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Thread: Sizing down the Lyman slug

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Sizing down the Lyman slug

    I've been laying off the shotgun slug loads for a while now. No slugs. Yesterday was nice and cool, so I cast up 100.
    I don't know if this has been tried before, but here I go. Yesterday, I was fitting and measuring the slugs and the WAA12 wads, which are one of the recommended in the load data. As you fellas know, the Lyman slug has two diameters. The front driving band, and the skirt. The front band is approximately .010 larger diameter than the skirt diameter. Thats why the WAA12 wad petals are thinner at the top than at the base. With the slug in the WAA12 wad, the diameters are .726 at the top, and .725 at the bottom skirt. I only tried one wad and slug combination. These diameters are "average".
    A few years ago, I made a sizer die that was/is .672. Fast forward to now.
    Now, in my quest for a better fit down the bore, (which I slugged at .729) I have the Helix Cushion Driver wads with the thicker petals, no taper. So, I sized the Lyman slug to .672 and dropped it into the HCD wad. The average diameters are .730 at the top, and .735 at the skirt. This should make for a lot better fit and seal down the bore. Looking forward to range session very soon. I'll let you know how they perform.
    Regards

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Hah! A man after my own heart! I made a sizer for my Lee slugs to get them to 0.665" but that was a bit too much and they tended to crack during sizing with ACWW. So I bored the sizer out to 0.670" and tried again. That worked well. My purpose though was so I could paper patch back up to suit whatever shotcups were available as every brand is different.

    The sizing and paper patching sorta worked but I didn't find enough benefit to offset work involved. What I didn't do is to try what you are doing with thicker petal wads and no taper to them.

    I'll be interested in your results. My approach with Lee slugs gave mediocre results. I am hoping you are more successful with the HCD wads.

    I still like the idea of paper patching to suit using one, two or three wraps as required... or thinner or thicker paper. In the end I think fit and consistency at the muzzle are what matter most.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    Longbow

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Longbow:
    Thanks for the reply. I guess trying to improve our loads, is why our loads improved.
    I may try to get to the range tomorrow. All of our shooting areas are covered, so the rain won't be a problem.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Ok, back from the range. Targets were set out at 50 yards. Shots fired off the bench. Forearm supported on a Caldwell rest, sandbag rear support. First, I fired a 5 shot group with the load I had previously had the best results with.
    This was to establish a base line , and make sure I could hit the target.
    Load was as follows:
    Rem. Gun Club hull.
    Win. 209 primer.
    30 grains of Herco.
    WAA12 wad.
    Lyman 525 slug, cavity hot glue filled and trimmed flush.
    8 point crimp.
    3 shots 2" c to c.
    2 shots out to 4"
    I don't have a clue here. I do not believe I pulled those shots.

    Next group was 10 shots.
    Load was as follows:
    Win. Super-X hull.
    Win. 209 primer.
    30 grains of Herco.
    Helix Cushion Driver #18 wad. Petals .030 thick, "average"
    1- .045 card wad to raise slug.
    Lyman 525 slug. Wt. 513 grns. Sized to .672. Glue filled and trimmed flush.
    6 point crimp.
    7 shots 3" c t c.
    3 shots out to 6".
    Again, I have pulled many shots in my life, but I don't believe today. I only had opportunity (other shooters) to pick up one HCD wad. The cushion section of this wad, is honey comb shaped. It is centered between the powder seal and the shot cup. Well duh! But, it only supports approximately half of the
    bearing surfaces above and below. The wad I picked up was canted. In other words, the top surface of the powder seal was not paralell with the bottom surface of the shot cup. That leads me to believe that the wad and projectile are
    released from the muzzle with one side of the powder seal being pushed more than the other.
    Ok, plan "B". Next week I will remove the cushion section of the wad. Replace it with enough card wads to bring everything up to crimp height. Then take another
    crack at the quest for tighter groups.
    Regards
    Last edited by littlejack; 05-17-2019 at 03:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have had similar results and same sort of answers. If I pull a shot I usually know but some of these fliers seem very random, like yours.

    I am in agreement with your assessment of the cushion leg too. My feeling is that a solid wad column is more stable and should be more consistent but having said that, I believe that removing a cushion leg can cause pressure spikes... at least with fast powder, so if you try it best to use slow powder (I generally use Blue Dot) and/or download a bit to be safe. My load recipe investigation indicates that slower powders with heavy payloads do not seem to be an issue but short hull load recipes using fast powder and little to no cushion leg seem to generate same pressure as those with a cushion leg, but using less powder, which indicates that with same powder charge they would generate higher pressure for same payload.

