Wax slugs (Discussion)


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Paper_Zombie
April 27, 2013, 01:04 AM
I just found out about these, and read up a bit and watched a number of videos on youtube, both of results, and how-to's, and decided to make a few, since I have a couple-hundred rounds of birdshot sitting around not doing much.

Mine is a Mossberg 500, so I'm not too worried (from what I've read) about overpressure, and I don't particularly plan on keeping a shell chambered.

From what I've seen, these seem to be the perfect choice for home defense since, upon impact, the wax gives up the ghost, and most of the pellets' energy is expended inside the target, assuming you hit something more than a couple inches thick.

However, I tried looking this particular aspect up, and it seems very little is known about the overpenetration factor of wax slugs on a man-like target. This is all assuming that you don't miss, for it will certainly go through a wall at least once, lol.

Also, disregarding their possible use as HD loads, I'm just curious as to people's experience with them. It literally took less than $10 to get set up to make them, and about 30-45 minutes to actually crank out a dozen, so it's not like it's prohibitive to do, since you can still find value packs of 100 birdshot shells for >$20.

(Edit) Oh, and the reason I don't believe in keeping a shell chambered for HD...is because I believe the most effective deterrent besides actually being shot at, is hearing the sound of a shotgun slide being racked in the next room. :D

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ahil925
April 27, 2013, 01:18 AM
I've made some for my 20ga and 12ga. They seem to do better out of a cylinder bore then any sort of choke (even the "open" setting on a variable choke) as in they are less likely to break up before impact. Even if you are careful making them there are always a few out of a batch that just seem to fall apart after they leave the muzzle. Also they are nowhere near as accurate as true slugs, but with the right cup and wad they can be pretty good.

When I do it I cut the cheap promo shells and load them back up with a little less shot then they came with. I've been using Estate promo shells I got from Academy Sports and Outdoors (12 ga, 2.75", 1oz, 7.5 shot, 3.25 dram eq.) mainly cause they are the cheapest and have a unitary wad+cup arrangement.

Just because there is so little information about their ballistic properties in a human substitute is enough reason for me not to use them for HD. There is one video floating around youtube that did put a few into ballistic gel but iirc it wasn't calibrated correctly and the slugs still gave performance that was a bit underwhelming for HD.

Still, they're fun to make and play with when you are tired of peppering things with 7 1/2" shot (not to mention that 12ga ammo is one of the few cheap cartridges available in my area).

Paper_Zombie
April 27, 2013, 01:41 AM
@ Ahil

I think mine are Winchesters, out of a VP. I cut the top as close as I could to the seams, but only filled the shot to the top of the wad, leaving a good 1/8th inch to fill with pure wax, plus a little extra during the initial hardening to create a slight convex shape. (Don't want an accidental primer discharge in the tube!!

I used some red lumber crayons (which I heard were harder than childrens crayons) to color the Gulf Wax used as a base. I also dumped the shot into the wax first and left it for several minutes to let it heat up, to help the wax flow around it when poured back into the shells.

I'm actually pretty impressed with the visual results, but I do plan on taking a few to the range Sunday and see if they keyhole or break up over 25 yards.

irondavy
April 27, 2013, 10:41 PM
I have never tried to make these but my father-in-law has told me several times about making and using them. he grew up on a ranch in south Texas and used to use them on any varmit style game he could get close enough to.

He said it would split a coyote in half or completely destroy a rabbit. Of course these stories are from when he only had a break action single shot shotgun and you make things work with what you have.

I am sure they would work well enough in a HD situation.

ID

orionengnr
April 28, 2013, 12:02 AM
From what I've seen, these seem to be the perfect choice for home defense...

Oh, and the reason I don't believe in keeping a shell chambered for HD...is because I believe the most effective deterrent besides actually being shot at, is hearing the sound of a shotgun slide being racked in the next room.

I think that you have an awful lot to learn...and I sincerely hope you don't have to learn it the hard way.

Life is not a video game. If you have occasion to actually be in a position to defend your life, wax pellets or "rack and clack" are some of the absolute worst options you can choose...and make no mistake--this is your choice.

Are you serious about defending your life? If so, spend some time reading and learning.

Do you know any cops? Ask them about what they carry, and ask them about their philosophy about going home safe at the end of their shift. Ask them about wax, about 'racking" as a legitimate SD technique.

Then post back here and tell us what they say.

Sorry if I come across as harsh, but in real life, you will get (maybe) one chance.

Learn the lessons here, and you may not have to learn them the hard (and final) way.

ahil925
April 28, 2013, 02:45 AM
I think that you have an awful lot to learn...and I sincerely hope you don't have to learn it the hard way.

Life is not a video game. If you have occasion to actually be in a position to defend your life, wax pellets or "rack and clack" are some of the absolute worst options you can choose...and make no mistake--this is your choice.

