Rock salt and Nickels


March 11, 2006, 12:34 AM
I had a patient today say that if he had an intruder he would shoot him with rock salt, to which I replied " have you ever loaded a shell with rock salt or know someone who has? " I don't know of such a thing except as urban legend. Anyone ever done this or know someone who did? While we are at it how about a shell filled with nickels, effective or just very damaging to the barrells?

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March 11, 2006, 02:10 AM
No, rock salt shells are real. I've seen them - but I think they were used mostly in the 50's and 60's (maybe earlier as well) for basic home defense in rural areas. There may well have been a company that made and sold those loads, but I don't know that. I'm pretty sure the only ones I've ever seen were hand-loaded.

I don't know much about tinkering around with a shotgun shell, but I have the impression from listening to old timers talk about them that all you did was open the shell, pour out the bird shot, fill the cavity with rock salt, and seal it back up with some wax or something. They weren't intended to be lethal. The primary purpose was more for getting rid of a nuisance - like the kid that is sneaking into your garden and stealing your tomatoes at night. You don't want to kill him, but a posterior full of burning salt is a surefire way to keep him out of your hair for a bit.

Delivery McGee
March 11, 2006, 02:55 AM
Rock salt supposedly stings like all get-out, but isn't lethal. Like 'Card said, it's more of a '40s/'50s thing, when you could actually get away with (non-lethally) shooting somebody for kicks.

Coins (I think the most common version of the myth uses dimes as some kind of super-lethal shotgun load, and is attributed to Billy the Kid) don't do much of anything. Mythbusters (I think) tested a load of dimes and a load of 00 buck on a pig carcass in a flannel shirt. The buckshot came out the back of the pig and kept going; the dimes bounced off and didn't even damage the shirt.

Double Naught Spy
March 11, 2006, 02:57 AM
Not nickels, but dimes. I seem to recall that there is an ammo maker right now using metal disks, not dimes, but used like the dimes were used.

March 11, 2006, 07:49 AM
Not nickels, but dimes.
Now you're getting expensive.If someone is going to do something as stupid as this, at least keep the cost down- use pennies!
If discs or coins were any good as projectiles, they would have replaced shot a hundred years ago.
Rock salt loads were real, homemade, and used for 2-legged garden varmints.

Dave McCracken
March 11, 2006, 10:19 AM
When I was six or seven, got hit with a salt load. Stopped me stealing tomatoes.

Not recommended.

March 11, 2006, 10:36 AM
I've heard numerous stories of rock salt loads. One of the more fantastic involved a farmer shooting a dog with shell that had sat around for a couple of years. Of course, salt draws moisture, so he ended up hitting it with a salt slug at about twelve feet. Knocked that dog deader than Elvis, he did.

Not the intended result, but not much chance of the dog getting into his trash again, either.

March 11, 2006, 11:18 AM
My daddy was hit in the left cheek of his buttocks with a load of "rock salt & bacon rind". Made him clear a 6' fence while holding a watermelon, in nothing flat!

After he arrived back at the house, his mother (my grandmother) sat his arse in a "cubby tub" filled with hot water. They discovered the big, red "S" impression that the bacon rind had made. Dad cried all night long as the rock salt sealed the wounds that it had inflicted, but had learned a valuble lesson:

Stay the HELL out of someone else's watermelon patch!

Good shootin'


March 11, 2006, 11:54 AM
Now adays you'd be sued at the least:( .

March 11, 2006, 01:22 PM
Here's the modern day version of "dime loads".....not too good for longer distances. My Grandfather used rock salt loads to control the neighbors dogs, kept chasing his milk cows and sheep, claimed it was very effective.

March 11, 2006, 01:52 PM
Safety Disc? Looks like OWW!

March 11, 2006, 02:03 PM
Sorry, Mythbusters got that one wrong. They used DIMES in a 10 ga. shotgun, most of the powder blew by the load.

Do that in a 12 ga. and you'll have perforated pork products.

Dimes aren't terribly aerodynamic... you can make a dime load (or a birdshot load) more lethal by wrapping the shot cup with cellophane tape.

I've done extensive 'testing' with star washers, dime and buckshot (.36 cal pistol balls) in my Pedersoli 12 ga. double. Nothing 'bounced off.'

March 11, 2006, 02:11 PM
The dime load is for real. I have loaded and fired several shells this way. It was more for fun and to see what they would do than to make a super lethal load. Pennies are a little too large to fit inside a 12ga shell and nickels would never work. Dimes are the ticket. It takes 9-10 dimes but any metal disc the same size would work I guess.

