Author Topic: Black powder shotgun slugs  (Read 13263 times)

Offline Swamptoad

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Black powder shotgun slugs
« on: June 05, 2014, 06:30:42 AM »
Hello, I have reloaded black powder shotgun shells for some time. I was thinking about trying a roundball slug in these. I have clear plastic cheddite hulls, over powder and cushion wads. I have .66 diameter lead round balls I made. Do you think these would be better if I tried to patch them or fit them in some kind of a shot cup? I have patched a ball and it slides smoothly through an imp mod choke. Imp cyl it may not be as great of a fit. anyone try this?

Offline trekker111

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 07:36:00 AM »
I've only ever loaded shot with bp, and usually use brass hulls. In a plastic hull, I would load it just like you would if you were loading with smokeless. A plastic shot cup, and the corresponding wads to make the column the correct height for proper crimp. How well does that ball fit in a shot cup, and what guage are you loading? In a 12ga, that ball will bounce around down the barrel, and will probably has poor accuracy, at best. When you say patch I'm envisioning a scenario similar to how a patched round ball is in a muzzleloader. I have doubt's the patch would stay on the ball.

Offline Swamptoad

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 02:47:36 PM »
I started all this by measuring the inside of my 12 ga cly bore. Then I measured the thickness of the wad petals and came up with a .66 ball that I had made in England. I tried .69 balls but they were to big and not that accurate. All this was done with smokeless powder. I really don't want to use a plastic wad with BP as the wads tend to melt a bit. If I have to I will. Just wondering if patching the ball would work without the plastic shot cup. Wondering if anyone has tried it.

Offline trekker111

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 06:12:48 PM »
It would all depend on if the patch will stay on the ball until it leaves the barrel. Patches work in a muzzleloader, but amuzzleloader is a constant surface all the way from breech to muzzle. In a shotgun, the patched round ball would have to exit the shell after opening the crimp, clear the chamber, travel down the barrel to the forcing cone, after that it has to travel to, and through the choke.

I have no basis as to whether or not it will work or not. If a problem arises, it would most likely be in the area of the chamber. The only real problem would be if the ball sheds the patch in the barrel. It don't see why it would be unsafe to test. Load up a few, fire one, and check the bore. And repeat.

I looked at my shotgun barrels and the end of the chamber appears to be a lip, or a very sharp angle. If something causesnthe patch to shed, that would be the most likely suspect. It could be mitigated by using the longest hull your shotgun will chamber to reduce the free bore.

This is all theoretical.

Offline Swamptoad

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 09:27:28 AM »
Wonder if I could patch it backwards? Have the opening of the patch at the bottom of the ball......

Offline trekker111

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 09:42:46 PM »
Ummm, I guess, in that scenario i'm not sure if or when the ball would shed the patch.

I would try the first way first.

Offline Swamptoad

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 06:51:44 AM »
Maybe I will just scrap this and go with just a full sized .71 bare round ball. Then I wouldn't have to worry about it. I would just have to ensure it only got shot out of a cyl bore

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 06:11:18 PM »
Patching a ball as it is loaded into the shell presents a couple of problems.

First is swelling the shell.  By the time you get a patch/ball combination that will seal the bore you will have an over diameter projectile that swells the shell to the point that it will not fit into the chamber.

The other problem is the combination creating excess pressure as it squeezed into the bore from the chamber.

When using a muzzle loader, Loading a greased patch with a round ball from the muzzle works best when the patch/ball combo is very tight in the bore.  But one knows that if the patch/ball went down it will come back out safely.

I load a lot of slugs and round ball loads in smokeless guns and have had good luck using unpatched round balls and slugs over trimmed cushion wads, but I am usually shooting them through rifled barrels and rifle choke tubes.

I do have one little 20 gauge with a modified tube that shoots bare .600 round balls like a rifle out to 100 yards.  Change to the IC tube and accuracy goes to pot!

You never know what you are going to get. 

Hopefully you will find a combination that works. 

Offline Carl

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 05:31:11 AM »
Hello, I have reloaded black powder shotgun shells for some time. I was thinking about trying a roundball slug in these. I have clear plastic cheddite hulls, over powder and cushion wads. I have .66 diameter lead round balls I made. Do you think these would be better if I tried to patch them or fit them in some kind of a shot cup? I have patched a ball and it slides smoothly through an imp mod choke. Imp cyl it may not be as great of a fit. anyone try this?

A shot cup with perhaps a bit of granulated buffer will work just fine, also there are manufactures of sabot's that improve velocity just a bit too.

Granulated buffer?....I often use GRITS as they are cheap and environmentally friendly...plus good carbohydrate content.

Offline Swamptoad

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 02:46:32 AM »
Heck I scrapped that idea and got a .72 mold from Jeff tanner in England. Just gonna shoot those bare and see how they shoot. Thanks for the input guys but the full size round ball may be a better idea than the one I had before.

Offline Swamptoad

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 03:02:24 AM »
You think a 1/2 inch fiber wad is best under the ball or a hard card? Was just wondering if the ball would push back into the fiber wad and help keep it centered down the barrel or would it stick to the ball and affect the accuracy? I normally load 80 to 85 grains of ffg in my black powder bird / buck shot shells. I really don't know what a safe load would be for this 570 or so grain round ball. Should I use ffg or fffg powder? I wrote to goex and asked but never got a response. They had a 1 1/2 ounce load listed with over a hundred grains of powder. Seems a bit much. Any thoughts?

Offline Carl

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 08:25:40 AM »
You think a 1/2 inch fiber wad is best under the ball or a hard card? Was just wondering if the ball would push back into the fiber wad and help keep it centered down the barrel or would it stick to the ball and affect the accuracy? I normally load 80 to 85 grains of ffg in my black powder bird / buck shot shells. I really don't know what a safe load would be for this 570 or so grain round ball. Should I use ffg or fffg powder? I wrote to goex and asked but never got a response. They had a 1 1/2 ounce load listed with over a hundred grains of powder. Seems a bit much. Any thoughts?

You may find the 1/2" inch fiber allows more consistent shot to shot velocity and has potential for better than minute of moose accuracy. I did experiments with smokeless powder years ago and while 'black' pressure is not the same I think shot to shot velocity will react much the same , Please report results of velocity / accuracy if you test the two.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 09:20:55 AM »
The main restriction you may find to be total length of the charge inside the shell.

You may find that powder + wads + projectile exceed the length of the shell itself.

That is not a factor with a standard ML gun but will be with a BP cartridge, especially considering the bulk of the powder charge.

It seems that there is a lot of talk about imported round ball and slug molds, as if those were the only options available for BP work.

As a contrast, I am and have been getting excellent results using Lee mold blocks for round ball in .600 (20gauge) and .690 as well as their 7/8 and 1oz slug molds in 12 gauge.   I have also been using an old Dixie single cavity .660 mold for 20 years with good results.

The Lee slug molds have cast some of the most accurate shotgun loads, of un-saboted slugs, I have ever fired.  I sincerely wish they made one in 20 gauge.   

As for the variations in bore diameter/slug size, I have had excellent results with paper patched slugs inside the shells to exactly fill the shell to full diameter without swelling and take up as much of the windage in the bore as possible.

Offline armymars

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Re: Black powder shotgun slugs
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2014, 05:56:00 PM »
Here's a thought. How about an old Paradox load. Think brass hull with a rebated heal bullet. Like a 22rf. Match the bullet OD to the bore. If the bullet is a hollow base with thick skirts that won't open, then the center of gravity is still way forward which keeps the bullet from tumbling. (rock in a sock) Might be fun to try. If the brass case is thin enough then you might be able to use your 72 cal. round ball.