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Loading Shotshells, minimum shot load


El CupAJoe

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Hey all,

    I'm out of shotshells for competition and will likely be reloading some with Pyrodex or black for upcoming matches.  I cannot find much 20 gauge locally, and I actually prefer to shoot black in my gun since it's a 1900's hardware store special and it while rated for smokeless, it just feels right shooting black.  I've previously muzzleloaded it using reprimed high brass shells with the plastic removed and found it liked a square load of about 60 grains equivalent.  I'm wondering about cracking open some Rio field loads I have (1oz #6 shot) and splitting each shot load in half and using it in a square load for CAS.  anyone out there try 1/2 Oz loads?  not looking for reduced recoil so much, mostly just wanting to be efficient with what I have on hand until I can find more components.  will a 1/2 oz BP square load handle knock downs most of the time?  Secondary related question, I can't find on the box of RIO shells if they are lead or steel, anyone know off the top of their head?  I'll take a magnet out with me when I break open the first one either way, but if someone can say definitively they are steel, I'll just leave them unmolested.

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Get a (powerful) rare earth magnet from hardware store.  Indispensable!  It will easily detect steel shot right through the hull.  NEVER use steel shot on our cowboy targets.

 

Order some smokeless shotshells from a few of the online vendors that show up on Ammo Seek, as a backup plan.  

 

1/2 ounce shot loads with BP in 20 gauge?  Don't think you will be satisfied with their knockdown capability.  And, I avoid Pyrodex like the corrosive plague that it is.  Use real black, or some APP for shotshells.  I'd make 3/4 ounce my minimum BP payload in 20 gauge.  You need the shot weight, not velocity, for KDs.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

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I use Goex or 777 either FFg or FFFg equal to 1 oz shot vol.  over powder card, felt wad and 1 oz shot.  The felt wad is thick enough to rase the shot high enough that I can star crimp the shell.  Hit the knock downs high and they should go down.  I don't think 1/2 oz will work good even hitting high on target.

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El CupAJoe,

I concur with Garrison Joe.  Shot weight, not velocity is what you are after. Pure black or APP, Pyrodex is just dirtier.  Use Ballistol straight to clean and lube the tube. Look up Ballistic products for hulls, wads and such.

Happy trails,

Caladisi Kid  :)

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1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Get a (powerful) rare earth magnet from hardware store.  Indispensable!  It will easily detect steel shot right through the hull.  NEVER use steel shot on our cowboy targets.

 

Order some smokeless shotshells from a few of the online vendors that show up on Ammo Seek, as a backup plan.  

 

1/2 ounce shot loads with BP in 20 gauge?  Don't think you will be satisfied with their knockdown capability.  And, I avoid Pyrodex like the corrosive plague that it is.  Use real black, or some APP for shotshells.  I'd make 3/4 ounce my minimum BP payload in 20 gauge.  You need the shot weight, not velocity, for KDs.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

Thanks!  I'm buying a BP manufacturing setup from an rocketry guy for cheap.  can't find APP in my area and Pyrodex is what I've got at the moment.  I know about not using steel shot.  I'd rather buy bags of reclaimed shot than order ammo online and pay for hazmat etc.  Incidentally, are there any BP commercial loads available?

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Pyrodex will make functional BP loads but is the least suitable sub I tried.  It is hydroscopic and loaded shotgun shells can have poor ignition unless protected from humidity.  As others stated Pyrodex residue will cause rust.  I hosed down every surface exposed to smoke with a household cleaner with vinegar as the first step in cleaning and did so at the first opportunity.

 

Locally smokeless shotgun shells are available in small quantities at high prices.  Remington products showed up at two big box retailers.   A LGS had Winchester promo-grade shells.  Keep shopping.  You may not need to dismantle Rio shells.  BTW, 60 grains of Pyrodex in a shotgun shell will easily clobber a shotgun target.

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GJ says projectile weight is key to knock downs and I agree. I have shot Josey Wales for many years using 200 gr bullets in. 44 and .45 and most knockdowns will fall to these. 1/2 oz is 218.75 gr Finding the right 20ga wad will be key.

 

Imis

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Just a heads up, Powder Creek in Shawnee, KS has a 7.5 size shot maximum.  I'm not familiar on what other clubs allow, but would be a good idea to check and see if your shooting destinations are ok with size 6 shot.

