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.41 Mag Snake Loads - shotshell

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ahandgunner2, May 27, 2013.

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  1. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    OK, I've asked for months now - here and elsewhere - even tried to highjack the 41 Mag Association thread :D - but I tried a couple things and think I have found a decent load! But of course, I'm always open to new ideas and thoughts for making this better.

    I decided to load 41 mag shot shells out of 410 shotgun wads - 2-1/2", with #9 lead shot that I previously bought for Speer 44 and 357 plastic caps. I experimented with cutting the wads down but in the end used them full length. I need to go check to see how much I used, but I loaded some with Titegroup and some with HP38 powder. The results of each were pretty good. I got a slightly nicer pattern with Titegroup and slightly more power with HP38 but am please with both loads. The wads keep the barrel from leading and also keep the pattern complete (no donut hole from rifling).

    I'll post a couple of pattern pics and 1 gal milkjug shots full of water in a minute but first a brief explanation of what I do to make them.

    I use sized 41 mag cases with large pistol primers. Then I put powder in and slide wad over powder. I then place a .300" collar that I made out of a spent casing over the wad petals. I put a little anti-sieze on the inside of the collar first. (NOTE: I learned this the hard way as I was unable to remove the first collar and destroyed it getting it off and had to make a new one). Then I fill it with #9 shot to about 1/16" below the collar (roughly 170 pellets). I then take a heat gun and begin heating the petals. They start coming out but with a little more heat bend in. Once they bend in I smash them together and down over the pellets with a spent .223 case. Then allow to cool for a second or two and remove brass collar. Finish by glueing or crimping (still working on this) the wad into the case.

    Since my cylinder is a little longer on my Smith 58, I may try to make these with a little longer of a collar - the .3" was chosen due to OAL charts.
     

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  2. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    Here are my test results. Look at the front vs. back of the milkjugs. Pellets destroyed the front and dented the back of water-filled jugs - I think that should work well on snakes!!

    I shot from about 10' or so...normal snake distances. The patterns were about 16" diameter and had very little holes in them where you would miss a snake (or even a mouse). The wads are not as predictable since each melted end is different. Some go to point of aim and others fall off to the left or to the right - but they all penetrate cardboard and one even penetrated the milk jug.

    I could play around with powder loads, etc. but not very interested in it - these two seem to work and I think they will take snakes out no problem. I just need to try crimping so they stay together for multiple shots. I loaded 6 at a time but noticed after a couple shots they began to walk (I hadn't crimped them - just glued them). None came apart but I want to mix 2-3 of these with magnum loads for normal "woods" carry.
     

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  3. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    The titegroup has the nicer patter but the HP38 did ok - some of it depended on howtight the petals were melted, etc. I think I'll make some more with Titegroup but wouldn't fear a snake with either one.
     

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  4. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I've made them from cut down .303 British cases, cut to just short of the length of the cylinder. It's been so long since I made them, I don't remember all the details concerning powder charge, etc., but I sized the extra length down to fit the cylinder shape, and used a card wad to keep the shot in place. I also used a .410 over powder wad between the powder and shot. It worked reasonably well, but I never needed enough of them to keep the project going. I just made enough to prove to myself it could be done.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  5. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    Yes, I heard of people (and almost started) making them out of 30-30, 303, or even 414 supermag - but it required sizing the end with a different die to fit the cylinder and like you, I knew I wasn't going to keep making them. If I make 25 of them, they'll probably last me a lifetime - but if I shoot them up and need more, I have the recipe...and parts (esp. since a bag of 410 wads is 250 and shot comes in 25# bags)...plus I kept reading of the leading that people were getting when just using a shell with cardboard or styrofoam wads on top of powder and shot.
     
  6. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    This sounds great--I have made .45LC snake shot rounds using the Speer shot capsules. I've also tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) using the thin styrofoam undershot and overshot wads, glued in with Elmer's.

    My .41 mag will do just about anything my .45LC will, except snake loads...up until now. You are onto something here.

