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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Have shot cci 22lr shot loads for yard varmints, and snakes for years.
Got some .38/.357 CCI Big 4 yesterday. WAS PLAYING WITH THEM THIS MORNING AND HAVE FIGURED OUT THAT THEY WOULD PROBABLY BE OK FOR SQUIRREL OUT TO ABOUT 30 FT IN MY .357. At 30 feet they will hit and go thru a thick cut TBONE STEAK(had a couple freezer burn).
Big set back is that it costs about a buck ten to pull the trigger. Thinking, that If I could come up with a shot load using my lee turret press, #5 shot and existing dies, and brass. It would be a cool load to play with.
Has anyone ever played around with a shot load for a .357. I have a 5lb bag of #5 shot. I do not load shot shells, and would kinda like to play with some small game and pest shot loads and my .357
So anyone tried this or have some ideas.
 

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You can order the plastic shot shell caps on the internet, so it should be fairly easy to make up the loads you want.
 

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Thanks, a bunch.I did not know that. Will try to google that.
Ii have quite a bit of the shotshells for 44, 38/357, 45 and a crap load of the 22. Federal also makes the 22 shotshells in boxes of 50 I believe. I have to look at mine. They are not like the CCI plastic cap but are all brass and crimped top. Also they use #9 shot in theirs
 

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Discussion Starter #6
With those capsules, I could probably produce a good imitation of a big 4 load, for abought 32 cents a pop. Was hopeing for under a Quarter, to justify using them, instead of a .22 . Still 32 cents is not bad for a utility load.
 

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The plastic capsules work about the best I've seen for shotloads fired through a handgun with a rifled barrel. Just be careful when you crimp your loads. The plastic cracks easily.

Years ago, I used 303 British cases for 44 mag shot loads. The case had to be cut down to just under cylinder length, and the rim reduced in diameter and thickness (easily done). Then use some over powder and over shot wadding. They worked OK but the rifling made them very close range loads. Light loads only; with medium to heavy charges, the cases set back and the cylinder is hard to open.
I'm not sure if any rifle cases could be adapted for 357 mag but maybe some 357 Maximum cases could. (Of course if anyone owns a 357 Maximum revolver, they probably don't want to ruin their cases...)
As I said, I think the capsules work about the best. But making your own cases might be interesting for you.
 

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I load 3grs of Bullseye in the .38SPL, use an empty case to cut out "wads" from styrofoam take-out cartons. Wad on top of the powder, fill to just under the rim of the case with #8 shot, another wad, take a toothpick and seal around the styrofoam with Elmer's glue. Works great for copperheads at 10'
 

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I know the CCI shells work great on ornery copperheads like the one I dusted years ago clearing downed trees.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
My thoughts from what I have learned so far seem to be this. That if I am trying out to 10 yards, the plastic capsels may be the way to go. They would keep the shot from getting thrown around by the rifling. But the home made wads would be good 10 ft, and some pop can killing fun.

Runfiverun- I have a bunch of copper gas checks,I have them left from some hotter .357 magnum loads, I did up. May try to use them in some 357 brass.
I am sure I would have to play around with it a bit.
I am guessing I would weigh out some shot,with the gas check. Then look up a 38 special load with that grain weight of bullet.Stick with something like H110 or maybe even Red Dot. Use that powder charge and seat the gas check to where the bottom of a bullet that grain would be?
 

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I have been loading my own for years. I use 7 1/2 shot. It weighs 90 gr. So I used a 38 +p load and it does 1200 fps. The CCI loads were 9 shot at 750 fps and they were not very effective on BIG CO rattle snakes so I developed this load. ;) But bear in mind when you shoot this out of a 'rifled' bbl it makes for a lighter pattern density in the center becasue of the 'spin' imparted by the rifling, and the pattern widens out very fast so it is strictly close range, 15 ft or less.
 
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yeah treat it like a wad cutter.
the size of the shot determines your effective distance.

I made some up with some #11 shot and it throws a nice pattern but doesn't have much energy.
at about 15 feet, a glass bottle makes light tinkle sounds from the shot hitting it.
at 5' it's a different story.
 

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I tested the CCI Big 4 .357 shot loads. There are so few pellets in the pattern, you cannot depending on hitting what you aim at beyond ten feet.

No. 4 pellets are 135 to the ounce. An ounce is 437.5 grains, so each pellet weighs 3.24 grains.

According to CCI the .38 Special Big 4 has a payload of 84 grains, which works out to about 26 pellets. When handgun shot loads are fired from a rifled barrel, the shot normally disperses about 1 inch per foot of range.

When testing handgun shot loads for survival kit use I use the D1C repair center which is 11 inches square, about the size of a pheasant flying with its wings spread. The inner circle of the D1C is four inches, which is a good approximation of a small game bird's body. The outer ring is 8", which approximates the size of a rabbit.

