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Thread: 20 gauge triball loads?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    20 gauge triball loads?

    I am looking for some info on making tri ball loads for the 20 gauge for deep woods deer hunting.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Not a bad Idea, I might have to agree with you, I was looking for a Buck and Ball load, but its kinda peetered out...
    Chris



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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Greetings I
    I think if you do a SEARCH here in Shotguns you will find some info.
    "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.

  4. #4
    I can tell you one thing....the 20 gauge Tri-Ball is a bit*ch to make!!! The basic problem is finding a wad that will not blow forward off the balls. Most wads are flat bottom inside and the radius of the bottom ball leaves a great deal un-supported.
    Ole' Dixie and Ralph M. (Dixie Advisor) have been working on that load since last year! Proto types have been sent to North Carolina for field tests. And...Ralph M seems to have found the correct wad. The load is real flakey about powder and amount of powder!
    There is no doubt that a Tri-Ball 20 could be a real deer/hog killer! Dixie is using .530" balls and Ralph is usint .520" balls.
    We are dealing with two problems beside the wads.....In order to keep pressure within specs we need a very slow burn powder.....but that means high muzzle pressure, ergo blown base wads as the loads breaks from the muzzle.
    If you still plan to play with the design:
    (1) Use only a straight walled hull!
    (2) Use a wad s designed for steel shot.
    (3) Use a very slow burn powder.
    Be ready for some hair-pulling! If we get this thing ironed out...I will post the load.
    Regards, James
    Dixie Slugs (dixieslugs.com)-Home of the Dixie Terminator

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    I am using the precision reloading steel shot wad, three hard cast 0.530" ball 2cc of precision shot buffer (vibrated in) and 22-24 blue dot powder. The hulls are fiocci 3" new with the fio 616 primer.
    I have been fold crimp and not roll crimp to save my hulls (getting really hard to find in Canada).
    So far they have fired great from my mossberg 500 20 gauge with a full choke at 40 yards.

    My full bore 20 slugs work great (load data & technique from Dixie)

  6. #6
    Be a little careful going to, or over, 21 grains of Blue Dot. Pressure tests with 21 grains gave a pressure of 14,880 psi (24" barrrel) and velocity of 1039'/" avg.
    Ralph is using the BPI VP90 (cutting 4 slits) and .520" balls. I am using the VP92 and .530" balls. We are both now using Allliant Steel powder to reduce pressure.
    I sent test loads to North Carolina loaded with .530" balls. VP92 wad. and 21.5 grs of Steel......1040'/"avg (24" barrel). The loads are buffered with Precision buffer and rolled crimp. All of these loads are patterning as tight as the 12 ga. Tri-Ball loads. It seems to help also if the wads are dusted with Motor Mica. Also, we use only new Cheddite hulls with all of our hunting loads. It seems that the 20 gauge does not need much choke.
    So far, there has been one deer killed dead, but at only about 20 yards from a tree stand.
    Regards, James
    Dixie Slugs (dixieslugs.com)-Home of the Dixie Terminator

  7. #7
    Boolit Master turbo1889's Avatar
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    I jury rigged a fix for the wad blowing issue by using a 0.07" thick hard card from circlefly in the bottom of the steel shot wad under the balls.

    I have been using 0.490", 0.495", and 0.500" RB sizes (hard cast and buffered with PR spherical buffer of course). I have found that the larger ball sizes although tighter fitting in the wad and potentially tighter grouping if you tune the load just right to your individual gun exasperate tuning the load and make it much more difficult to get a load that performs as desired. The patterns with the smaller ball sizes although larger then a tuned load with the larger balls are better then an un-tuned load with the bigger balls and the tuning range for the loads with the larger ball sizes is very, very narrow and specific to each individual fire-arm.

    I have been using Steel and 2400 powder. For shorter barrel lengths the Steel powder is the go to and for the longer barrels approaching 30" length the 2400 powder is better.

    So that’s my $0.02 based on my load development. Take it for what it is worth. The ultimate key to this load would be PR putting a 20ga. version of their proprietary 12ga. Steel Shot wads on the market constructed with the same “built like a tank” philosophy of their big brothers.

  8. #8
    Excellent indeed! Now....O will pass on a "Fix" for the wads. The problem comes from a flat bottom wad touching the radius of the bottom ball. The answer is simple....an O-ring in the bottom of the wad takes up the unsupported space!The problem is not the weight of the balls indeed. You can great a velocity of 1050'/" or so with .530" balls....more weight for penetration.
    Just some thoughts....James
    Dixie Slugs (dixieslugs.com)-Home of the Dixie Terminator

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    An o ring? That is a simple answer I will have to find one that fit in the wad to help hold the balls.

    I will have to get some steel powder and try the load at 21.5 grains.

    What load range for 2400?

    What choke are you using mod, imp cld, full, turkey?

    Thank you for sharing all the info
    Last edited by 7.62Man; 10-25-2010 at 11:32 AM.

