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Discussion Starter #1
Well....For the last two months I have been working on specialty shotshells in 12 ga 3" mag. aimed at turkey loads out to 50 yards. We have developed some very high center core loads using #4 copper plated shot.
Is there any interest on the forum for these? Next we are moving over to buckshot and then slugs.
Best Regards, James
 

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Emphatically interested.

While I have never loaded shotshells, I do intend to start soon. With PA's Spring Gobbler season on the horizon I'm certainly in the market for any good Tom load information.

Up to this point I've thought of using no. 6's for highest density (compared to say 5's or 4's). I hope to get out this week with a good friend to do some pattern work. He has one of the new Ithaca 37's and hopes to take his first turkey with it during the Spring season.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bill....Let's see if we get any more results from the forum. If not, I am now talking to a few died in the wool shotgunners and can copy you with all results, as I am doing with them.
Now for shot size...We try to develop a shot load that will give a min of 2 ft lbs per pellet @ 50 yards. This is needed for penetration, from actual killing many turkies! #6's run out of steam at about 35 yards, based on 1200 fps.Some shooter try to pick up pellet density by going to 6's, but it is self defeating. For 'Yotes coming to a call in heavy cover, the same load with #2.s work wonders.
To kick off this specialty shotgun stuff, I have sent Alex some 5 short articles called "Thoughts on..........". I think you will find them interesting. It is my hope that we can (as discussed with Marshall) broaden out the forum even more.
I did all the R&D on the Smith&Wesson brand of shotshells when I was with them. Over the past 25 years I have learn quitea bit about specialized shotshells. It is sad that many of my friends that wrote a great deal on shotguns have passed on.
talk to you later........Best Regards, James
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I'd really be fascinated to hear more about these loads.  While I've loaded many thousands of 'ordinary' target & hunting loads, I never had enough information to go much beyond that.  The Lyman shotshell handbook has some interesting slug loads using a AA hull, of which I have a thousand or so on hand.
 

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Hi, Mr. Gates:
   Sure, post your results.  This board is biased to shooting wheelguns and lever actions with cast bullets, but I'd guess that 3/4 of the regulars have a shotgun and 3/4s reload metallics.  So 3/4 X 3/4 = 9/16 and that many either load shotshells or are thinking about it.  Your articles might just give MECs sales a boost.

    Most of my shotgun reloading is for Hunter Safety, so I need SAFE low recoil 20 gauge loads.   There are a few turkeys in the Qu'Appelle Valley 20 miles south of here, but I don't think we'll ever see a season in Saskatchewan.  Pheasants don't make it here either, although they hang on a 100 miles south of here.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mike...The AA case is a good tough case for 1 oz., 1 1/8 oz., and maybe 1 1/4 oz loads. Beyord that problems arise with the tapered inside walls. Long range specialty loads needed a high volume straight wall case like the Fiocchi, Federal Gold Metal, Activ, or Cheddite hulls. We do not use one piece wads. Another problem is with the smaller overpowder cup on the wads designed for tapered cases, when used in back-bored 3" guns. They do not seal. We use a shot cup that holds up to 2 oz of shot (Turkey Ranger) + super light wool filler wads + PGS, BPS, or X12X over-powder wad. The best powder we have found is Blue Dot as the pressure curve is correct for these heavey payloads. The best place to buy all of the components for specialty loads is Ballistic Products.
The first thing we have done is check the patterning of the factory loads. My brother Clay spent quite some time doing that with 3 different guns. The best patterning factory turkey load has been the WW Supreme 3" XX load. Our specialty load beats them by 10% to 15% at 50 yards. If someone is satisfied with a 35 yard load, they should use factory...However, if they want a load the will put an average of 24 #4 pellets in a 10" circle at 40 plus yards, they will have to build it.
keep in Touch.....best Regards, James
 

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James,

Have you tried Hevi-Shot for your long-range turkey loads? I understand that brand swept last year's NWTF national shoot due to the combination of increased pattern density from smaller shot sizes while still maintaining adequate energy from the higher density of Hevi-Shot compared to lead.

Also, what are your thoughts on aftermarket turkey chokes compared to factory tubes of similar constriction? I've never done any turkey hunting until 2002 so would be interested in your experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hevi-Shot may offer some interesting possibilities in the future. At present the shot is very expensive. We will have to see.
The other interesting factor is its weight. Pellet count per ounce is less than lead, but the additional weight could pay off in downrange energy.
As for after-market chokes.....some are good, some are not so good, and some are a joke. My brother has a Comp-N-Choke that he is pleased with when using #5 shot. There is two different ideas for AMC's...One is super tight constriction, which works on the small, very hard pellets. The other is the Wad Retention Theory....That the choke grabs and pauses the wad, letting the shot move out undisturbed. My Specialty Shotshells work in this type choke, as well as the regular choke tubes and fixed chokes.
All of the present factory offerings will work well out to 40 yards (most of the time)!!!!!
#6's will break a neck at maybe 40 yards, but for those body shots out at 50 yards, they can't hump it.
Remember, it's not the amount of shot in the shell, but rather the number of heavy shot hitting a 10" circle at 50 yards. I can build a shell that will fill up that circle at 50 yards with #6 through #8, but will it kill cleanly. Would you shoot a Canada goose at 50 yards with #6's?<!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->?<!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->? I think not and a tom turkey can weigh more. So.....shooting little circles in a shooting game is much like a card shoot.....a game.
Best Regards, James
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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What about Bismuth?  Any experience loading that?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No, Mike.......Bismuth, along with Hevi-shot is still yet to be proven for the general turkey hunter. Both have potential, but since turkey hunting has not had the toxic shot problem, I think we are safe with what we are doing with hard copper plated lead, However, no one knows what the future (and laws) may hold. With copper plated shot's history from 1935, I am not ready to leave it yet. The meat hunter is unlike those involved in other shooting games....He is super conservative and reluctant to change from ammo he has been successful with. On the other hand paper shooters and clay bird shooters are always jumping back and forth, seeking something new. just because it works on paper or clay birds, doesn'y mean anything under actual hunting conditions. There is a complete new group of turkey hunters buying arm loads of gadjets that they think will help kill birds. TV and the gun writers are jumping on this new group for potential sales. I don't pay much attention to them. After they have killed a few hundred birds (if they ever do) I might listen. Until then I will post what we have had work....If people don't like it, they are welcome to do whatever they think best.
Best Regards, James
 

