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Old 05-01-2020, 10:40 PM
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Default shotshell reloading for pistol caliber

I am interested in reloading some shotshells for my .38 spl/357 magnum....youtube shows several methods...ie using a sharpened casing to cut out wads like a cookie cutter and the other is using gas check the same way.

What has been most successful for YOU?

The reason I ask is when I was out on a prairie dog shoot today I encountered several rattle snakes and did not have any shotshells available to me.

The CCI pack of 10 for about $10.00 is much more than I am willing to pay.

Haven't found any of the shot cups around here either.

Randy

PS. My CZ 452 .17 HMR with a 3x9 scope was useless....too close.
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:07 PM
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About a year ago I spend quite a bit of time searching for some of the CCI capsules to load up. Finally found some and ordered a box of 50 so I should be set for life. I didn't want to buy a bag of #9 shot just for this so I cut open some shells loaded with #8. I tried a variety of loads using W-231 until I found one that patterned well at 9-10'.

Natchez shooters supply shows the capsules to be in stock.

Speer Empty Handgun Shot Capsules & Base Plugs .38/.357 cal 50/ct | Natchez
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:12 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I make all brass shot shells for my revolvers

1) Start with brass that is too long, for 45 Long Colt shot shells start with 460 S&W brass and trim to the length of a loaded round 1.51" and 2) full length size. 3) Most chambers have a reduction beyond the normal length of the brass, so put a small bottle neck in the brass with a 44-40 or 38-40 die. 4) prime brass. 5) Use a mild cowboy charge for a 220 grain bullet, (6.7 grains of WW231 works well @ 700fps) 6) put a cardboard or cork card over the powder. 1/2" diameter works for 44 & 45. 7) add 1/2 ounce of bird shot 4's or smaller, I really like 7.5's! (220 grains of shot if you don't have a scoop) 8) put a second card over the shot. 9) seal in place, I tried wax-FAIL. I tried Elmer's Glue-FAIL. I tried epoxy-FAIL. A friend recommended "Gutter Seam Sealer"-SUCCESS! buy it in big toothpaste tubes in roofing department at Home Depot & Lowe's. I smooth top of sealer to case mouth with a pop-sicle stick. 10) let cure 7 days or longer.

Results: From a 5.5" Ruger, I got a nice even 12" pattern at a 12 foot distance. Tears up snakes like you used a push mower! Cases are reloadable. When I make them I make batches of 50 to 75. They are chamber and shelf stable at 8 years (so far). When your friends find out you make them, they will want some. Either make plenty or don't tell anyone!

Ivan

I also made 357 shells from 357 Max brass, I saw no reason to do this, as there wasn't much improvement over CCI shot shell! Except control over shot size and velocity and pattern and self pride! 1/4 ounce shot.

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Old 05-02-2020, 02:21 AM
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I went with the plastic capsule method as well. Its a lot less work once you get the capsules.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:51 PM
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I load all of my rat/snake shot cartridges. Bullseye works fine. I use the card board cut out over the powder and again over the shot. Slight roll crimp holds the card over the shot. I then burn some candle wax over the shot card to seal the load. That's how they used to load shotgun shells before the star crimp was invented. A 357 mag case without a bullet or shot capsule will fit in a 38 spl cyl.

Shot caps are expensive and take an expert touch to load. Why bother?

I have my load data somewhere and would PM that if anyone wants it. I won't post it here. Wouldn't be prudent.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
I make all brass shot shells for my revolvers

1) Start with brass that is too long, for 45 Long Colt shot shells start with 460 S&W brass and trim to the length of a loaded round 1.51" and 2) full length size. 3) Most chambers have a reduction beyond the normal length of the brass, so put a small bottle neck in the brass with a 44-40 or 38-40 die. 4) prime brass. 5) Use a mild cowboy charge for a 220 grain bullet, (6.7 grains of WW231 works well @ 700fps) 6) put a cardboard or cork card over the powder. 1/2" diameter works for 44 & 45. 7) add 1/2 ounce of bird shot 4's or smaller, I really like 7.5's! (220 grains of shot if you don't have a scoop) 8) put a second card over the shot. 9) seal in place, I tried wax-FAIL. I tried Elmer's Glue-FAIL. I tried epoxy-FAIL. A friend recommended "Gutter Seam Sealer"-SUCCESS! buy it in big toothpaste tubes in roofing department at Home Depot & Lowe's. I smooth top of sealer to case mouth with a pop-sicle stick. 10) let cure 7 days or longer.

