Option For Making Birdshot A Better Stopper

Discussion in 'Hunting / Fishing / Trapping' started by TexDanm, Jun 20, 2018.

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  1. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I read this the other day on pinterest and think it is worth sharing. If you run out of buckshot and slugs but still have birdshot shells this is a way that you can make them have more effective knock down power. It is an amazingly simple idea that I have never run into before.

    All you do is sort of figure out where the bottom of the wad is and take a knife and make a cut just above that line that goes all the way around in a sort of spiral. You don't want to cut it totally in two so the line when it meats is about 1.8"/3mm apart. What happens is that when you fire it the entire end of the shell leaves as one piece and will make first contact as a single chunk.

    If you are going to do this it is best to be done in a break action shotgun so that you can easily look down the barrel and make sure that it didn't leave anything before you fire another round. You can do it with any shotgun but it is just faster and easier to check a break action than a pump or automatic.

    There are actually a lot of special loads that you can try (At your own risk!) that I've run into over the years. A stack of dimes is supposed to make for quite a mess when you place them in the shell in the place of the lead or steel shot. I also remember a story from years ago about shooting glass marbles loaded with salt into a shell.

    You can also cut the bottom off a fired shell and replace the primer with a new one and then muzzle load the shotgun with a safe load of black powder and shot or balls. This is also easiest done with a break action. They actually make breech plugs that will turn a break action into a muzzle loader and H&R and Mossberg used to both offer muzzleloader barrels for their guns.

    The thing about a muzzle loader is that in a bind you can stuff a lot of different things into them other than just lead pellets. Like anything else there may be a risk anytime you shoot anything other than the normally intended rounds. I have tried a lot of things over the years. I always fire them first from a gun vice and a long string. I then examine the gun and the primer and the case for signs of pressure strains. I recommend this anytime you are experimenting outside of the normal or even whenever you are firing a gun that is of uncertain quality.

    A lot of older shotguns have damascus steel barrels and are only safe to shoot with the lightest loads. I actually have one of these that belonged to my Great grandfather. I have shot it but only with the low brass light field loads and that after checking them for strength with heavier loads.
     
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  2. Snyper

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    That's a great way to blow up a shotgun, and it does nothing at all to make the shot "more effective" since the results aren't predictable.
     
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  3. randyt

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    there is also the waxed slug, that is where the crimp is opened up and wax is poured into the shot. This keeps the shot from spreading. The method you describe is called cutshell or ringed shell. of course in a perfect world a lead slug is preferred.
     
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  4. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Sorry dude but you are full of crap. I've now test fired these and they work amazingly well. The cut has absolutely nothing to do with the pressures. that tiny bit of plastic adds nothing meaningful to the weight of the load and it is soft enough that it offers no resistance as it goes through a choke.

    Dude, I am a gunsmith, you evidently don't understand the mechanics of the firing process nor the over presser safety built into all modern guns. There is a risk with any load, even a brand new factory load. With anything that goes boom, there are risks and chances of something going wrong. Shotguns are relatively low pressure compared to rifle pressures. I have seen some horrific mistakes made by amateur reloaders and yet never seen a ruptured chamber.

    I even saw a shotgun that had fired a round through a barrel that had something massive in it. I've wondered if maybe someone had dropped a 16 ga shell in the 12 gauge shotgun and then some how fired a 1 ga shell on top of it. This caused a really ugly swelling and a split at the end of the barrel but in no way did the gun blow up.

    You need to talk about things that you KNOW about and not things that you have heard people that didn't know what they were talking about might say. Modern break action shotguns are tough. Blowing one up is a very rare thing and even then the problem is usually something massive blocking the barrel.

    If you read the post I offered this only as something that you might do in a situation where you NEEDED a solid chunk to drop a more massive target than a bunny or bird. Would I recommend this for everyday use? NO. This forum is about survival and preparing for times when you can't run to the store and buy what you want. If you are going to insist on only being totally safe and only using the best things for each purpose you are going to have a problem if the stores close or you have to head out and can't carry everything with you.

    Don't try to teach an old sucker how to suck eggs. This isn't a legal board or a board for talking about good safe loads. It is about adapting and getting by when things are not easy. In a bind, you could drop a deer with this if you were fairly close. It also extends the effective defensive range of a shotgun with birdshot to a lot further than point blanc.
     
