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Old 08-28-2012, 08:14 AM
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Default shooting black powder cartridge shotguns

Okay, here we go with the cartridge guns!
There are four basic types of shell type these days, all brass, paper, and plastic cases .


I will start off by stating that you do not want to shoot plastic wads and back powder without using a card wad over the powder, and even then ypou are going to run into trouble with pllastic build up.

i use either paper shells or all brass, the brass being my main choice.
In the brass, there are also two main ones available, .
The first is a drawn case made by Mag tec, and these are the most prolific in Canada.
NOTE: Because the case walls are thinner than a plastic case, the wads used in these cases are actually a larger guage, so a 12 bore case would actually use 11 or even 10 gauge wads.
These cases also use pistol primers.

The second is a case that is machined by Rocky Moutain cartridge company, and uses the standard 209 primer and gauge specific wads.
I have never used them however, so will concentrate on the Mag tec and paper cases.
Cat
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:24 AM
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Loading the brass cases is a pretty easy thing, all you need are a small punch and hammer to knock out the primer, a short piece of dowel and a loonie to seat the new primer and wads, and some Elmer's glue or other glue to keep the over shot wad in place- more on this later.
I hold the fired case in my left hand and put the punch into the flash hole, and tap out the spent primer.
I then put the loonie on a table , place the new primer on it, and center the case on top od=f it, tapping it in wit the dowl and hammer.

NOTE ON SEATING PRIMERS!:
It is quite easy to put the case on top of the primer and feel it center on there, but a quick spin in the flash hole wit a rifle case deburring tool adds just a little bt more chmfer to it!
cat
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:38 AM
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So, after we seat the primer (this can be done on a single stage press as well , as long as you have a quarter or loonie on the die base), it's time to put in the powder.
On a 12 bore gun, most fellas load between 80 and 90 grains of FFG or FG and an equal amount of shot.
The difference betwen FG anf FFG is the burn rate, FFG burns faster and many shooters like the slower powder but put more in.
There are tables availabe through Lyman, Hodgdon, BPI, and other sites as well.

I will post some data later on that.
I also use the same amount of shot by volume, and an easy way to figure out what you want to use is take the powder charge, and weigh the shot that will go into the same charger.
That will give you a good idea of what you are shooting.

After we drop in the powder charge, a nitro card wad goes on top, and I also use a lubed cushion wad here.
On top of the lubed wad palce a .035 wad to stop the inbedding of shot intro the cushion wad, same as the muzzle loaders.
thge wad is then compressed with the dowel, and the shot charge measuered and dropped in.

After tha, another .035 wad is placed over the shot , pushed down with the dowel, and if am shootign right away ,i don't glue it.
HOWEVER, if i am goig to shoot the shell later, the overshot wad will be glued.
Now have used almost everthing under the sun to glue these in, for the old waterglass glue to the newest hi-tech stuff, and have found Elmer's white glue about as good as anything.
Spray contact cement is also good, as is the Tremclad primer paint spray - one shot and let it sit.

After the glue has dried the shell can be bounced around in the shll bag or your pocket without fear of losing the shot.

DEBATES ON WAD COLLUMS:
Now some shooters say that you MUST make up all the difference you can in the case with wads, and they say this for several reasons.
te first, and like;ly the most resonable, is so that the powder charge does not enter the chamber of the gun until the shot charge is into the forcing cone of the barrel, the idea being that a loss of woer results.
The second, is that you need to cushion the shot.

I have shot both full brass cases, and cases with only a small wad collumn and have seen no difference in the killing power of either.
As far as the second idea goes, it's pure hogwash IMO, because if you look at the modern ammo , the pressures are far greater, and many of the wad cups have a base that is not cushioned AT ALL!
The federal top Guns and winchester Universals are examples of this
The biggest reason for exact wad height is to make up the difference for when we load the paper cases, but more on that later..
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Last edited by catnthehat; 08-28-2012 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:57 AM
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Note the green paint in the case to seal the wad.

