Shotgun slugs

Discussions of bullet casting, sizing, etc.

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GhostlyOne
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Shotgun slugs

Postby GhostlyOne » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:19 pm

I was just given a MEC Sizemaster, SM82 along with a whole big bunch of wads, fired hulls, shot cups, lead, shot, and some things I cannot even begin to identify. Along with this came a brand new Lee 20lb lead melter, one ounce slug mold, ladle, and a Lyman shotgun loading manual.

Since I have several hundred rounds of shot type shells, but only a few slugs, it would behoove me to learn the ins and outs of shotgun slug casting and loading, right?

I know next to nothing about casting my own bullets/slugs. Is there a good manual on the casting process, metallurgy, alloy workups and the like? Also, most of the fired hulls were star crimped originally and the Lyman manual doesn't cover the process of loading slugs with a star crimp very well in my opinion. How about a manual for that?

Anything else I need to get into this process?

erle
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:15 pm

Postby erle » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:17 pm

I have been reloading shotgun shells since 1959 & have 6 Mec reloaders, including a Sizemaster. You will enjoy it! I still prefer the single stage Mec's. I have never fooled with slugs much. Sure have reloaded many shotshells though. When I began everything was cardboard wads & waxed paper shells. Much, much better today with the plastic, one-piece wads.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVgy5AkifL8 Watch this video & others like it. I would also recommend that Lyman's Shotshell Reloading Handbook, 5th Edition. It is filled with basic info about shotshell reloading but not with Mec reloaders. It does not cover reloading slugs because that is an entirely different procedure which you will not be able to do on the Mec.

You will need a "roll-crimper" for slugs. It has been so long since I did a few & all of mine were with "paper" hulls. I'm sure there are roll-crimpers for plastic today, but I am not familiar with them. Unless you plan to shoot an awful lot of slugs, I would say forget it & enjoy shotshell reloading.

Lead has gone up so high & the Grand Boys are all grown now so I don't use my Mec's as much as I did.

GhostlyOne
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Postby GhostlyOne » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:03 pm

I have the Lyman manual. It was included in the box of stuff I was given. Still in it's plastic wrapper! Also in the box were several dozen 12 gauge cartridges marked "Slug" I took one apart and sure enough, there was a slug under the fold crimp. It weighed around 440 grains, which is close to 1 ounce. That figures since the Lee mold in this stuff was a 1 ounce slug mold. I called my buddy who gave me this stuff, it had belonged to his dad, and questioned him about it. He told me that his dad had been loading slugs for years, never a problem. He was going to see if he could find the recipes his dad had had been using so I could try to match the slugs I have with the recipe.

Also, I note on YouTube a number of people are loading slugs in shot shells with a fold crimp. Cautions against this?

Also, I have several OLD shotgun slugs, still in the original box that are fold crimp. Plastic hulls. It looks as if they were factory loaded, and I "think" I bought them just about the time that hulls were changing over from paper to plastic. Winchester branded, "AA/HS" hulls. Did Winchester load slugs with fold crimps, or are these some bastard reload I picked up somewhere? Oh, by the way, the slugs weigh about 385 grains, or about 7/8 ounces.

erle
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:15 pm

Postby erle » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:35 pm

It has been so long since I loaded slugs that I had better back off because I don't want to mislead you. I haven't loaded or bought any slugs in a long time. The ones I use to load or purchase were all roll crimped with the slug exposed. Seems like from what you are saying that the latest is to crimp over the slug like a shot shell. I don't see why not, as long as you mark the shell since you won't be able to see the slug.

I Probably won't be loading any more slugs but I will be interested in getting the latest info from your friend. Also interested in how you come out moulding & loading the slugs.

GhostlyOne
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Postby GhostlyOne » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:54 pm

It will be a little while till I get into the process of molding and loading anything for the shotgun. Too many things to do, too little time. I need to learn more about the lead casting process, alloys and temperatures, and set up a location for the melting and casting activity.

I have been loading pistol and rifle ammunition for quite a few years, but this shotgun loading process has me a little intimidated. What with the different wads, primers, hulls and all. I am going to step back and make sure that I have all my ducks in a row so to speak.

By the way, I heard from my friend this afternoon and he gave me the recipes that his dad had used for his slug loads. I did verify his recipe by disassembling a couple of his loads, and verified that the slugs I have were loaded using his recipe. To verify the powder he used, it is similar to the one specified in the recipe in weight per unit volume, appearance and type to the powder brand and formula stated so I have to take it on faith his recipe was used for these slugs. I don't have anything in any of my manuals, nor can I find anything on the internet that exactly matches what he said and what I have, but the loads are close to several I have found. The loads are light enough that I feel comfortable in shooting several test rounds and if the results are favorable, I will try some of those loads myself when I get around to the activity. Fortunately, I have the exact wad and primer he used, so I will be able to match the hull powder/wad/shot column.

Thanks for your response. I will post my results when I get around to starting this part of my reloading.

erle
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:15 pm

Postby erle » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:05 pm

Another thing I remember from when I looked into moulding my own slugs was that they recommended using "pure lead". It will be interesting to hear if that has changed.

I get a BPI catalogue & I noticed they have sabot slugs for reloading that are fully enclosed in a plastic wad.

When you get into shotshell loading the secret is to match the hull & wad to the specific height of your powder & lead. Much of that is by trial & error. I can help you with that when you get to it & if you have questions.

Incidentally, I went on a quail hunt back in Feb. shooting my #8 reloads. I would kill 2 & 3 on every covey rise I kicked up. Other hunters were shooting "store bought" shells & were just killing 1 or none on their covey rise. I filled my hunting vest up so quickly they finally asked me what kind of shell I was shooting. I gave each of them some & they began killing at least 2 on each covey rise.

I load 12 ga mostly in 2 3/4" & 3" but I also have mec's set up for 20 & 410.

GhostlyOne
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Postby GhostlyOne » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:18 pm

The "pure lead" statement is one I have heard several times in my researches. It looks like the people who are loading slugs are using a wad that fully covers the projectile. mostly eliminating the: leading" problem from using pure lead.

I have several slugs molded from the Lee 7/8 and 1 oz molds that were given to me with all the other stuff. I cut down several hulls and am in the process off selecting a wad/powder combination that makes sense with the recipe the old man was using.


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