Rock salt shotgun shells


February 7, 2006, 09:55 PM
Does anyone know where you can buy some?

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February 7, 2006, 09:58 PM
Would that be considered "corrosive" ammo??

February 7, 2006, 09:59 PM
Ahh yes, twelve guage margaritas :D

February 7, 2006, 10:03 PM
Or perhaps peppercorns balls?
Is to handload your own the only way to go?

February 7, 2006, 10:07 PM
Salt & Pepper?? You could pre-season you food and not worry about picking the shot out;)

John G
February 7, 2006, 10:09 PM
They're great for de-icing your driveway. ;)

February 7, 2006, 10:36 PM
I think what we have here is the results of hearing oldtimers tell yarns about how far there shotguns would "reach", some told of loading them with rocksalt to keep the game from spoiling while they made the trek to retrieve it. If not,,then I'm lost as I have never heard of them...

February 7, 2006, 11:05 PM
Several of the old time farmers in my area used to load shot shells up with rock salt instead of lead pellets. They used them on trespassers and people stealing produce out of the fields. I was told that the rock salt would not do as much damage as pellets but would really sting, as salt rubbed into a wound. Big time OUCH!!

February 8, 2006, 12:06 AM
they were an early "less lethal" load.

February 8, 2006, 04:29 AM
Salt & Pepper?? You could pre-season you food and not worry about picking the shot out;)

Man thanks for the laugh, I really *needed* that right now. Hard times. I laughed out load, almost spilled my tea into my lap. :D

February 8, 2006, 05:25 AM
Ahh yes, twelve guage margaritas :D :D :D :D Bcolorado, welcome to THR. Anyone that can whip out humor on their second post should do well here.

{Yet, beware of Legal & Political forum; there be dragons.}

All: thanks for the laughs. Good thread.


February 8, 2006, 06:28 AM
I did this when I was a kid. Medicine for those that would steal watermelons that I worked so hard to raise all summer. I just opened the end of a 20 gauge, picked the biggest chucks of salt I could get, and resealed the end

With the court system today, I'd never do it now.

February 8, 2006, 08:10 AM
My uncle's Northwest Arkansas life of crime lasted exactly one day. He, too, decided to help himself to a pumpkin one fall night. The farmer/owner took exception. Uncle prided himself on his leg speed. He discovered leg speed falls far short of shotgun pellet speed, even when the pellets are rock salt. He said being shot wasn't nearly as bad as what you feel when the salt begins dissolving in the many wounds. Asking Ma and Pa to remove the salt apparently wasn't a viable option in his mind so he soaked in a hot tub until they and his larcenous tendencies dissolved. Ah, the old ways are still the best ways. But, I always heard that the rock salt ammo was a handload type of thing. Uncrimp the old paper loads, pour out the shot, put in salt and recrimp.

February 8, 2006, 08:56 AM
I was given some 12 gauge loads by someone I know. He first seperated the lighter ones out, because they had rock salt in them. He gave the other shells to me because he didn't have a 12 gauge anymore. A few years ago, he had one but didn't clean the barrel after a few salt loads and it destroyed the barrel.

February 8, 2006, 09:53 AM
I think the previous poster is correct in that you will have to load them yourself. A few years back a neighbor's five big dogs charged me as I rode my motorcycle past his house on a gravel road. Nasty accident, separated shoulder, mucho pain. It took a lot of will on my part to get back on that bike, after healing, and ride past that house again. I loaded five .44 Special brass with ice cream salt over a light charge of Bullseye. Put the Colt SAA, making sure the pin was down over an empty chamber, on the saddle under my left thigh. No dogs in sight but coming home here they came. I steered with my right hand and fired three loads at them. They headed for the house faster than they came out. Few minutes later the phone rang. Sheriff's dispatcher. She said there were two deputies in my driveway and would I come out and talk with them. She asked, "if I didn't mind" to have my hands in plain sight. So I went out and explained what happened months before. They asked to see the revolver and the two unused cartridges. They laughed and said the dogs got just what they asked for. Complimented me on my ivory stocked SAA and left. Rock salt will do the job within reason.

