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Thread: Making of a "garden gun"

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Making of a "garden gun"

    The first time I read about the Winchester model 36 I got the fever. What's not to love about a miniature shotgun?
    After a little more research I discovered that garden guns were a British thing. Seems they were pretty popular on the other side of the pond.
    Looking on Gun Broker I found various models that could be had for $150 to $800. The only thing stopping me from purchasing one, the ammo. These little guns shoot 9mm rimfire shotshells. It can still be had but the cost is steep. A box of 50 Fiocchi shells on Midway are $26 when they have them. Add on $10 for shipping and you're at almost $0.75 a shot. I could live with that if I could reload them but rimfire is not ideal. So the next question is what do I have that I can build one with? I have an old single shot 20 ga. If I only had some kind of adapter maybe I could make my own version of a miniature shotgun.
    So I bought a 20ga to 410/45 Colt adapter from ShortLane. The .410 worked but was not really a "garden gun".
    I tried making 45 Colt shot shells but the 20 ga. barrel seemed a little much from them. Not content I had to find a better solution. Then it hit me. I could blow out some 30/30 brass and that would be the ticket. I did a little measuring and came up with a reloadable shell for just a few cents each.
    I ordered a piece of drawn over mandrel .75" OD .188" wall tube for the chamber adapter and a 24" piece of drawn over mandrel .5' OD x .035 wall for the barrel.
    I was able to pull the specs. for the 20 ga cartridge and the 30/30 chamber from the SAAMI sight and in a couple of hours it was done. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	205011The chamber was bored straight walled with a 27/64 " and the head space set using a small boring bar in the lathe. I counter bored the 3" long adapter .5005" ID to a depth of .375" to except the barrel. Press fitted it by holding the barrel in one hand and driving the adapter in with a plastic dead blow hammer.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	205013Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	205012The tape in the photo was used to center the barrel in the bore until a proper bushing can be made.
    I decided to cut a 30/30 case at the beginning of the bottleneck for my first test load.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	205014Click image for larger version. 

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    I found I was able to get a 6 grain powder and 115 grain #9 shot load. Almost a perfect replication of the Fiocchi load.
    I was able to hit a soda can filled with water at 20 yards with complete penetration.
    Last edited by Steppapajon; 10-01-2017 at 09:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Nicely done.

    I found an old H&R .44 shotgun to serve the same function and load 1/3 oz. of shot in Starline 5 in 1 blank cases.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Excellent job, looks like it was lots of fun.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Remington and Winchester both made a "garden gun" that was set up for the 22 rimfire shot shells. these were basically a smooth bore 22 rifle. We had one at the farm and it was very handy in buildings for rats mice pidgeons and other small varmints, woodchucks and like sized would just shake the off. There used to be a .224 extended hand reamer in the area for converting the old single shots to this even.

    A .223 case cut down to the desired length would be close to the 9mm and be centerfire. But lack of the rim would limit it in some guns.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    The 9mm RF shot shell casings can be reloaded same as the kits for reloading the 22 LR's.
    A sizing die " IF " needed can be made out of a piece of steel with a hole of the proper size drilled in it and honed with 600 grit wet and dry sandpaper spun on a wooden dowel.
    You just pound the case into the die with a mallet and back out with a dowel.
    Wads can be cut from Cork gasket material, or cardboard.
    An over shot wad is just hot tip glued in place or glued in with carpenters glue.
    Repriming the case with the Prime All compound is easy but a little time consuming, but it is worth the effort for a gun you are not going the be shooting 100 rounds each weekend.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I use 444 Marlin brass loaded to shot in a H&R 410 single shot break open gun.
    Load 7 1/2 shot on top of a wad over the powder. Shot the same 444 Marlin shot shells in a S&W Govenor pistol. Have shot rattle snakes with the pistol.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Im SLIGHTLY befuddled..... hasn't anyone ever realized that the popular idea of using car radio antennas for the barrel and chamber of a 22 rimfire based zip gun,,,,, means that if you took out your "why did I buy this crappy single shot rimfire for 50$ because it was on sale" gun, and reamed the barrel out just enough to slide steel tubing of an equivalent thickness and diameter, youd be able to make your own smooth bore 22lr?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Interesting thread. My garden is kinda bigish, my garden gun is a Winchester M42 or Yildiz folder, both shoot 410 2 1/2 inch loads. We shoot lots of 410 so these are loaded on a mec 9000. Less than 10 minutes per 100, good cause we empty them about as fast!
    There's a Winchester 9mm bolt gun in the family, well be exploring the loading info above, thanks!
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Winchester made a 9mm rimfire shotshell Garden Gun introduced in I think, 1920; it was the Model 36.
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms *shall not be infringed*.