    I note that any factory Foster slug rounds I have seen use either hard card wad columns or very solid plastic wad columns, not cushion legs like typical birdshot loads. Gotta be a reason for that!

    I can't say I have noticed huge difference using hard card wad columns for slug loads but I sure noticed a difference with 0.735" RB loads. Anything with a cushion leg didn't work for me. Gas seal over the powder then hard card wad column gave me the best results.

    I'll be looking forward to your next range report and I am hoping to be posting one of my own shortly too.

    Longbow

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Will get out tomorrow and try out the new loads. I loaded six with 30 grains Herco powder, and six with 40 grains of BlueDot.
    I figured I'd try a little more velocity with the BD powder, and see if it has any benefit over the Herco load. I've shot the BlueDot load before with the shorter Win. red wad. I'm not a big fan of recoil, and these back up some, even though the book shows 44 grains as max.
    Littlejack

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Well, I did make it to the range yesterday morning. Nice and cool, great time to shoot.
    First off, I would like to affirm longbows mention of pressure spikes if the "cushion" section of the wad is removed and replaced with card wads. It was very evident. Hard extraction, one primer fell out when the hull was extracted, and a couple stuck hulls. That was a good lesson learned.
    I added more recoil prevention (folded hand towel) between my shoulder and the recoil pad. This tamed the recoil, which helped a lot.
    Groups were not good:
    With the 40 grains of Bluedot, the six slugs were 4.25" c t c.
    With the 30 grains of Herco, four slugs 4.25" But, the other two, opened up the group to 8.625". Nope, that's not a misprint. The two fliers, hit sideways, yep sideways!
    Retrieving the wad remains, there were sheared petals all over the place. One side
    of the powder seals were blown out. The bottoms of the wad cups were just a disk of plastic. I did find one that had one petal still holding on for dear life.
    With all this being said, here is my redneck guestimation of what had occurred.
    The powder charges were to high for the card wads to replace the wad cushion.
    The "average" diameter of the slug and wad is is .732. My slugged bore is 729.
    That's not a bad fit. But! There is another factor to take into concideration.
    "Obturation" With the cavity filled with hot glue, upon ignition the wad cup base is slammed into the base of the slug which is going to drive the sides of the skirt out. If the fit is to tight to begin with, the petals will be sheared off. No telling where the petals go from there?
    Next, the powder seals on this wad (Helix Cushion Driver #18) are in my opinion to fragile and the material to soft for these. As a result, you get powder seals with one side blown out. The WAA12 wad, in comparison, is made from much tougher material, and the powder seal is formed with the side walls being longer, and being tapered thick at the upper wall to thinner at the skirt end. I have never found one of the WAA12 wads with the powder seal blown out.
    I am coming to the conclusion that Lyman had done extensive testing to find out what wads are best suited for their sabot slug. Taking the "obturation" factor into consideration, the WAA12 is one of the better choices. I would like to try some different slug wad combinations, but thats down the road a ways.
    Littlejack

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You might try the wads James Gates recommends for the Tri-Ball load... that and downloading a bit. James said not other wad would stand up to the Tri-Ball and it sounds as though wad failure is a big issue for you with this load.

    I believe this is the one:

    https://www.precisionreloading.com/c...!l=TUPR&i=W123

    I'll also comment on slugs obturating... I had a mishap several years ago that I have posted about before so won't repeat it all but the short story is that I used a filled slug over a book load but in a short hull. The slug obturated and filled the chamber before hitting the forcing cone as evidenced by lead from hull mouth on into the bore in what was left of the barrel. I would not be using soft filled slugs in anything but full length hulls and preferably 3" hulls in 3" chamber after that experience. Very thick skirted soft slugs maybe, hardened slugs okay. That experience is one of the reasons I decided to pursue attached wad slugs.