The case looks half empty, that is because even though there is 80 grains of powder and an equal amount of shot, there is only one nitro card wad to sea the powder and one cushion wad .
Cat
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:02 PM
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Cleaning the brass cases aftwerwards, if you are at the range , is as easy as dropping them into a bucket of soapy water , then drying them off ater and tumbling them, or washing them with a small brush.

out in the field, i drop them into a seperate plastic bag in my hunting bag and clan them up when i get homw.

VERY IMPORTANT!!
You MUST clean tese things out, otherwise you will get crud build up in them and the brass will get deteriorated from the sulphur and stuff in the black powder!!
tumbling after drying them works great, but an automatic dishwasher is da bomb!
NOTE: make sure it is okay with the war department, or put the cases in the dhishwasher when she is off visiting her sister, gone on a trip, or otherwise out of town for a day or two - and DON'T forget to take them out after!!!

Cases can get dented at times especially around the mouth, andthey can e carefully peined back out with a small dowel or other type of mandrel.

If taken care of , they will last for many many years!

Cat
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:09 PM
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Case avalability and components"
get most of my stuff inclding the cases in 5 guages from Will Bilozir at Bilozir.net
But Circle Fly in the states also slls compoments, as do many of the shops around Alberta.
A BP rendezvous always has trade blankets that have stuff for the old guns as well.

One thing should ention here is the primers on some of the older cases that are actuall BERDAN type, NOT boxr.

Berdan primers are easy to deal with , the only difference is de-capping.
You can buy a speical de-cappping tool for them but IMO they ae a collosal waste of money.
all one needs is a sharp ice pick.
The cups are very soft, and it is only a matter of digging the pick into the edge f the copper primer cup and flicking out the primer!!
berdan primers, for those not aware, have a different way of igniting, the navil is actually part of the cartridge case, it's ot built into the primer itself.
There are two flash holes in a Berdan type case, not one normally, although have heard of some with only one flash hole .
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:20 AM
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Thanks Cat!,this is the next shooting habit I wanna get into.Just starting to look for an older damascus barreled gun (cuz they look cool)
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:40 AM
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Hi Cat, how have you been finding the availability of black powder? I have been meaning to get my old smoke pole out for kicks and all I can find is pyrodex. I would rather use the real stuff.

Years ago before potassium nitrate got put on the restricted chemical list we would make our own. Even went as far as making charcoal out of willow. Its really simple to make if you have a ball mill and a few other tools. The green powder or "mill dust" isnt much good for anything other than coating rice hulls for burst charge in fireworks or making BP rockets. You need to granulate it and sieve it to get the the different grades. Had the cost of black powder down to $4.00 a pound. hard to have a fun hobby these days, anyone have a big bag os potassium nitrate they want to sell?!? Farmers, anyone?
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:52 AM
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I haven't sen an issues wit getting any of the grades of BP lately, but i don't buy it from te stores, i get it at rendezvous or from people like Becky and doug at Hillfolk Musket supplies , or from Will Bilozir.
I messed with makig my own quite a few years ago, and with a bunch of other stuff as well, like rifleing my own barrels the "backwoods way" as per the Firefox books. lottsa fun!
Cat
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:07 AM
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[QUOTE=Marlin07;1584412]Hi Cat, how have you been finding the availability of black powder? I have been meaning to get my old smoke pole out for kicks and all I can find is pyrodex. I would rather use the real stuff. QUOTE]

marlin there are shootzen/BPCR guys at the club in spruce grove.
ask around.

like cat said look around the shoots.
I paid $23 and change per can in a case of 25 this year. Goex FF.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:54 PM
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Thank you for putting up the information. This is why I joined this forum. Do you ever give classes or instruction in a more formal way? I'd sign right up if you do.

Regards,

DTY
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dty View Post
Thank you for putting up the information. This is why I joined this forum. Do you ever give classes or instruction in a more formal way? I'd sign right up if you do.

