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Reload buckshot?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by doggy1953, Feb 19, 2012.

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  1. doggy1953

    doggy1953 Member

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    Since buckshot seems to be priced at 50 cents or more per round, has anyone tried reloading 00 or #1 buck? Should be a little less expensive loading your own.
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    A lot of people do. I haven't. LEE sells a nifty little buckshot mold for a pittance. I think it throws like 36 per pour.
     
  3. Hank Zudd

    Hank Zudd Member

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    I've been doing it for severl years; there's even a 12ga. load with buffer (you'll have to look it up, sorry, but if IIRC it's from BPI)

    only diffrence is having to count out & hand place the pellets; got some #1 & 00 buck dirt cheap, so that's how I started. Doing 20 & 12 ga. Get a single shot Lee loader (if you can find one)- those are great for depriming, setting the wad & crimping.

    Yes I know proressive loaders are faster, but to my knowledge there is none that will drop buckshot. It's a good winter project.
     
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    A used MEC Jr. Will do a better job than the Lee and can be found for about $75.00 on the Net
    Buck does have to be hand loaded into the wad
     
  5. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    I've loaded a fair amount of 00 buckshot in 12ga. I use a Lee Loadall II, which is not a bad choice for buckshot loading since you can't meter buckshot from a hopper like you can with small shot. One annoying aspect of loading larger pellets is that the pellet stacking geometry can vary. If you want consistent crimps then you have to arrange the
    pellets into the lowest height configuration. That substantially slows production. I find that 8 pellet geometry is less variable than 9. This may be an artifact of using a conventional wad for the buckshot, but I think that kind of usage has more advantages than the alternative of use fibre/card wads for buckshot.

    Key on the economics is buckshot pricing/shipping. If you can't get a good delivered price on buckshot, you're better off hunting for good price on loaded ammunition. The one major exception would be special loadings that aren't available as factory production. Given the availability of 8 and 9 pellet 00 reduced loadings today, that reason has been reduced too.

    If I was looking at starting over from scratch for reloading buckshot today, I probably would not bother. I understand that pricing on small size shot has also climbed to the point that some folks who used to reload for smaller shot have switched to buying factory (multiple cases).
     
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    In some areas lead shot new is running from 40-50 bucks per bag. Reclaimed will save money, typically at $25 per bag, but then you mixed sizes, dimpled shot, etc. which is fine for most practice applications, but not for tournaments
     
  7. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    ^
    Is that buckshot?
     
  8. Steel Talon

    Steel Talon Member

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    Just load up some Daisy BB's or Copper heads.. Easy to do lethal on Coyotes...
     
  9. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    Reloading buck??? Yes, done it. 000 Buck and #1 Buck in 12 gauge and #1 Buck in 20 gauge.

    There is published data out there (not from BPI) that has you using standard wads to accomplish the task. In the case of the loads I have made, in 000B 12 ga. and #1B 20 ga. you cut the petals off of the wad so the pellets fit properly.


    20 Ga 2 3/4" 12 pellets #1 Buck 1275 fps. You don't get that from the majors.:neener:
     
  10. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    Without casting your own, it doesn't save that much.

    You can make load that aren't readily available though. I experimented a fair amount and found that using winchester wads with the petals cut off gave a lot more flexibility in 12 gauge. My favorites were 21 pellet #4 buck at about 1145 fps, and 52 pellet Nickel plated lead BB at 1145 fps. (both were about 1oz payload) Technically, BB is "birdshot," but .18 caliber is a lot different than .09 caliber that most people think of when they think birdshot.
     
  11. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    ditto stelltalon. I don't load shotty but a clay shooter buddy does. he loads copperheads for critter - would mess up the 2-legged type also.
    he loads also Lee slugs that have the drive slot in them sometimes I cast (actually the most of them I do) and every so often he will cast some. loads of fun to shoot into steel discs and most of them splatter and can be picked up
     
  12. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I'd be a little leery of using BBs as they are copper washed steel. If you do use them be sure to use wads designed for steel shot.
    BTW, the Lee mould casts, I believe, nine three ball strings of OO with the balls connected. All you do is drop three strings into the shell for your nine pellet OO buck load. Should hold really tight three pellet patterns, if it works out that way.
     
  13. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    No, it doesn't "work that way". You have to stack the pellets three at a time (00). But from the Lee mould, you just twist the pellets to release them and drop them into the primed, charged and wadded hull.

    I've had good luck loading buck by cutting the petals off of shot cups. Then, use something like instant grits (or even the slow cook kind) to buffer the loads. This is done by dropping some of the buffer into the loaded hull before crimping and twirling a slotted handled screw driver against the side of the hull to settle the buffer. The correct amount is just enough to fill the voids between the hulls, with very little remaining on top of the top three pellets. Sealing the crimp with candle wax prevents leakage in the event of a poor crimp.

    I've found that 1-1/8oz "skeet" loads give better patterns than "high-brass" or high velocity loads. It's the dense pattern that kills more so than the extra velocity. Remember that round balls are an inefficient projectile. A 100-200fps velocity addition only equates to 50-75fps at 50yds. Whereas 3 more pellet impacts greatly increases lethality of the shot pattern with buckshot. Hence, pattern is more important.