February 8, 2006, 05:53 PM
The rock salt can be deadly, cause rocks is as hard as lead... I use uncooked rice. Will sting the heck out of whatever is recieving it and don't go far. Use at 30 ft or farther though.

The Bushmaster
February 8, 2006, 08:43 PM
Rocksalt loads? Man...I still have the scares on my backside or at least in my mind...I was steeling a big watermellon back when I was a kid. I'm now 63...That wasn't your watermellon, Redneck2. Was it???:D

February 8, 2006, 09:06 PM
My latest Centerfire Systems catalog/flyer has rubber pellet loads in it, pretty cheap, like 13 bucks for a box of 25. That's gotta hurt. :evil:

Had a neighborhood dog come off the porch once when I was riding by on my bicycle, 14 year old kid. Now, we lived out in the country, but had neighbors on the road. This dog took a chunk out of my leg, bit right through my sock! The owner must not have been home, cause I rode my bicycle home, mom and step dad had gone to town. I grabbed my squirrel rifle, Mossberg M152 .22 auto, rode back down the street, and put one in that dog's head from the road before he came off the porch again, rode back home, put the gun up, and dressed my wound. Never heard anything of it and I got my revenge. :evil:

February 8, 2006, 09:34 PM
I think what we have here is the results of hearing oldtimers tell yarns about how far there shotguns would "reach", some told of loading them with rocksalt to keep the game from spoiling while they made the trek to retrieve it. If not,,then I'm lost as I have never heard of them...

Hell's bells! We used to make them to sting the neighbor's dogs when they decided to make garbage raids in the middle of the night. Some of the old guys in our neck of the woods would even pop a round or two off at kids stealing watermelons. No harm done, as in the case of the kids, velocity of the rock salt had fallen to NOTHING long before any had a chance to sting anyone. As far as the dawgs, you had to be right on top of them in order to have any effect at all. The only thing about popping a round of ANYTHING, even a blank at a human for childish pranks like watermelon patch raiding (more a rite of passage thing than actual theivery - since oftimes the kids involved were raiding EACH OTHER'S patches - and my Dad hated a theif of ANY stripe, but considered this to be one of "them boy thangs") was TOTALLY unacceptable in my house. Dogs, sure. If you screwed up and picked up a "live" round and pumped it into a garbage raiding, barking dog, it just wasn't that big a deal back then. A human life, OTOH, was different. One DID NOT point a firearm at a human unless he had reason to kill that human. If you weren't justified in killing a person, even pointing an UNLOADED weapon was grounds for deep doo-doo.

February 8, 2006, 09:54 PM
Friend of mine and I found a great fishing hole on some property that never seemed to have folks on it - out one day, heard some dogs comin' and some old codger yelling at us - we decided to make a run for it, jettisoned everything we could - as we were fleeing we heard a shot and both got it. I learned to never trespass again. I've still got some of that crap in my shoulder - lost a good fishing pole that day.

February 9, 2006, 02:51 PM
I never lived in a rural enough area to experience these things firsthand, but I had plenty of friends and acquaintances in college who did. Rocksalt steered one individual away from a life of crime when he got blasted in the backside with Rocksalt while attempting to steal someone's hotrod.

His response was, "Time to quit, if that was buckshot, I would not be here. Thank you lord for allowing me to live through this lesson." Oh, the perils of youthful machismo and utter stupidity. Wonder any of us made it past adolescence some days.

I don't think I'd do it these days though, at least not here in Metro Portland, Oregon. But the dog story, that was good, especially when you have a chunk of meat out of you to verify you're not just out to maim some dumb animal for fun. The cops laughing, that was a cool twist, didn't expect that.


