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Old 01-10-2011, 02:23 AM
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Default .44 balls as buckshot?



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I have a bunch of .44 cal round balls left over from a black powder pistol I used to own. I was thinking of buying some of those cheap low brass shells from walmart, dumping out the bird shot and reloading them with .44 round balls. It would be cheaper than buying buckshot.

Anyone know what .44 balls weigh or how many I could safely load in to a cheap "dove load" shell?
Old 01-10-2011, 04:11 AM
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There are approx 437 grains in an ounce of birdshot....your .44's are 140gr....so you can load three of your .44's and get 420grs and then fill the rest of the volume with filler of some sort. I use Cream of Wheat. You might have to jerk the wad/shot cup, too, and trim the petals off the cup to get enough room.

rich
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:20 AM
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Only three....Hmmm...... I wonder if it would be worth doing. If they grouped tight maybe.

Does anyone have any experience loading a mix of shot sizes? I've used turkey loads with #2 and #4 shot in them but they never seemed to group well in my gun,even with different chokes.

Anyone have an idea of what size shot might pair well with a couple .44 balls?
Old 01-10-2011, 09:54 AM
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Assuming that you are talking about a 12 gauge - yes I have done similar experiments. Deadly effective at close range. Maybe perfect as a self defense round, but pretty useless for hunting beyond 25 yards or so.

You can safely add a few more 44 pellets.

Here are my results with a similar experiment with 12 gauge shells:

I became intrigued by a duplex load I saw advertised in the Sportsman’s guide. The Sportsman’s guide “home defense” load is a 69 caliber ball with six OO buckshot pellets. It is designed to send the slug through the center of an intruder and give the insurance of the extra six 32 caliber pellets spreading in a pattern around it. I assume this is intended to make up for poor marksmanship or perhaps to make sure that the stairway is clear of multiple invaders. In the colonial days of the 18th century our forefathers would load a similar “buck and ball” load in their flintlocks to carry into battle. They sometimes knocked down multiple enemies despite the smoothbore musket’s notorious inaccuracy. As I said, I was intrigued so naturally not having either buckshot or 69 caliber round balls was not a problem.

I loaded a few experimental duplex loads with what I did have on hand. I placed a 45 caliber round ball in my shot scoop before I filled it with #8 shot. This displaced some of the shot with the round ball rather than adding the round ball to a full load of shot. I then loaded the shells as if they had the standard load of bird shot. It occurs to me that this load would allow me to forage for any game I am likely to encounter as well as be suitable for self defense / home defense.

These duplex buck and ball loads have the same perceived recoil of the standard loads of #8 bird shot.

My targets were standard sized 8x12 paper with a photo-copy of the NRA 100 yard target. At 25 yards the first shell patterned well on my 8 x 12 inch target with the round ball striking the paper perhaps an inch low and right between the 8 and 9 ring. My next shot at 30 yards patterned well with the birdshot but the round ball struck ~7 inches low of center (just off the bottom of the paper). 3 rd shot at 25 yards was nearly identical to the first. 4th shot at 30 yards patterned well with the small shot and the round ball struck the target about 3 inches right and an inch low.

The end result of my very small initial sample was that at 25 yards any small game up to a headshot turkey would be dropped by the birdshot. In addition, 4 of 4 round balls would have struck either a deer sized target in a vital area if point of aim was double lung, the same is true if the loads had been used for self defense and the point of aim the center of mass.

Encouraged by my initial results with the duplex loads in the 12, I acquired a couple dozen 69 caliber round balls yesterday.

I fired 6 of them last night. They weigh out at 425 grains (just under an ounce). With identical powder charge and plastic wads they have more pressure than bird shot of the same weight (no air spaces?). Perceived recoil is higher, I had 3 of 6 sticky extractions and I had one primer start to back out. Beyond that the accuracy was not what I had hoped it would be. At 25 yards I only put 2 on a paper plate (almost touching!) but the remaining 4 struck in a vertical string 6 - 18 inches low. So the big round balls get reserved for the flintlock.

I switched back to the .445 round balls over birdshot and the three of these that I tested before darkness made me quit put all 3 round balls and lots of small pellets on paper at the same 25 yards. I am loving this load. But now I am beginning to run short of the 45 cal round balls....
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:37 AM
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I never thought of that... a single round that could take down either large or small game. I used to hunt with a 12 ga coach gun loaded with a round of #6 in one tube and 00 buck in the other to get the same effect.

Maybe 1 or 2 .44's and some birdshot as a foraging round or 1 or 2 .44's with some #3 buck(.25 cal) as a man stopper.

