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What are those bulk skeet shells good for?

Discussion in 'Ammunition' started by John A., Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Greg B

    Greg B .410

    Messages:
    98
    Well, happily for me, the wife did give me a Lee 20lb pot, and a ladle for skimming, and a ingot mold for any unused melted lead.
    So I guess I'll be opening up shells and hopefully try casting some slugs this weekend.
    nitesite, old mossy and John A. like this.
  2. old mossy

    old mossy Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    12,656
    Nothing but fun ahead for ya'
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  3. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    14,488
    Looking forward to hearing about it Greg.

    I'm really surprised this topic has gotten as much attention as it has.

    24 pages and 450+ replies and still going.
    old mossy likes this.
  4. Greg B

    Greg B .410

    Messages:
    98
    I can see why you guys are cutting the shells and roll crimping them. Peeling open the star crimp sucks.
    Hmm. I may have to rethink this.
    Nah. At least for this first attempt I'll keep on keepin' on. :)
    nitesite likes this.
  5. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    14,488
    Yeah, opening the shells up can be a chore.

    And yes, that's why I'm cutting and roll crimping.
    nitesite likes this.
  6. old mossy

    old mossy Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    12,656
    Once you make yourself a jig from a piece of PVC it's a breeze.:)
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  7. Greg B

    Greg B .410

    Messages:
    98
    Tried casting a few slugs today. This is the first time I've cast anything, so obviously results aren't the greatest.
    But without further ado:
    [​IMG]
    Looking at my attempts, and recalling what has been written before, I can see where I was having problems.
    Mold too cold, lead too hot, mold too hot, etc. It's a lot to keep track of for a first timer. But I'll get there.
    Sometime while pouring, my pot developed the dreaded drip, and I think screwing around with that kind of kept me from getting a rhythm going.

    Another question, if I may, got a bit of lead stuck to the center pin of my mold.
    What is the best way to remove it? or do I need a new one?
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
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  8. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,488
    I'm not sure what you're talking about the center pin. But if there is some excess lead that's preventing you from using it, just remember that lead melts at about 600 degree's Fahrenheit.

    Your castings look really good. I can tell from the shine of a few of them that the temp was off, but they'll still shoot just fine, so don't throw them back in the pot or anything.

    That's just one of the things and is part of the learning curve. Nobody is born knowing how to do this stuff, and I would say that yours were better than my first ones for sure.

    Well done.

    The pot drip is from the stopper in the handle not going all the way down on the spout on the inside, probably from some slag or some other impurity. I've used a long paperclip bent in an L shape and push it up inside of the spout while it's hot and that will dislodge any contaminent floating around in there that will let it close.

    But you do need to be aware that it's hot and not to let it get on you while you're doing it, but I don't think you need me or anyone else to tell you that.
    nitesite likes this.
  9. old mossy

    old mossy Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    12,656
    Look's great Greg!
  10. Greg B

    Greg B .410

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    98
    Thanks gentlemen.
    If it weren't for you all, I never would have attempted this.
    Still got a lot of practice ahead. :)
  11. Greg B

    Greg B .410

    Messages:
    98
    Ordered some 1/8 & 1/4 20ga felt wads. The 1/4 was too thick. The 1/8 seems to be a perfect thickness under the slug for the star crimp.
    However, I noticed where the crimp starts to fold over is kind of lumpy, and tends to hang up a bit when loading into the magazine tube on my JM Pro.
    I'm not sure if the lumpy area is causing the binding, or if the shell is getting wedged up on the magazine follower. The shell seems to have no problem loading into the chamber.
    I think I need to slightly taper crimp the end of the shell as a separate step after star crimping to smooth it out.
  12. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,488
    In my short experience of reloading shells, if there is too much space taken up in the hull, the crimp will try to open back up.

    But, at the same time, I don't really know what the hulls look like after prying them open.
  13. Malagamarksman

    Malagamarksman .270 WIN

    Messages:
    111
    For your first attempt I have got to say they look SUPERB.

    I really would not worry about them looking perfect. When the mould and or the molten lead is too cool you will get a wrinkly finish. If the mould and or molten lead is too hot you will get a frosted kind of finish on the slug.

    We are not talking about casting match handgun bullets here. Wrinkly or frosty you will find it it won't make a jot of difference to the slug's accuracy, they will perform just fine.
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  14. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    9,268
    I have seen so much worse, those about as good as it gets for a slug, the rest it cosmetic, might be a touch on the hot side
    nitesite likes this.
  15. Greg B

    Greg B .410

    Messages:
    98
    All credit should go to all of you whom have put this info out there. It really helped me be aware of what was happening as I was making the slugs. And mostly react accordingly.

    Photo of the first shell I assembled, next to a factory birdshot load. And per Malagamarksman, I wrote "slug" all over it. :)
    You can see my crimp is not quite what I'd like it to be. I think maybe the slug should be just a touch higher in the shot cup. Perhaps a .025 cardboard shim would be just about perfect.
    I also think I kinda loosened up the powder charge by shaking the shell to get the slug out while trying to determine proper payload height. I can hear the powder shaking around in there under the shot cup.
    [​IMG]
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  16. Blood_Trail

    Blood_Trail .270 WIN

    Messages:
    165
    If your was column is too short, try using bulkier powder or a nitro card under your slug. You should be doing that anyway for a more solid base.

    Have you tried roll crimping? I've been reloading Lee Key slugs for a while. I roll crimp most of mine. I recently bought a hammerhead slug mold. They fit in SPW sabots made by SlugsRus. Accuracy has been super even with slower burning magnum powders. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1453691428.769136.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1453691448.153639.jpg


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  17. Greg B

    Greg B .410

    Messages:
    98
    I'm not messing the powder or wad. As John A. noted early on, I'm just dumping the shot, turning it into a slug, and stuffing it back into the shell.
    What I did do, trying to adjust payload height, was punch some 5/8" diameter x .020 cardboard discs. I put those under the 1/8" 20ga felt wad under the slug.
    I made up a couple each with 1,2 or 3 cardboard discs under the felt. And I'll see how those work next time I get to the range.
    I have ordered a roll crimp from BPI, and am planning on giving that a go sometime in the future.
  18. Blood_Trail

    Blood_Trail .270 WIN

    Messages:
    165
    BPI sells nitro cards pretty darn cheap. That would keep u from punching ur own.

    You using a smooth or rifled barrel?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  19. Greg B

    Greg B .410

    Messages:
    98
    I ordered some 20ga overshot cards from BPI also. Am planning on using them spacers so o don't have to punch them myself.

    I just have the standard 24" smoothie that my JM came with.
    John A. likes this.
  20. Doc McGlock

    Doc McGlock .22LR

    Messages:
    18
    After 24 pages, I'm still confused. Why do you need nitro cards? To adjust the height of the slug and make it more secure in the hull? I'm hoping to remove the shot, melt, cast a slug and then return to hull and crimp.

    Why the extra steps?
    Blood_Trail likes this.

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