Black powder shotgun shells loaded with round ball


June 8, 2008, 10:31 PM
Has anyone on this forum loaded brass shotgun casings with large charges of black powder and say a .735 ball? In the old days, the 12 bore rifle fired heavy charges of black powder, and conical or round bullets on top. With this came recoil, but was quite effective on about everything up to lion sized game. If someone took say a mag-tech brass casing, just about as much fg back powder she'll hold and still allow room for an over powder card, a thin cushion wad followed by a lubed wad and just inserting the ball far enough in the case to lightly roll a crimp to hold it all in place? The ball would have to be a neat fit, but be able to pass freely through the choke of the shot gun. I have a Lefever nitro special shotgun, and with basic sights, would make a nice close range wild boar gun.

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June 8, 2008, 10:46 PM
As far as the powder i would recoment 2 ff. Not 1f. 1f is commonly used for cannons. shotguns and large bore diameter guns call for 2f. Now i would recomend starting off mild and not going full bore on black powder. Same time You really need to check a loading manual then work up your load. Shotguns need to have a wad in between the powder charge and the shot. In this case Slug or round ball. There is a balance between the two. Thats why there are so many different types of wads. I do load black powder 12 guage shells. They way i load is this. 7/8 ounce powder, an over the powder wad followed by a 3/8 thick felt wad. Then 7/8 7 1/2 shot. then a wad over that. On plastics i just do the same process but cut off the top part. The crimp area. When you insert the top card i use elmers glue a small amount to keep it in place. This gives me a nice recoil round. As for brass shells they are a pain as sometimes they will stick in the gun if you over powder them. some how i never had much luck shooting all brass shells in shotgun.

June 9, 2008, 01:52 PM
Wouldn't that be the equivalent of a modern 12-gauge slug?

If you use such ammo in a smoothbore breechloading shotgun, you would have the same efficiency as a Brown Bess musket, or similar loaded with same load. About 75 yards add or minus. No rifling. Should be good enough for deer at medium hunting ranges.

With rifled barrel, you should be getting similar performance as a modern slug gun.

Bayou Runner
June 9, 2008, 07:25 PM
Been loading 12ga with buck or ball for some time now. Using 90gr equal in pyrodex RS. That's 72 gr. pryodex. At least that's what I got from my trusty DGW catalog. Anyway, with the pyrodex, a 5" x 5" piece of newspaper (makes a 1/2"wad), a .715 550gr. round ball, a little paraffin to hold it in place, I've got a fairly potent round for some close-in work. The recoil is not that bad, although my NEF Pardner with a 20" barrel does kick a bit. Lot's of smoke and a nice hole where you point it. I can load 9 .310 round balls over the same amount of pyrodex and group fairly close to factory loads. The only real reason to buy factory loads is to have the shells to reload. Thought about brass shells myself, but haven't tried them and I think Scrat just talked out of tryin-em. Go make some smoke!

Dave Markowitz
June 9, 2008, 07:36 PM
I am tempted to load up some BP rounds for my 20 gauge Topper. I'll have to load a ball that will safely pass through the modified choke, however.

Or, I have some .375 roundballs that don't shoot well in my Uberti 1851 Navy. Hmmmm. ;)

June 9, 2008, 11:26 PM
The reason I opted for a larger charge, has anyone ever seen pissed off 500lb+ black russian boar? Thats the way they get when you wak'em up:eek:If I could stand the recoil, it would be a hell more powerful than a brown bess! I'll be shooting under 40 yds where I'm going...Even with lg powder volumes, pressures should be substantially lower than modern field loads.

June 10, 2008, 07:05 AM
pressures should be substantially lower

Frankly, that's a scary statement. When it comes to your face and hands, I'd suggest you find out first. "Should" is the way to disaster.

June 10, 2008, 11:46 AM
7/8 oz of black powder? Not smart. that is approx 400 grains of black powder. Waaaay too much. You better consult a reputable manual such as lymans or similar. There are too many rum dums around to trust your firearm or for that matter your life , on stupid advice.


June 10, 2008, 12:24 PM
You are correct that is way too much powder. i will have to check my stuff when i get home. I was going by memory. I believe 7/8 is the dipper i am using. which you know is totally different than measuring by voulume. All i know is a while ago i spent the time to develope a load for bp shotgun and have duplicating that load ever since. I so use dippers for measuring shot and powder i will have to check what the actual measurment is . I think its 60 grains. of bp.

June 10, 2008, 12:41 PM
Good posts. How does plastic hulls hold-up when used with BP?

June 10, 2008, 04:21 PM
not well i usually throw them away one use only. but then there are so many 12 guage shells at the range. i can go with a box of 50 and come home with 100

kentucky bucky
June 11, 2008, 12:20 AM
Make sure you have heathy barrels if you are using an old twist barrel. I've done this with muzzleloading shotguns and found the problem I had was it shot way low. It didn't recoil as much as a heathy load of shot, so I assumed that is why the low POA.

June 11, 2008, 04:51 AM
I loaded a few brass hulls with two 2.8cc Lee dippers full of 2Fg (3 drams, 81gr by VOLUME or so) and a .690 round ball (from a local shop, hand cast), which was the largest ball I felt comfortable about firing down the bore of my single-shot. I figure, if I grabbed any of these (or if someone else did) and I had used a larger ball, if they had a tighter choke things would go poorly indeed.

June 14, 2008, 10:11 AM
The gun in question is a lefever nitro special , which is not twist nor a black powder shotgun. I have been shooting black powder and building guns from scratch for over 30 years. I am not trying to wreck a gun, or endanger my life. I was just wondering about the old black powder loads, as used in africa. Anyone ever read about the twelve or ten boar double rifles? Those loads used a hell of alot more than 80 gr of powder. I am going dangerous game hunting, and was trying to replicate some of those old standards that they used in africa.

June 17, 2008, 09:25 PM
You'd be safe to use perhaps 120gr 2Fg, but it would be HELL on your shoulder.

Jim Watson
June 18, 2008, 12:04 AM
A Lefever Nitro Special is not Damascus, but it is not a rifle, either.
W.W. Greener recommended not using any more powder with ball than shot in a standard shotgun.

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