Using shot in a revolver

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JSmith, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    Hello.
    What can you gentlemen tell me about loading shot shells for a .44 magnum? The other day I was thinking that something like a dozen or so BBs in front of an appropriate powder charge would be useful for nuisance birds like European Starlings.
     
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  2. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I've never tried BB's but I have loaded #8 and #7-1/2 shot in .44mag cases for both the magnum and specials. I use Blue Dot mostly, varying charges depending on how much bang, smoke and flash I want, under a .45 caliber BP wool wad with shot to the brim, packed down a little, then a .45 caliber card wad and heavy roll crimp to hold it all together. I used to use Gulf wax to seal the top cover-wads for a while before I figured out it wasn't really necessary as long as I didn't try to store them too long. The powder-over-wad I use is from Ox-Yoke, the DRY Wonder Wads, and they are smokeless powder friendly. Unless you decide to use black powder - which is definitely an option - be careful about using the pre-lubed Wonder Lube wads (registered trademark?). I haven't tried them over smokeless but it occurs to me they may not be quite as smokeless powder friendly. They're definitely nice over FFg/FFFg.

    Oh, and I don't use this load for birds so I can't say if it has enough oomph! but it's good for rats and snakes. And spiders. We get BIG spiders down here along the coast and it spatters them nicely. Hope this helps.
     
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Speer makes shot capsules for a number of different cartridges. They hold more shot than loading shot on top of a wad and powder charge.

    Unfortunately like most reloading supplies these days, they may be hard to find.

    With appropriate powder charge and an under shot wad and an over shot wad, you can make a reasonable shotshell in the case. Do an internet search and you should be able to find some load data.

    Wad material can be made from a variety of materials found around the house.

    Rifled barrels do not make very good patterns and tend to effective at only shorter ranges.
     
  4. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    I use the blue shot capsules in my 357 and load them with any shot I feel like. They are somehow hard to get now though. Easier than goofing around with wads but your system seems sound.
     
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  5. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    I have heard that .303 British brass cut down to cylinder length makes good 44mag shotshell cartridges.
    #9 or #12 shot size, coated with Alox.
    A .40/10mm die could be used to create the step at the case to projectile(if it had one) shoulder.
    Over powder wads punched out of heavy single layer cardboard with a 10mm hole punch.
    A upside down .40/10 mm gas check used as a overshot wad, crimped into place with the base of a 357 mag die.
    Finished off with nail polish over the case mouth and gas check to waterproof the cartridge.

    Or just buy the empty CCI shot holder bullets if you can find them. The full cylinder length brass case has a much bigger payload though.
     
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  6. George P

    George P Member

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    The issue is that you get a doughnut pattern with a big hole in the middle and the effective range is measured in feet, not yards
     
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  7. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    I agree. Blue capsule leaves large hole but they are deadly on slithering pests and skunks at shorter range.
     
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  8. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I haven't tried the .303 casings thing. I have used trimmed-down old .444 Marlin brass that wasn't any good for full rifle loads anymore in .410 shotguns as brass hulls and in .45 Colt chambers, cut WAY down. Might work in a .44 magnum. I've never seen any sense in buying the CCI shot cups. I was taught how to make shot shells for pistols a long time before I knew those existed. :)
     
  9. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Yep

    Rifling and good shot patterns just don't go together. I tried sabots, .410 wads, plastic over powder wads, no gas check, shot in Mylar pouch, different powders, different sized shot....
     
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  10. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I get a wide spread but no big hole in the center or donut pattern. More like a cloud pattern. I use black powder card wads - the six thousandths thick vegetable wads that are around $20 per thousand - don't recall the maker and i'm not home to look, and Ox-Yoke dry over-powder wool wads with 4 or 5 grains of Blue Dot. It's been working for a long time for me. Give it shot. (pun intended ;)
     
  11. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    I got the hole in the centerpattern, majority of shot in a whole different poa/poi pattern, and all kinds of other weird patterns that were not necessary repeatable.

    But I did get it to function just about perfectly semiauto thru a 1911 using .308 brass!
     
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  12. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I killed a Hungarian partridge once with my model 29 4" and Speer capsules with #7 1/2 shot. However, be aware that shooting a normal load with a bullet will cause the shot capsules to back out of the cylinder and jam it. So, All shot capsules or none is the way to go.
     
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  13. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Hungarian cartridge = Chukar?
     
  14. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    No, meaning a Hun. Smaller than a chukar but larger than quail. And it's a Partridge not a Cartridge. :D

    th?id=OIP.jpg
     
  15. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    And a cartridge in a pear tree...
     
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  16. magyars4

    magyars4 Member

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    In 45 colt I load some #8 shot over cardboard topped with a lead RB.
    Never had an opportunity to use it on animals but it's hell on cardboard
     
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  17. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    Interesting. It seems there are some options. Thanks!
     
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  18. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Just be careful if using the Speer shot capsules. Then tend to crack if you over crimp. A taper crimp is better but most all revolver dies roil crimp.
    I messed around with the 357 capsules, go pissed off and just bought some preloaded ammo Wasn't worth the time effort for me. I probably still have the box!

    There are many videos on line on how to load your own. In 44 cal I would think they would be more than sufficient for critter control. Heck a pellet gun would be more fun for Starlings.
     
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  19. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    You can make your own revolver shot cartridges very easily if you don't have access to the Speer shot capsules. Just use two appropriate size gas checks. Size, prime and add the proper weight powder charge. Load one gas check inverted, and then add the appropriate weight of shot. Next seat the second gas check on top of the shot charge and crimp in place. That's the way I learned to load 357 and 44 shot cartridges in the early '60's before Speer offered empty shot capsules and loaded shot shells.
     
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  20. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    There was a thread a while back where Jmorris made some shot shells resizing brass of different caliber down for just that.
     
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  21. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I prefer using BP wads to gas checks - $20/1000 vs. $45/1000 - but the basic idea is the same.
     
  22. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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  23. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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  24. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    I like using a "sandwich" of cardboard/HDPEplastic/cardboard punched out wad on the theory that the 3 wads will work better to seal gas ( kind of like the 3 AR15 bolt gas rings) and the cardboard cushions the shot.
    I have also experimented with just using nail polish to keep the shot captive with no overshot wad.

    But nothing really cured to poor pattern problem.
     
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  25. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I'm shooting banana spiders and copperheads at a little over arms length. I've never failed to leave nothin but legs in a web or a dead snake in the grass and they never critiqued my pattern so I guess i'm good. I hope the OP gets a chance to try some of these loading methods and reports back. I'll have to get some of those punches. We get hundreds of pieces of junk mail that would make perfect over-card wads. And it just seems like a great stress reliever. :)
     
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