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Thread: Revolver shot loads that WORK!

  1. #41
    Boolit Master zardoz's Avatar
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    Very impressive procedure here.

    One thing, I'm not clear on though. Am I to understand that your cartridge is primed and charged, then the wad, shot cup, and shot are loaded. Then, you put heat or flame on the end of the petal ends, while the round is "live"?

    If so, then I would be a bit concerned about bringing a loaded cartridge near a heat source. Am I being a nervous Nellie here on this point?

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by zardoz View Post
    Very impressive procedure here.

    One thing, I'm not clear on though. Am I to understand that your cartridge is primed and charged, then the wad, shot cup, and shot are loaded. Then, you put heat or flame on the end of the petal ends, while the round is "live"?

    If so, then I would be a bit concerned about bringing a loaded cartridge near a heat source. Am I being a nervous Nellie here on this point?
    You're just heating the petals sticking out of the end of the nose forming collar, and the lead shot is one heckuva heat sink. I sometimes form the molten plastic over the shot with my fingertips, it's not that hot (but then again, I'm a diesel mechanic and have very calloused hands).

    I have no trouble whatsoever doing this. If it makes you a little nervous, you can always finish your wads in a "dummy" case with filler like black pepper under the shot wad, then use one of those can opener pads to grab the nose and pull the finished "capsule" out.

    I was just showing "a" way to do it, not "the" way, part of the reason I wanted to post this was to see if anyone had ideas to improve my methods or had better methods of their own they wanted to share, I appreciate all the interest and responses!

    Gear

  3. #43
    Boolit Master zardoz's Avatar
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    Yes, thanks.

    One thing that I was thinking of to seal the end of the finished shot cartridge, would be to fabricate a brass cup or something, that could screw into the end of of pencil type soldering iron. Then, this would act sort of like the final crimp station, sort of like a crimp on a regular shot shell.

    The heat could be controlled by a rheostat for the soldering pencil, to the exact melt point for the milk jug plastic. No open flame, and might even get very consistent ends on the shot capsule for better patterns.

    Just thinking out loud here.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master


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    I was thinking of turning a rounded shape in the end of a bolt to heat with the torch, (wooden handle here) Use the heated hollow bolt to form and seal the the petals.

  5. #45
    Boolit Buddy Hank10's Avatar
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    shot loads

    Gear, interesting, I'll give it try. More shot is always good. I've been making shot loads for 40 or 50 yrs. using a method I found that shoots excellent patterns but with less shot. It's the gascheck but with a plastic wrap. The wrap is .015 clear plastic upholstery material. A piece cut just long enough to reach from the overpowder GC to the overshot GC and long enough to make about 2 1/4 wraps.
    Roll it up and drop it into the case, making sure it rolled so that it doesn't unroll in the rifling. It will unroll itself against the case walls, fill with shot and crimp GC over it. Definately not as many shot but plenty for snakes and many grouse, rabbits, ground squirrels, etc. have been done in with it. I've used this method to make shot loads in as small a case as .30 carbine for a Ruger blackhawk. Works good if you can get by with less shot.
    H10

  6. #46
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    Oh ****, I got to thinkin. I wonder if this method could be used with a 45-70

    Maybe make it good enough to kill a grouse. Dang things are all over the place, and if I don't see a deer, I shoot a couple grouse.

    Good eatin.

    Edited to add: If the forum can edit out the word c rap, then why can't it edit out the more foul language?
    "I have enough ammo and guns to shoot my way into Nevada." - California resident.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by zardoz View Post
    Yes, thanks.

    One thing that I was thinking of to seal the end of the finished shot cartridge, would be to fabricate a brass cup or something, that could screw into the end of of pencil type soldering iron. Then, this would act sort of like the final crimp station, sort of like a crimp on a regular shot shell.

    The heat could be controlled by a rheostat for the soldering pencil, to the exact melt point for the milk jug plastic. No open flame, and might even get very consistent ends on the shot capsule for better patterns.

    Just thinking out loud here.
    Try it. I've been toying with a more rounded nose-forming collar so these will feed in my Henry. Problem so far is I have to slice little wedges out of the petals to they don't overlap each other when the nose collar is pressed in to place.

    I'll report back on patterns and such, I don't expect much with the higher velocity of the rifle, maybe "donuts"?? My wife keeps reminding me that I DO have a good Winchester single-shot .410. Oh well.

    Gear

  8. #48
    Boolit Master
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    Hi All; If any of you guys have the 2nd edition of RELOADING FOR SHOTGUNNERS by
    Robert S.L Anderson. There is an article ( Loads & Reloads for Stockless Shotguns) by
    Dean Grennell that gives all the information for making shot loads for revolvers and
    the 45 auto pistol. He used .308 cases trimmed and sized in .308 dies and in .44 mag
    dies for use with the half moon clips in .45 acp revolvers. The article is quite long, but
    shows all the steps needed to load shotshells for pistols. The book is by DBI Books Inc
    and is the Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition. Hope this helps. webfoot10

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by webfoot10 View Post
    Hi All; If any of you guys have the 2nd edition of RELOADING FOR SHOTGUNNERS by
    Robert S.L Anderson. There is an article ( Loads & Reloads for Stockless Shotguns) by
    Dean Grennell that gives all the information for making shot loads for revolvers and
    the 45 auto pistol. He used .308 cases trimmed and sized in .308 dies and in .44 mag
    dies for use with the half moon clips in .45 acp revolvers. The article is quite long, but
    shows all the steps needed to load shotshells for pistols. The book is by DBI Books Inc
    and is the Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition. Hope this helps. webfoot10
    Good info, I read that (FIL has a copy), but if you reread my OP you'll see why I was looking for a better way. I think I found it.

    Gear

  10. #50
    Boolit Bub
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    Well, I ran out of cast bullets to reload so I set about creating my own shot shell, in .38sp.

    It's not as nice as the original poster's stuff.

    I primed a winchester .38 shell with a federal small pistol primer. I loaded it up with 3.7 grains of unique, to be conservative. The best thing I could find around the house to use as a powder stopper was to punch a small bit of candle wax, I made mine a little less than a 1/4" thick. I then took some milk jug plastic and did my best to mimick the op's method. Mine didn't turn out as nice; if I remember correctly I was only able to fit about 60-70 grains of 7-1/2 shot from a 12ga shell. I then sealed up the end with a lighter and put a dabble of super glue around the rims edge to be sure. It's looks like someone wadded up some gum and stuck it in the case, lol.

    I don't plan on making any more of these, too much effort, not enough patience, and too little use for shotshells.

    I'm kind of leery to test fire it. The idea of the powder being compacted into a much smaller space worrys me.

    And I just had another thought, does anyone think the wax bit between the powder and shot casing will combust and make the round dangerous or something?

    I guess I'm looking for assurances that this thing won't blow up or damage my taurus 85 ultra lite 38 snub

    what do you all think? I'm thinking I'd rather not risk it the more I think about it.

  11. #51
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    Jason, if it worries you, don't do it. You can buy ready-made CCI shotshells for .38 already loaded and ready to go.

    Gear

  12. #52
    Boolit Mold
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    Hallo geargnasher

    - You do SUPER work!!
    Thanks for the sharing of all this info.!

    Chr.

  13. #53
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    Good morning
    Well done ! Very nice explanation !
    I like IT ! Sure beats my idea to take an old Dan Wesson 4 " 41 mag barrel and make a smothbore out of it. With this "Jug Shot" setup I can still have an accurate revolver with the 6th shot for pest control.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
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  14. #54
    Boolit Master


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    I just loaded ONE shot shell using this method.

    Interestingly, it feeds just fine in my Marlin.

    Unfortunately, due to OAL constrictions, I think I may be able to squeeze in a grand total of 250 gr of shot. I also, have no idea of the shot size.

    The shot was pulled from a shell labeled "super handicap" 1 7/8 - 7 1/2 or something like that. I found it on the ground.

    It contains a measured 225 gr of shot. 15 gr of Unique is the powder charge.

    The shot sits directly on top of the powder charge, and is very slightly compressed.

    I found a max charge of 20 gr Unique listed for a 300 gr flat point, so I imagine 15 gr is safe for the shot weight.

    Assuming nobody thinks this is dangerous, I will make up a few more and see how they do.

    Oh, and I actually formed the top of the shot cup by heating up the milk jug plastic, rough forming it over the shot, then heating it again and pressing a 50 AE case down over it. I believe it did pretty well.

    Heck, it even gave me an imprint of the flash hole.

    "I have enough ammo and guns to shoot my way into Nevada." - California resident.

  15. #55
    Boolit Man shootingbuff's Avatar
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    I have not made my own shot shells - I have not made my own shot shells.

    What every article for what it is worth - for what it is worth has stated is that better patterns will result from less than max loads.

    Neat idea. Once I get time I will try this. Thanks for the right up.

    sb

  16. #56
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    Jeremy, looks like you're the only other person that's ever actually going to try this. What caliber are you using? Is that .45-70 or .450 Marlin? Can't tell from the angle of the pic if it has any taper or not. I'm surprised you don't have more room for shot than you do, is your shotcup compressed against the powder? I get a full 250 grains of #9 shot in a .45 Colt case with half as much powder, give me some details on what's in the case.

    I'd say you should easily be able to surpass .410 shotgun ballistics with this, but your patters are going to royally suck beyond about 20 feet at any decent velocity. Also keep in mind that you only need enough powder to fully obturate the bore with the shotcup, and if you work up from cat-sneeze velocities, fire through cardboard, and inspect your shotcups carefully you can get a really good idea of when you should stop adding powder. If you started off with five grains of unique, recovered the wad, you might notice slight land engravings on the plastic, but no burn marks. As you increase, you will note progressively sharper and sharper land engravings and the pellets will make deeper impressions in the plastic from the inside, indicating that the shotcup has sealed in the bore and is getting full use of the available pressure from the burning powder. Eventually, you'll get to the point that the undershot wad and shotcup base can't contain the pressure and you'll blow the whole center out of the shot column, possibly leaving the petals stuck in the bore as a nice obstruction for a following shot. Please be careful, and if you don't see your wad, check the bore each shot to make sure it's clear.

    Gear

  17. #57
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    I'm using 15 gr of Unique underneath 225 gr of shot. The caliber is 45-70.

    The shot cup is compressed against the powder charge.

    I decided on 15 gr of unique because it is a full 5 gr below a max charge for a 300 gr boolit. And that's a trapdoor load.

    I will definitely check the bore after each shot.

    So, you're suggesting I fire the shotshell through cardboard?

    Is this to catch the wad for inspection?

    I should be able to get 250 gr of shot into the cup, but when I loaded 300 gr of shot it got stuck in the chamber of the marlin and threw powder everywhere.

    I'm thinking it's possible that 15 gr of unique is a bit much. If that's the case, It should open up a lot more space for shot.

    We'll see what happens.

    With the current powder charge and the shot cup set up the way it is, I can't pull the shot cup out by hand, but I don't believe that the case neck tension would be greater than that on a boolit plus the crimp.

    So, with 225 gr I'm sure I'm in a safe, and quite possibly cat sneeze load range.

    I'll load a few more and see what happens. After that I should adjust the powder charge as necessary.
    "I have enough ammo and guns to shoot my way into Nevada." - California resident.

  18. #58
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    I don't think you're in an unsafe range for the powder, but remember that the dynamics of a Nylon shotcup are quite different than a boolit. Also remember that you aren't using a shock-absorbing wad, either. Unique should be a fine choice, but I would try HS6 or Longshot myself since they are much less bulky for the same energy, are slower burning but still burn fairly clean at low pressures, and make room for more shot.

    The cardboard is a shotcup trap and patterning board, good for diagnosis. Use at least two layers to catch the shotcup.

    Good to keep the powder charge compressed, you get maximum energy out of it with zero free air gap, just like in a shotgun shell. The compression of the powder also makes your published loading data useless, as that data was most certainly worked up with only a half-casefull of powder or less and removing that space really spikes pressures.

    I noticed you didn't make a very big "boolit" end of the capsule sticking out, you can gain quite a bit if you'll take a fired, unsized .45 ACP case and cut the head off of it to make a nose forming collar, that way you can slip it over your shotcup petals, fill it with shot, seal the end and then remove the collar. That will leave a formed shotcup nose poking out that will look like a boolit nose. You should be able to get an ounce of shot in there easily, but based on my experience with .45 Colt I wouldn't go more than 300 grains without using some sort of shock-absorbing wad under the shotcup unless you were using milder loads. It really doesn't take much, you aren't trying to push the shot to 2,000 fps, just about half that is plenty for small game, and your patterns will probably be gone long before killing velocity is anyway.

    Gear
    Last edited by geargnasher; 10-17-2010 at 02:09 AM.

  19. #59
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    Gear, brother I'm impressed. Good on ya. If you gave me a sponge and an anvil, I'd bring the anvil back in pieces. I never would have figured that out for myself.
    I came into this world kicking, screaming, and covered in someone elses blood. I plan to go out the same way.

  20. #60
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    Years ago, and I mean 30 years ago, I made cylinder length cases for the 44mag from 30-40 Krag cases. The rims need to be turned down a bit.....might need to try that again.

    Heat shrink tubing comes in various diameters. I wonder if anyone has tried using it as "tubes"?

    It might be worth searching the 'net to see if anyone makes LDPE thin wall tubing in useable diameters. Larger diameter straws come to mind.....just thinking out loud!

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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