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Thread: DIY paper shot cup to replace plastic wad?

  1. #1

    DIY paper shot cup to replace plastic wad?

    Can one make 12 ga paper shot cups to replace plastic wads I am just wondering as since we have to use steel shot that I want to still protect my shotgun barrel but am wondering if their are pressure problems if paper does not compress would they have to be lubed or what ever or will a paper shot cup work just fine for a plastic wad replacement?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master leftiye's Avatar
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    I've used plastic (visquene) sheeting to make liners around special goose loads, but underneath the shot, I'd think that something like feltan Blue Streak wads or a pile of card wads could be used. I'd doubt that some kind of wet formed paper cup would do any better - even if it held together. Ballistic Pattern Drivers used the feltan wads over a plastic gas seal (inverted short heavy cup). There used to be an Alcan Flite max E shot cup for magnum amounts of shot. Check with Ballistic Pattern Drivers in Wyzatta Minnesota. I used to kill rabbits at 80 yards and more with these. Made about a 2" pattern at 15 -30 yards.
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    My concern with a paper cup would be the lack of cushion under the shot. That cushion on plastic wads is there for a very good reason! It's a part of the accuracy and pattern of shot, so you will likely need to replace it with a thick cork wad, and hope that does as well.
    Since plastic wads are readily available, why wouldn't you use plastic? Is this a muzzleloader shotgun?

  4. #4
    I would/could use a cushion wad of some kind under the paper shot cup thats not a problem, I just wanted to know if it would work or not with using paper for holding the shot together to protect the barrel from steel shot damage. I am planning on using BB size shot if paper cup is viable?
    it would just be a matter of winding paper around a right sized dowel a few times to create the shot cup I would assume it would be that easy to make..
    Last edited by Survival Bill; 12-10-2016 at 01:23 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by leftiye View Post
    I've used plastic (visquene) sheeting to make liners around special goose loads, but underneath the shot, I'd think that something like feltan Blue Streak wads or a pile of card wads could be used. I'd doubt that some kind of wet formed paper cup would do any better - even if it held together. Ballistic Pattern Drivers used the feltan wads over a plastic gas seal (inverted short heavy cup). There used to be an Alcan Flite max E shot cup for magnum amounts of shot. Check with Ballistic Pattern Drivers in Wyzatta Minnesota. I used to kill rabbits at 80 yards and more with these. Made about a 2" pattern at 15 -30 yards.
    I do intend on using some kind of wading under the shot cup.
    So would visquene be needed cuz it is more slick than using paper?

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Plastic sheathing wouldn't necessarily be needed, but might work well. Manila paper would seem to be fine too. I used it for that same purpose when loading copper plated #2s. You just roll it up (after determining length needed) inside the shell before adding the shot. In the case of the plastic - two layers thick.
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I believe that BPI sells teflon and mylar wraps for this purpose.

    Good company, good service, good people, who are incredibly dedicated to better shotgunning.

    http://www.ballisticproducts.com/Wraps-Inserts/departments/513/


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by leftiye View Post
    Plastic sheathing wouldn't necessarily be needed, but might work well. Manila paper would seem to be fine too. I used it for that same purpose when loading copper plated #2s. You just roll it up (after determining length needed) inside the shell before adding the shot. In the case of the plastic - two layers thick.
    OK so thats what I wanted to know as I want to protect the barrel of my shotgun when using steel type shot using standered loads sounds like I can give it a try with out blowing things up.. I am also using full brass shells and plastic wads are to small anyways. I have been using lead shot with no issues with just an over powder wad and over shot wad. and was just worried with steel shot that it would damage the barrel with out some kind of sidewall protection...

  9. #9
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    I think wrapping paper around something isn't the best answer. I'd want the paper to be a cup, so the bottom is closed. More like a coffee filter is in your coffee pot. I'd get someone to make me a bushing with a hole in it sized to the finished paper cup. Then turn a wooden dowel to fit inside it with clearance for the paper. Then the paper can be pushed into the bushing dampened, and cut off even with the top with a razor. Once formed, they could be set in a wooden buck to dry, and filed with shot before putting them in the shell.
    You would have to figure out what thickness paper worked best, and would hold up against the steel shot, so it wouldn't break through and wear out your barrel.

  10. #10
    yes paper wise I am thinking of using file folder paper as I have plenty around or just more wraps using printer paper but the hard part will be how to know its its actually working?

