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Ripsaw

Brass 12 ga loads with smokeless powder?

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My older brother, an avid shooter of every sort (though not CAS) asked me (figured as a CAS shooter I might know) for a published reference for loading Brass shotshell cases with smokeless powder. Most of what I found in my initial search related to BP and subs. Thought I'd post a question here hoping somebody here can provide some more specific guidance. 

 

Anybody aware of published data for this situation? 12 ga. Brass shotshell cases, smokeless powders. For use in modern shotguns. He has a progressive press and lots of shotshell reloading experience, just not this particular situation.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I guess it depends on the shot shells in question. There ARE folks who reload the Magtec shells with smokeless powder.  I'm NOT one of them!!!  BUT!!  I have some WINCHESTER 12 ga. and 10 ga. shells that are smokeless shells and I suspect that there is proper and correct reloading data available for these shells.  

 

ALSO!!  I understand that the shells made by Rocky Mountain Cartridge (RMC) can be loaded with smokeless powder!!  These aren't cheap, (or inexpensive) but they're well made and hell for stout!!

Edited by Blackwater 53393

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18 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

ALSO!!  I understand that the shells made by Rocky Mountain Cartridge (RMC) can be loaded with smokeless powder!!  These aren't cheap, (or inexpensive) but they're well made and hell for stout!!

 

Yes,  they are available with the same inside dimensions as modern shotgun shells.   

 

But the Magtech are very thin - even and more importantly at the head end.  

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I have some old hammer double which are Magtech modified for a 209 primer.  I have them loaded with Unique and they work just fine.  I do not take to completions because they might get stepped on and can not be replaced.

RMC also makes brass shells as mentioned above very expensive.

 

As far as regular Magtech large pistol primer ones go, the only luck I have had is with Trailboss.  I do not keep a lot of powders around but Unique did not work well for me. 

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2 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

No.  The hulls are not made for smokeless. 

This -- I tried it one time........

Stick with BP.

OLG

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Thanks for the responses. He's shot plenty of black powder in muzzle loaders, and has 50+ years of metallic and shot shell reloading experience. He was the one who got me into shooting sports some 40 years ago.  I'll pass this info along to him.  

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Hey Ripsaw, if the hulls are Magtech, they can be loaded with smokeless. I can only tell you that I have tables the indicate muzzle velocity of around 1180 fps and a fast burning powder, 0.3 millisecond burn rate.
The tables I have are for CBC powders which I do not think you can buy in the US of A.

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Okay, how about info from someone who actually does it?  That would be me.  :)

 

First, you need dies.   The brass shells can NOT go into, for example, your Mec 650.   It just can't be done.

 

RCBS makes a set of not very expensive dies, and I started with those.   They worked fine until I fired the shells in something other than one of my 97's.   Suddenly the shells would not fit in any gun except for the one they had just been fired in.  So, I got the ones from CH4D.   They resize the shells perfectly, but do require lubrication.  Also, hold on to the RCBS ones.  While the CH4D's do resize properly, if you have tapered the shell a little it might not straighten put out if you goofed on the loading and get a squib or a light load.   The RCBS die will fix that.   Or, if you only have one shotgun you are gonna use them in, the RCBS dies will do you just fine.  The CH4D's are expensive...   You are also gonna need a press large enough to hold the dies.  They are too big for a standard size press.

 

Okay, with all of that out of the way...

 

Winchester large pistol primer for Standard or Magnum loads.

16.4 grains of Red Dot

1 of these...

https://www.buffaloarms.com/circle-fly-1-2-fiber-shotgun-wad-bag-of-500-cffiber

4 of these...

https://www.buffaloarms.com/circle-fly-135-nitro-shotgun-wad-bag-of-500-cfnitro

Fill the thing with 7-1/2 Magnum shot.   (Comes out to about 1-1/8 of an ounce)

1 of these...

https://www.buffaloarms.com/circle-fly-025-over-shot-shotgun-wad-bag-of-500-cfos

 

Note that all of these wads and overshot cards need to be 11 gauge.   12 gauge will be too small.

 

Now here comes the argument...

 

Me, I personally use the dies to put a very slight taper crimp in the shell to hold the overshot card in place.   You have to put in enough shot so that the crimp holds the overshot card tightly against the shot.   Took me a lot of trial and error to get it right, but once I did, I found that this works just fine.  It also greatly helps with the feeding from the magazine from a 97, 87, or an 870.   I have had no luck with brass shells in autoloading shotguns.  I got this powder and shot charge from my Dad's old traploads.  The only difference is that he used AA's.   You can NOT use normal AA wads in the brass shells.  The internal dimensions are different.

 

Others will tell you you have to glue the card in place.   Let your own confidence tell you what is the best way to do it.

 

There is a successful loading of smokeless in the Magtech 12 gauge shotshells.

 

As far as the RMC hulls go, they are much thicker and have the same internal dimensions as AA's, and yes, they use 209 primers.   BUT, they will not fit in either the RCBS or the CH4D dies.  (Somebody recently gave be a few.)   RMC does sell a reloading kit, and I will have to get one before I start to dabble with reloading those hulls.

 

Good luck.

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I use the RCBS cowboy die  for resizing and a MEC 600jr with brass shell conversion for everything else.

Large mag pistol primer, right now 23g Trailboss, 11g overshot nitro, cut down 10g plastic wad, 10g overshot.

 

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50 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Okay, how about info from someone who actually does it?  That would be me.  :)

 

First, you need dies.   The brass shells can NOT go into, for example, your Mec 650.   It just can't be done.

