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Thread: The Round Ball Does It Again

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    The Round Ball Does It Again

    Just took a nice 8 point buck with my trusty $179, 12 ga NEF Slug Hunter, using the .737 RB. The load consists of 40 gr of Blue Dot + BPGS seal + 1/2" hard cardboard + 1/2" soft fiber wad + .737 Lyman RB, teflon tape wrapped and roll crimped in a 3" Fiocchi hull. I am going to try powder coating next. I used to use the 2 3/4" hull, but the components fit better in the 3". I could probably go up to 45 gr of powder, but why? A RB weight of almost 600 grains, @ 1300 fps, will get any game's attention, and as a bonus, you get a nice pyrotechnic display in low light from the Blue Dot. There is no worry about slugs tumbling, skirts collapsing, petals shearing, or erratic accuracy. Shot after shot is right there with the RB. I zero 2" high at 50 yards, so I am good point blank, out to about 100 yards, with a center hold, although I never had to shoot that far yet. This is the 17th deer I have taken with this gun and load. I just can't see how anyone could ask for anything more effective. I have the Lee Key Drive mold, the Lyman forster mold, and the Rapine Flying Trashcan mold. They all are fun to play with, but the RB beats them all for consistency. Recoil is up there, but with heavy clothing on, and the excitement of the hunt, it is not even noticed.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Nice! And a man after my own heart... round ball lover!

    I got my first best smoothbore accuracy using round balls, both 0.662" cloth patching into shotcup and 0.735" RB naked. I was a bit nervous when I was looking for load data for heavier than "normal" 1 oz. slugs. As I am sure you are aware, load data past 525 gr. (Lyman sabot slug) is sparse. I decided I'd go with heavy birdshot loads so looked some up and 1 3/8 oz. is a little heavier than the 0.735"RB cast from wheelweights so I figured that would be safe.

    Then I found the Precision Rifle Piledriver load data for 610 gr. full bore SWC style slug so went with that. The round ball was a bit lighter and less bearing surface. Those loads were listed at starting load of 36 grs. and max. load of 44 grs. at 12,500 PSI. So your suggested 45 gr. load of BD under that ball should be safe but I'd say about max. and a bit much recoil for this old guy!

    I started at 36 grs. and went up to 40 grs. That was all the fun I could stand with a light single shot! I dropped back to 38 grs. and called it good. It was a nice accurate load in both smoothbore and rifled gun.

    I like big 'ol round balls! The only reason I am still playing with other slugs is to try to get decent dependable 100 yard accuracy which is a no go with round balls from smoothbore in my experience. 60 to 70 yards seems to be the maximum range for good groups without fliers. From rifled gun of course it is a different story! Yes, I should get a rifled gun!

    Congratulations on the buck! Good hunting, good shooting and good choice of projectile!

    Longbow

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Well done! I'm a RB believer, too. They just work so well why go anywhere else. Makes my friends scratch their heads.


    .

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I am going to try this
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  5. #5
    USMC 77, USRA 79


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    How about some pictures of the deer and the load sir?? i would love to see how you wrap your rb's....

    Marko
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Here is a picture of the deer, a picture of the load components, and a loaded round. To wrap the RB, I cut a piece of plumbers teflon tape, 6-7 inches long, and while stretching it slightly, completely wrap the ball. Also here is a photo of recovered RB's from the backstop. Notice, only the equator engages the rifling, as indicated by the flats on it.

    As with any roll crimped round, if it is to be used in a tubular magazine, whether it be ball or slug, be sure the projectile is seated below flush, to eliminate the remote possibility of a chainfire. I guess you could grind the sprue off to mitigate this. My shotgun is a singleshot, so this is not an issue.
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  7. #7
    USMC 77, USRA 79


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    wonderful!!! nice pictures!!!!

    so the NEF is a rifled barrel?
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Yes the NEF is a rifled barrel. That's why it shoots so well.

  9. #9
    USMC 77, USRA 79


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    wonder how all that tape would do in a smoothbore....
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Very cool! I need to start looking for shotgun reloading supplies. I’d really like to load up some WQ COWW lead T shot for coyotes.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by 725 View Post
    Well done! I'm a RB believer, too. They just work so well why go anywhere else. Makes my friends scratch their heads.


    .
    Yeah, mine too! Rifles are legal for big game here but my pursuit of RB perfection has them convinced I've lost my mind!


    GBertolet- Very nice job! Quite interesting the way you wrapped that ball up in tape!

    Markopolo - I should think that this would work splendidly in a smoothbore!

