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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guess I should be careful with that word "antique"... somebody might apply it to me, someday.

Anyways, I happen to shoot both BP and modern shotguns and have a surplus of the old overpowder, fiberwad and shotcovers. I talked with the owner of a large wad making plant and he said, "Yep, you can use them in your smokeless loads too". To make the story shorter, I searched for some data and it was pretty fun stuff... made me think about guys in the past who had no other choice but this stuff. Those old boys must have let the ducks come in pretty darned close.

:lol:

Can't get a tight enough seal to burn all my powder, but it was still fun!
 

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Not sure I could still lay hands on the loading data, but for me it was a real step up when Alcan brought out the molded plastic overpowder cups to use under the fiber wads. Killed a fair number of quail with shells loaded with those components. Still got a bit of that stuff about and use the over shot cards once in a while.

Feltan Blue-Streaks still rule (and would still work)!
 

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Improved Cylinder said:
... made me think about guys in the past who had no other choice but this stuff. Those old boys must have let the ducks come in pretty darned close.
Well Imp. Cyl., I'm one of the "old" guys who has shot most (95%) of his ducks, which is a bunch by the way, with the "antique" loads you describe........... Here's a few things I observed over the "time line" of a half century....

I have never had steel shot kill ducks stone dead with good reliability for several birds in a row on 50 to 60 yard shots; but the paper hulled, fiber wad, bare shot Super-X 4's from the fifties would do it......

Just before plastic took over both in hull and wadding Winchester/Western loaded a paper hull fiber wad load tagged "Mark 5" that included a plastic shot wrapper. My full choke duck guns patterned these as well as the modern plastic hulls with one piece wads..........

The moral of this story is the old shells would (will) kill ducks just as far as steel with less cripples....... Too bad we were forced to swallow this lead hype in the first place.......

Slidehammer
 

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The moral of this story is the old shells would (will) kill ducks just as far as steel with less cripples....... Too bad we were forced to swallow this lead hype in the first place.......
Some of us didn't :? ^o^
 

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Yes, some of us actually did load shells with cards and felt/fiber wads. Yes, it was a bit different. You needed very good hulls, more powder, pay special attention to the position of the overpowder card and pay special attention to the wad pressure, and the wad column height and then make a very good tight crimp. That is one reason you needed very good hulls. You needed good stiff tight crimps as well as hulls that hadn't swelled yet, yes, they did do that. About 2 or 3 shots max out of a paper hull if you were really serious about the performance. If all you were going to do is shoot Trap or Skeet or a few Quail up close, no big deal, but if you wanted thumpers, Good hulls, pay attention to all details of the process and they would do the job very nicely. My dad and I shot a ton of those old paper hull Super-X #4 and #4 mags at Duck in the old days. Very good shells! The Mark-5 shot wrapper was quite an innovation in it's day too!

BP
 

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SlidehammerI have never had steel shot kill ducks stone dead with good reliability for several birds in a row on 50 to 60 yard shots; but the paper hulled said:
You have to wonder how many thousands of ducks, and geese are crippled since the use of steel shot. I wonder if more would have died from ingesting lead shot...makes you wonder. :?

We used to load CIL Canuck paper and plastic hulls for years with the wad, and overshot cards, on an old progressive machine. Wish I could remember what machine that was, it worked flawlessly. Turned out some very fine handloads, that used to break targets as good as the factorys. I still have a bag of those old Canuck paper hulls. I wonder if they are collectible yet... :)
 

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Interesting! It my be hard for some to believe, but there is a retrun to some of the older loading with "cut wads" is specialized loads today.
First of all, let's realize that some of the so-called improvements in shotshells were done to make them work on the new factory high speed loaders. We have re-invented the roll crimp. It was told to the pyblic that the overshot wad was blowing patterns.......not so. In fact is was the heavy (cheap) wax cut wads (they were cheaper) tha felt and/or cork cut wads. There were two real improvements......Plastic overpowder wads (ex. Alcan PGS and Aie-Wedge) and the Mark 5 type shot protector. Francis Sell did some great work on High Density loads using cut wads. It is a fact that plastic wads (one -piece) are great for the volume reloader for clay birds.........but there are also specialized long range turkey loads being made with cut wads.
For the most part....recipes for one piece plastic wads can be used for cut wads with a plastic overshot wad, but the reverse is not true. This, combined with Teflon shot protectors (and buffer sometimes), are some great loads. It is not wise to use buffer in loads set up without buffer.
Ballistic Products carry excellent felt and cork wads, along with their great X12X over powder wads.
Sometimes it looks like we are re-inventing the wheel.....James
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate you guys posting some comments on the old wads. I like them just because they are fun to shoot, easy to load and if I'm not mistaken, do keep the PSI down some.

