12ga. reloading

Double barrel, side by side, over-under, semi-automatic, straight-pull and lever action shotguns.

Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by Gadge » 04 Oct 2020, 8:26 am

Hi bladeracer,

I'm back on the air now, after some IT issues [dying video card et seq] that took most of the week to get sorted a bit.
Typing this on a new HP notebook PC... Resurrection of the old office PC is gonna have to wait until I get time to attend to it.

A lot of good references from Brownells are here; https://www.brownells.com/guntech/gunsm ... (Ascending)

Some blokes will recommend Larry Potterfield's [Midway USA CEO] YouTube DIY videos; I don't do so, as they often omit essential info, from an engineer's perspective.

Randy Wakeman has written some excellent articles; http://www.randywakeman.com/shotgun.htm

For the moment, do take Ian McG's advice on board - he truly is expert in the field of shotguns, and doing top class work on them.
I'd rate him, along with Kevin Sharp [trades as R E Sharp and Son] in Bairnsdale, as the two top shotgun smiths in Oz.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 04 Oct 2020, 7:27 pm

Some good reading there Gadge, thanks for those.
I prefer to do my own work if at all possible, always have, probably always will :-)


Gadge wrote:Hi bladeracer,

I'm back on the air now, after some IT issues [dying video card et seq] that took most of the week to get sorted a bit.
Typing this on a new HP notebook PC... Resurrection of the old office PC is gonna have to wait until I get time to attend to it.

A lot of good references from Brownells are here; https://www.brownells.com/guntech/gunsm ... (Ascending)

Some blokes will recommend Larry Potterfield's [Midway USA CEO] YouTube DIY videos; I don't do so, as they often omit essential info, from an engineer's perspective.

Randy Wakeman has written some excellent articles; http://www.randywakeman.com/shotgun.htm

For the moment, do take Ian McG's advice on board - he truly is expert in the field of shotguns, and doing top class work on them.
I'd rate him, along with Kevin Sharp [trades as R E Sharp and Son] in Bairnsdale, as the two top shotgun smiths in Oz.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 13 Oct 2020, 7:26 pm

I'm not getting very good crimps (I think), so I thought I'll try building some loads exactly following the load data and see if they crimp any better for me.

I've collated the data for the Winchester WAA12SL 7/8oz wad as that's what I'm using, and I've separated those data by powders.
ADI Shot data WAA12SL wad.JPG
ADI Shot data WAA12SL wad.JPG (93.93 KiB) Viewed 387 times


Working with AS50N, the charge varies from 19.0gn for an 1180fps 1oz load up to 22.5gn for a 1400fps 7/8oz load.
Am I supposed to use cork/card discs to make up the difference in column height?
I've loaded two rounds at those extremes. Both hulls are 2.696" long.
The 19gn 1oz load puts the wad 1.127" down from the mouth.
The 22.5gn load puts the wad 1.093" down from the mouth - the extra 3.5gn of powder sits 34-thou higher.
The 1oz (437.5gn) of #9 (on 19gn of AS50N) sits .045" down from the mouth (the 1oz load is 1.082" tall - in a 7/8oz cup).
The 7/8oz (383gn) of #9 (on 22.5gn of AS50N) sits .041" down from the mouth (the 7/8oz load is 1.052" tall).
Between the heavier charge of powder and the lighter charge of shot, both columns are only 9-thou in difference.

I calculate that the opposite extremes of a 21.9gn 1350fps 1oz load and 20.5gn 1250fps 7/8oz load would be about 50-thou difference between the two columns, which is probably still close enough that it'll crimp just fine, or is it worth using cards to take up the difference?

The 19gn 1oz load crimps to 2.316" overall.
The 22.5gn 7/8oz crimps to 2.307" overall.
20201013_193825b.jpg
20201013_193825b.jpg (621.09 KiB) Viewed 387 times

The factory Bronzewing Terminator 1oz (#7-1/2) 1300fps is 2.243" overall, but obviously all the components (primer/powder/wad/shot) are different.

I really put some weight into the crimps this time though, and they look good. Hopefully I can chrono and pattern them tomorrow.

