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Discussion Starter #1
First off I am completely new to reloading buckshot, I have done some birdshot but i realize this is a completely different animal. I just bought a MEC Steelmaster (3.5 inch reloader)

I am looking for advice and/or recipes for reloading 12ga 3.5" buckshot. I have found plenty of data on 00BK. However I really want to use 1BK, 0BK LEAD. I am curios if anyone has done this and is willing to give me some advice! Any advice on reloadeing 3.5" period would be great.

Types of wads to use for 3.5" lead buckshot? Do I need to use a gas seal if I use a wad?

I have purchased a couple of reloading manuals and have read them from front to back some call for a wad, some just a gas seal, some both wad and gas seal, some call for the "filler between the pellets" some dont. I am a little lost on where to go from here. Any advice or suggestion to websites/books would be great.

Thanks,

Dale S. Winstead
 

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I have loaded a bunch of 3" 12 gauge and 3 1/2 10 gauge buckshot. The wads I use for all my heavy loads are bpi multi metal. I got the info to get me started from bpi. Shot size is irrelevant to powder charge its the weight of your shot you need to be focused on. I cast my buckshot with a harder alloy and it really improved the pattern. The powder I used was unique, blue dot and, steel.
 

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MJYeagle, Did you use a buffer every time? I bought the BPI buckshot and shotgun reloading manuals and see in the recipes from BPI, that it doesnt always call for it? Doesn't it improve pattern?

Just curios why all the recipies dont call for it? All the manufacturered shells have it
 

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Since you are focusing on 0B loads here is a data source you may wish to consider:


For conventional small pellet, "T" through "000", buckshot loads, this Handloader article by Wallace Labisky is well worth the $10 back issue tariff. The focus is on Blue Dot Powder with components that are still current. This is a very in-depth article on pressure tested, buffered, 3.5" buckshot loads with details on how to assemble the loads and the author's pattern results.

https://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/PDF/186hl.pdf
 

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Tobaccoman,

I am curious, what do you shoot with your 3.5 inch Buckshot loads? I handload all my shotgun loads and never got to the 3 or 3.5 inch varieties. I have too much expensive dental work to shoot a 3 or 3.5 inch anything!

Webley
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Webley I hunt deer with my 3.5 in, I have been satisified in the past with the loads available. But now the only thing offered is 00Buck from Winchester, and Remington.... I am not shooting a federal shell!! I have always prefered 1Buck, or 0Buck. Now that I have this reloader it opens a new world of what I can do.

PS THanks Ralph McLaney for the the INFO!
 

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Dale,

I think you will find a new depth of understanding on how to make buckshot perform when you put together top performing loads of your own.
Let us know how this works out for you.
 

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MJYeagle, Did you use a buffer every time? I bought the BPI buckshot and shotgun reloading manuals and see in the recipes from BPI, that it doesnt always call for it? Doesn't it improve pattern?

Just curios why all the recipies dont call for it? All the manufacturered shells have it
Sorry for the late reply I have never used buffer or fillers in anything. As Ralph said I am also interested in your results.
 

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Since you are focusing on 0B loads here is a data source you may wish to consider:


For conventional small pellet, "T" through "000", buckshot loads, this Handloader article by Wallace Labisky is well worth the $10 back issue tariff. The focus is on Blue Dot Powder with components that are still current. This is a very in-depth article on pressure tested, buffered, 3.5" buckshot loads with details on how to assemble the loads and the author's pattern results.

https://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/PDF/186hl.pdf
One overlooked point, the bead size of Precision Reloading's spherical buffer was significantly reduced in 2004. The tiny bead size in current PSB makes for a very smooth pellet flow through choke constriction and superior pattern results in most instances.
 

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The BPI manual is really useful. I especially like #O and #1. I have a Lee six cavity #.5, I.e. .310" mold from Track of the Wolf.
 

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The BPI manual is really useful. I especially like #O and #1. I have a Lee six cavity #.5, I.e. .310" mold from Track of the Wolf.
The .310" buckshot pellet is especially useful when used with conventional 12 gauge plastic wads.

For those who want to try this without casting:

1031004433 - Hunters Supply- #1 Buck Shot 5-lbs

Hunter supply calls this #1B but these hard cast 15 BHN pellets measure .310"

Super Buck Lead #1-1/2 (8 lb/jar) .310-Ballistic Products

Ballistic products calls this size #1 1/2 buckshot.


And yes I wish Lee Precision made all their buckshot molds on the six cavity design.

The six cavity layout beats the 18 pellet mold in ease of use and a decided lack of drama in getting mold fill out! :D
 

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In revisiting this thread, it was evident that I had overlooked the words highlighted below. I have also heard and read negative statements elsewhere about Federal Buckshot, primarily from dog hunters, (deer hunting with dogs)

What I have not heard is a reasoned explanation for avoiding Federal buckshot ammunition.

Federal Premium has driven major improvements in commercial buckshot ammo. In the 1980's with offset or "spiral" stacking that put the word "tight" in full choke 00B patterns. Federal did it again at the dawn of the 21st century with Flite-Control buckshot that virtually built choke into the wad.

Finally, the Handloader article by Wallace Labisky, that I recommended, used Federal 3.5 hulls exclusively! :rolleyes:




Webley I hunt deer with my 3.5 in, I have been satisified in the past with the loads available. But now the only thing offered is 00Buck from Winchester, and Remington.... I am not shooting a federal shell!! I have always prefered 1Buck, or 0Buck. Now that I have this reloader it opens a new world of what I can do.

PS THanks Ralph McLaney for the the INFO!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In revisiting this thread, it was evident that I had overlooked the words highlighted below. I have also heard and read negative statements elsewhere about Federal Buckshot, primarily from dog hunters, (deer hunting with dogs)

What I have not heard is a reasoned explanation for avoiding Federal buckshot ammunition.

Federal Premium has driven major improvements in commercial buckshot ammo. In the 1980's with offset or "spiral" stacking that put the word "tight" in full choke 00B patterns. Federal did it again at the dawn of the 21st century with Flite-Control buckshot that virtually built choke into the wad.

Finally, the Handloader article by Wallace Labisky, that I recommended, used Federal 3.5 hulls exclusively!





Webley I hunt deer with my 3.5 in, I have been satisified in the past with the loads available. But now the only thing offered is 00Buck from Winchester, and Remington.... I am not shooting a federal shell!! I have always prefered 1Buck, or 0Buck. Now that I have this reloader it opens a new world of what I can do.

PS THanks Ralph McLaney for the the INFO!
It’s not the shell but the factory loads are made so poorly. As far as I know it isn’t the shell design in itself.

For everyone else. I have a few years under my belt now and have made the perfect shell for me. I have found that I thought I have had the best success with 1 and 2 s blended. There again I am a head shot man.

The trick I found was indeed what many of you mentioned powder to shot ratio is the most improtant part to pattern.

I am utilizing a wad that i slit to my own depth and this also improved pattern to my desire.

The other trick is always put one 00 pellet at the bottom for luck 🙂

At the end of the day I have a faster moving shot vs factory Remington 00 3.5 ..... and it patterns better to kill my target!

If anyone needs help just let me know I will be glad to share more
 
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