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Help diagnosing vintage 16 gauge load #15211360 09/10/20
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wheelerdan Offline OP
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I have been making ammo for my vintage 16 bore shotgun and have run into problem. The recipe I am using was selected because it is said to develop 7500 PSI @ 1250 FPS. It published by BPI and also is among RickBin’s data. It is: Fiocchi primed hulls with Fiocchi 616 primers, 22.5 grains of Longshot powder, BPI 1/8” card over powder, SG16 wads with 1 OZ of shot. 6 star crimp. Loader is a MEC JR. During a patterning session I noticed considerable amount of unburnt powder, which looks like Longshot “mud”. Wads look to have quite a bit of carbon on them. I chronongraphed several loads and was surprised to see between 910-930 FPS for 5 loads. Stopped there.

I was having trouble with case capacity affecting my crimp. Somebody suggested I take up the space by adding enough 1/8” card(s) over the powder to make a good crimp. I am pretty sure this may be when the problem started.

I have eliminated the following. I check powder charges. The powder and primers are both fresh. The MEC Jr drops 22.5 grains very consistently. Also, I checked the chrono by shooting some AA trap loads over it. They registered 1250 exactly.

Very clearly this load is not burning the powder correctly. I need to understand how to manage the hull capacity while getting a correct burn.

I would appreciate hearing your ideas.

BTW, I am a very experienced metallic cartridge reloader for the past 40 years. Pretty new to vintage shotshell reloading.


Re: Help diagnosing vintage 16 gauge load [Re: wheelerdan] #15219030 09/13/20
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Makintrax73 Offline
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Hodgdon publishes some Longshot loads with Fiocchi hulls, but unfortunately with bismuth shot. I know you can't interchange load data, but you can get clues. They are at 26 grains for 8,800 psi with 1oz bismuth.

But it could simply be that you are on the edge of unstable burn territory and a less than ideal crimp isn't letting the burn ramp up before the burn volume starts really expanding?

Personally I always wondered whether Longshot was touchy just because I never see lower velocity loads with it in official published data - usually 1,350 +. I might try a different powder.

Re: Help diagnosing vintage 16 gauge load [Re: wheelerdan] #15219076 09/13/20
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dale06 Offline
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I won’t use any BPI data. Bought their 16 ga loading manual. Tried several loads with exact componants that they used. Stack heights were way off. That manual went into the recycle bin.


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Re: Help diagnosing vintage 16 gauge load [Re: wheelerdan] #15221921 09/14/20
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wheelerdan Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies. More info.

Dale 06,This is the second time I have heard this kind of feedback about the recipes in the BPI manual. The recipe I tried certainly did not fit/fill the case with the components recommended.

Makintrax73. I did some more testing. As soon as I filled the empty space in the hull with fibre wads so there was no bb rattle with a tight crimp, velocity went up to 1240 fps from 900 FPS, with exactly the same amount of powder. The only diff was the hull was filled TIGHT.

Apparently Longshot must be tightly compressed to burn correctly. Meanwhile, this info could be academic. This little gun has a straight English grip. A 1 oz load @ 1240 fps in this particular 6 lb gun is brutal. Also, research shows Longshot has a reputation for increased recoil. Clearly this is the wrong powder for this application.

My next plan is to load up some paper hulls with good old black powder and 1 oz of shot to establish a baseline performance/pressure of the original ammo. The guns was proofed in 1897. Then I can work up a smokeless load which generates the same velocity. I believe powers more like Universal or Unique might prove more appropriate. We'll see.

Thanks for the feedback. will advise as testing make me smarter.

Re: Help diagnosing vintage 16 gauge load [Re: wheelerdan] #15234200 09/18/20
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sharps4590 Offline
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wheeler, I'll throw this out there simply as a thought. If you don't like it you may tell me to go pound sand. Is there a reason you don't want to just use BP? Reason I ask is I have a BP proofed drilling and combination gun and what I did and, rather enjoy, is buy some brass Mag-Tech hulls and load BP with the traditional wad column. The classic 1 oz., 2 1/2 dram 16 bore load gives up very little to smokeless loads, IMO. Given how easy smoothbores are to clean after BP use I never pursued anything else for those two guns. Only difficulty I ever had was doubles at the two sporting clays matches I participated in. Given my pretty much complete lack of skill with a shotgun I was there mostly to provide comic relief anyway. A fellow shooter commented, "you don't shoot too bad, if you could see the second bird." It was spring time in the Ozarks, pretty humid down there in the woods with no breeze.....you can imagine the results.


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Re: Help diagnosing vintage 16 gauge load [Re: wheelerdan] #15248792 09/23/20
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erich Offline
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I've seen a number of loads that don't work from BPI but I feel that it might be due to changing base wads heights from the manufacture. I use a lot of pickups from the trap fields and cut them to 2 1/2" for my shotgun and even hulls that look the same can be different.

In my drilling 2 1/2" 16ga I use 24gr of Longshot, Z-16 wad and 1 oz. of NPP BB's for my coyote loads and roll crimp them, it kills coyotes with authority.

For lead loads in an old 16 there is nothing wrong with 3/4 or 7/8 oz loads for hunting, my goto duck load is 3/4 oz of ITX #6 shot in the 16ga and 7/8 oz of the same in the 12ga all in 2 1/2" hulls. You can use a faster cleaner burning powder and keep the pressure down.

I would put the spacer in the bottom of the shotcup rather than over the powder.

Most of my drilling kills are withthe shogun barrels as I take it when the cover is thicker.

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Last edited by erich; 09/23/20.

After the first shot the rest are just noise.

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Re: Help diagnosing vintage 16 gauge load [Re: wheelerdan] #15249140 09/23/20
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Remington40x Offline
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Erich:

What case are you using for that recipe?

What is a Z-16 wad?

And where did you find a 16 gauge roll crimper?

Thanks.

Rem

Re: Help diagnosing vintage 16 gauge load [Re: wheelerdan] #15249997 09/23/20
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erich Offline
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BPI for everything. They have the wad and roll crimper. they used to have 100 hull bags of Cheddite 2.5" as did Grafs but now BPI only has 1000 hull bags. I made a cutter to cut down 2 3/4" so hulls aren't a problem.

Wad link
https://www.ballisticproducts.com/Field-Commander-16ga-wads-250_bag/productinfo/020Z16/

I use LOW pressure 2 3/4" fold crimp loads in my 2 1/2" hulls and roll crimp them


Last edited by erich; 09/23/20.

After the first shot the rest are just noise.

Heaven has walls and rules, H-ll has open borders

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