Are you serious about defending your life? If so, spend some time reading and learning.

Do you know any cops? Ask them about what they carry, and ask them about their philosophy about going home safe at the end of their shift. Ask them about wax, about 'racking" as a legitimate SD technique.

Then post back here and tell us what they say.

Sorry if I come across as harsh, but in real life, you will get (maybe) one chance.

Learn the lessons here, and you may not have to learn them the hard (and final) way.

I'm not arguing that wax slugs are great for HD, just I'm check if you are aware that the "wax-slugs" being discussed here are birdshot in a wax binder and not the pure wax training slugs some people use for basement range practice?

Carl N. Brown
April 28, 2013, 08:24 AM
Cops are a good source on department policy of use of force. Quite frankly, police deadly force policy, military rules of engagement, and civil law on self defense (common law + case law + statutes) are three different things.

When I took the classes to be certified as eligible for a Tennessee carry permit, it required a four hour class on self defense law, including a current state attorney general tape on case law, and a passing score on the written exam. Self-defense law is not police deadly force policy is not military rules of engagement.

I would use unaltered ammo for SD. If we still lived in the county and had problems with marauding bears, I might use waxed shot or cut shell for defense if needed, but not for a case that might end up before a jury, some of whom may be suspicious of use of extra-ordinary munition.

Wendy Saxon (PhD) trial consultant based in Los Angeles County has worked at picking juries since 1977. Quote: "..."racking" of a pump gun is the nonverbal equivalent of saying, "you have been warned."" (The Jury Expert, American Society of Trial Consultants, vol 21 no 5, Sept 2009.)

If you are going to give a verbal or non-verbal warning of "back off and leave the premises or I will shoot", you must be prepared to back it up with shooting if necessary. But it has worked. The cleanup and aftermath is usually less messy when it does work. Notice that counting success if you scare off an intruder is not necessarily good police use of force policy, but it is typical of the homeowner v burglar encounters I have heard about locally. The newspaper only reports the ones where the homeowner detains the burglar for arrest and the one where a homeowner shot a burglar.

jpwilly
April 28, 2013, 11:31 AM
IMO Wax slugs are for FUN. Untill much more is known about what they can do to help stop a fight and possibly save you or your loved ones lives I'd leave it at that. I think making shooting / practice fun by experimenting will help sharpen your skills in case you ever need them...and I hope that you never will. My take on racking to scare and intruder also differs from yours but that is your choice.

PS I think someone should string up some gel filled hog carcases and see what these was slugs will do vs 00 or 000 Buck

bigdaa
April 28, 2013, 11:42 AM
Wax..............

Let me tell you about what pushed me away from loading wax more often than not.


I loaded hundreds of .357 mags with hardcast 158gr Semi Wadcutters.

Took them with me out to Lake Powell Utah. During the course of our visit, yes...the temperatures got well into the 100's, the barley pop's flowed and the swimming was tops.

Came to shooting time. I drug out my .357, George drug out his 44mag (I loaded him180gr JHPs)

Every box of mine had blue wax in the bottom of each bullet slot. All of the wax melted and flowed out. What saved the shooting experience at least was that the bullets were all nose down.

That's my experience, and I used it to determine the "best" bullet for my friends 32 S&W Long load which turned out to be Hornady cold swaged lead semi's with dry lube.

He lives in Tucson Arizona and I would have no control over his using my loads for self defense.

Please no flaming! I harbor no ill will towards wax in these applications and still consider the lead hardcasts as excellent fodder for my 500 S&W!


Take this experience with a grain of salt but keep it in your mind as learning from another.

Paper_Zombie
April 29, 2013, 03:50 AM
IMO Wax slugs are for FUN. Untill much more is known about what they can do to help stop a fight and possibly save you or your loved ones lives I'd leave it at that. I think making shooting / practice fun by experimenting will help sharpen your skills in case you ever need them...and I hope that you never will. My take on racking to scare and intruder also differs from yours but that is your choice.

PS I think someone should string up some gel filled hog carcases and see what these was slugs will do vs 00 or 000 Buck

For now, all they're for is fun. I live in an apartment complex, and frankly, I wouldn't feel comfortable firing any of my weapons at an intruder. Even plain ol' birdshot, if I missed, would penetrate the thin drywall and ruin somebody's night.

I started the thread for discussion, and offered some thoughts...it seems I'm getting more wagging fingers than anything else.

Speaking of hogs and gel though...

