Experimenting with shotgun loads question.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by r.h. in okla., May 7, 2006.

  1. I was reading a story in the backwoods magazine about pumpkin ball loads. A shotgun shell that was designed to hold one round lead ball and used in smoothbore shotguns for big game hunting. This was used before they came out with slugs and rifled bore slugs. Well this got me to wandering if a person could empty a shotgun shell full of shot loads and replace them with say muzzleloading balls. Looking at my 20 guage shells it looks like two of my 50 cal. balls would fit right in. But I'm wondering what the effects it would have on my smoothbore shotgun(s). I could either put two round balls inside a shotgun shell or one round ball and one plastic wad inside. Now according to the magazine the pumpkin ball was only effective for up to 40 yards and was a great load for shooting through brush, so I'm thinking the muzzleloading balls would be something of the same. I've noticed after comparing the size of a 50 cal. ball to the muzzle of the shotgun there would be a lot of play as the ball would move down the muzzle. So I'm wondering if 58 cal. ball would be a better load, less wondering through the barrel.

    Anybody out there do any experimenting like this? How safe would it be? I'm not trying it unless someone else out there has done it or is doing it?

    Also, one reason why I'm interested in this procedure is if the SHTF and I need more arsenal to either gather wild game or protect my family.
  2. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    Do not. I repeat do not "make up" loads. If you wish to do reloading get the equipment and follow the reloading charts.

    Their are so many variables in the loading of shells that you can change the muzzle pressures drastically with two wads that almost the same. So you must follow the reloading chart exactly.

  3. poorboy

    poorboy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Apr 15, 2006
    ozark foothills, Mo
    They used to have info in there catalogue on "rollin yer own" with black powder.
    They carry the molds of correct size fer making punkin balls. My advice is to studie lots and proceed with caution, AS THIS CAN BE DANGERGEROUS IF NOT DONE CORRECTLY AND YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.
  4. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Clarksville TN.
    OK now why would you want to do this? As said i wouldn't play around with shot gun loads.Way to dangerous!
    Id stick to normal slugs for there accuracy.My 12 guage is real good out to 75 yards.Might be good to 100yards if i could see that far. :D
    I seen some shells you might like if you wanting some thing for defense.BRB!

    OK here ya go. http://www.aguilaammo.com/minishells.htm
    Heck there only available in 12 guage though.But i think id be in the market for a 12 guage if i could hold that many rounds! Why to :cool:
  5. wilded

    wilded Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Buy slugs or buckshot unless you are following specific tested reloading books and following the components exactly. If you neither value your life or gun proceed as you are full ahead. :) That being said a favorite 12 gauge load of mine for black powder is 80 grains of 2F followed by a .690 caliber patched lead ball. It is a great load for hogs. No load is good for shooting through brush, that is an old wives tail. If you can get the bullet through an opening do not take the shot. Nuff said.
  6. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    Sounds like a very good way to blow off your hand and maybe even your arm or head. Punkin ball / slugs are not that expensive.
  7. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    wyoming/ now tennessee
    In case these suggestions don't scare you. Take a tire without the rim use a 15 or 16 inch tire is best. Lay it on the ground someplace safe to shoot the gun off. Away from everybody. Lay the gun with the load,with the butt of it inside the tirewall, and the barrel extending out of the tire on top. Tie the barrel of the gun to the tire. Take a piece of string , a long piece, I use at least 50 to 75 feet. Use to to tie to the trigger to pull it.
    Remember, the barrel is pointing up in the air. So have a idea where the bullet is going.
    I know this is going to cause alot of reply's but it is how I shot experimental shells for years. I did blow up a gun or two and a pistol or two. But I have created useful loads too.
    You can also tie the gun between a tree trunk and a limb growing just right. I used this a time or two, also. To shoot new loads.
  8. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

    Oct 22, 2005
    Forests of maine
    I have a 12 ga. black-powder shotgun.

    Everytime that I shoot it, I feel like I am doing what you are talking about. I shoot it rarely.

    Once, my right arm and shoulder was numb and sore for three days. It was blue and green. I could not put on a shirt!! I could not raise my arm!!!

  9. Well the reason why I'm asking this is cause anytime I find that I might be able to save me a few bucks, without blowing my arms and face off, I'm willing to check out all the possibilities before doing it. That is the reason why asked such a question before tempting it myself. If I find enough advice from experienced people who have tried or has read up on the subject well enough or can tell me where to find such evidence, I will then make up my decision as to whether it would be a safe procedure to experiment with or unsafe to abort the ideal.