Results: From a 5.5" Ruger, I got a nice even 12" pattern at a 12 foot distance. Tears up snakes like you used a push mower! Cases are reloadable. When I make them I make batches of 50 to 75. They are chamber and shelf stable at 8 years (so far). When your friends find out you make them, they will want some. Either make plenty or don't tell anyone!

Ivan

I also made 357 shells from 357 Max brass, I saw no reason to do this, as there wasn't much improvement over CCI shot shell! Except control over shot size and velocity and pattern and self pride! 1/4 ounce shot.
I'll have to try the gutter seam sealer. Already have a tube from my RV days afield. RV roof patch cement will probably work too.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LostintheOzone View Post
I load all of my rat/snake shot cartridges. Bullseye works fine. I use the card board cut out over the powder and again over the shot. Slight roll crimp holds the card over the shot. I then burn some candle wax over the shot card to seal the load. That's how they used to load shotgun shells before the star crimp was invented. A 357 mag case without a bullet or shot capsule will fit in a 38 spl cyl.

Shot caps are expensive and take an expert touch to load. Why bother?

I have my load data somewhere and would PM that if anyone wants it. I won't post it here. Wouldn't be prudent.
Same here. I load 100's of .38 spl shot loads to shoot carpenter bees around my shop and shed. I cut the over powder and over shot wad from primer sleeves with an arch punch. I made a powder dipper from a filed down .22 case glued to a small tongue depressor that dips 1.5 grs of Bullseye. I seat with the solid end drill bit screwed into a short piece of wood. I pour in the powder. Seat a wad. Pour the case about full of shot and seat the top wad. I seal it with model glue or finger nail polish. Been shooting these for years. Cheapest way to go. Would work with any caliber.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:36 PM
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Fun with the .44 SHOT
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:21 PM
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Default A source of shot

A note to people wanting to make pistol shot shell, but don't load shotgun shells: a source for shot would be any reloader of shot shells You only need a few or 10 ounces of shot (25 pound bags are $35 or more).

Another source is 12 gauge shells are 1 to 2 ounces each, a hand full of 12 gauge shells will load a lot of revolver rounds!
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:29 PM
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I also reloaded several Speer shotshell capsules, for my 357 and 44 special. Around the yard here (no rattlers, but mean copperheads) I generally carry the 22 WMR shotshells. They can be found almost anywhere, or they could. Not sure now.

I just took possession of a S&W 351PD today, and went out back to shoot about 3 cylinders through it, at 7 yards. The last shot was a 22 WMR shotshell at 10'. There was only one round of shotshell fired on this target and maybe 25 JSP.

I believe it would do pretty good on a creepy crawly, especially if I fired more than once.

There are some videos online that will help you load your 357 cases, using #8 or #9 shot. The 22 WMR uses #12 shot.

Years ago I had some #12's and a 45 colt revolver. I loaded maybe 4 gr of powder, covered it with a cardboard wad. Then I filled the case with shot and crimped a gas check over it upside down. I sealed them with clear nail polish I swiped from the wife. They kept through at least 6 or 8 deer seasons.

I also loaded a few rounds with double balls. Made for some fun telling the young'uns I could shoot so fast they'd only hear one shot, but made two holes in the target.

Those recipes came from a gun rag, years before there was any internet. Good luck with your project!
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:04 PM
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How timely...

Just this evening I cleaned out about 300 yds. of knee-deep grass under the electric fence that keeps our cattle out of the yard (most of the time). This time of year it really is a nerve wracking job because of all the rattlesnakes that live out here and one must seriously pay attention.

