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Thread: 38 special Speer capsules with #2 shot.

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    38 special Speer capsules with #2 shot.

    I want to try some heavier shot in my Speer capsules.

    The inside diameter of 38/357 speer capsules is approximately .308". By my calculations
    two #2 shot at .15" diameter should fit side by side in the capsules and be stacked 2x2 in
    them.

    Has any one tried this?

    Now I need some #2 shot. Can trade #10 shot oz for oz if anyone is interested. Don't need
    more than two ounces.

  2. #2
    Any specific reason #2 shot is your go to here? Guess just looking to understand what you are doing with it in order to help.

    .36 Cal round balls will fit in a case (without your Speer capsules) seems like I remember hearing of an old load by Remington that had two dwon inside the case. No clue what the load was or what powder. I can't imagine it was a very Stout charge but it was a much larger diameter projectile than your #2 and there were also 2 of them...

    But back to the first, are these for fun, because you can, self defense, farm/garden critter gitter, neighborhood dog defense or something else altogether

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Don't know about #2 shot, but I tested some of the Big 4 CCI shotshells with no. 4 shot and patterns were VERY thin, because there are so few pellets in the shell. No. 4 pellets are 135 to the ounce. An ounce is 437.5 grains, so each pellet weighs 3.24 grains. According to CCI the .38 Special Big 4 has a payload of 84 grains, which works out to about 26 pellets.

    When handgun shot loads are fired from a rifled barrel, the shot normally disperses about 1 inch per foot of range. In testing handgun shot loads for survival kit use I use the D1C repair center which is 11 inches square, about the size of a pheasant flying with its wings spread. The inner circle of the D1C is four inches, which is a good approximation of a small game bird's body. The outer ring is 8", which approximates the size of a rabbit.

    I have determined to my own satisfaction that the maximum effective range of a handgun shot load is the distance at which you can depend upon a number of pellets hitting inside the 4" circle aiming point, equal to the shot size, i.e. six No.6s, 7 No. 7-1/2s, eight No. 8, etc.

    I fired test patterns with CCI .38/.357 Big 4 shot at 10 feet and 15 feet from my 2" S&W Model 37 Airweight snubby "yard work snake gun", and one of my 6-inch S&W Model 10 "ruck guns."

    At ten feet the patterns were dense enough to be useable on small game and the larger shot penetrates through 3/8" plywood. While 4 pellet hits in the 4" inner circle were obtained with the snubby, and six pellets with the 6" revolver, with so few pellets in the load you could not depend upon hitting a snake head you were aiming at unless you got much closer within 5-6 feet. At 15 feet the patterns were so thin as to be useless.

    My take-away from this is that the "Big 4" load may be more effective in a larger caliber like the .45 Colt or .44 Magnum, which will contain more shot. The .38 Big 4 doesn't pattern densely enough for snake heads beyond maybe 5-6 ft. And it's not a small game load beyond about 10 ft. My advice is to stick with fine shot such as No.8 or No. 9 in any handgun caliber smaller than a .44.

    I load No.8 shot in my 5 in 1 blank cases for use in the H&R Garden Gun and my .44 and .45 revolvers. No. 8 hits harder than 9s and patterns well. In the .44s 1/3 oz. of 8s is effective on rabbits and such to 25 ft. But if you don't load your own and plan to buy any of the CCI shot loads to keep in your ruck, stick to the Blue Cap No.9s.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    As I said I want to "try." The purpose would be for an encounter with a farm/garden critter. Such as a rabid raccoon.

    Usually, I have with me a Yiltz folding 410 or a Contender with a 410 10" barrel loaded with shells loaded with #10 shot, 3/4 oz of #4 or 1/2oz of lead (!) BB's.

