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Box of Truth. Rock salt...

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by whm1974, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I wonder if rock salt loads were just urban legend? "I knew this guy whose cousin told him his friend's brother got hit with rock salt."

    Did any manufacturer sell rock salt loads or are we to believe every farmer hand loaded?

    Bird shot at longer distance will probably not penetrate, but could give a stinging sensation. Or perhaps blank loads were fired to put a scare into trespassers.
     
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  2. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    Inside of 10 or 12 yards, wads STING.
     
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  3. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    STOP. Discharging a firearm at a person is a life changing event. You only shoot in life threatening situations. Shooting rock salt at someone stealing pumpkins out of your patch is romantic BS.
     
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  4. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    Speaking of STINGING... Would soaking the rock salt in pure Capsicum Oil increasing the effectiveness of deterring misbehaving kids from stealing fruit... or protecting underage teenage daughter's virtue? Merely wondering...
     
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  5. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    Well true but... True Story, but one time when I was barely 10 years old, I went to a female(maybe a year younger) classmate house to do homework and study for a test, her father and uncle were cleaning their shotguns for turkey and deer season... Well they had transparent shotshells loaded with Rock Salt... I asked them why they would have those loaded with salt, they told me I'll find out when I'm old enough to have "Naughty Ideals about girls..." Mom just laughed about this after I told her about the rock salt...
     
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  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I was one of the kids that grew up learning not to point a firearm at anything you didn’t intend to destroy, so I never loaded for them to be deterrents.

    Further, the only time anyone should know you are armed is after they have been shot. I suppose the learning came from the standpoint of not escalating any situation to the point it’s out of control or perhaps why be the only guy playing poker with his cards facing up.

    A yell, honk of a horn, maybe, escalating a situation by bringing a firearm into it unnecessarily was never my thing and I think it to be really unwise to bring into a potentially lethal weapon into a situation where you are the only one that knows it’s less lethal. Seems like doubling down on a bad idea.

    I will qualify that by saying I am not an active LEO.
     
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  7. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Definitely NOT an urban legend. I got shot by rock salt as a teenager for stealing watermelons. I still have a few 12 gauge rock salt shells left from years ago that I loaded up myself.

    For the others saying not to shoot someone with any type of less that lethal shell, you are absolutely correct in this day and age.

    With that being said. Back in the 1980's and earlier, it was quite common for farmers to keep rock salt shells around for getting rid of 2 and 4 legged pests out of their gardens and melon patches. No one thought anything bad about the use of rock salt shells back then. If you got shot by rock salt, most people would just laugh and tell you that you were somewhere you should not have been and that they hoped you learned your lesson.
     
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  8. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    Yes I also learned not firearms at anything that I didn't want to shoot...
     
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  9. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    It was definitely not urban legend. And rock salt definitely stings like a mother if you get shot by it. I’ve only seen the effects of it on feral dogs but the effects were real.
     
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  10. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Just to test this out, I handloaded some road salt loads yesterday and tested them at the range this morning.

    I used rock salt intended for de-icing the wheelchair ramp from my front porch and for discouraging vege growth in the gravel at the end of the ramp.
    I call that road salt. It was all I had handy,
    Anyone using rock salt intended for making ice cream, fhagh on you. I have happy childhood memories of home made ice cream.

    Powder load was full volumetric Unique measure using PyroRS BP sub, approx 1/2 the black powder load for a shot load:
    I suspect the original users saw no point in crushing the rock salt to powder for a mere deterent load.
    Shot cup was a modern shot cup for 1 to 1 1/8 oz shot load volumetric. No, I don't have a bunch of authentic 19th Century wads.
    Road salt load was 1 1/8 oz lead volumetric load (a heck of a lot lighter than lead shot).

    On a cat litter jug full of water at 2 paces (muzzle to target), the shot cup and some of the larger salt grains penetrated the plastic on entry; most salt grains dented the plastic. No exit wounds. Broadside on the jug. about 4 inches of water.
    On a pizza box at 5 paces, the shot wad penetrated the card board face, the larger salt grains penetrated the cardboard; lotsa salt grains dented it.
    On pizza boxes at 10 and 15 paces, the shot wad did not hit, but larger.salt grains penetrated the cardboard face with less and less denting by smaller salt grains as range increased, and no denting or exit on the back face.

    I want to thank you all for giving me an excuse to go to the range today.

    Bottom line: use a lethal weapon (shotgun) only in situations where lethal force is justified. Use less than lethal ammo only as you feel comfortable in using a lethal weapon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  11. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    There are nonlethal loads for shotguns with rubber shot used by police that didn't exist back when some of us were kids. I don't know if they are sold over the counter to anyone or if it's even legal to reload & shoot these things but they are more accurate & probably have much more range than rock salt shot.

    Aside from the today's law restrictions the other serious problem I see with rock salt or any nonlethal shot loads is that they can demolish an eye even with an indirect hit. It would be a terrible thing to accidentally shoot a kid's or an animal's eye out over something like a watermelon. I would not want to be the guy responsible for something like that.
     
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  12. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    There is one other little thing: pointing a firearm at someone can lead to the shooter's getting shot by the victim or by a third person--with lawful justification.
     
  13. Cvans

    Cvans Member

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    Anyone wanting to try this should be sure to thoroughly clean and oil your gun afterward as salt promotes rust on steel surfaces.
    Have fun. :)
     
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  14. ozarksoldtimer

    ozarksoldtimer member

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    Rock salt is not B.S. or legend, I keep several rounds of 12 gauge in the top of my dresser for the occasional stray bull that wanders on to my farm. Bull hide is fairly thick and they run back home, run.
     
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  15. kudu
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    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually they are called "less lethal" as they could still potentially kill someone if they were aimed too high and someone tool a head shot too close. Most times I have heard from law enforcement personnel that they try to bounce them through legs when firing.
     
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  16. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    https://www.sellierbellot.us/products/shotgun-shells/detail/580/
     
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  17. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    "Did any manufacturer sell rock salt loads or are we to believe every farmer hand loaded?"

    I have an 1897 Sears Catalog and don't recall any rock salt loads in the shotshell selection. A lot of 19th century farmers did handload, especially those still using muzzleloading shotguns. Not every farmer, but enough did reload their empties.

    Oh, for the Wild West story of the deputy who loaded 18 dimes in his shotgun shells? The Sears Catalog listed 100 fully loaded BP shotshells at $1.48, and empty primed shells to hand load your own much less than about two for a penny. Those were the days of nickel or dime beers at the saloon, on a good day with a bowl of stew and hunk of bread thrown in.
     
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  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Rock salt, the original less than lethal load. I don't know how often it has ever actually been used but I'm quite sure that it would have been a pretty good deterrent. Remember, the person on the receiving end wouldn't know it was rock salt. They would probably just assume the shooter missed while leaving.
     
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  19. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    I use airsoft BBs as a less lethal option for deer and other varmints on my farmstead. They are of similar density to true rock salt, about 1/3 the density of iron.
    There are different kinds of "rock salt." Ice cream salt is less dense. It is intended to react efficiently with ice to facilitate the freezing process. Rock salt as you would put in your softener is more akin to the salt Grandpa used to steal from Grandma's pickling stash to stuff in his shotgun shells. The crystals are larger and denser than ice cream salt.

    The trick with my airsoft 12Ga loads is a fast burning powder and an old timey waxed nitro card over and under the 'shot' column. Plastic wads are designed for a progressive burn and don't do well with extreme light payloads. I can get airsoft BBs moving fast enough to penetrate corrugated cardboard at 25 yards with Red Dot. I load them a bit lighter for my uses. I'd imagine with a load of rock salt over BP or one of the early fast burning nitro powders and the nitro cards and roll crimps of the day, one could get a pretty effective less lethal load at considerable distance.
     
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  20. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    There are three first-hand accounts of people claiming to have been shot with rock salt on this thread before your post.
     
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  21. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    A word about shotgun wads from first hand observation.... One of our instructors at an in-service shotgun refresher (in-service classes usually a bit rowdier than you'd ever see in an Academy class room in my experience all those years ago, both as a student and an instructor...) did something a bit foolish at an outdoor session. To liven up the class (and wake up a few midnight shift officers who were known to sleep through any class they had to attend) he emptied out a few 12 ga. shells leaving only the powder and wadding remaining. The purpose was to actually load one into a standard issue shotgun then discharge it "accidentally" during instruction - of course aimed straight up for safety (if he even thought about safety... sometimes you wonder....). During instruction he demo-ed speed loading a single round into an open chamber several times - then palmed one of the blank rounds into the chamber and discharged it straight up in the air to get the class paying attention again... What he didn't realize is that the blackboard he was standing in front of had a swivel mount and the blackboard was angled far enough forward to get hit by the wad at a range of about two feet....

    Yep, you guessed it... there was a nice clean 12 ga. hole in the blackboard as a result.... Be very cautious with so-called "blank rounds" folks have been killed by them at close range... Don't think I ever heard about that particular instructor doing that particular stunt a second time by the way... Once was entirely enough...
     
  22. kudu
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    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    I have seen the wad penetrate a cardboard patterning board at 20 yards. Most times it will act as a parachute, but that cannot be relied upon.
     
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  23. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Modern version?


    https://www.bugasalt.com/products/b...g assalt rifle&utm_content=Bug-A-Salt | Exact

    Includes 90-day warranty, limited 1-year warranty with proof of purchase.
    UPDATED FEATURES:

    • New Cross Bolt Safety! Once it's on, it's on. Once it's off, it's off. Feel free to rapid fire, folks!
    • Sleek design has streamlined the feel of the gun. It's like butter on toast.
    • Updated engineering on trigger mechanism. It's now VERY light – so be careful! Keep away from children, pets, & idiots.
    • Barrel has been lifted & Patridge sight added for extremely accurate shooting. You can shoot the fly in the back of the neck now!
    • Improved, more durable salt hopper makes tactical reloads easy during the heat of battle.
    • Stronger spring creates a tighter salt pattern.
     
  24. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

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    I never stole watermelons-

    .....I went hunting or fishing.
     
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  25. kBob

    kBob Member

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    High School bud and I had "A PLAN" where we would fill the back of Mom's station wagon with the first Florida Watermelons of the Season and toss a blanket over them then drive to Chicago for the Museums from Florida and finance the trip on the Fruit.

    Both Moms threatened worse than rock salt though and it never happened.

    There is a family story told to me by my Grandmother that her Grand Dad was sitting on the porch one evening and someone dashed into the kitchen garden and snatched up two would be prize winners. He happened to have is Vetterelli .41 rim fire rifle in his lap ( I have handled the rifle) and was known to shoot at things from his chair on the corner of the porch for entertainment.

    According to my Grandmother he fired in the direction of the Vegetable thief and the melon tucked under the left arm exploded as the thief changed into a higher gear. He then worked the action and fired again and this time the melon under the other arm exploded.

    The witness exclaimed "Grandaddy! That was GREAT shooting!"

    To which the old man sad "What are you talking about child, I missed him both times."

    Now the story may be just a story, but when they went to tear down the old house my B-I-L walked around the yard with a metal detector and found on that corner of the house a number of rotten old .41 rimfire rifle cartridge cases, so the shooting off the porch bit at least seems true and adds "strength" to the story.

    Personally given the chose of rock salt or an ounce or so of lead .41 bullet at 40 yards I prefer to be shot at with the rock salt...

    BTW Grandma's older Brother told me the same story the first time he showed me the rifle.

    -kBob
     
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