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James,

What's your opinion of the Remington Duplex loads? I have some ancient BBx4 3" shells loaded with a full 2 oz. of copper plated shot. These are the old dark green-painted shells sold before the nationwide non-toxic shot law went into full effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bill....One can still get duplex loads, however the are not fish or fowl. There's not enough heavy shot to guarantee a long range dense pattern. Sure, they will kill birds at 30/40 yards....but #4 will kill to 50 yards and #2 beyond.....so why bother.
Test have shown the the heavier shot will indeed leave the smaller behind in the shot string thus giving a extra long shot string and maybe two. On any flying game we know a short shot string gives more hits.It's not a new concept and was discussed by Greener in the 1800's. He thought it was a waste of time then and nothing has come about to change it. Write it off as a sales gimmick. Now a buck & ball load is an entire different matter. That is a large diameter bore size ball and a couple of layers of buckshot below it.
 

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James,

Yes I would certainly agree that the duplex rounds are not the best for flying birds. As you said, shot string length is something many (most?) shotgunners don't take into consideration. Bob Brister did his tests in, what, the 1950's towing a long streamer target behind a moving car that proved there was a problem. This is the main reason why the 12 gauge/3.5" shell will never match up to the great 10 bore no matter how the ammo manufacturers try to market the rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Righto!.....There have been various method of testing shot strings, the best so far are the high speed cameras. The high speed film thought use a lot of things.....how the wads were working, was the hard waxed wads hitting the rear of the shot charge, did overshot wads really blow the patterns, and did a slow release wad extend patterns?
Back when Ithaca was developing their auto, I spent some time up a Ithaca with Stewart on that project. At the time I had a AYA 10 ga-3 1/2" mag and had been testing Ballistic Pattern Drivers.
As you may recall...I mentioned that each gauge seemed to have a weight (diameter Vs length) of shot that favored that gauge as far as long range patterns was concerned. In the .720 " barrels it looks like 1 5/8 oz, where back-bored .740" barrels it could go up to 1 7/8 oz. This trend seems to go on up to 10 ga .775" barrels with 2 oz of shot?<!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->?<!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->???
You just can't tell it until the yardage gets out to 50 yards and plus.
Best Regards, James
 

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James, your post and Bill's mention of the 10GA got me thinking... ever do any triple (or quad! ) roundball loads for the 10?

Bet you could get a really impressive payload... perhaps we'd call this one a "Dixie Sausage Grinder"... (and that's just what it does to the shooter! ).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No, Mike.....I only worked on shot loads. There is no reason one could not work up a multi-ball load for the 10 ga. Keeping the weight of the combined balls at what was a good 3 1/2" load shot load, pressure wise.
Best Regards, James
 

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James: I am working with some loads using the Fiocchi and Active hulls in 3" 12 Ga. I have a PW 600B reloader. I am having a problem with my crimps flaring out. I use a 6 point crimp, and I heat the plastic before crimping with a heat lamp. I have been reading some about roll crimping, and I have been thinking about buying a taper crimp kit for my reloader. Which method would you recommend?       Thanks,   "RR"
 

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Discussion Starter #18
RR......I use all, 6 point, 8 point, and roll crimp. In once fired cases that I am loading for quail and dove, I use whatever crimp they were. When I load heavy shot in the 2 3/4" and 3" I use new shells and a rolled crimp. This gives me more room for the stacked wads I like. I also like both the Fiocchi and Activ in 3"....The 3" Activ is getting scare and Ballistic Products says there may not be anymore. I am also think the roll crimp gives more even release. leave it in the die and run it slowly up into the roll crimp die (in a drill press). let it warm up and then add pressure. As ffor the flare on the end. PW makes a die that sits around on the right that has an inside taper. The shell is not in the die when you use it. Just place the loaded shell on the shelf and under the taper and bounce it into the die. It rounds off the corners nice. The flare on the end seems to happen when the crimp is not deep enough. Adjust it down until just before it starts to open in the center.
Although there is some hype and type going out pushing both Bismuth and Hevi, my contacts say they both are either too brittle or out of round. Tome will tell if they care get their process right...I think they will.
Best Regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #19
RR.....one other question. Does you PW have a metal crimp starter? It should be adjusted down to be juat a hair above the die (just so it doesn't touch) Some of the new PW375's have Mickey Mouse crimp starter and I tell people to order the old type metal one.
Best Regards, JCG
 

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James: Thank you for your answers. Yes, I have the metal crimp starters in both 6 and 8 point. I always adjust them as you recommended, so that the crimp starter bottems out just above the lip of the die. I have set the final crimp at various depths to no avail. These are the only two hulls I have this problem with. On the roll crimp, I do not have a drill press, so a hand drill would have to be used. Perhaps it would be better to get the PW inside taper die, and use that method. I also use only new hulls for my heavier turkey loads. Also, I place a tyvex card over the shot column before crimping, and use only listed load data from BP.
 
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