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Old 04-30-2008, 06:22 AM   #1
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Buckshot/Special Purpose Shotshell Loading

I'm not channeling the power of Google or something today...

I need 250 rounds of Buck and 25 rounds of Door Breachers for three different class components. I'm pretty set on getting the Breachers from EBR, but I want to start loading my own buckshot shells, especially considering the load I want is $6 per 5 shells factory loaded.

I'm pretty set on 1-1/4oz #2 Buck (20 Pellet) over 26grs Unique in 2-3/4", trying to get about 1300fps. My literature has walked me through the basics of shotshell loading but one thing I can't find anywhere: Buckshot Bushings? Do you use a bushing or just hand count the pellets and put em in? What would be the optimum hull for something like this?

Also, are there any frangible slug makers for possible future breacher loadings?

Also, any tricks I should know about? I'm most likely using an overshot card and a roll crimp, FWIW.
 
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:53 AM   #2
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Ballistic Products is your Friend!!! Hand count them beforehand 9 pellets per load, and put them in something like the little bathroom dixie cups. Sicne you're roll-crimping, speed isnt going to be a big issue. Now are you planning on Buffering?? If so you have to factor for that with a little shaking and setteling, As for the rest of your load, i havet played with Shotshells, other than Black Powder loads for Cowboy Shooting in a while. Be sure to check that against one of the data books, or online reloading sites just to be safe, you dont want to exceed SAAMI specs. Also dont make them TOO Heavy. While you dont want Dove/trap loads you also dont want to kill yourself either... There's a REASON most LE agencies have gone to low-recoil buck loads....and they DO make a difference when you're in a course shooting a lot.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 07:34 AM   #3
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Kpdpipes,

Thanks for the reply. Ballistic Products is actually where I found 1-1/4 oz load over 26 Unique at. I've read that while larger pellets increase pressure in reality is it not by more than 3% and to consider loads as an ounce rather than an ounce of (size) shot. I do intend to be buffering, and will probably be using BPIs buffer material. If I made a jig to vibrate them slightly (attached to the top of my case tumbler perhaps?) at center-level would that facilitate better settling or are such things unnecessary?

Thanks big time on clarifying the buckshot loading issue.
 
 
Old 04-30-2008, 05:55 PM   #4
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Good luck i've never messed with Buckshot loading.. I dont really hunt with it,a nd if i really needed a couple of boxes i can get them from the armory. That said, i DID think about keeping some in-house to load up the all brassh shells with, but never got past the initial lookups..other things intruded on the priority scale I dont know about the weights per se,. with Buck it's always been by pellet count IIRC since the pellets were uniform in size and weight.
 
Old 05-14-2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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If you're going to load 20 pellets of #2 Buck, you best weigh the pellets. 20 #2 Buck (pure lead) weigh 591 grains, closer to 1 3/8 ounce than 1 1/4. Depending on shot composition, they might weigh in at 1 1/4 or so, but I'd check first.

For higher velocity loads with more than 1 1/8 ounce payload, Herco or Blue Dot would be better powder choices. 26 Grains of Unique is a pretty stiff charge for 1 1/4. In anything but a Federal Hi Power, a Federal One-Piece or a Fiocchi hull, you could run into serious pressure problems.

Wads, primers and hull all have a large influence on pressure. Shotgun isn't like rifle or pistol - there are no overpressure indications befor gun failure.
 
Old 05-14-2008, 11:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .45 COLT View Post
If you're going to load 20 pellets of #2 Buck, you best weigh the pellets. 20 #2 Buck (pure lead) weigh 591 grains, closer to 1 3/8 ounce than 1 1/4. Depending on shot composition, they might weigh in at 1 1/4 or so, but I'd check first.

For higher velocity loads with more than 1 1/8 ounce payload, Herco or Blue Dot would be better powder choices. 26 Grains of Unique is a pretty stiff charge for 1 1/4. In anything but a Federal Hi Power, a Federal One-Piece or a Fiocchi hull, you could run into serious pressure problems.

Wads, primers and hull all have a large influence on pressure. Shotgun isn't like rifle or pistol - there are no overpressure indications befor gun failure.
I have the the Fiocchi high-brass hulls.

Would Blue Dot burn well in an 18"? It's comparatively slow. Don't want to waste it outside of the gun with a gargantuan flash to boot. Is there a problem with running Unique? I already have it, but if Herco will serve me better and safer I'm not opposed. Haven't started loading the shells though.

I'll weigh and count. I went and got some plain shotglasses for holding shot (lead, not ethanol ) during the loading process.

What are some notable signs of cartridge failure? Gun is a Benelli M4 (semiauto). Been thinking of SBSing a Mossy as well, which is also another reason I'm leaning towards faster powders.

Thanks for the input.
 
Old 05-15-2008, 05:38 AM   #7
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What are some notable signs of cartridge failure?
There aren't any. I routinely load shells to Low Proof, occasionally to High Proof pressure. The fired shells look exactly the same as a shell that was loaded to a light target load pressure. The first indication that you maybe shouldn't have done a load is gun failure. Hopefully a small part, extractor or some such. Catastrophic failure can really affect the rest of your day. Those proof pressure shells aren't loaded for normal shooting - they are for specific applications and are for testing purposes only.

Don't get hung up trying to match powder burn rate to barrel length. That's an exercise in futility. Blue Dot is noted for muzzle flash but when looking for velocity, it's the powder to use. My approximation of Hornady's TAP buckshot loads (the high velocity version, 1,600 FPS) uses Blue Dot, the low recoil version at 1,350 FPS uses Herco, and those payloads are only one ounce.

High brass, low brass, doesn't matter. Internal capacity of a hull is what makes a difference. The Fiocchi is a good choice for your type of load. The only better one (of hulls in current production) would be the Federal One-Piece, and they're hard to come by.
 
Old 05-15-2008, 04:19 PM   #8
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Proof loads sound like a good idea.

I wouldn't say that burn efficiency determination is an exercise in futility. I do it all the time with great success in pistols and SBRs. Why would a shotgun be different in that regard? Just trying to get a better understanding.
 
Old 05-15-2008, 09:04 PM   #9
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Proof loads sound like a good idea.
Only when you have a gun that needs proofing. I put them together for some 'smiths and a few folks who build shotguns.

A shotgun is very different than a pistol or rifle. Very heavy payloads (compared to the metallics), a large capacity case and large amounts of powder. Add the fact that they are made to operate at a low pressure. Try to use a fast powder with a heavy payload, max pressure will go WAY over rated max. A 2 3/4" or 3" 12 Gauge is maxed at 11,500 PSI. 3 1/2" is 14,000 PSI. Pretty low. You might get away with Unique but were it me, I'd be using Herco for that load you want. Possibly Blue Dot, would try both and see which I liked better. All those powders will burn completely in less than your 18". The Blue Dot's famous muzzle flash is mainly due to the large amount of gasses generated.
 
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