Regards,

DTY
If you lived in Ft. McMurray I could show you the ropes, but I don't get south too much .....
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by catnthehat View Post
If you lived in Ft. McMurray I could show you the ropes, but I don't get south too much .....
Cat
I've not bird hunted for over .. thinking about it I was in my mid-teens so it's been a very long time, I've been around guns my entire life, mostly shotgun and target rifle but being an ex- New Yorker I didn't get much practice outside of summers and vacations and later range invitations by clients or acquaintances. Now most think my being a NYer (ex) means wildlife for me is a trip to the Village on a Gay Pride Saturday night but not true. My family is from North and South Carolina, farmers, (and now Alberta) and I spent every Summer and Xmas on the "farm". Was a Boy Scout until I was a late teen (made it to Life). I've hiked and camped my entire life.

The last 5 years or so I've been wanting to get back into serious backpacking but life stepped in, had our miracle occur my daughter Winter was born, and then my father in-law got sick and passed. During some long talks with him he told me about going duck hunting with his friends and his various dogs, (he had a pointer that used to drink beer holding the bottle tipped up between his paws and chugging) how he gave up hunting when he gave a fella permission to duck hunt at the bottom of his property (Lloyd lake) and he went out with his two young sons and drowned, after that he kind of lost the "flavor" to do it, that and how much my Mother In-law hated plucking the ducks and geese. A few months after my Father In-laws funeral, me and the wife were going through the house and my Wife found his old duck jacket. It had a duck call in a pocket and a couple of shells, it really hit me then looking at that old jacket how much I would have liked to have sat in a blind with him, watching his old pointer drink beer.

Bird season has begun and this year I've actually got my PAL, an inherited Auto 5. (thank you Mr. Jake) & Wildlife Cert. so no more procrastination, I'm planning to go out. And so, this is my long way of asking for some help. I'm planning to try for some upland birds since I don't have a dog yet, walk some grouse, maybe some partridge. I'd appreciate meeting, learning, gaining experience from any and all who would like to offer.

Regards
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:49 PM
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Bumped for the good of the members that want to learn!
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:19 PM
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Ya know Cat, there are times I wish you lived a little further south. Though I'd probably be broke if you did!
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:02 PM
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Smile Thanks Cat

The Rocky Mountain Cartridge company in WY makes a small hand loader but Cat's methods are tried and true.

The brass the company makes is outstanding, I'm shooting it out of my .410 and it is very impressive. They will not ship the brass to Canada so I had one of my doggy friends send it, I get the wads from Will.

So just so I'm sure the powder is weighed but the shot is by volume. The same volume of shot for the BP?

I can't wait.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:50 PM
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To add to this thread -
I use 3 inch 12 ga. plastic hulls, Federal and Winchester, cut down to 2 1/2 inch and roll crimped for Black Powder shells. These hulls are plentifull and free if you know any waterfowl hunters. I only load them once and discard them after firing. I use a hand roll crimper because I find I can get a better (prettier) crimp than with a drill press crimper.
I use Circle Fly card wads and cushion wads supplied by Becky of Hillfolk Muskets, Senlac, SK.
The one difference between Cat and I is in using lubed wads. I mostly don't.
For shooting trap with Black Powder we lube on top of the overshot wad just before shooting. Using 10 round cartridge blocks with the base down we put a dab of lube doled out with my pocket knife (Crisco is as good as any) on top of the shell.
For hunting loads using lubed cushion wads I use plastic shell boxes where I can put the shells in top down. I would hate to have lube to migrate on a hot day into my powder charge.
Lube is really important because 10 rounds of BP trap will form a layer of fouling which is set up stronger than concrete without it.
Windshield washer fluid is a quick, easy and cheap first cleaning solution. After the first few swabs with WW fluid I use WD40 as a rust preventative in the bore.
Anyone who says that you are at any disadvantage using BP shotshells in trap just hasn't been around very much.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by densa44 View Post
The Rocky Mountain Cartridge company in WY makes a small hand loader but Cat's methods are tried and true.