    "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
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    "While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."
    - Rev. Nicholas Collin, Fayetteville Gazette (N.C.), October 12, 1789

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, I think that is the one. In good shape. I have a 22 very much like it, sever generation predecessor to the 67. 1920 vintage, tiny bolt handle on both!
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  11. #11
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    I have a Stevens 101, which is chambered for the .44 shot cartridge. Very light. I made cartridges from .410 brass shotshells annealed then ran into a .44-40 sizing die and then trimmed to the length of .44-40 COAL. A .380 case of FFg with a .410 shotcup with petals cut down to end of case. Some shot to fill. An overshot wad cut from the backing of an old writing tablet. Fun little thing.

    BTW, I did extend the chamber on mine to the length of the .44 shot cartridge XL to get the same capacity as the original .44 shot cartridges which used a hollow wooden nose cap that made it the same length as .44-40 loaded with a lead slug.

    Annie Oakley used a Winchester 73 smoothbore with the shot cartridges for her flying targets. Probably was a lot gentler on the tent roof than slugs.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Steppa, that is clever!!! Well done, sir!! It is ALWAYS fun and interesting to see how folks come up with an idea to achieve a goal and even more so when it's well done.

    In times past a fella used to see a lot of the old Belgian garden guns at our local gun shows. Some were really cheap side by side, hammer, combination guns....and all loose as a goose. I never have seen one that was on face.

    We're far enough out in the boonies my "garden gun" is my Thieme & Schlegelmilch drilling, 16 X 16 over 9.3 X 75R Nimrod with a 22LR einstecklauf in the right shotgun barrel....or my Jeffrey Rook Rifle.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    Outpost 75- I have never run across a .44 shotgun. How long is the brass on that?
    lar45- It was a fun build. I think planning and building are the best part.
    rking22- a m42 is a nice gun, garden or otherwise that's for sure. I almost bought one a few years ago and really wish I had now.
    LAGS-Good info to have on reloading the 9mm shotshells. Just seems like a pain compared to reloading centerfire.
    Sharps4590- Thank you. It fits the bill as intended.
    The nice thing is now I have choice. Full on 20ga if needed. a 410 in the Shortlane adapter and I can drop the adapter I made in when a little guy will get the job done. Best part is the gun is never altered.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    To All,

    I can see no reason for doing anything more difficult than finding a .410 single barrel shotgun for your "garden gun" & loading it with 2" or 2.5" brass-case shotshells, which are downright CHEAP to reload & are DEADLY on snakes/rats/cottontails/similar-sized critters out to 15-20M, when loaded with birdshot.
    (At the last big SA gun-show, I saw a guy with a number of plastic bags of empty .410 metal cases at 10 cents each. = I suspect that 100 metal .410 cases would last the average reloader for any number of years.)

    Btw, I paid 20.oo for my Stevens .410 single barrel (with 18.5" barrel) at a VA pawn shop about 15 years ago. = Shoots FINE with all .410 shells & has "cleaned the rats out of the corncrib" & harvested many a TX swamp-bunny for the pot, without alarming my "down the road neighbor".

