With some new equipment on the way shortly, I'm going to be do some experimenting with combination buckshot loadings.
Anyone here have any experience loading combinations of 000, 00, and #4 buckshot ?
Not looking for your secret recipes and methods, just looking for stuff you've tried they may have worked....and what didn't.
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June 14, 2012, 01:39 PM
I have the 3rd edition Ballistic Products buckshot manual and they use total weight of the buckshot in their data rather than just the number of pellets. I'd weigh the charges of buckshot and keep the total within standard 1 1/8, 1 1/4, or "other" ounce range when mixing sizes of shot. I do recommend the Ballistic Products manual but they do use mostly their own components and you'd need to buy from them. I have no experience mixing buckshot sizes myself.
Thanks for your input, I'll look into that. Most of the data I have, the charge weight seems pretty dependent on the shot weight too...not the type of shot.
June 15, 2012, 10:01 AM
Also, anyone got experience using h-110, instead of HS-6 ?
June 15, 2012, 01:32 PM
I've been loading shotshell for many years and don't ever recall ever seeing anything about duplex or triplex buck shot loads. But I would think you would need to separate the smaller #4 buck from the larger buck shot with a shot card to prevent them from jamming up.
Now you got me extremely curious. I'll research this in my piles of shot shell load books and see if I can find something. Obviously duplex loads exist, but again I don't recall seeing any that use varied buck shot sizes. My real concern is that #4 buck is significantly smaller than 00 or 000 buck.
June 15, 2012, 08:48 PM
I load duplex and triplex birdshot loads all the time.. but I've never thought there was enough room in a 12 ga. shell, even a 3 1/2" 'er, to attempt a triplex buckshot load..
June 15, 2012, 09:08 PM
Well, to be honest stalker, I was thinking a tube, not a card.
A rolled paper tube of 00 buck single stacked to the top, surrounded by #4.
The column would stay compressed in the BBL, and immediately upon exiting air movement force would tear open the rolled paper tube.... spreading the #4 into a loose ring, with a narrow column of 00 in the center.
same 1-1/8 ish load, just a crafted column.
June 15, 2012, 10:52 PM
Sounds fun but I wouldn't even use the paper. I'd just see how much I could pack in there. I've been thinking about a mix of buck & bird myself.
June 15, 2012, 10:59 PM
Summer project anyone ?
Lets see what we come up with !
June 15, 2012, 11:11 PM
I'm working with 410 so I don't think we can offer much to each other.
June 15, 2012, 11:54 PM
June 22, 2012, 07:40 PM
I have a .430 mold now, as well as a .311.
I will get to casting tomorrow if its not raining, and after I load 'em I'll post the results for everyone.
I have a feeling this is going to get addicting very quickly.
June 23, 2012, 04:45 PM
I would think that a thin plastic tube to stack the buckshot inside of the hull would work better than paper. Think a large dia. straw. Also if the buck is large you need to buffer it to keep the tube from collapsing around the balls. I would try to buffer it with cream of wheat. Yes I also see that most loads use weight when loading. This will help stop confusion when choosing shot size because they all will weigh out differently for their given volume within the same size hull. The conventional way to load a duplex load was to use nitro cards/buffer to separate them. I have been trying to play with positioning and get the best patterning with the buck first with the shot on top as it will move faster when shot. Also a stump wad under a small cushion wad with hole punched in it works to pattern best with buffered 000 buck loads in a .410 for me so far. Don't forget to add the weight of the buffer/wad to the total payload either.
June 24, 2012, 03:10 AM
I currently have three test shells to try : 1. 10 of the .311 balls (450g total ) 2. 6 of the .311 balls, and one of the .430 balls (389g total) 3. 2 of the .430 balls and 3 of the .311 balls ( 373g total) Sadly, all the types that will fit in a 2.75" 12ga shell with the wads I currently have. Pattern testing to come !
June 24, 2012, 10:47 PM
Learned some things that worked, and some things that didn't !
Tried a few different stacks with these two ball types, this one worked the best :
6x .311 balls, 1x .430 ball. 3 on the bottom, biggie in the middle, 3 on top.
