Still looking for brass hull loads...


February 13, 2005, 06:27 PM
I still have my eye on Magtech's brass shotshells, but I've not gotten any loads for them.

I could use black powder, but I'm looking for smokeless loads with them. I've got the black powder figured out - that's MUCH easier to do.

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February 14, 2005, 11:30 AM
Seems I'm on my own for now. :)

Black Snowman
February 14, 2005, 11:44 AM
Interesting sounding stuff. How do loads differ from the plastic or paper? How is it "crimped"? Is there a web refrence? I've seen full length brass shotshells but have no idea how they reload the stuff.

February 14, 2005, 11:52 AM
No crimp. I used paper ("nitro paper"?) cards over the shot, felt wads over the black powder, and a large rifle primer.

I'm wondering if there's a way to use smokeless instead of black powder, since I'd rather not have corrosive salts in the bore.

If I can't come up with a good source for loads, I may just have to stick to the black powder. The case capacity is different, larger than plastic or paper.

Black Snowman
February 14, 2005, 12:18 PM
Hmm, and you have the fact that the brass won't expand like a plastic hull and a non-shotgun primer. That's a lot of new variables. Additional wadding might make up some of the capacity issues. To keep the pressure down it would probably have to be a relatively slow burning powder. Something bulky would be good to.

Might be able to use a "normal" shot shell recepie with these factors in mind but I'm guessing it would take a LOT of experimentation and more than a little risk to get a good combination. Then you have to find a load that patterns worth a hoot. Fun stuff :)

I wish you luck! Maybe MagTech will one day be nice and start publishing some smokeless load data for them.

February 15, 2005, 04:16 AM
It's not really difficult.

MagTech shells are designed for large PISTOL primers. Shotgun powder isn't terribly hard to ignite. Remember we use a lot of shotgun powder in handgun ammo.

Brass case shotshells were sealed with water-glass.

But you'll need old fashioned fiber wads. Slightly oversize. Since brass cases have thinner walls.
Circle Fly has the correct size wads (

Ballistic Products also has a catalogue of just about any shotshell component you could need.

As for powder charges. I'd start with a light charge designed for a LOW BASE hull, and then figure out the extra wadding needed to fill the case with the normal shot charge.

Then work your way up from there using standard safe loading practices.

February 16, 2005, 09:09 PM
Too long winded: DELETE

February 17, 2005, 01:30 AM
Ross I found your post to be very informative and not at all long winded.

I wish you'd repost it.

February 17, 2005, 03:11 PM
But *** is "water glass"?

I'm getting ready to order some of the Magtech brass. Part of my Norinco Model 97 trenchgun buy that I promised myself... ;)

February 18, 2005, 03:41 AM
Sodium silicate. It's a liquid looks and pours like water but after it has dried it looks like glass.

I have also seen people pour it around the base of silk flowers in a vase to make it look like they're in water. There are some other compounds that will give the look, but I don't know if it will stand up to recoil without fracturing.

It's been years since I bought any sodium silicate but I used to get mine from a local drugstore that still sold a lot of old fashioned stuff like cinnamon oil to make those cinnamon toothpicks we used to take to school. Back then it came ina clear glass bottle. Either a half pint or pint and maybe they had a quart. A pint seemed to last me forever. I also used it to seal extra long .44 special shot loads I made out of .30-40 Krag brass.

March 22, 2005, 03:53 PM
Blues Bear,
Thank you for the kind words.
If this works, here you go.
Brass shells shoot well in almost anything, but are easier to reload for non-repeaters, as the crimp works the brass excessively, and sizing is not usually done. (single and double barreled guns)
Load the nitro card wad over the powder, then the cushion wads and after the shot use a thin over shot wad, glued in traditionally with sodium silicate, water-glass. Now you read of Duco cement, but white glue is even cheaper.
There is no need to load clear to the mouth of the case, and wad column is not critical, but the more the better as it helps mitigate pellet deformation.
Newspaper makes a fair cushion wad, and one size fits all. It was in common use in muzzle-loaders.
Eleven gage wads and even ten are used in 12 gage brass or zinc hulls.
Brass shells are not usually sized, and are generally loaded with tools that would make a Lee Loader look complex. With black or bulk smokeless powder, the shot scoop is the powder scoop, but not with dense smokeless.
Black powder itself is not especially corrosive, and the old mercuric primers weren't either, though they amalgamated into the brass, destroying it.
Cheers from Darkest California,

March 22, 2005, 06:23 PM
Hm. That's interesting... I hadn't heard of "bulk" smokeless. That and I haven't looked at this thread in a while!

Looks like I'll be able to figure this out afterall. When I finally have the $$ to do it, I'll post pictures, numbers, etc. :)

March 22, 2005, 07:55 PM
As I recall DuPont stopped producing "Bulk" smokless powder back in the 60s. At least I haven't seen any since then.
I remember seeing and reading about in it old magazine articles and DuPont IMR powder advertisments.

It was a very different sort of powder.
You measured it by volume not weight.
It was supposed to duplicate blackpowder performance.

March 22, 2005, 08:39 PM
Well dang, that sounds like something I would've been able to use quite easily.

March 22, 2005, 09:19 PM
I've used several pounds of Bulk Smokeless Shotgun Powder in .45-70 loads, and it worked well. It does not have the same pressure characteristics as black, though, and really should be used only in shotshells or small straight cases, and with lighter bullets.
In your brass shotshells, Red Dot with 20 or 30 pounds of wad pressure should be fine in a strong gun. Maybe 23 grains and an oz & 1/8th of shot to duplicate a standard trap load in 12 ga. Plastic shot cups and wads require lighter charges, of course. I have no idea where they would be found, and have never used them.
Brass shells are very easy to use, and allow a lot of easy tinkering. Unlike folded or rolled crimp cases, the load column is not critical.
Cheers from Darkest California,

August 26, 2005, 10:49 AM
Okay, I'm going to go for it - I need to know what smokeless powder to order to make some light 12ga loads.

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