So I get finished and am walking the path between the chicken coops and my shooting bench and in a bare spot just off the path in the deep grass lay one. I always carry out here and lately it's been a Model 10-7 loaded with one shot load that is indexed to be the first fired when the hammer is drawn. I've killed several dozen since moving out here, but have lost enough rattlesnakes to know that trying a 10' shot is silly, so I normally get within 5'-6'. Worked perfectly, again.



I've made my own shotshells for .38/.357, .44 Special and 45 Colt using over powder and over shot wads of various types, but the CCI capsules hold more payload and are simple to load. I use a light load of fast burning powder in all calibers and #9 shot in all calibers, and rob the shot from cheap 12 ga. shells from the big box store.

ETA- I don't bother rattlesnakes if they're off away from the house say a 1/2 mile or so, they're just trying to make a living like the rest of us. But I have a bunch of grandkids that like to come out here from town and run amok like wild Indians, so anything within a 1/2 mile or so dies.

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Old 05-04-2020, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
ETA- I don't bother rattlesnakes if they're off away from the house say a 1/2 mile or so, they're just trying to make a living like the rest of us. But I have a bunch of grandkids that like to come out here from town and run amok like wild Indians, so anything within a 1/2 mile or so dies.
I used to run across them hunting quail and working in AZ. Usually just left them alone unless it was too close to call. Had that happen a few times where I really had no place to go but up. They're just part of the landscape unless they become a threat.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
A note to people wanting to make pistol shot shell, but don't load shotgun shells: a source for shot would be any reloader of shot shells You only need a few or 10 ounces of shot (25 pound bags are $35 or more).

Another source is 12 gauge shells are 1 to 2 ounces each, a hand full of 12 gauge shells will load a lot of revolver rounds!
OR.......You can make your own.........Hint. The smaller the shot #9-10-12's make the best patterens.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:37 AM
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I worked a couple of Summers in a Boy Scout Camp in the mountains of SW VA. Rattlers in camp proper were definitely a no no in my mind! Earlier in my career at yet another VA BS camp further East it was Copperheads, and those sneaky varmints don’t even warn you. The staff killed literally dozens of them one year as we were setting up camp before the kids got there... busy times!
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:34 PM
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There was a recent post I think here, may have been another forum. A video, guy used gas checks on the top and cut a wad for between the powder and shot out of thin cardboard or a playing card, Can not remember what forum? There are many videos out there.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:50 PM
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There's a separate forum on the castboolits forum
'Shot Shell Loads for Pistols'

Quite a bit of info there. Loads, loading techniques, ect.

I always used the cheap window & door white chalking compound to seal the top wad in brass case shot shells.
A thin card wad just below the edge of the mouth of the brass case, then squeeze a bit of the chalk onto the wad and run it into the edge of the case&wad with a twist of your thumb.
Let it set up. It usually sets up over nite,,at least the cheap stuff does.
I use the small squeeze tube of the stuff for this job. Easier to handle than a chalking gun.

When you fire the cartridge, the stuff is hardened but still rubbery and just disintegrates and exits the bbl with everything else.

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Old 05-05-2020, 01:08 PM
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I have loaded both 38 Special and 44 Special using the Speer capsules. I use #11 shot, which throws a really nice dense pattern out to 10-12 ft. I bought a 10 lb bag of the #11 many years ago and still have plenty left and have given small quantities to a few friends for the same purpose. We don't have rattlers where I live, (only copperheads and water moccasins) but I carry (usually the 3" 44 Special) when Prairie Dog hunting in South Dakota. I normally carry 3 shot loads and 3 HP's in the clylinder.
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:24 PM
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Here is the video I was thinking about.




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Old 05-05-2020, 01:48 PM
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There was a recent post I think here, may have been another forum. A video, guy used gas checks on the top and cut a wad for between the powder and shot out of thin cardboard or a playing card, Can not remember what forum? There are many videos out there.
Gas checks are $40/1000 plus shipping.......Card Board is free.......
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:32 PM
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Gas checks are $40/1000 plus shipping.......Card Board is free.......

