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Thread: Slug Size vs Speed

  1. #21
    I agree, big slugs have their problems, but lethality is not one. The "boiler room" on a deer is a good 16" across on a mature deer in MN, but with big shoulder bones, and ribs, small bullets can deflect if its not threaded in behind the shoulder. A shotgun slug, regardless, will punch through anything on a deer. They are not much tougher than a person, and the military uses the tiny 5.56 to good effect.

  2. #22
    I just got done ordering the 770 grain slug. I was contemplating some of the other designs, but will start with this one, as others have tried it before. If anyone is curious, Accurate has all kinds of designs for shotgun slugs, even full bore slugs in the 500 grain range. I like 770, its a nice square slug. .73" diameter, .79" long. They also have essentially the same design, in 700 and 800 grain versions, and probably others as well. I also emailed JT molds about a .735" mold. On top of that, I have a .715" mold on its way to try as well. That 870 slug gun I put together is a smooth bore with fixed IC choke. I'm not keen on trying a .735" ball in that, but a patched .715" might work.

  3. #23
    A though occurred, that there are no sizing dies for .730". Are you guys shooting those big slugs as cast?

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Blood Trail's Avatar
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    Mine throws a .732 I believe.


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  5. #25
    I guess that is about ideal. My USH bore is right about .731" in the lands. When I bought the mold, for tolerance, I chose +.002-.000, so even if its exactly .730, it should cast a little bigger. Are most guys using a relatively soft lead or hard cast?

  6. #26
    Boolit Master Blood Trail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    I guess that is about ideal. My USH bore is right about .731" in the lands. When I bought the mold, for tolerance, I chose +.002-.000, so even if its exactly .730, it should cast a little bigger. Are most guys using a relatively soft lead or hard cast?
    Ideally, you want to use slightly harder than pure lead. or maybe WW. Don't want it to be too hard or you'll increase sidewall pressure. It should be able to swaged down the barrel.


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  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    If the barrel is perfectly cylindrical from throat to muzzle it will be as fully swaged as possible by the time it has traveled its own length. This occurs at the thickest and strongest part of the barrel. Sidewall pressure will not be increasing as with a cylindrical smooth bore sidewall pressure should never be higher than it is at max chamber pressure. Even if the barrel has a very slight taper barrel pressure decreases very rapidly as the projectile travels down the barrel. Considering shotguns operate at less than 14,000 peak (breech) pressures, compared to 22,000 of a .22 rim fire, by the time it reaches mid length it should be very low.

  8. #28
    I began the mods for my Ultra slug hunter. I ditched the 3-9x rifle scope I had on it (too little eye relief), and put it on a rifle a while back. I have decided on the Leupold 1-4x, as the near 1x is very nice so often. 4x is a little light for 200 yard target shooting, but should work well enough. That scope should be here today. Before that, I have work to do. I really like the trigger on this gun. Its probably 3.5-4 pounds and very crisp. A little more over travel than I would like, but its not a big enough deal for me to worry about it. The gun was already on the heavy side at 8.5 pounds, but I'm going to add more. I am replacing the steel rod in the stock for either lead shot, or if I can, I'll cast a lead rod. In the fore end, there is a lot of wood to work with. I chiseled out channels about 1/2" deep, and after sanding and clear coat, I'll silicone lead shot in. I think its very important to keep the gun as muzzle heavy as possible. I can deal with recoil, but getting hit in the cheek, or worse scope-eye, just plain sucks. I have even been considering putting a bipod on it for even more muzzle weight, but I think this should do well. I pulled the scope base off and found a little rust. After I touch up the bluing, I want to bed the scope base with JB weld just to help out a little more. There are only 3 screws in the base, and while the scope I am going to use is about as light as they come, The screws are only in the rear half of the base. The entire front portion is unsupported. While I am at it, I am taking the trigger entirely apart for cleaning. I will see how the scope fits, but one problem with the single shots is the scope has to be mounted high to clear the hammer. I got scope rings that should give me perfect cheek weld (Warne low rings), but I may have to modify the hammer. If I do, I will cut the hammer off to clear, then drill and tap it for a threaded hammer spur.