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I load   1/2 oz of #7 shot in 410 shells and they alway take down the knock downs.I load in plastic hulls and also in .444 marlin brass cases.They work in a S X S but not all the time in a single shot.

 

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46 minutes ago, Two Shoots said:

Just a heads up, Powder Creek in Shawnee, KS has a 7.5 size shot maximum.  I'm not familiar on what other clubs allow, but would be a good idea to check and see if your shooting destinations are ok with size 6 shot.

thanks for the heads up.

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38 minutes ago, Pit Bull Tex said:

I load   1/2 oz of #7 shot in 410 shells and they alway take down the knock downs.I load in plastic hulls and also in .444 marlin brass cases.They work in a S X S but not all the time in a single shot.

 

probably smokeless?

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1 hour ago, Imis Twohofon,SASS # 46646 said:

GJ says projectile weight is key to knock downs and I agree. I have shot Josey Wales for many years using 200 gr bullets in. 44 and .45 and most knockdowns will fall to these. 1/2 oz is 218.75 gr Finding the right 20ga wad will be key.

 

Imis

So I'd be looking for the tightest group possible to reduce missed shot?  approximately what velocity are you experiencing with the .44 and .45's?  I think I can keep the group together better if I reduce the powder charge provided I stay above a minimum velocity that seems to work.

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2 hours ago, El CupAJoe said:

So I'd be looking for the tightest group possible to reduce missed shot?  approximately what velocity are you experiencing with the .44 and .45's?  I think I can keep the group together better if I reduce the powder charge provided I stay above a minimum velocity that seems to work.

Im guessing 750-850 in both .44 and .45, both powerful enough and not abusive even in short pistol barrels. Two inch groups on a 20 foot target are plenty tight enough.  At these ranges it is entirely too easy to overthink and unneccessarily tighten groups.

 

Imis

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I have loaded some BP in the .444 marlin hulls and a little in the plastic hull. I use .45 cal 1/2"  fiber wads  with the BP.I  used a hole punch and some like poster board for over shot cards and school glue.

 

 

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7 hours ago, El CupAJoe said:

Anyone out there try 1/2 Oz loads?  not looking for reduced recoil so much, mostly just wanting to be efficient with what I have on hand until I can find more components.  will a 1/2 oz BP square load handle knock downs most of the time?  Secondary related question, I can't find on the box of RIO shells if they are lead or steel, anyone know off the top of their head?  I'll take a magnet out with me when I break open the first one either way, but if someone can say definitively they are steel, I'll just leave them unmolested.

 

Check with a magnet, but if it is steel shot it should say so on the box.  #6 shot is allowed, but may be an issue if the targets are too close.

Cabela's/Bass Pro/Sportsmane's Warehouse (since they are basically the same company now) sometimes has bird shot available.

 

Will a 1/2 oz load work with 60 grains of BP or substitute?  Maybe, it will depend on the muzzle velocity and how much of the pattern actually hits a knockdown target.  I certainly wouldn't want to rely on a 1/2 ounce for a state level match, I've seen targets at a number of clubs not go down with a 7/8 or 1 ounce load if the shooter failed to get most of the pattern on target.

 

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In the past month I've bought 2 cases of Fiocchi field loads on the internet for around $110/case shipped.  I also picked up two 25 lb bags of shot.  Things are available but you have to spend some time searching.

 

Hogleg

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Quote

order ammo online and pay for hazmat

 

Loaded ammo that is shipped is never charged a hazmat fee!   But, of course, shipping will be a little more than if buying feather pillows.

 

good luck, GJ

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My 20 ga bp load is 25 grains of anything (usually BP, 777 or APP in FFg or FFFg), a 3/4 ounce wad, 5/8 ounce of #6 and a 1/2" cardboard overshot card.  Never had an issue and is light enough.

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I’ve loaded 1/2 oz smokeless loads of #9 shot for my daughter in law’s 20 ga when she first started and thought about doing cas. She was using my Model 30 Marlin that shot like a rifle. I don’t know about using bp. A lot depends on how tight your gun  patterns. 

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BP usually shoots a wider pattern, especially if you forgo a plastic wad for fiber wads.

 

good luck, GJ

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We use 50 grains by volume BP, a WAA20 was cut in half thru the cushion section and rotated to fit together and 7/8 ounce of shot. Shoots nicer than any other loads she uses in her 20.

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