Calf number five is happening right now.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 14 Oct 2020, 8:46 pm

Managed to test these two "standard" loads this arvo, in the Condor 30" with .685" turkey-choke.
19gn of AS50N behind 1oz of #9 made 1036fps - ADI expected 1180fps, so well short.
20201014_180729e.jpg
20201014_180729e.jpg (668.25 KiB) Viewed 367 times

Pattern is good with 90% of the pellets inside the 30" circle at 30m, and 60% within the 15" centre. I didn't crop the pics as much so I could count any pellets out on the MDF. Only about 40 of the 608 pellets are not on the board at all, were deflected by the clay, or went through other holes. But it barely damaged the clay. The hole in the pattern just left low of the aiming mark where the "24" is, is where the pellets were deflected by the clay (i'm just sitting the clay on a bamboo stick). I think it must've taken plenty of hits, between ten and twenty.
20201014_180754b.jpg
20201014_180754b.jpg (498.09 KiB) Viewed 367 times

22.5gn of AS50N behind 7/8oz of #9 made 1277fps, ADI reckoned on 1400fps. I left my chrono out last night so it may have gotten some moisture on the sensors perhaps. Again, 90% within the circle, though split evenly this time between inner and outer, which is probably preferable for most clay shooters I'd guess. Only about 15 pellets missed the board or were deflected by the clay.
20201014_181452d.jpg
20201014_181452d.jpg (679.4 KiB) Viewed 367 times

This time it totalled the clay, the extra 240fps velocity must make a major difference. This time the clay was in the hole just low right of the aiming mark.
20201014_181821b.jpg
20201014_181821b.jpg (349.74 KiB) Viewed 367 times

And it's really tearing up the wads today.
20201014_181844b.jpg
20201014_181844b.jpg (150.31 KiB) Viewed 367 times

My MDF is taking a hammering, this is the back of the sheet :-)
20201014_182135b.jpg
20201014_182135b.jpg (366.23 KiB) Viewed 367 times

And we've had six of these so far this season :-)
20201014_154630c.jpg
20201014_154630c.jpg (577.79 KiB) Viewed 367 times
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 15 Oct 2020, 8:16 pm

I also discovered something that might explain partly why the recoil calculator under-rates shotguns.
The plastic wad is 40gns. Adding that to the 438gn payload increases calculated recoil by more than 15% in a 1oz 1300fps load. It might even be more if a 1oz wad is heavier than these 7/8oz wads.
12ga 1oz recoil without wad.JPG
12ga 1oz recoil without wad.JPG (19.55 KiB) Viewed 346 times

12ga 1oz recoil with wad.JPG
12ga 1oz recoil with wad.JPG (19.21 KiB) Viewed 346 times


In a 7/8oz load it's closer to 20% more recoil when you include the wad.
12ga 7-8oz recoil without wad.JPG
12ga 7-8oz recoil without wad.JPG (19.23 KiB) Viewed 346 times

12ga 7-8oz recoil with wad.JPG
12ga 7-8oz recoil with wad.JPG (19.32 KiB) Viewed 346 times
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by Gadge » 16 Oct 2020, 4:29 am

Crimps - yours look quite good bladeracer, here are some examples of some of mine, off the MEC 650. Win AA Compression Formed hulls, which were always the gold standard for good crimps.

IMG_1146a.JPG
IMG_1146a.JPG (149.21 KiB) Viewed 339 times


The slight 'swirl' can be adjusted out, BTW, if you want to be that 'anal retentive'. :lol:

Do you have the OEM manual for your press, assuming it's a MEC?
That covers the finer points of crimp die adjustment - I think have PDF's of the 600Jr [Pre 1985 and Mk V], and 650 manuals, if you need those.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 16 Oct 2020, 1:56 pm

Gadge wrote:Crimps - yours look quite good bladeracer, here are some examples of some of mine, off the MEC 650. Win AA Compression Formed hulls, which were always the gold standard for good crimps.

IMG_1146a.JPG


The slight 'swirl' can be adjusted out, BTW, if you want to be that 'anal retentive'. :lol:

Do you have the OEM manual for your press, assuming it's a MEC?
That covers the finer points of crimp die adjustment - I think have PDF's of the 600Jr [Pre 1985 and Mk V], and 650 manuals, if you need those.