As for my unburnt powder, I suppose if I did some research I could find some data using faster powders like bullseye which would leave the bore cleaner. By the way, my favorite load are built around 1-7/8 oz of shot in a 3" 12 gauge... but not so much powder it's a pain to shoot. 1100 fps is plenty for what I'm doing with it.
 

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Gosh, I'd forgotten that the Alcan plastic over powder cups were "PGS's". Plastic Gas Seals? One advantage to the old fiber wads was that if a load was too tall for the case, out with a sharp pocket knife and cut 'em down. None of this having to have a mess of different wads around for different amounts of shot and so on.
 

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there's a group of us that still us the paper/fiber wads - in our black powder shells . don't use plastic wads because it will melt leaving a mess in the barrel . sure is fun to hear the next skeet shooter ***** about having to shoot through all the smoke . paul
 

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Interesting! Most people don't really understand the original use of the cut filler wads.......they were just that, filler wads. They were used to adjust the height of the crip index.
Now, contrary to what people think.....adding or subtracting filler wads have little change in pressure if the beest light felt or cork wads are used.
It is quite strange that peole report plastic fouling in blackpowder loads when using plastic overpowder wads, yet no reports of fouling with plastic sabot loads?????
We have found no plastic fouling in specialized blackpowder 12 gauge loads when using Ballistic Products X12X OP wads.....different plastic maybe?
We have found that early shotguns with Cutts (with chokes tighter than I.C.) do not like one piece plactic wads or shot protectors. However, if loaded with either copper plate or nickel shot, the patterns can be quite dense.
It is sad, but few realize how much fun it id to hunt with the old Boomers! Having tried all of the sub powders like Pyrodex, Triple 7, and the like.......we have settled on nothing but Black Mag 3 (by volume).
Best Regards, James
 

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If anyone at this site is interested in felt or cardboard wads,I recently bought 12 cases at an auction, when an old gun store went out of business. They are mostly Alcan. There are bluestreak felt wads in different thicknesses., overcards, and overpowder cards, in different thicknesses. There are also a lot of cards and wads that are marked, "especially made for loading brass shotshells." There are some Winchester cards, but someone has already bought all the Win. wads.
I have 20, 12, 16, 10, & 11 ga. The majority are 20 & 16 ga.
 

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valkyrierdr said:
There are also a lot of cards and wads that are marked, "especially made for loading brass shotshells." There are some Winchester cards, but someone has already bought all the Win. wads.
I have 20, 12, 16, 10, & 11 ga. The majority are 20 & 16 ga.
I am interested in the brass wads for 20 gauge. PM me.
 

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QUESTION: BULLSEYE POWDER IN LIGHT 20 GAUGE?

I've been loading some light "antique" 12 gauge shells with 17 grains of Bullseye under an ounce of #8 Shot. Nice patterns. I also loaded one shell with an ounce of steel BB's, just for the heck of it. My fixed, modified choke gave a very definite full pattern.

Here's my question. Has anyone seen Bullseye data for 20 gauge? I can't find any. It would be great if I could use Bullseye for 20 gauge, as I already load .38's, light .357 mags., 9MM, and 12 gauge with the same powder. Let me know if you can point me in the right direction.
 

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I never load bullseye in any thing but bird shot in pistols. It is one of if not the fastest powder available. I would never experiment with bullseye in a shotgun shell. When Bullseye powder reaches it maximum pressure it does strange things, like double its pressure. As little as one tength of a grain can cause pressure to skyrocket when at its maximum pressure level.
 

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rshow said:
. . . I would never experiment with bullseye in a shotgun shell . . .
Me too. That's why I use the data sent to me by the Alliant Powder Company for 12 gauge shells. I was just hoping to find some reliable data for 20 gauge too, because experimenting can lead to missing limbs, etc. I've given up on finding such data, so I'm using Herco for 20 gauge. It works great.
 

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Since this is an "antique" thread, the first powder I used in the late 50's was a "bulk" smokless powder. The reloading equipment came with a shot/powder dipper. The dipper was adjusted in drams equivalent. After loading all the hulls with powder, the dipper was adjusted for shot. I forget the name of the loading equipment but it was all hand held dies. This was slow going so it didn't take long before I bought an Acme loader which was the advent of the MEC 600.

For hunting, I loaded mostly all brass 20 ga hulls which used Rem 57 primers. I had a Herters shot/powder measurer which was adjustable using small washers for these loads.
 

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In the Precision Reloading book Blanks To Supersonics they have these loads listed as ECO loads for use in area's that require environmentally friendly Loads. Seems the old loads are new again.
 
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