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Mar 25th, 2012
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More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting #7571209 08/03/19 08:56 PM
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Let me start with the reloading. I've spent a lot of time pondering the pressure wad and slugs. In a nutshell, most molds depend on the wad cup for bore fit, forming a sabot, but I do not think the pressure column is capable of surviving the slugs acceleration down the barrel. Almost all the readable experience blames the slug, I've done that myself, but I been asking myself, what if it is the pressure column creating the problem. With this in mind, I decided to get rid of the pressure column to see how a tail-less slug shot.

I wanted to work with the Lee 1 oz slug, so I still need a shot cup to act as a sabot to get it down the barrel. I've bought a dozen and a half pressure wads based on different recommendations, but I've only found two out of those that have the thickness for a positive bore fit and don't have petals that extend a distance ahead of the slug. Both are BPI offerings, their 078 Lightning and the PT1205. To keep the base of the shot cup from collapsing into the hollow base of the Lee slug, a 20 gauge wad or card is used between slug and cup. The drive key cast into the slug is supposed to prevent that, but anyone that has shot the slugs know that it still happens with every shot. With the two pressure wads I chose, a " felt or cork wad will place the top of the cup petals for a perfect fit against the slug's ogive. A razor blade slices off the "tail feathers" of the cup in seconds. Here are my two sabots for the Lee, the two on the left are the 078 Lightning, one with a felt wad (white) and the other a cork, and the PT1205 with a cork wad.

[Linked Image]

In place of the pressure column, I use two 50mm waxed cards with a Mini 12 Gauge Nitro card between the powder and the waxed cards. Let me detail the components with this image.

[Linked Image]

This hull split while forming the final six-star crimp, so I cut the shell open with a razor for the image. What I found is that the Nitro card above the powder is not a Mini (.070"), but rather a .125" card. That thicker card probably caused the split.

I've done enough shooting that my choice with a 2" or 3" roll stamped chamber is always a 3" hull. Just like the sabot provides a positive fit against the bore for the slug, at the shot, the fold of the 3" hull offers the same support against the greater diameter of the chamber. Using a 2" hull in a 3" chamber means that the saboted slug must jump across " unsupported chamber. To do such, starts the ball rolling toward poor MOA performance downrange.

I've also given up on roll crimps. The MOA performance I've seen has always been better with a six-star folded crimp. I've had more hulls survive to be loaded another day with the star over the roll crimp as well. I have $400 worth of a MEC Slugger press on the bench that does a very lovely folded roll crimp, but the six-star always wins downrange. To that end, I've been using a little Lee Load-All Junior press for the slug work with the Lee slug.

[Linked Image]


Re: More Smooth Bore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7571212 08/03/19 09:02 PM
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This morning was the first range day for my "new" Western Field Slugster.

[Linked Image]

Because of chores in the pasture and the heat coming up, it was going to be a quick shoot at 25 and 50-yards. First here is the fit of the Lee 1oz slug saboted by the Lightning 078's shot cup. It is a very tight fit and must be knocked out with a wooden dowel and mallet.

[Linked Image]

To keep this shorter than the first post, I shot three at 25-yards, adjusted the Williams rear sight to move the POI left and down, one index marking each (wasn't sure what reference the indexes represent), and shot three more slugs at 50-yards.

[Linked Image]

Yeap, there are six holes in that target! I'm truly amazed! I doubt my rifled barrels could put six slugs into a similar size group with their best slugs; The group did not expand with the 50-yard shooting, that means the MOA shrunk!

I've been shooting this round in my Mossberg smoothbore pump and it is just as accurate. What is interesting is that there is nothing found downrange other than the white felt 20G " wads about 8 to 10 yards from the barrel. I haven't seen anything else. Given the consistency of the felt wads in the same spot must mean that the shot cup is departing immediately, I'm good with that given the target performance.



Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7571226 08/03/19 09:29 PM
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Oh, a necessary caveat! In my rifled barrels, the above load will not hit the 25-yard berm let alone the target laugh

Funny the difference, but a rifled barrel is a different animal. My next work with the "bore and groove" will be with the Accurate 73-470S mold, a full bore bullet for rifled barrels.


Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7571383 08/04/19 02:11 AM
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Good shooting, and I commend your efforts! Aint no way in hell I want to test that many loads for a slug gun.


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Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Tactical Cowboy] #7571500 08/04/19 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tactical Cowboy
Good shooting, and I commend your efforts! Aint no way in hell I want to test that many loads for a slug gun.

Yeah, to get it centered up, I'm going to have to put the Lead Sled on the shooting bench.

The Marlin 512 that I've been working with weighs in at 9.1 lbs and the Western Field 6.9. The Marlin does have a scope, bases, and the rifled barrel. The 2.8 lb difference was brutal and got my attention with the first shot.

I'm also amazed just how accurate the pumpkin chunkers are. I went out into the pasture yesterday evening into the night in search of a hog. The entrance to the pasture is down my range, and like I do every time I head back for a night hunt, I test my rifle at 100-yards. The slug guns are not an exception. Here is that one shot and what I've come to expect with my Marlin 512.

