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Author Topic: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder  (Read 3381 times)

Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2019, 03:21:46 PM »
You guys might find this interesting.

This box of shells has been in my family for a long time. When I was about 17 years old (I'm 55 now), my step brother and I were going to the shooting range with a couple buddies. We had my step Dad's Browning A5 with us, and we were going to see how it handled. My step brother remembered that his Dad had a couple boxes of shells in the closet, so we grabbed one and headed out to shoot the gun. This box is the one we left behind. Oddly enough, the paper hulls cycled perfectly through that A5.




Turns out, these shells belonged to my step Dad's father. He wasn't too pleased with us for shooting them either! He immigrated to the US in 1944 from then Yugoslavia. He was fleeing the Nazi's. My step Dad was 5 years old at the time. He bought those shells sometime shortly after that, so I'm guessing mid to late 40's. He used them in his J.Stevens Model 311 SxS to hunt rabbits and quail for dinner. I'm just glad we didn't shoot both boxes!

I now have the 311 in my possession too. But it's not shootable, thanks to my brother. Let's just say the barrels are a little too short now. I'd like to find a replacement set and put it back into action someday.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 03:40:56 PM by ShotgunDave »
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2019, 03:33:44 PM »
Lovin' it, Dave!
I may have to post up some of my, err...'stuff' that was Dad's. You might get a kick out of it.
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2019, 03:41:29 PM »
Lovin' it, Dave!
I may have to post up some of my, err...'stuff' that was Dad's. You might get a kick out of it.

Of course I will!
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2019, 04:47:37 PM »
Holy moly! I just searched eBay, looking for these old Federal shotshells. There's people trying to sell just the empty box for $50! Wonder what my full box is worth?!?!

I also have a Western Super X box of .410 paper shells. There's a couple missing, but it's nearly a full box. I think it's from the 50's.

I may need to re-think this hanging on to family heirlooms thing.  (7+"

« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 04:52:12 PM by ShotgunDave »
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Offline mike116

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2019, 05:15:50 PM »
Keep an eye on this auction.   https://www.wardscollectibles.com/viewitem.php?item=1388 
It isn't over till the end of the month but it'll give you an idea what someone is willing to pay.

Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2019, 07:11:15 PM »
Thanks Mike. I'll watch that.

Mine is in much better shape than that one too.
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Offline Hawg

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2019, 07:16:39 PM »
I now have the 311 in my possession too. But it's not shootable, thanks to my brother. Let's just say the barrels are a little too short now. I'd like to find a replacement set and put it back into action someday.

Good luck. I looked for a set of full length barrels for my 311 made in 57 for years with no luck.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2019, 07:21:11 PM »
I now have the 311 in my possession too. But it's not shootable, thanks to my brother. Let's just say the barrels are a little too short now. I'd like to find a replacement set and put it back into action someday.

Good luck. I looked for a set of full length barrels for my 311 made in 57 for years with no luck.

They pop up from time to time Hawg. I missed a set on eBay a few weeks ago. There's a mostly complete gun on GB right now. It's missing the forend and iron, but I don't need that. The opening bid is only $60. I doubt if anyone will bid on it. I messaged the seller and asked if he'd just send me the barrels if I win the auction. He said no, he wants the whole gun gone. I may still bid on it. I just didn't want to pay the $35 transfer fee to my FFL just to get the barrels.
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Offline Hawg

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2019, 10:14:44 PM »
Not all 311 barrels will interchange. There's differences between some of the models. Mine is a 311 H. I found a few 311 barrels but none had the same latch as mine. No matter, I can't afford a set now anyway.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline mazo kid

