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Thread: Proofing the Lee 1 oz without Tail Feathers

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Proofing the Lee 1 oz without Tail Feathers

    Months ago, I went into the details of a load that was working out very well on the range with my Western Field 170 and the Lee 1 ounce slug. I detailed that work here: Western Field 170 Slugster ~ Lee 1 oz without Tail Feathers

    I had finalized the load about as I started with it. Every time I shot a target at 50 yards, I sent the slug through the bullseye. I had planned to use the gun on a "slug only" draw hunt in South Texas. I was not chosen for the hunt, so the 170 and it's reloading stopped. The open sights do not lend itself to low light or night time hog hunting, so it's been sitting in a gun rack.

    "Doe days" started over Thanksgiving, so I brought it out and shot a couple of cull rounds that I had sitting on the bench, all went through the 50-yard bullseye. I pulled the Lee Load-All Jr. off the shelf as well and loaded up a few rounds to see if I could kill a doe. I've been out every day, but with the heat (up to 85), the deer are moving only in the first few minutes of shooting time. Against the gray sky, brush, and deer, I cannot see the Williams rifle sights well enough to shoot. I even white chaulked the front sight, still doesn't stand out. The sight stuff isn't unique; it has been the same experience every time I've tried using them.

    This morning, in the first 10 minutes of hunting, I saw 14 to 16 does, most within 50-yards, but I could not put a bead on one of them. At 9:00, after two hours of not seeing anything else. I started to walk out. I just happened to see a buck leaving a wildlife waterer out in the native grass. I checked him to see if he met the antler restrictions and took off. He was 300-yards away, and I closed the distance to 65-yards just as he was about to enter some dense brush. I took an off-hand shot, and there was no doubt I smacked the heck out of the deer.

    Finally, I did it this morning my first deer with a slug and open sights!



    The deer jumped up high using its rear legs, I could tell that both front shoulders were broken, and went down about 7-yards in the thicket. I've not shot beyond 50-yards on the range, mainly because the thick blade of the fronts sight covers too much of the target, but my hit (above the hull) was near perfect (could have been raised a tad more). Everything in the chest cavity was gravy.

    I'm in love with this smoothbore and the "tail-less" Lee. I will continue to load it on the Load-All Junior as it just folds everything perfectly. If I use the Load-All II, I need a thin spacer to limit the tool-head travel. Not a big deal as it give the cute, old press a purpose.

    Here is the load.

    Michael

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    thats a nice write up, really like the cut away shell.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Thank you!

    The durn Western Field shoots the Lee like a laser. I think I am going to sell my rifled shotguns & barrel to fund a gunsmith built scout mount for the 170. I've used a gunsmith for several custom scout mounts; he has my Gibbs Summit (45-70 Govt SMLE) right now.

    The tail-less Lightning 078 and the 20 Gauge ' white felt wad leaves the slug quickly. The same with the nitro card in front of the powder. The two 10mm Waxed Cards are welded together and are found in front of the 50-yard berm.

    The actual powder charge, the 39.8-grains, was used to complete the column stack height so that I had a tight star fold. I did the math with the components and wanted any charge of Blue Dot between 39 and 40-grains. Honestly, I don't think anything within that range is going to make a difference at the terminal end of it all.
    Michael

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I think if it were me I’d keep atleast one that’s rifled . Nice deer congratulations ��
    Go Manny Pacquiao !!!

    Parker's , 6.5mm's , 444 Marlin's and my family in the Philippines

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Well done sir! Do you happen to know the bore diameter at the muzzle? Is there any choke? Reason I ask, is a local gun shop has a western field bolt action shotgun with a polychoke attached that I've had my eye on. Thought I might stop in and measure the bore, see if it would work with slugs.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by pashiner View Post
    Well done sir! Do you happen to know the bore diameter at the muzzle? Is there any choke? Reason I ask, is a local gun shop has a western field bolt action shotgun with a polychoke attached that I've had my eye on. Thought I might stop in and measure the bore, see if it would work with slugs.


    Source is the first link in the OP, & first post at the below link:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-Tail-Feathers
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Ranch Dog,

    Thanks for sharing your doings!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    ~~ WWG1WGA ~~

    Restore the Republic!!!

    For the Fudds > "Those who appease a tiger, do so in the hope that the tiger will eat them last." -Winston Churchill.

    President Reagan tells it like it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6MwPgPK7WQ

    Phil Robertson explains the Wall: https://youtu.be/f9d1Wof7S4o

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by pashiner View Post
    Well done sir! Do you happen to know the bore diameter at the muzzle? Is there any choke? Reason I ask, is a local gun shop has a western field bolt action shotgun with a polychoke attached that I've had my eye on. Thought I might stop in and measure the bore, see if it would work with slugs.
    I see JBinMN provided the info. My 170 is the "Slugster", roll stamped on the barrel, so I'm not sure what you might find on that shotgun. The Slugster has a Williams dovetailed, adjustable, rear sight and the fixed front blade. I'd love to put a Weaver Classic K4 Scout scope on this slug gun.
    Michael

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    outstanding!
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by 6pt-sika View Post
    I think if it were me Id keep atleast one thats rifled . Nice deer congratulations ��
    The Marlin 512 and Mossberg 695 both have their good points, but neither shoot as well as the Western Field 170. Neither of the others will shoot the Lee slug. I think the need to use a column wad with that particular slug really hurts it; hence, my decision to use only the cup to fit it to the bore. I personally don't think a shot pressure wad can survive when trying to accelerate a slug down a rifled barrel. There as lot of friction with the twist and I also believe a slug is a lot tougher to start than a like weight of shot, the outcome being the pressure wad fails.

