Gauge

Just acquired a shot shell I am not familiar with. HS: WINCHESTER MADE IN USA 14 GAUGE (gauge is spelled out not GA), OAL: 2 1/8, very thick rim (.085), shell is all aluminum with brass BC primer. Any and all info would be appreciated.


Rookie, it sounds like you have one of the experimental 14 Gauge shells (really, it’s a 20ga with different rim) that was made to go into a Model 58 Winchester shotgun specially chambered for it. The guns and shells were developed by Olin (then owner of Winchester) at a time when Olin owned large aluminum assetts and were looking for all sorts of ways to use the medal in the ammo and gun trade. These would be Circa 1960 and they never were available to the public. The guns were sold off a few years back and the shells surface regularly.

In this picture, on the far right, is an example from my collection. The shell next to it is an aluminum 20 gauge experimental.


Three nice looking shot-shells. I think I have seen some of the 14 ga. somewhere a long time ago but I didn’t realize they were anything special. The story of my life!

Neat idea to photograph inside a box. I’m always trying to find a way to get a good background for my photos and I never would have thought of that. I’m borrowing (stealing) your idea.


Nice collection Shotmeister. The one I have has no print on the case but probably falls in line with what your saying.


Help yourself Ray! A few days ago I figured out how to use a flash with the close-up feature on my camera and that helps a lot. My skills grow by leaps and bounds… at a turtle’s pace!

Rookie, it is common to see those shells without print on them, or so faint you can hardly see it. Rubbed off from wear I guess. In my experience the better the printing (clearer, brighter) the more you will pay for the shell.

Here’s another picture of the Western version, with box.



Interesting that your example of the “14 Ga.” aluminum Winchester shell has “GAUGE” spelled out.

Here are a couple more pics to add to Shotmeister’s:

Note that these two Western varieties are marked “No 14” shown with an actual 14 Gauge for scale. The box contains the more common type with over-shot card and rolled mouth crimp as seen on the left. Don’t recall seeing a Winchester version of this experimental before Shotmeister’s pic. That may be marked “GAUGE”?

Any chance you could post a picture of your example?


Nice 20 gauge aluminums! What is the example on the left? I haven’t seen that one before.


My example has the same headstamp as Rookie described. See the picture below, though it’s inverted. (The headstamps are shown this way to correspond with the upper photo.)

The shell on the far left of my picture is not a 20 ga but a 28 ga containing #6 lead shot. I bought this shell about 2 yrs ago from Dan Shuey who told me it was loaded in New Haven in 1955. It has a plain cardboard (paper) top wad (roll crimp) and the head only has a stamped B on it. The primer seems to be the same as those found in the aluminum 410 shells.


Nice! Thanks for showing that headstamp.

I didn’t notice the different diameter of the 28 Ga… That is a really nice shell! Great score there.


Dave E,

The 14 Gauge I have is the identical HS to the one on the far right in the last picture
Shotmeister posted. It is an NPE with no case print. Didnt realize there were so many varietes. I usually only collect all brass and roll crimp paper shot shells. The 14 gauge was in a lot of stuff I picked up and I always hold onto the oddities. Also in that lot was an orange, hard plastic, 12ga insert with a Remington Peters 410 in it. Any comments on it?



Check out this web site for the 12 Ga./.410 Adaptor: … dapte.html

Might not be exactly the same as yours but I imagine there are many similar products out there in plastic, aluminum or steel.


Aside from the certainty that 14 gauge shells existed, I have to wonder why any level of development was expended on that odd size at that late date? Why wouldn’t all aluminum shell development have been done on an established and on-the-market gauge?


They were actually 20 Ga. with an extra thick rim to prevent them from being used in standard 20 Ga. guns. You can see the difference in size of the more modern “14 Ga.” vs. an actual vintage 14 Ga. shell in the headstamp photo I posted above. Note that the box shown is an over-marked 20 Ga. box. The fit with all 25 is a bit tight likely due to the odd rim size. I assume the designation was a bit of deception employing a virtually obsolete gauge to avoid confusion as the experimentals would not be usable in regular 20 Ga. guns. I really don’t know what the result would be if one were to try chambering one in an actual 14 Ga. gun, but would guess it wouldn’t work. Other aluminum experimentals from Olin in that area are found in 28 Ga. as well as standard rimmed 20 Ga. like the beauties Shotmeister was nice enough to show and as well in 12 Ga. and .410 bore.

They certainly tried long and hard to develop a marketable all aluminum shotshell, but other than the specialized military loadings of .410 bore shells for Airforce survival guns, they seem to have only been tested (seemingly in large numbers!) in controlled settings such as the “Franchised Gun Club” venues.


I am speculating here but because of the ‘beefyness’ of the 14 ga rim could it be that anything close enough to standard 20 gauge rims, made of aluminum, would not survive extractor effects? I’m told by a former employee that Olin HQ directed the Winchester division to come up with new ways to use aluminum so all sorts of ideas were tested. Remember, the guns used to test the aluminum shells in question were Model 59’s which had aluminum receivers (and fiberglass wrapped barrels).

Perhaps we will never know the REAL reason unless someone comes across some documentation.

Would Winchester have tried aluminum-cased handgun cartridges at that time? They could have beaten CCI to the punch, but apparently did not.

Dennis, to some extent, and I don’t know how much, they did experiment with aluminum for handgun cartridges. I have a .45ACP headstamped WCC 71 that I bought 4 yrs ago at SLICS that was identified as an aluminum experimental. It’s case color is lighter than brass but not pure aluminum in color (the primer seems to be aluminum). John Moss identified the thing from 10 feet away!

At one time I thought I wanted to collect .45ACP’s so I have a few of them but I opted to go with shotgun shells instead. As I recall, I paid a something like $21 for it, which seemed a lot to me at the time so I can only assume they are not real common.

Thanks for all the info folks. The orange insert at the site you sent is the one I have. Glad to see the shot shell guys on the forum.