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Thread: Brass Shotshells in a Bolt Action

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    West Central IL

    Brass Shotshells in a Bolt Action

    Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask.

    Short backstory: I was given several (3) shotguns from my grandfather recently. All three were essentially project guns that he acquired years ago when he was a police officer and gunsmith but he never got around to working on them. (yay tavern bets from the 60's)

    1) is a Stevens Arms Company break action single shot 12 gauge. No model number or anything, as best as I can tell it's from the late 1920's. It has some cracks in the stock, but the barrel is almost perfect. It shoots great. Shot it this weekend.

    2) is a pump action but I don't remember the make or model (I'm at work and don't have it in front of me).

    3) is a bolt action 12 gauge. It needs a new stock a couple minor parts, but otherwise it should function just fine. It is a clone of a Mossberg 195. It feeds from a 2 round box magazine.

    My question is would full length brass shells feed properly in the bolt action when I get it functioning? I am planning on using (Black Powder) full length shells in the break action and I know that brass shells do not feed well in semi autos and pumps, but I have never heard much about them in bolt action shotguns.

    I know I could use regular plastic shells just fine, but I would like to use full brass ones if I can as I will be using them in the single shot.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    I'd try it with plastic shells first. I grew up shooting a mossberg bolt action .410, and have owned a number of bolt action shotguns after that. The most recent being a Marlin super goose 10 gauge. Not one of them was reliable. The real problem is the shells can work their way around in the magazine, and combined with a not so ideal angle for the shell, jamming was normal. I got so sick of it, I ended up using my Marlin as a single shot. That is until one day two geese flew by. I shot one, and on opening the bolt, the magazine dropped out making it impossible to get the next shell in quickly. It's on the short list of guns I have sold.

    The stevens single shots were good guns though.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Fargo ND
    I have an older .410 mossberg bolt action .410. Hated that thing back when.

    Bolt had a flat spot and a ridge where it would catch on the rim and jam easily.

    Fast forward 40 years and one day I got lookin at it, pulled the bolt. Said to my self, Hey SELF, lets turn that flat edge into an angle. Self goes HEY that's a cool idea! No more jams.

    Mine had only a 2 round internal mag, no removable magazine.
    And I have shot brass hulls in it, works fine.

    In truth, even the .303 british and .444marlin worked. But I did work the rims flatter on the .303's.
    The Magtech brass .410 hulls cycle perfectly for me, now. Couple of minutes of file work and a little dremel polish and done.

    And yes I am saving it for my fearless 5 year old granddaughter who wants to be a hockey player. LOL.

    OK kid, you like pain, let me introduce you to pain. Shoot at that bird, watch the bird fly away. Ohhh feel that pain. You ain't seen nothing yet girl.

    Yeah, I'm practicing my evil grandpa routines already.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Lesage WV
    here is problem
    if you put a roll on the brass it wont last.if you dont it wont feed well,If you want to use in the mag feed then load by hand

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    N. E. Ohio
    I always used a slight roll crimp on my brass shot shells. They fed in all types of shotguns with hardly ever a glitch. You only need a tiny amount of taper to make them feed well so the cases were reloaded many times before they started to crack.

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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