View Full Version : Custom shot shell experiment challenge...
December 13, 2008, 02:38 PM
So which of you reloaders is up for a bit of experimenting and comparison testing?
I am curious if a shot shell loaded with .177 cal pellets would carry any more range and pattern density than a shell loaded with equal grain weight round balls. These would need hand stacked to maintain a forward orientation. My thought on this is they would be basically a bunch of small "slugs" forward heavy. I was thinking of trying this by dumping the shot load out of some field loads but think some others here are better suited to load and pattern test than me with more choke variety to use.
December 13, 2008, 03:35 PM
I don't think that the pattern would hold up. A pellet is designed to be stabilized by rifling (I know that some smoothbores - I have one - will shoot individual pellets accurately). Stacking them will not insure that they will fly proper end forward when released from the muzzle, especially if they have been obdurated by firing. Cylinder bore would be the place to start
Still, it would be interesting to give it a try. At worst, you'd waste a few minutes assembling the shell.
December 13, 2008, 03:46 PM
Heck, dump some in an emptied shell and pull the trigger. Start simple, get complicated if it doesn't work.
December 13, 2008, 03:53 PM
I'm suspicious of stacked pellets, too. Have you considered:
• Bigger, .22 cal skirted pellets.
• Buffering the load. Put in a layer of pellets, then buffer between them, followed by another course of pellets and buffer again...
December 13, 2008, 08:56 PM
Zip, I am not sure about raising pellet size. And I am not the guy to know of "buffer" I would try sawdust?
Yes I know a slug was planned for single use smothbore. But if they flew true they should also be better knockdown with mushroom effect?
December 13, 2008, 09:07 PM
I've closed down my range for the year due to weather, but, just thinking here, were I to try it, I would seperate layers with a 1/16" cork wad. I don't like buffer, too touchy with pressures.
December 13, 2008, 11:26 PM
I was thinking that you'd start with a buffered factory load.
How about just a card wad between layers? I haven't seen a cork wad in ages.
December 14, 2008, 01:36 AM
This sounds interesting. Im curious to the results.
December 14, 2008, 03:49 AM
Airgun pellets are made out of fairly soft lead and are rather fragile. I think they would deform quite a bit.
I think they would immediately start to tumble and you'd end up with an extremely quick-spreading load. Expensive too.
December 14, 2008, 06:23 AM
"I haven't seen a cork wad in ages."
Ballistic Products sells them. http://www.ballisticproducts.com/products.asp?dept=115
December 14, 2008, 08:05 AM
Here's one that I made up. Maybe get to pattern it later.
Fiocchi hull and 616 primer, 27 grains SR7625, BPI BW12 wad, 29 .22 cal pellets in four layers with 12 ga. OS cards between. There was not quite enough hull left to complete a good roll crimp; it should be ok. If I were to make another, I'd put a 20 ga. nitro card as the first layer rather than the five pellets that fit into the wad at that point. All other layers hold eight pellets. Buffering is needed; I had no Grex available and so used corn meal.
Was a pita to assemble.
December 14, 2008, 09:47 AM
AWESOME!!! I love this board! I was half expecting to be called a crackpot nut job for mentioning it and less than 24 hours we got a guy willing to give it a whirl... Will your pattern board have something like cardboard over it to try to identify key hole tumblers? What distance will you try it? 25 yards?
December 14, 2008, 10:01 AM
Don't know what happened to my first picture. It came up and now it's gone.
This is a second shell. I did what i said and substituted a 20 ga. nitro card for the first layer.
Now there are 24 .22 pellets in three layers. There was room for a proper roll crimp.
I don't have a lot of faith that this will work well. We'll see.
Yes, 25 yards, cylinder choke.
December 14, 2008, 10:07 AM
Heck it ain't gonna cost much to rule them out as a complete flop! Now if the results are somewhat promising then I may have to fork over some pellets!
The only down side to where I moved is folks are closer so excessive shooting is a nuisance to most and scary to few so I don't shotgun here at the house.:mad:
December 14, 2008, 10:25 AM
I cut my own cork wads. Gasket material, using the brass from a 20 Gauge hull for a punch. Fits a 12 Gauge shell just right.
