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Thread: Alternate cas practice loads

  1. #1

    Alternate cas practice loads

    I need to practice my cas shotgun reloading and shooting techniques but don’t want to waste my valuable #9 shot building practice loads so I went on line looking and found slugs made of everything from wax, jbweld, wood, marbles, aluminum, plastic, rubber balls, ceremic, hard candy etc. I like the idea of using wood as it’s biodegradable [would only have to police up the wads] and would be easy to make using a plug cutter or a 3/4 dowel. They might even knock down plates on my plate rail [7 to 12 steps]. Anybody here do any experiments with cheap alternate slug material?

    Just realized that I’m in the wrong sub forum. Could someone smarter than me move this to the shotgun sub?
    Thanks for moving my post CB Forum fairygodfather.
    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 07-01-2020 at 12:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Vendor Sponsor

    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ojai CA
    Ed: You could do 11/16/.687 wood dowel cut to about 3/4" long for what you are wanting to do.

    The slug will fly completely willy nilly after about 10 yards, if it even makes it that far, but it will go out the barrel.

    Don't know what to tell you about a powder charge, but it shouldn't take much.

    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    I would go with wax. If you're after super cheap cowboy practice loads for manipulation drills and close range work, take some empty shells, cut the crimp off, and re-prime with a magnum primer. Then stuff in a crumpled wad of newspaper with no powder charge, and pour in some melted wax.
    they are quiet, safe, will fly 7-12 steps accurately, and only cost about 4 cents a piece.

    I shoot a lot of these primer-only shells at home in the back yard, and my neighbors don't hear anything at all. The hulls are infinitely reloadable, and if you accidentally plug yourself in the foot or something, they don't even leave a bruise.

    The wax will stick to steel targets if it's soft enough, and when you're done shooting you can scrape it off, melt it down and load it again!

  4. #4
    Proof of concept...I just turned down some 3/4 soft dowel using my table saw, a pine guide and my 3/8 drill [utube idea] and made 4 slugs which I reloaded in my 2 inch short shells and was 4 for 4 on my plate rail at 7 yds [knocked down 2 plates that were hit high]. They fed fine, no recoil and totally disintegrated. Used the same powder load that I use for my cas #9 shells. I need to build some more. But I don’t like using the table saw so I’m going to build a dowel cutter out of some 1/4 in plate and try that. I’ll post photos of the next batch.

    Built a steel cutter out of 1/4 inch plate. I think it needs a back plate out of hardwood to help support the dowel to keep it from moving around so much, as it makes a rough finish cut. Used a 11/16 drill for the big hole in my plate. But I've also ordered a 18mm plug cutter off fleabay to mess with whenever it gets here. Also want to try some scrap oak.
    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 07-01-2020 at 03:03 PM.

  5. #5
    Here’s 5 rds at 8 yds. Hadn’t thought about it before shooting these on paper but I probably need to cull my hulls to be all the same, not AAs and budget winchester as the light weight of the ‘slug’ is probably being affected by the hull thickness and folds. AAs are thicker than the other Winchester hulls I'm playing with. Not a bad group for dowels and they’re flying true, BIG wad cutters. The slug that is intact bounced off a small hanging steel sass marshal next to the cardboard. Being it was a hanging target and swung it didn’t break apart. Need to try some harder heavier wood.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 07-01-2020 at 05:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    I don't compete in anything that requires quickly reloading a SXS, but I would think the weight of the shells would make a big difference. With wood, the shells are feather light. If you get good at that, reloading with real shells are going to be way different.

    That said, if you want to continue to load biodegradable slugs that only need to go 5-10 yards, let me recommend waxed hard cards. NOT the standard hard cards which blow apart out of the muzzle, the waxed ones hold together. These should do better than pine.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

    missionary5155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Back in Sunny, Warm Arequipa till 2020
    What about stuffing the shell with dried cut lawn grass ? We use dried grass for salute firing our 1.1 inch cannon in the front yard. Nothing to pick up.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  8. #8
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I had thought about using sorghum seeds but don’t want to be planting sorghum all over my yard. For this project I want to be able to hit a target with a projectile[s] along with practicing various feeding techniques. How about a little background for the non cas shooters, CAS shotgunning, while it is a small shooting part of a match, can be a big part timewise and your time is your score with misses and procedures adding time. We usually shoot 6 scenarios in a monthly shoot [double all this for a 12 scenario 2 day regional match] which equals 6x10=60 rifle rds, 6x10=60 revolver rds [5 rds per each of two revolvers] and from 12 to about a box of shotgun shells depending on the match director as each one is different but the rifle and two pistols are loaded at the start of each scenario while the sg starts mty and is loaded on the clock. There are numerous ways to do that depending on the gun you’re using, a double or a 1897, how many targets you need to knock down and how the gun is staged. I use a ‘97 pump and can load singles but the slickest way is to pick up 2 to 4 rds at a time from your belt with your left hand which are loaded over the top. So my goal is to figure out what works best for me and practice it until it’s smooth as catsuit.
    Last edited by Baltimoreed; Yesterday at 09:57 AM.

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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