Winchester 12 Gauge Shotgun Shells Getting Jammed

Posted on 29 December 2011 by David Allred

Winchester Shotgun ShellsWhenever my brother and brother-in-laws get together, we always head out to the desert somewhere to shoot. This time, the target was clay pigeons, a few cans of Pepsi, an old pink recliner and some old bottles. The pink recliner and the old bottles were already provided, meaning, they were already there. We brought the clay pigeons, and as for the Pepsi, we had to choose between Pepsi and Mountain Dew… it was Pepsi! In my family, Mountain Dew is the nectar of the Gods! It would be a shame to waste it.

We came equipped with three shotguns, a BB gun for my daughter and a .22 revolver. My shotgun is a standard Remington 870, my brother was shooting a Winchester 1200 and my brother-in-law shoots a Mossberg 500. The Mossberg 500 came with a short and regular barrel, and with the shorter barrel, was much more effective on the pink recliner!

We blew through a box and a half of clay pigeons pretty quickly and had a great time. My niece even took a few shots with the Mossberg. The only issue we had was with the Winchester ammo. For Christmas, I received a brick of  Winchester 12 gauge shotgun shells from Walmart, and every other one would jam when trying to cock in a new round. The jamming was the worst in my Remington and not as bad with the Winchester 1200, but all three shotguns had issues with those shells.

We eventually made it through the entire brick and rid ourselves of those shells. Luckily, we had also purchased a few bricks of Federal shells, which were great. I’m not sure what the deal is but I’ve seen complaints around the web on forums about Winchester shells from Walmart. The Federal shells we had were also from Walmart. So I’m not so sure if this is a Walmart issue or a Winchester issue.

I’d like to hear from you. Have you had problems with the Winchester shotgun ammo from Walmart?

About the author

David Allred Author: David Allred is the creator of Besides shooting things and blowing stuff up, David is a full time Father and Husband, Internet Marketer and Home Based Business owner. David Allred on Google+

30 Comments For This Post

  1. Jim Says:


    If you are having issues with those rounds, save them for me, I will be in AZ in March and I will empty those BAD things for you.

  2. David Allred Says:

    No worries Jim, I still have a brick of Winchesters left. Not sure they’ll still be here in March though. Even with them getting jammed, I can still empty them real quick!

  3. Dave Says:

    I had a horror story with the Winchester 12 gauge target loads. At least 7 or 8 of the shells fell apart in my semi auto shotgun. Then the rest would fail to eject. So I put it in my h&r pump action and the ammo would get stuck when I would go to reload and would really have to fight to cock the gun again. Then I put it in my friends mossberg 500 and the same problem. So out of 50 shells I had about 40 defective rounds that wouldnt eject or were really tough to eject. Then there were the shells that fell apart inside my semi auto shotgun that required me to take a part the gun. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part was that it took 2 weeks to get someone at Winchester customer support on the phone and then they didn’t even want to help. And the asshole guy said that he never heard of such an issue. Which he was clearly lying because it’s all over the net. So long story short I sent them the defective ammo and had to fight with them to get back the deffective rounds that i had shot and they only gave me 100 extra rounds for the inconvenience definetly not worth the money and aggravation ive never had a problem with federal ammo which is supposed to be the cheap brand never going to buy winchester ammo again

  4. David Allred Says:

    Wow. The Winchester rounds I had were jamming, no matter the choice of shotgun…but they didn’t fall apart inside any of them. Winchester is having some issues and I hope they figure things out.

  5. Fish Says:

    Went out today with the mossberg 935 auto and every round of the winchester ammo got stuck and I had to manually eject them and on the 24th shell it stuck in my auto and took me 10 minutes to cock back the action. I think I’ll stick with federal not one fail from their shells! To say the least my trap shooting today was epically dissapointing.

  6. David Allred Says:

    Thanks for the feedback Fish. Sounds like there was more trouble shooting instead trap shooting! Federal shells seem to be the answer. Come on Winchester! Get your stuff together.

  7. Ross Says:

    Yes, myself and two friends with a total of four different guns jammed over 50% of the time with the Walmart Winchester bricks of 12 gauge. Best part is Walmart won’t take them back. Still waiting to hear from Winchester on this.

  8. Paul G Says:

    Same story. I bought two 100 round Winchester 12 gauge Target Load bricks. The cheap metal substituted for brass expands in the chamber, preventing ejection from both a Stoeger Uplander and Mossberg 500. You don’t expect this from Winchester WTF!!!

  9. Carole Valentine Says:

    They are horrid. My Weatherby SA-08 will jam every time with those things. They even stick in my Beretta O/U and I have to manually pull the them out. Almost everyone I know who has tried them has had a malfunction of some sort. Put a caliper on the “tin” head after firing and you will see that they swell up like a toad. Have sworn off Winchester completely because this has been going on for over a year and they apparently are denying it. No problem with Federal, Estate, B&P, Herters or any other shells I have used.

  10. John Mattson Says:

    ??? What does Winchester say. Do not use for home defense!!!

  11. David Allred Says:

    Or maybe “Use with single shot shotguns ONLY!”

  12. Todd Says:

    I’ve had the same problems, both in a mossberg 535 and a 835. About every other shell failed to eject properly. After hearing the stories about contacting Winchester, I don’t think I’ll waste my time. I’ll just buy Federal from now on, I’ve never had a problem with their ammo.

  13. Gabriel Santana Says:

    Shotgun shells jammed winchester 1300. Remington rounds didnt even make it into the chamber. Gonna have to slam the buttstock on the ground. Will try federal next time.

