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Thread: Shotshells in .44

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default Shotshells in .44

    Has anyone shot shotshell cartridges thru a revolver? I bought some cartridges off a forum member to try and want to know at what distances I could successfully (possibly) hit a ptarmigan at. What kind of "pattern" can I expect?

    Tim

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    hey tim we are sort of having that discussion in handloading

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=66476

    but i get ~20-25 yards our of mine... with a basekt ball to med size beach ball pattern of 9 shot
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    I used a 7" Ruger blackhawk with shotshells on a Ptarmigan in flight at about 15 yards. It went down. Much farther than that, I don't think I could have made the shot. It's a viable option for Ptarmies and grouse at close range though. The shorter the barrel, the quicker the pattern opens up.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Ok, good to know.

    I'll check out the other thread too.

    Tim

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    Default AK Soldier was using my 7" Ruger

    I was using a 4 5/8 inch barrel in 45 colt and couldn't hit anything with it. I wounded one at around 12 yards, but it crawled into the brush before I could finish it. I hate wounding and not killing cleanly.

    When I patterned the 4 5/8 afterward, I realized my mistake. The 7" 44 mag, which I had previously used with the shotshells maintained around a 14 inch pattern at 20 yards. With enough density to kill a grouse cleanly. So that was the line of thinking I was using with the 4 5/8. Big mistake!

    With the 4 5/8 barrel, the pattern opened up to around 24 inches at 15 yards. There was not two pellets within eight inches of each other. I will not do that again.

    As AK Soldier said, the longer barrel makes the pattern hold better, if you are going to use the shot shells I recommend staying with at least a 7 1/2 inch barrell.

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    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I used a 7" Ruger blackhawk with shotshells on a Ptarmigan in flight at about 15 yards. It went down. Much farther than that, I don't think I could have made the shot. It's a viable option for Ptarmies and grouse at close range though. The shorter the barrel, the quicker the pattern opens up.
    Don't know if I agree with your short barrel theory? I've shot my share of both factory(CCI) and handloaded shotshells through several .44 mags with mixed results? Personally, I wouldn't bet on anything past 12'? Awful iffy situation with shotshells in a rifled barrel. My $.02
    Steve

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    Default S.B.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    Don't know if I agree with your short barrel theory? I've shot my share of both factory(CCI) and handloaded shotshells through several .44 mags with mixed results? Personally, I wouldn't bet on anything past 12'? Awful iffy situation with shotshells in a rifled barrel. My $.02
    Steve
    Yes, the closer the better with the shotshells. Four or five yards would probably best for these shells.

    When I shot these at the range, I was trying to find a maximum effective range. At 15-20 yards there was considerable difference in the shot patterns of the two pistols of mine AK Soldier and I were using. As I mentioned in my post above, I was very surprised. The shotshells were the CCI factory loads. The 7 1/2 inch barreled gun was a 44mag, and the 4 5/8 inch barrel was a 45. The longer barrel between these two guns seemed to make a world difference.

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    Default Yeah, I have, quite extensively in fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Has anyone shot shotshell cartridges thru a revolver? I bought some cartridges off a forum member to try and want to know at what distances I could successfully (possibly) hit a ptarmigan at. What kind of "pattern" can I expect?

    Tim
    Yeah, I have, quite extensively in fact. I went through a stage in which I was playing around with SPEER shot capsules. You can seat them in your hand, and dont need the press. You can put anything you want inside of the capsules.

    First experiments were about 200 cartridges I loaded for a .38 caliber derringer. At three feet, it is a nasty loading. At ten feet, the pattern was large....very large in fact. At 20 feet, it was unpredictable. I used a variety of shot that I had on hand....sixes, eights, and I had some twelves laying around here for years that I scored in a trade.....about 1/2 a sack.

    Next, I loaded some with hotter powder charges, and shot them in an old Colt .357 Mag pistol with a four inch barrell. Got some controllable patterns out of it, and was impressed with the lead delivery on target. Clearly it liked a longer barrell than the derringer. For rat shooting in a barn or at a garbage dump, the four inch barrell was plenty, and shots at 25 feet were tight enough patterns to lay down some rats with one shot.

    Next, I borrowed a friends old worn .44mag revolver with a 6 inch barrel. I shot and shot and shot with everything I could stuff in those capsules. I am convinced that with number six shot, a man can take squirrel with that gun from short to moderate ranges. The pattern opened up as big as a dinner plate at 20 yards, so getting in close is a good idea. At five feet, the shot remained fairly together, making it a lethal load at very short distances for a man-sized target.

    When loading the .38 and .357 rounds, I found that Winchester 231 was a fairly good powder for that. In the .44, I mostly used red dot and unique and got excellent results. Shotgun powder works well, and it keeps the pressures miniscule, while still throwing the shot at a fair velocity. I tried some Winchester 296 in .357 cases, and it seemed to be just a little too sharp and too fast for shot cartridges. In the .44, we tried some black powder loadings with FFF and that worked reasonably well. Unusual "boom" sound, and some comical smoke. Have to clean it pretty quickly though....mechanical things are not fond of black powder residues. The 231 burned fairly clean.

    You can load those things with whatever you want to load in them....easy enough to do. But I ask myself if it is necessary?

    Recently I was at the shooting range. There was a young guy there firing a sturdy looking revolver that accepted .45 long colt and .410 shells. It had a long cylynder, good balance, and I fired it a few times with some of everything that he had. I traded him some time on my Walther 9mm. The young man even had some .410 slugs that punched paper very well. Shot cartridges worked excellent, and she was dead on accurate with the .45 long colts. I though what an excellent back packer's revolver this would make. And it delivered far more lead with .410 shot shells than those old SPEER capsules ever could. Patterns were good. It was equipped with rubber grips, and was very easy to shoot.

    All this talk, and I cant remember the name of the manufacturer. The next time I am feeling like I have some extra bucks, I want to buy one of those revolvers.

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