These were shot from a full full length mossberg 500, full choke.
June 24, 2012, 10:49 PM
Factory shells have a plastic buffet in them to help keep the shot from getting deformed. Deformed buckshot will produce larger paterns, as will pure lead shot. Hard is better. Buffer available at Ballistic Products. Buffer may change pressure. Back in the dark ages, we use flour as a buffer, but raised pressure way to much. The shot colum become one solid mass, grabbing the barrel walls. High pressures.
This was a ten yard pattern from my new double-barrel 18"...and the best you could probably hope for from this full open beast.
June 24, 2012, 11:02 PM
@ 243...that pattern @ 20 is good enough for me.
Thats 5 shots in rapid order... The pattern repeats itself fairly well.
I don't want a tennis ball at 20 yards...if I did, i'd just use 00 buck, or a slug.
I'm looking for something in the pie-plate size/shape @ 20...with the big ball as close to the middle as practiceable. Mission accomplished.
I can do without adding "chaff"
These are real, real hard shot.... I mean real hard, ask ditchy...
They aren't the most perfect castings, but I even used the ugly ones, at his insistence.
June 24, 2012, 11:22 PM
They will do the job at that distance.
June 25, 2012, 12:53 AM
kingmt: I'm working with 410 so I don't think we can offer much to each other.
Wife keeps it pretty simple in her .410 3" cylinder Judge. She loads triple ought buck in first up two chambers for range of a few yards. Then follows with three chambers of #4 shot for real close up and personal face mangling if required.
June 25, 2012, 01:13 AM
@hangfire AND king :
I strongly recommend .311 balls.
Do the math.......
June 28, 2012, 12:45 AM
When loading duplex shot loads, always load the small shot first. Follow with the larger pellets.
This prevents the larger pellet which will decelerate less from blowing through the smaller shot pattern dispersing it.
I've loaded 9-00buck under a single RB in 2-3/4" 12ga and 12-00 under a RB in 3" hulls. You'll need to use the Win. AA-red wad with the "fingers" cut off.
I've also gotten fabulous results with 0.310" shot loaded 10 in a 20ga "game" hull with a RP20 wad with fingers cut off, over 17.6gr of "Longshot". Very good patterns to 40yds and excellent lethality on deer....
FWIW; with 0.375"RN in 2.5" .410, I've gotten better patterns from 3 pellets than with 4. With 4, I get a lot of verticle stringing. Typically 2 near POA and 2 scattered 10-12" low at 25yds... 3-pellet loads give neat patterns near POA.... Using home made OS wads and PC Orange wad with fingers removed.... over H110.
June 29, 2012, 12:13 AM
Thanks for the useful and informative info !
June 29, 2012, 12:18 PM
Went out real early this morning.
I like to see those little red deer we have here that you can't hunt... pretty little things.
Anyways, I got some testing done....but of course, forgot my camera.
So, a little news relay, old school text style :
x1 : ( 2 .430 balls on the bottom, 250g reclaimed shot on top)
15 yard: OK/ good One large ball dead center, one 4" off to the side, surrounded by about an 18" diameter plate of small pellets in an even pattern.
25 yard: poor/ Ok One large ball dead center again, but other ball was nowhere on test page. Very poorly distributed small shot pattern that exceeded the test page in all dimensions.
x2 : ( 2.430 round balls, layered in with 250g reclaimed shot )
15yd : Ok 5" spread large balls in the center mass, only 3/4 ish shot cover.
25 yd : - OK 12" large ball spread, one dead center. Good coverage on small shot, but very loose pattern.
15YD : Great 4" spread og large and medium balls in center mass, 12-14" circle of dense small shot.
25yd : Good 6" spread of large/medium balls, one large and one medium dead center, even small shot pattern covering all but corners of target paper.
So there it is, for what its worth.
As always for these, shot from a 28" vented BBL, full choke.
June 29, 2012, 07:04 PM
Ok, I think I'm pretty much done with this charge weight, in 1-1/8th oz loads, using the tools I have. I've gone through about 30# of shot, and 15#'s of cast round balls. Thats enough testing for me, anyway.