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2019, 02:52:42 PM »
I will have a look see for one. Thanks for the tip. When I get time, and if I remember, I will post a pic of my vintage brass de-capper and primer seat tool. It is all brass with a Rosewood handle. Pretty cool.....
Reviving an older thread... Scooby, is that the tool you got from me? I had taken some of those old shotgun shell boxes (full) to auction a few years ago, and got diddly for them. How many boxes of Arrow brand shells have you seen? Also some of those Federals. Guess it depends on if there are collectors bidding. Also, when I wanted brass shells, there were none available except the older ones. I paid upwards of $4.00+ per shell! Now I have a bunch! (and a sizeable investment).  I have a box of brass shotshells that were issued to guards during the Korean War loaded with buckshot!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 01:31:03 PM by mazo kid »

Offline AlaskanGuy

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2019, 07:50:54 AM »
i loved the write up Dave.... i do most of what you do with a couple exceptions... i have a complete rockchucker press setup with the RCBS 12g die set. it works great for putting a tiny bit of a roll crimp on the end of the shell. helps hold the shells together. i have found some in my pocket a time of 2 when walking around through the brush where the glue alone did not hold... its a drag when you reach in your coat pocket to grab a shell and have a handfull of components and shot...lol. i dont use the rock chucker for decapping or anything else but the roll crimp. i also aneal the ends of the shells occasionally to keep them flexable... i just dip them in my lead pot when casting till they start to change color, pull them and give a tap.. let them cool..

as far as the components go, I did spend the 100 bucks to get a set of shells from Rocky Mountain Cart Co that were thicker and could use the standard components, and they work great with one exception.... they dont roll crimp, so if you have a glue failure your out of luck.

here is what my setup looks like...


and some of the different headstamps I use...


I really like the alcan zinc shells the best as they take a roll crimp nicely, dont have to be annealed, and are native 209 primer fed with no drilling...
if you use the roll crimp method, they will cycle real well in the 870 pump... the military actually issued them with 870's for quite a while with that slight roll crimp and dubble 00 buckshot. it is handy for ducks and such if you dont wanna use a single shot.. i only wish I had a double... none around here.

i jump shot these lesser geese last year with BP Brass shells in my 870..



yes I know, I was not wearing Camo.... most folks dont realize how dense the bush is.... they were feeding on the edge of the marsh, snuck up and 3 shots later when the smoke settled....

AlaskanGuy
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2019, 11:54:37 AM »
Great stuff Mark! Thanks for showing it.

I'm going to have to invest in the RCBS roll crimp die. I HATE using glue for the reason you describe. I've had them come apart on me, in the middle of competition. I even had one come apart in the gun. That was embarrassing watching the shot roll out the end of the barrel onto to table.

I have been sanding the inside of the shells with 180 grit sandpaper after I clean them. It seems to have helped the glue stay stuck. But I'd rather crimp them.

Are you using the fiber wads Mark? Or are you using a modern plastic wad/cup?
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Offline Hawg

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2019, 12:26:12 PM »
i only wish I had a double... none around here.

No pawn shops? I saw a very nice and very tight Lefever double at a pawn shop last week. They wanted $695.00 for it which I thought was too much but they would have probably come down on it;
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline AlaskanGuy

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2019, 01:16:54 PM »
@Hawg... Nope.. I live remote.. lucky to have a real gas station within 100 miles..  ($!

@Dave.. yes sir... i use plastic when required for something by the load in brass shells with smokless, but fiber is my favorite for BP.. i carouse ebay and buy boxes of the old alcan 11g wads and overshot cards.. those boxes have a red stamp on the top of the box signifying use for all brass shotshells..

if you want to check something out, get a 10g plastic wad and test the fit then them Magtec shells... might give some of you some ideas... i do not put fiber wads over shot, only overshot cards...
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: 12ga Brass shells loaded with black powder
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2019, 02:18:48 PM »
Thanks for the info Mark. I use 10g wads and cards in my Magtech shells, because they are so much thinner than plastic hulls. A 12g wad would just rattle around inside the brass shell.

When you use fiber wads, how do you get the shot column up to the top of the shell, so you can roll crimp it? Are you using multiple wads? And what is the powder charge you are using? Sorry for all the questions. I'm just trying to get these loads down pat, and you sure seem to have done it!

Thanks again!
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