  14. Kenny Says:

    Wow, i just bought a stevens 320 and 3 bricks of ammo. I had a serious loading issue! Ejected fine but would half load or hang up when loading next round. I thought it was my cheap gun but after reading this i looked at my ammo. i have winchester double a trap loads. Guess i will go get some federal rounds next time!! Thanks guys!!!!!

  15. Wolverine Says:

    I have also tried the Winchester 12 Gauge Shells (00 Buck, 9 pellets)
    I tried these in a brand new Benelli 12 Supernova, the number of Failure
    to Feed was unbelievable, even by hand difficult to get into the chamber.
    I was worried that I had a problem with a brand new firearm, but I was
    really glad I found others with the same problems.
    Had no problems with Federal.

  16. stormin norm Says:

    I have also had problems with walmart/Winchester value pack shells.I thought it was the gun. A lot of ejection problems with Mossberg pump & some with 2 diff. semi autos. I tried Estate shells, worked great!

  17. Ken Says:

    More problem here as well. I have 2 semi (Tristar Raptor 12 and 20 gauge). I broke them in with Federal Target loads from Walmart and so far have got around 1000 rounds through the 12 gauge and 400 rounds through the 20 without any problem. I cleaned both guns after every 200 rounds or so. I have been sticking with Federal until last weekend when Walmart ran out of Federal and started putting Winchester Universal on their shelves. I have heard of the issue with Winchester Universal, but could not find Federal target load in any local store, so I had to go with Winchester Universal, 300 rounds of 12GA and 100 rounds of 20GA. And you can guess the result. My 12GA had 2-3 fail to eject every 10 rounds. The 20GA was a nightmare. It failed to eject every almost single round for the entire 100-round box, only 1-2 successful recycle. I would rather sit home than hitting the range with Winchester Universal next time.

  18. Michael Farr Says:

    I shot low brass Winchester ammo and they suck, will never buy them again because every other round kept getting stuck in the chamber on my Mossberg auto with it expanding, federal or Remington from now on, at first I thought it was the gun but after looking at the shell you could see it expanded

  19. james turner Says:

    Help!!! I have a Pardner 12 guage pump action and when I go to shoot it the pump jams and wont go back to eject the shell. It didn’t do it when I first bought it. The first shells I put through it went fine. Now it wont pump after the first shot. I have to keep pulling hard on it until it goes back. It acts like it is caught on something. Can someone tell me what I can do, or if it might be the shell?

  20. David Allred Says:

    Hi James, You might try using Federal shells instead of what you’re using. If you’re using Winchester, there have been a lot of people having issues with ejecting their ammo. If that doesn’t fix the issue, if you haven’t cleaned your gun in a while, give it a good cleaning…but I’m almost willing to bet that it’s the shells you’re putting through it.

  21. Boyd Colton Says:

    I have finally figured it out……the Winchester crap is just that. You lost me as a customer forever. I had 45% stick in the chamber of my Ithica 37 Featherlight.

  22. Steve Says:

    It is 2016 and we are still having issues with those Winchester shells. This passed weekend two Mossys were jamming with them. I’ve also had problems with my 870 before I stopped buying them at all. I’ve also had a few hard primers in both the Remmy and Mossy, so I knew it wasn’t a gun problem. We’ve switched to the federals with no further extraction problems. I expected more from a reputable company.

  23. David Allred Says:

    UPDATE: I recently contacted Winchester Ammunition regarding their shells and they’ve asked me to send them back for quality testing and will send a check for reimbursement. However, I don’t have any more of their shells. If you still have a box or partial box of shells that were jamming, let me know and I’ll send Winchester your details. They’ll send UPS to pick up the box of shells, no charge to you.

  24. Tommy Turner Says:

    I am having the same problem with the jamming my self. I have 3 box’s of the shells left.

  25. L A Says:

    Was at the range tonight shooting bird and buck though the Mossberg 930. Winchester 00buck wouldn’t chamber correctly. Kept getting stuck half way on autoload, and had to manually force it on every shell. They look a little swollen. Ejecting works fine however. But I’m nervous about having them around.

  26. Don Kimes Says:

    I have a mosberg 12 gauge will jam up you can let it cool down a few mintues and it will eject the shell out the gun has had about 200 rounds put in it all I can tell you the shells are Winchester 2/34 long number 6 loads from wallie world the gun will shoot any other brand just fine I will never buy a Winchester bullet again.

  27. Jarrod Says:

    Sooo glad to see everyone having the same issue with the winchester ammo. I’m a beginner and went out today to shoot some clays and made it through 4 shells of a brand new box i picked up from Walmart,and every shell after that jammed. I thought maybe i had done something wrong or not maintained my gun well enough and was getting worried until i read this. I had a box of federal shells last weekend and didn’t have a problem. Guess I’ll stick with those from now on. Should have known you get what you pay for,there was a reason those winchesters were so cheap.

  28. Tom Says:

    Old Winchester model 12 16 gauge. Bought a box of Win shells from Walmart just to shoot some clays. Shot fine but wouldn’t eject at all. Had to take gun apart to fix. Federal ammo worked fine. can’t use win ammo in a win gun? Seriously?

  29. Patrick Says:

    I had the ejection issue with my Mossberg 590 mariner. These things also used to jam in my Benelli Nova, and a friend’s Mossberg 500. I have not experienced any issues with the 100 packs of Federal. Buckshot and other high brass Winchester rounds I have tried cycled fine. Only Winchester Universal has given me problems. In all three of these pump guns they did the same thing; they got stuck in between the extractor arms.

  30. Frederick C Heinz Says:

    Going back 40 some years I had trouble with jam ups with my 12 Ga. pump shot gun. I noticed that the ammo I was using was low brass so I changed to high brass Super X . No more jamming problems. It’s inherent in pump shotgun’s as I recently acquired more pump shotguns. Same problem occurred.

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