Shooters Forum banner

#4 Buckshot

1135 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Jasbucks
I usually load a 12 GA load that I use for birds and clay targets. Recipe: 16.5 Grains of 700X with 1 1/8 oz of #7 or #8s. I usually use Remington wads with Winchester AA hulls(2 3/4) that I reload. I've recently joined a club who hunts coyotes with a 12 GA and they like to use #4 buckshot for coyotes. I have not found any recipes for #4 buckshot. I was thinking of replacing the 1 1/8 shot with the #4 buckshot. I'm not sure why this may be an unsafe combo but I recognize that this does not match a tested recipe that has been published. I don't know why the size of the shot as long at the amount of the shot matches 1 1/8 ounces would make a difference from a pressure or safety perspective.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
You might ask the other club members what they're using, unless they all use factory rounds.
I have to point out that I have never loaded a single shot shell in my life. Except for the part about exactly matching ALL components being VERY important for safety's sake, I know almost nothing about the intricacies. Please bear this in mind, if my subsequent ramblings make no sense or contradict established convention with shot shell reloading.
As the round is fired, expanding gas sends the shot and wad down the slightly constricting barrel, to the (choked or unchoked) muzzle. To accommodate the constriction, the shot must compress/deform/give in the process of traveling to the muzzle. A load of 1 & 1/8 oz of #7 or #8 shot consists of little spheres that will pretty readily compress/deform/give, to travel to the outside world. The individual pellets for those sizes run on the order of 0.088" in diameter. The diameter of #4 Buck is 0.24", almost 3 times the diameter of the bird shot. The larger shot tends to resist compression/distortion far more than the bird shot, which may make it prone to lodging somewhere in the length of the barrel, jacking up chamber/pressures to well over that they are stressed for, and possibly causing a catastrophic failure (a "Ka-boom" as it's sometimes called).
If your propellant is an Alliant product, you might examine their online shot shell loading guide. It seems they catalog data by charge weight, without regard to shot size (maybe it does NOT make a difference). Usually, there are two charge weights per load, sometimes 3. I wonder if you might be safe to use charge weights for 1 & 1/8 oz. loads, but make your "payload" closer to 1 oz. (20 or 21 pellets), then test it for patterning (and "Ka-booms"). You could increase charge weight OR "payload" incrementally, to see how it works.
See less See more
I've substituted shot sizes up to BB and never had a problem. If you do some pattern testing at 40-50yds where the larger 4 buck would come into play I believe you'll find them a poor choice especially in 2 3/4, lots of guns out there will throw buckshot high or low even to one side or the other and with a pattern full of holes. Full disclosure I don't load 12 gauge, biggest I mess with is 3" 20 and I've shot a lot of the factory 12guage loads from Hornady, Remington and Winchester on paper..
I use the same powder charge for the different shot sizes I load. As long as the shot weight is the same, the shells should function normally.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Ballistic Products produces and sells a PDF Buckshot loading manual. I own it and find it to be quite helpful. Precision Reloading is supposed to be testing on some loads I sent them awhile back with buckshot using field load data and wads, but I have not heard back from them.
Late to the party on this, but be careful buying Ballistic Product’s nickel plated buckshot. It ain’t all that. Very crudely made. Best buck I’ve hand loaded was made by Hornady. As previously noted, Ballistic Products does make a nice buck loading manual, but it lists their components exclusively.
My experience with factory #4 buck is only a handful. I did eviserate the sheet metal on a hot water heater from 35-40 yds. Whole lotta holes in that sheet metal shroud. I make this round as shooting half a box of 22 Hi Speed c shorts at this metal shroud?? Maybe not fatal, but extremely painful, and incapacitating.
Nothing wrong with a little time-warp now and then.
Breakfast is good anytime!
I used to reload a lot way back when I was doing the local Trap competitions had to use factory there.....Any way I had a cousin, again way back when, set on getting coyote skins to make a coat. He had an Ultra-Lite and we went out huntn...I was disappointed to say the least in the performance. We got a couple but it wasn't a good kill.
I used factory loads too
1 - 9 of 9 Posts