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  #1  
Old 01-16-2009, 11:46 AM
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Brass shotgun shells & reloading tools


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I recently saw an ad for solid brass shotgun hulls/cases. I had often thought about loading some of these for my side by side shotgun. Now that I have decided to try this, where do you get the dies needed to load brass shot shells? I looked at some old ones and they appear to have a slight roll crimp that holds a card, that keeps the load inside the hull/case. All I can find is the star crimp. Are the roll crimp tools available today? And last, what kind of reloading press should I get in order to load these shells?

Thanks,

longrangehunter
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2009, 04:38 PM
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You don't need any special reloading equipment for the brass shells. You can knock out the old primers with a punch and seat the new one by tapping on a wooden dial from the inside. Just measure the powder and shot by hand. There is no crimp just stick a stiff piece of paper on top and glue it in place with some Elmer's glue and thats it. If you have anymore questions send me a PM and I'll try to answer them.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2009, 06:28 PM
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RMC, Rocky Mountain Cartridge company, http://www.rockymountaincartridge.com/, has the best brass and a brass hand reloader...do a search for brass shotgun shells or cowboy shotshells and many hits will appear, check out some other shotgun forums and cowboy shooting forums...lots of information on them...you can use the old classic Lee shotshell reloader if you can find one...or the Lee load-all...or make the pieces and parts.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2009, 03:24 PM
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MidWay USA has brass shot shells for a whole lot less than RMC
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2009, 07:05 PM
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Often you'll see loading tools on ebay, the dowels use to compress the loads (easy to make your own), tools that look like pliers but with a ring on on side and the primer seater on the other (kinda nice to have). If you want to get fancy, that is!

Some have a decap pin on the end of one handle, most of the time they have been broken off.

Minimum stuff;

Hulls
Be aware that some brass hulls have larger inside diameters than others, if using fiber wads you may need to get one size larger. (11 gauge for use in 12 gauge hulls). Check out the Circlefly Wads homepage for great explanations.

Primers
Some of the brass hulls use small pistol or small rifle primers. If you are handy with tools, you can do like some folks and drill them out for 209 primers.

Powder
I have never used smokeless powder, just BP, but you can probably find some recipes for smokeless)

Shot

Wads/Cards
Use either an overpowder card or a wad to keep powder & shot from mixing. Depending on the gun you use, you would use either plastic wads (modern guns) or the fiber wads (older guns). Newer guns do not like the fiber wads - they tend to let the gas blow by and ruin patterns.
You will also use a card wad over the shot as baer19 said. I've used Elmers white glue, fingernail polish and the traditional sealer, sodium silicate, or waterglass. Go with Elmer's, it's cheap & easy to find! The neat thing about using overshot cards, is you can write the load on top and know what you are grabbing!

Powder/Shot dipper or measure
For Blackpowder loads, start with a "square" load. Whatever volume of powder use the same volume of shot. Too much powder will cause your pattern to have a hole in it. A "donut" pattern. An adjustable powder/shot dipper is another tool that is often seen on ebay and at antique & junk shops and gunshows. If you have Lee cc dippers, use'em.

Dowel
Use this to compress your load. I used the handle of my powder/shot dipper or a dowel.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2009, 01:50 AM
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Lots of good advice here. Pretty much all that you need to know.
The cases from Rocky Mt. Cartridge Co. are exquiste, lathe turned hulls. With proper care, you can leave them to your grandchildren. They are, however, not cheap. When I bought mine last year (I bought 10 for use in an old Parker SXS), they were six dollars each.
They are "true-to-gauge" - use 12 gauge components and 209 SG primers and are easy to load with either smokeless or BP.
I load mine with smokeless propellant. I use IMR 7625 which is well-behaved and gives the lowest pressures for the one ounce shot charges that I use. I am away from my loadbooks right now and do not recall the exact weight of the 7625 charge - something in the low 20s. I'll have to look up the recipe (won't be home til Sat.). The shells give me very uniform patterns from the Parker at my normal grouse distances of 25-30 yards. 80-90%.
I seal the OS card with Duco cement. I have used waterglass (liquid sodium silicate) but the Duco stores better if you intend to have the shells on the shelf for a while.

Pete
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Last edited by Pete D.; 01-20-2009 at 01:56 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2009, 09:38 PM
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Loading brass shotshells

Howdy,

I want to thank all of you for the help you have given me. Sounds like it is going to be a lot easier than I thought. Especially in regards to equipent. Fro what most of you wrote, I think I can make most of what I will need for reloading these brass hulls. And thanks for the addresses where to obtain parts if needed. My coach gun is finally going to have some prime loads for it.

longrangehunter
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2009, 06:40 PM
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Just wondering two things. How would 20 gauge brass shells do in an auto and is it possible to load slugs?
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2009, 09:32 PM
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slugs

Fletch: I don't know about the use of 20 ga. brass hulls in an auto loader. Maybe someone else can tell you. They do cycle through my Nova pump gun.
Yes, you can load slugs.
Pete
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2009, 02:37 AM
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Thanks Pete. One of the things that came up when researching how I might reload a 20 gauge slug to save money and gain accuracy was that a 2 3/4 shotgun shell is not 2 3/4 but 2 1/4 long. I did not realize that the open hull was the 2 3/4 length. It seems to me that the Magtech shell I see listed are 2.5 long. and if you have a 3" mag gun this leaves a long jump from the end of the shell to the rifling. I guess you can leave the slug sticking out the brass case by whatever your gun requires. My idea was to crimp much in the same way a rifle is done and put a copper gas check on a lead slug made to the exact size I need after slugging the barrel.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2009, 01:41 PM
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paradox