    I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the process...especially the part about the wad and the function of the collar. What size round is the collar made of, and does it stay in the round? The pic is not much help--what exactly am I looking at? The fact that I have never handloaded shotgun shells works against me here.

    Thank you, Rich
     
  7. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    Rich,

    Here's an update with a couple more pics that might help. I also checked the powder I tried so far (as best as I can remember since I can't find my notes yet).

    1) start with primed/sized case and add powder (5.9g. Titegroup or 7.6g. HP38 - ??)
    2) take 2-1/2" plain shotgun column wad (I used Federal .410SC) and insert in casing over powder.
    3) (Here's the part you wanted more info on) - Slide a .3" collar (cut from another .41 mag casing*) over the petals that are sticking out of the wad in the case - this in effect temporarily extends the case so you can add more shot.
    4) Fill the case with #9 shot almost to the top of the "extended case" - maybe 1/16" down.
    5) Use heat gun to heat up the petals that still stick above the extended case - maybe 1/4" - until they droop inward and are all melted/sticky.
    6) push the sticky/melted mess into the extended case so the top is flat. I use a .223 case which starts to get hot - hence the screwdriver stuck into the mouth of it as a handle.
    7) NOW slide OFF the collar that you used to extend the case .3" - this is the reason I use a little anti-sieze on the inside of it first so it comes off the melted wad without wanting to stick and become a permanent part.
    8) Now crimp or glue or both - the wad to the case for use in mixed company in the revolver.

    * when I cut the collar from the case, I cut it from closer to the bottom of the case which gives it a little thicker walls and theoretically will last longer and make the "bullet" part of the wad that sticks out a little smaller. I don't think it really matters but that was what I did. My advice is to use a pipe cutter and make it a little bigger than .3" and then hold it flush against a flat file for the final "sizing". Then deburr and you're ready to go. Unless you're a machinist or know one - it doesn't have to be perfect but the squarer the edges are the easier it is to work with.
     

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  8. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    Let me know if this makes sense now...

    and anyone else chime in if you have ideas for powder loads and/or crimping ideas. Thanks again!!! All I want is a little fun AND dead snakes!!

    Did I mention I HATE SNAKES!
     
  9. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Thank you--your explanation (with help from the pics) has clarified the relationship between the collar, the shot and the wad.

    I'll have to get my wife to give you some pointers on photography--yours is worse than mine, and that's saying something. :)

    All that said, thank you. I will have to find some .410 wads and give it a try. I especially like the idea that (if I get it right) you can use all of the space not used by the powder for shot.

    That is not necessarily true of the Speer shot capsules...and Speer doesn't make them in .41, which scores you some more points.
     
  10. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    "I'll have to get my wife to give you some pointers on photography--yours is worse than mine, and that's saying something. "

    LOL!! Believe it or not, I was a photographer back in the day....of 35mm film of course...and I do OK with my digital camera and time...BUT with my cheap phone and in a hurry.....well...not so good. Apologize to your wife for me ;)

    And yes, what I like about it (besides not having capsules available) is that you fill everything with shot that is not powder. That's why I might try a longer collar as long as they fit in my S&W58.
     
  11. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    .303 British? That's a lot of sizing down and rim turning. Sorta like looking for extra work.

    I just load .41 cases with gas checks and shot. Probably takes 1/10 as much time and effort and kills snakes and rats.
     
  12. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    Check out gunblast.com it has a resipe for a 38 spc useing a 375 soft round ball running it through a 358 Boolit sizeing die and lubed with some 45-45-10 or you can use straight Lee Liquid Alox. For a wad I uses a pice of tick cardboard like from a 12 pack box. To cut it the right size I chucked a 38 spc in my cordless drill to cut them to the right size. In place of #9 shot I used some #8. It worked great for me out of a 4" smith and a 2" snub.
    Flip
     
  13. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    Please do not harm any snakes. They are our friends.
     
  14. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    "Please do not harm any snakes. They are our friends."

