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Old February 1, 2013, 06:31 PM   #1
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Has Anyone Attempted...

...the .38 Special shot shell load from the Speer manual. If so, how did it work out?

My dad has a .357/.38 and I found his load in my Speer manual just looking at loads for his revolver that I'm going to reload for sooner or later. Was just kind of wondering if anyone has attempted it and what you use it for.
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Old February 1, 2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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A friend of mine used to carry a revolver full of them on stream fishing expeditions for snakes. Claimed they worked fine for that, but I've never messed with them myself.
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Old February 1, 2013, 08:26 PM   #3
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I have shot hundred of the Speer shot capsules out of 38spl, 357, & 44 Mag revolvers. These is great for dispatching pests or aerial shooting. I still have some that I reloaded years ago. If I can offer any advice it would be to put a fairly heavy crimp if you are shooting more than 1 in your cylinder. The capsules are notorious for sliding in & out of cases.
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Old February 1, 2013, 08:26 PM   #4
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I bought factory shot shells in .38 spl and they worked fine. I bought shot capsules and loaded my own and they miserably failed. I couldn't keep the capsules tight in the cases and my rounds gained length from the recoil of the previous round and locked my cyl up. They were light rounds to. I obviously screwed it up.
I tried crimping them harder and cracked the capsules. I got discouraged and abandoned the idea.

I don't know what brand of capsules they were though, to long ago but they were green plastic and had a push in lid that went towards the powder if that helps any.

Not saying Speer's won't work, just my limited experience with the brand I had.
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Old February 1, 2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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The Speer shot shell capsules are a grand idea. Many years ago I bought a couple of boxes and hand loaded them with shot and fired a few at a cardboard box. Most key-holed the box. I tried more powder, changed the crimp, reread the speer manual for loading the shot shell, ect. Nothing I did seemed to work. Later I solved the problem by buying a 357 Thompson Contender barrel that was designed for the TC shot shells (screwed an adapter on the barrel). Worked fantastic.... but I was disappointed with the performance of this product and had purchased it to use in my revolver.

Lemmon from rural South Carolina.
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:45 AM   #6
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I have thought of trying some super glue or something around the case mouth to see if that would hold them in place. They will crack if crimped too tight.
They do work good at close range though. I darn sure cant afford to buy loaded bird shot.

There are some guys that make their own birdshot from 357 max cases and pore elmers glue over the top. They say they work way better.
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:03 AM   #7
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I have loaded several of the .38 shot shells over the years and used number 9 shot in them. Very effective on snakes.
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Old February 2, 2013, 10:37 AM   #8
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Continued from my first post.
I see some have experienced the same problem with the capsules sliding out of the cases.
The only way I could keep the capsules in place was a very heavy crip. I used RCBS dies because I could get a tighter crimp. I even pre tested my crimps with a kinetic bullet puller before I firing in a revolver.
It was a PITA to get the die adjusted and once I did I loaded quite large batch of them because I did not want to go thru the ordeal of adjusting the die again when I reverted back to regular bullets.
I always liked the 44cal capsule because you could get much more shot inside.
If you are shooting a TC, crimp is not a factor.
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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I've loaded a lot of the shot capsules. The crimp is the tricky part. Too little and they jump under recoil, too much and they'll crack under recoil (especially in 44 Mag). Once you get used to loading them it's no big feat to load them with 100% success. The 38s are such a small payload that they aren't useful for much. The 44s are a lot better.
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Old February 3, 2013, 05:59 AM   #10
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I also have shot a ton of the shot capsules in both the 38/357's and the 44. Like mentioned finding the proper crimp setting is the hardest part.

I loaded my own shotshells for year as well so had a decent supply of shot around to play with. I have used from #4 up through the tiny #9, and found that around size 4 or 6 seemed to work out the best with my loads.

With the 44's I also used two of the Speer .350" lead round balls with a couple of pieces of felt on the backside to fill space and cushion them. These would strike about an inch or so apart out from my 7 1/2" Redhawk to around 25 or so yards, and were a hoot to hunt rabbits with. The thickness of the felt will determine how many are needed, you just want to be sure they are good and tight when you shove the plug in. I used a .357 case with the outside of the mouth chamfered sharp with a file to cut the felt for a perfect fit in the capsules.

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Old February 3, 2013, 09:51 AM   #11
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Way to go Mike. I never thought of using buckshot.

I used #9-6 in 38/357. I went up to #4 in 44 spl/mag.
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Old February 3, 2013, 11:20 AM   #12
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I load 7 1/2 and 8 shot for 38/357 and 44 magnum. Spreads are about 1" per foot. Only problems I've seen is shooting full powered .357 or .44 magnum loads with a shotshell in another cylinder. I've had the shot capsules move forward enough from full power recoil to prevent the cylinder from turning. I use a light crimp on the capsules and have cracked the capsule with heavy crimps. Very effective for snakes and I'd shoot a rabbit with the 44 shotshells out to 15 yards of so.
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:41 AM   #13
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I use #11 shot in both 38 & 44spl cases. works good dense pattern.
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Old February 4, 2013, 02:38 PM   #14
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I've loaded two 95 gr .355 (380) bullets in the 44 shotshells, base to base and with 6 or 7 gr Unique (I'd have to look) they chronyed at 1087 fps and struck about 1" apart at rabbit distances. Super cool load. I never have got a rabbit with one.
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