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A while back I purchased a used Marlin Model 90 at my LGS for my first shotgun, as it was a superb deal compared to the price of new over/unders these days. I have been using it mostly for shooting clays a couple times a year. On my last ammo restocking purchase, I picked up 4 boxes of Estate 12 gauge Dove & Target load shells, as they were lower in price than Winchester.

On my latest outing, the Estate shells loaded just fine and fired perfectly without issues, but upon breaking open the action to eject, the ejector bar that pushes the shells out slightly for extraction was not pushing out the spent shells. I had to remove the barrels and tap both ends of the extractor bar out forcefully with a brass punch to free the spent shells. I tried a different box of Estate shells and the same thing happened.

I switched to a spare box of Winchester 12 gauge and they ejected flawlessly.

I am guessing that the brass part of the Estate shells expanded too much after firing and were binding in the chamber, preventing extraction? I am curious if anyone else has run into this issue.

FYI the shotgun has been cleaned meticulously after every outing and checked for functionality before shooting.
 

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I've shot 12 ga. Estate shells in Rem 870's, Rem 10, Rem 29, Springfield SxS, Parker SxS, Win model 50 and Rem model 11 with no extraction problems. Actually with no problems at all. None of these shotguns are over/under shotguns though. I'm sorry this probably doesn't help with your problem but I thought I'd let you know my experiences with Estate shells. Hopefully one of the gunsmithing experts will chime in with some real help.
 

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The 'head' on most all shotshells mfg'd these days is made from steel. Many are brass plated or nickel plated to avoid rust. But it's a cheaper alternative than the older days of using actual brass.

Usually there is no problem,,but every once in a while someone gets a batch of shotshells (and they seem to be that most any mfg'r has this problem) that the steel used to form the head of the shell isn't the correct temper.

That base side wall has to be able to both expand and then contract a bit after firing. The latter movement allows for easy extraction as the metal base has now loosened it grip on the chamber wall.
The same thing happens in a metallic cartridge rifle or pistol round. They expand and then slightly contract for easier extraction.
If the metal is too soft, they expand upon firing and stay there..now they are jammed against the chamber sidewall. In the shotgun shells instance it's that metal 'head' that is expanded and now hanging onto the side walls of the back end of the chamber.

Small differences in a chamber spec can also bring on the situation. If the chamber is a bit larger in that back area than perhaps in another gun of the same gauge,,the shell(s) that hang up in the one shotgun will seem to function fine in the slightly tighter chambered shotgun. They are not allowed to expand quite as much and as a result don't have to relax much either to extract easily.

If you try those offending Estates in another shotgun, they just might work fine. Chamber specs being a little tighter is usually the reason.

You might also try a vigorous scrubbing of the chamber itself in the Marlin. It may have a build up of fouling, plastic and who knows what from over the years.
A chamber brush or a borebrush with a piece of steel wool wrapped around it for a firm fit works well.
Use a solvent like lacquer thinner to remove plastic fouling (more likely to be in the bore but it can build up in the chambers as well).
Use this with the bbls off of the frame/stock. Any solvents like this or acetone, ect will remove stock finish easily. But they won't harm bluing.


Estates are loaded by Federal IIRC. Doesn't really matter.
Our gunclub sells them and many shooters use them. They are often on sale at local sporting goods big box stores.
Occasionally we do get complains of hard extraction with them. Another is the Winchester 20ga shell. This with people using O/U and some SxS shotguns.
Not a lot,,but once in a while.
Some reloaders will not re-load the Winchester 20ga hulls as they say even resizing them they still are hard to chamber at the head (metal portion) of the shell.
No complaints with other mfg's hulls.
Some reloaders report no problems at all of any kind.
The only thing different is everyone uses a different shotgun,,different chambers with ever so slightly different specs.
 

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Thanks! I will perform a vigorous scrubbing of the chambers on the Marlin for extra peace of mind. I will wrap some steel wool around the 12 gauge bore brush and give it a good number of rotations to clean out. I may have an opportunity to test it out this upcoming weekend, and I figure I would try the Estate shells again, since I still have 5 boxes sitting around. Just for a backup, I will pick up a couple boxes from other manufacturers as well.
 

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Nice seeing these are still out there being used as intended.

Have a very early Sears equivalent, it still needs to go out sometime.
 
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