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I’m a decent clays shooter. I won’t win any trap or clays tournaments, but I hold my own. Still, I can’t help but think that I’d be a better shooter today if I’d had something like Winchester’s AA TrAAcker shells back when I was learning to shoot a smoothbore. East Alton first released their new loads with the whirligig wads last year. If you’re not familiar, the wizards of Winchester have devised a wad that actually follows your shot string so you can see where you’re missing. That’s a great training aid and something that’s difficult for new shooters (and a lot of old ones) to figure out. Now Winchester has expanded the line to sporting clays loads in 12 and 20 gauge. The best part is, they’re relatively reasonably priced. At about $10.30, they’re only about $1.30 a box more than Winchester’s standard AA clays shells for the same 1 1/8 sporting loads. We hope to give these babies a tryout soon. Until then, here’s their press release . . .

EAST ALTON, Ill. (Feb. 18, 2014) — In 2014, Winchester® Ammunition will extend its AA® TrAAcker™ shotshell line into the popular sporting clays offerings of 12 and 20 gauge. This provides more options to consumers to assist shooters in identifying where and why they’re missing their targets. During this process, shooters and instructors are able to visibly see where they are missing with the AA TrAAcker technology, and can easily make adjustments to correct it.

Legendary innovation at Winchester Ammunition continues with the award winning AA® TrAAcker™, the first game and target load to feature a weighted wad that actually tracks with the shot string. This allows the shooter or an instructor to quickly determine where the shooter is missing – making it easy to adjust and hit flying targets shot after shot.

“A new shooter now can learn how to lead a clay target or game bird almost immediately – that’s the results you get with AA TrAAcker,” said Brett Flaugher, Winchester Ammunition vice president of marketing, sales and strategy. “Now we’ve made it more versatile by offering the AA TrAAcker in 20 gauge, not just 12 gauge. It continues to be a great training tool for shooters, hunters, and shooting instructors, especially when youth or beginning shooters are learning every aspect of the sport.”

The secret of AA TrAAcker is in the revolutionary wad. Loaded with 1 1/8 oz. of shot for 12 gauge and 7/8 oz. of shot for 20 gauge like a standard AA shotshell, the innovative wad design includes longer, notched petals, and captures a portion of shot, which stabilizes wad spin and ensures that the wad remains in the center of the shot cloud for optimum tracking. The AA TrAAcker load is available in two highly visible colors: orange, for overcast conditions or dark backdrop; and black for clear skies or light backdrops.

AA® TrAAcker™ specifications:

Symbol Condition Gauge Shell Legnth Shot Weight Shot Size Velocity
AASC127TO Overcast/Dark Backdrop 12 2¾” 1 1/8 oz. 1300
AASC127TB Clear Sky 12 2¾” 1 1/8 oz. 1300
AASC207TO Overcast/Dark Backdrop 20 2¾” 7/8 oz. 1300
AASC207TB Clear Sky 20 2 ¾ 7/8 oz. 7 ½ 1300

Since 1965, Winchester AA target loads have set the industry standard for performance on the range and in the field. Known for the legendary High Strength Hull, Winchester AA ammunition is a favorite of reloaders everywhere.

With a company heritage dating back to 1866, Winchester Ammunition was there for the taming of the American West, the Allied Forces’ victory in World War II and through the years, millions of fond memories made in the great outdoors and at the range.


Known as The American Legend™, Winchester is a global leader in sporting, law enforcement, military and personal defense ammunition production. Winchester continues to raise the bar with innovative products like Long Beard™ XR™ turkey and Defender® personal defense ammunition.

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  1. I would like to see a review as well. The comments on the MidwayUSA link supplied in the post has a lot mixed reviews and mostly bad.

    • Sorry this is a bit of a late response, but I’m putting it in here with the intent of hoping it will be helpful for future post viewers —
      I left a review of them on midwayusa. My main problem with them was you have to have someone watching from nearly directly behind the shooter, AND that person has to be able to get past the learning curve of looking for a wad screaming out into the sky. These traaker wads move a lot faster compared to what my limited experience of seeing other shoot and the wad hovering out there as it slows and falls. If you’re watching for a wad like that this one is way beyond where you’re looking. Think about even 1200 fps for 40 yards or so. That wad is going to be at least approaching 400yards per second (1200/3) when it exits the muzzle so in that first second it a lot further out than you’d expect since it does retain some of the shot weight… Just my thoughts… I’m excited they have released a 20 ga version. Hope to find some and try them out with wife and kids… If it’s really a training aid then that is more useful in my opinion. Final thought – don’t expect to see them yourself especially if you’re hunting. At least in my limited brain power mind – I can’t do both watch the dove and watch for the wad at the same time. Caused me to miss what should have been some pretty simple shots so I just scrapped it and figured it was better for the manual trap station. Hope that’s helpful.

      • (note: review was of the light black TrAAker (in Nov 2013 before they had the 20 ga version out.))

  2. I’ve used these last fall in the 12ga size.

    the tracker wad really rips and you typically can’t even pick it up until it’s out near the clay but it shows the shot trajectory really well. On a solid hit, it seems like the wad is blowing right through clay and it easily shows if you’re off.

    The wads travel *much* further – at a popular field you’ll see the “gravel pit” like area where a zillion wads have gone to die and these babies ballistically track all the way out to and past the tree line at my favorite field. The bulk of the wads are probably out 20 yards or so while these guys must fly an easy 60+ yards.

    They are obviously less aerodynamic than the shot itself but at typical clay distances, they seem to track the shot very well.

    Shotting several boxes of both the black and orange wads, I never saw a hit where the wad was significantly off (except for those little chippers where one pellet hits and the rest are just whiffs. Every solid hit looked like the wad was right there.

    They really are nice for working on lead (LEE-D not LEH-D).

    This is a quality product in my experience.

  3. I am a FAR better wing shot than a marksman. If it wasn’t for a 12 Ga. shooting skeet to get me started I probably wouldn’t be reading this site now….

    The price isn’t outrageous for something that could help a lot of people, but I wouldn’t be in the market. I can usually tell where my misses are and adjust accordingly without a visual…

    • I’m the exact oppostie…I can point shoot just about anything at any distance with iron sights (pistol or rifle), but for the life of can’t shoot skeet or trap very well!

      Something like this if very intriguing to me.

  4. I can definitely see where this would be useful if you’re having trouble with a particular presentation. But I can also see where it might become a problem if you start getting too focused on watching the wad and less focused on keeping your swing smooth.

  5. If you are going to make unconventional ammo, this is the domain to do it in. I don’t think I’d use them for myself, but if they aren’t too expensive I’d definitely buy some to get new people up to speed faster when I take them to shoot clay.

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