Mine are six-point crimps, but I've read that the eight-point is easier to get right? When I start on my new hulls I'll try those with eight-points. I'm using the Lee Load-All II, but I'm only using it to size, prime and crimp. I don't need to roll out dozens of shells, even a Lee Loader would be great if I could find one. Do you know of a device just for star crimping shells?

I think the problem I'm having is that I'm not stacking the load high enough, so when I compress it it goes under-size and the crimp falls in. Although I've also been stacking some too high and barely getting a crimp to lay flat :-)
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by TassieTiger » 20 Oct 2020, 5:00 pm

Hey blade, I bought one of these from Russia, that got lost in transit - ShotShell Reloading Crimp Reloader Equipment Tool 12 gauge, zn12

So whilst waiting for it - I then purchased a 12g crimp tool like this that works in a drill “roll crimping tool”...
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ROLL-CRIMPI ... SwoupaszU2

But then - after 3 months, old Russian mates device turns up after all and thst works pretty well.
Is this what your interested in ? The drill crimp, works on heat from friction of turning and pressure from you pushing or drill press pushing. If you want - I can send you the roll crimper (drill) and if it works for you - send me a souvenir of your choosing - if it doesn’t work, just send it back to me...?
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 20 Oct 2020, 5:30 pm

TassieTiger wrote:Hey blade, I bought one of these from Russia, that got lost in transit - ShotShell Reloading Crimp Reloader Equipment Tool 12 gauge, zn12

So whilst waiting for it - I then purchased a 12g crimp tool like this that works in a drill “roll crimping tool”...
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ROLL-CRIMPI ... SwoupaszU2

But then - after 3 months, old Russian mates device turns up after all and that works pretty well.
Is this what your interested in ? The drill crimp, works on heat from friction of turning and pressure from you pushing or drill press pushing. If you want - I can send you the roll crimper (drill) and if it works for you - send me a souvenir of your choosing - if it doesn’t work, just send it back to me...?


No, I already have a roll-crimper, I'm being warned against roll-crimping due to the pattern opening up. I have some hulls that I cut the mouths off to load slugs into, I should try some roll-crimped loads and see for myself how they go. Actually, a few of the hulls I've been testing with are up around a dozen loads and the mouths are getting pretty terrible, melted and brittle, so I can trim those for testing.

Are using the roll-crimp on shot loads or slugs and buck?

I'm trying to get out after some deer just now and probably won't be doing much shotgun experimenting for a short while.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by TassieTiger » 20 Oct 2020, 5:35 pm

I’ve used roll crimp on shot only and gate warning devices lol so not imperative by any stretch...in fact - probably the reason for some of my lousy DTL scores lol.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 20 Oct 2020, 5:52 pm

TassieTiger wrote:I’ve used roll crimp on shot only and gate warning devices lol so not imperative by any stretch...in fact - probably the reason for some of my lousy DTL scores lol.


With a standard plastic wad and an over-shot card?
Have you patterned the load?
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by TassieTiger » 20 Oct 2020, 6:57 pm

Standard ward - home made card as advised to me by the forum.
Patterning on cardboard at 30m was interesting because I couldn’t get consistent patterns - so didn’t bother loading too many.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by olly_2001 » 29 Nov 2020, 12:23 pm

Really enjoyed this thread.
Like I said I"m a shotgun noob but hope I can help a little.
With my property I wanted fibre wads so got some Eley No4 VIP game - this is 32g with a bit of a kick.
The other was Italian No6 with 28g and is so much more pleasant - its called Professional game.
So if its off the shelf you are after - and fibre wad - this has the least recoil I've come across.
they are a fibre wad 1425/Ft second load, really smooth, low recoil.

this is just a random link but I got it in my local gunshop
https://www.williampowell.com/gunroom/a ... e_xrcf-102
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by LawrenceA » 29 Nov 2020, 4:03 pm

So much to go over.
You can get reduced recoil trap loads. Personally I would try them. Your local gun club will likely have some.