    When I need something that weighs less I use a 4" barreled S&W 38sp. with #10 shot in the speer capsules or solid bullets. Yes, one of two round balls are possibilities. But I want to try the largest shot that can fit in the capsules.
    Last edited by besk; 07-04-2019 at 11:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    The pattern of the CCI "Big 4" at 10 ft from the 6" barrel shown above is about what I would expect.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Here are some other handgun shot pattern tests:

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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Something else to consider. Years ago I tried 3 round balls that would just fit in the blue 357 capsule. Firing one at a time nice results at short range - thinking two legged target inside house. But, first time I tried with full cylinder, the recoil inertia broke the ends out of the capsules after the second round fired.
    Again, not trying to discourage, just be sure to test the way you intend to carry.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    besk,

    Is there a reason you must use capsules rather than two gas checks (one cup up over powder and the other cup down atop the shot) WITHOUT the use of capsules? I long ago gave up on capsules for several reasons. First, some capsules did not shatter on firing and resembled a wadcutter load on target. Second, some capsules in other chambers moved forward to jam the revolver or broke on the front end with the same results. My gas check receipe has never failed me.

    The .38 Special is a small case and I have never had good snake loads using any shot larger than #6, but #7.5 works better in PA. I hope this helps.

    Adam

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Adam, I have had excellent success on water moccasins with the capsules in my lightweight S&W revolver using #10 shot with Unique powder. Two #2 shot will just fit side by side inside the capsule. I want to try a few with the shot stacked 2x2 as an experiment. These would not be snake loads.

    BTW, I have loaded 38 special and 357 mag using the gas check method in the past. They work particularly well in the 357 choked Contender barrel. I like the capsules because they reduce the possibility of leading in the bore.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    besk,

    Thanks for the clarification. I live on a 60-acre farm and wish to advise no .38 Special shot load will kill a rabid coon unless you are at contact distance. I know! I don't know if the coon was rabid, but it was on my enclosed back porch one night and came for me. Bore leading is far easier to remove than jacketed fouling.

    How close does a water moccasin need to be for #10 shot to be effective? I'd prefer #6 or #7.5 for our copperheads and rattlers.

    Be Well.

    Adam

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    The moccasins I have killed with my revolver (4" barrel) were around 6 to 8 feet from me. Aimed just behind the head and they never twitched. They were rather small - no more than 2 1/2 feet long at the most.

    The nervous system of a snake is simple. I have read that multiple shot hitting a small animal at the same time has a shock effect. With snakes I have seen the same thing happen with my sawed off 410 with 1/2 oz of #10 shot.

    Only one rattler that I shot didn't die immediately and required a second shot. In that case I was using a Winchester AA #8 factory skeet shell in a 410 with no choke. Maybe I didn't get good shot placement in that case or was too close.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    What you might try is stack the layer of #2s in then fill voids with #10 adding each layer as you go. This will take care of airspaces / voids and also up the shot pellet count adding to pattern density.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    What you might try is stack the layer of #2s in then fill voids with #10 adding each layer as you go. This will take care of airspaces / voids and also up the shot pellet count adding to pattern density.
    I recently did the same thing with 4s and 8s, simply mixed them, a 2:1 ratio by volume of 4s to 8s seems to pour well and settle into .44 and .45 cases. Have not tried this in .38/.357, I stick to straight 8s there for pellet count.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    After you put the #2 shot in the capsule, fill the air spaces with melted paraffin. A rabid coon should not be trifled with- use the .410.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Big 4s out of my 4 inch bbl are spead too thin to hit much of any thing at 10 feet. Im thinking 6s would give a denser load

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Helmer View Post
    besk,

    Is there a reason you must use capsules rather than two gas checks (one cup up over powder and the other cup down atop the shot) WITHOUT the use of capsules? I long ago gave up on capsules for several reasons. First, some capsules did not shatter on firing and resembled a wadcutter load on target. Second, some capsules in other chambers moved forward to jam the revolver or broke on the front end with the same results. My gas check receipe has never failed me.

    The .38 Special is a small case and I have never had good snake loads using any shot larger than #6, but #7.5 works better in PA. I hope this helps.

    Adam
    I have loaded a fair amount of snake loads using gas checks as well but in .45 Colt so there was lots of room for #9 shot. At 10 feet the pattern density was good and it was effective on rattlers but I wouldn't trust it on bigger animals. If loaded with #6 or #4 it might be better but for coons, rabid or not, I would prefer an expanding projectile or a shotgun.

    I've just bought shotgun shells with the size shot I wanted and removed the shot from them for snake loads. In the small quantities needed, it's more economical than buying a bag of shot. At 1-1/8 oz that's 28 ounces of shot per box and almost 32 ounces at 1-1/4 oz shot loads.
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