    If you've ever seen the damage from a rattlesnake bite you wouldn't call them friends. The venom is a digestive fluid, along with a neurotoxin, so it breaks down the flesh and destroys it. Not pretty at all.

    When I lived in rattlesnake country, I had them on my back step, driveway and in the yard. They all died a quick death, because if they had bitten one of my wife's dogs, she would have made sure the snake died a long and painful death...........

    Fred
     
  15. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    I am well aware of what rattlesnakes can do having kept them as pets for decades.
    I currently have a family of Crotlus atrox that are just adorable.
    The only species that inflicts much pain is Humans.
     
  16. klausman
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    klausman Member

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    .41 snake loads

    Thanks for the post! I have made them using 2 410 wads cut down and glued together with Duco cement. They work, but I'm always afraid that they are fragile and will come apart. Your way is much better, and will hold more pellets. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  17. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    As I stated in my previous post find some .440 round ball size them to .410 or .411 lube them with Lee Liquid Alox cut your wads out of a coke box with a spent 41 case size and seat a new primer 5.5 to 6 grain of W231 or HP-38 fill the remainder of the case with #8 or
    #9 shot less enough room to seat the 440 sized ball at .410/.411 seat and crimp the case.
    You now have a snake load with one solid ball and a case full of shot. Works very well out of my 38 with a 375 round ball sized at 358.
    Flip
     
  18. klausman
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    klausman Member

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    When you say heat gun, do you mean a propane torch? What are you using and "anti sieze"?
     
  19. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Your friends, maybe.

    If your friends keep out of my yard, and away from my dogs, and we'll probably get along fine.

    Rattlesnakes make decent chili. :)
     
  20. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I wouldn't know. Never had enough of one left. :D
     
  21. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    Constrictor,
    They may be "your" friends but they are NOT "our" friends. I'll make you a deal, you keep them all in MO and I won't kill any more...but the ones in PA - esp. my back yard...are TOAST!!!

    Klausman,
    Heat gun is like a hair dryer (which would work just as well if you can get it away from your wife) - available cheap at Harbor Frieght or Sears, etc.

    I use anti-sieze because the first time I tried it without it, the melted plastic from the wad stuck to my collar and I had to destroy it getting it off. They anti0sieze (probably any grease) keeps the plastic from sticking to the brass collar!

    (Note: Just had eye surgery - when I can see again, I'm going to try to make more and see about crimping, etc in various ways...I may even try my wider collar!
     
  22. 41maguser

    41maguser Member

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    Hello -- if anyone is still seeing this thread. Sorry I just found it.

    Is there a special reason for using Titegroup or HP38 -- and is the rough weight of the projected mass about 210 grains?
     
  23. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    Rattlers use Hemotoxin, The only neurotoxin snake in North America is the coral snake
     
  24. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I use the styrofoam over-powder and over-shot wads...I use a few grains of fast pistol powder...I put a drop of 'school glue' on the top wad, and push it to the edges with a toothpick, and done...

    The OP is getting appx 127.5=gr lead into that wad, where I get 100gr in a .357 mag, and 150gr in a .44 mag, all without the added expense (and length)...

    I cut a 'promo-load' 12ga #8 for shot...

    I have found that the 'doughnut' only rears it's ugly head when the shot is pushed too fast...The recipes on the Speer capsule box are all too fast IMNSHO...

    YMMV

    ADDING:

    Note to self:

    Always check the date of the OP before posting...
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  25. ahandgunner2

    ahandgunner2 Member

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    41maguser
    The reason for the two powders was that I read someone else used them successfully for something similar. I didn't want to spend a lot of time and loads lokking for the best so just went with them. Lots of other choices - some undoubtedly better - I'm sure. If you try others. let us know.

    As to the lead, I think I found it close to 210 but truthfully I don't remember now. Would gladly weigh some for you if I could actually see a scale now - have now had 8 eye surgeries and am not seeing well at all. Praying for a miracle healing that would allow me to get back to work and shooting, reloading, etc.

    Good luck with the loads!
     
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