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 Post subject: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 6
Hi, I'm probably sure there is million thread about this but I'm too lazy to start searching and I'm sure some of you will be happy to help me out.

I wanna reload my 1-1/8 lee slug I casted with the lee mold. they weight from 1.09 to 1.12 oz.

My powder (available at my stupid canadian cheap a$$ don't wanna sell gun stuff store) is 3 type:
Winchest WST super target
Hodgdon Longshot
Hodgdon Clays

hull type:
Winchester AA compression formed. (basewad incorporated in the plastic hull)
wad type: orange (western WT12), pink and grey winchester type. I bought all of the height available.
Primer: winchester 209.



I didn't find anything in my books that gives a recipe for what I have (for slug I mean)

My question: do you have a recipe for what I wanna reload?
is it OK to reload the bird shot recipe with the same amount of lead weight if my wad sit properly in the bottom of my hull?

thanks for the help!
Chris




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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 6
since an image worth a thousand word here is what I have
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:24 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:57 pm
Posts: 216
The usability of the wads is dependent upon powder type.

For example, the WT 12 wad is a WAA12 copy with cheaper materials. It is used with 49 grains Blue Dot, for example, with the Lee mould if you wish to substitute it for the WAA12 wad, but this might not be a good idea from the wad durability standpoint. This load is also painful to shoot at nearly 1700 fps.

Since load data is included with each mould, you already know this.

Why don't you load some of what they suggest? Data is included in every mould box. I should know, as I have two of them.

For this slug, weight is around 1 ounce in pure lead, and about 410-412 grains cast of wheelweights in my two moulds. Count me as rather surprised that you're getting nearly 1 1/8 ounces out of this mould.....that would be 480 to 485 grains. Very surprised. So much so that it seems unlikely, as 1.12 ounces is almost 1 1/8 ounces (1.125).

I use 16.5 grains Red Dot and either the WAASL or WAAL (pink and grey, one ounce and 7/8 ounce) wads respectively. This produces about 1150 fps and is much more pleasant to shoot. Of the two I favor the pink wad.

While the cheaper wads do fine with shot, I have more thrown wad petals and larger groups with Claybusters as opposed to the Winchester originals. For smoothbores a 20 gauge card to stiffen the wad, inserted below the slug, is a good idea.

You will also get more wad failure the hotter it gets. From a smoothbore groups are better than you can hold offhand and comparable to most unaccurized 1911's at 25 yards.....or a bit better. Two inches at 25 is not difficult to achieve, and that's with a bead front sight only.

Groups are 5-6 inches at fifty from a smoothbore and a wad that stays in one piece. You will have trouble getting anything that looks like an intentional group at much past 75 yards. A rifled barrel will do better, but also suffers from wad failure if the right kind is not selected.

I suppose it is possible to find a load for the mentioned powders that will fit, substituting 1 ounce data for shot, but you will have to find out for yourself in terms of load fit and crimp height. Also keep in mind that the pressures to some degree will be unknown, so stay on the lighter side. If heavier loads are wanted see the Lee data and use their powders. The 16.5 grain Red Dot load is bulkier than an equivalent charge of WST.

I have used 17 grains Clays with the WAASL and WAAL wad and would recommend that to you as a mildish practice load. It is equivalent in velocity to the "reduced recoil" slug loads sold at stores. You will like it. I prefer the WAASL pink wad. The WAAL will work about as well, though.

It is usually stated that slug substitution for shot is safe if both are equal weights, but you also much consider the distance the overpowder cup must travel before it hits the bottom of the slug (or shot charge) and encounters resistance to further expansion of the powder gasses and overall load movement.

If the wad is different than a wad used for an equivalent weight of shot, then pressures may be as well.