    Addenda: A hollow-base .40 Minie-ball (homemade for a muzzleloading rifle) loaded in a .410 case works FINE for skunks/coyotes/etc. out to 40-50M.
    (The Minie flies "true" out to that range for the same exact reason that a thrown dart seldom/never hits the target "feathers first".)

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 10-02-2017 at 09:20 PM. Reason: add

  15. #15
    Boolit Master woodbutcher's Avatar
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    Hi minuteshaver.The pushrod from any 6 or V8 engine really works good.A friend found out the hard way even after I warned him that a radio antenna won`t work.Not strong enough.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Charlie View Post
    I have a Stevens 101, which is chambered for the .44 shot cartridge. Very light. I made cartridges from .410 brass shotshells annealed then ran into a .44-40 sizing die and then trimmed to the length of .44-40 COAL. A .380 case of FFg with a .410 shotcup with petals cut down to end of case. Some shot to fill. An overshot wad cut from the backing of an old writing tablet. Fun little thing.

    BTW, I did extend the chamber on mine to the length of the .44 shot cartridge XL to get the same capacity as the original .44 shot cartridges which used a hollow wooden nose cap that made it the same length as .44-40 loaded with a lead slug.

    Annie Oakley used a Winchester 73 smoothbore with the shot cartridges for her flying targets. Probably was a lot gentler on the tent roof than slugs.
    That is essentially what I do, but my dip measure is a .38 Special case...
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    @ steppapaion
    Reloading or should I say Repriming the rimfire cases is not as much of a hassle as it sounds.
    And for the mostpart, the cases , If fired in the same gun, do not need to be resized, so that is out of the equasion.
    But being able to keep shooting a gun that it is Hard to get, or to expensive to buy, or for some reason, they totally stop making the ammo for it , is Priceless
    So if you have a 9mm RF, and you dont want to Totally retire it, then widen your abilities.
    Invest your time in doing something that keeps things working for you.
    With the ability to reload Rimfires, I bet you can get some smokin deals on others unwanted guns.
    IMO a .410 is too much for a garden gun, and a .22 Shotgun is too little.
    But something in the .38 or 9mm is just about right.
    I play with all kinds of projects like this, like making 2" shotshells for my .410 out of old berdan .303 brass cases converted to boxer primers.
    If you want Fast Easy and always available, then stay with the standard calibers.
    But if you take pride in the things you can do with your hands and mind, by all means invest some time in playing around with other options.
    Things are not always as hard,or time consuming as you may think, once you really look into it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    LAGS,

    Fwiw, I'm too lazy to make 2-inch (or 2.5") .410 shells when it's relatively easy to buy empty cases & reload them. - I applaud your skill in converting .303 British cases to .410.
    (An old Army buddy has a single-barrel shotgun in 11mm/55 gauge that he's making shells for out of rifle cases (I forget which one) & his small-gauge shells work well in his old River City Arms shotgun.)
    Note: I have no idea which European company actually made the little shotgun.

    Fwiw, a 2" .410 shotshell isn't a lot different in power from a .44-40 shot-shell, as loaded for the Marble's Game-Getter & other "small gauge shotguns" of that era.

    just my opinions, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 10-03-2017 at 12:53 AM. Reason: typos/spelling

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    The whole basis for making the .410's out of old .303's was not to have more .410 casings, ( I have plenty of them and a MEC loader in that caliber ).
    It was to practice my skills on forming other casings out of Junk, and make them work in something else ,Like maybe some caliber that I may come across some day, that the ammo is obsolite.
    A lot of old European calibers were Rimmed Casings way back in the day.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master BigEyeBob's Avatar
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    Friend of mine is a collector of shotguns he has just ac
    quired a 9mm shotgun and also a 6mm shotgun , unsure of the maker of thr 6mm version but the 9mm is a winchester.Both are rimfires.Interesting that Fiocchi still make cartridges for the 9mm.

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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