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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:37 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 4802
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Wow, I just saw the date this thread was started! I seem to overlook obvious stuff. I keep telling my wife it is my left handed brain. I often see things most people can't see but overlook the obvious! I can't think of a case where knowledge is not good & yes, safety is paramount but the best safety device, as stated above, is between your ears! There are a number of sources & books for reloading black powder shotgun shells. Black powder can at least, sometimes, melt plastic. The MagTec brass hulls are a good idea. I shoot a BP sxs muzzleloader. My neighbor came over one day that I was shooting squirrels with it & asked,
"What the h--- were you shooting". (I live in the country & have no close neighbors) Yes, a BP shotgun will get your attention! The closest I have come to loading a BP shotgun shell was using "Trail Boss" which is sort of a BP substitute & also a few shells with Pyrodex. Hodgdon says don't use TB it in shotgun shells so do it at your own risk. The pressures are low but you can't compress TB. If you break the coating on the powder grains, it can cause high pressure but people do use it in shotgun shells. Anyway, loading a BP shotgun shell is not unlike loading a BP muzzle loader.




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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:43 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2194
Location: Attica, Mi
Here we go - I'm gonna catch all he!!. There's nothing wrong with asking questions about loading BP . You could vary the load by 40 grains and not hurt anything - try doing that with nitro powders. With BP you just make sure the load is tight against the powder. I've been doing it for about 50 years. I load BP shotgun shells for 15 years on a Mec Jr. A 46 bushing will give you 70grs of powder, one cut in half about 80grs, and not using one with the inspection hole in the bar plugged about a 100grain charge. I've used them all with 1oz of shot for a 12ga. There's nothing in that press that's gonna set off BP. Yes BP will melt plastic wads, not shells. Fiber wads have worked for over a hundred years - keep using them with smoke. A friend once shot a 100 shells of BP and plastic wads at a event and it took him a couple of hours to get the melted plastic out of his barrels. Do it at your own risk. Same for Pyrodex, it'll melt plastic wads. I hate to say it, but I can see some of you haven't loaded, or have very limited experience in loading BP shotgun shells or you wouldn't be making the comments you do. A good starting point is a equal amount of BP to shot by volume. The old dippers [ and new ones from BPI or Precision Reloading for a couple of bucks ] will help you with that. A hard .130 card [ overpower card ], a soft cushion wad to what ever height is necessary for a good crimp, and a thin .028 over shot card. It's not rocket sience. Hand tools can be used. You have any problems, email me at [email protected].

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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:43 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 4802
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Bladesmith, You can ask or answer all the questions you want as far as I'm concerned. The old volume of shot with the same volume of BP, ie, use your 1 oz. (or whatever) shot measure full of shot & the same measure full of BP, has been working since the first BP shotguns were made. I have loaded a few plastic wads in my sxs muzzle loader & have never noticed any of them melting but I have no doubt that some will melt. Some types of plastic melt easier than others!


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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:42 pm
Posts: 1883
Location: The U.P.'s U.P.
Ross Seyfried has written recently on loading black powder in shotshells. He managed to talk Hodgdon into testing loads in the Hodgdon pressure lab using Olde Eynsford black powder. They also tested some smokeless powder loads that produced pressures similar to black powder loads.

The full article titled "Black Powder for Shotshells" can be found on pages 36-41 in the Hodgdon Reloading Annual Manual for 2019.

An abbreviated version of the write-up appeared in Shooting Times magazine. Here's a link to the article. The on-line version of the article includes links to pretty extensive tables of recipes for 12- and 16-gauges: Blackpowder Shotshell Loading

An interesting quote from Seyfried: " It is easier and quicker to clean barrels fired with black powder than with nitro powder." He describes his method, which does work.

--Bob


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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:05 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 6:25 pm
Posts: 2638
Location: On the wrong side of the river, Austin TX
I'll attest to the fact that black powder melts holes in plastic hulls, usually on the second or third loading but sometimes even on the first. I never use plastic wads simply because the rules of black powder trap specify traditional wadding. In my muzzle loader, the wadding is simply two nitro cards between the shot and powder.

Also, black powder fouling practically rinses away with water.

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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:20 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2194
Location: Attica, Mi
When I shot muzzle loading trap I'd have a wooden carrier I made up that held a coffee can of shot, a container of powder and measure, a spot for OP wads, one for OS wads, and another coffee can with water and soft cushion wads. The wet wads would clean the barrels between shots. A fellow at one of my SxS shoots was shooting a muzzle loader and was using the same type of carrier. He would shoot first , reload, shoot again, reload, and shoot last. That way he wasn't holding anyone up. Now I cheat and just shoot BP shotgun shells.

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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:00 am 
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There was a 3 page discussion on this subject on May 1, 2019 with a lot of good info.


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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:49 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 4802
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
In regard to the article posted by Pitted Bore on "Blackpowder Shotshell Loading". Thank you very much. I shoot crows a lot with a steel barreled 10 ga. LC Smith. I can't remember the powder (probably Unique) & the load is 1 1/4 oz. with the sp 10 wad. It is devastating on crows but of course I have busted many crows with 7/8 oz. 6's in a 20 ga. but the 10 is more fun & kills a lot farther! Tom Armbrust tested at least one 10 ga. BP load & you are probably aware of the work he did for Sherman Bell. He also tested Trailboss & got good velocity & low pressure but Hodgdon says not to use it in shotguns. I think it is because compression breaks the powder granules which can cause high pressure but I don't know for sure. I have Longshot & have used it in a lot of 12 & 10 ga. loads but I will definitely try the load in the article. Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: black powder shotgun shells
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:46 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2194
Location: Attica, Mi
If you're going to shoot BP in events like trap or 5-stand where the shooting can get quick between shots you'll need some kind of glove for the hand on the forearm. At least SxSs with a splinter forearm, and just about all came that way. I can remember shooting a 5-stand event and my barrels got so hot I had lots of trouble reloading the gun. A friend retrieved a glove from my shooting bag. Two of my Remington 1894 F grade trap guns have beavertail forearms, but those were put on by previous owners. Remington never made a shotgun with the beavertail forearm. I have to admit they sure come in handy.



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