.45 Colt Shotshells w/444 Marlin Cases
I've found a lot of info on making pistol shotshells but never a step by step. This is what I've done. It throws a pretty nice pattern to 30' with a 4 5/8" bbl Blackhawk and an excellent pattern to the same 30' with my snubnose SRH Alaskan .454. I initially did the same without a wad but found that there was too much lead to scrub out. With the wad I lost a little bit of shot capacity but have no leading to deal with, a worthwile trade IMO.
.45 Colt Shotshells Using 444 Marlin Cases
Creating the “hulls”
1- Using a tubing cutter, cut 444 Marlin cases to 1.7” minimum.
2- .44 Remington Magnum sizing die needs to be set up to size the portion of case that will run into the necked down (bullet) area of the cylinder. Make small adjustments and test using the cylinder.
3- Size the case necks.
4- Trim the cases to 1.65”. Use a .41 caliber pilot and a #28 shell holder.
5- Camphor and de-burr the cases.
6- Test each case to verify that it fits in the cylinder and turns freely (doesn’t bind the cylinder.
A-Lightly dress the case rim thickness with a fine file an all cases that do not have enough rim clearance to allow free rotation of the cylinder.
B-If any cases do not fully seat, the neck sizing die must be adjusted.
7- Prime with Large Pistol (Rem. 2 ½) primers.
8- Throw 4.0 gr. Alliant Red Dot powder.
9- Cut .410 wads so that the end is just below the case mouth (enough room for an overshot card) when it is inserted into the case over the powder.
10- Insert wads into cases and seat firmly (do not compress powder).
11- Using a file, cut “saw teeth” and a camphor/de-burr tool, sharpen a case for cutting overshot cards (cutting cards is much faster with a ½” drill).
12- Pour shot into case/wad leaving just enough room to insert an overshot card just below the rim. (#8 shot yields 170 grains = 130 pellets = 3/8th Ounce).
13- Crimp the case mouth a .44 magnum roll crimp to hold overshot card in place.
14- Seal the overshot card with nail polish (George & Roy’s).
15- Fire form the cases (in other words... use the ammo you just made).
1- Size and de-prime the fired cases with a standard .45 colt die.
2- Size the neck with the .44 Magnum sizing die.
3- Trim to 1.65” & camphor/de-burr.
4- Clean primer pockets & prime with Rem. 2 ½.
5- Throw 4.0 grains Alliant Red Dot.
6- Seat cut .410 wads.
7- Pour shot (≈170 grains).
8- Seat overshot card.
9- Crimp and seal card.
10- For survival kit ammo, seal primer and double seal overshot card.
Pretty time consuming but results are fun. These would make great snake loads and I know for a fact they work on bunnies & grouse. Also cheaper and pattern better than the CCI stuff. That is, cheaper if you have a lot of the stuff on hand like I did. I haven't bothered with an actual cost comparison CCI vs. homebrew, and probably never will.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results