    BTW; A 9-pellet load of 00-buck is equivalent to 1-1/8oz load. The 12 pellet load is equivalent to a 1-1/2oz load. Hence, a Win. AA-Red wad with petals cut off works well. I recommend either HS-6 or HS-7 powder. Use Hodgdon's recommended charges.

    For the 20ga, a .31" pellet with 10 in a 2-3/4" hull with Hod. Longshot is a superior load. I use a Rem. RP-20 wad with petals cut off. My s/s with mod. choke will hold all 10 pellets on a 9-1/2" paper plate at 25yds. I'm 3 for 3 on deer with a single shot. (Ranges under 35yds.). Will work well on close range shots on pigs, also. (Reason I worked up the load in the first place). Given how well this load works, I find it odd that no manufacturer has ever offered a "0-buck" or "#1-buck" load for a 20ga.

    You can do same thing with a .410 and .375" round balls for cap and ball revolver. I don't bother to cut off the petals. Use a standard load of H110 and 4- 0.375" shot and crimp lightly, or just use a card wad to hold the shot in place. Shoots 12" pattern at 25yds from my .410 o/u at 25yds, with typically two pellets very close to point of aim, and two lower hits.
     
  14. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    Interesting. I guess I should look at the stacking geometry of 9 - 00 pellets in 12ga using normal wad with the petals removed. That would sure change the game from the stacking issues I'm currently encountering.
     
  15. USSR

    USSR Member

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    I cast and load 0 Buck (.319" from a Lee round ball mould). The nice thing about this size is, you don't have to cut the petals off of your wads.

    Don
     
  16. arjppj

    arjppj Member

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    i think I've calculated it at around 40 cents per load if I buy primers by the 1k, and use each hull 5 times. I use AA hulls, Claybuster's WAA12R wad, (I THINK) 29.5gr of imr 4756 (AGAIN, I THINK--can't get to my data right now), buy the lead for $50 for 50lbs, and stack 3x3 and it comes out with perfect crimps. No buffer, no cutting of pedals, and no crushing of wad or hulls in the process. Running thru a modified choke it will put a 12" pattern consistently at 25 yards!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Of course you figure $50 for the mould and handles, and whatever press and lead melter you buy. I'll run about 20 pounds of shot at a time on a day off, and whatever I shoot up I'll reload on my other day off....keeping about 500 each buckshot and slugs on hand :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  17. wolfe

    wolfe Member

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    excellent information. So I assume that most of you that do this just use your standard #8 shot powder drop, etc and replace the small shot with the buckshot?

    I use 1 1/8 of shot with about 17.3 grains of 700x (IMR) or 1 1/2 of shot with a MEC 35 bushing of Blue dot (never measured the grains on that one)


    I reload everything thing else thought I might as well see what I can do with buckshot. Looking at getting a mossberg 500 with the pistol grip to have in an emergency and want some defense ammo.
     
  18. ds/ks

    ds/ks Member

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    buckshot on the cheap

    048.jpg

    049.jpg Can hold all 9 pellets on a paper plate to 25', through cylinder bore. Wad is claybuster copy of ww11/4 yellow.
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Great looking stuff there ds/ks. While I like 9 pellet 00 Buckshot loads for HD I rather like 27 pellet #4 Buchshot instead. I see you're using HS-6 which is one of my favorite powders. I think i just might have to start loading my own Buckshot loads too...

    I see you are using Sharpshooter USA molds. How well do you like them? Do they make good shot? Thanks...
     
  20. ds/ks

    ds/ks Member

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    Good product, ArchAngelCD. Have to run 'em hot, but that's no problem.
     
  21. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    This is a very bad idea. Those air gun BB's are very hard steel, not at all like the steel shot loaded in waterfowl loads. They can and will damage the barrel on any shotgun they're used in, regardless of what type of wad used.

    Second, they will bounce off of any hard surface, like a steel target or concrete. The target WILL shoot back!:what:

    Third, simply placing a payload in a shotgun shell, WITHOUT good loading data is asking for a blown-up-gun and badly hurt shooter. A "hold my beer,,, watch this moment"!

    Buckshot loads aren't all that complicated, as long as you're using tested data. Buck loads do NOT behave like their smaller shot cousins. Simply loading the same weight as a smaller shot payload can get you into trouble. The Lyman shotshell handbook,(the bible), has some tested recipes as well as a data book available from ballistic products.http://www.ballisticproducts.com/ They also handle just about anything a shotgun loader could ever need to load any loads ever thought of.
     
  22. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    It is deffinitely far less expensive than buying buck shot shells.
    A word on safety though! Follow the recipe to the letter, as in, don't skip any components. Even though shotgun shells run at significantly lower operating pressures, an improperly assembled shot shell can deffinitely go KB.
     
  23. USSR

    USSR Member

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    No, definitely not. You stack them by hand in layers of 3 for the "0" and "00" buck sizes.

    Don
     
  24. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    Been reloading my own 20ga #1 buckshot loads for several years. Casting the shot is much cheaper than buying it.
     
  25. wolfe

    wolfe Member

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    I read my post later and it didn't make any sense. I figured out you can't use a charge bar and did watch a couple videos on stacking them. Thanks for the comment. I wish I would have reread before I left last night.
     
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