    Longbow

  9. #9
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    Longbow
    That situation sounds like it could have had a lot worse outcome than it did. Good to hear you made it as good as you did.
    For now, I'm going to play around with Lyman slug, WAA12 wad, and different powder charges of Herco. I will try to chrony some loads. I like Herco, as it gets plenty of velocity (for me anyway) and burns a lot cleaner than BlueDot. I think I will also cast some soft slugs and see if there is any improvement over my ww+tin slug.
    Longbow, thanks for all your hard earned knowledge sir.
    Regards

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    I've had great results with 32 grs of Herco and the original WAA12 red wads.

  11. #11
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    smokeeter:
    Yes, I've had some purty good success with the WAA12 red. I'm going to try to dig some up somewhere.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master phaessler's Avatar
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    littlejack,
    I lost faith in the AA wads to do anything other than act as a jacket in the rifled 12ga bores when I was doing slug loads. '(http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ight=phaessler)
    The cushion is totally inferior, and I wish my photos had survived as I cut them off the wad, and supplement with a BPI Flex-seal.
    Great to see interest hasnt been lost in this work , and look forward to reading more of your results

    Its also a shame true Winchester AA red wads are long out of production.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have to say that for my gun and slug loads I gave up totally on the Win AA Red wads. The ones I have are old and fairly thick. They seem to be softer plastic than newer Winchester wads.

    Recovered wads all showed petal damage and most had failed gas seals. Accuracy was poor no matter what I did with them. At the time I also had some old Pacific Verelite wads so I tried those and found they worked very well as do my new Winchester wads and some Claybusters. These are all stiff/tougher plastic than my Win AA Reds.

    I was not loading for the Lyman sabot slug though.

    Longbow

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Anyone ever wonder why no company makes and or sells a sabot made exclusively for the Lyman slug? That my solve all the problems.

  15. #15
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    Because Lyman wanted the slug to fit common wads
    Dedicated wads would not be commercially viable in my opinion

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I understand Lymans reasoning. In my past 50 year working career, I have come to the conclusion that usually one size fits all really never fits anything very well. That being said, the Lyman slug fits into many different wads, but getting them to function properly is quite another can of worms. There has been hundreds of recipes conjured up to make the Lyman slug perform to ones satisfaction. Apparently, we are still looking for the one that satisfies. Now if someone was to manufacture a sabot that would encase that slug perfectly, I would be the first in line to buy and try them. In my opinion, if there was such a sabot on the market, it would be a very sellable componant. After all, sabots for other slugs are available, and do sell. But, I guess it's a moot point. Probably never going to happen, eh?
    Oh, wait!
    How about trying it with a 3-D printer???
    Regards

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    That is sort of in the works right here:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...d-Shotgun-Wads

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Yes Longbow, the sabot I am referring to is in the photos on post #14. They could be made with the 3-D printer to fit the Lyman 525 slug.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Ok, here I go thinking outside the box again.
    I was thinking, if a fella could encase a Lyman slug with a wad from the top down, rather than from the bottom up, that may be a different but viable approach. More like a typical break-away sabot rather than a slug in a wad.
    This may have been tried before, but I wanted see how, or even if it would work.
    So, I sized some of my Lyman slugs down with my .672 die.
    I took one of the Helix Cushion Driver wads and cut it in half, just under the cup base. Then, I took another wad and cut the petals off at their base, just above the cup base about .030. These two halves put together, make one full wad in length.
    I primed and powdered a hull.
    Seated the bottom half ( seal, cushion, cup base) of the wad on the powder.
    Then, took the upper half of the wad (cup) and split it. The petals on these wads are sectioned in quarters, so it was easy to split the cup perfectly across the center.
    I then took both halves and encased the slug with the cup setting down over the slug, and the petals pointing down to meet the cup base of the lower half of the other wad.Then I slid all three pieces, (as one) into the hull, and crimped.
    Off to the range this morning.
    4 rounds loaded. 25 grains of Herco. Fired @ 25 yards. 3/4"
    c to c.
    5 rounds loaded. 30 grains of Herco. Fired @ 50 yards. 3.5"
    c to c.
    I'm going to load more of the 25 grain loads and try them at 50 yards. The added five grains of Herco may be to much.
    Both halves of the wad cup performed perfectly. No sheared or shreaded petals at all. Total rifling around the circumference on both halves.
    Lower section, ( powder seal, cushion and cup base) were all totally intact. No powder seal blowouts. All the slugs hit perfectly straight forward. No wobble or keyhole.
    Looking forward to more testing.
    Littlejack
    Last edited by littlejack; 06-06-2019 at 02:05 AM.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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