Not my video, just an idea. Who needs 1,000 shot shells and how do you crimp cardboard?

Shot capsules are $10 for 50 and are a PITA when they crack.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:14 PM
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Not my video, just an idea. Who needs 1,000 shot shells and how do you crimp cardboard?

Shot capsules are $10 for 50 and are a PITA when they crack.
I shoot several hundred each spring at carpenter bees. I don't crimp my loads. Not necessary. My wads are over size and I seal with a little glue or finger nail polish.

BTW For years I used a .22 and "ratshot" till it got too expensive for the amount I was shooting.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:49 PM
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I ended up using cardboard (old juice carton) and the sharpened casing to make over powder wads, cut down about 15 quite old 12 gauge shells for the shot (7 1/2), and then seated a gas check just below the case neck and crimped it so as not to have gas checks and shot running everywhere either during recoil or simply carrying in the holster.

Took some experimenting to get the settings just right, but I now have 50 of them for rattlers here in Montana.

Randy

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Old 05-06-2020, 09:56 AM
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I just wonder how much pressure can be built up using only cardboard for the top of the round? Not much pressure would be needed to move lose shot and a cardboard top. The shot doesn't have neck tension like a solid lead bullet,
Just a guess however,
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:08 AM
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What I saw on various youtube videos was those using a non-metallic cap like cardboard, felt etc. all seemed to use some form of a glue (hot glue gun, elmers,) to hold the card in place.

Most looked like they had a very strong crimp for that purpose and ease of feeding. Might have an effect on the amount of pressure generated.

All I know is that the final result of my adventure raised hell with an attacking empty beer can!!! Very devastating to say the least.

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Old 05-06-2020, 10:26 AM
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elmers school glue works well to seal the card on the top. Probably the cheapest sealant around.

I bought the hollow punch drill bit set from Harfor Freight, they have various sizes that work well for cutting the cardboard cards for different cartridges. You can handload .410s the same way. I chuck them up in my drill press, use any old card board packaging and go to work cutting them out.

Rosewood

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Old 05-06-2020, 10:28 AM
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Depending on your intended use, a gas check as the top card can do more damage than the shot.

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Old 05-06-2020, 10:30 AM
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Depending on your intended use, a gas check as the top card can do more damage than the shot.

Rosewood
And how in the world would that be? A gas check is supposed to go down the barrel...........or are you referring to damage on the snake?

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Old 05-06-2020, 10:34 AM
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I just wonder how much pressure can be built up using only cardboard for the top of the round? Not much pressure would be needed to move lose shot and a cardboard top. The shot doesn't have neck tension like a solid lead bullet,
Just a guess however,
The velocity/pressure is perfect. Shot will penetrate a plastic jug at 10 ft. YET not damage the roof of my shed when I shoot bees under it...........Don't need a BEAR KILLER load for this. Works perfect for me and that's all that matters.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:50 AM
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Many years ago, I loaded .357 shotshells using two gas checks. The one on the bottom over the powder charge was cup side up, same with the one on top; the cartridge was then crimped over the lip of the top cup. #9 shot worked well in between.

The gas checks, when they come out of the muzzle, lose velocity very quickly, while the lead shot continues on its way. I think the gas checks also help to keep the barrel cleaner by scraping some lead as they are fired.

At the time I had plenty of gas checks for use on Lyman's SWC 358156 cast bullets; easy peasy.

John
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike, SC Hunter View Post
The velocity/pressure is perfect. Shot will penetrate a plastic jug at 10 ft. YET not damage the roof of my shed when I shoot bees under it...........Don't need a BEAR KILLER load for this. Works perfect for me and that's all that matters.

But what if, just what if, they are Killer bees or Hornets? The there are the killer milk jugs



No not much to kill a bee but the subject was snakes. __________________
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:05 AM
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And how in the world would that be? A gas check is supposed to go down the barrel...........or are you referring to damage on the snake?

