Reloading slugs - Help needed, please!
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Reloading slugs - Help needed, please!


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Old 04-05-2008, 01:03 PM   #1
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Default Reloading slugs - Help needed, please!

Hi, I'm new here. I need some help. I'm trying to reload my own slugs for deer hunting. I bought a 1 ounce Lee Precision slug mold and made about twenty five slugs using old sinker weights. They seemed to look just fine coming out of the mold and the weights, as determined by a digital scale, were almost exactly 1 ounce. However, I tested these rounds on the range this week and it was a disaster. At fifty yards, the shots were all over the place (18 inch grouping) and that was with the gun in a sled. I was using Remington Premier hulls, 36.0 grains of HS-6 and 1 ounce pink Claybuster wads that are equivalent to the WAA10SL wads. I crimped the shells as with any other reload, therefore I did not roll-crimp. I was shooting the rounds through a Remington 870 Express using a rifled barrel and scope that produces very tight groups at 50 yards using the low-recoil Remington 1 1/8 ounce BuckHammers. What have I done wrong? I followed the directions exactly. Can you provide advice? I don't want to buy another mold. I want to try to make this one work. Thanks, Dan
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Old 04-06-2008, 01:43 AM   #2
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Well, no one else seems to have a quick answer so here's my suggestion alto I readly admit I've never even shot slugs, much less reloaded them!

Did they lead your bore much? I have wondered if a coat of Lee's Liquid Allox Bullet Lube wouldn't help shotgun slugs - may be worth a try.
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #3
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I loaded a couple of bunches of the Foster 1 oz. slugs years ago. The first batch was cast with PURE LEAD. They grouped better than any thing on the market includeing the the Saboted slugs form both smooth bore and rifle barrels. The second batch I loaded was cast with unrefined lead. It was still pretty soft, but not like pure lead. With the same load they shot like crap. So if your going to load your own slugs make sure they were cast with pure lead.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flounderdude View Post
Hi, I'm new here. I need some help. I'm trying to reload my own slugs for deer hunting. I bought a 1 ounce Lee Precision slug mold and made about twenty five slugs using old sinker weights. They seemed to look just fine coming out of the mold and the weights, as determined by a digital scale, were almost exactly 1 ounce. However, I tested these rounds on the range this week and it was a disaster. At fifty yards, the shots were all over the place (18 inch grouping) and that was with the gun in a sled. I was using Remington Premier hulls, 36.0 grains of HS-6 and 1 ounce pink Claybuster wads that are equivalent to the WAA10SL wads. I crimped the shells as with any other reload, therefore I did not roll-crimp. I was shooting the rounds through a Remington 870 Express using a rifled barrel and scope that produces very tight groups at 50 yards using the low-recoil Remington 1 1/8 ounce BuckHammers. What have I done wrong? I followed the directions exactly. Can you provide advice? I don't want to buy another mold. I want to try to make this one work. Thanks, Dan
First off, I see 2 problems.

1. These loads are designed to be shot out of a smooth bore and not a rifled barrel. For that barrel you need sabot slugs.

2. The Claybuster wads are too hard and don't open up the way they should at lower temperatures. They appear to become problematic at temps below 50 degrees, whereas the Winchester wads do not.

Before you make any load changes, try them out of a smoothie. If they are still all over the road then change the wad.

Also, make sure the fold crimp is perfect to almost perfect and that you are using the same wad pressure - I use 30lbs - I also load on a Mec700 VersaMec.

Good luck, slug loading is an adventure.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:43 PM   #5
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Start off with a perfectly clean barrel. If there is lead or wad (plastic) fouling it will be very bad for accuracy. Use a good solvent like Shooters Choice bore solvent. It cleans copper, lead and plastic fouling.

Sinkers should be pure lead but some folks use wheel weights. If the slugs are not fairly easily scratchable with a findgernail, they may be too hard. You might look for a different source of lead. Look at the stick on wheel weights, they tend to be very soft. Given that you have a rifled barrel, the advise of soft lead MAY not be best. Your barrel MIGHT like a hard cast slug.

Try different loads and different wads. A rifled barrel may or may not shoot a foster slug well. Different wads, different powders, reduce the charge and find the load the barrel likes.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:50 PM   #6
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I went through a similar process back in the early 80s. As I remember I couldn't roll crimp plastic. I cut the petals off the wads & used corn meal to fill the hollow base. Have you contacted Lee Precision?

edit: I experimented with different wads. You want to get as perfect a fit in the shell as possible. I also tried a cardboard wad over the slug, for a better crimp. My load data is in storage, sorry about that.

Last edited by Old_Brewer; 04-17-2008 at 07:55 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:56 AM   #7
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The only reason you want soft lead is to make removing the slugs with hollow points from the mold easier. You're tearing up your wads by shooting them thru a rifled barrel. The Lee slugs are meant to stay inside a wad on their trip down a smooth bore. You'll do lots better than 18" groups if you just use a smooth bore barrel. I've got the same 1oz Lee mold & two 870 express guns & my limitation with them seems to only be the sights. Even so, at 50 yards I get fist size groups.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:58 AM   #8
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Ummm. Acording to Lees web site the 1 oz key lock slug mold is for rifled shotgun barrels. Not for smoothbores.
Pure lead is to allow the slug to conform to the rifleing thru the wad and the wad prevents leading as the slug itself doesn't touch the barrel.
I bought the mold and will try it in the comming weeks.
I know this an old thread but what the hey.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:42 PM   #9
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If it shoots good with Remington Buck Hammers then why not stick with them?
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Acording to Lees web site the 1 oz key lock slug mold is for rifled shotgun barrels. Not for smoothbores.
They've worded that very poorly. The LEE slug is supposed to be for either rifled or smoothbore. No matter which, the slug doesn't contact the bore, so pure lead or hardcast will work. I shoot hardcast from a smoothbore with better groups than any factory slug. The one thing that isn't included in any load data is that the LEE slug needs a hard card in the cup under the slug. Without the card (base of slug in direct contact with the shotcup) the wad will sometimed hang up on the slug, which will produce fliers. Some wads are better than others, but no matter which wad is used, the card should be used.

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