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Thread: Winchester 23 for Blue Wing Teal

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Winchester 23 for Blue Wing Teal

    A while back I found some Bismuth in about 1/4" ball pellets
    Also I have my Great Grandfathers 20 Gau Winchester 23 that was made before steel shot was ever made

    I am a bit cheap and didn't want to buy Bismuth shot unless I had to

    So I mixed up a batch of Bismuth and tin to make a 90 / 10 % mix

    So I cut a mold to make what I hoped would make #4 shot
    A mold that is like the Lee round ball molds , with a small flat spot where it is cut off

    Messed up the size and made it to small and ended up with #6 , the second mold DID make #4 shot

    Even with a 8 cavity mold , it took a bit of time to cast 1/2 lb of shot


    I was about to dump the shot back and remelt it
    But I thought about hunting Blue Wing Teal and kept it

    I loaded 6 shells
    5/8 oz of shot at 1200 fps

    The Winchester 23 is choked Mod & Full , but that was for the old loads with fiber and card wads
    So it is like a Full and Super Full

    This morning 2 of us headed out to the marsh to see if the Teal wanted to play

    My friend told me to shoot first
    So we waited till just after sun rise and I got to try the Winchester 23 out on Teal

    6 Teal were just outside the decoys at about 30 yards
    Jeff was ready , so we stood up

    The Teal just looked at us and sat there for about a min before taking off

    My first shot was a easy bird about 2' off the water and the second teal was about 8' up and farther out
    Jeff got 3 more and his lab had to make several trips

    I was sure glad I had not missed LOL

    I didn't feel like shooting up all 6 shells
    So I put the Winchester 23 in the case and switched to my Remington 11/87 and Steel shot to finish off my limit

    I have enough shot to load a few more shells with the #6 shot and enough #4 shot to load about a box of the 20 gau loads

    So I figure I can hunt Mallards a few times

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  2. #2
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    Can you describe how you make these molds for small shot like that?

  3. #3
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    Not hard , but it takes time to do the math for the layout and to make the cutter .... messed up 2 before I got smart and had my friend make the cutter
    My friend also hardened the cutter .... maybe not needed if I was not using steel for the mold

    I used a 2 flute cutter , think of a 1/2 round cutter

    Lots of cutting fluid and going slow to not over heat the cutter

    Also it took a bit of work to get the right depth , I cut and checked several times
    So I didn't make oval shot

    I then drilled/cut the 8 holes in blocks of steel to form the sides with a milling machine ... not mine , but a friend has it

    I may make another mold to make #4 shot , but it will be about a 20 cavity mold next time ... because 8 of a time is SLOW !!!!!!!!!!!

    Only hard part was making sure I was the right distance down to just remove enough steel at the top to allow the alloy in

    Remove any burrs , make a sprue plate , pins are easy
    But the darn holes to let the alloy in , has to be small
    So the alloy has to be HOT and the mold has to be HOT

    Then cut the mold to take Lee handles

    Oh , I first made the mold 11/2" high .... way to much weight
    So I had to re cut the slot for the handles
    So I could make the mold a little less than 3/4" high

    Preheat the mold on a hot plate

    I will tell you , I have made a number of molds for myself
    And a mold for small shot took a lot longer than a normal bullet mold
    Mostly because of the small size

    Not sure if a drill press could do , but all it cost me is beer and I have made him a few molds

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Very cool. Would it be any easier to do BB size shot?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Very cool. Would it be any easier to do BB size shot?
    YES !!

    IMO the small pellet cavitys are 10X harder to do right
    Than a mid sized rifle or pistol bullet

    With the small size , I found a lot of ways to mess up before I got it right

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  6. #6
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    Whatís a blue teal look like.

    Are they good on the tooth?

    Have you tried a single dripper to make shot?

    I can make enough when I get it right to fill a lot of 410ís which does me for a few years.

    Good work either way.
    Last edited by barrabruce; 09-25-2018 at 03:25 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrabruce View Post
    Whatís a blue teal look like.