BTW I shoot 12 ga.
Old 01-10-2011, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
You can safely add a few more 44 pellets.
No, actually. You can't! Three is the max you can safely load into Walmart bulk target 1oz ammo and not risk a blowup. Adding even ONE more pellet, you'd have to move up to a 1 1/2oz heavy field shell to remain safe.

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I fired 6 of them last night. They weigh out at 425 grains (just under an ounce). With identical powder charge and plastic wads they have more pressure than bird shot of the same weight (no air spaces?). Perceived recoil is higher, I had 3 of 6 sticky extractions and I had one primer start to back out.
Ummm, .69 round balls are 480gr, not 425. You loading those into a 1oz target shell is WAY over safe! That's why you had the overpressure probs with the primers and extracting. You're lucky the gun didn't blow its breech in your face. If you want to keep loading those .69's and keep coming home each night alive, you need to be using at least a 1 1/8oz shell. That will be under the safe pressure and even up your velocity a bit.

rich
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Doo View Post
I have a bunch of .44 cal round balls left over from a black powder pistol I used to own. I was thinking of buying some of those cheap low brass shells from walmart, dumping out the bird shot and reloading them with .44 round balls. It would be cheaper than buying buckshot.

Anyone know what .44 balls weigh or how many I could safely load in to a cheap "dove load" shell?
If it is was me, I would forgo this route. Use the balls for trading. Note that one could run the ball through a sizing die for .44 sp and .44 mags for reloading squibs. I believe the Speer or Lyman reloading books address using round balls for very light loads.

Good Luck - Fred
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by randkl View Post
No, actually. You can't! Three is the max you can safely load into Walmart bulk target 1oz ammo and not risk a blowup. Adding even ONE more pellet, you'd have to move up to a 1 1/2oz heavy field shell to remain safe.

Ummm, .69 round balls are 480gr, not 425. You loading those into a 1oz target shell is WAY over safe! That's why you had the overpressure probs with the primers and extracting. You're lucky the gun didn't blow its breech in your face. If you want to keep loading those .69's and keep coming home each night alive, you need to be using at least a 1 1/8oz shell. That will be under the safe pressure and even up your velocity a bit.

rich
Rich - I appreciate your words of caution but we disagree on this. Factory loaded target loads are way under loaded. That is why you have to lead the bird instead of aiming at it like you would with a proper hunting load.

As for the 69 caliber round ball weight, I trust my scale more than your typing. One possible explanation is that the actual weight of the round ball varies with the content of the "lead" - a 69 caliber round ball cast from wheel weight lead will have a different weight than a 69 caliber round ball cast from melted lead pipe.

There is no need to debate this further here for fear of someone less knowledgeable getting the wrong idea. So I'll just stop with the advice that in all things reloading you should consult your safety manuals, double check your calculations, and never trust anything that you read on the internet unless you verify the info with a trusted source independently.

Mike
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shootandfish1 View Post
If it is was me, I would forgo this route. Use the balls for trading. Note that one could run the ball through a sizing die for .44 sp and .44 mags for reloading squibs. I believe the Speer or Lyman reloading books address using round balls for very light loads.

Good Luck - Fred
Could try to trade or sell, or melt and cast the lead in to something more useful.

I was just thinking that those cheapie low power shells might be a lot more cost effective route than buying reduced recoil tactical buckshot. As of yet I have no reloading experience so I thought I might ask first.
Old 01-11-2011, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groovy Mike View Post
Rich - I appreciate your words of caution but we disagree on this. Factory loaded target loads are way under loaded. That is why you have to lead the bird instead of aiming at it like you would with a proper hunting load.

As for the 69 caliber round ball weight, I trust my scale more than your typing. One possible explanation is that the actual weight of the round ball varies with the content of the "lead" - a .69 caliber round ball cast from wheel weight lead will have a different weight than a 69 caliber round ball cast from melted lead pipe.

There is no need to debate this further here for fear of someone less knowledgeable getting the wrong idea. So I'll just stop with the advice that in all things reloading you should consult your safety manuals, double check your calculations, and never trust anything that you read on the internet unless you verify the info with a trusted source independently.

Mike
1. Mike, you have to lead with any load. The difference between target and hunting loads in usually only a few fps. Any shot at a moving target requires lead. It is simple physics.

Your definition of way underloaded is the factory balancing the powder charge with shot volume for the mildest recoil level in target loads at a standard 1100-1200 fps velocity. I know people that go to the trap range Friday and Saturday nights and shoot 1000 rounds. Their shoulders really appriciate this consideration.

2. The difference in weight between wheel weight and pure lead is only one or two grains in a .69 round ball.

3. As far as stopping now, too late to call this one off. You have given some bad/dangerous advice and it needs correction.

Consulting reloading data? What powder is in those target loads? Do you have any idea? What manual do you have that lists the safety margins for "unspecified powder"?