  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Better get wheels! I take a shooting stick to the woods but that will be a bench or blind gun at that weight.
    "My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
    Leonard Ravenhill

  10. #30
    I carry a handgun if I want to be mobile. Even then, I'll be lucky to hit 10 pounds with this gun. I've carried heavier guns a long ways.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    You can cast the lead directly in the fore end to give maximum weight. Wait till the surface of the lead has solidified and then pour water over it to cool it down. For the lead rod in the stock, wrap several layers of paper round the steel rod, place it vertical in a bucket and fill up with dry sand around it. Careful remove the steel rod - and you have a paper-lined cavity ready for pouring molten lead in. The paper will smolder, but you will end up with a lead copy of the steel rod.
    Cap'n Morgan

  12. #32
    Genius! Pouring lead right in the fore end will eliminate a bunch of problems. I was afraid over time the recoil might squish the lead shot and make it rattle. This way its more durable and heavier.

    I got the leupold 1-4x scope in, and it fits a lot nicer than I hoped. The eye relief is very generous both ways. I want to put the scope as far forward as I can. I don't think I'll have to do anything crazy with the hammer. It looks like I can just file off the very tip, and continue to use the hammer spur I was.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    A shotgun slug that misses will go a lot farther than 1/4 mile. A 12 gauge RB has a BC equal to a .22 LR rim fire and it has a higher initial velocity which should give it at least a 1 1/4--1 1/2 mile range.

  14. #34
    Shotgun slugs are certainly not the super safe alternative they are made to be. I'm in a shotgun slug (no buckshot) only zone for deer, but I don't believe for one second they aren't dangerous every bit as far as a rifle. Fired up in the air, sure a rifle bullet will travel many more miles, but a 150 grain rifle bullet vs a 500+ grain slug ricochet, I don't know. I've seen studies that show both ways. Just be sure there is something between you to stop a bullet and problem solved.

    I'm on the home stretch for my USH overhaul. I have not added lead to the stock yet, I've been having some scope mount issues. For some reason the scope base is smaller than the standard weaver. I always use Warne scope rings, which work on both picatinny and weaver bases. For some reason mine is too small for the Warne rings. I guess I'll just have to buy different rings. To clear the scope, I filed the hammer extension so to will fit farther down on the hammer. I then filed the hammer flush with the extension. This gave me quite a bit of clearance to the scope objective. I would bet it would clear almost any scope you would put on a slug gun. I bedded the scope base with JB weld, just to help out the front half which is not drilled and tapped for a 4th screw like it should be. That went painlessly. I also completely disassembled the trigger, firing pin, etc. I didn't modify anything, just a clean and lube. The thing is kind of a pain to get back together. I'll see about getting lead in the stocks tomorrow, then it's just a matter of getting the scope on the gun. Hopefully I will get my slug molds in the next week or two. Accurate molds says 4 weeks, so probably mid May for the 770 grain slug. I haven't heard anything from JT molds with my round ball. I've got plenty of slugs in the meantime. I'm still going to try to get those sabot's from slug R us to work. I also have quite a few LBC slug left, as well as about 40 lightfield slugs I didn't even know I had.

    I'm new to bullet casting, so I don't have a great supply of lead yet. Wheel weights are not an option, any tire place within 20 miles says no. The one guy that said I could have them said they were nearly all zinc and steel now. Instead I'm going mostly off of roto metals and range scrap. My range says we can't dig out the berms to collect lead, but anytime I go after a rain, I just grab the stuff off the surface. I don't see any harm in that.

    Anyway, with these 770 grain slugs, here is the plan so far.

    Range lead+tin, hardness somewhere between 12-15 BHN (hopefully a diameter of .732-.733). I plan on pan lubing with my homemade lube I made for blackpowder. It should work, its a mix of beeswax, Crisco, and lanolin. My only other option is some Lyman orange magic I bought for my upcoming project for 327 federal "keith" bullets. Then I'll be loading them in Fiocchi cases which show pressure signs in my ultra slug hunter. I like to keep things simple, so I'll start with an X12X gas seal and a few fiber wads. Bluedot is the powder I am going to focus most on, but Longshot has always been one of the most accurate slug powders for me. I just think its a little out of its range with a slug this big. Steel powder should also work well. It looks like IMR blue is a new powder, probably a copy of bluedot, that should do well. Hodgdon has data for it at velocity's right up there with Longshot and bluedot. I normally prefer Hodgdon/IMR powders, however, I can't be alone in thinking that Bluedot is the single most wonderful smelling powder out there, both in the can, and fired.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 04-28-2017 at 02:09 AM.