The goal was to create not only a fun and usable clays load, but various defensive and utilitarian loads based on the same charge weight, using the same wad. Anyone who has ever used a Lee Loadall can tell you why :D
I experimented using both RXP-12 wads, and fig8 clone wads, and STS/Nitro/Gunclub hulls.
I settled on the clone wads, as they were considerably cheaper than the RXP12, and in my brief experience, were both easier to load and produced noticeably better loads in both claybusting and the "survivalist" loads.
The RXP12 and fig 8 clones did not produce markedly different results in the true "buckshot" category.
No loads were buffered in any way, and the petals were left on the cups.
I could use more powder, and get more velocity, I suppose. Don't see any real reason to. I wanted something with mild to medium recoil, that used Unique powder.
As to the "survivalist" loads....not a SHTF diversion by any means, just couldn't think of a better term. These loads might be used where someone had a limited selection of shells for instance, or a limited selection of stuff to put in them. They might also be used for combination loadings in an actual survival situation... the "A" loading shot that .430 ball right on target every time...and the load could be used for anything from birds, ground foraging small game, to medium game and for defensive purposes. the "B" listing does everything the "A" does...but it sacrifices a little of the bird ability for a stronger and more versatile medium game and defensive presence.
I've tried many different stacks that aren't listed here, and posted some of the better results. Some were excluded due to poor performance, others for things like poor crimping, or difficulty chambering ( stacks pushing on the plastic/bulging).
Here's what I've chosen to keep, for posterity, enjoy.
I'm going to try some "offensive" loads next. I define that as anything outside of my 25yd "bubble", and dedicated hunting rounds. Thats gonna require some more molds, but I'll definitely post my results when I get the equipment !
Standard 1- 1/8th Oz Loadings Using "fig 8" wads
1 1/4 Bushing Reclaimed Lead ( 1.089-1.125 oz actual)
.155 Bushing of Unique ( 19.5gr)
1 1/8 oz ( MAX 492 GR ) combos using FIG 8 wad and .155 bush of unique :
"A" 10x .311 balls ( stacked 2x2 ) Nice even softball patterns at 7 yards, out to bowling balls at 15... I believe you can see this one above.
"B" 6x .311 balls and 1x .430 ball ( Stacked 3x1x3) This one spreads very rapidly...too rapidly past 15 yards to be useful outside of home defense in my opinion. Its patterns at 5, 10, and 12 yards are more than acceptable...and if their trajectory is any indication of their performance on soft targets...your large invading varmint would be "coned" in the truest sense of the term.
"A" 1x .430 Ball, 1oz bushing shot ( stacked 1xMany)
"B" 3x .311 Balls, 1x .430 ball, 190 Spoon Shot (stacked 3x1xMany) ( this one goes a touch over 492 on occasion...but patterned very well at about 14" of distribution over 30 shots, and had no malfunctions due to that variance)
July 2, 2012, 12:00 PM
Ok, on to offensive or "hunting" loads....distances at 25 yards or greater.
I cant wait for new molds...this is too addicting.
This time I did bring my camera, but I'm exhausted so I will do the photo upland in a few hours.
Just one type today:
12 .311 balls stacked 3x3x3x3
.155 bush unique
I shot a rem 00 factory buffered buckshot for comparison, and I will post both...
Guess which one offered a better pattern ?
Ahhhh....suspense.... I'll post the target pattern pics soon, I promise.
Apparently a better shot stack makes up significantly for polyethylene buffer.
July 5, 2012, 06:08 PM
Warning- there's some heavy load data in here...use at your own risk. Feel free to know however that I'm not putting down any info I haven't tried with my face next to a factory unmodified chamber first.
Ok, so over the "weekend" of the fourth, I was able to do some more shot testing.
I have pictures of the shot cards, I will post them shortly... but some notes first :
With "defensive" loads fairly well covered, I decided that I'd start the "offensive" patterning at the limit of my "defensive" patterning- 25 yards.
This seemed to be where most of the defensive combinations fell apart in terms of pattern. I do want some spread- otherwise I'd just use a rifle... but one or two pellets in an 14*26 area isn't exactly reassuring to me.
