Loading brass shotgun shells


October 17, 2007, 01:11 AM
I recently acquired some new full length brass 12 guage shotgun hulls from Midway.

Does anyone know where to get any reloading data for these?

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October 17, 2007, 02:09 AM
Sounds interesting. What is the advantage of brass V. plastic?

Site says

All brass hulls use large pistol size primers. Designed for use with cork, fiber or cardboard wads. Ideal for use with blackpowder.



October 17, 2007, 07:34 AM
I`ve got 3 boxes of the Magtech 12 ga brass shot shells ...I bought from Cabelas back when they were 9 bucks a box ,,they do take the large pistol primmers , very easy to load drop in 65 grs of 2f ( by volume ) then an over powder card , then a fiber wad ..add shot ( I use 1 1/4 ounce of 7 1/2 shot ) then place an over shot card on top and I use elmers white glue around the top card to keep everything in place and moisture out , clear fingernail polish around the primmer ...for moisture barrier there ..They seem to never wear out due to the low pressure of the black powder . I`ve never had to size the cases . Shoot real good out of my Stoger Uplander 12 ga. I bought the powder cards and wads and shot cards from Dixiegunworks they sell them in bags of 1,000 .

October 17, 2007, 08:56 AM
i've always wanted to have some brass shells to shoot, but i guess i need the Coach gun first.

October 17, 2007, 12:27 PM
Sundance, What's your procedure for priming them?

I had pretty much figured most everything else out, and have been toying with the idea of putting a roll crimp on the brass, but the Elmers sounds like a good idea, too.

I have an old Lee 12guage handloader from back in the 60's that I planned on using, but you are saying I don't need to resize, so I may not need it.

Thanks Tim

October 17, 2007, 12:38 PM
Primming the brass hulls ...deprimeing too ...almost too easy .. deprimeing I use an old rifle primmer punch from a Lee handloading kit ..Primming I use a small plastic hammer Lyman model brass on one side plastic on the other ...useing the plastic side tap real easy untill flush and have never had a primmer go off tapping them in ..They just don`t make a die for my Lee auto prime for a 12 ga ...This is some of the easyest loading there is , as far a data , Square loads are good if you have a scale and can weigh your powder and shot ...into equal amounts ..I hear this works good for some folks ...lots of room in the 12 ga for testing different loads ...70 grs of 2f powder is about the max I can get in one though ....I use mine for everything from skeet shooting to bird hunting ...and my sxs has extractors so it doesn`t throw the shells over my shoulder when I open the gun , makes it easyer to keep up with your brass.

October 17, 2007, 01:48 PM
Squeezing the primers in slowly with a small bench vice or modified C-Clamp would be the prefered method of seating primers in brass shotshells.
Use a short dowel rod inside the case to support it.

If you ever do have one go off while driving it in with a plastic hammer, it will come back out with enough velocity to do some real damage to your skin or eyes!

A primer fired in a case's primer pocket will attain velocity comparable to a .22 bullet, just not as heavy.

Note primer damage to furnace duct sheet metal at bottom of picture:

Regardless of the method used, ALWAYS wear Safety Goggles or a Face Shield when seating primers not contained in a loading die & press.


October 17, 2007, 02:08 PM
Tapping in the primmers , if they should go off it will discharge through the flash hole and not back out . useing a flat surface for the taping they shouldn`t go off anyway ..but incase they do I would suggest safty glasses, I have had a few primmers go off useing the Lee hand loader set primmer tap reloading rifle cases that one does blow it in your face when it happens, scares the poop out of ya too ..lol

October 17, 2007, 02:21 PM
The primer is contained top & bottom by the die & the punch with the Lee-Loader hand tool.

And yes, they will blow out of a primer pocket if not contained!
That's exactly how the big dent got in the furnace-duct sheet metal I just posted a picture of.
Those are all from cook-offs, but the same thing applies if one goes off while you are pounding it in a case.

The rapid pressure increase can't get out of the flash hole fast enough, and it will always blow the primer out if there is nothing solid to stop it!


