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Black powder shotshell questions


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2 hours ago, Marshall Dillon said:

I stopped at 4 gunshops and all i could find was pyrodex, so i bought the only two cans they had. As soon as i get home,,buffalo arms email says black powder in stock. I ordered 10 pounds. 

 

Should i sell the pyrodex at next gun show or load it?

Pour it out over the garden... come spring.  I think so little of Pyrodex, I won't even GIVE it away to anyone... have won several lbs over the years...   makes good fertilizer.

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On 2/19/2021 at 4:55 AM, Tequila Shooter said:

....  If you use plastic hulls you won’t have a choice you’ll have to use plastic wads.

 

 

 

I'm confused by this too. Am I missing something?

 

I understand why people might want to use plastic wads in plastic hulls, but you certainly don't have to.  I've only reloaded and shot a couple hundred shells since i started this a few months ago, but every one has been with fiber wads.  I patterned several and didn't have the issues with donut holes.

 

The main reason I use fiber wads is simplicity; I was confused over all the recommendations of which wads go with which hulls.  I reload several different brands of hulls, mostly from my own factory shells, and I shoot whatever cheap factory loads I can find.  Fiber wads work just as well in Federal, Winchester, Remington, Estate, Herters...

 

Fiber wads are also easily adjustable by cutting them thinner or adding another wad, depending on how much powder or shot I want in that load.

 

I'm also not keen on leaving all the plastic wads on the ground where I practice, and they are a pain to find and pick up.

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53 minutes ago, Diamond Jake said:

 

I'm confused by this too. Am I missing something?

 

I understand why people might want to use plastic wads in plastic hulls, but you certainly don't have to.  I've only reloaded and shot a couple hundred shells since i started this a few months ago, but every one has been with fiber wads.  I patterned several and didn't have the issues with donut holes.

 

The main reason I use fiber wads is simplicity; I was confused over all the recommendations of which wads go with which hulls.  I reload several different brands of hulls, mostly from my own factory shells, and I shoot whatever cheap factory loads I can find.  Fiber wads work just as well in Federal, Winchester, Remington, Estate, Herters...

 

Fiber wads are also easily adjustable by cutting them thinner or adding another wad, depending on how much powder or shot I want in that load.

 

I'm also not keen on leaving all the plastic wads on the ground where I practice, and they are a pain to find and pick up.

 

You’re probably not the first, but you are the first that I’ve heard of to use fiber wads in plastic hulls.  If it works for you then keep doing it.  Personally I’m using fiber wads, but it’s in brass hulls, and I use them because of the way I clean my gun. 

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I'm confused by this too. Am I missing something?  (about fiber wads in plastic hulls)

 

Nope, fiber wads will work fine.   They are (will be):

* slower to load in a progressive loader (non-progressive is less of a problem, but still slower)

* more likely to tip a wad during insertion , which can ruin a pattern or make crimp impossible to fold tightly

* going to launch fiber in the air after a shot

* harder to load a heavy load that shoots well without  weak cores (but light loads are much easier)

* shoot looser patterns in most guns

* cost more than plastic wads any more, and harder to find

 

But, they allow a load to be very adjustable to get a good stack height, easy to experiment with, and very traditional.

 

It if works for you, have at it!   Lots of UK/European clays target shooters are forced to use fiber wads because they disintegrate so quickly on the ground.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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If you are only using for SASS who cares if there is a hole in your pattern.  You are shooting a close steel target for hits or knock down.  If the shot is hitting the target and it rings or falls your load done what it was made for.  For this game powder, shot card, fiber or felt or cardboard or plastic wad, shot, and star crimp or over shot card and glue  or roll crimp.   

 

Now if you are hunting or shooting clay birds, yes, you need to pattern and work the loading so there is a good pattern with no holes.

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6 minutes ago, Pee Wee #15785 said:

If you are only using for SASS who cares if there is a hole in your pattern.  You are shooting a close steel target for hits or knock down.  If the shot is hitting the target and it rings or falls your load done what it was made for.  For this game powder, shot card, fiber or felt or cardboard or plastic wad, shot, and star crimp or over shot card and glue  or roll crimp.

 

The hole in the pattern will cause small shotgun KDs to not fall down. Even at 7 yards with a cylinder bore the hole is large enough to cause issues. 

If it didn't matter then others wouldn't have pointed it out.

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1 hour ago, Marshall Dillon said:

If i use a 12ga plastic wad (all i have right now),,do i need to put a thick spacer under it, or will the thin over shot card be enough on top of the powder?

 

I just use the plastic wad on powder.  You'll get 10 different answers.  All will work.  Just get on the bicycle and ride.  Try some with some and some without.  

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2 hours ago, Marshall Dillon said:

If i use a 12ga plastic wad (all i have right now),,do i need to put a thick spacer under it, or will the thin over shot card be enough on top of the powder?

No, unless you need it to get the correct column height for your load. 

 

Also you can get a good pattern with fiber wads you just have to adjust you powder to shot ratio.  If you are getting blown out center of the pattern then either increase your shot or decrease your powder, I have had good luck with a little less powder by volume to shot ratio (square load(by volume)is the starting point for black powder shotshells)   Like any hand load you have to find the one your gun likes best.  I shoot a 7/8 oz load and the only time a knock doesn't go down it was the loose nut on the end of the stock that caused the problem.

Edited by Cholla Bob
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I thought since the 12ga plastic wad is smaller then the ID of the brass case, the powder might blow around it without that thick wad sealing the case under the plastic. My height would be better without the 1/8 inch thick wad. Right now i have to cut the petals 1/8 shorter on the plastic wad. 