    Are they good on the tooth?

    Have you tried a single dripper to make shot?

    I can make enough when I get it right to fill a lot of 410ís which does me for a few years.

    Good work either way.
    https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-pho...-image99260612

    IMO one of the best ducks to eat
    But small in size , a Teal Breast is about 1/4 the size of a mallard duck breast

    I have used that way to make lead shot
    But I was not impressed on how the lead shot looked and I figured if I was going to spend the $$ on Bismuth , it would be better if I could make a nice shot

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  8. #8
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    John very good shot. BUT it is not approved by the Feds or State as non-toxic shot. A friendly game warden may let you use your shot.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckiller View Post
    John very good shot. BUT it is not approved by the Feds or State as non-toxic shot. A friendly game warden may let you use your shot.
    You care to make a wager on that statement?

  10. #10
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    Thanks I grew up eating chestnut and grey teal over here.

    We used mostly 6 shot as our alrounder but 7’s were good on the smaller ducks.

    Yes have eaten many thousands and teal are more a supple and tender meat than the pacific black ducks.
    2 for a feed or was it 3 and a big jar of preserved peaches for sweets.
    Note I could run around like a blue r’sd goat all day long then and was 30# wringing wet.

    Ha

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckiller View Post
    John very good shot. BUT it is not approved by the Feds or State as non-toxic shot. A friendly game warden may let you use your shot.
    Why not? 90% Bismuth and 10% tin, I thought non-toxic meant no lead, is there more to it than that?

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    For shot moulds try dental bits. he round carbide ones come in different sizes and if you get along with your dentist they are free. They also work well when you break a tap off in a hole.

  13. #13
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    The requirement for shot to shoot waterfowl is APPROVED non-toxic shot not just non-toxic. If you want to check it out I would go to the headquarters of your State Dept of Fish and Game/Conservation Dept/Dept of Natural Resources etc. Or you could check you could check with the federal Dept of Fish and wildlife. The regulations were put in to protect birds not let you shoot bird cheaply. Rich the Feds may question how pure your tin and bismuth is. Ammunition companies that sell non-toxic shotshells and /or shot go through a procedure to get it approved. This is part of the reason for the price. Feds and States want to make sure that a little bit of lead is not going to sneak in. I don't care what you shoot. If you want to shoot up the last of your 3" 15/8 oz of #4 lead ,go ahead. Just don't be surprised if a Game warden objects and a judge takes you gun away permanently and your right to hunt temporarily. I would hate for John to loose his Winchester 23 for not knowing that he couldn't cast shot for waterfowl. If you insist on casting your own non-toxic shot hunt away from major waterfowl hunting areas. Find a small pond that no one hunts shoot a few birds and go home. Game Wardens are going to where the most hunters are. They can check to most hunters there. Your small pond should be well off the road, hard to get to and known only to a few people. I know people that still shoot lead at waterfowl. One person got caught with #4 buck to shoot geese. Lied to the judge and said it was to shoot coyotes. He got off easy. You may not be so lucky.

  14. #14
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    And Bismuth/Tin alloy shot is approved. I have called both my own DNR, and the federal Dept of Fish and wildlife. I made my own bismuth shot this year, I made absolutely sure it is legal. DNR officers carry what's called a HotShot device, and Johnch's cast shot will pass that test. No chance at all he will get in trouble. He won't loose his gear. This is something you can prove in court anyway, not that it would ever go that far.

    These are the laws in the USA, they could be different in California.

  15. #15
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    I'm not a water fowl hunter (yet) but my experience with game wardens so far, granted not many encounters, has been that if you're doing what you're supposed to do, they don't give you a hard time. They've never done more than asked to see that I had the proper license and permits and then said have a nice day. Maybe they're different when something that has so many federal regs is what it's about.

  16. #16
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    Thought we had grown uip enough to stop insulting St6ates that other members lived in.

  17. #17
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    California goes beyond federal law. That's not in insult, that's the state you live in.

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