Black powder shotgun shells?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Tatterchip, Jul 12, 2022.

  1. damoc

    damoc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    648
    Location:
    NV
    I agree somewhat with paul harm that natural fiber wads are preffered not that you cant use plastic but natural is prefered.
    you can use something like this to make your own wads with cardboard or felt underliner for carpet or scrap leather.
     
    windini, hrt4me and ThomasT like this.
  2. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,122
    Thank you Paul for your answer and insight, I personally use plastic wads as I have a huge amount of them, I also have fiber and cardboard wads. When I go out hunting dove or quail I prefer the plastic wads in the muzzleloader on account of slightly faster reloading and less stuff to carry or drop. I have yet to have any problems with melted plastic showing up.
     
    J-Bar likes this.
  3. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2021
    Messages:
    1,748
    Wads are polyethylene plastic.
    Not all polyethylene is the same.
    Hardness, density, melt point can vary greatly.

    Yes, fiber wads were the traditional BP loading, same as it was when that new, fangled, smokeless, nitro stuff started.

    Corrosive primers were traditional.

    As was a ball and wad.

    Times change, improvements are made.
    Keeping old traditions alive is good, too.

    Each decides the road they travel.
    Enjoy the trip.
     
  4. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,089
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    Have never shot more than 25 in a day, and not more than 6 in succession out of a SS coach gun. At this rate no plastic fouling. I imagine 150 rounds gets a little hotter.
     
  5. paul harm

    paul harm Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    734
    I have both of the Lyman books.
     
  6. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,755
    I like the wiggly worms! Anyhow, yeah 100 rounds or more, I bet those bores got mighty hot. But yeah, some of us are talking about shooting a limited number of rounds at a time, perhaps only one when hunting. One or two to pattern. On the other hand I can see where on a high round count things would start melting. This could be...an apple and orange situation!
     
  7. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,603
    I would strongly consider brass hulls. Yes, the cards and wads are an odd size, but Ballistic Products carries them in affordable bags of 500, so you just add them to the cart while buying the brass. The brass itself lasts essentially forever, as the loads are low pressure and the cases don't need to be sized or crimped - which also saves the OP having to buy a press and dies. Most of what is needed is shown right on the BP web page. https://www.ballisticproducts.com/MagTech-20ga-2-1_2-empty-brass-shotshells-for-reloading/productinfo/3922065/
     
    Dave Markowitz and ThomasT like this.
  8. Steel Hayes

    Steel Hayes Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2018
    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    Michigan
    With the price of reloading, brass shells are much more economical.
    I reload for my SxS 16, the BP gives enough velocity for small game. Clean up is as easy as just running a swab with ballistol down the barrels.
    LPP, powder, over powder card, fiber wad, shot, lubed fiber wad and over shot card with a small amount of glue around the edge to seal.
    Doesn’t get much easier.
    C7AA384B-29EA-4EA8-AE4C-1983429256F3.jpeg 8440F96E-D671-4056-A50B-6E52E532F44B.jpeg
    I can mark on the top what shot I’ve loaded.
     
  9. paul harm

    paul harm Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    734
    I believe the only brass shotgun shells are Mag techs or Rocky Mountain brass. 12ga only for the MTs right now, and RMB is about $7+ per shell seeing how they're turned from solid brass stock. I have used in the past 444 Marlin for 410 shells but they are a bit smaller.
    I also have 1000s of plastic wads. Usually buy them 5000 at a time, but that doesn't stop me from also having 10, 12, 16, 20, and 410 fiber wads on hand. Never know what will come up. And when I'm hunting, a wet cushion wad will wipe the bore when you reload. Plastic won't.
     
    Rustmangler likes this.
  10. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    5,861
    Location:
    Burleson,Texas
    I have my grand fathers old Alcan 20ga brass hulls. Some are loaded with smokeless powder but some were empty. I have had these for at least 40 years now and I have no idea how old they are. I just a few weeks ago got interested in them. Interested enough that I deprimed 50 of them with a long nail I ground to fit the 209 style primers. Yes these are 209s and not LRP like the Mag-Tec. I have just over 100 of these hulls.

    I then measured the ID and called Ballistic Products and they confirmed I needed 16ga over shot cards and fiber wads. So I ordered a box of cards and 500 fiber wads. And 25 pounds of #4 shot while I was at it. I ran the 50 cases through the tumbler and they look like new money. I haven't loaded any yet. Its too damn hot to work in my garage right now.

    When I do I will start with a 2.5 dram load and an equal amount of shot. Or a little more. My GFs old smokeless loads have water glass over the wads. I found out water glass is sold at Home Depot as cement sealer so I will need some of that. I could use white glue but I like the idea of water glass. I did drop the shells I deprimed in my single shot 20ga guns and they dropped right in so no sizing needed.

