Re-packing 12 gauge shells


Grandpa Shooter
August 30, 2008, 02:11 AM
Please note, I am not talking about reloading a fired round.

Is it worthwhile to open a standard field and target load and replace the shot with larger gauge shot such as BB's. I know little about the ballistics of shotgun shells and am wondering if I could alter a dozen or so for short range varmit shells.

We are buying land in a remote area and I would like my Lady to have something more impressive if I leave the land on a chore.

Any insight greatly appreciated.


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Jorg Nysgerrig
August 30, 2008, 02:23 AM
Considering that you can get buckshot for about $3 per box of 5 many places or a box of 25 with BB shot for about $12, it seems like a lot of hassle.

August 30, 2008, 02:54 AM
" not talking about reloading a fired round...Is it worthwhile to open..." No. You'd have to do the same thing. Shot shells need to be crimped. Takes a machine. Shotgun reloading kit isn't anywhere near as expensive as rifle/pistol reloading kit.
Buy your lady a 20 guage pump and teach her how to shoot it. Think in terms of it being her gun.

Dave McCracken
August 30, 2008, 09:44 AM
Bad idea.

Grandpa Shooter
August 30, 2008, 09:44 AM
I looked up self defense loads and they are $1 each plus shipping. I know that if they are ever needed the price won't matter. Just thought there might be an easy way to change projectiles.

August 30, 2008, 10:38 AM
"...Self defense loads", out of someone's overpriced catalog? There is a reason that buckshot is popular; it works well enough that you don't need boutique loads.

It's much, Much cheaper to just buy a box of shells in the proper size than to fiddle around with opening a shell, pouring out what was in there, loading new shot inside, and crimping it again.
Just the time savings alone, without even counting the cost of the reloading equipment required.

August 30, 2008, 01:15 PM
Bad idea.

I got to agree. Go buy some #4 Buck and be done with it. And when you suggested BB, I hope you meant "Lead" BB. Under no circumstance should you ever substitute Steel BB or air rifle shot in a shotcup that was meant for lead.:)

August 30, 2008, 01:18 PM
Just try uncrimping a factory plastic shell sometime.

You will quickly re-think your money saving plan!


August 30, 2008, 02:55 PM
"Whatever is on sale at WalMart" buckshot in 12 guage will do any BG just as much damage as anything you can come up with yourself. At in-house distances, ANYTHING bigger than #9 shot coming out of a 12 guage is a "self defense round". :)

Do yourself a favor and just buy what you want rather than try to build it. You'll thank me later.

Old School
August 30, 2008, 04:22 PM
Jorg Says:
you can get buckshot for about $3 per box of 5 many places or a box of 25 with BB shot for about $12
Jorg, where can I get a 25 round box of buckshot for $12?

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 30, 2008, 04:51 PM
Jorg, where can I get a 25 round box of buckshot for $12?

Perhaps I wasn't clear with my writing. 5 shell boxes of buckshot can be had for $3 if you look around (Try Walmart). 25 shell boxes with BB shot can be had for $12 if you aren't too pick. The OP was asking about BB shot. Lead BB is getting harder to find though.

That said, in the last year I've picked up 10 round boxes of S&B 00 for about $5 a box.

August 31, 2008, 01:30 PM
Yeah buckshot all the way, throw in a few slugs if you want.

Even birdshot, at extreme close range, will do some serious, nasty damage. Of course once it spreads out its no good for HD.

August 31, 2008, 02:14 PM
ok yes and no. for those of you who know how to reload you may had the answer. i can take apart the crimp and put together a 12 guage shell. Its easy but its not for someone who wont do it all the time. All i would do is take an exacto knife and cut around the top. Cutting the crimp off all the way. You really dont need it. So now you have the crimp off what do you do. you dump the shot. replace the shot then.

Uh oh no crimp. Who cares. You would take an over the shot card and put it over the shot in the case still and just press it against the shot. Use a little elmers glue on the corners your done. So ya if you know about 12 guage shells a crimp is not necesary. its easier with a crimp but not necessary. i load 12 guage shells. Once in a while i will get one thats messed up at the mouth. Instead of throwing it away i put it in a seperate pile. Then cut the tops off. i think i have a picture somewhere

Now this is only for the experienced reloader. i would not recomend doing this if you do not know about reloading.

here you go

August 31, 2008, 02:20 PM
Sure you can do it.

But the OP wants SD ammo for his wife!

Having an Elmers Glued top wad fall out & spill shot in the action, or a cut-off shell hang up & jam in the middle of a gun fight is sure to ruin her day even further.

My advice would be to buy a box of factory loaded ammo and not worry about the cost, or the reliability.

It's not like she is taking up trap shooting or anything!

One box will probably last her an awful long time!


August 31, 2008, 02:24 PM
true. However i have never had an over the shot wad come out. Anyone that has used them correctly probably hasnt either. but like you said for SD better to buy a box. If you are an experienced reloader then its a different story.
Heck i just loaded up over 100 shells yesterday. One box is like a few minutes for me. i have 300 rounds ready to go just for 12 guage. With 3 different types of powders and shots. Then i still have about 300 more empties

August 31, 2008, 02:35 PM
Not saying it's right or wrong, but when I was around 16 I tinkered with replacing bird shot with zinc plated BB's. This was done by opening the crimp dumping out the shot and packing material, then alternately adding BB's with granulated washing detergent till filled again and recrimping. Worked like a charm, just keep in mind that recoil is very different between the factory loads and the repacks. I by no means recommend that anyone try this and only did it due to lack of funds to buy the ammo I wanted. Also, for home defense I wouldn't use this due to the legal stand point of specially doctored ammo, could prove to be a real problem requiring an attorney.

August 31, 2008, 02:42 PM
BB air-rifle shot is steel with a copper or zink or silver colored wash coating.
It is even harder then steel shot used in waterfowl loads.

Not good!
Not good at all!


August 31, 2008, 03:11 PM
Very very bad for the barrel very bad. that i agree on

Grandpa Shooter
August 31, 2008, 05:12 PM
I likely did not make myself clear in the original post. The varmints she would most likely be impressing with a 12 gauge would be the two legged variety who would not want to face a shotgun and a very pissed off woman.

Thank you for your speedy replies. It is not something I want to try, just toying with the concept. Why the distinction between lead shot and BB's? I don't personally care which they die from, just so long as we don't have any condors or buzzards picking over the remains. Sure wouldn't want to poison any birds.

August 31, 2008, 05:39 PM
Lead shot is made from soft, dense lead. BBs are made from hard, less-dense steel.

Major ballistic differences between the two. Potentially gun- (and shooter-) damaging issues.

You can get steel-shot loads in a size called "BB," but that's different from the steel BBs you get in the little carton.

Get her some buckshot loads and sleep lightly.

August 31, 2008, 05:43 PM
My brother did this in HS with my ("his") bolt action .410, replacing the #6 shot with BBs in a 3" shell. It blew an ugly pattern and the hull came out all chewed up and kinda melted looking.

Not much value there...


August 31, 2008, 06:00 PM
how was the barrel. i hear you can do some major barrel damage

August 31, 2008, 07:49 PM
The barrel? Oooohhh, don't get me started...

He had cut the barrel to 18.5" with a hacksaw, and cut the stock into a pistol grip, I believe with the same hacksaw. Overall length was a smidge over 26", but the gun was essentially ruined by that point. I believe he later got concerned about whether he measured the barrel length correctly and finished destroying the gun by either cutting it up with a bandsaw or a torch, then burying the pieces somewhere, tossing 'em off a bridge, something like that. My first shotgun, later claimed by my brother as his, destroyed because he was a moron... I need a drink... Bad memory...


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