If you need to load then remember that loading for a shotgun is not the same as a rifle. It is a case of this load has this result with fewer variables.
For chokes the long choke tubes produce less recoil than short choke tubes. It is likely that you will need choke if you are shooting down the line (DTL), trench Ball etcetera. Not so much for skeet.
Heavy guns recoil differently than light guns.
Of course a light 7/8 load will likely recoil less than a 1 1/8 load.
Gun fit affects felt recoil so try a few if you can. Berretta's are much heavier than Browning or Miroku.

Not having a bung shoulder it is hard for me to judge but I am hoping a 7/8 oz (2 dram) load will be fine for you.
I have a muzzleloader 14g which I use a 20g equivalent (2dram) load and it seems recoil free even with a steel buttplate.

There is an old rhyme that harps back to before chokes and smokeless.

"A little powder a lot of lead, shoots far kills dead.
A lot of powder a little lead kicks hard wide spread."

It still holds true.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 30 Nov 2020, 1:35 pm

olly_2001 wrote:Really enjoyed this thread.
Like I said I"m a shotgun noob but hope I can help a little.
With my property I wanted fibre wads so got some Eley No4 VIP game - this is 32g with a bit of a kick.
The other was Italian No6 with 28g and is so much more pleasant - its called Professional game.
So if its off the shelf you are after - and fibre wad - this has the least recoil I've come across.
they are a fibre wad 1425/Ft second load, really smooth, low recoil.

this is just a random link but I got it in my local gunshop
https://www.williampowell.com/gunroom/a ... e_xrcf-102


I've been enjoying learning something new myself but it's on hold for a short while, I have to build an engine while hand-rearing a calf, among other things :-)

I have two cases of that RC stuff, but in #7-1/2.

I have the forcing cone reamer now, I just need to get stuck into that.
Also have a .640" choke for the T1000, and a rifled choke for slugs.

Gadge managed to find me an MEC 600Jr press as well (thanks Gadge!) but it needs a good clean before I'll be using that.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 30 Nov 2020, 1:42 pm

All information is gratefully accepted :-)
I don't shoot competition or have any interest in them, so I don't know what differences there might be between Skeet, DTL or Trench Ball. I just want to practice shooting at small moving thingies out to about 40m at different speeds and angles to improve my rifle skills :-)


LawrenceA wrote:So much to go over.
You can get reduced recoil trap loads. Personally I would try them. Your local gun club will likely have some.

If you need to load then remember that loading for a shotgun is not the same as a rifle. It is a case of this load has this result with fewer variables.
For chokes the long choke tubes produce less recoil than short choke tubes. It is likely that you will need choke if you are shooting down the line (DTL), trench Ball etcetera. Not so much for skeet.
Heavy guns recoil differently than light guns.
Of course a light 7/8 load will likely recoil less than a 1 1/8 load.
Gun fit affects felt recoil so try a few if you can. Berretta's are much heavier than Browning or Miroku.

Not having a bung shoulder it is hard for me to judge but I am hoping a 7/8 oz (2 dram) load will be fine for you.
I have a muzzleloader 14g which I use a 20g equivalent (2dram) load and it seems recoil free even with a steel buttplate.

There is an old rhyme that harps back to before chokes and smokeless.

"A little powder a lot of lead, shoots far kills dead.
A lot of powder a little lead kicks hard wide spread."

It still holds true.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by LawrenceA » 30 Nov 2020, 2:32 pm

I started at the local gun club for that reason and to meet like minded folk.
This post is well away from your question but........

At 40m you will need choke to get a reasonably dense shot pattern.
Your basic o/u or SxS field gun will usually be 3/4 choke and full which is right for that sorta distance.
Down the line = the target flying away from you fairly slow high or low within a prescribed arc from the trap house. More deliberate shooting
Trench and Ball Trap = Fast targets flying away in a larger arc and height variations. Shoot fast or forget it
Skeet= fast target usually flying across your line of sight including straight at and straight away. Swing fast and shoot as targets don't get much beyond 20 metres.

I have found that shooting skeet has helped me with running rifle shots but shotguns are used quite differently in how you hold, aim and use the trigger. It is easy to mess up when you use your shotty like a rifle and vice Versa.