    Triplbeards- "T" shot is 0.200" diameter, I'm not sure you'll find a mould for that one. Maybe #4 buckshot, which is 0.240" but I'm not sure about that one either. I'm not a "buckshot-guy", perhaps someone more knowledgable could chime in on this?
    Last edited by centershot; 12-10-2019 at 06:12 PM.
    "We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone......"

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    May the forest be with you....

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Or even triple B

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Outstanding all around!
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    Leonard Ravenhill

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have to ask why the Teflon tape? Just to prevent leading?

    I ask because there is pretty much no way the tape wraps smoothly and likely it comes off the ball unevenly or incompletely in the air. Maybe not an issue with rifled gun but from my experience with RB's in smoothbore I'd say that a tape wrapped ball would not be as accurate as a naked ball (or powder coated). I haven't tried it so speculation on my part but any defects in the ball seem to induce random spins and inconsistent accuracy when shot from smoothbore.

    The tape is obviously not causing you any issues.

    I didn't have any leading at all from the smoothbore but it has a pretty fat bore at 0.733" so not a lot of squeeze on a 0.735" RB. The bore on your rifled gun must be fairly tight as the "belt" around the equator is quite large in the pics. Even when shot from a rifled Remington 870 the "belt" on my 0.735" RB's is much smaller than on yours. No leading in the rifled barrel either but not a lot of shooting done as it was a borrowed gun. It did shoot well though.

    My load is plastic gas seal cut off a trap wad, 2 x 1/2" hard card wads, naked 0.735" RB all over 36 to 40 grs. of Blue Dot but as I said 38 grs. was enough for me. Oddly, when I tried one hard card wad and one fiber wad accuracy was not good. I thought the fiber wad would form a nice "seat" for the RB but it didn't work well from my smoothbore. I got best accuracy from all hard card wads.

    Now that I have a tighter bored Mossberg Slugster (also smoothbore) I have to repeat test some of the successful smoothbore loads from my single shot in it to see how they work. Different guns probably have different likes and dislikes.

    I wish I had bought one of the USH guns when they were available! I kept thinking I didn't need one and could buy one later if I wanted. Well, now I want and they are gone! Used ones are scarce in Canada too. Oh well!

    Your gun and load are certainly working well for you. Good going!

    Longbow

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Have you tried Alox lube? That's what I use, and it's far easier. Just one coat is more than enough, no effort at all.

    @tripplebeards, Have you tried other shot sizes? The reason I ask is that I tried T, F, and 4 buck in my shotguns, and by far F produced the best patterns. T shot just doesn't like 12 gauge, not in lead or steel. Admittedly I have not tried BBB.

    I'm not sure if I have any more T, I likely melted it down, but I do have some F you could try if you wanted.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Upon firing, the teflon tape is blown off as it leaves the barrel. I see the shreds in the air upon firing. I use the tape to mitigate any leading, which I get none of with the tape. The rifling grooves are not all that deep, so I want to keep them clear. I tried alox, but the bore seemed cleaner after the teflon tape. It's whatever works for you. As long as you get minute of venison accuracy, at whatever your shooting distance is, it's a go, either way.

    I am going to powder coat some RB's. I will post pictures when there done.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master


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    What I find most interesting is the .737" ball size looks like it centers very well on those recovered slugs. My .735" mold casts in ball in actuality about .732"-.733" with COWW alloy. Plus you have teflon tape increasing the diameter farther.

    My ultra slug hunter (same as your NEF), has a groove of .731", which is typical of these. My Mossberg smooth bores all run large, about .732". I get good accuracy, but recovered slugs often show a slightly off center ring. It also isn't engraved nearly as much as yours are.

    I'm going to order a mold to drop a .738" ball to see how that goes.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I was quite fortunate that my .735 Lyman mold casts at .737. I have added some ww to the lead, which may have enlarged the RB's diameter slightly to get up to the .737. Being you already use ww, I guess a new mold might be necessiary.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by GBertolet View Post
    I was quite fortunate that my .735 Lyman mold casts at .737. I have added some ww to the lead, which may have enlarged the RB's diameter slightly to get up to the .737. Being you already use ww, I guess a new mold might be necessiary.
    My mold is from JT ball molds, mine was made by Jeff Tanner just before he died. At the time I didn't see anything listed, and ordered a .735" mold. Now that Jeff's son has taken over the company, I see he warns that the size you order is the cavity size, not the ball it drops. In that sense, the mold does as described. Later bought a mold from Jeff's son, ordered in .782", and it drops a perfect .780" ball.

    Just a heads up for those looking to order from JT ball molds.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I just powder coated these RB's. The color is called traffic purple. I will eventually get around to trying them, as I have lot's of teflon tape slugs already loaded for future hunts. I only need two rounds a year. One to check the zero, and another to take the deer.
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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