    I think this is going to be a fun experiment. The fellow at BP products did tell me I needed a paper card over the powder otherwise the BP would burn the fiber wad up. If I could find the right sized piece of pipe I would make some paper machete' wads with water and Borax mixed in to make them fire resistant. I guess I could follow the advice of Turner Kirkland and just use newspaper for wadding. And if you don't know who Turner Kirkland is you shouldn't even be reading on this forum. :D
     
  11. paul harm

    paul harm Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    734
    BPI should have said you need a .135 OP card, 1/2" cushion wad, and the .028 OS card.
    I get on many reloading forums, and on one it was talked about shooting nitro powders in brass shells. Brass shells were originally intended for BP. With such a thin base, the primer sticks up into the shell a little distance. With BP it's not a problem, but with nitro because of how little powder is used it can be trouble. The end of the primer will stick up to the top of the powder and when a wad is jabbed down in, it will be on the primer as well as the powder. This will cause burn problems. How a couple of the guys solved the problem was to take apart a plastic shell and dig the base wad out. It would be put in the brass shell making it like a plastic shell in that the base was as high or higher than the primer. Now when the powder goes off, the back of the powder charge will burn first and progress to the top. At one time I drilled out a 100 Magtechs for 209 primers. The problem is the primer stuck up in the powder unprotected and the fowling left on them was so bad I couldn't deprime them.
    Years back I tried to make brass shells work with nitro powders and had no luck. The crimp can also be a problem. You'll notice pistol and shotgun powders are often the same. That's because how fast they burn. Also, the only resistance in the load is the weight of the load [ or bullet ] and the crimp. Rifles have the bullet engaging the rifling, so that's their resistance. With brass shotgun shells and buckshot the military used a swedged crimp - a slight bending in of the end for a minor crimp. Most guys don't want to bend the end because after a couple you'd have to trim them. So you need a good way to hold the shot in. Too thick a OS card will most times put a whole in the center of the pattern. I found that out the hard way. So forgetting brass shells for about 10 to 15 years until a fellow wrote about using 444 Marlins for 410 shells. He used a lot of kids white glue to hold the OS card in place. I bought a 100 of them and it seems to work.
    These are just some things to think about if you want to try brass shotgun shells. They look real nice, are period correct, and you'll probably be the only one using them.
     
  12. paul harm

    paul harm Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    734
    Thomas, I'm sure you already know, but a equal amount of shot and powder only applies to using BP. Back in the day that's how many guns were blown up. The guys still tried using the same methods used for loading BP shell and had way too much powder in the reload. If you ever go to gun shows, or maybe ebay, there are old tools for loading BP shells. It's the right size wooden dowel about 3 1/2" long to go in a shell with a nice turned knob on one end that comes off. Also a base with a hole in the middle to put the shell in. If the knob is pulled off and put on the other end of the dowel, a short nail sticking out for depriming will be there. Once the shell is deprimed the dowel can be turned back around, the knob put back on to cover up the nail and it can be used to push or hit the end to seat wads. You can just prime by laying a primer on the bench, putting the shell over it, insert the dowel, flat end out, and hit it with your heel of your hand. If you had a wood lathe they could be made quite easily. For the rest of us, they don't cost much.
     
  13. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,744
    Location:
    SE PA
    I agree with this. It's how I load for my 19th Century Remington Rolling Block 20 gauge shotgun. The tools required to load the shells are minimal:
    • Powder and shot measures/dippers.
    • A dowel that fits inside the case to push down the wads and also to push it down onto the primer.
    • A metal surface to place the primer on and then tap the shell down onto it. You can use the anvil on a vise or a piece of scrap aluminum or steel.
    • Glue to hold the over shot card in place. I've mostly used Duco cement but I recently picked up some waterglass to try.
    I also load 12 gauge the same way. I shoot these in a Baikal O/U.

    Edit:

    Our own duelist1954 put together this video on how to reload BP shotshells in the manner:

     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2022
    Seedy Character and .38 Special like this.
  14. gtrgy888

    gtrgy888 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2021
    Messages:
    347
    Location:
    Western US
    I bought a shotgun that had caked plastic in the bore from years of neglected cleaning. About 10 difficult pulls through the barrel with an oversized brass brush covered with solvent soaked patches attached to a cord scraped it all out. 10 years to foul up; half an hour to clean out.
     
  15. paul harm

    paul harm Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    734
    Bp reloading - BPI sells an adjustable plastic measure that's used for shot and powder or the old original ones made from brass with a wood handle come up for sale at gun shows or maybe gun auction web sites for under $20. They're marked off 2 1/2/1oz, 3 drams/ 1 1/8oz, and so on. It's the amount used for most loads but it's easy to change the amounts, say 3 drams/ 1oz of shot. I have two or three of them but also use the yellow plastic set for smokeless loads for the 410 with 11.7grs of 410 powder and 11/16oz of shot in a 3" magnum. But then it's two different measures where as with BP it's the same measure. Loading with the old tools is fun but slow.
     
  16. Dave T

    Dave T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,676
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I just fired 15 rounds of BP loaded brass 12ga shells today through a new to me MI-VAL hammer double which I'm learning to like.

    I set the old measure I have to 1-1/4 oz of shot then dump that volume of FFg black powder, about 87g if memory serves. Then an 11ga over powder wad, an 11ga fiber wad, the shot (#5 cause that's what I have), and a 10ga over shot wad. The 11ga over shot wads I bought are too loose. Once the Mag-Tek shell is all together I put three drops of Elmer's around the edge of the over shot wad and set them to dry. That glued in over shot wad holds in rough handling and under recoil in the left barrel when the right is fired.

    These loads smack a steel target out at 10 and 15 yards with some authority so that's good enough for me.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
    Dave Markowitz and hawg like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice