Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cubed Shot

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Timthinker, Nov 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Messages:
    815
    Some years ago, I recall reading an article in an old firearms magazine about cubed shot. Yes, I literally mean shot shaped into the form of small cubes. Since this magazine was from the 1970s, I assume that cubed shot went the way of the 5mm Remington rimfire cartridge. Has anyone else heard of cubed shot in recent years?


    Timthinker
     
  2. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    3,197
    Location:
    Stalingrad, USA
    I have heard of various shot-shape configurations besides the sphere. However, I believe that the damage they caused to the test guns failed to justify their improved effectiveness. Seems like some hard/sharp edges would be nice though.
     
  3. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Messages:
    815
    KB, I have heard of different shot configurations also. But since I can not recall reading or hearing about cubed shot recently, I believe it may have been an experimental load that would make for interesting reading. I would love to read something else about it though.


    Timthinker
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    It was supposed to be a "Spreader load" for upland bird hunting, for use in tight choked guns if I remember correctly. The cubes would catch air and fly off at odd angles which caused the pattern to open up more quickly.

    No harm would come to the barrel, as it was just square soft-lead birdshot.

    With todays interchangeable choke-tube guns, I can think of no logical reason for it to make a comeback.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  5. bakert

    bakert Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,668
    xzxxx
     
  6. bakert

    bakert Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,668
    From what I've read, back in pioneer days lead was often sold in thin flat sheets because it was easier to ship and deliver to merchants etc. People could buy the sheets then mold bullets or chop 'em up to use in shotguns which probably the common people and settlers owned anyway. Probably cubed shot has been tried and tested at sometime in more modern loads but I've never heard of it.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Cubed shot spreader loads were sold in the 60's by someone.
    May have been one of the European companies shells imported by Stoger.
    I just can't remember offhand who it was.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  8. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Messages:
    815
    RC, the article on cubed shot appeared in Gun Digest sometime in the early 1970s. So, your time frame seems pretty accurate. Thanks for your input.

    Cubed shot is one example of a dead end in firearms and ammo development that was once praised in the old gun mags. It makes me wonder if our predictions will prove more accurate than those who went before us.


    Timthinker
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    Yeah, while some of us still don't much care for screw-in chokes, we don't buy tightly-choked barrels unless we want them.:)

    Most of the new-production fixed-choke guns are made for trap, so there's no demand for spreader loads there.
     
  10. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,524
    Ammo companies have gone to great lengths to make shot less likely to deform upon firing by using harder alloys, shock absorbing wads, buffer fillings and the like in order to keep the pellets as round as possible. This is to insure consistent patterns. Yes the square shot does spread wildly, but the patterns it throws are very erratic, lopsided with lots of holes.
     
  11. clang

    clang Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    638
    Could you be referring to a Square Load?

    It's the old theory that the best patterns come from a load that is the same height in the shotshell as the diameter or the bore. I don't recall the numbers exactly, but it equalled something like this:

    12 gauge - 1 1/8 oz
    16 gauge - 1 or 1 1/16 oz
    20 gauge - 7/8 oz
    28 gauge - 3/4 oz
    .410 - 1/2 oz

    It explains the loads commonly available to this day.

    This theory was from the days before plastic shot cups so I don't know how applicable it is today. You'll see it referred to occasionnally by the old doublegun guys.
     
  12. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,093
    I think in a self defense load an irregular shape with rigid edges would create a much more devastating wound channel leading to more rapid incapacitation.

    Obviously accuracy at any distance would suffer as the irregular shape would catch wind differently every time.

    The Quadrangle Buck is a design I thought of before I ever found it floating around on the net.
    Basicly a solid cylinder divided into 2 layers with each layer sliced into 4 pie shapes, creating 8 pie shaped semi triangular pieces.

    On the net it is spoken of as a steel round with some sort of coating to reduce barrel wear and touted as an anti matieral round. I don't see it that way myself. Smaller, lighter, projectiles seem less suitable in an anti material role than a solid slug of the same material.

    I do however think such a round made of lead, copper, steel or any material would have better anti personal qualities at short range.
    Someone could also create such rounds with more pie cuts, creating smaller pie peices for smaller size game. The important criteria would be the overall weight of each pellet, and to choose a size similar to the weight of spherical pellets for the same application.

    Think of it this way, a spherical pellet makes a perfectly round wound channel, allowing tissue to flow around it, leaving a tubular wound channel that partialy closes in on itself.
    A square or pie shaped projectile would create an erratic would channel that the tissue could not flow around leaving cuts and gashes along the wound channel. Much more tissue damage and blood loss should result.

    I am surprised nobody makes such a defensive round.

    Since most hunting takes place at medium shotgun distances I would venture that the erratic patterning from such projectiles would outweigh its close range performance as a hunting round.
     
  13. huntsman

    huntsman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,459
    Location:
    ohio's northcoast
    The cube shot cartridges were manufactured by a company in Youngstown Ohio it was spreader loads for short ranges. I believe they are out of business now.
     
  14. SDC

    SDC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,116
    Location:
    People's Republic of Canada
    The only reason it was ever originally used to any great extent was that it was easier to make than round shot; it's easier to chop a lead sheet into cubes than it is to built a shot tower to make drop shot, or to cast it (assuming you could make a mold small enough for something like #6).
     
  15. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    655
    square is the original bird shot before shot tower method of making shot was invented molding small shot was dificult and expensive you bought lead sheets and cut it up it does.not patern well but does do a good job when it hits
    Roy
     
  16. Bad Penny 03

    Bad Penny 03 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    178
    "Brush loads" / "spreader loads" / "cubic shot" have been sold as long as shotguns have been around.
    It increases spreads slightly, although pattern density leaves something to be desired.
    Bags of small cubic shot can be found if you want to handload the stuff.
    Early shot was made from cutting lead wire. The end result was either cylindrical or cubic depending on the wire.
    With modern advances in alloy and buffering materials creating near ideal patterns there is really no market for it.

    These guys will have it on occasion:
    http://shop2.mailordercentral.com/bpicart/

    To try and improve density:
    http://shop2.mailordercentral.com/bpicart/prodinfo.asp?number=072DX12

    These guys sell the complete shells:
    http://www.hi-vel.com/Catalog__18/Specialized_Shotshell_Ammuniti/specialized_shotshell_ammuniti.html
     
  17. rogdigity

    rogdigity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    santonio tx
    better than cubes

    zoog:

    then why bother and why not go with flechette? its not exactly legal, but if you are simply trying to incapacitate someone it might do damage different than reagular shot. ive also heard of military testing which showed flechettes pasing straight through body armour, a person, the back of the armour, and still be more than enough to do it again. ive also heard that without body armour its some pretty brutal stuff that can go through a handfull of people and still keep going. i wouldnt mind packing some sometime myself to test out. somehow, i just dont think i can justify flechettes for home defense to the california department of justice though... hell, they dont even like my baseball bat
     
  18. Slugless

    Slugless Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Bayou City, TX
    There's a load called "Canadian shrapnel" used by guides that does a real number on brown bear. I don't know what it looks like but you can imagine from the name. The use was in an "emergency" single shot shotgun, so it's intended for close range.
     
  19. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,938
    Location:
    MD.
    First, cubed shot is great for small birds up close when one's shotgun has a tight fixed choke. It's not much for anything else.

    Flattened shot is similar. Also close range, small birds.

    Rog, dunno where you heard that about flechettes but it's pure Caca Del Toro.

    Aberdeen Proving Ground tested them back in the 60s and 70s. It's impossible to get enough flechettes into a 12 gauge hull to do any good. And, using them in a barrel with any degree of choke has its drawbacks.

    For Defense, pick a good load of buck and practice.
     
  20. Bad Penny 03

    Bad Penny 03 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    178
    I played with all sorts of 12ga flechette loads and was unimpressed.
    Penetration was hit or miss.
    If they were all loaded point forward and had copious quantities of buffer material they would penetrate well. They were so unstable though many would hit sideways. The buffer material ( and even using #11 shot as buffer) would help the stability.
    When shooting at or near 2x4's ricochets were frequent. even those that hit straight on would often penetrate so deep and then bounce back.
    Often the sharp point would cause it to flip on hard objects or bend.
    They were like a death ray on rabbits (through and through) but the wound channels were so small that I wouldn't consider it adequate for antipersonnel work unless head shots were achieved.
    The body armor claim is a half truth.
    One, they have to hit perfectly at a right angle to penetrate well, once in soft body armor then tend to flip it over or the tail portion gets caught, slowing it down and throwing it around.
    Second, to really punch it well they really need to have more velocity that you will get out of a shotgun ( which can be loaded to over 2k)
    Basically performance is so radical you really cant rely on it to do what you want.

    Additionally, even if it does penetrate (soft body armor only ) the already poor wounding potential get worst as the velocity is stripped on penetration.

    As Dave mentioned Aberdeen played with these for a long time.
    The put them in belt fed 50 bmg shot shells, 12 ga, 5.56 saboted rounds, ACR rifle rounds, 40mm, and everything they could dream up with all sorts of missions in mind.
    Bottom line was: they sucked.
     
  21. rogdigity

    rogdigity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    santonio tx
    nice. thanks for the info. i just posted anoth post in the legal section here for more info on these, seeing as everything ive ever heard from them is word of mouth and thats it. maybe check that thread out and see if you can add anything
     
  22. rogdigity

    rogdigity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    santonio tx
    nice. thanks for the info. i just posted anoth post in the legal section here for more info on these, seeing as everything ive ever heard from them is word of mouth and thats it. maybe check that thread out and see if you can add anything
     
  23. mrmeval

    mrmeval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,768
    Location:
    Greenwood, Indiana
    I agree about the flechettes Bad Penny 03 they don't work well. A friend loaded up some with various stacking methods with little difference. I don't remember him trying a buffer.

    I just saw some for sale that have been pulled from an old antipersonnel bomb. They're the size everyone is familiar with.

    We had more fun with dimes, they make such an interesting sound. ;)
     
  24. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,093
    I just noticed flechettes came up here and since I posted a reply earlier in legal on them I will repost almost word for word here.


    They are very neat. Basicly they are little more than nails, except instead of a round head they have slots or fins up the side. In fact I imagine short nails with the head cut into fins would function exactly the same. The fins have to be proportional to the size of the projectile, so smaller nails would be easier to stabilize. Duplex nails would have 2 heads to turn into fins giving even more stability. Although I imagine any nail would work even without alteration since the head would have the highest drag keeping it pointed relatively rearward and the point relatively forward, altered ones would just work better cutting down on total drag.
    A denser material than steel but still hard would have greater performance.

    They are excellent for penetration, and would indead be "armor piercing" if talking about soft body armor, especialy larger ones. However the same thing that makes them great for penetration makes them horrible for terminal performance. The thin profile of something like a nail means it just applies most of its energy in a very small point causing little damage to surrounding tissue. This means it takes a lot of them, and they are not immediately incapacitating. Although for head shots the very good penetration and high hit probability would probably make them quite effective since the brain does not usualy take a lot of punishment.

    If you think of ammunition and total surface area as well as depth penetrated in total volume of tissue destruction all the points of the flechettes are going to total less than the total diameter of the shotgun bore. Yet Buckshot or even any shot is going to total more surface area than the diameter of the bore.

    Think of it this way for example. #1 buck is judged to go the suitable 12" of penetration. Each pellet is .30" in diameter. That means 16x.30" is 4.8" multiplied by another 12 inches of penetration gives you 57.6" total area damaged in the target at maximum possible potential. 00 buck is a little less, but not far behind giving up a little total area for longer range and more penetration.

    Now take the points of the Flechettes. They are going to all total under the (lets assume 12 gauge) .729 bore diameter munus some for the shotcup. Since a torso is not usualy much wider than 12 inches (with many less) extra penetration is usualy not going to amount to additional damage. So taking the shotcup into consideration and the fact that the fins are going to reduce the total number that can fit (although if of shorter length some can be positioned higher up than others with the fins interlocking the shaft of others to pack the most possible) you are going to have less than .70X (multiplied by) the depth it penetrates of tissue damage. There is a maximum of penetration that matters though after which it will not be in the target. So if 12" is your maximum depth then the total tissue damage would be 8.4". If your target is thicker than 12" you can factor in those additional inches for a higher amount of tissue damage.

    So you have 57.6" with #1 buckshot, and around 8.4" with flechette of tissue destriction. It would be higher if you count the total depth penetrated by the flechette, but since the target is only so thick, that is usualy irrelevant. Quite a difference in total damage.

    Now there would be some yaw, and the fins would add a little damage, but not much.
    So the total amount of tissue destruction will be less than with buckshot.
    For birdshot type uses flechettes would be far too dangerous as they would rain down like spikes. So discussion of them for that purpose is not even necessary.

    So more damage would be done by shot that goes to suitable depth. Then of course the individual diameter of each would is also important as there is a minimum for effectiveness. Otherwise hypordermic shots into the heart would be lethal, yet they are not.
    There is also a cut off where thinner no longer freely leaks blood, meaning its wound channel is not effective.

    So in both hunting and defensive use the diameter of each projectile is important as is the total momentum of each. So this would limit you to fewer yet larger flechettes with a total impacting surface area of less than the bore of the shotgun.

    As pointed out they are illegal in several states including CA. In much of the nation they are not.
    Unless penetration is more important than tissue damage they are usualy not a good choice.
    Most commercial ones are made of steel and steel and other hard ammunition is very ricochet prone so use caution.

    The only time they might be more suitable for a job is if you need that extra penetration. Shooting an animal through heavy brush for example.




    So flechettes and irregular shaped shot as I was talking about earlier in this post are almost complete opposites.
    The irregular shot would do more damage than spherical shot, and the flechettes would do even less damage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2007
  25. rogdigity

    rogdigity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    santonio tx
    thanks for sharing zoog. i am well informed now... but now i wanna try that dime thing
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page