  10. #10
    In the ammo game. sometimes there is a simple answer to a complicated problem.
    We have not tried any 2400.
    For some reasom. the Tri-Ball 20 seems not to need as much choke as the Tri-Ball 12......James
    Dixie Slugs (dixieslugs.com)-Home of the Dixie Terminator

  11. #11
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    I was visualizing making a 0.530 dia aluminum rod with a full radius on one end. Coat the end with car wax or similar to act as a release agent, then applying a small gob of quick-set, hot melt glue to the bottom of the shot cup. Form it to the bottom of the cup by pushing the rod in and then wait the few seconds before twisting and pulling it out. Perfect fit the the ball.

  12. #12
    Interesting and informative indeed! The key to putting a load like Tri-Ball 20 in the line......is trying to keep everything simple.
    There is a problem with trying to make a Tri-Ball 20 do what a Tri-Ball 12 will do on game.
    It appears that the three .530" balls will be fine for deer size animals....about hogs??? Time will tell.
    It looks like Ole' Dixie will put the Tri-Ball 20 in the line next year.
    Regards, Dixie
    Last edited by Dixie Slugs; 10-31-2010 at 05:21 PM.
    Dixie Slugs (dixieslugs.com)-Home of the Dixie Terminator

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    Ok got my load of 21.5 grains of of blue dot, the bp steel wad with o ring in bottom, 2cc of buffer and thin card wad fold crimped.

    I am firing these in my mossberg 500 with a mod choke. From what I can tell I am not blowing wad and no signs of high pressure. My problem is how does one crono them with out shooting the crono? I am hoping for at least 1010 fps. I am thinking this will work great on close range deer (40 yards).

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    You are overpressure standards!

    Quote Originally Posted by 7.62Man View Post
    Ok got my load of 21.5 grains of of blue dot, the bp steel wad with o ring in bottom, 2cc of buffer and thin card wad fold crimped.

    I am firing these in my mossberg 500 with a mod choke. From what I can tell I am not blowing wad and no signs of high pressure. My problem is how does one crono them with out shooting the crono? I am hoping for at least 1010 fps. I am thinking this will work great on close range deer (40 yards).
    Go back and read the Dixie Slugs post! Specifically 21.5 grains of Alliant STEEL is the load posted!

    Your load of the same amount of Alliant Blue Dot is most likely over 15,000 psi - that is 3,000 psi over the SAMMI Maximum Average Pressure standard for 20 gauge ammunition!
    Last edited by RMc; 10-31-2010 at 06:23 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    Whoops! Thank-you Rmc I missed that one. I get some steel powder and load at the correct amount.

  16. #16
    Note!!! Ralph and I are very careful listing loads for the various projects we have going at Dixie!
    We see enough load data thrown on the Net that is really bombs looking for a place to explode.
    The recipes must be loaded exact as we list! We put this data on here for those that reload and do not buy loaded ammo.......plus we have friends here!
    ....James
    Dixie Slugs (dixieslugs.com)-Home of the Dixie Terminator

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    A few tips:

    Alliant Steel does not flow well through powder measures. In this case simple is better. A set of Lee powder dippers - checked with a powder scale - make powder charging quick and easy.

    The VP-92 / .53" load mentioned by James earlier will need cork spacers over the balls or trimming the hulls to achieve proper crimp index.

  18. #18
    The 20 gauge Tri-Ball is a very hard load to make! Most new hulls have been factory skived for fold crimp and the mouth is very thin. The best is to make a trimer and remove this skived part.
    The interesting thing about the cork over the balls....is they will not interfere with the balls (so light) and will delay the wad opening up and cause the balls to pattern very tight. I really do noy know if the cork will work with smaller shot.
    As has been mentioned...dippers are best with all fluffy powders.
    At present here have been a few deer/hogs killed with our Tri-Ball 20 gauge by the field testers. None have been lost. Most were killed within 50 yards and were hit with all three balls. Quite feankly, Ralph and I are still working toward what will be the final load for sale.
    Regards. James
    Dixie Slugs (dixieslugs.com)-Home of the Dixie Terminator

  19. #19
    In Remembrance

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    Sir,
    what size O-ring did you end up using? C-

    p.s. sorry for the thread resurrection!

    Quote Originally Posted by 7.62Man View Post
    An o ring? That is a simple answer I will have to find one that fit in the wad to help hold the balls.

    I will have to get some steel powder and try the load at 21.5 grains.

    What load range for 2400?

    What choke are you using mod, imp cld, full, turkey?

    Thank you for sharing all the info
    ____________
    "...the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right. -N.Postman

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Petander's Avatar
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    Bump.

    Is buffer essential for accuracy? I keep getting a 10" flyer every now and then,can't drop buffer after setting the balls because my fit-to-cup is snug.

    Attachment 234500

    Attachment 234501.

    One ball missing (it is 10" at 5 o' clock) from this 20 yds group. IC.

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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