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 Post subject: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:54 pm
Posts: 6
Hi Everyone,

New to the forum here. I hunt a good bit with my Rem 870 slug gun in OH, PA, and MD, and ammo shortages this year have pushed me to get serious about handloading slugs. I'm tired of having to test a bunch of slugs in my gun every few years because an ammo company either discontinues a load or doesn't make any for months and you just can't find em (looking at you, Federal, Remington). Add to that that I like to shoot copper bullets for anything I am going to eat, and the constant search for slugs gets both frustrating and pricey.

I am a very experienced hand loader for rifle and pistol cartridges, but I do not know a whole lot about shotshell reloading. One big rule I know is that you should not interchange components as freely as can be done with metallic reloading. However, I'm sure people develop their own load recipes all of the time. Can you all recommend some resources for understanding shotshell reloading so I can safely develop my own slug loads? There doesn't seem to be much specifically for slugs out there. If starting with your own list of components, can you work up a load slowly like you do with rifle rounds? How do you look for pressure signs with shot shells?

For my own slugs, I am looking to develop a load with easily found components so I can have a consistent slug load no matter what is happening with the ammo market. I'd like to load the 54 cal Barnes Expander (50 cal bullet, 325 grains). I've bought the RSS-12 blue sabots from BPI along with the recommended gas seals and wads that are used in the load data from BPI for that sabot. I also have CCI 209 primers and a bunch of Federal Trophy copper once fired hulls (and various others). Since powder is hard to find right now, I only have HS-6, but i think i might be able to get international clays and tightwad as well. Any help with a load recipe for that bullet?




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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:43 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 649
Have You checked the 325 Barnes fit in the Sabot? Some bullets were too long to seat and bulged the Hull.
I don't have one in my hand, but remember sizing a few bullet in Sabot combos.
BPI molded in a lip to keep the bullet seated, and it limits the shank length of the bullet that can be used.
Why mess with copper? A proper Lead solid would not make a difference, and would allow You to cast your own. It would greatly reduce the cost, and availability of components.
Sabots are costly, and Copper bullets are $1 each. I use machined Brass bullets, in a Sabot.
They fragment, and work well. What is your maximum intended range?

Greg
AKA 12 Bore


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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:54 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks for the advice Greg. I have not checked the fit yet as I do not yet have the sabots. They're on the way. I like using copper bullets for hunting, or just non-lead for that matter. My goal here really is to learn how to develop a good slug load for hunting, not necessarily to load the specific combo I list. That's just what I'm starting with in my experiments.


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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:29 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:40 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Sheridan, Il
I just went through this process a couple months ago and I am tickled with the results I got. More accurate than the factory sabots I was using and lighter recoil to boot. I had quite a bit of guidence from another list member and he steered me in the right direction quicker than I would have gotten there myself. I do have a ton of metallic cartridge experience so this transition wasn't too bad so I don’t think you’ll have much trouble. I know you ordered some sabots already but I highly recommend CCS. Contact Emma Young at CCS and she can set you up with the sabots and wads and will give you data to load with. I chose Hornady XTP which are .452 but they have data for the Barnes bullet so I’m sure you can use those. I used the recommended load right off and stayed with that but you can tweak it a bit if you like to experiment. She will recommend that you should use a reloading press but the only thing I used that for was seating the bullet. I used brand new primed Cheddite hulls so I did not need to resize anything but if you are reloading some you will want to resize with a press. Just make sure they are straight wall type. Only other tool you'll need is a roll crimp. I used one on my drill press but you can use it in a hand drill or use one of the hand crank types. I used Blue Dot powder but there are a couple others that work too.

Here is Emma's email. [email protected]

Good luck.
John


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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 649
CCS is an excellent Sabot. I have used their Sabots/ammo from 1994-2010.
It is the most accurate ammo commonly out there.

Chris Young is the inventor of the CCS Sabot, which draws the bullet in for retention.
He used to be a Gunsmith and rifled 12 Ga barrels.
He has done plenty of work for Me, and my Ithaca was the first 1" Bull barrel that was made before it became a Trend.

My recommendation for a 12 ga load is the CCS 50 Sabot and the Barnes 325 Expander.
It will shoot accurately and expand down to 800 FPS.
My longest Shot was 212 Laser measured Yards, and I still have the expanded Bullet.
It was one that I loaded, and was only going 1580 FPS at the Muzzle.

How Far are You shooting?

Greg
AKA 12 Bore


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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:54 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks for the info guys. I've heard of CCS but I thought they were out of business. They don't even seem to have a web page. Are they really still making sabots cause that would be awesome.