I started using my standard defensive load "A" as a measure, and went from there.
The new "offensive" shells were obviously going to require some more horsepower, so I have switched to a 1.25 capacity wad, and 30.8 grs of HS-6 to get what I needed past 25 yards in these loadings.
Some failures :
1. Standard "A" defensive load still held at 20 yards, but at 25 I could not keep more than 50% of the pellets on the paper.
2. 12 .311 pellets stacked 2x2x2x2x2x2. More power due to the new powder, but that pattern was horrendous.
3. 1.430 ball and 9 .311 balls stacked 1x3x3x3- Excellent trajectory on the one .430 pellet at both 25 and 35 yards... the other pellets were conspicuously absent.
4. 1 .430 ball and 12 .311 balls stacked 1x3x3x3x3x3 Excellent trajectory on the one .430 pellet at both 25 and 35 yards... the other pellets were conspicuously absent.
5. 1 .430 ball and 12 .311 balls stacked 3x1x3x3x3 Got the .430 ball on target, and between 2 and 3 balls at 25 yards, and one and 2 balls at 35 yards. Starting to see the wise advice offered above in putting the largest ball at the very front of the stack, so as to not destroy the balls its passing through.
6. 2 .430 balls and 6 .311 balls stacked 1x3x1x3 Got the .430 balls on target, and between 2 and 3 balls at 25 yards, and one large ball and 1-2 balls at 35 yards... occasionally got both large balls on target- not frequently.
The only winner :
7. 15 .311 balls stacked 3x3x3x3x3. Very good target saturation at 25 and 35 yards. Gonna try this one at 40 and 50 next trip. At 675 grains of payload, this shell definitely lets you know you were firing a magnum strength shotgun loading- but boy oh boy would it get the job done. 15 pellets in a 2.75 shell mind you- not a 3 or 3.5.
Now I have to figure out how to get the large ball on top, and still be able to crimp correctly. I'm thinking I may have to sacrifice some useful payload in an effort to keep the ball situated at the top and crimpable....using birdshot.
If anyone has any advice on that last bit, I'd be grateful to hear it.
I'd also like to know if anyone can calculate the energy on those pellets at 35 yards.... other than knowing that they pass through 1" of hardwood with ease, I have no way to do the math on that one.
Pictures to come !
July 13, 2012, 01:24 AM
Memory card problems.
So, buckshot tip of the week :
For extra-round shot from hand cast moldings....try filling a large medicine bottle 1/2 full with buckshot, and throw in 5 or 6 large washers or coins ( I like quarters).
Add a little lube... I like PTFE...seal and dump in your vibratory tumbler.
I can fit 3 or 4 medicine bottles in mine.
Fill with some brass you need to run all night and your favorite media.....and run all night.
In the morning, your shot should be as smooth and round as a babies bottom.
Try it, it works !
Shooting update :
Got some vintage 1.75 oz wads, and some Alcan gas seals.
In the 1.75 oz wads, on top of 19-20 grains of unique, I got 18 .311 balls stacked 3*3.
The recoil wasn't anywhere near what I thought it would be, and it patterned really good at 25 and 35 yards.
Wish I had more than 80 or 90 of these wads to play around with... when I figure out my memory card issues, I'll post a pic of one.
Have a great weekend everyone !
July 15, 2012, 03:04 PM
Ok, so I got my memory card working again.
Downside is, all my old pics are gone >.<
So, I'm gonna have to go through my target pile and see what I can find !
In the interim, check out the results of my buckshot tumbling !
This is how my buckshot looks after tumbling. You can see I have some creative media additions to aid in the smoothing of the pellets. I use canned PTFE spray as a lubricant. They are placed in large pill bottles, and dumped in the vibratory tumbler.
I tried using oil and sand, oil and soap...many wet variations...but they were really messy..and it made my wife unhappy, that mess....cleaning off the pellets.
These can be rolled onto a towel, and right into a storage sack, minus the screws and washers. Much easier.
You can never totally get rid of the pour sprue, but you can round it into insignificance. It would matter at 100 yards, but does not effect the 15-35 yard shooting these are called upon to perform at.
You guys have a great Sunday !
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