I'll have to file this idea for a while. I don't have any pellets and don't get into town but about once every 2 weeks. I have a slightly different idea than darkgael. No shotcup, use either a stump wad or maybe just nitro card with filler wads. I may even have to re-open my range to try this out.
December 14, 2008, 10:29 AM
I am guessing the "shock absorber" type wad is going to be a key to keep the skirts from compressing on ignition.
December 14, 2008, 10:37 AM
Well....here's the one pattern that I shot. I opted for "gun fit" distance of 16 yards, rather than 25.
It's not much of a pattern, though only two of these keyholed. The load had 24 pellets. POA was where the little circle is(sorta kinda). I'm left with the impression that this is the first layer of eight and, given the nature of the wad hole, that the rest of the pellets went through as a slug.
Sorry that the pic is not sharper.
December 14, 2008, 10:48 AM
So which of you reloaders is up for a bit of experimenting and comparison testing?
I am curious if a shot shell loaded with .177 cal pellets would carry any more range and pattern density than a shell loaded with equal grain weight round balls. These would need hand stacked to maintain a forward orientation. My thought on this is they would be basically a bunch of small "slugs" forward heavy. I was thinking of trying this by dumping the shot load out of some field loads but think some others here are better suited to load and pattern test than me with more choke variety to use.It begs the question: For what purpose? Long range waterfowel?...illeagle. For predators, pellets are dead soft, pure lead, they will flatten on the sides of the barrel, flatten when they contact the choke, will not leave the barrel oriented nose first, and most assuredly will not pattern as well as #2 hard shot. It seems to be an ingenious solution to a none existent problem. Dumping the shot from factory loads and putting in...is a Joe Sixpack view of hand loading.
Hand loaders and would be hand loaders; stick to loads published in loading manuals and keep all your eyes, fingers.
December 14, 2008, 11:22 AM
This is a pattern using the first shell - 29 pellets and fired through a Mod. choke. Same distance. 18 pellets hit, pattern was about the right size for MC at that distance. Of the 18, 12 keyholed.
BTW - not quessing much about this loading - hull, primer, powder, wad, "shot" weight, are all from BPI's load manual.
I do agree that you'd be much better off using shot.
December 14, 2008, 11:50 AM
Yes I was curious as to a possible range extension while possibly having increased lethality on game. Just thinking they may fly like a single big slug. And why wouldn't the exit the barrel they were oriented in the shell?
Thanks to Dark for giving it a go and I think with the 2 rounds you kinda ruled it out as an exceptional load thus far.
But had folks not deviated from traditional load data we would still be pounding lead balls down smooth barrel guns for a 50 yard "maybe". was a cool dude who first mushed a ball into a bullet and even cooler was that "Spitzer" fella (if there was one)...
December 14, 2008, 12:02 PM
What about these. So much more expensive, but if you want the concept to work, maybe these:
Or would that be too close to flechettes, and border on illegal?
December 14, 2008, 12:11 PM
Too exotic... I was thinking if for the price of low cost lead pellets I could have 20 or so small slugs hammering game it may be better than just a round ball.
December 14, 2008, 04:05 PM
...But had folks not deviated from traditional load data we would still be pounding lead balls down smooth barrel guns for a 50 yard "maybe". was a cool dude who first mushed a ball into a bullet and even cooler was that "Spitzer" fella (if there was one)...And they paid for their experimentation with eyes, fingers, hands...real "cool" to walk around without those. Are you in the business of encouraging the readers on this forum to do these experiments without pressure barrels, safety shields, remote triggers like the ballistic labs have?
Two real "cool" experiments with shotshell experimentation that I observed two of my teenage acquaintances do: One took apart a shell, dumped some of the powder, reassembled filling the extra space with more shot so he could shoot a better pattern...resulting in a two inch piece of the barrel flying off and nearly hitting the kid next to him in the duck blind; Another dumped the buckshot from a shell and replaced the it with small ball bearings so that he could shoot a crows further...resulting in many little skid marks all the way down the barrel. There are many such instances in most adult memories of such stupidity. There is a better name for persons who do such experimentation while handloading, and it sure isn't "cool".
