Loading Buckshot???

Discussions covering the components and techniques of reloading for your scattergun; be it buckshot, shot, or slugs.

Loading Buckshot???

Postby orerancher » 02 Sep 2020 18

Been Handloading Rifles and Pistols for 40+years...But I don't have the first Clue about how to load a Shotgun Shell... Talked the Owner of the Tradein Post in Town out of a old Lee Loadall, Bought the Lyman Manual...Been reading It, and am now completely confused...

Putting the Shell together is pretty straight forward...It's the Components...
The Manual says You cannot substitute any component in the Load Data....Is It that big a Deal?

The Load in the Manual I want to use, I cant find the Components for....

So...I found some Once fired Rem.12ga,2 3/4, 'Nitro Mag' Hulls Any Idea what Wad would work for 00 Buck?
Red Dot? Blue Dot? OtherPowder??

Any advice on Loading Buckshot would be most Welcome!!

Also anyone have a Lee OO Buckshot Mold Ya wanna Sell?
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Re: Loading Buckshot???

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 02 Sep 2020 19

It can be that big a deal. Back around the dawn of time 1968/69 I was loading 16 and 20 gauge on the Lyman shot shell loader that probably inspired the load all only it's mostly metal. I don't recall varying much from the book and my notes from those day were lost in one move or another. I think I may have played around with the wads as long as they were the same length. I had only been loading from about 2 years and pretty much treated the manuals as gospel. Never did any buck shot. Perhaps some of the guys with more recent experience will have a better handle.

Stay well, be safe, make smoke,
Curt.......makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time +guns +guns
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Re: Loading Buckshot???

Postby Ranch Dog » 03 Sep 2020 06

Ohio3Wheels wrote:It can be that big a deal.

What O3Ws said! Yeah, shotshell work is "reloading" vs. the "handloading" that most of us do with metallic cartridges. I do think that you bought the best shotshell loader on the market.

Load data for a shotshell comes down to a set of components that solves the "stack" within the hull so that it will close and guarantees that the sum total of the components will not hurt you or the gun.

The go-to reference that you need is BPI's Buckshot Manual. What I found with older references is that the components listed in the stacks are no longer available.

I have found these two online sources the best for components:
Ballistic Products
Precision Reloading
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Re: Loading Buckshot???

Postby Ranch Dog » 03 Sep 2020 06

Of course, there are the components listed on Lee's buckshot molds.
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Re: Loading Buckshot???

Postby mikld » 04 Sep 2020 14

When I reloaded shotshells I found it to be very "component specific". A specific shell was to be reloaded with a specific powder charge, a specific wad, or combination of wads, a specific amount of shot and a specific crimp. The first "problem" I found when not following the formula correctly was crimping. Often the crimp was "sunken" way too low and or I couldn't get a crimp to close. I didn't do any "load developments, work ups" like I do with metallic reloading, just followed load data line for line. I guess if I invested more time I could figger out variations in loads, but for the several hundred I reloaded all worked quite well if I followed the formula...
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Re: Loading Buckshot???

Postby Kaiser » 15 Oct 2020 09

My first loading tool was a 16ga "whack-a-mole" Lee many, many decades ago. Following the instructions, I seated the wad pressure using a bathroom scales (LOL)! As mentioned, the only problem I had with the plastic hulls was the final crimp; if you didn't use candle wax to seal the crimp they would "flower open" within a couple of weeks. (I carried a lot of loose pellets in my pockets those days!) The book, "Handloading for Hunters" by the late Don Zutz , got me interested in shot shell loading and experimenting early on. I found that, just like metallic loading, one could vary the "stack up" and composition of a shot shell to duplicate an I.C. in a full choke barrel, as well as "tightening up" patterns in an "open" bore. As RD has proven with his slug loads, shot shell loading can be a lot as much fun (or frustration) to find the perfect load as finding all the right components for a metallic case. For those buckshot loads, you might try plastic filler with your shot to improve the patterns (theoretically keeps the large shot from deformation). This product used to be marketed as "Thumbler's Tumbler, which has probably been replaced by a newer product. It may also help help patterns when using some of the "reclaimed" shot sold be trap and skeet concessions where many of the pellets are not in very good condition (I live near a trap range).

I have recently been using a "shot card" in a shell that was coming up a little short, causing about every 4th shell to "cave". A thin card did the trick! I had a ready supply from my muzzle loading supplies and it improved the final crimp without any detriment to my patterns. (They sure look better now!)

Like metallic loading, starting out with a fully automatic loaders that pumps out hundreds of rounds per hour is great for the competitive shooter; however, they fall short of the real challenge of reloading. Finding the ultimate combination of components for your firearms is the "gold standard" (IMHO) that adds to the excitement of a hunt when you take the game with a cartridge or bullet you made or put together! My .02
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Re: Loading Buckshot???

Postby orerancher » 16 Oct 2020 18

Bought a Lee OO Mold, The Buckshot Manual and Components from BPI....Put a few Shells together last weekend....

Ran Em through a 18in, Smooth Bore Chicom Pump gun... At 25yds I thought it Shot pretty good....

Now I wanna Try loadin Slugs.....
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Re: Loading Buckshot???

Postby Ranch Dog » 17 Oct 2020 05

There you go!
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