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  5. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    RandyT you posted while I was posting. The waxed slugs were what they did back when I was a kid when shotgun shells were paper and had wads that were not cups but just wafers between the powder and the shot and sometimes over the shot on roll top crimps. Been there done that too but it doesn't hold the shot together as tight as the cutshell. You could cut the paper shells but it was a lot harder to judge where the wads were for your cut.

    People now can't imagine a time when people might only have a handful of shells to feed a family with. My Dad lived that life during the depression. He was a prepper before that was even a word and he impressed on me the importance of knowing how to feed my family no matter what. We farmed and gardened and canned, butchered a lot of what we ate. They couldn't afford shotgun shells when he was a kid. They bought 22 shorts 3 for a penny and that was grocery shopping.

    He taught me a lot of things that I've never HAD to do but I know how to do them if I have to.
     
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  6. randyt

    randyt Expert Member
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    The internet can be a strange place. I had a guy tell me that shooting a slug in a full choke barrel would peel it back like a banana peel. I've shot more slugs in a full choke than I can count but to be honest a modified choke is generally more accurate. I keep some things to myself. I think there can be regurgitated info on the net from folks that have no first hand experience. It generally don't pass muster on someone that does have first hand experience.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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  7. Snyper

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    Unless the laws of physics have changed, the pressure has to go up because the weight and size of the projectile has changed.
    I didn't expect you to agree, but it doesn't change reality.

    They didn't have plastic shells with plastic wads back then, and anecdotes are seldom factual.

    Someone may have "taught" you about how to cut shells, but that doesn't make it safe.

    Then you really should know better.

    I understand internal ballistics, external ballistics and terminal ballistics well enough to know it's not smart to fire cut shells.

    Lots of people have blown up lots of guns that way.


    It's a bad idea no matter what.
    The fact that you've been doing it and keep arguing it's safe tells me you don't follow your own advice.

    I don't care if you agree, but others reading need to hear the truth so they can do some research on their own.
     
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  8. Snyper

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    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/07/31/cut-shells-shotgun-nonsense/

    "Shotguns seem to breed nonsense ideas more than any other type of firearm, except perhaps 1911s. That guy with a greasy John Deere cap who seems like his elbows are Krazyglued to the counter at your local gun shop is always happy to tell you about how shotguns are great because you can just rack the slide and criminals will poop and scoot. He may not have considered that scaring a person who is unstable enough to enter your home unbidden could have unpredictable consequences. Sure, they might just run away. Or they might empty their Hi-Point through your daughter’s bedroom wall. And greasy John Deere guy loves to tell you about how shotguns don’t need to be aimed. It’s almost like he’s never even fired one. Anybody who has spent five minutes with a shotgun can tell you that even a cylinder bore 18″ tube patterns tightly enough to cover with your hand at home defense range.

    But one of that hillbilly’s most favorite things to tell you about is how his pappy made cut shells that turned birdshot into slugs. Cut shells, if you didn’t already know, are a Depression era trick where you cut through the hull, but not through the wad of a shotgun shell in a spiral cut that barely overlaps but does not complete the circle. A small portion of paper or plastic still holds the hull together until, when it is fired, that part tears and the whole thing goes down the barrel: wad, shot cup, and hull."
     
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  9. Snyper

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  10. Snyper

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    BS METER.gif
    :)
     
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  11. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Ignorance can be corrected as long as it is caused by lack of knowledge and not stupidity. Your ignorance is beyond help. I will give you a hint. Virtually all modern shotguns are built for magnum and steel loads. A 12 ga barrel shoots loads of all sorts of weights. The weight of that little piece of plastic may increase the pressures by a few CUPs or PSI but not enough to make it even exceed the normally acceptable variances in all factory loads. There is no way to make a birdshot load exceed the pressures of a max load magnum round. I won't waste any more time on you. You evidently nothing about loading and especially not for shotguns.

    I guess if you are in trouble and only have one shell of birdshot and need to drop something bigger than a rabbit your best bet will be to insert the barrel in an appropriate office and fire away.

    Stick a fork in me I'm done....
     
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