The Accurate Reloading Forums
Shotgun slugs

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17 September 2002, 20:37
Shotgun slugs
Does anyone have any experience in casting their own shotgun slugs, using either the Lee, Lyman or some other manufacturers mould? I'm considering slug shooting as my summer project, but I know bugger all about them and load data seems hard to find. So... beginning from the start, anyone had experience casting shotgun slugs and achieved success? Somewhere in the deep recesses of my memory I seem to remember that they must be pure lead, no alloys, does this sound right? The intended firearm will be either a Savage 215 bolt action or an H&R Ultra Slug hunter. Thanks for any help or pointers in the right direction.
PS: John McDougall in Guns Australia wrote an article on slug loads maybe 10 or so years ago, would any forum member have a copy of the article??
23 September 2002, 15:07
Con ,The lee key drive slug, 12 ga. l oz. pure lead will average around 7 to 8 inch groups at 100 yards. The loads use a regular shotgun wad, and standard crimp. Fired in a Mossberg 500 cantaleaver scoped fulley rifled barrel.Factory sabots shoot better for me. Loading data comes with the Lee mould, about 6 or 8 different loading. I only tried 2. The Lee mould is hard to keep working correctly, not as good a mould as the Lyman,rcbs, others.243winxb
24 September 2002, 13:46
Thanks for the reply. Could you elaborate on the difficulty you've had with Lee moulds? I've ordered the 7/8 ounce and 0.690 roundball moulds for starters and found some load data using local components on the ADI limited site. I'm still waiting to see whether I can get hold of an H&R Ultra Slug as its my prefered firearm, but I've also found a cheap second-hand Savage 210F if the H&R is too expensive. Thanks again for the reply!!
11 October 2002, 03:48
con, When closing the slug mould, the center pin that forms the hollow part or bottom of the slug will hit the mould edges causing a burr.I had to hold the mould in an up position and look at it every time i closed the mould.Also had to lub the cut off plate because it was binding. The steel cut off plate and aluminum mould, the aluminum will wear fast. All in all for the price its ok, just takes a little extra to get good slugs. I also had to polish the center pin that forms the key drive piece (the v part) so i could get the slug out of the mould.Use only pure lead.Near impossible to get slug out of mould if using a alloy (tin, lead) Lee Slug casts best for me if i held the mould against the botton of the spout on lee pot and let the lead pressure in to the mould. Trial and error. 243winxb
07 November 2002, 09:55
I've played with slugs on and off for years. Never been real happy with my results. I'm shooting a Martini with a rifled 12 gauge barrel.

What does work is a .735 RB at about 1400 fps. Federal Paper cases (I dunno if they even make them now.) Federal wad w/ the petals trimmed to about .25 inch. Star crimp. I roll crimped some but the thought of the crimp getting wedged made me quit.

I get hundred yard groups in the 4-6 inch range and don't expect much better with iron sights and something that kicks that hard.
09 November 2002, 03:05
The pure lead stuff seem to have been for folks who might shoot slugs through a full choke barrel.

I speculate that the two big problems in slugs are getting them to fit the bore and getting uniform release of the wads, shotcup, or whatever. I am going to have to try a Lee mould just because that design looks like it will keep the wads from getting wedged in the base.

Other than the .735 RB I mentioned earlier, the only thing that has shown promise was 1 oz slugs cast in a Lyman moulds and sized through a homemade die to be a tight fit in a shotup. I used a mixture of wheelweights and lead sheeting for the alloy. I also filled the base of the slug w/ ground plastic buffer to help keep the shotcup out of it.

A NEF slug gun just turned up in the local shop for $75, so it looks like I am going to get back into this project.
27 November 2002, 13:05
I've been using the Lyman sobot slug for two years with a load from the Lyman shotshell manual. This slug gives me about 5" groups through a Mossburg 500 rifled barrel. I've found that my mould needs to be preheated on the electric range. If it's about as hot as an iron skillet for making pancakes its about right. Trying to heat the thing using hot lead was an exercise in frustration. Once the lead is hot and the mould is hot, everything seems to work pretty well. I've got one of the foster type Lyman slug moulds but I've never loaded the slugs since I've not been able to find a roll crimping tool.
28 November 2002, 14:49

Ballistic Products will set you right up with a roll crimper. The old bang it Lee Loader does a good job, too.

Problem is that the Lyman Forster mold does not have a shelf for the crimp to roll onto. I use a card wad on top when I do that, but don't like it.

I'm looking into having driving bands cut into a couple of moulds to bring them up to bore diameter for rifles barrels and to give a ledge for roll crimps.