Titan ReloadingBallisti-CastLee PrecisionStainLess Steel Media
Inline FabricationGraf & SonsRotoMetals2
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Single round ball 12ga load?

  1. #1

    Single round ball 12ga load?

    Has anyone tried loading a single round ball in a 12ga shell or anything else for that matter? What size ball did you use? How did you wad it? Was it accurate? It seems with a smooth bore shotgun barrel a single round ball would be cheaper, easier, and just as accurate as a rifled slug.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    3,855
    I have loaded 0.662", 0.690" and 0.735" for smoothbore. The smaller balls were loaded into shotcups, the 0.735" was obviously naked and shot through cylinder bore.

    0.662" is exactly 1 oz. so handy but a little undersize for most shotcups. 0.678" to 0.685" have been mentioned by others as good for shotcup. I find my 0.690" is too big and shears petals.

    Accuracy at 50 yards for me and my guns runs 4" to 6" with 0.662" in a shotcup and 0.735" naked.

    The load I have been using based on the Piledriver loading info (and buckshot and shot loads for equal weight) is 38 grs. of Blue dot. This is well below listed max for the weight but the 0.735" RB produces rather stout recoil with this load possibly due to the swaging to bore diameter.

    There are a number of threads regarding slugs and round balls in this forum if you do a search.

    SluggerDoug posted a very good write up on rifled Foster slugs, missionary5155 has posted on round balls, so have I and others.

    Yes they work and accuracy can be pretty good.

    Longbow

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floyd, VA
    Posts
    7,909
    Longbow did a great job on providing all the info. I've seen a RB from a 12 gauge totally destroy a Master brand padlock and a high security door knob in a steel door.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Back in ILLinois till Nov
    Posts
    5,119
    Quote Originally Posted by hazeleyedwolf View Post
    Has anyone tried loading a single round ball in a 12ga shell or anything else for that matter? What size ball did you use? How did you wad it? Was it accurate? It seems with a smooth bore shotgun barrel a single round ball would be cheaper, easier, and just as accurate as a rifled slug.
    Greetings ! Welcome to 12 guage RB shooting ! Longbow mentioned the other threads and they are worth the time to read.
    My Mossberg cylinder bore (20 inch) does well with the .685.... I shoot them off and on and expect about 4 inches at 30 yards sitting. My specially modified Fox B double will easily beat that. Down here in Peru these RBīs are placed in whatever Winchester GAME load shell is available here... I just dump the shot and drop in a ball spur up. Fold closed and it is ready. Other brands of shot shells may have a thicker shot cup so you would need to do some PRE-FIRING tests to be sure it will SAFeLY pass down your barrel.
    A well fittted RB is as accurate as Forster slugs and will out penetrate it.
    Before shotguns had chokes many people routinely fired "pumpkin balls" at all sorts of targets... you can to ! But remeber a round ball MUST be fitted to your barrel.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Silicon Wolverine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    central south dakota
    Posts
    168
    the older lyman books (3rd or 4th ed i think) had round ball data in them but i never tried it

    SW.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    3,855
    Silicon Wolverine is correct. I have an old Lyman Shotshell Reloading Manual with data for 0.690" ball and 0.662" ball I think. It is pretty limited load data. There are also some round ball loads in the BPI Slug Reloading Manual for 0.690" & 0.715". If you need loads I can look some up for you.

    Also, if is pretty common practice to use equal weight shot load and substitute a round ball. This is safe due to both equal weight and less bore friction of the ball. Missionary5155 mentions this and has good results.

    One thing I forgot to mention though is that the ball + wad petal thickness (if loading in a wad) cannot be more than about 0.003" over the tightest constriction in the barrel ~ if you are shooting through a choked barrel you have to measure the choke and make sure you are not more than a couple or three thou over. My 0.735" ball is shot through cylinder bore only. My 0.690" ball will fit through my I/C choke in a shotcup but the I/C choke is probably the reason it shears petals. Missionary5155's 0.685" ball is likely a better choice for most shotcups.

