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Speer Blue Shotshell Capsule Loads .38 Special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ryan3465, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Well-Known Member

    Hello All,

    I was given about 50 of those Speer shotshell capsules for .38 spl/357 magnum that you fill up with a small # shot and then load into the .38 special case as a snakeshot type load. I've never had any experience with these and I can't seem to find much in the way of data relating to the loading procedures for them, so could anyone here enlighten me? How do you go about determining the charge weight, seating depth, etc. What size shot do you use to put in the capsule? I know these rounds will have limited practicality, I'm just interested in doing something a little different at the range next time. Thanks for any advice you can give!
  2. Encoreman

    Encoreman Well-Known Member

    IIRC my speer reloading book has info on loading them. I will check and let you know. I load .357 cases with about 4 grains of bullseye and use homemade wads and a bit of #8 shot and wad on top and either drip wax or use hot glue. You can shoot in .38 and .357 because with no bullet it isn't too long for the .38
  3. Encoreman

    Encoreman Well-Known Member

    Ryan my speer #12 book says to use #9 shot and 5.5 gr of Unique or 4.5 gr Bullseye. It says to use a flat faced seater plug and a length of 1.500". It also says to use a moderate crimp, be careful as to not break the plastic cap. I looked at my homemade brew and I used 5.8 gr of bullseye and 88 gr of #8 shot. It is a little stouter than the factory shotshells you can purchase. Hope this helps. Mac
  4. mcofboise

    mcofboise Well-Known Member

    The box they came in has the pertinent load data printed on it. If the box is gone, the Speer manual recommends #9 shot, loaded to an overall length of 1.50 inches. Recommended charges are:
    630 9.0 gr. (this load with CCI Magnum Primer, all others standard)
    Unique 5.5
    231 5.0
    Bullseye 4.5
    700X 4.5
    HP38 4.5

    I've used them for years in .38/357 and .44 Mag, and I use the factory .45 ACP rounds. They are all very effective on Idaho rattlesnakes. I've always used the Unique load... it claims the highest velocity @ 1111 from a 6 inch gun. Enjoy!

  5. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone! You've really shed some light on the subject for me. Now I'll just have to convince my fiance that i "just can't do without only one more reloading manual. :x Thanks again everyone!
  6. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Well-Known Member

    My older Speer manual states that the lighter the load, the better the patterns, suggesting a 5% - 8% reduction.

  7. Beat-tu

    Beat-tu Active Member

    you might consider subscription to loaddata.com. It has 5 loads for the Speer shotshell (from Speer Manual #13).

  8. rg1

    rg1 Well-Known Member

    I've used 7 1/2 and #8 shot in Speer shotshell capsules with good results. You could cut open or pry open a few shotgun shells to get the shot rather than buying a 25# bag. You just fill the blue capsule leaving just enough room to snap on the white base plug. Size your brass normally. Charge with powder then using the flattest punch in your seater die lightly seat the capsule to an overall length of 1.500" for .38/357 or 1.600 for .44 Magnum and apply a roll crimp heavy enough to grip the blue sleeve but being careful not to crush and break the capsule. Velocity runs from about 1000 up to 1100fps and patterns run about one inch per foot of travel. 6 feet and about a 6" pattern. In my .357 mag I tried shooting some regular loads with a capsule in another chamber and the capsule moved forward and tied up the cylinder. Maybe not enough crimp but I don't shoot regular loads in the .357 with a shot capsule in other chambers. Others have said they haven't had this happen.
  9. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Use the smallest shot you can find, which is normally #9. Fill the capsule and either tap it lightly on the bench to settle the shot, or hold it against your running vibratory tumbler to settle it. Then add a little more shot until there is just room to seat the cap and hear it snap in place. Use the data provided and just enough crimp to hold the capsule in place.

    Hope this helps.

  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    +1 on #9

    In my experience it kills snakes deader then larger shot.

    Seems to me a lot of little holes shorts out their nervous system way better then fewer bigger holes.

  11. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Well-Known Member

    By the way, when we moved on to our property it was FRAUGHT with rattlesnakes. For the first few years I'd average killing 7-8 per year and this was without looking for them. My shot capsules loaded with #8 (I don't use #9 for anything so didn't/don't have any) fired out of my 3" Rossi 38 Special absolutely shredded rattlers from a "safe" distance of 8 - 10'.

  12. Starter52

    Starter52 Well-Known Member

    A tiny bit of styrofoam placed in the back of the capsule will keep the shot from rattling. I take a small piece from a white styrofoam cup and compress it under the cap at the back of the capsule. Works for me.
  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    #11 or 12 will put more pellets on the target, but the effective range is measured in feet, not yards
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    In use a lot of W231 so that's what I used in the shotshells. The box recommended 5.0gr W231 and that's what I tried. They worked very well so I looked no further. I recommend 5.0gr W231 but i'm sure if they list your powder it will do just as well.
  15. DANNY-L

    DANNY-L Well-Known Member

    What other powders can be used. I have no unique,bullseye or 231 and didn't really want to buy a can for a few loads. Hoping something I have could be used.
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The tested .38/.357 Speer loads in the book use Unique, 700-X, HP38, W-231, and Bullseye.

    They added Titegroup in .45 Colt on the last box of caps I had.

    I suppose any pistol powder in that general burn range could be used.
    But I have no charges to suggest.

    What powders do You have you want to use???

  17. DANNY-L

    DANNY-L Well-Known Member

    I have 15-20 available,but the only ones I've used in handguns are aa#9,h-110,win296,imr bp,red dot,aa1680,blue dot
  18. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    The Red Dot will work for this application. Use a load similar to Bullseye or 231. You're not loading for accuracy, and the fastest loads will blow patterns, so a moderate load will work best.

    Hope this helps.

  19. DANNY-L

    DANNY-L Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Red Dot should work fine.

    Not suggesting you try any untested load.

    But if I was going to try it, I would try 4.0 to 4.5 grains.

    Use .38 Spl. wad-cutter cases if you have some.
    The case web taper is not as thick and the caps will seat better in them.
    Seat first to 1.500".
    Then go back and apply a light roll-crimp.


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