With your arm you should not have any trouble getting dispensation for getting a semi auto. Auto's absorb recoil. The Browning A5 with the long recoil system absorbs a lot of recoil. A5's can be had for about $500 up with nice ones about $1,000. From time to time new semi's come up on sale as well.
You can then go put the thick pad and recoil reducer or whatever.
I have not tried it yet but there is a shotgun discipline called field where they have the clays scoot across the ground. I think this would be great practice.

Mind you a Target box dragged by a remote control car could be fun with a .22 if you have somewhere to do it.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 30 Nov 2020, 5:15 pm

Thanks for explaining those, I haven't done any DTL then, the "birds" were coming across at an angle. I suspect most people that shoot clays on the farm are doing DTL, as in standing at the trap and tossing the birds away from them, which I don't want to do.

For the amount of this I'm likely to do, and none of it in competition, I don't think it's worth the effort to get a semi.

My local gun club does Simulated Field which I'm told is basically walking through the bush shooting targets as they become visible - have you tried this?


LawrenceA wrote:I started at the local gun club for that reason and to meet like minded folk.
This post is well away from your question but........

At 40m you will need choke to get a reasonably dense shot pattern.
Your basic o/u or SxS field gun will usually be 3/4 choke and full which is right for that sorta distance.
Down the line = the target flying away from you fairly slow high or low within a prescribed arc from the trap house. More deliberate shooting
Trench and Ball Trap = Fast targets flying away in a larger arc and height variations. Shoot fast or forget it
Skeet= fast target usually flying across your line of sight including straight at and straight away. Swing fast and shoot as targets don't get much beyond 20 metres.

I have found that shooting skeet has helped me with running rifle shots but shotguns are used quite differently in how you hold, aim and use the trigger. It is easy to mess up when you use your shotty like a rifle and vice Versa.

With your arm you should not have any trouble getting dispensation for getting a semi auto. Auto's absorb recoil. The Browning A5 with the long recoil system absorbs a lot of recoil. A5's can be had for about $500 up with nice ones about $1,000. From time to time new semi's come up on sale as well.
You can then go put the thick pad and recoil reducer or whatever.
I have not tried it yet but there is a shotgun discipline called field where they have the clays scoot across the ground. I think this would be great practice.

Mind you a Target box dragged by a remote control car could be fun with a .22 if you have somewhere to do it.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by LawrenceA » 30 Nov 2020, 6:08 pm

No not tried simulated field.
Sounds good.
Have you tried the reduced recoil 12g ammo yet? Probably only get it in 7 1/2's or maybe 9's.
9's are good for quail at least.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by bladeracer » 30 Nov 2020, 6:40 pm

LawrenceA wrote:No not tried simulated field.
Sounds good.
Have you tried the reduced recoil 12g ammo yet? Probably only get it in 7 1/2's or maybe 9's.
9's are good for quail at least.


I haven't tried any factory ammo labelled as "reduced recoil" yet, simply because my local hasn't had any in stock. If I see some I'll grab it though for testing.
The RC 7-1/2 24gm loads are supposed to be lighter, but I haven't chronoed them yet and don't know what they're rated at.
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by LawrenceA » 30 Nov 2020, 8:23 pm

Don't worry too much about what they chrono at.
It is more important to get the pattern density good.
Remember that speed can open shotgun patterns.
24 grams is 7/8oz. Slower is less recoil.

What you are striving for is an even spread of shot without holes big enough for a target to fit through. If you handload you will find that the wrong load can easily put 2 big holes in a pattern. 1 as the wad flies through the shot column on exit and another as the wad slows down and the shot strikes it. Donut patterns are also a popular choice. :-)
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by Gadge » 01 Dec 2020, 1:50 pm

The local club Bladeracer mentions is FGA affiliated; here's their rundown on their version of Sim Field - it's very good fun.

https://www.fieldandgame.com.au/page/getting-started
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Re: 12ga. reloading

Post by LawrenceA » 01 Dec 2020, 6:17 pm

Looks like great fun!
My club has a lot for a small club but nothing like that.
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