Don't laugh at the dime load it has a secret. What happens is, the dimes stay together like a slug until they hit something and then they spread out instantly. I shot a 8" metal box that was about 1/16" thick steel. It made a single dime sized hole going in and on the back side of the box, it looked like a tiger had clawed a hole though it. It went through two layers of 1/16" steel with no problem so I think it might wreck havoc on some meat. I shot the box at close distance of about 10'.

I wouldn't recomend doing anything in the above but I was a lot younger and I managed to live through it. Since then, I have learned that shooting at metal at close distance is a great way to get injured, don't do it ever! Also, I used a shotgun with zero choke so I have no idea what would happen if you did the same thing in a full choked 12ga.

March 12, 2006, 12:31 PM
I've never loaded dimes. Rocksalt, BB's, popcorn, used flour for buffer, but never loaded dimes.....
Where's that piggy bank?:evil:

March 12, 2006, 12:34 PM
That must be what they mean by being "nickel-and-dimed to death"... :D

March 12, 2006, 05:29 PM
If I ever wanted to shoot at a watermelon thief, I'd use something like a paintball gun with bright blue paint. Nobody dies, thief doesn't come back, I don't get sued. Win-win.

March 12, 2006, 06:56 PM
If I ever wanted to shoot at a watermelon thief, I'd use something like a paintball gun with bright blue paint. Nobody dies, thief doesn't come back, I don't get sued. Win-win.

I wouldn't. You'll get sued for assult and battery if you shoot the right (wrong) person. It's still assult with a deadly weapon and you could, potentially, go to jail as well. Remember those punks who were shooting homeless men with paintball guns a while back--they're in it deep.

March 12, 2006, 07:15 PM
i was shot with rocksalt when i was thirteen. we were doing something stupid, and boy did it teach me a lesson. stung like all hell and left a bunch of little tiny scars.

i doubt you could get away with it anymore. it seems these days that if you shoot anyone with anything, you'd better be in the right.

March 12, 2006, 07:49 PM
"Remember those punks who were shooting homeless men with paintball guns a while back--they're in it deep."

:eek: I'd never do that.:barf:

"It's still assault with a deadly weapon."

Are you sure? I wasn't aware that you could be killed with paintball guns.

March 13, 2006, 03:00 AM
I remember being shot at with a shotgun when I was a young kid. It was some crazy farmer that shot at anyone that stepped foot on his land. Everyone said his shotgun was loaded with rocksalt but I never got hit so I can't say.

I am glad that the days of being shot at for no good reason are gone. Shooting at a 7 year old boy because he cut across your field is not cool. People should go to jail for doing things like that. Crazy old coot.:rolleyes:

March 13, 2006, 02:31 PM
Your patient will probably find out, after he's sent the payload downrange, that what he thought was a "less lethal" shell was in fact a bird load or a slug left in the gun after he last went hunting and forgot to clear the weapon. :uhoh:

Jacobus Rex
March 13, 2006, 02:48 PM
I've never loaded dimes in a 12 gauge and don't suggest that anyone should. However, after adding that disclaimer, I'd like to point out that a dime is larger than the constriction caused by a full choke!

March 13, 2006, 03:08 PM
Dimes will work in a 12-Ga with Cyl or Imp Cyl bores. Depending on exactly how tight it is, modified may or may not pass the dimes.

Had a shooting buddy try this with his nearly brand new Rem 1100 and a [ahem] "custom" load of dimes........

I said "Hey, what choke is that barrel?"

"Full." he says.

Sez me "WAIT! ! ! DON'T SH..........."


Anybody remember the cartoons with the shotgun muzzle end peeled like a bananna? Well, I saw an 1100 barrel in exactly that condition. :what: :eek:

BTW, Remington's reply on a warranty replacement barrel request was a bit kinder and gentler than "Bite me!"...but not much

March 13, 2006, 03:28 PM
Homebrew version of rubber buckshot.

Use of official "less lethal" ammo like rubber buck is probably more defensible in court, these days.:)

March 14, 2006, 05:16 PM
Mooseman my dad did ,when I was younger -poured the lead out and shoot stray dogs chasin chickens or livestock, if that failed next was birdshot from the 22 - last and least was call the neighbor and ask if it is their dog- if not so be it get a shovel

March 18, 2006, 01:08 AM
I've used the safety disk (non-perforated ones) to defend myself from an abandoned washing machine. They are devestating at close range. I was probably 20 feet or so away when I shot it. It left 6 individual holes in, each the size of a slug:eek: Absolutely amazing when fired from real close but they fly too erratic for any distance.

March 18, 2006, 06:14 AM
I saw 5 rounds of 12ga rock salt for sale at a local shop about a year ago. I think they wanted $13 or so. It was hand loaded.

March 19, 2006, 04:05 AM
what movie was it were the bad guy had broken glass loaded into his shotgun shells?

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