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I'm looking for some general pointers on loading 2 inch 12 ga shotshells. I know they can be safely made but have no source of reloading data.

I want this type shell for shooting IPSC competition and with 2 inch shells I can get an extra shell in my benelli M90 magazine.

I have already made some using a roll crimper and the same powder and load as I used in the 2 3/4 inch shell. (when I mention 2 inch shell I mean that's the OAL length of the completed round, not that of the fired hull).

In the standard 2 3/4 hull I have 33 grains of 540 giving 1200fps with a 400 grain buckshot load. In a 2 inch hull, using a green active wad with the petals cut off, the same load is about750 fps.

I need to use faster powders. I will proceed with extreme caution but welcome any advice or experience with these shorter hulls, the goal being to get 1200 fps with 400 grains load.
 

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I have loaded 2" and 2 1/2" shells for friends that own high grade English doubles. I would suggest not going over a 1 ounce load. Unique is a great powder for these peewee shells. Use any listed load for one ounce, a nitro card or BPS overpowder wad, a wool filler wads (to adjust crimp), and a thin overshot wad. Fiocchi has both 2" and 2 1/2" hulls listed in Ballistic Products catalog (www.ballisticproducts.com). Give them an email and ask for catalog #96. Another thing we do is cut off good hulls that the crimp has gone bad.
In order to get as much hull capacity as possible, roll crimps are needed.
Best Regards, James



<!--EDIT|James Gates|Feb. 08 2002,14:16-->
 

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Another source for 2" 12 gauge shells is Aguila. They have factory buckshot loads that should serve your purpose, but doesn't IPSC still mandate birdshot? In my former life of match shooter we were required to use nothing larger than #6 shot, in order to reduce the richocet hazard.
 

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James, Bill,

Thanks for the replies. I find that cutting off 2 3/4 hulls just below the fold crimp neck gives a nice finished 2 inch shell. I don't need the overshot wad because the buckshot is "joined at the hip", so to speak. I took a Lyman .30 cal roundball mold and drilled and connected 2 more cavities in each of the block faces, so that it throws a 3 ball unit where the balls are connected by the flow channels.A unit weighs about 173 grains, and I stagger 'em 3 to a hull. The idea is the unit stays together till it gets to the target, and breaks apart on impact or penetration. I got the idea from ebay, where once in a while a guy sells what he calls "clusterbomb" buckshot molds, except his are factory made by Weaver and use 4 smaller balls.

I've never heard of an IPSC load restriction and we use everything including slugs. My homemade buckshot does a good job of knocking down the steel and if dead stumps are anything to go by it would make a nasty wound on a living creature, especially when the shot is heat-treated.

I have some Aguila 1.5 inch hulls and the powder looks exactly like Red Dot. They won't function in the Benelli but will function in my 870 if the muzzle is pointed down from level when cycling a round.

John Stamp
 

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John,

Your brief description of the modifications you made to your Lyman round ball mold has piqued my interest!  Would you mind elaborating, or perhaps posting a photo of the open mold if possible?  An intriguing idea!

Thanks!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Indeed...Those sound like the bar-shot our ancestors use on shipboard cannons!!
I too am interested, as we will be testing buckshot in the near future.
Best Regards, James
 

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James,

Please be a little more specific about how todevelop loads for the 2 and 2.5 inch  chambers of  British shotguns. I have some of the ballistic products  short one piece wads for the short hulls, but do not have the specifics of loads for these short cartriges.

Thanks,
Dave
 

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Dave and All....There are other considerations to think about when setting up a 2" or 2 1/2" shell. Most of the original loads were set up using Super Ballistite, etc......a fast burn powder near Bullseye. The pressure curve is important. It should peak back near the front of the forcing cone, as this a very light and thin barrels yo near the forearm. I have found it best to use a nitro card(as the otiginals) and light wool filler wads. The forcing cones it these guns was very short, for use with card wads. A rolled crimp was not only traditional, but needed to increase hull capacity. Try to hold your chamber pressure in the 8,000 to 9,000 psi. Any listed load for Bullseye ( and maybe Unique) for a 7/8 to 1 oz load will be fine. After seating your over-powder Nitro wad, adjust your rolled crimp index with soft wool 1/8" filler wads. If you plan on modern short shells with the shorty plastic wads, contact Ballistic Products for powder combos.
Best Regards, James
 

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James,

Thanks for the advice. I have the BP book "Care and Feeding of Fine Doubles"
Unfortunately that publication uses almost exclusively the Solo line of powders and Fioochi primers. Neither of these are available on the local economy and after 11 Sept. exports from the U.S. of these materials is exceedingly difficult. I am told that some police departments here have not been able to get timely export permission from the US State Department.

Therefore I need to find a new solution. I have been looking at the low pressures generated by some loads of 7625. Since these can be down in the sub 5000 psi range could these loads be adapted for use in the short cases using the Ballistic Products plastic wads? Since I had not even considered the requirement of a pressure peak in the forcing cone, I am now wondering where the pressure peak for 7625 is likely to occur and is it likely to be any higher than the residual pressure of an equivalent Bullseye load at that point in the barrel. What do you think? Which of the commonly available primers is likely to give the lowest pressures witheither bulklseye, Unique or 7625?  I of course realize that I can not depend on you opinion in any fashion whatsoever and that I am on my own if I proceed to load any cartridges whether I use your information or not.

Regards,
Dave
 

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To my knowledge thee is no short supply of either The Fio616 (mag) or Fio615 (reg) through Ballistic Products. The CCI reg is a close sub for the Fio615. I have not loaded the short cases with plastic wads.
I did locate the following:
12 ga. - 2" - WW209 - 17 grs International - BP Compact -7/8 oz - 1180 fps - 7,500 psi
12 ga. - 2" - WW209 - 19 grs International - BP Compact - 1 oz - 1130 fps - 8,900 psi
My suggested load : WW 209 - 17 grs Bullseye - nitro card - 1/8 " wool wad - 1 oz - 1200 fps - 8,000 psi
Of course is in my guns.
Best Regards, James
 

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Jim,

Thanks once again for your time and expertise. Those components I either have or have access to. I was somewhat surprised to find no data listed in any of 20 or 25 referenced books here in the house including a number that are about British firearms.

Getting the export permits for fioochi primers or other components from BP is now apparently very difficult and time consuming. The custom handloaders and gun shops here in western Canada are all complaining about the four month plus waiting period to get a US export permit and the US State Department requirement for the purchaser tofirst  supply an import permit from the Canadian Government. The Canadian Government does not require the import permit. Ever try to get a permit from a government that requires the permit? It is somewhat more difficult I am told to get a permit from the Canadian Government when they do not themselves require it.

Thanks again
Dave
 

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The latest issue of Wing and Shot has an article on 2" and 2.5" 12 gauge shells, including the contact information for components.
 

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Dave.....Sorry I overlooked your location.
CCI regular primer can be sub for Fio615's and CCI mag can sub for Fio616.
Another point...I use a 3/4" wad cutter, available from Dixie Gun Works, to make 12 ga wads for special situations....cardboard, felt, styro,etc
If one has a waddcutter, he can get by.
Best Regards, James
 

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Dave....One other comment on wadcutters. Some tend to be expensive and hardly justify the cost. However, most gunsmiths have a section of 12 ga barrel that have cut off. One can cut a 6" section, sharpen it on a bench grinder, temper it to straw-yellow with a propane torch or gas burner, and end up with a pretty good wadcutter. It may be slightly under .750", but works good all the same
Best Regards, James
 
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