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Best way to make 12 gauge practice rounds?


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I’m sure this has been covered before but I tried several searches and couldn’t come up with anything. I would like to make some practice rounds for my 12 gauge shotgun that simulated the weight and feel of a live round as closely as possible. I know that I will need to fill in the primer hole with something , unless it’s best to leave the spent primer in, and need some weight in the shell. I think it would be good for me to mark the practice shells somehow although I plan to keep them completely separate from any live ammo. I’ll be using feather lite cases.  Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

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Practice rounds.

Try loading one round at a time.

Remove the primer.

Put crumpled up paper in for the powder.

Wad.

Your normal load of shot.

Crimp.

Fill primer pocket with clear silicone and make flush with case. (let cure overnight)

 

Now these practice rounds will only help you with loading your gun.

They will not help you with extracting because they are too heavy and the crimp is not open.

 

To practice removing the hulls, you need to put fired rounds in the gun and then practice shucking.

How every the crimp will change from each loading and they will become harder to shuck.

 

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I made "dummy rounds" with no primer and a roll-crimp with over-shot card on top of an empty wad.

 

It doesn't simulate the weight of a loaded shell but it's closer to the weight of an empty shell.

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Posted (edited)

Here is how I made dummy rounds for practice.  I made them light so to practice shucking. 

 

 

Edited by Warden Callaway
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Some folks use an eraser for the primer hole, others use RTV silicone to prevent firing pin damage. I have some shells filled with tissue paper and a normal crimp. 

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 BUY dummy shotgun shells that mimic loaded shells’ weight.  
 

Cheaper. BETTER, safer and easier to use.
 

     Cat Brules

 

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You begin your practice exercise with empty open hulls in the chambers and your weighted dummies in your belt.  Shoulder your shotgun, start your timer (on delay and par time settings) and pull the triggers at the first beep to drop the hammers on the empties.  Open the gun, shake out the empties, reload with the weighted dummies from your belt before the second par time beep.

 

This gives you a realistic feel for one fire-reload cycle.  Set the par time function for an interval that challenges you to get faster.

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Posted (edited)

Replace the primer with a piece of Buna-N 70 or 90 O-ring material. 6 mm works well. Push it into the hull until it is past the flange at the base of the primer pocket. Trim flush with a razor blade.

 

I strongly recommend using colored hulls that do not resemble any of the live ammo you shoot.  I make them out of pink or orange hulls. Resize the base with a collet style sizer.

 

For light weight hulls fill the hull with part of a plastic grocery bag. Stuff till full, cut the excess flush with the crimp, then crimp in your press like any other hull.  For weighted hulls insert a wad and fill with shot. 

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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PLUS ONE to J-BAR and SEDALIA DAVE.

 

I have a friend who was learning his '87 and "Drop Two."  In his basement den.  With his Big Screen TV.  Using his Big Screen TV as one of his targets.  Blew the TV to Smithereens.

 

MORAL:  Insure your practice hulls bear no resemblance what so ever to your live ammo.  OR, just put an extra Grand or Two in your checking account?? 

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Punch out primer.  Push wad (any) in as far as it will go.  Fill to crimp line with dry rice.  Crimp.  Then push o-ring stock (6mm as SD said) in as far as it will go and trim off with razor.  O-ring stock is much stiffer than RTV and is very resilient.  The light, but correctly crimped shells give you excellent practice for grabbing and loading, but are also light enough to give good practice at shucking.

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I don't know about the best way, but I just use a fired hull with spent primer still in the hull.

Roll the crimp section back INSIDE the hull to help maintain a little stiffness in the hull and

help keep it concentric.

 

Then dry fire practice all you want.

 

..........Widder

 

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3 hours ago, Lone Rider SASS#32091 said:

I’m sure this has been covered before but I tried several searches and couldn’t come up with anything. I would like to make some practice rounds for my 12 gauge shotgun that simulated the weight and feel of a live round as closely as possible. I know that I will need to fill in the primer hole with something , unless it’s best to leave the spent primer in, and need some weight in the shell. I think it would be good for me to mark the practice shells somehow although I plan to keep them completely separate from any live ammo. I’ll be using feather lite cases.  Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

Do you shoot a 97, or SXS.  If you shoot a 97, and use dummy's that are the same weight as live ammo you'll run the risk of damaging your ejector.

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Posted (edited)

I do as Widder does.  Except I found faux primers that are solid brass.    You don’t need the loaded weight to practice.  With a sxs Yule get lazy ejecting heavy rounds

Edited by Cheyenne Culpepper 32827
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First I'm going to give you my opinion.  Don't use weighted hulls for practice.  You can get away with poor shucking technique with weighted hulls and that's NOT how you want to practice.  Empties force you to use good technique which is what you're practicing for.

 

Second I'm going to give you another opinion, just bite the bullet and buy them from Palo Verde Gun Works.  They're fantastic practice rounds which will outlast any you make yourself. 

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If you are a double shooter, here is an easy way to make some dummies.  Get some empties that are NOT misshaped and will come out of your chambers easily.  I knock out the spent primer and squeeze some RTV in the pockets and let them set overnight.  The next day, I fill them with some material from my vibratory shell cleaner.  Before I crimp them, I squirt a dab of hot glue in the top, then crimp them.  With the glue, you won't have corn cob everywhere.  Now you will have nicely filled shells, that will come out smoothly, that are absolutely not too heavy, but still have enough feel that your practice time is very good.  I do not pull the trigger dryfiring, but do a mental "bang" that will help teach you to allow for the trigger pull timing.  Some mechanical triggers could be pulled, but our nasty old inertia's won't work for dryfire anyway.....unless you do this....

 

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Thanks for all of the replies. I think I will try the procedure to start with empties to shuck and then load dummies to try to replicate a match as closely as possible. Got some good suggestions on how to load the dummy rounds. Thanks again.

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If you can stand one more idea here's what I do. Punch out the old primer and stuff in a tire plug, cut flush. Take some cardboard from a cereal box 1 7/8"x 7". Roll tight and put in hull and crimp. Works good.

Lanky

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On 5/9/2021 at 6:32 AM, Cat Brules said:

 BUY dummy shotgun shells that mimic loaded shells’ weight.  
 

Cheaper. BETTER, safer and easier to use.
 

     Cat Brules

 

Using home made dummies can lead to a total disaster! All it takes is ONE TIME for a live round to some how get mixed in. I know a person that blew a round off while practicing in their bedroom. Almost hit their dog. Both physical and emotional damage were tough to deal with. Just pay the price and get the right thing!

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37 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

Using home made dummies can lead to a total disaster! All it takes is ONE TIME for a live round to some how get mixed in. I know a person that blew a round off while practicing in their bedroom. Almost hit their dog. Both physical and emotional damage were tough to deal with. Just pay the price and get the right thing!

 

Thats a good thought, one of which crossed my mind a few years back when I ask my gunsmith

to 'decommission' one of my 97's for dry fire practice.   I had him remove the firing pin.

 

..........Widder

 

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Build your dummies out of sg hulls that you don’t use. I only reload red or gray WW AA hulls. I’d make mine out of another brand in another color....if I were that dedicated anymore. At 70 I shoot for the fun of shooting not the agony of defeat.

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I put my wife's best red lip stick on the brass of my 12 gauge and 38s.   Before  load ten in the rifle I ck the brass for lip stick each time.  I use a separate shotgun belt for dry fire practice.   Does it hurt the firing pin of a 73 to leave a spent primer in the case? 

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