  15. #35
    Interestingly, the same day I last posted, the JT roundball mold came in the mail. It looks great, as expected. I will definitely order again if I need another round ball mold. Saturday my Accurate slug mold came. All I can say is WOW. The attention to detail is spot on. No burrs, edges are chamfered, mold aligns perfectly. Accurate molds are worth the money 100%, I'm glad I decided to buy another mold from them last week.

    I am still in the process of finishing my ultra slug hunter, but maybe I'll get to shoot some slugs in two weeks. I will try my best to get out and finally fill my stocks with lead. It should only take less than an hour, I just keep getting side tracked. The scope is being a pain, or the base specifically. For some reason, its just a hair too small for the scope rings to bite on. Instead of buying different rings like a sane person, I am buying another scope base. I am a big fan of Warne products, so I bought their picatinny base for H&R ultra's. That way I can guarantee it will mount to the Warne maxima rings.

  16. #36
    I did finally fill my stock with lead. The bar for the rear came out ok, but I might have overdone the front. I pulled it out, and will try again. The Warne scope base came, and I got it on. It sits further to the rear, and is shorter overall which centers the 3 screws much better. On top of that, it is made of steel. It seems like a good improvement over the original, and if nothing else, fits the contour of the barrel better. I still bedded it, because why not? I finally got the scope on firmly, and wouldn't you know, the gun magically won't fit together. For some reason, the barrel will not latch onto the lug. I can try and close the action as hard as I can, but the gun will not latch. I screwed something up somewhere. I did not take that part out when I took the trigger apart, so I'm not sure what changed.

    On the slug front, I tried and failed badly to cast some 770 grain slugs. I'll try again some other day with new found knowledge. I want to do some in pure lead, and some in "recycled lead" which is about BHN 12-14, very close to electrotype. I'd really like to just get a range report up instead of this gibberish.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master

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    Well, I dunno... I really like the smell of IMR4227 both in the can and fired. No complaints about Blue Dot but I do like IMR4227!

    What sort of Blue Dot powder charges are you considering for the 770 gr. slugs? I've used Blue Dot with 800 or 800+ grs. slug but I'm not sure if I have the load data now. I tend to be a bit messy with things I don't pursue and the heavy slugs were something I tried but for a variety of reasons did not pursue any further than preliminary testing. I'd have to do some digging to see if I kept notes on that.

    You are not the only one that wants to get a range report up! I've been trying to get organized to get shooting for some time but life keeps putting up road blocks. Almost there now though. I've got dozens of slugs to load and try out and several hundred .303 boolits all gas checked and sized waiting to be loaded. Got to get a range day in shortly.

    Longbow

  18. #38
    Boolit Master Blood Trail's Avatar
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    I believe I ran 30 grs of BD with the 770's.


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  19. #39
    Looking at load data for 1 7/8 oz shot, I would think I can safely get up to 36 grains of Bluedot. I'll go up .5 grains at a time, and while it goes without saying that this is dangerous, I'll be as safe as I can. Shotguns do not have reliable pressure signs, but my USH leaves a dent on full pressure loads. I'll use that sign as a max, if they shells do not eject, I've gone way too far. I will also be shooting over a chronograph.

  20. #40
    Got some good slugs casted up, about 25, and will do another 25 in pure lead for testing. STEEL powder has me concerned a bit for these slugs, but I'll try it since Blood Trail got his best groups with it. This is where Bluedot should really shine, and while STEEL has magnum lead data, there is a huge discrepancy. One source lists 1 3/4 oz shot with a max of 29.5 grains STEEL, another lists 875 grains worth of buckshot with a max of 49 grains STEEL! I can't really find any data for Longshot. These slugs are a little over the top for that powder. The stuff really pushes loads under 1 1/2oz, but nobody had data for more.

    I don't know how I didn't think of it before, but I am definitely going to try black powder as well, both Fg and FFg. I've shot 2 ounce loads with 120 grains of powder from my TK2000. The max for that gun is listed as a whopping 2 1/2 oz shot with 120 grains powder! I'd have to guess I'll run out of room in the case before I run over pressure. I'll have to see how much it takes up, I'd think the USH should be able to handle 150 grains, and at that amount, I may be able to load without wads.

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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