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Old 01-15-2011, 09:26 PM
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Default Question on .38 Special shot capsules

I was going through some old loads that I was given and I found a bunch of .38 Special shot shells that I was able to separate by simply pulling the capsules out with my fingers. I don't have any load data on shot capsules for .38 Special, or any idea on these capsules. How would I go about crimping these without crushing them?

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Old 01-15-2011, 09:42 PM
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I've been trying to buy those for months. Everyone is out of stock.

Speer #14 has load data and instructions on loading them. Just seat them like a bullet. Use a "light" crimp separate from the seating die..

COAL is 1.500

What powders do you have?
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:44 PM
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I have Win 231, 2400, and Unique in stock right now.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:54 PM
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They do not list a min or max load. Only one charge.

Unique is 5.5 grs=1111 fps

231 is 5.0 grs=996 fps

out of a 6" SW barrel.

Only use 38 brass not 357, use only lead shot, #8 and #9 recommended.

Seat them slowly to avoid breaking them, crimp lightly, use a flat seater plug (wad cutter) if you have one.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:58 PM
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I have some of the old ones,had some in 44 Mag. also but sold those.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:21 AM
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I have Speer shot capsules in .38 Special/.357, .44 Special/.44 Magnum, and .45 Colt. I have found them very effective at reasonable ranges (20 feet or so).

I have found fine shot to be more effective (#12 is best of all but #9 works pretty well). At the close ranges involved dense patterns work better. The more shot, the better. Fine shot will give you almost twice the shot count. Actual field tests on live tissue proves this, by the way.

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Old 01-16-2011, 04:30 AM
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They need to be seated with something flat that will put uniform pressure all across the nose. I found that out with the first batch I tried to load many years ago; the SWC seater plug caused stress cracks and failures around the circumference of the nose. I don't have a flat seater plug so now use a ******* file held against the bottom of the crimp die. I seat the capsules by pushing up against the file, then pull the file out of the way and run the cartridge up into the crimp die. This is not too cumbersome considering how few of these I load nowadays.

Which leads me to something else: they need to be used with a taper crimp die. A roll crimp, again, stresses them and they are subject to cracking around the case mouth. Yours will definitely need to be handled with care since they have already been through this once. If you were able to pull them out with your fingers, they would have backed out during recoil and caused all sorts of problems.



A bit OT, but with #9, the .38/.357 caps hold around 110; the .44's hold around 200. Smaller shot would be better for most uses. A convenient suggestion for some #12 is to remove the shot from some loaded shotgun shells such as those Rio brand sold by Cheaper Than Dirt. The 12 gauge loads are 1 ounce X 25 rounds/box. The .38 caps hold around 110 grains and an ounce of shot is around 437 grains, so one 12 gauge shell provides nearly enough for 4 capsules.

I have recently made up a small batch using 3 #1 buckshot in the .38 capsules and the "pattern" holds up farther than you would think. A small amount of some shot buffer in the nose is needed to keep the topmost pellet from jumping forward and cracking the end of the capsule during recoil.

We gotta tinker now and then.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:13 AM
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Ballistically speaking, the plastic shot tube is the most deadly component of the load. I covered the side of a refrigerator box with pellet entry wounds at 20 feet. Only the shot capsule went through the cardboard. It was a standard single layer box.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjw3 View Post
They need to be seated with something flat that will put uniform pressure all across the nose. I found that out with the first batch I tried to load many years ago; the SWC seater plug caused stress cracks and failures around the circumference of the nose. I don't have a flat seater plug so now use a ******* file held against the bottom of the crimp die. I seat the capsules by pushing up against the file, then pull the file out of the way and run the cartridge up into the crimp die. This is not too cumbersome considering how few of these I load nowadays.

Which leads me to something else: they need to be used with a taper crimp die. A roll crimp, again, stresses them and they are subject to cracking around the case mouth. Yours will definitely need to be handled with care since they have already been through this once. If you were able to pull them out with your fingers, they would have backed out during recoil and caused all sorts of problems.



A bit OT, but with #9, the .38/.357 caps hold around 110; the .44's hold around 200. Smaller shot would be better for most uses. A convenient suggestion for some #12 is to remove the shot from some loaded shotgun shells such as those Rio brand sold by Cheaper Than Dirt. The 12 gauge loads are 1 ounce X 25 rounds/box. The .38 caps hold around 110 grains and an ounce of shot is around 437 grains, so one 12 gauge shell provides nearly enough for 4 capsules.