Ranger J
February 9, 2006, 03:50 PM
A friend of mine way back in my college days told of being shot with a combo load of rock salt and navy beans. He claimed that the salt burned like hades and the navy beans left big purple whelts.:what:

February 10, 2006, 11:36 PM
Hmmmm, Ranger J, now you've got me thinking. If I loaded a shotshell with soybeans and lentils, could I market it as an "AntiPETA" round? :evil:

February 12, 2006, 11:14 AM
Had a friend on the local PD, many years ago. They had shells loaded with ground glass..called them "riot loads"...said to make a real mess of the BG at short range, but lost energy fast so they wouldn't harm innocent bystanders. I always had this mental picture of some guy getting a few hundred pieces of razor sharp glass picked out his butt...Nasty but funny

Essex County
February 13, 2006, 11:26 AM
Do not help yourself to a Vermont farmers prize apples. At least this was so forty-five years ago. 'Nuff said.........Essex

February 13, 2006, 11:58 AM
i make them every once in a while i will have to make some soon to try out of my 870 but there is one thing to note here always clean your gun really good after putting salt throught the barrel
*as if must needed to be told*

February 13, 2006, 12:54 PM
These days, I'd never consider using rock salt on a trespassing kid pilfering my garden . . . if not for all the legal reasons that prevail today, it's the likelihood of the kid coming back and doing some serious damage to my property when I wasn't around. (Thinking back to my younger days, I wasn't a thief to begin with, but if I'd gotten a backside full of rock salt, reprisals would've been forthcoming . . .)

February 13, 2006, 06:43 PM
My Dad, 85 yrs old, tells me my grandfather dumped the shot and refilled the cases with pinto beans for use on a neighbor stealing his chickens. Said at very close range it worked pretty good. No real damage but a very load squeal.:p

Dave R
February 13, 2006, 09:10 PM
Probably an urban legend, but I read on the Internet a tale about an old granny who shot some n'er-do-wells with rock salt. But the distance was too short. Only about 20 feet. Both died, and she got tried for murder.

Like I said, probably not true, but a legitimate danger.

February 21, 2006, 06:31 PM
i have used broken glass on rogue dogs with outstanding success.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
February 22, 2006, 02:40 AM
When I was a commercial Police ammo reloader, word got out from some satisfied customers that I could load special shotgun ammo to order and I wound up loading the salt in every caliber but .410.

When I retired to my Northern ranch I put some of my remaining loads to good use on feral dogs and met one rather big dog nose to nose with my wifes Yorkie dog. I let it have a load of the salt in its really long rear end and that mountain lion screamed for a full half mile through the forest til couldn't hear him any more.

The next time the Yorkie told a lion off it had my wifes cat in its mouth and a load of #6 shot made the lion drop the cat. It sure was a chore catching that cat. Wrapped up the cat in towels and sewed up a hole in its side.

The next time it happened it was at night and that time the lion got a load of police buckshot in its rear end and there was that half mile scream again. That was one brave female yorkie and it really told that lion off because my wifes cat was in its mouth again. There was three pairs of eyes up the hill so had to figure where the lions rear end was. It took a week to catch that cat in a have a heart trap. The cat had a hole in its throat this time and it meowed out that hole. Sewed it up again and the cat went crazy a month later screaming constantly so my daughter drove down the mountain to the closest town Vet who put the poor cat to sleep as it had enough misery.

That Yorkie was a survivor.

I still have some 16 Ga salt loads left but have never found another 16 ga shotgun owner bothered by feral dogs.

Everybody knew enough to clean their weapons after just in case.

I did have a kill permit at the time and still have it 20 years later for being the first one issued for stock losses after a long moritorium.

Tidewater Tom
February 23, 2006, 02:51 AM
I once had an old timer tell me he loaded some shells with raw bacon to use on kids stealing from his fields. They always wore shorts in the summer time and he would aim low. He never saw the welts they made on their legs but by the screams coming from the kids as they ran it must have been something!