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25 minutes ago, Marshall Dillon said:

I thought since the 12ga plastic wad is smaller then the ID of the brass case, the powder might blow around it without that thick wad sealing the case under the plastic. My height would be better without the 1/8 inch thick wad. Right now i have to cut the petals 1/8 shorter on the plastic wad. 

 

 

In brass hulls,  I use 10 gauge plastic wads right on powder. 

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17 minutes ago, Marshall Dillon said:

I would too if i could find some.

 

https://sporteque.ca/en/wad/7818-bpi-pt1044-wad-10-ga.html

 

Otherwise,  use a heavy over powder card on top of powder.  Then 10 gauge fiber wad.  Or 12 gauge plastic. 

 

I have experimented with wrapping a 12 gauge plastic wad with address labels to "fatten" them up. Could try masking tape.

Edited by Warden Callaway
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47 minutes ago, Marshall Dillon said:

I don’t think they will ship to USA. I tried them last week.

 

Yeah,   I didn't notice that they were in Canada until I posted. 

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I got 10ga wads thanks to Prairie Dawg! 

 

I got primed, put in powder, put in wad and compressed it a little. Now i have too much space to fill up with my 1 oz of shot, and need filler. 

 

Will it effect the pattern and make a nicer shell to put a spacer in the bottom of the cup, under the shot,,or better to put filler on top of the shot? I have white peanuts and 12ga fiber wads coming.

Edited by Marshall Matt Dillon
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There is really no need to fill up the brass hull to the top.  My collection of brass hulls are various lengths, the longer ones have nearly a half inch of space at the end.  A glued in overshot card does not care.  If you are crimping the brass shell and using that crimp to hold in the overshot card, then that is different.

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9 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

There is really no need to fill up the brass hull to the top.  My collection of brass hulls are various lengths, the longer ones have nearly a half inch of space at the end.  A glued in overshot card does not care.  If you are crimping the brass shell and using that crimp to hold in the overshot card, then that is different.

The 10ga wads i am using have a 1-5/8 shot cup. The one oz of shot would not reach the top of the plastic cup petals. The overshot card will set right on top of the plastic wad, so the shot needs to fill up the wad cup. That will still leave distance to end of the shell

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Just a suggestion... I've only used fiber wads with my brass hulls and plastic wads with my plastic hulls... but... I would cut the petals of the wads down to closely match my shot charge.  Another step... but may result in better performance.

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27 minutes ago, Marshall Matt Dillon said:

The 10ga wads i am using have a 1-5/8 shot cup. The one oz of shot would not reach the top of the plastic cup petals. The overshot card will set right on top of the plastic wad, so the shot needs to fill up the wad cup. That will still leave distance to end of the shell

Gotcha.  Trimming the petals would work but don't know how much time that would take.  If you can find a good spacer putting it in the bottom of the cup below the shot should be fine also.  I'm thinking if you put a spacer over the shot it might upset your pattern.

 

That's why I just use the 12ga plastic wad with the nitro card underneath to seal.  EZ PZ, works great.

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8 minutes ago, Griff said:

Just a suggestion... I've only used fiber wads with my brass hulls and plastic wads with my plastic hulls... but... I would cut the petals of the wads down to closely match my shot charge.  Another step... but may result in better performance.

Forgot to mention... you could also use a smaller dimensioned fiber was and put it inside the plastic wad... to take up said space.  

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If you watched my video,  I stuff a packing peanut from U-haul on top.  They are biodegradable and more like foam paper made from corn and bean oil. $5/bag last a long time.

 

https://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/Packing-Supplies/Biodegradable-Packing-Peanuts/?id=730

Edited by Warden Callaway
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12 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

That's why I just use the 12ga plastic wad with the nitro card underneath to seal.  EZ PZ, works great.

Do you need to lube the nitro card? How thick is a nitro card?

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Just now, Warden Callaway said:

If you watched my video,  I stuff a parking peanut from U-haul on top.  They are biodegradable and more like foam paper made from corn and bean oil. $5/bag last a long time.

Yes, that is why i have the white peanuts coming, to try that. Do they try to expand and push the overcard out before the glue dries?

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8 minutes ago, Marshall Matt Dillon said:

Yes, that is why i have the white peanuts coming, to try that. Do they try to expand and push the overcard out before the glue dries?

 

No. 

 

There are U-Haul places almost as common as McDonald's.  Just drop in and buy some.  I got mine at a Mennonite county store that is also a U-Haul station.

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1 hour ago, Marshall Matt Dillon said:

Do you need to lube the nitro card? How thick is a nitro card?

 

Do not lube the Nitro Card.  No lube is needed for SG rounds, BP, BP Sub, or that other smokeless stuff.

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Marshall, with brass shells don’t worry about how much of the shell is above the overshot card.  With a star crimp on a plastic hull the column height is very important to get a good crimp, since there’s no star crimp on brass it’s not important.  As others have said I’ve got shells that are different lengths, some with a straight end some with a rolled end and none of it matters.  The only difference with each of them is how they feel when you load them in the barrels, they all shoot the same.

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The Nitro cards I use are 1/8" 11ga and are hard.  No lube.  I got mine from Circle Fly long ago, not even sure if they are still around.  I think the wife kept it going for a while after her husband died.

 

I've never needed any lube in any BP shotshells.  Plastic and fouling clean easily with any of the methods folks use.  Now, older or cheap shotguns with less smooth bores, maybe lube will help, I dunno.  

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