That sounds like the old Paradox rifle loads. I'm curious, though, and interested - how are you going to get that kind of crimp and where are you going to get .600" gas checks? In any case, doubt that you'd need the GCs as the wad column will protect the base of the slug at least as well.
What slug do you have in mind? And what loading?
Remember, also, that the CBC/Magtech brass 20 gauge hulls will need 19 gauge components (maybe even 18 ga.).
Pete
Here's a picture of a modern plastic hulled Paradox shell. Imagine it in brass. The old brass Paradox shells used a star-type crimp that was folded over the slug;, not a flat star crimp as on a shotshell, it had a distinctly pointy appearance.
[IMG][/IMG]
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Last edited by Pete D.; 11-21-2009 at 01:56 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2009, 05:14 PM
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I was looking a Corbin for the gas check, but they go from .577 to .622 and have nothing in between.
I will have to either have a custom mold made or see if a friend who is a machinist could modify a used or new mold.
the only option I can find is a Foster type that looks like a federal tru ball with out rifling bands from Midway. I want to try a longer slug and have been thinking about a hollow insert with a pointed end. Possibly alum. the shape would be close to Barns TEZ ML bullet. It could be a metal disc for a base with a stem if I can work out or find something to use. My feeling is the lead would expand into the rifling much in the same way a powerbelt does but it could be a sized down brass shell filled with lead. because copper is lighter than lead the same size bullet from turned down copper would have more bearing surface, but Barnes had trouble with copper fouling from pure copper and went to an alloy.
Hope you can follow my rambling and realize I am probably trying to re invent the wheel and something like this might have be done before.
Not sure how to get the crimp yet but possibly a modified hand loading die.
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2009, 05:15 PM
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I was looking at Corbin for the gas check, but they go from .577 to .622 and have nothing in between.
I will have to either have a custom mold made or see if a friend who is a machinist could modify a used or new mold.
the only option I can find is a Foster type that looks like a federal tru ball with out rifling bands from Midway. I want to try a longer slug and have been thinking about a hollow insert with a pointed end. Possibly alum. the shape would be close to Barns TEZ ML bullet. It could be a metal disc for a base with a stem if I can work out or find something to use. My feeling is the lead would expand into the rifling much in the same way a powerbelt does but it could be a sized down brass shell filled with lead. because copper is lighter than lead the same size bullet from turned down copper would have more bearing surface, but Barnes had trouble with copper fouling from pure copper and went to an alloy.
Hope you can follow my rambling and realize I am probably trying to re invent the wheel and something like this might have be done before.
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2009, 05:43 AM
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I still cant figure out how to delete one of the double entry's above.
But that said I think I will approach this from two directions.
the first is to make or build the bullet I want to use and try shooting with a 3" plastic sabot.
and the second is to reload some brass hulls with bird shot and get a feel if I want to
try this route. considering I have not been able to find a 3" brass 20 gauge shell.
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:58 AM
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Here in Brazil, brass shotgun shells are still very common. They are very expensive (costs 2 ou 3 times more than a plastic loaded shell), but, once bought, they are economic, beacuse are very durable (50+ reloads)and the shooter/hunter must only to buy the reloading components. This is specially important for the poor men that lives in jungle areas.

CBC (aka Magtech outside Brazil) produces brass shotgun shells in all gauges. Primers are of Berdan type, specific for brass shotgun shells and very different in size of pistol/rifle primers. These primers are "Tupan #56".

The powder flasks comes with a powder measure: a simple graduated (in gauges) plastic tube. This powder measure must be trimmed to fit the gauge of your shotgun, following the scale on the tube.

Reloading tools are very simple and, sometimes, even unnecessary. It exists only to turn the job easier, but these shells could be reloaded with no tools.

The wads are made from any avaliable material, like smashed newspaper, corks, sawdust mixer with melted parafin, etc....

Mistakes on reloading are very common. Years ago, Tramontina cutlery made a hunting knife called "Cašador" (Hunter). This knife had a tool in the back of blade to extract shells stucked in the chamber....

The Rosset company (www.rossett.com.br) produces tools for brass shotgun shell reloading. There are: calibrator, primer extractor and wad cutter (to cut wads from cardboard).
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  #16  
Old 12-03-2009, 04:02 AM
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CBC/Magtech brass hulls are available here in the States for loading with Boxer primers.
Pete
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2009, 06:44 AM
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It´s a hard thing to be a gun lover here in Brazil.....

I use brass hulls in 20 gauge, in my Boito A-680 (aka Stoeger Uplander in USA). I bought two boxes yesterday. It costs about US$ 2,00 EACH SHELL! But the reloading is cheaper than plastic shotshell reloading. The 209 primer costs four times more than Tupan #56 primers.

They could be loaded with plastic pneumatic wads for 16-gauge plastic shotshells with excellente results.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:45 PM
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wads

Quote:
They could be loaded with plastic pneumatic wads for 16-gauge plastic shotshells with excellente results.
That is a good thing to know. Thanks.
Pete
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  #19  
Old 01-20-2010, 09:14 AM
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Anybody have the dimension so I can turn my own?
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  #20  
Old 01-21-2010, 07:34 PM
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Dimensions

I'm away from home right now (about 3000 miles). I f you don't find the dimensions in the next few days, I'll measure and send.
What kind of brass stock will you use? IIRC, naval brass is the best choice.
Pete
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