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Old March 30, 2012, 01:37 PM   #1
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Range report using home cast 0000 buckshot (.380 dia) as ammo for 36cal C&Bs

I recently acquired a mold that casts 0000 buckshot (10 per casting). It is aluminum with integral wooden handles made by Sharp Shooter USA ( It will throw 20 smaller sized buckshot per casting. The molds sell for $34.95+S&H. There is no sprue cutter so you have to snip the shot free and remelt the sprues. Get flush cut nippers from the mold maker or from Harbor Freight so there is no sprue on the balls. The .380 balls as cast weren't perfectly round. The mold cavities had evidence that a finishing cherry was used to true the cavities up. The balls slightly resembled the shape of the Hevishot I see for shotgun hand loaders that is swaged. There was a flattened band around the circumference of the ball. None of the castings were off center. The molds have alignment pins.The imperfection was minor but I would not use them for any precision target work. Wear gloves even though the mold has wooden handles you will invariably touch the aluminum. With the gloves all went smoothly. Keep in mind, you are casting BUCKSHOT of .380" diameter and are not intended to be as precise as would be cast from a more expensive mold like from Lyman, Saeco, RCBS, BigLube or LEE. However, all I wanted was a way to economically cast up a bunch of ammo out of soft lead for my Remington and Colt navies for use in Cowboy Action matches where the targets are big and close.

At the shoot the .380 sized balls seated snugly due to their larger size. I usually use .375 diameter balls which fit fairly loosly in my guns. With the .375s I ram in fairly firmly so as to swell them a bit so I get a good seal and to prevent "ball creep" (NOT a VD!). I also will occasionally shoot the LEE 130gr conical which gives a good seal and knocks things over nicely. I shot the match using 20grs FFFg+lube wad+over ball lube. Both Euroarms Remingtons fired flawlessly but I had a couple caps slow me down with the '61 Navy. I don't feel the larger diameter balls had anything to do with it. In conclusion, the 0000 buckshot worked just fine as 36cal fodder. Any misses I had weren't mysterious (didn't aim right). I think these gang molds are great for cranking out volumes of suitable Navy C&B pistol rounds for informal practice, plinking, or Cowboy Action shooting.
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With over 15 perCUSSIN' revolvers, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball.
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Hellgate is offline  
Old March 30, 2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Pretty good idea Hellgate!
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