I've shot over 900 of these so far this year alone, through my 3 short pumpguns. Practice with slugs is fun, as long as you don't shoot many of the heavy loads. You won't want to load many of those. The lower velocity slugs do not damage the pepper poppers intended for pistols on my range, but the heavy slug loads will dent them, so shooter beware.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:57 pm
Posts: 216
BTW, the Lee slug is listed at 1 ounce. This is the first I've ever heard of a mould casting this heavy. You ought to check the weight again to be sure you didn't mis notch a poise on your reloading scale. 1 1/8 ounces seems wrong.

Slugs are much, much harder on wads than shot and it is instructive to pick up your wads and examine them. An intact wad is good. Wads missing petals are bad, and the groups will enlarge. If groups seem too large, the wads will likely tell the tale.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 6
Wow... thanks so much for this instructive reply. I checked with my powder scale and you were right, the average weight goes from 1.01 to 1.05 once. I guess my kitchen weight needs to be calibrated lol. sorry for that.


ReloaderJohn wrote:
Why don't you load some of what they suggest? Data is included in every mould box. I should know, as I have two of them.

1-I don't see the wst, clays or longshot powder in the lee mold instruction.


ReloaderJohn wrote:
I suppose it is possible to find a load for the mentioned powders that will fit, substituting 1 ounce data for shot, but you will have to find out for yourself in terms of load fit and crimp height.

2-Isn't the lee load all machine that have a standard crimp height and the difference goes with the wad you use, that it can hold different volume of lead.
If I find the right wad that gives a sufficient pressure on the powder and a stiff crimp I should be ok right?

ReloaderJohn wrote:
I have used 17 grains Clays with the WAASL and WAAL wad and would recommend that to you as a mildish practice load. It is equivalent in velocity to the "reduced recoil" slug loads sold at stores. You will like it. I prefer the WAASL pink wad. The WAAL will work about as well, though.


3-Thanks, that's the one I will load for Saturday since I don't have other confirm option with the 2 other powder.


ReloaderJohn wrote:
It is usually stated that slug substitution for shot is safe if both are equal weights, but you also much consider the distance the overpowder cup must travel before it hits the bottom of the slug (or shot charge) and encounters resistance to further expansion of the powder gasses and overall load movement.
What do you mean by overpowder cup and travel distance being different from 4-slug to shots? why would a slug gives more resistance since it has the same weight as the other type?

ReloaderJohn wrote:
The lower velocity slugs do not damage the pepper poppers intended for pistols on my range, but the heavy slug loads will dent them, so shooter beware.


5-Not sure to understand this last sentence, my primary language is French so if there is some kind of double sense here I'm lost lol.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:57 pm
Posts: 216
To address your questions:

"1-I don't see the wst, clays or longshot powder in the lee mold instruction."

To some degree, you are asking us to "guess" at the proper load levels for powders that are not listed. The listed data is pressure tested. What you are asking for is not. If you cannot find data for the more powerful loads using the powders you have, your options are simple to implement.....buy the listed powders and be safe rather than sorry. I am sure you can find some, even in France or Canada, if that is where you are from.

Buying the powder first (or figuring you can use what you have on hand) and then asking for data is an error. It should be done the other way around. Get tested data first, then buy the correct powders. You have the data now, so the next step to take is obvious.

"2-Isn't the lee load all machine that have a standard crimp height and the difference goes with the wad you use, that it can hold different volume of lead.
If I find the right wad that gives a sufficient pressure on the powder and a stiff crimp I should be ok right?"


The wad elevates the slug to the correct height so the crimp rests against the front of the slug. The crimp type doesn't have as much to do with it as long as it's a fold crimp and is otherwise correct. If the slug is too low, the crimp is dished in. If the slug is too high, it will not close fully. That's why the correct wad is important. Spacer wads (cards) underneath the slug may help to elevate it to the proper level.

If you find the crimp that is good while allowing the slug to fit, you're then correct. That's why the wad height differs. Also understand you are using a hollow base slug in place of shot. It doesn't fit the same, and depending upon the powder you use either a 7/8th, 1 ounce, or 1 1/8 ounce wad may work. It is not a one size fits all condition.