 

RCBS makes a set of not very expensive dies, and I started with those.   They worked fine until I fired the shells in something other than one of my 97's.   Suddenly the shells would not fit in any gun except for the one they had just been fired in.  So, I got the ones from CH4D.   They resize the shells perfectly, but do require lubrication.  Also, hold on to the RCBS ones.  While the CH4D's do resize properly, if you have tapered the shell a little it might not straighten put out if you goofed on the loading and get a squib or a light load.   The RCBS die will fix that.   Or, if you only have one shotgun you are gonna use them in, the RCBS dies will do you just fine.  The CH4D's are expensive...   You are also gonna need a press large enough to hold the dies.  They are too big for a standard size press.

 

Okay, with all of that out of the way...

 

Winchester large pistol primer for Standard or Magnum loads.

16.4 grains of Red Dot

1 of these...

https://www.buffaloarms.com/circle-fly-1-2-fiber-shotgun-wad-bag-of-500-cffiber

4 of these...

https://www.buffaloarms.com/circle-fly-135-nitro-shotgun-wad-bag-of-500-cfnitro

Fill the thing with 7-1/2 Magnum shot.   (Comes out to about 1-1/8 of an ounce)

1 of these...

https://www.buffaloarms.com/circle-fly-025-over-shot-shotgun-wad-bag-of-500-cfos

 

Note that all of these wads and overshot cards need to be 11 gauge.   12 gauge will be too small.

 

Now here comes the argument...

 

Me, I personally use the dies to put a very slight taper crimp in the shell to hold the overshot card in place.   You have to put in enough shot so that the crimp holds the overshot card tightly against the shot.   Took me a lot of trial and error to get it right, but once I did, I found that this works just fine.  It also greatly helps with the feeding from the magazine from a 97, 87, or an 870.   I have had no luck with brass shells in autoloading shotguns.  I got this powder and shot charge from my Dad's old traploads.  The only difference is that he used AA's.   You can NOT use normal AA wads in the brass shells.  The internal dimensions are different.

 

Others will tell you you have to glue the card in place.   Let your own confidence tell you what is the best way to do it.

 

There is a successful loading of smokeless in the Magtech 12 gauge shotshells.

 

As far as the RMC hulls go, they are much thicker and have the same internal dimensions as AA's, and yes, they use 209 primers.   BUT, they will not fit in either the RCBS or the CH4D dies.  (Somebody recently gave be a few.)   RMC does sell a reloading kit, and I will have to get one before I start to dabble with reloading those hulls.

 

Good luck.

 

What have you gained over standard plastic hull loads or factory loads for that matter?  

 

I shoot 12 and 10 gauge brass hulls loaded with BlackMZ or real black powder.   The major purpose is to have a load that is better suited for my antique guns with antique chamber dimensions.  But it's a labor of love.

 

It's only nostalgia that makes it cool to shot brass hulls with black powder in modern guns.  And the advantage to brass hulls is that they can be loaded over and over with black powder were plastic hulls are pretty well tosted after one shot. I don't see any nostalgia in shooting smokeless in brass hulls. 

 

I load plastic hulls with Black MZ for my Cowboy loads shot in modern guns and toss after one shot.  The price is from free to 5c each. Right now I have a lifetime supply given to me. 

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51 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

What have you gained over standard plastic hull loads or factory loads for that matter?  

 

I shoot 12 and 10 gauge brass hulls loaded with BlackMZ or real black powder.   The major purpose is to have a load that is better suited for my antique guns with antique chamber dimensions.  But it's a labor of love.

 

It's only nostalgia that makes it cool to shot brass hulls with black powder in modern guns.  And the advantage to brass hulls is that they can be loaded over and over with black powder were plastic hulls are pretty well tosted after one shot. I don't see any nostalgia in shooting smokeless in brass hulls. 

 

I load plastic hulls with Black MZ for my Cowboy loads shot in modern guns and toss after one shot.  The price is from free to 5c each. Right now I have a lifetime supply given to me. 

 

I switched to the brass shells for 2 reasons.

 

First, I was tired of having to remind the brass pickers to pick up my shotgun shells.   Around here, most folks just let it lie cuz they don't reload shotshells for some reason.


Second. more than a few of my shotguns have 2-5/8" chambers.   Using the Magtech 2-1/2" shells was easier than trimming AA's or having the chambers in my older guns lengthened.

 

After I started using them, I just decided that doing so was kinda cool, so I've kept at it.  

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13 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

I switched to the brass shells for 2 reasons.

 

First, I was tired of having to remind the brass pickers to pick up my shotgun shells.   Around here, most folks just let it lie cuz they don't reload shotshells for some reason.


Second. more than a few of my shotguns have 2-5/8" chambers.   Using the Magtech 2-1/2" shells was easier than trimming AA's or having the chambers in my older guns lengthened.

 

After I started using them, I just decided that doing so was kinda cool, so I've kept at it.  

 

That's much the same reasons I load brass hulls.   But I don't worry about getting my plastic hulls back.  I generally do the range clean-up and I can get more good plastic hulls than I burned up shooting black. 

 

I have a MEC 600 12 and 10 gauge loaders but find them of no use in loading brass hulls.  That's one advantage to loading brass hulls - they can be reloaded with improvised tools.  

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forums.sassnet.com/index.php?/topic/264435-solid-brass-shotgun-shells-with-smokeless-powder/

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10 hours ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

forums.sassnet.com/index.php?/topic/264435-solid-brass-shotgun-shells-with-smokeless-powder/

 

Yep, I said there what I said here, minus the the actual recipe I use to load 'em.  :)

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Thanks again for all the info. I passed all this along to my brother and he has decided NOT to load smokeless in the brass shot shells after all.  It was an experiment that he's decided is not worth the effort for his purposes.  I'm happy I was able to find folks in the Cowboy community who were willing to provide such good advice and guidance. He's much appreciative of all the comments, suggestions and links.  He's back working on another project now.  .327 Federal Magnum or something... 

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