[Linked Image]

The projectile is the Sabot Technologies 420-grain Hammerhead, that I cast, seated in their sabot. At impact, the sabot stays behind, and the Hammerhead continues.


Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7571888 08/04/19 09:46 PM
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Thanks for sharing, nice shooting!

Last edited by laid over; 08/04/19 09:46 PM.

-Bryan

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Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7572232 08/05/19 04:44 AM
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Very nice. I took mine out yesterday to do a little load testing, and after 3 shots off a bench, the 1300 launching 1oz factory slugs was more than I wanted!!


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Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7572742 08/05/19 08:00 PM
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Got to get a ski jacket type life vest to shoot with. With that, I limit myself to about a dozen.


Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7678370 12/03/19 03:28 AM
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I thought I would come back to this topic concerning my "smoothbore", a Western Field 170, and the Lee slug.

I had finalized the load about as I started with it. Every time I shot a target at 50 yards, I sent the slug through the bullseye. I had planned to use the gun on a "slug only" draw hunt in South Texas. I was not chosen for the hunt, so the 170 and it's reloading stopped. The open sights do not lend itself to low light or night time hog hunting, so it's been sitting in a gun rack.

"Doe days" started over Thanksgiving, so I brought it out and shot a couple of cull rounds that I had sitting on the bench, all went through the 50-yard bullseye. I pulled the Lee Load-All Jr. off the shelf as well and loaded up a few rounds to see if I could kill a doe. I've been out every day, but with the heat (up to 85º), the deer are moving only in the first few minutes of shooting time. Against the gray sky, brush, and deer, I cannot see the Williams rifle sights well enough to shoot. I even white chaulked the front sight, still doesn't stand out. The sight stuff isn't unique; it has been the same experience every time I've tried using them.

On Saturday morning, in the first 10 minutes of hunting, I saw 14 to 16 does, most within 50-yards, but I could not put a bead on one of them. At 9:00, after two hours of not seeing anything else. I started to walk out. I just happened to see a buck leaving a wildlife waterer out in the native grass. I checked him to see if he met the antler restrictions and took off. He was 300-yards away, and I closed the distance to 65-yards just as he was about to enter some dense brush. I took an off-hand shot, and there was no doubt I smacked the heck out of the deer.

Finally, I did it it — my first deer with a slug and open sights!

[Linked Image]

The deer jumped up high using its rear legs, I could tell that both front shoulders were broken, and went down about 7-yards in the thicket. I've not shot beyond 50-yards on the range, mainly because the thick blade of the fronts sight covers too much of the target, but my hit (above the hull) was near perfect (could have been raised a tad more). Everything in the chest cavity was gravy.

I'm in love with this smoothbore and the "tail-less" Lee. I will continue to load it on the Load-All Junior as it just folds everything perfectly. If I use the Load-All II, I need a thin spacer to limit the tool-head travel. Not a big deal as it gives the cute, old press a purpose.

Here is the load.

[Linked Image]


Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7678384 12/03/19 03:46 AM
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Good to see all that work on the loads paying off, Congrats Sircheers

Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: kmon1] #7678438 12/03/19 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kmon1
Good to see all that work on the loads paying off, Congrats Sircheers

X2


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Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7678473 12/03/19 12:06 PM
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Now, I need to figure out better sights for this Slugster.

Honestly, I pondered this deer long and hard as I'm in an AR County, so I get one buck with the 13">. I knew right of way that the antlers fit, he was a strapping young guy, but he is not up to the age of what I shoot. In the picture, I turned him so that a wound in his neck cannot be seen. It was a "slice" across the top of his neck; it looks round after hung and being able to stretch. The picture is after I cleaned it up and flushed under the hide. I guess it's from a neck shot with something like a 223 Rem, I've seen it before. I've also seen the wounds months later, and the infections are eating meat down to the bone.

[Linked Image]

The hide is not attached to the muscle for two to three inches around the wound. I would say the buck was shot from a ground blind, given the angle of the slice across his neck.

He was a 14" 8-pt, 2½ years old (tooth wear), 142 lbs live weight and 116 lbs field dressed. He should eat real good though, not like the tough old mules I've been getting!


Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7683824 12/09/19 01:29 AM
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Good deal I like the load and the way it shoots. Seems to me if an Abrams tank can hit something 2 miles out with it's smoothbore 120 mm cannon that there should be a way for us to make more accurate slug ammo. All my slug guns are 20 gauge nowadays, since I had 3 discs replaced in my neck I just can't get away with shooting a 12 gauge slug. My current slug gun being a 20 gauge Remington 870 that I have both smooth and rifled barrels for just doesn't get used much. Need to change that. When I did hunt a lot with it I preferred the smoothbore as where I used it getting a 60 yard shot was rare. I also liked being able to use shot if I felt like it.

Re: More Smoothbore Reloading & Shooting [Re: Ranch Dog] #7683948 12/09/19 04:50 AM
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cheers


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