I have determined to my own satisfaction based upon field experience that the maximum effective range of a handgun shot load is the distance at which you can depend upon a number of pellets hitting inside the 4" circle aiming point, equal to the shot size, i.e. six No.6s, 7 No. 7-1/2s, eight No. 8, etc.

Test patterns in the photos below were shot with CCI .38/.357 Big 4 shot at 10 feet from my 2" S&W Model 37 Airweight snubby "yard work snake gun", and one of my 6-inch S&W Model 10 "ruck guns."

At ten feet the patterns were dense enough to be useable on small game and the large shot penetrates through 3/8" plywood. While 4 pellet hits in the 4" inner circle were obtained with the snubby, and six pellets with the 6" revolver, with so few pellets you could not depend upon hitting a snake head you were aiming at unless you got MUCH closer than 10 feet.

At 15 feet the patterns were so thin as to be completely useless, so forget any 30 foot rabbit fantasies.

My take-away from this is that the "Big 4" load would be more effective in a larger caliber like the .45 Colt or .44 Magnum, which will contain more shot. I have ordered some .45 Colt and .44 Mags to test. Stay tuned.

The .38 Big 4 doesn't pattern densely enough for snake heads beyond maybe 6-8 ft. at best. It is not a small game load beyond about 10 ft.

My advice is to stick with fine shot such as No.8 or No. 9 in any handgun caliber smaller than a .44. If you don't load your own and plan to buy any of the CCI shot loads to keep in your ruck, stick to the Blue Cap No.9s.

Forget the Red Cap Big 4s unless you have a .44 or .45. I'll test .45 Colts when they arrive. Pictures tell the story.
CCI-Big4Shot10ft..jpg
CCI-Big4-10ft6inchBbl..jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
The rabbit thing may be a bit of a stretch of an Idea,Besides a wad-cutter punches a nice clean hole through one.And the old 20 gauge has brought me many a pot of rabbit stew.
But I still think I can come up with a viable squirrel load.
I had 2 shells left and had shot 2 steaks at 30 ft I got 2 pellets in one and 4 in another.They both went through and stuck in the back board.Squirrels are not that hard to kill if you get complete penetration, and hit center mass. So I am thinking that if I lighten it up to #5 shot, or even down to 8 or 9 and play with charges, I should be able to get a viable squirrel round for 20 feet, and a few hail marries at 30.
 

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I load my own survival shot loads in Starline 5 in 1 blank cases for use in the .44 and .45 revolvers, a .44-40 rifle and an antique .44 smoothbore garden gun. I load 1/3 oz. of No. 8 shot and 5 grains of Bullseye. Patterns are effective on rabbits and similar small garden varmints to 25 feet from the revolver and a bit farther in the smooth-bore .44 garden gun.
pix239423383.jpg 44-410BarrelMarking.jpg 5in1No8ShotMarlin25ft.jpg 5in1GameGetterShot.jpg 5in1tShotIn45ColtPatterns15ftAnd25FtRuger.jpg 5in1Vs410CYLbore25ft.jpg

Detailed instructions here:
http://www.hensleygibbs.com/edharris/articles/Revisiting Shot or Ball in a 44.htm
 

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I find the shot capsules to be better than trying to use the gas check and card stock method. The capsules don't lead the rifling like the other method does. When I bought the speer capsules there was reloading data inside the box and I stuck with that.

When I'm out in the desert my 642 has a chamber full of the capsules just incase I come across mr no shoulders. My 10mm or 45 colt will be loaded for 2 or 4 legged pests.
 

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Ii have quite a bit of the shotshells for 44, 38/357, 45 and a crap load of the 22. Federal also makes the 22 shotshells in boxes of 50 I believe. I have to look at mine. They are not like the CCI plastic cap but are all brass and crimped top. Also they use #9 shot in theirs
Those are good .22 loads, the crimped ones. I thought they discontinued those. We can't find them around here.

I had an older TC pistol and barrels of .44 Mag and .45 Long Colt. .410 shells I shot in that gun had terrible results. Within a short distance, the shot pattern covered a wall.

I had some .38 Special reloads that had no powder, just the primer drilled out to hold a primer for a .357. Instead of a bullet, the loads had wadcutter rubber bullets that could be reloaded.

As far as accuracy, they shot a group at 25 feet on paper to equal a normal load. At a distance of 10-15 feet, the rubber bullet loads shot completely through both sides of an aluminum pop can.

No, I don't know the powder load.
 

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I used some Multi-ball loads back in the 80's for .357 :)
two buckshot balls into a normal .357 case,
they would spread about 2 inches at 25 yards...
made for some interesting target practice :)

The fun part is that the two balls would hit pretty randomly,
side by side, one up one down, and all directions of the compass.
but always 2 inches apart at that range.
Figured it'd be about the same as doing it with a blackpowder pistol.
 
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