Randy
Yes, for someone shooting something like bees on a roof or something, that gas check could knock a hole they didn't intend on.

I guess maybe using lead shot, it wouldn't be a big deal, I had considered loading grits or the like for carpenter bees. A gas check will do much more damage in that case for sure.

Rosewood

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Old 05-06-2020, 11:36 AM
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To me shot shells are a joke and especially in 38/357. Not reliable enough to kill snake. If it’s coiled it may strike. You are better off loaded up with cast bullet or HPs. Even near miss will do as much as fine shot load from 38
I have shot a lot of snakes and never shot one because I was in immediate danger of being bitten. I would shoot them before I allowed them to get away. Snake hide with holes is a big dock when selling.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:28 PM
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Check local gun laws for assault weapon laws!


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Old 05-06-2020, 01:21 PM
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Check local gun laws for assault weapon laws!


I have been eyeing these for a few years now. They go for $40-50. Just more than I want to pay for a plastic toy.

I hear they are a blast on carpenter bees.

Rosewood
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:22 PM
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But what if, just what if, they are Killer bees or Hornets? The there are the killer milk jugs



No not much to kill a bee but the subject was snakes. __________________
This load has killed snakes and will kill a bird up close if needed.
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:49 PM
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A bird takes a lot less killing than a snake. When I was hunting snakes for hide I just carried a 44 with HPs. Copper Heads and Rattlers are a much heavier bodied snake than out non poisonous species. They strike from coil and a slug into random hit in body is going to do instant major damage. It’s a whole different ball game than shooting odd water snakes and garter snakes just because they are there.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:46 AM
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I have been eyeing these for a few years now. They go for $40-50. Just more than I want to pay for a plastic toy.

I hear they are a blast on carpenter bees.

Rosewood
I've eyeing them too. hate to spend $40 and it not work on the bees.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:05 AM
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Here is the method I use. Found this in the American Rifleman many moons ago, (August 1975). It is very effective at close range.

Have a blessed day,

Leon


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Old 05-08-2020, 10:52 AM
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I have a real phobia about snakes. Where I used to go fishing, there were zillions of Copper Heads. One day I took out my trusty Model 17 which I shot well at the range with and couldn't hit a snake about 6 feet away. I bought TC Contender Shot Shells in .357 and .44 and then also their loading components. Still have some and they are great. 7.5 Shot in .44 Mag and 9 in .357. Wish they still made the loaded rounds and the components.

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Old 05-08-2020, 11:04 AM
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I don't mean to be the odd man out here but we run into tons of rattle snakes, especially while dove and quail hunting. In the past 40 years or so, I've only been forced to dispatch one or two.

I'd prefer that the snakes be left alone to fulfill their role in natures grand scheme.

Let the hate mail begin. LOL
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:31 AM
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Doug, If they stay away from me I agree with you. If they get too close or seem to be aggressive I protect myself. Same reason for concealed carry.

Bob
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:48 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Talking SHOT SHELLS AGAIN

Sometime back we did quite a bit about these. Here is a photo of the ones I made for a pair of old 38S&W revolvers I have. These were formed out of .357 brass. I make several versions of these for different calibers. Should you find a need I can send you a box, NC, but it would be nice to get shipping refunded. Anything for a MONTANA boy.



I have tried early on, i tried gas checks with my 1917 revolver and was unhappy with the results.

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Old 05-24-2020, 11:42 PM
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How do you get the crimp like that?

Randy
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:25 AM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Talking CRIMP

Well, I have a Hornady die set for blanks. Has paid for its self many times over. JMHO

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Old 05-25-2020, 12:50 AM
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Looks just like the cartridges used in SASS Mounted shooting. Except they use .45 Colts.

Pretty interesting...........PM sent to you as well

Randy
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:45 AM
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That is interesting. So the crimp and reduction in diameter make it fit in a .38 special chamber like a .38 with a projectile loaded? Ingenuous. Must be interesting looking pieces of brass after being fired.

Bob
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