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't see paper cups maintaining shape until they leave that barrel. Would likely crumple and may interfere with pattern. I would stay with plastic wads for steel shot.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Shot cups can be formed on a mandrel cut a patch of paper the width required for hieght of cup and fold under. use angled ends on the patch as this makes for stronger joints and smoother fold over. Mark dowel for depth of shot cup desired and roll a dampened patch around it. twist the base under and fold lat against the dowels base. I would dampen the paper with lee sizing die wax and water 1 part wax and 3 parts water. This will help the paper roll tight and hold thru drying. It also helps to ake the fold over easier and sharper. A small radious on the dowel helps also. If the cups are holding shot to long 3,4 or 5 even cuts down the cup with a razor or exacto knife will help them release the shot charge. Go 2 wraps of typing paper 30*-45* ends so they just almost meet ( about .030 gap is good so paper lays flat with no ridge). This cup may unwrap similar to a paper patched bullet or may need the cuts. While paper may work the plastic cups or sheeting may give a better cushin as they are thicker and softer.

  13. #13
    thats excellent info country gent I look forward now to giving the paper cup a go now and see if everything works out.. I have paper patched bullets before so will make up a pattern to keep things consistent while testing.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Marlinman93 and country gent beat me to it ~ what they said about cups. I would use a heavy paper and at least two wraps with folded, rolled, twisted or whatever base to form a cup to hold the shot. That way there is no paper tube part way down your barrel with wad and shot long gone. That could be bad! A cup will ensure that the whole works leaves the bore.

    As for determining if it works, I would test with a shotgun you don't worry about and shoot a few rounds then examine the bore and choke carefully for and gouges, grooves, or whatever surface damage. Finding the remains of the paper cup will also be informative. If there are dimples with holes right through then you know they are not working well.

    Are you bent on using steel shot? Bismuth won't hurt the bore. It is expensive but for hunting not that many rounds are fired.

    Nonetheless I am betting you can make paper cups work. I'd suggest using mica or graphite as lube on the paper cups too. It may help and certainly won't hurt.

    Longbow

  15. #15
    I have an old single shot that I use for testing. I am pretty much stuck with steel shot ask for Bismuth in the gun shops here in BC Canada and they start looking at you strange as they tilt their head LOL.. I will test a different lube choices as well this will be a fun project for me.
    yes checking the paper cup will be very interesting if it does not end up as confetti..
    I am wondering now after reading that some are coating their bullets, could steel shot be coated as well and work? ah them gears in my head just never stop...

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Actually, I don't think it will crumple. The reason being that it is caught/positioned between the barrel and the shot, and the shot column won't compress (unless you raise pressures until the shot deforms into cubes heh heh). The shot will press into the paper and form dimples that will allow the shot to grip the paper or plastic.
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Interested to hear about results. I would lube the outside of the paper cup as paper is somewhat abrasive and therefore will have quite a bit of friction with even a smooth barrel.
    I have been theorizing about this myself for a while. I was thinking a payload wrapped in a paper tube, twisted closed at both ends, and slit vertically in a few places around the front to about ⅓ down.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Paper wont hurt the barrel or have too much friction. If it did then people loading paper patched bullets would be in big trouble! Don't lube the paper, or it will just build up burnt lube in the shotgun's bore. The paper or plastic cup has no place to go if it's inside the barrel, and supported by a wad. My biggest concern is still whether the paper will hold up against the shot after it's pushed up the barrel at 1300 fps. If you ever recover spent plastic wad cups you can see how much the shot imprints on those. I'd not make up very many to start, and then after firing a few I'd try to find them. Shouldn't be an issue, as paper is so light it wont go far after exiting the bore. If they show signs of penetrating the paper I'd stop shooting them.
    I still think simply buying plastic wads is the safest, and easiest answer to loading steel or lead shotshells.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayTech View Post
    Interested to hear about results. I would lube the outside of the paper cup as paper is somewhat abrasive and therefore will have quite a bit of friction with even a smooth barrel.
    I have been theorizing about this myself for a while. I was thinking a payload wrapped in a paper tube, twisted closed at both ends, and slit vertically in a few places around the front to about ⅓ down.
    At least two full length slits, three is better. This is so the sleeve will catch the air as the charge leaves the barrel, and disconnect without messing up the pattern.
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  20. #20
    I will try with and without slits and see what happens.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check