December 14, 2008, 05:43 PM
Lead is lead. Doesn't matter if it's an ounce of #9 or an ounce of 00. The only way you shouldn't go is substitute an ounce of shot for a one ounce slug. Pressure will then be higher. Believe that or not, don't give a FRA.
I've been loading shotshells since 1959, expermented a lot, never lost a barrel or nay of my body parts. Neither did any of my reloading friends. So, if you choose not to experiment, fine, just don't denigrate those that do.
December 14, 2008, 05:46 PM
Hogdogs that spitzer feller gew up( with all his fingers and eyeballs intact;) )to become the Governor of New York.:D
December 14, 2008, 06:00 PM
DaHermit: After reading your last post, I feel the need, maybe unnecessarily, to reiterate that those two shotshells were an experiment only insofar as the nature of the pellets. I share your concern for safety in experimentation. The load data used for those shells can be found on p.20 of BPI's shotshell manual "Advantages IV". I stayed strictly to that recipe.
PS - An oops, the second load was 50 grains lighter, so I did deviate.
December 14, 2008, 06:11 PM
AWESOME!!! I love this board! I was half expecting to be called a crackpot nut job for mentioning it and less than 24 hours we got a guy willing to give it a whirl...
Wait just a minute now Brent. Nobody said ya weren't a crackpot nut job.:D
Just kidding!:) I admire your spirit of experimentation. Who knows where we wouldn't be without inquiring minds. jd
December 14, 2008, 07:16 PM
I have also experimented with loads. You just have to use common sense.
For example (and I'm not trying to be a prick), I wouldn't try to load a shotshell with those darts. (not that you were going to, OP)
Sand, salt, pellets, etc. Fine. I loaded a shell with confetti one time. Just took a bunch of construction paper and cut it into tiny pieces. Packed it kind of tight and voila! It was a prank I pulled on my buddy. Priceless. He got this really funny look on his face and handed me back my gun. He didn't have a clue what just happened. :D
December 15, 2008, 01:05 AM
This is a classic case where curiosity was safely slaked. If necessity is the mother of invention, then curiosity is its step mother. When I think of folks who arbitrarily blend powders, lightening a load with hollow based pellets seems pretty tame.
For something not so tame, I recall an impromptu demonstration by a Thai exchange student who was a regular shooter at the club. He explained that his government was very restrictive and they weren't allowed heavy shot nor slug loads. But, the people still needed to hunt to eat. He pulled a load from his pouch, and said, "Here's what we hunt with back home."
We watched intently as he put his pocket knife to the factory load and cut it all around at the piston portion of the wad. He then chambered the two piece shell in his skeet gun, pointed to a brick-sized cobble, and with a, "Watch this...," his Thailand Slug smoked the rock. The shot, wad and half the hull had acted as a unified projectile. He explained that he'd done this many times and it was best done with open chokes and factory fresh loads. Re-loads have a tendency of open their crimp about half way down the barrel causing quite a nuisance.
I'm not advocating the casual use of Thailand Slugs, but it's something to keep in the back of your mind for future reference.
December 15, 2008, 01:35 AM
My grandfather talked about using "slugs" like that as a kid. Same idea, cut the hull and the whole deal will leave in one piece.
December 15, 2008, 02:21 AM
As the good folks over at Hodgdons told me years ago when I ask if they thought a load I was working up would be safe, "All of you trap shooters shoud have been extinct years ago".
December 15, 2008, 09:08 AM
Yeah, when we were kids we were savy to your Thailand Slug, and it is pretty impressive. To my knowledge, none of us ever had choke damage either, but this was before steel shot.
And who hasn't tried the old "splitshot on a line shell"?
I began reloading when I was 13, pounding 20 ga. together with a Lee Loader. Once when I was out of the ALCAN fiber spacer wads that I used, I figured out how much Kleenex to pack to get the right spacing. It worked OK, and ya shoulda seen some of the looks that I got from the guys when we cut loose on some ducks or a pheasant.:cool: jd
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