The brass the company makes is outstanding, I'm shooting it out of my .410 and it is very impressive. They will not ship the brass to Canada so I had one of my doggy friends send it, I get the wads from Will.

So just so I'm sure the powder is weighed but the shot is by volume. The same volume of shot for the BP?

I can't wait.
You can weigh it on a scale then check it with a black powder measure, then use the same amount of shot, yes.
The measures are very close.
There are also charts for number of drams of black powder .
For anyone using the rocky mountain cases, be aware that you have to tell will this, because MAG TECH cases use a larger diameter wad , the RMC cases use the same fibre wads as modern shot shells.

Cat
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:58 PM
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Cat: got some tips for steel shot? The steel subs like nice shot etc are crazy expensive , so I was wondering about regular steel in a shot cup type wadd?
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:50 PM
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Cat: got some tips for steel shot? The steel subs like nice shot etc are crazy expensive , so I was wondering about regular steel in a shot cup type wadd?
You mean , with black powder??
Steel has to be pushed REAL fast to be effective because it's so light, I've never tried it in a BP load, I've always stuck to Bismuth, ITX, or Nice Shoot, Bismuth being a bit cheaper.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:11 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks for taking the time to post all of this Cat
Very informative and helpful
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:15 PM
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Default bp shotgun for hogs

In my blk powder Husqy 12, i use .69/730 grain lead minies and anywhere from 70 grains of powder on up to 120, and its a great woods gun for hogs/deer. You can put a wad around them if you need to also,depending on your barrels.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:22 AM
NW Tradegunner NW Tradegunner is online now
 
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I've heard two different opinions on reloading BP shotshells. On wad pressure; one is that it is important and the other is that it's not important. Which is it?
When I started reloading way back before plastic wads were readily available and CIL had all kinds of card and filler wads available in gun shops. That was with smokeless powder and wad pressure was very important. Your take?
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:38 PM
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IMO consistent wad pressure is the key
What I mean is, it's better to have , say , 30lbs consistently than 50 pounds on one round and 20 on another
Muzzle loaders know that consistent wad pressure with the ram roc is one of the keys to accuracy .
Many hand loaders use a press when setting the wads so they can use the scale ,
With a bit of practice it's not difficult to get an even pressure, however .
Cat
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catnthehat View Post
I then put the loonie on a table , place the new primer on it, and center the case on top od=f it, tapping it in wit the dowl and hammer.
of course i need to reinvent the wheel.

here it is. magtech 12g brass will shoulder out in the top of my rcbs press and i made this little bit to put a primer into and press it in
a shell holder that holds primers!!

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Old 05-21-2016, 11:51 AM
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So do the magtech brass shells need to be resized before use? I'm planning to get some brass shells before long but I am worried that they might not work out of the box, so what's the deal?
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catnthehat View Post
IMO consistent wad pressure is the key
What I mean is, it's better to have , say , 30lbs consistently than 50 pounds on one round and 20 on another
Muzzle loaders know that consistent wad pressure with the ram roc is one of the keys to accuracy .
Many hand loaders use a press when setting the wads so they can use the scale ,
With a bit of practice it's not difficult to get an even pressure, however .
Cat
I welded a washer on a carraige bolt and filed the top flat to act as a positive stop when seating the wads on my press. It takes the guess work out of this step, and I find it to be very consistent.As far as my load goes: 100grns ffg 1x nitrocard 1x 1/4" wad 1x nitro card 1 1/8 oz of # 7 1/2 shot in a once fired kent 2 3/4 plastic hull fold crimped sorry for the crappy pic

skinny d
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:14 PM
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That is a pretty cool set up SkinnyD!

Oh, for those wondering, no, MagTech cases do not need to be sized first before use . Some may find that some guns have tighter or even miss shaped chambers however so it is a good idea to index the cases first .
Cat
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