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Thread: Supporting our round balls

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Supporting our round balls

    Hey fellas:
    I haven't posted for quite a while regarding round balls in shotguns, so here it comes.
    I know that there has been a problem in the past with supporting the ball in the wad so the wad does not have a tendency to wrap around the ball. A couple days ago, I had what I thought was a brainstorm. This may gave been tried in the past, but like I said, I haven't been here for a while.
    I am in the process of making some loads, by supporting the ball in the pocket of hot glue in the wad. This makes the perfect support for the ball and allows the wad to push flat rather than wrap around the ball. It also keeps the ball centered in the wad, thusly in the barrell.
    Hopefully I can get to the range tomorrow to give them a try.
    Any thoughts, comments, or has this been tried and dismissed?
    Regards

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like a good idea, but time consuming. I had very good luck with a scoop of PSB buffer. It fully supported the ball during firing, as shown from recovered slugs. I forget who came up with the idea, I read it on this forum.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Yea, I knew there was different mediums being used under the ball, i.e. cream of wheat
    buffer, as you have etc. I'm not to concerned about the time, just want good accurate loads.
    This may be a futile attempt. Might not even work.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Yes, good idea. How are you doing this? Are you squirting hot melt glue in the shotcup then pushing a ball in to form the "seat"?

    My usual approach is to put a 16 ga. nitro card wad or two in the bottom of the shotcup the a scoop of Cream 'O Wheat then the ball. Cream 'O Wheat being the hillbilly version of PSB buffer. This works well with wad size balls but not if they are undersize.

    I have been thinking of making a form for moulding something like paper mache by using ABS pipe machined to suit wad inside diameter then a dowel of inside wad diameter with centered round ball in it to make the ball impression, let dry then load into a wad. So far that part is just thoughts. I'm still playing with Brennek'izing slugs.

    I had another idea for round balls too on the Brenneke'izing trend... using 3D printing like BigMrTong to produce a tail wad with "socket" just a hair over 1/2 ball diameter so a round ball will snap in. This may not be an original thought as I seem to recall Cap'n Morgan suggesting something similar if not the same. With 3D printing some of these ideas are much easier to try... if a guy has access to a 3D printer that is. I'm thinking a 0.662" or 0.678" RB in a full bore "carrier". RB's are easy to cast and the carrier would allow any alloy to be used and would be choke friendly with the undersize ball and plastic carrier/tail wad.

    With the correct plastic tail wad of bore (or groove diameter for rifled gun) this should work for either smoothbore or rifled gun.

    All in all I still like round balls!

    Longbow

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Yes longbow, I am squirting the hot glue directly into the wad cup.
    Here's a little detail about what I am using.
    A few years ago, I made a punch die for filler card wads to go under the ball.
    The male punch goes into my RockChucker press, like a shell holder would.
    The female piece screws into the top of the press like a reloading die. I have only punched .045 material, but it works fine and is easy to punch. In these particular loads, I use four of them in the bottom of the cup, which adds up to .180.
    The wad itself is a BPI Helix Cushion Driver #18. These wads are for straight wall cases.
    The petals (4) are, on average, .030 thick. The petals are the same thickness, from top to bottom. The petals have been connected in three places between each petal during the molding process. One connector .090 from the cup base. The next one .375 above first, and then one at the very top. I discribe this to show that when I squirt in the hot glue, and set the ball down onto the cards and into the glue, the petals do not spread out and make the whole projectile to big for the bore.
    I lube the bottom half of the ball with RCBS sizing lube so it does not adhere (stick) to the glue.
    My .678 ball runs small. Average about .675 +/-. They fit inside this particular wad perfectly.
    All of this is set down on a good dose of Bluedot, in a Win. Super X hull.
    I will post my range results, if i can get there tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Longbow:
    I remember a few years back, you mentioning your intentions of attempting to make the "paper mache' cups that you mentioned. I'm surprised you haven't completed that R&D.
    Regards

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Good morning.
    Just back from the range. It was a toasty 32
    I fired 26 rounds, 13 at 23 yards, and 13 at 50 yards shooting at two targets.
    I was shooting a Remington 870 pump, with a Remington rifled barrell with open sights.
    The 13 rounds at 25 yards went into a 2"group. Not bad but not great.
    The first group at 50 yards was 4". The second group was 4" then two balls opening up the group to 6.5".
    MY 69 year old eyes are shot. "Punn intended" The sights as well as the targets are blurry. I'm going to scope the 870, as all of my rifles and two revolvers are.
    The wads were strung out from 12 yards down range, to as much as 37 yards. The ones that opened up the most dropped closer. I retrieved 23 of 26 wads, and none had lost a single petal.
    The hot glue supporting the ball performed as expected. None of the wads appeared to have wrapped around the ball.
    One thing that was Interesting. There was no (none) wad fouling in the bore. What ever BPI uses for their wad material, works very well.
    When I shoot my Lyman 525 sabot slug loads in the ww12 wad, they start fouling from the first shot. I have to soak and scrub the bore to get it out.
    Regards

  8. #8
    Do you lube the round ball before you stick it into the glue?

    Just a thought, if you cut the wad to the depth you want the hot glue cup, lube the wad and a ball, fill the wad with hot glue and shove the ball in until it touches the wad, carve off the excess and pop out the glue cup. they should all be close to the same.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, I did lube the ball prior to setting it in the hot glue. When the glue hardened, I pinched the sides, and loosened the ball to come out.
    I dropped every ball out to make sure the wad was not going to tag along hooked to the ball.
    I had thought about using a piece of whatever I could find or make, and make glue wads as n you mentioned. I don't have my lathe anymore, so it's gonna be harder to come up with something the right I.D.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    What size RB's are you using and how deep are you pushing them into the glue? Is the wad in something to keep it from splaying open when you put glue in?