    Thanks, the buck was icing on the cake!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hogtamer View Post
    outstanding!
    Thanks!
    Michael

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Outstanding indeed! Another great post RD!

    I have got to make time to get to the range. Not only do I have to put some more rounds through the Mossberg Slugster I have several types of loaded and ready to test. Just need to get it done.

    I really like your idea of eliminating the cushion leg. I agree wholeheartedly that the cushion leg is a weak link in the system. Some wads may be tough enough and of course there are people like Hogtamer that are getting very good accuracy with wad slugs and cushion legs but these plastic wads are really meant for shot and are not as consistently/accurately made as a true sabot. So, the combination of a collapsing cushion and I'll say generally a "hot" load under a slug can result in distorted and damaged wads. That is a general statement of course and a lot depends on wad brand and style, powder charge, slug and of course gun.

    I think the most obvious issue is the collapsing of the cushion leg and condition of the gas seal at the muzzle. If that isn't all even and square to the bore then how would it be different than an uneven boolit base? The wad column leaves the slug shortly after it leaves the muzzle but by then any unevenness has done its thing and possibly tilted the slug as it exits.

    Greg Sappington did a lot of work with wad slugs and came to the conclusion that to get consistent top notch accuracy injection moulded commercial shotcups were not up to the task. Having said that, I think Greg's expectation of accuracy was was a little (maybe a lot) higher than mine is for slugs.

    Eliminating that variable by eliminating the plastic wad makes sense to me.

    I have run out of hard card wads and am nearly out of 12 ga. nitro card wads so have got to get an order in to BPI as there are virtually no shotgun reloading components locally. I have my "clone" of turbo1889's TC slug that resulted in good smoothbore accuracy for him. I'm planning on using that full bore slug over an old fashioned card wad column as you have illustrated above to see what happens. That will simply eliminate the shotcup.

    Of all the things I have tried, I have not loaded a full bore HB slug over hard card wad column. I did find that a 0.735" RB loaded over a plastic over-powder gas seal then hard card wad column worked best for me under those RB's. They shot very well in both smoothbore and rifled gun... the only time I have shot rifled shotgun. I think I'll follow your lead though and use nitro card wads over the powder and leave out the plastic gas seal, at least to start.

    I did try a load very similar to what you show above with all nitro card wad and hard card wad column under a wad slug in a cut off shotcup but my results were nothing like yours. Recovered shotcups showed severe gas damage from leakage. Petals were stretched, burned and black. I was surprised there was that much gas leakage but so there was. Accuracy was poor. That was in my 0.733" bore single shot so maybe too large a bore to seal well with standard 12 ga. card wads?

    Anyway, next time I will duplicate your load and try it in my Mossberg Slugster with 0.730" bore.

    Thanks for being so tenacious and finding a good load that works... and mostly, thanks for sharing.

    Longbow

  12. #12
    Greetings Ranch Dog, I just compared the Mossberg 695, Merlin 512 and your Westfield 170 came out the winner, looks the best and after reading your post I'll say shoots the best too.
    Thank you for sharing your comments, enjoyed it !

    Best regards,
    Ajay K. Madan
    Super Blazing Sabots

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranch Dog View Post
    The Marlin 512 and Mossberg 695 both have their good points, but neither shoot as well as the Western Field 170. Neither of the others will shoot the Lee slug. I think the need to use a column wad with that particular slug really hurts it; hence, my decision to use only the cup to fit it to the bore. I personally don't think a shot pressure wad can survive when trying to accelerate a slug down a rifled barrel. There as lot of friction with the twist and I also believe a slug is a lot tougher to start than a like weight of shot, the outcome being the pressure



    Thanks!
    I see your point ! Even though I have about a dozen casting options for slugs in five different gauges now I’ve never tried any of them in a rifled slug gun . The Hastings rifled A-5 barrel I’ve only used factory and the Savage 220 is also a factory only do far . And to be honest the Belgian factory smoothbore slug barrels only had factory as well . But my double barrels get very little factory slug or buckshot loads . I do have a Pre 64 Winchester Model 12 12 gauge 3” Heavy Duck scheduled to arrive Tuesday that may very well get a try with the Lyman pellet style slug .
    Go Manny Pacquiao !!!

    Parker's , 6.5mm's , 444 Marlin's and my family in the Philippines

  14. #14
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    Michael: Great shot on the Buck. That is a nice Buck for South Texas !!!

    Is the Front Sight on your gun a solid one piece sight like the one shown above, or has it got a dovetailed base with a blade insert? If it is solid could it be changed conveniently? My M500 and A5 Smoothbore barrels both have Williams Fiber Optic Blades mounted, and with the Green Tubes in them they glow pretty bright in any light at all. Very easy to see against any background.

