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Thread: Success with homemade - improvised 12-ga Slugs

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Success with homemade - improvised 12-ga Slugs

    In my search for a GOOD homemade slug, either using a factory mould or a home-built mould – I have experimented with a lot of different methods. Note – I simply replace bird-shot with a slug of same weight. I do not have access to powders and shot shells and wads or slugs (Firearms restricted Country.)

    I felt a SOLID slug would work well in a shot-cup fired out of a Mossberg 500A with rifled barrel.


    I cast a few using a modified Number 15 Socket Wrench –

    And got these:

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    I have now been able to test-fire them and got this result:
    Tests on wooden board targets from 43 yards (Measured) and a few from 35 yards stepped out.)

    My shotgun's sights got dislodged and were poorly set. Rear sight completely flew off at one time – luckily we found it. These led to many shots not hitting POA. POA was center of the target boards.

    My Laser bore-sight is bad. And I will try to see how I can get a new one, or improvise something from an old DVD player...

    Upper target attached to a tree on the farm. On the left pictured with reactive paper fixed, and right without it...
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    Lower target:
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    Range Visit Findings:
    While the Lyman 525 slugs fired also performed very well in the test: the Number 15 Socket Wrench slugs flew straight, rotated well by the rifling, and hit point-first on target with a type of “daisy-cutter” effect. No tumbling. Pictures below show the serrated “teeth” of these slugs as they cut NEAT shark-teeth serrated holes at 40+ yards...

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    Grouping achieved With the Lyman and Socket Wrench slugs, of 3 to 5 inches at 40+ yards was not bad as per MY own expectations and targets for a home-cast Slug, and performance was impressively consistent.

    Most initial shots went low-right and because we did not go to to the target check, we thought I was MISSING the boards completely... In reality – I had 37 hits on the boards out of about 42 shots fired... I completely forgot to use my binoculars, and even the drone I had with me.


    We even had the back-stop tree felled by slugs! So this showed that the slugs WERE hitting quite accurately (This was on LARGE family farmland with a far – distant Limestone cliff back-stop. No danger to anyone...)


    Fired wads seen (Unfortunately not recovered) were in good condition – Most had four petals intact, peeled back, but intact.


    Four Round Ball (.735”) slugs fired still had some “sticky” extraction and swollen primers as previously mentioned. Accuracy was abysmal- dropping up to 1 to 2 FEET of the center of grouping of other types of slugs. Maybe because I’m simply replacing bird-shot in shot-shells? Powder not strong enough to achieve good velocity? Maybe too ambitious for 42 – 45 yards?


    Well, I think I have my “SWEET-SPOT” for homemade/ improvised, SAFE (Weight-wise) slugs now!


    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Looks good, I'll have to remember the 15mm socket trick. What did you use to form the nose and base of the mold?

    Robert

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    For the Nose: a fabricated steel cap: which also serves as a sprue area for ease of cutting.

    For the Base - I modified a bolt to fit, and with contours to produce a rounded, contoured base...

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
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    Good work, sir!

    BB

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    how did you get the hollow base. can see how you did the top and thats brilliant but can not figure out what looks to be a hollow base on the slug

  6. #6
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    Whoah! Outstanding improvisation with what you had at hand! I just might have to try this sometime soon.




  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Many thanks BB, rancher1913 and JBinMN!

    Rancher1913: I improvised a 'pin' for the bottom: initially a slight hollow base, but the ones I fired, which had such good performance actually had a slightly protruding rounded bottom.Pin was improvised from grinding and filing the head of a round bolt.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    so you drop a bolt through the socket and it can be made into whatever base you want and then use it to push the slug out of the mold. will have to give this a try, thanks for posting this.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    I am amazed at what you accomplish with so little to work with. 3-5 inch groups at 40 yards will be quite effective.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  10. #10
    Boolit Master finstr's Avatar
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    Very good! I'm looking at my old sockets while wringing my hands...I can feel them trembling with fear....
    I'm the gun totin, meat eatin', BIBLE readin', redneck conservative your mother always warned you about.

    " Holes kill stuff. "

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Looking good Y-man! You have gone full circle and are back to your roots with the socket slugs. Those are pretty good results alright. That does make a nice looking slug too.

    Bad guys better beware! Or critters, or whatever those get shot at.

    Excellent work!

    Longbow

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks.
    Longbow - unlike my INITIAL socket slugs which were cast using Number 16 socket - and which were (more or less) bore-size, these 15 socket are meant to sit IN a shot-cup.

    They fit PERFECT in up to 5 various Bird-shot shot-cups I used...

    I am excited by this!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master 54bore's Avatar
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    Pretty darn cool! Good thinking!!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



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    That's pretty slick. Well done and thanks for sharing!
    Bulldogger

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    How tight is the fit? You can custom fit by paper patching if they are a bit loose. Those results aren't bad at all but a little tinkering might tighten the groups up even more. Since they are flying nose first and punching clean "gear" holes through the targets they must be stable so getting decent grip on rifling.

    I have to say that I am surprised that the bore size round balls didn't do better for you. However, if these socket slugs are doing the trick you have won the battle to find accuracy and that is a good thing.

    All this talk about slug shooting has got my juices flowing again. I have been away from it for a while now. Mostly life getting in the way issues. I have cast up a bunch of different slugs that are waiting to be reloaded now and hope to get back at it shortly, time and circumstances permitting.

    In the meantime I am happy to be seeing you making progress while I am on the sidelines. It is nice to read your posts and see you having success.

    Longbow

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    Fit is GOOD and tight - Took a mallet to pound it out of the bore inside Shot-cup.

    Round Balls seem to do well at up to 20 yards - after that: they seem to drop. You remember I am simply replacing Bird-shot with slugs: so maybe the charge is not enough to get/ achieve good velocity?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master finstr's Avatar
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    Y-man have you weighed these to find out what they weigh in grains? Just curious.
    I'm the gun totin, meat eatin', BIBLE readin', redneck conservative your mother always warned you about.

    " Holes kill stuff. "

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    That's fantastic. Well done.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Y-man, your ingenuity is always so encouraging!
    ____________
    "...the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.” -N.Postman

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    finstr:

    I definitely weighed and re-weighed, and re-worked the mould several times to arrive at about consistent slug weights cast at 30 to 32 GRAMS: which I can crudely convert to grains [Multiply by logical deduction by factor of 15] so we are looking at about 480 grains.

    [I know that the Lyman Sabot Slug is rated for 525 grains]

    I am CAREFULLY replacing 32 grams of bird-shot with 30 - 32 grams of slug. Inside shot-cup, roll-crimped.

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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