    As for my paper mache R&D... like many of my projects it got sidelined while I did other stuff. I went to hot melt glue attached wads with some success but keeping bubbles out of hot melt glue is the issue... and getting nice sharp edges on the tail wads. My technique there is to put the slug in a form machined from CPVC pipe coupling (mould release is grease), invert the coupling and squirt hot melt glue in to over fill a bit, invert again and press the glue face down on a greased piece of steel. The excess glue squeezes out around the base quite easily and leaves a flat base but the edges often have small fringes of thin glue. Not sure if they affect things much or not. Injection moulding it ain't but it works for poor guys who want to play. If I get good tail wads the slugs fly quite well.

    The problem with paper mache too is that you have to shred the paper and add a binder. I'm thinking that cornmeal or Cream 'O Wheat cooked then put in forms, moulded and left to cool then dry might be easier and feed the wildlife! paper mache would have to completely dry too.

    Same technique I am using to make tail wads with a form should work for "wad seats" for RB's like you are making. Could be worth a try. If the ball is well centered in the form then the seat will be centered. With a well centered and supported RB and clean releasing wad, accuracy should be about as good as one could expect from round ball in smoothbore. Ball diameter shouldn't really matter as long as it fits the wad.

    Rifled gun might need a ball that is a tight squish fit with the wad petals so spin is transferred to the ball but that glue seat should work the same as you have already demonstrated. With all that surface area and being pushed against the ball with 10,000 PSI that should also help transfer spin to the ball.

    Which hot melt glue are you using? I use the high strength glue. It is hard almost like polyethylene. Very tough stuff! I've shot slugs with hot melt glue tail wads through an 8" tree then recovered the slugs with tail wads still attached in a dirt bank behind! That glue is tough stuff!

    Longbow

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Longbow
    Read post #5. It will answer some of your questions. The glue comes up to about 1/3 of the ball height.
    The wad petals are connected to each other in three places between each petal. Once at the bottom, then again .375 above that, then again at the top. So, the petals cannot splay open. However, the glue is hot enough, that it causes the petals to get soft enough to expand the diameter of the wad some. They were definitely a good tight fit in the bore.
    Hopefully, the biggest factor of the large groups on target, was my eyes. That can be remidied with a scope.
    The Blue Dot powder was quite dirty, as I expected. Quite a bit of unburned powder. I have some Herco I will try in the near future.
    Jack

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Hah! Just like when I go shopping... I can never find what I want until I ask and there it was right in front of me! DOH! Sorry, I guess I saw the bit about punching card wads and didn't read through that post.

    Yeah, 0.030" are thick petals! That should be about perfect for 0.678" RB. Mine are a bit loose in Winchester 1 1/4 oz. wads and 1 oz. wads (what I currently have on hand) and pretty good but not tight in Pacific Verelite wads (I have a few left)... that is in my single shot with 0.733" bore. I have to recheck everything for my Mossberg Slugster with 0.729" + bore. Not a big difference but things will be tighter.

    That certainly sounds like a good combination of ball and wad. That should work well in rifled gun too.

    Even the high strength (hard) hot melt glue will "obturate" to fill the bore. My wad slugs with hot melt glue tail wads do for sure as recovered wads that are loose slide fit to bore with slug show the compression squish from the glue. They fill right out!

    Do you cut all the petal attachments after glue installation?

    I find Blue Dot a bit dirty but it works well so I don't worry about it. BD tends to be better with heavy payloads and/or heavy charges. I've used it with slugs as light as 1 oz. with moderate charges and got some erratic results and lots of unburned powder. Lee lists rather hefty charges of BD for their 1 oz. slug. I haven't tried that load data but I'm sure it hurts on both ends!

    Been wanting to try Herco and HS6 but haven't found it locally. I should look next time I'm in a big city.

    Longbow

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    When I was a lot younger and playing sports, a jockstrap sufficed, LOL. YMMV. If this is an 'inappropriate' comment, mods please just remove it.
    Life Member NRA.
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    Retired from Instructing, and just about everything else!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    littlejack - this sounds very doable. Eager to hear the results. The only thing I've ever done was use a 20 ga. cork wad under my 12 ga. ball. Worked so good I never went further. Your idea could be the next level. Go for it and report.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by HABCAN View Post
    When I was a lot younger and playing sports, a jockstrap sufficed, LOL. YMMV. If this is an 'inappropriate' comment, mods please just remove it.
    I'm surprised nobody said it sooner!
    To Thomas Jefferson: It's America! We can have our plows AND our guns!

    http://lindsayfarmonsilvercreek.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Longbow
    I have loaded some heavy BD charges under my Lyman 525 sabots. Yep, they hurt. So, I setteled on a more "user friendly" charge of Herco.
    Jack

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    725:
    If you have a load that works good for you, no sense in changing. Sounds like it is
    simple to put together. I will post an update after I get the scope mounted and have another shooting session.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    HABCAN:
    That's why I put (round) in the title. It sounded less provocative. Lol

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Yeah the underwear thought went through my head too but I resisted the temptation. Us guys that play with our balls a lot have heard it before. It doesn't really get old though so have at 'er! A little humour never hurt anyone.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I was looking on the BPI site. I think that the Helix Cusion Driver #21, may be a better choice than the #18 I am using.
    The cushion section between the powder seal and the cup is taller. This would allow for less filler cards, and maybe a little less recoil.
    In the bottom of the cup, my first card wad (.045) clicks into place. This is because the i.d. at the bottom of the cup is a few thousands smaller than the rest of the cup. I think that using just one card with the hot glue support, as opposed to the four (.180) that I have currently been using would suffice. The taller wad would take up the extra space in the hull.
    Any thoughts.
    Jack

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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