Shot in a handgun

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by deadeye dick, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    Getting tired of picking off squirrels off my bird feeders with my .22 rifle. To make it more challenging, can I load some shot with the correct grain weight as a solid bullet over the correct powder measure. Is this workable? I don't shoot any farther than 75 feet at most. I will be using revolvers, A.45 Cattleman or .38 Blackhawk. If this can be done safely what would be the best way to seal the case neck.
     
  2. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Speer offers shot shells for reloading in several common calibers. Complete instructions come with the plastic cases. Try those in your .38 Ruger.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1010935619/

    I buy and use them for snakes. They work really well.
     
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  3. Col. Cornelius

    Col. Cornelius Member

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    Like the previous post, I have been reloading and using Speer shot capsules for a long time in the 45, 44 and 357 calibers.

    I have already killed several nuisance rattlesnakes this spring with the 45 Colt capsules fired in single actions.

    The smaller the shot size, the better. I typically use #9 with great results.
     
  4. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    You'll be lucky to hit anything at 75 feet with a shot load in a handgun since there aren't many pellets in the capsules. Honestly, if you have to dispatch the critters, stick with your 22. A couple hits with tiny birdshot would likely NOT be instantly fatal. Be merciful and at least give them a quick death with a full size caliber bullet.
     
  5. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    The rifling causes the pattern to open up quick. You'd be lucky to put enough shot in the target to make a difference at 5 yards.
     
  6. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    As above, handgun birdshot loads are ineffective past about 20 feet max, and then only on the smallest of targets. If you want to add some challenge to it, try loading a very light wadcutter bullet over a miniscule amount of Bullseye or Red Dot. I call it "bowling for bunnies" in my yard.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  7. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    75 feet with a .22? I'd get bored too. Since the point is a greater challenge then try a pellet gun from 50 yards or a .22 from 100 yards plus, or stalk in closer and use a wrist rocket. Ditto Random 8's suggestion above if you want the challenge to be your own reloads, or take your reloads out to their maximum range.
     
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  8. George P

    George P member

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    Except the OP said 75 feet, not 7-1/2 feet so no, those won't work for distance. For 25 yards, if you do not want to use your .22, use a 410
     
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  9. Toprudder
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    Toprudder Contributing Member

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    As mentioned, shot fired out of a rifled barrel will not pattern well at distance. In fact, it will pretty much be a circle that opens up quickly with distance.
     
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  10. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Member

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    Way back in my youth, we used to pick off squirrels and groundhogs using pellet rifles, the pump type. I used to have a Crossman pump rifle, and I'd take a 22 pellet, put a .177 bb inside the cone and shoot it. On impact it acted like an expanding round, the BB inside the back cone would flare out the soft pellet lead. Pretty deadly for small critters.
     
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If your looking for a challenge, 75 feet with pistol shot shells should do it.

    They wouldn’t be any safer in a Disney movie.

    5 yards is more like it for most rat/snake shot loads range, 25 yards your going to have very, very few pellets on an 18x18 target much less with the energy to kill a rodent.
     
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  12. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    I get tired of the birds too... j/k
     
  13. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    My opinion is if you want to try them for fun, go ahead. But don't expect them to live up to your expectations at all for performance.

    Shooting shot out of rifled barrels just doesn't work well. As for any kind of range...dismal would be the word to use for performance.

    Shoot bullets out of rifled barrels. Shoot shot out of smooth bore.

    Definitely shoot some if you're curious, because shooting is fun.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  14. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I think the shot rounds in your pistol would be a challenge worth taking on. You have to spot and stalk, get close enough to efficiently kill the squirrels without damaging the bird feeders. Bet that would get old quick though.
     
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  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I have done quite a bit of experimentation with handgun shotshells. The gentlemen who point out their limitations are correct, almost without exception. Seventy-five foot lethality is a lot to ask.

    I believe bore size is critical. Bigger bores allow more shot, bigger shot, and encourage better patterns. As has been pointed out, rifled barrels are terrible choices for shot loads, so again, expectations should be moderated.

    I have used a lot of Speer shot capsules, and they work well. Years ago, though, I moved on to gas checks. I seat one, cup up, over the powder charge, then fill with shot, and then load another check cup-down to seal the works. This can require opening the case mouth more than is normally prudent, and perhaps more crimp as well, but I consider these to be "special" products and don't mind donating a few cases to the effort.

    Over the past year or so I have been experimenting with brass shotshells (in 12 gauge) with blackpowder and traditional methods. I have applied some of those techniques to handgun shotshells. My latest bit of foolishness is to load between a quarter to a half case full of Trail Boss, then seat a cork wad (these normally need to be punched by hand, although some of the appropriate sizes are available from muzzle loading supply houses like Track of the Wolf), then fill with shot, and finally seal with a card wad or two - again either hand punched or luckily found on line. The card wads can be crimped into place and/or sealed with Duco cement, which is flammable and leaves no trace in the gun. Early results are better than anything I've yet tried, but I don't yet have enough experience with them to give firm reccomendations.

    TL;DR: Use the biggest bore you've got. Speer capsules are fine. Gas checks are cheaper and better. And traditional blackpowder shotgun techniques may be the best-performing option. And get close!
     
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  16. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    I have loaded quite a few 45Colt shot and used the Speer shot capsules (which I have only ever seen in no. 9 shot). They both max out at about 20 -25 feet at the most before the pattern is too blown to be useful.

    Air rifle is a good idea for more challenge. A.177 Springer with 10.5 grs copper coated flat head pellets will take squirrels out to 35 yards but you need head or lung shots. Makes it more challenging.
     
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  17. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    For a fun challenge, squirrel with a recurve bow. Since you have set areas for shots (at the feeders) you could easily set up a hay bale or two as a backstop and bust those little critters.
     
  18. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I would replace the feeder with one of the squirrel proof feeders or hang it up where they have a hard time getting to it. Using poles that are too hard for the claws to dig into then add the snake/varmint protective cone below works really well. There are tons of utube video showing the squirrels getting thrown off trying to get to the feeders if they actually get to the feeder.

    I would switch over to a pellet rifle or pistol to make it a little more challenging if that's what your after. Like said the mini- shot shells are for short range only.
     
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  19. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Like others have said, the Speer shot capsules are great for making your own shot shells. Many have said that your distance is limited, which is true. Your shot will spread approximately one inch per foot. You can tighten up the pattern a little by mixing corn mill with your shot.
    But if you want a little more challenge then your 22 rifle, try a 22 handgun.
    Years ago when my eyesight was better, I hunted squirrels with a Ruger MKIII with a 10” barrel.
     
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  20. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I don't need challenges with squirrels. A 20 GA with #4 shot and I'm off to better things before the tree rat makes contact with mother earth. YMMV
     
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  21. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Why don’t you just use a 22 pistol?
     
  22. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    Absolutly, That's why I asked about the shotshells. I patterned the rat shot and it was like throwing salt. I would'nt even think of using it on any rodent.
     
  23. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    Great idea! That gives me a reason to buy a 410 when I ask the boss.
     
  24. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    I have a Uberti Stallion, .22 .22 Mag but at 82 I'm lucky to see the critter. The 4 power Bushnell it perfect for my 65 year old Springfield Savage model 850
     
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  25. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Ok, a Ruger Mk whatever, with a 4 power bushnell?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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