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Friday, July 27, 2012

Alternative shot shells. Part IV

  The past few weeks I have shared the method for making Brass shot shells. These are great shells and with some care can last seemly forever. However I found they don’t cycle well in Pump action and lever action shot guns. The key word being “well”.  You can modify them slightly by putting a bit of a roll to the edge of the Hull. I use a 1/2 “x 3/4” Copper pipe fitting. Placing the opened end over the hull and rapping it with a mallet. This will eliminate the straight edges that will hang up when you cycle a pump or lever gun. This will work but again it will set no speed records. You will receive a ton of karma and style points for using them though.  As slow as I am those points make me feel like I won something.
  As I mentioned in the earlier sections you can use these same loads in plastic and or paper hulls. If you belong to a gun club chances are you can find all the useable hulls you could want at the Trap/ Skeet range, free for the hauling. Remember though the primers for these; you will need 209 sized primers. Take your freshly sized and primed hull and load as we did in the Section III. In this case you will need to crimp the hulls closed. If you don’t already have a shot shell loader I will discuss some alternatives for closing crimping the freshly loaded hull. I will suggest in these hulls you do want to fill them with shot or fill wad column in. So some experimenting maybe needed. To figure out how much of each is needed. 

Lee Load all Jr. One of my bottom of the box deals. I use this for many 
of the shot shell loading steps including crimping .
I would love to find 2 or 3 more of these handy little loaders.
Setting the wads in this step.

I have found with Just one nitro and one fiber wad, an 1 1/8th oz load
is about the right amount.

    I have recently (in the past two years) begun loading paper hulls. They are more authentic looking, plus they cycle better in the pump and lever action guns. They are a bit more time consuming. They have to be trimmed generally remove the old crimped section of the spent hull. I use a piece of plastic water pipe cut and measured to the required length for a jig, placing each hull in the pipe. Then taking a box knife and cutting away what is sticking thru. One man I know just trims them on his band saw.  The finished hull will be slightly shorter than the 2/34” most are use to using. However older ‘97 Winchester’s prefer them, this short. Now that they are trimmed, I build my load. Then I place a 12 gauge Over shot card on top. I then place the loaded hull in the roll crimper. It clamps to a steady object a one inch board in a bench vise would work. I use an antique one I found on line. Around $15 cost. You can buy a commercial one from many locations that is used with a power drill to turn it. Costing about the same price. This method also works for plastic hulls.  If you’re a hell bent for speed and want to remain authentic to the era. I suggest you give these type loads a try. They were used long before the brass type. In which most feel did not evolve till World War 1.

For the sake of this article I just hand held the roll crimping
tool. Normally it is clamped to a bench of some type.

Finished rolled crimp

Same process if you would like to use plastic hulls.

Devises like the crimper die below(traditional star crimp) and the apple peeler style crimp roller
can found on many on line auction services. Good luck finding the little Lee loader I have. 
 There is also one as mentioned earlier that just chucks in to a power drill that will make a nice roll crimp. Look in shot shell loading supplies section.

I hope this has been help to the many who are wanting to cross over to the Dark Side. Loading brass hulls seems to be one of the most asked questions on many of the internet forums. After the initial investment reloading cost is much cheaper for continued enjoyment.  Just remember to wear your safety glasses, keep open flames away. I don't want to hear any whining later when you have a self inflicted boo-boo.

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