You are getting serious preasure spikes if you are actually doing what you say. Sticky extraction and backing out primers is serious business.

You can replace shot with the same weight of other shot, but the loads need to be equil. I have seen some very primitive reload processes succeed but they depended on equil volumes, known components and backing off it there was a doubt.
Old 01-12-2011, 10:24 AM
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1. Mike, you have to lead with any load. The difference between target and hunting loads in usually only a few fps. Any shot at a moving target requires lead. It is simple physics.
You are simply wrong. Go shoot a few shells with differing velocities and you will see it for yourself. But I'm done with this thread. If anyone wishes to discuss the topics here-in with me further - email me or PM.

Old 01-13-2011, 12:00 AM
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This would be about the same thing as pulling a 115 grain bullet from a factory loaded 9mm and replacing it with a 147 grain bullet....... not a good idea. If your going to do something like this always make sure you either match the weight of the shot or get it a little bit under
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:15 PM
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we have put 3 10mm lead slugs into a 3 inch 410 and it shoots ok .20 yds or so is as far as we tryed it.no problems with extraction or primers
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:24 PM
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DO NOT USE 44 Balls for buckshot.

A shotgun barrel is about .750" Two .44 cal balls can wedge together and cause a serious overpressure situation. Even without any choke constriction. You could blow up a barrel.

Ever wonder why you don't find 00 buckshot for a 20 gauge. The above answer is why.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:21 AM
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Ever wonder why you don't find 00 buckshot for a 20 gauge. The above answer is why.
No one bother him, he's still asleep. The little feller had a late night last night.



rich
Old 01-19-2011, 02:31 PM
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Be very careful wildcatting like that.
Do not Use cheapo walmart shells either. They don't give nearly enough safety margin.
I do believe that buck and ball is best left to big bore blackpowder muzzle loaders. Much bigger safety margin because of Blackpowders pressure curve.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:02 PM
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They don't give nearly enough safety margin.
what safety margin might you be referring to?

r
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:50 PM
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what safety margin might you be referring to?

r
Those shells with 1/4 of an inch of thin as paper metal can't hold the same pressure as the ones with almost an inch of metal base of thicker metal.
Use the heavier shells with the same load as the cheapo ones, and slowly work up. look for the same signs of overpressure that you would look for on a rifle cartridge case. Unusual bulge, deformed metal, crack, primer bulge/unseating, anything "funny"

When you are working out a new load of powder/primer/shot use the best quality shells. and then slowly work down from there. It is just not worth the extra 20 bucks to not be as safe as possible.

Some weapons are just possessed as well. My Uncle has a .270 that shoots factory loads all day long with no hickup. He reloads just a primer and a bullet and it splits the case Ok, so I am slightly exaggerating there, but it does split cases that should be 50% lower pressure than the factory load, following the same pressure curve. It is just haunted.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:25 PM
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Ahhhh.

Anyone else care to reply to this one? My dinner's waiting.

r
Old 01-19-2011, 07:54 PM
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Back.

Metal on shotgun shells makes no diff as to height. It used to be important on blackpowder paper hulls since you needed a higher metal base to prevent powder burn-through, but it makes no diff today on smokeless powder hulls. All hulls are basically the same when it comes to metal base. The manufacturers themselves will tell you that "low brass" and "high brass" are for marketing and nothing more. There is no different "strength" hull. Sammi 12ga ammo will usually run in the 9.5-12kpsi load range and reloads, in all types of hulls will be identical. There have even been hulls marketed with no metal base at all. Win AA hulls and Remington greens etc are only preferred for their longevity, not their "strength". Remington blacks, as low on the price scale as you can go, will reload just as many times as a Win AA hull will and uses the exact same pressure loads.

And on the topic of lead balls before....your gun doesn't know if it's shot or a slug in the hull. If it weighs the same and fires at the same velocity, it fires the same and it feels the same. Simple physics. If you're getting harder recoil, you either upped the powder load or you upped the lead. If you're getting swollen hulls that won't eject and primers backing out, you've *really* upped the powder or lead to a seriously unsafe condition.

As to 00 buck in a 20 gauge....there have been and still are. Usually found in specialty loads today, though. The prob with 00 buck in a 20 is it won't stack properly and if it won't stack, you can't get a pattern from it. When it's odd-stacked, how and where it shoots depends on how you stick the shell into the chamber and that's not possible to judge. A badly stacked shell is like an FMJ bullet with one half of the jacket empty of lead....it can't be aimed. Also, a Brenneke solid slug is, for all intents and purposes in this discussion, lead balls that have become wedged into one solid form going through the barrel. Your barrel can swage two balls just as easily as it does a Brenneke slug.

Going to delete the rest. More of my long-windedness.

rich
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