October 17, 2007, 04:15 PM
Been using a Lee 12 ga loader since about 1964. Used both new and old military brass cases. I also have some of new manufacture, some use large pistol primers and some us shotgun primers. Never had a primer go off. I use both black and smokeless powders. For black powder I use a shot dipper and use equal volumes of powder and shot, seal the overshot wad with waterglass. NEVER crimp a case, if you do the case mouth will quickly fail. I have used this same treatment with low base plastic cases after trimming off the crimped mouth. Using this method makes reloading sooooo simple.

October 17, 2007, 04:26 PM
I should have said in my pervious post that the loading info is for LEAD SHOT only.

October 17, 2007, 06:00 PM
Rcmodel.... is that picture of loaded bullets being cooked off in a furnace ?
I can`t compair taping a primer into an empty brass case as being as dangerous as cooking loaded bullets in a furnace untill they fire ...loaded bullets cooked to the point of discharge will send the brass case flying at a much higher rate than the heavyer bullet on the other end ...and you wouldn`t be just dealing with the primer going off , there would be powder right ? The tapping of primmer in empty shells is something learned reading the back pages of a Dixiegunworks catalog they call it LOADING BLACK POWDER SHELLS WITHOUT TOOLS ...page 661 in the 2005 catalog . Its not my invention .

October 18, 2007, 01:03 AM
Here is a link for a tool that will deprime and prime shotgun shells;

I don't have one but it looks cool.

And I use to know what waterglass was but have forgotten. And where do you get it?

October 18, 2007, 10:50 AM
Waterglass is : Sodium Silicate. You can order it through any chem. supply house or pharmacy. I get mine from the local pharmacy and a bottle lasts a long time.
Another thing to keep in mind, which has not been previously mentioned, is that you must use oversize wads when loading brass. Usually use 11 ga in 12 ga shells. I get mine from "Precision Reloading" or "Circle Fly"

October 18, 2007, 11:44 AM
is that you must use oversize wads when loading brass. Usually use 11 ga in 12 ga shells

I started to load a box of these last night, thinking I had everything I needed. Then I realized the wads I had weren't going to work,:what:

Thanks for that info, it probably would have taken me a day of phone calls before I got that little item of info.

I'm surprised that Midway (and Cabella's) sells these things, and when you get the brass there is absolutely no info about any of this to be had on the box or on the websites.:scrutiny:

October 18, 2007, 01:33 PM
Rcmodel.... is that picture of loaded bullets being cooked off in a furnace ?
I can`t compare taping a primer into an empty brass case as being as dangerous as cooking loaded bullets in a furnace untill they fire Yes, those are cook-offs from I test I did to prove GI ammo cans were the best fire protection for loaded ammo.

But, you can't assume the burning powder adds anything to a primers velocity.

I have a friend who took a trip to the emergency room while drying empty .38 Spl. cases on a cookie sheet in his kitchen oven. Apparently, one of the empty cases was primed.

He was setting at the table across the room, barefoot, reading the newspaper, when the unnoticed primer popped.

It buried itself in the top of his foot between the bones, and had to be surgically removed by the ER doctor.


October 18, 2007, 11:38 PM
If you have the time do some research in the "American Rifleman" archives (1960's) you can find many loads for brass cases. I even tried one once that held 2 oz of lead for a goose load, fired only one round- won't ever do that again! A smokeless load that was mean on both ends, especially for someone who was so small at the time.
Try also loading volume/volume, lead/powder and load some real light loads,
i.e. 20 ga loads or 28 ga loads in the 12 ga cases. Paper print them using cushion wads and without cushion wads see how they pattern. My favorite gun is a 12 ga O/U, 30" tubes bored M-F , too much gun for quail and Chuckar with regular loads but the only gun I had. You can also get a lot of info on "spreader loads" which are amazing, in this gun, for close work.

October 21, 2007, 03:56 PM
would be a good place to look around. Just search "Brass hulls" or "Brass shotshells". We talk about them alot over there.

Another great resource would be http://www.tbullock.com/bpsg.html
As long as you're loading BP, start with a square load. That's equal parts shot and powder. I load 60gr of 2F Goex and 7/8oz fineshot in my 20ga. Makes big smoke, and AFAIK patterns well. You'll need a good felt wad as well. Circle Fly makes them dry or lubricated. They can be had from Track of The Wolf or Circle Fly.

