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Thread: Latest shot shell ramblings

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    UTAH!
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    Smile Latest shot shell ramblings

    FWIW...Reading my Speer #13 manual the other day regarding shot capsules. P. 593; "You will notice that the loads shown for Speer shot capsules are relatively light..."(?)
    It goes on to say; "A little experimentation will point the way to the most effective charge weight for good patterning in your revolver. Often,dropping the charge weight slightly improves the shot coverage."

    Amazing the information that is provided in Reloading Manuals, isn't it?

    For years, all my shot loads have been according to the recommendations on the shot capsule box, and no ill effects, even though the load shown...5.5 gr. Unique...actually a little more than a .38 Spl. +P, and was my IPSC load for years under 150-158 gr boolits. Hmmmm...that should kick the ~106 gr of shot + the capsule weight out with excellent velocity... The manual sez 1,111 fps/6" barrel. So now, I am going to try slightly milder loads...5.0 gr., then 4.5, and maybe even 4.0gr. Unique with the capsules. The 4.0. load is sufficient to push a 158 gr. projectile out of my 4" barrel and should fracture the capsule. But I use 357 Magnum brass, not .38 Spl., so who knows what the velocity will end up at?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Mansfield, PA
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    sniper,

    My friend, please do not succumb to "Information Overload!" I, too, went to lighter shot loads for my handguns and then wised up and went BACK to what worked better!

    I no longer use shot capsules because they were not 100% reliable on snakes hereabouts. Nearby, they have an annual "Rattlesnake Roundup", so you get my meaning. My preferred .38 Special and .357 Magnum snake loads are a robust (under maximum) charge of Bullseye or Unique with a gas check seated Cup UP by pencil eraser over the powder, a dose of #71/2 shot, and a gas check seated cup Down and a roll crimp. My local snakes approve of this receipe.

    Adam

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    There are several ways to go about it, but yours sounds pretty good to me! I wonder what the maximum range is that one can reliably kill one with your load? I think I'd prefer the .357 version, as the shell should hold more shot, but one doesn't always carry a .357. (Maybe they should...)

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    UTAH!
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    Talking

    Adam; I have been "information overloaded" ever since I started handloading years and years ago. Statewide, our Rattle snakes are protected. Can't shoot one unless they are about to bite you! 'Course, I have never seen a Rattlesnake, no matter how far away, that I was NOT convinced that he wasn't "about" to fang my body!

    If I can talk my range officers into letting me set up a Rat/snake target at 8-10 feet, which I think will be about a practical maximum distance, I will do some testing. I have #9, 10, and 12 shot, and something I think may be #11, because it is between 10 and 12 in size. Of course, inquiring minds and all that, I'll try some of the expen$ive Speer 357 shot loads, too. Your double gas check loads sound like they would be very effective! Pennsylvania Rattlesnakes must be TOUGH!

    Rattle snake round ups? I didn't think the Fern Fondling Bunny Hugging activists still allowed that sort of thing! Enjoy!

    Herr Mountain Hunter;
    I have too many of the little plastic capsules to switch. They hold the same ~106 gr. of shot, no matter whether loaded in .38 or .357. I think 8-10...maybe 12 feet to be a reasonable maximum, especially for .22 shotshells.

    I remember rat hunting in a friend's dad's nursery barns. We only saw one rat, perched on a wall-hung metal First Aid box. He shot, and missed, but a large divot of red paint disappeared from the side of the box. I probably got the blame, because invitations stopped suddenly. Anyhoo, it will be fun, if not particularly enlightening.
    IT IS A FINE AND PLEASANT MADNESS !

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Aug 2014
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    sniper,

    Here in PA ALL rattlesnakes are protected. IF one pays the fee to the Fish Commission, one "May" take ONE rattler per year. Yes, Roger That! 10-4! Wilco, Over and Out!

    Adam

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Thankfully, where I live now there don't seem to be any, but I used to live where they were often encountered. I hate them! It's really hard for me to wrap my mind around anyone protecting them for any reason. That would extend to all other poisonous snakes as well!

    I'm having just a bit of a problem understanding why a .357 case wouldn't hold more shot than a .38 Spec. case -- or is it just that you load them the same with the same shot and powder charge, but they could be loaded to hold more. To me, more is better when it comes to snake shooting, and my favorite has always been a .410 shotgun.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    The Speer shot capsules are in two pieces, the shot cup and a base that attaches after filling it with shot. Those are then loaded into a case, over a bit of powder, as a regular boolit would be.

    Adam; What is the cost of taking one Rattler?

    I watched .22 Plinkster's YouTube test of Speer's "New and Improved" bigger game shot shells...using #4 shot. Not impressive at all much further than about 6 feet!
    Last edited by sniper; 06-20-2019 at 05:47 PM.
    IT IS A FINE AND PLEASANT MADNESS !

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Mansfield, PA
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    sniper,

    I think the Fish Commission rattler license is $5.00. I never bothered to check since I do what is best for my farm and family, even if I am flat broke.

    Adam

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Boogieman's Avatar
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    Western Ar.
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    Here in Ar. we just shoot, shovel, and shut up.
    The 3 people a man must be able to trust completely are his gunsmith his doctor & his preacher ..,his gunsmith for his short term health ,his doctor for long term health ,and his preacher incase one of the others mess up.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    My snake loads powder charges for the .38 Special and .357 Magnum are almost the same as my 148 grain wadcutter loads. Yes, the .357 case holds a tad more shot. When I am hiking where the rattlers are plenty, I take either my .41 Mag Ruger SA or .44 Mag SA with a really effective load of shot using the same gas check formula.

    Again, let me say you must wear eye protection when using shot loads. On my first trip to the range years ago to test my loads, the shot bounced back from 12 feet away off the hard wooden target frame backboards and pock marked my new shooting glasses!

    Be safe, be smart. Also consider SSS: Shoot, shovel and shut up.

    Adam

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Northern Michigan
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    There is another thread recently and the guy used .357 Max brass in his .357 to increase shot capacity. He used a .223 sizer to make the cartridges. Seems like a good option over the other methods.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

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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