It is also important to use the correct hull as capacities and therefore crimp height and component fit differ. A different hull will give different pressure. The load I used with Clays that I mentioned is for a Winchester AA or equivalent tapered interior trapload case. The thick walls of the Remington STS hull make the wad fit tightly and it is harder to get a good "feel" for when the wad has bottomed out in the hull. The STS is a great quality shotshell but the Lee slug is a bit too tight for it when loaded in a shotcup. The cheap Winchester Universal hull actually loads well with slugs using the mentioned load of Clays, but case life is shorter. This has similar capacity to the AA for all practical purposes.

"What do you mean by overpowder cup and travel distance being different from 4-slug to shots? why would a slug gives more resistance since it has the same weight as the other type?"

Take a look at your picture of wads with slugs. Note how some wads have the slug closer to the bottom of the hull because they have a shorter crush section. This gives less room for the expansion of the powder gasses before they hit the resistance of the slug, which is when the real "push" starts. Less room for expansion of gasses means the pressure goes up because there is less airspace in the hull below the slug.

So don't assume that pressures are equal if wads are different when used with similar powder charges......especially when you ask others to "guess" at proper data for powders that have no pressure tested data available for them. Especially the heavier loads. Stick to tested, published data if you wish to go fast.

None of the powders you have are listed. Want to go 1700 fps? Buy some Blue Dot. Or find data for the Lee Slug in another reputable source that has pressure tested data. This may be hard to find, and you may be limited to the selection that you have now in the Lee informational booklet.

Pepper popper are steel reaction targets that fall when hit. Most are made of mild steel, are used primarily with relatively low velocity pistols, and full power slugs are hard on them.

The Lee slug is usually harder and more solid than most soft lead, hollow base slugs. At high speed it is hard on mild steel. Targets are expensive and most ranges don't want you denting them for no good purpose except stupidity.

The Clays load with one ounce Lee slugs will not hurt mild steel targets. Velocity is 550 fps lower than the 1700 fps Blue Dot load. This is why.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 6
here are a couple of wad I've been able to recover, the lasts pictures are the one with 2 buckshots at the bottom of the wad (total weight 1.34 once with 25.5 grains of Longshot).
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

I've also made a combo with 2 buckshot at the top but wasn't able to find the wad...


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:53 am
Posts: 330
Slugs are hard...
I've been trying to match the performance and accuracy of "Tru-ball" slugs and not very satisfied. I've tried many types of load combos with varied success. I have found for most slugs full lead or Sabots like a roll crimp best.
If you still have some time you need to get this booklet it helped me a LOT.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/529162/bpi-shotgun-slug-loading-and-field-application-shotshell-reloading-manual

By the way Welcome. {hs#

_________________
Nothing better than sky blasting


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks for the book, can someone tell me what do I need to check on the wad to make sure the load I did are secure?


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:47 pm 
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You picked a great time to post this topic, So lets get down to it.

The lee mold in current conditions, has some drawbacks. The skirt of the slug is on the thin side, and loves to collapse in the wad on the way down the bore. Also, the slug is not front end heavy, but all of that is fixable.

Out the gate, your gong to remove the center piece from the mold , then not only are you going to shorten the center piece, but thin it as well before reinstalling it back on the mold. Now when you go to mold slugs, they will be more nose heavy, with a thicker skirt as well.
Note: Got a mold incoming, and can post some photo's of the mods if needed, including making wad card cutters,a slug sizer, and a roll crimper just for the slugs.

Next on the loads, Win case is fine, powder of choice is Unique at 32grs, which will get the load moving around 1400fps (any faster and you are back at square one with the slug skirt collapsing in the wad cup on the way down the bore.

On the wad, you are going to use 20 gauge fiber cards on the base of the wad cup to get the slug to height, going to use one shot lube inside the wad cup so the wad releases from the slug cleanly on exit, and the wad pedestals, once you figure out the needed height of the slug in the wad via 20 gauge cards, going to cut the top of the pedestals so they are flush with the straight wall section of the slug (again, a clean release thing).