October 21, 2007, 07:43 PM
You can get brass shotgun shells from Cabela's, made by Magtech in Brazil(?)
and use pistol primers. Cost is $19.00/25. I think it's a good price.

October 22, 2007, 01:43 PM
I prime my Magtech shells using a standard Lee LoadAll II press. Just push the primer in by hand enough that it will stay in by itself, and then place it on the priming station and work the lever. The only trick is to doublecheck that the primer is seated deep enough. If the shell wobbles about on the primer I put it back in and give it another squeeze.

October 26, 2007, 12:23 AM
I finally got all the stuff gathered together and loaded 25 rounds this morning.

In addition to having to order oversized wads, I got called out of town for a few days. Interruptions are the norm in my life.

Anyway, after loading, the over-shot card is just a hair below the end of the brass. Elmers put there dried quickly and they look really good.

I only have one concern. I'm loading Elephant FFG, and by going for a "square load" I ended up with a load of 1 1/8 oz of #6 shot and 89+ grains of powder.

Seems a little hot for what I intended, although the load data I've dug up seems to indicate this will be well within the safety margins.

I have read on several other websites not to shoot these in double barrel shotguns, which actually ruins my whole intent, so I guess I'll be watching for recoil induced failure of the over-shot card.

Any last requests.....uuuuhhhh.....recommendations before I go to slay the dragon?

October 26, 2007, 10:20 AM
I don't know how well Elmers holds the round together, I use waterglass and have been using only that since late 1964. I have had a couple of failures in all that time, only what you would call "bloopers"!
The ONLY gun I have ever used these brass rounds in is a Winchester Mod 101 O/U purchased in early '64 and really can't think of using them in anything else and I shoot up to 1-1/2 oz loads in them. If your loads are all the way to the case mouth you might consider how much cushion wad being used.
The old master, Mr. Starr, always shot his BP double without ever using a cushion wad and his scores were phenomenal. His load was powder, card wad, shot and card wad, he always said that a cushion wad was a waste of time and money! - -My reason for initially suggesting that you load some light loads and pattern them.

October 26, 2007, 05:53 PM
I loaded a few brass 12 gauge shells last week and took them out to use on squirrels from my old Diamond Arms single barrel shotgun. I call it Grandpa's shotgun since it is identical to the one my Grandmother gave me after my Grandfather passed away. My house burned in 1968 and so did Grandpa's shotgun. I've been looking for one like it ever since, found this one only a couple of years ago.

I don't normally shoot squirrels with a shotgun but this was a nostalgia thing and I was able to keep all the shot in the heads by passing up all shots except those where only the head was showing. Grandpa wasn't as picky so I have lots of childhood memories of biting down on #6 shot.

Anyway, I loaded 3 drams of Swiss 3f, card wad, dry felt wads to take up space and as a cushion, another card wad under the shot, right at 1 ounce, maybe just a hair over, of shot with an over shot card wad sealed over with carpenter's wood glue. I have some old hand reloading tools I found in a box of junk I bought at an estate sale some years back which work well with the brass cases. After the cases are fired, there is a little of the hardened glue still adhering inside the case mouth so I imagine it sticks pretty well. I'd try them in a double without any fear of the over shot wads coming off under recoil. Sounds like a test is needed, tkendrick. Load up your double, fire one barrel over and over without ever shooting the other barrel. See if you can MAKE it happen. If it does happen from time to time, even then I'd still probably use them, those brass shells are just cool!

What I need to try now is some of those loads without the cushion wads.


Shoot n Load
January 16, 2012, 06:10 PM
I have been using my old hand loaders for both 410 & 20 ga, using large pistol primers [cci], and the loads that are listed with the hand loaders. the 410 has a load using Green Dot and it is a good load. On my 20ga brass hulls I have been picking loads that use cci primer and the wads that I have on hand. Have not had any problem shooting these smokeless powders, I do keep them on the bottom end of the powder scale. When putting the hull together, powder nitro card 11ga, modern wad, shot(BB-9),overshot card 11ga, clear elmers glue. After the glue dries you can mark the ends with the load size.

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