I have recently made up a small batch using 3 #1 buckshot in the .38 capsules and the "pattern" holds up farther than you would think. A small amount of some shot buffer in the nose is needed to keep the topmost pellet from jumping forward and cracking the end of the capsule during recoil.

We gotta tinker now and then.


I have used the #1 and #4 buck shot in my 2" 38 special, sometimes together and sometimes with #12 shot mixed in. The accuracy with the buckshot loads is impressive it about 7 to 10 yards. I checked the penitration with a 2 X 4 pine board at about 15 feet. The buckshot went at least 1/2 way into the board. I'm sure they would take down a rabbit or small game.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:54 PM
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I haven't loaded any of these in a long time, however, I believe I used a light taper crimp. I don't recall trying a roll crimp, but it might work if adjusted to crimp very lightly.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:01 PM
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I have hand loaded these with #8 shot using data in Speer 14. I don't give load data, I fear a typo that I miss. A light roll crimp will work. I adjusted the crimp very very lightly through through several pulls until the cap would not twist. The seater is a flat nose. I have not cracked a capsule yet using this method.
The idea of cjw3 of the shot buffer is worth a try, I will do so on the next batch.
These have shot squirrels at 18 feet so I believe the pattern is good out of a snub .38. I have killed several copperheads. These are an excellent reload.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:20 PM
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If you have Speer 38 shot capsules, you can also fit 2 32 caliber bullets in one if you leave the bottom plug out. I used to play with silly stuff like this, and found that the two bullets would hit about 4-6 inches apart at 25 yards. It was great for baffling they guys I shot with in those days with the two bullet holes for each shot. I also knew guys who loaded them with pieces of lead solder, cut to length as a sort of beehive load. Shooting was a lot of fun in those days!
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:44 PM
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Default 38 shot capsules

Have loaded those in 38's, 44's and 45 LC's for decades, I normally use #9 shot, in the 38 spl...OAL is 1.5".....according to my Speer manual you can use Unique, 231, Bullseye, 700, HP 38......I load mine with 4.5 bullseye for a MV of approx. 1000fps out of a six inch barrel. I use a taper crimp and a flat tip seating die. I too have experimented over the years with heavier shot and buckshot, have had pretty good results on paper targets, rodents and birds. Speer manual lists 5.5 of Unique for the 38 load with a MV of approx. 1100 fps.

Last edited by loc n load; 03-09-2013 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:57 PM
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I load these for my model 60 and 696. Use super glue to hold the base plug and also to seal the capsule in the case with light roll crimp. Let the glue "wick in". Just a drop is enough. I use #12 shot (available in 10 pound sacks at Ballistic Products) and the Speer recommended load for Bullseye: 4.5 gr for 38 Spec (COL. 1.5") and 5.8 gr for 44 Spec (COL 1.6"). Short barrels work best so I do not use them in my 6" 686 or 6" 629. Patterns are great and the load is deadly on copperheads and rattlers at 5 to 10 feet. Resist the temptation to load hot! Yes the loading is tedious, but loading the capsules themselves is a separate operation that can be done away from the actual reloading area. Have fun.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:40 PM
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You can always make your own.

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Old 07-06-2014, 12:10 AM
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Default Don't bother with heavy loads

Heavier loads just cause the pattern to deteriorate. Those capsules break very easily. Crimp them just enough to hold them. I never had much luck with these out of my .38snub but I'd be willing to try them in a bigger caliber and somewhat longer barrel. Alas, I've just done without messing with them for a very long time now and really don't have a need. There have been some rats on a woodpile outside, so I may just resurrect these.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:28 AM
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Default Question on .38 Special shot capsules

3.5 gr of BE,an over powder wad made from a styrofoam plate,fill the balance of the case with #9 shot ,top with another wad,roll crimp and seal with silicone caulking.Works in 38 special.
9 gr of unique works in the 44 mag.

Last edited by arjay; 07-06-2014 at 12:28 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:48 PM
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I load some of these up and used Speers #14 manual data. I wanted them for snake shot cartridges. A lot of folks love them but I was pretty disappointed in the capsule. Even seating carefully and using a very light crimp on them, I had several shatter/break. I'll use up what I have left but next time will pretty much do as array suggest and just utilize some regular casings with home-made wads.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:15 AM
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I load those Speer shot capsule with #9 shot and place them over a charge of 5.0gr W231 as per the load data on the Speer box they came in. I was using a light roll crimp but sometimes I did crack the capsule so I bought a Lee .38 Special taper crimp die for $12 and that seems to work very well for me.
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