Now with a rifled barrel, you are looking at around 3 to 4" groups at 100yards.

If you need to go tighter grouping than this, then your going to ditch the wad (can cut it up to use parts of it), starting with an over powder cup, 12 gauge fiber wads to get the needed slug height in the hull for crimp, the wad cup with a 20 gauge fiber cup in the base of the cup with the wad slug on top (don't forget the one shot lube in the wad cup so the slug releases cleanly from it on the way out, and to cut the top of the pedestals so they are flush with the top of the straight section on the slug). Here, what you are doing is removing the spring/compression section of the wad so as the wad leaves the barrel, less effect of the wad on the slug, hence creating a true sabot load,while will drop you down about another inch.


Also to point out, if you are not getting an ideal standard fold crimp, then switch over to roll crimping with the hull trimmed. There has to be an hard crimp force for the load to overcome, or your speeds are going to be all over the map increasing the group size.

As for taking it to the next step, then we get into a slug sizer, and some slug unifying weight work as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:57 pm
Posts: 216
He can modify the mould later if he wishes, but first advice to a newbie is to use what you have, then modify later if satisfactory results are still elusive. I've recovered a number of slugs in loads from mild to wild from wet phone books and newspapers and have yet to find any with collapsed skirts at velocities from 1100 to 1720 fps. The Lee's drive key reinforce prevents it, likely as they intended. Have you any with skirt damage that is obviously from this cause and not from impact, please post pictures.

The wad is a different issue. I can certainly agree that a stiffer wad column could help.

My advice is to leave the mould alone for now and concentrate on loads that keep the wad intact or try a different wad column. One variable at a time. The pictured wads above indicate he is doing well so far. Once accuracy results are relayed, if any deficit occurs then maybe it's time to modify.........on a second mould. Just in case you screw things up.

The flared section of the wad that opens up to release the shot or slug are called "petals" rather than "pedestals." FWIW.


Last edited by ReloaderJohn on Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:57 pm
Posts: 216
Eco, if all your wads look like those above, with no missing petals, you are doing well so far. Now tell us how they shoot, and what gun you're shooting them from.

I don't see any rifling marks (I think) so if these are indeed from a smoothbore, then you've done all you can do with the load and these wads. You won't be getting 2 to 3 inch accuracy at 100 yards no matter what you do if your gun is smoothbored. You won't get that at fifty either, but you won't be much bigger than that with a good load and conventional wads, which is plenty "good enough" for most purposes having to do with short range hunting and practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks all for the reply, I'm very grateful for the time you putted in this thread. I'm mostly gonna use these slugs into a smooth barrel to make a bang and not to get a tight grouping.

Here is my toy : it's a grizzly from dominion arms.

Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading 12 gauge slug
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:57 pm
Posts: 216
You'll find the accuracy with the Lee slug in a smoothbore barrel is usable out to 50-60 yards, as in minute of head. At 25 yards it's not hard to obtain groups that seriously challenge or beat your average off the shelf autoloading centerfire pistol.

I shoot an awful lot of these loaded over 16.5 Red Dot for 1150 fps or so, and feel these would be adequate for self defense use if desired. Recoil is a lot less than the 1600-1700 fps loads and impact is still quite good. Accuracy is not quite as good as the factory Foster type hollowbase slugs in a smoothbore gun, but it's good enough and they are a lot cheaper than factory loads. If you figure three cents each for the slug and primer, and two or three cents for the wad, we're up to nine cents. Figuring in the gas I use to get free shells out of the local target range dumpster and I get around 12 cents a shot. Sixty cents for five rounds is a lot better than four bucks.

For defense against large beasts these are a lot better than a hollowbase Foster slug due to being able to cast the slugs and harden them to 27-30 BHN,. The drive key stiffens up the slug and prevents its turning inside out on impact as the soft hollowbase Foster slugs do. These out penetrate Foster slugs by a notable margin.




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