Greg, we do a lot of drives so most shots are well over 100 yards. If I'm stand hunting, my shotgun has a Burris fast fire 3 on it right now, so probably no longer than 100-150 yards. If I had a scope on it, probably 200 yards max if my loads are sufficiently accurate.


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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:54 pm
Posts: 6
BE Chuter wrote:
I just went through this process a couple months ago and I am tickled with the results I got. More accurate than the factory sabots I was using and lighter recoil to boot. I had quite a bit of guidence from another list member and he steered me in the right direction quicker than I would have gotten there myself. I do have a ton of metallic cartridge experience so this transition wasn't too bad so I don’t think you’ll have much trouble. I know you ordered some sabots already but I highly recommend CCS. Contact Emma Young at CCS and she can set you up with the sabots and wads and will give you data to load with. I chose Hornady XTP which are .452 but they have data for the Barnes bullet so I’m sure you can use those. I used the recommended load right off and stayed with that but you can tweak it a bit if you like to experiment. She will recommend that you should use a reloading press but the only thing I used that for was seating the bullet. I used brand new primed Cheddite hulls so I did not need to resize anything but if you are reloading some you will want to resize with a press. Just make sure they are straight wall type. Only other tool you'll need is a roll crimp. I used one on my drill press but you can use it in a hand drill or use one of the hand crank types. I used Blue Dot powder but there are a couple others that work too.

Here is Emma's email. [email protected]

Good luck.
John


The whole straight wall thing is something that is new to me. What is a straight walled hull, and opposed to what else? How can I determine if my shells are straight wall? Also what needs resized? The brass on the shell?


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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:01 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:40 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Sheridan, Il
The whole straight wall thing is something that is new to me. What is a straight walled hull, and opposed to what else? How can I determine if my shells are straight wall? Also what needs resized? The brass on the shell?[/quote]


I am new to shotshells so I will give you the knowledge I have read but I’ll be honest with you that I’m not a 100% sure how you can tell. A traditional birdshot shell is rounded on the inside down at the base. A straight wall case is parallel all the way down. I don’t know why slugs need straight wall hulls but everything I have read points to that. If the cases you are going to use were originally slugs then they are likely straightwall.
Yes it is the brass that gets resized. From my overall reading on reloading, if you are going to reuse a hand load in the same gun it was shot out of, you probably do not have to resize it. Resizing gets it to factory specs so it will function in any gun. Therefore it might shoot fine out of your gun if your gun was the one that fired it originally. If it were me I would want it sized back down for piece of mind. You will also need a press to prime the case and seat the bullet. You can do all of these steps with different tools but a press is the best way to go.
In my case I bought 100 cheddite brand shells that were already primed. Doing that dispensed with the need to size and prime. You can seat the bullet by using an arbor press or really anything if you use your imagination. I found the key to that was to be consistent for each one. That will give you the best accuracy. Fwiw, I will probably never reload these cases. They get pretty mangled when they’re fired and the 100 I bought should last me years.

Let us know if you have any other question.
John


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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:54 pm
Posts: 6
greg5278 wrote:
CCS is an excellent Sabot. I have used their Sabots/ammo from 1994-2010.
It is the most accurate ammo commonly out there.

Chris Young is the inventor of the CCS Sabot, which draws the bullet in for retention.
He used to be a Gunsmith and rifled 12 Ga barrels.
He has done plenty of work for Me, and my Ithaca was the first 1" Bull barrel that was made before it became a Trend.

My recommendation for a 12 ga load is the CCS 50 Sabot and the Barnes 325 Expander.
It will shoot accurately and expand down to 800 FPS.
My longest Shot was 212 Laser measured Yards, and I still have the expanded Bullet.
It was one that I loaded, and was only going 1580 FPS at the Muzzle.

How Far are You shooting?

Greg
AKA 12 Bore



What was your powder charge on this one Greg? And also in my reply to your range questions, i meant drive shots were well UNDER 100 yards


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 Post subject: Re: Good references for developing your own slug load
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 649
I would have to look up the exact Load, if I can find it. Chris didn't load it after anymore after pressure testing. It used Alliant Unique, He later updated it to Blue Dot.
Alliant Steel is used in the CCS High speed Loads, which are not fun to shoot and have alot of Muzzle Flash.

If You are under 100 Yards, cast Lead works just fine. I have a 770 Grain Truncated Cone slug which does not expand or fragment. It was tested in a Tarhunt and was shooting 1" groups with a LE shooter. I did take a Deer at 70-80 Yards with it, and it just puts a big hole through it, with nothing to recover or Bloodshot Tissue.

You should be able to Cast and Load a similar Slug for a under $1 per round.
Try looking up some of my old posts for Slug testing. There was alot of good info, but most of Us old hands have not been the Forum in Years.

Greg
AKA 12 Bore




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