Ballistic gel test. (Best quality one I've seen)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_966NVdjoI

Wax slug vs. Hogs' head
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkPgba1vWtU

Please disregard that comment about crayon wax...dunno where he got that. :confused:

2Shea
April 29, 2013, 06:53 AM
Here's an interesting video comparing wax slugs to hot glue slugs, for people 'new' to this trick. Improvised slugs have been around for a hundred years. Obviously, glue would not melt like wax in a hot chamber or sitting in direct sun. Glue slugs would put a really solid 'slap' on body armor and don't come apart on impact. They MUSHROOM! In a SHTF/WROL survival scenario, these would literally "sledge hammer" invaders off their feet and would be the most effective choice at 40 yards or less.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vdk2V7X8bWU

For everyday HD use, in close quarters, 1 oz of #8 bird shot would STILL be a deadly 'mass' at normal room distances but in case of a miss, would have the LEAST chance of penetrating past two layers of 1/2" Sheetrock with sufficient energy to harm family members or neighbors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=C29mEJFFIvo

Regardless of what kind of weapon or ammunition you employ in self defense, a ruthless prosecuting attorney will look for ANY reason to crucify you in court. IMO, the best round to use for home defense is the one that gets the job done, regardless of its caliber, gauge or construction.

Here's another video that shows a simple way to make 'glue slugs' without having to mess around with hot pans of melted wax and spooning the shot into each hull. This guy also sells various kinds of 'shell preppers' for people who like making huge quantities of these things ... One that cuts off the entire crimp and one that just cuts out the 'folds'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwVSNclbQsk

Curator
April 29, 2013, 08:41 AM
Here in South Florida some migratory bird hunters carry waxed steel shot shells for defense against aggressive wild hogs or other dangerous critters. State and Federal wildlife officers give citations for (lead) slug or buckshot loads carried on your person as a violation of the "non-toxic" shot only law. A classic example of enforcing the "letter" of the law instead of its intent but game officers have to catch somebody doing something illegal now and then.

Deltaboy
April 29, 2013, 09:56 AM
I never played with waxed ones but I have cut shell's to make emergency slugs.

WendySaxon
July 7, 2013, 06:55 PM
This is Wendy Saxon. My husband, who trained me & reviewed & approved my comments in the Jury Expert, served 2 tours in VN & was a street cop in a very tough city in CA for 20 years. If he tells me to rack my shotgun if I think a stranger might be in the house, well, I think he knows a bit about Real Life.

orionengnr
July 7, 2013, 08:10 PM
First off, welcome to the forum.
Second, do yourself a favor and lose the attitude.

Sounds as if your hubby and Joe Biden would get along just fine. :rolleyes:

As I said in post #5...about three months ago...it's your choice.

But ask your hubby if he actually carries around an unloaded gun...and then relies on using it as a noise-maker as an intimidation device. Doubtful.

And then do some reading on this forum and others...or check with some trainers who have a decent reputation.

Again, your life, your choice...

Choose wisely.

oneounceload
July 7, 2013, 09:06 PM
Exactly, racking the gun does one thing - let the BG know precisely where you are, giving up your location and the element of surprise and it is NOT an advantage.

Snarlingiron
July 9, 2013, 12:56 PM
Heck, that racking thing sounds so effective I think I'm just gonna sell my shotgun and put a recorder by my bed. When I hear something go bump in the night I'll just hit the play button and play my recording of a shotgun being racked. :what:

Fleetman
July 9, 2013, 01:40 PM
FWIW, we live in a 3.5k sq ft split level.....typical entrance we use is at the opposite end and one level down from our bedroom, i.e close to 80' and two half-sets of steps. We set our alarm for "Instant" each night upon retiring.

We used to keep our 870 with firing pin unloaded (in other words, trigger pulled to avoid the bolt lock) and magazine tube full so we could rack a shell in when needed. We also keep a revolver in each night stand. We've found that I can reach the bedroom via entering our typical entrance door and racing up the stairs in about the same time that it takes to retrieve the 870 from it's mount behind my nightstand (VERY accessible to me and one-handed access) and rack a dummy shell into the chamber. The revolvers are in hand before I reach the first stair flight. I'm also 58yo with two coronary by-pass surgeries behind me so no doubt a 20yo-something would be quicker.


We practiced this exact drill more than several times and the results were pretty much the same everytime.....and these results are from an awake/alert state and when expecting "something". Needless to say, we keep a loaded chamber in the 870 now and drill on extracting it from it's mount and taking the safety off which we can accomplish by the time I reach the top of the second stair flight (6 steps each). It's still another 20' to our bedroom at the top of the steps.....she practices covering the doorway from beside the bed and I use the dressor beside the door from my side.

It shouldn't be much of a surprise that Biden's advice may not be in your best interest. The bottom line is drill and see what works for YOU, not what you've read works for others, and certainly now what the uninformed may advise you to do.....perform the drills yourself and practice!

336A
July 9, 2013, 02:19 PM
I've seen the various wax slug videos floating around, IMHO they are nothing more than novelty ammunition. As to their effetiveness draw your own conclusions, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page on the left. http://www.brassfetcher.com/index_files/12Gaugeshotgunslowmotionvideo.htm

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