February 23, 2006, 04:37 PM
It was around 1958 and we were stealing watermelons and the farmer caught us at it. We ran in opposite directions and luckily for me, he shot at my bud and not me.........Just open a shotshell, dump out the shot and reload with rock salt. Push the crimp closed and seal with a dab of melted wax......chris3

February 23, 2006, 11:11 PM
Keep in mind that if you're close, you basically have the same effect that a lead load would have. When I was in college, one of the frat rats darn near got one of his legs blown off - he was watering one of his neighbors' shrubberies when the neighbor decided he'd had enough, and popped him from the rear. Problem was what he was too close, and there was a LOT of muscle damage.

Winger Ed.
March 7, 2006, 01:53 AM
Used to have a neighbor who suffered from dogs tearing up his trash. He didn't want to really hurt them, just run them off. He'd pull the bullet from a 22LR, dump about 3/4 of the powder, then ram the case down on a bar of soap about a half inch thick to 'cookie cutter' out a new projectile.

Coming out of a rifle fired from inside the house, they were real quiet, stung the heck out of a dog, but didn't really hurt the critter. I never tried it, but he claimed it worked well for him.

March 7, 2006, 08:05 AM
When I was a kid, one of the leaders of my scout troop, Butch (who passed away about a year and a half ago), had a few stories about this. Butch was a gun collecter, Life member of the NRA, taught Rifle and Shootgun merit badge, and had a collection of firearms at the Cowboy Hall of Fame (just to name a few things).
Anyway, when he was in the Army Core of Engineers (Demolitions, 1950's) in Hawaii, he would often have to pull guard duty. For this, he carried an 870 loaded with table salt (not rock salt). Reason: while rock salt will travel a respectable distance, and sting like crazy, the table salt will burn like hell at close range, and there is nothing to dig out. You just have to sit there and let it disolve (which will take a while).
One story he told involves someone hopping over a fence to get on base. Butch caught him trying to get back over the fence, and put two rounds into his back side (one for each cheek). Who ever it was, didn't sit down for about a month.
After he got out of the army he still kept some table salt rounds arround for home defence. I believe, he had a mossburg bulpup shotgun converted to a left hand eject (he was a south paw, as well as being a machinest), and that was the only gun that was ever stored loaded in his house, with table salt.

July 11, 2009, 02:41 PM
This makes for an interesting read.

July 11, 2009, 03:30 PM
cazz223- You sure that was tea in your britches?

July 11, 2009, 04:45 PM
I've always been told that you make your own, but this day in time Some body has to be making these. Try google searching it
If not just open the shot shell pour out the shot refill with salt then close the crimp back up and seal it with a little candle wax. Broken glass works well too in place of salt.

July 11, 2009, 07:52 PM
I can't imagine the use for rock salt or broken glass. On animals, it's cruel due to the amount of suffering they have if you penetrate the skin. On humans, it's a law suit that will cost you everything you own. If lethal force is legal to use, use it; if not, call the police is what I'd do if anything. I'd never shoot anyone for stealing some food. And yes, I've had it happen several times over the last few years when I looked out and saw people stealing my apples, pears, or plums. If they would have asked, I'd probably would have said yes.

July 11, 2009, 11:51 PM
I knew an old man in Maine that liked to shoot kids who took his wormy apples wth rocksalt. I wish that I could remember his name. I would like to return the favor!!!

July 12, 2009, 06:01 PM
40 years ago, on the south side of Chicago, us kids always "knew" that the railroad guys had shotguns loaded with rock salt.

We would yell for chalk, don't remember why now, and usually would be rewarded with a chunk of chalk.

Sometimes a kid or two would do something stupid, and the old saw would come out. "The railroad guys will shoot you in the butt with rock salt!"

I never actually saw anyone shot this way, just heard the stories.