    I am happy that you shot that buck with open sights. You know about the Front Sight, and you also know that's all that matters. Nobody needs a scope to shoot at 50 yards. Open Sights on that gun are very appropriate, and don't weigh it down with a bunch of Optical Madness hanging off it, which would only destroy the handling. Kind of like putting floats on the Skymaster?

    Randy
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    6pt-sika: Try some STI Hammer Head Slugs in your Hastings Barrel. Mine shoots them inside 1.5" at 50 yards with the open sights. The A5 Smoothbore Barrel is not far behind with Lee and Lyman slugs.

    Randy
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    6pt-sika: Try some STI Hammer Head Slugs in your Hastings Barrel. Mine shoots them inside 1.5" at 50 yards with the open sights. The A5 Smoothbore Barrel is not far behind with Lee and Lyman slugs.

    Randy
    Thanks but no thanks . I’ll still use factory in the rifled barrels . In the Browning smoothbores may try loading some of the Lymans as I have one press set up for 12 3” exclusively . I wanna find a circa 1967-1972 A5 20 Magnum to do 3” 20 gauge and or a Belgian Superposed that’s 20 ga 3” asi kinda wanna do one in with 20 Gauge 3” buck and slugs .
    Go Manny Pacquiao !!!

    Parker's , 6.5mm's , 444 Marlin's and my family in the Philippines

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for the measurements!...so you've got about .0045 squish taken up by the wad. I'll have to see if my lee slug loads fit any of my barrels like that. Mine are all in the .729 range, and I shear off a lot of petals and have some trouble getting thin enough wads locally. There may be a certain western field in my future.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master




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    Nice buck and write up. I too have a bolt action 12ga. It is a "Glenfield" made by Marlin pre 1968 (no serial number) that was given to me. It came with about a 30in barrel. I cut it back to 20, so it sits now with "cylinder bore". It shoots slugs pretty well. You have inspired me to keep at it with this gun. I currently have a Marlin M60 .22LR front sight duct taped to the barrel with hot pink duct tape. I am looking at different sight options...

    My load is 23gr. Green Dot with Lee slug in a Claybuster CB1114-12 wad, loaded in Winchester Cheapie "Universal" hulls. Loads are crunched together with an ancient MEC Sizemaster.
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    Michael: Great shot on the Buck. That is a nice Buck for South Texas !!!

    Is the Front Sight on your gun a solid one piece sight like the one shown above, or has it got a dovetailed base with a blade insert? If it is solid could it be changed conveniently? My M500 and A5 Smoothbore barrels both have Williams Fiber Optic Blades mounted, and with the Green Tubes in them they glow pretty bright in any light at all. Very easy to see against any background.

    I am happy that you shot that buck with open sights. You know about the Front Sight, and you also know that's all that matters. Nobody needs a scope to shoot at 50 yards. Open Sights on that gun are very appropriate, and don't weigh it down with a bunch of Optical Madness hanging off it, which would only destroy the handling.


    The sight is a solid one-piece block, braised (?) to the barrel. It sits way too high; the rear sight is bottomed out. Without optics, this gun will never be a nighttime hog hunter. I haven't seen a hog in "legal" deer hunting light in years, but the night is heavy with them. I would also like to see what this load would do, out at 100 yards, and there is no way to shoot the 170 that far. Not sure what I will do with the 170 at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    Kind of like putting floats on the Skymaster?
    You just had to say it, so I just had to look and now I want it too!

    Michael

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by EMC45 View Post
    Nice buck and write up. I too have a bolt action 12ga. It is a "Glenfield" made by Marlin pre 1968 (no serial number) that was given to me. It came with about a 30in barrel. I cut it back to 20, so it sits now with "cylinder bore". It shoots slugs pretty well. You have inspired me to keep at it with this gun. I currently have a Marlin M60 .22LR front sight duct taped to the barrel with hot pink duct tape. I am looking at different sight options...

    My load is 23gr. Green Dot with Lee slug in a Claybuster CB1114-12 wad, loaded in Winchester Cheapie "Universal" hulls. Loads are crunched together with an ancient MEC Sizemaster.
    Now that is a sight setup, I'd like to see.

    Looking at the Claybuster CB1114-12, I think the cup is way too deep. I narrowed down my searching to wads with 7/8 ounce or less shot cups. Initially, I thought the strut wouldn't be up to the task on such column wads, but in the end, the cup was more critical as the only solid columns survive. None of the struts truly pass. With the cup, the less you have to put behind the slug, the better. I do think that the support Lee's hollow base for the benefit of the cup, and the white felt wad has been perfect.

    Honestly, this reloading endeavor has been the most costly in terms of components against any of the 30 metallic cartridges I load. I have more shotgun components than any gun store has within an hour's drive. I finally gave up buying a little at a time and went ahead and bought every possibility to solve my slugging needs. I purchased all the wads, 7/8 pressure wads, etc. The little bit of work and stopping to decide what I might need was driving me crazy. That was the only way I could move forward without losing interest.
    Michael

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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