Loaded one at a time, I can't realy see the harm in wax slugs in a pump or break barrel shotgun. As I've stated earlier in the tread, do not put wax slug in the mag tube of a pump or semi.
I've been doing a bit more experimenting, and have talking with guys at my local range, and I've come up with some new ways and ideas to save a bit more cash utilizing wax shotshells, or waxers as I now call them. Before reading any further, please realize this post is entirely conjecture on my part. Always use your best judgment in dealing with anything gun related, and if you feel something is unsafe, don't do it. That being said, I've been safley experimenting with these waxers for a few months now and would like to share what I've learned.
Note on saftey using wax slugs: Only use wax slugs in a pump or break barrel shotgun, and DO NOT put waxers in the mag tube of a pump or semi.*
While shooting next to a guy at the range the other day, and his wax shells kept fraging apart before hitting his target. I think I identified 3 potential problems with his waxers. (1) He was using paraffin wax. I know a lot of guys say to use paraffin, but I think it may be too brittle for waxers. (2) His waxers may have been to warm- it was a fairly warm day, and he was storing his waxers in an ammo can with all his other ammo. (3) Choke- He may have been using a full choke causing some constriction of the coagulated wax slug in turn causing it to frag upon exiting the barrel.
I have 2 potential remedies for his problems
1) Candle wax- particularly a good scented candle (like many of us with wives/GFs have all over the house) seem to work great for waxers. (2) Keep them cool. I keep my waxers in a cool dry place, and usually won't store them for more than a week- if I build 'em, I plan on shooting them soon. Also, I place each box in a large freezer bag, an put them in the refrigerator for a few hours befor heading to the range. They then go in in my cooler lunch box with my packed food and drinks for the range trip. (3) I only use waxers for pump and break barrel shotguns with either mod or cylinder chokes, and always a gun with a fixed choke. I would not run them through a gun with removable chokes- only because I think the wax might cause some issues gumming up the treading.
Reuse of spent lead:
Sometimes at the range when resetting targets, my 7-year-old and I will pick up used/warped bullets just for sh*+$ and giggles. This got me thinking... These spent bullets are heavy little chunks of lead- why not use them as a core for my wax slugs? So the other day as I was cooking up a batch, I did just that. I still use the bird shot dropped in meled wax, but not as much.
1. I fill the wad about a third of the*way full with melted wax and bird shot.
2. I seat the used bullet in the center of the melted wax/shot so that the tip of the bullet is level with the top of the cut shotshell.
3. I then just fill the remainder of the wad with more melted wax and birdshot.
I found that using a spent 9mm bullet as a core saved me about a third of my bird shot, which I can now go use for reloaded clay/hunting shotshells. In an effort to save more new bird shot, in the coming days I plan to experiment with other types of used lead such as used buck shot. I will post results after shooting.
BTW, on yesterday's range trip, at twenty yards I was punching clean 2" holes all the way through BOTH sides of an old microwave with my new 9mm core waxers. I'll take picks next time and post them.
As the OP of this thread, I'd like to thank hylysly
for the thought provoking questions he posed in post #47.