July 12, 2009, 11:42 PM
Salt & Pepper?? You could pre-season you food and not worry about picking the shot out

They actually make those, I will see if I can find the link


July 12, 2009, 11:54 PM
I didn't read that site mostly because i'll laugh to loud and wake the wife and kids. If that exists and works it's crazy.

July 13, 2009, 05:28 AM
a reduced powder charge and airsoft bb's also works great....

July 13, 2009, 11:57 AM
I wonder whether that site was put up on April 1.

July 13, 2009, 01:02 PM
Considering the legal climate it is foolish to think about doing this these days.

July 13, 2009, 01:28 PM
my dad and grandpa used to open the end of a shot shell and pour out the shot ,stuff epson salt and bean seed back in them and use for wild dogs roamin' arround. i remember some that went bawling alway across the hill
July 13, 2009, 11:16 PM
When my dad was a kid here in Bakersfield a Chinese man had a field of sugarcane the kids would rob, he threw knives at the kids, never heard of a blade hitting a kid, always in the fence as the kids ran by.

As a kid in NC I got nailed by a load of rocksalt for hunting tree squirrels on a farmers property, not only did it hurt like sin but telling dad (who was a doctor) what happened only got me in more trouble for trespassing, no love for the wounded lol.

July 13, 2009, 11:33 PM
I don't think I've ever heard anyone ask that question? No, you can't buy them. Just pry open the end of any shotgun shell, pour out the lead (or steel) and replace with anything you like. My grandfather always used split peas or rice to run off dogs and raccoons when they got in his trash cans......

February 2, 2010, 12:19 AM
I know where to buy 12 Gauge Rock Salt Shells

I just like to have them, but I would use 00 Buck for self defense!

February 2, 2010, 07:41 PM
I am so glad this thread was resurrected. I laughed so hard that my sides hurt. And yes I am old enough to remember folks actually using it.


August 9, 2010, 04:39 AM
Sorry to ruin all of your stories, but my friends and i tested some Rock Salt Shotgun Shell tests this weekend after watching "Kill Bill Vol. 2". We researched online and used a lot of your stories as proof enough that it was worth trying. Our results were less than impressive.

We filled .410, .12, and .20 gauge shotgun shells with ice cream rock salt as well as the more heartier rock salt made to melt snow off driveways. We obtained two pigs from my friend's family butcher shop and hung them from trees. As pig bodies are almost identical in terms of skin density to humans these were ideal for our experiment.

From 30 yards both rock salts with all gauges did nothing, we actually saw the rock salt bounce off leaves on the lower branches of the tree a few feet behind the pig.

From 20 yards there again was no damage at all to the pig. No skin breaking, nothing at all. This, as with all the tests, were with all gauges and salts.

From 10 yards there was some scrapes but no salt in the pig, except for two grains of the road salt just beneath the skin of the pig. When i wiped the pig with my hand softly both pieces easily fell out.

From 5 yards a few pieces of the road salt penetrated the pig skin. This was the only shot that would cause the desired "burning" affect. With the ice cream salt there was also just a couple of grains in the skin. My buddy who shot the pig was actually hit softly with ricochet salt.

I think if the pig had been wearing even crappy jeans like they sell in designer stores the salt would barely, maybe, penetrate the denim from even 5 yards away. I believe the only way to actually burn someone with shotgun rock salt is to shoot them point blank.

No doubt however if someone fired even a blank round at me I'd be scared as hell and run fast enough to place pretty well at the NFL combine. However, the truth of the matter is that there just wasn't enough mass in the salt to cause any damage at all. Maybe bruising from very close distances.

I'm sure people have filled shells with rock salt, but the stories of the "victims" of rock salt shooting have most definitely been augmented over time as the story was told and re-told.

After the test i cleaned my beloved .410 thoroughly while roasting the pigs.

August 9, 2010, 09:53 AM
Cool, a definitive test, and a great place to lay this old horse to rest.

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