    Longbow

    Longbow

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Back in ILLinois till Nov
    Posts
    5,119

    12 Guage Round Ball Loaded

    This is a basic Winchester #6 Field Load. I have used whatever brand of 12 guage is available here in Peru. You do not need any "Special Equipment. Hull was opened using a sharpened to a point small broken screwdriver. Shot was dumped. You can use this shot as your lead sorce. Wheel weights and pure lead also work well. .685 lead RB was placed into shot cup (spur up). Do not fire this ball size out of a choked bore. This size (.685) is only for 12 guage CYLINDER size bores..nothing smaller. The hull pettals are pushed back to secure ball in place.
    Use a small screwdriver to push pettals back into place then finish with a wood dowel, screw driver head, ... Just so it is round and the right diameter. Put about 10 pounds down pressure on the pettals. Process takes about 1 minute per cartridge. Expect velocity to about equal whatever the rated velocity for the regular shot is.
    Last edited by missionary5155; 11-17-2008 at 02:53 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    north of macon,
    Posts
    158
    missionary thats an interesting thing you have there and I like it.

    longbow I would be interested in the .715 round abll load as i have a gilzillon .715 ball laying around I use them in my cylinder bored tradition smooth bore single shot shotgun, used the same ball in a brownbess i no longer posess, thanks in advance. kjg

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    3,855
    kjg:

    I would have thought the 0.715" ball a little small for Brown Bess, aren't they normally .75 cal.?

    My 0.735" ball mould was listed for Brown Bess. Just wondering I use this one in cylinder bore 12 ga.

    Anyway, since you have a gilzillon (that sounds even bigger than a gazillion) 0.715" RB's, here are the loads I have from the BPI Slug Loading Manual:

    Hull = 3" Fiocchi for all loads
    Primer = Fiocchi 616 for all loads
    Crimp = fold crimp for all loads

    Powder = 32.5 gr. 800X; wad & slug = 0.715" RB+BW12+BPGS; pressure = 10,800 LUP
    Powder = 33 gr. Herco; wad & slug = 0.715" RB+BW12+BPGS; pressure = 10,500 LUP
    Powder = 32 gr. PB; wad & slug = 0.715" RB+BW12+BPGS; pressure = 10,700 LUP
    Powder = 33 gr. SOLO-1250; wad & slug = 0.715" RB+BW12+BPGS; pressure = 10,600 LUP
    Powder = 35 gr. SR-7625; wad & slug = 0.715" RB+BW12+BPGS; pressure = 9500 PSI

    I have double checked these loads against the book but you should confirm with similar shot loads in a manual just to be safe.

    The BW12 is the BPI Brush wad & the BPGS is the BPI Gas seal.

    And in case you aren't familiar BPI is Ballistic Products Inc. ~ here is their website: http://www.ballisticproducts.com/

    Unfortunately these are all for 3" hulls. I hadn't noticed before. I have only been loading 2 3/4" so far. These loads are also pretty limited as to components ~ but don't go substituting!

    I originally bought the 0.715" mould as I assumed it would fit through my Browning BPS slug barrel with I/C choke. Wrong! My I/C choke is 0.711" so a little tight for a hardened ball about 0.005" over size (casts at 0.716").

    You need the clearance for ball and shotcup petals to go through the tightest constriction. Maybe a couple thou over is okay but I am not shooting a 0.005" oversize ball through my 0.711" choke. I have been sticking to 0.662" in a shotcup or 0.690" naked or in a shotcup but generaly the 0.690" shears petals.

    I have also been using what is a common practice of substituting the ball for an equal weight of shot so you can use a shotshell loading manual for the load data and just use the ball in place of shot. With 0.715" you will likely have to cut off wad petals unless they are very thin.

    I have also been using other published slug data for equal or heavier bore size slugs then using the RB. So far this has worked for me.

    Have fun but play safe!

    Longbow

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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