Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Tommy Tran » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:54 am

I did a cut shell experiment the other day... pretty uneventful

gun- Benelli M1S90, Briley IC choke
shell- Estate #6 heavy game load
targets- 2 large poppers
distance- 15yds

We were at a 3 gun match and has a couple shells left over... first one I didnt cut enough it fired and functioned like a reg shotshell. Second one was cut enough and fired fine. Didn't eject but locked the bolt back on the M1S90(it was the last round in the tube).
Fired the rounds at large poppers, the first impact was pretty standard fairly quiet birdshot on steel and the second was a big ding like you hit it with a .45 round.
For reference I fired at a paper target from the same distance and it produced a pattern about 5-6 inches in diameter.

Found the hull that seperated off the base area forward about halfway to the target. It was curled open, I think the choke functioned the hull the same way it does the wad, helping to seperate the shot from the wadding/ shot cup. But in this case it seperated the hull from the shot & wad. Reg cylinder bore may make it slightly or effective as it will all still be one piece when it contacts the target(assuming it makes it through the forcing cone in one piece)

I may try it again someday with one of the Mossy500's I have.

Conclusion- In a coach or single shot and you dont have slugs, fine... if you have a pump or auto, go buy some propper slugs.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Skull_Hide » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:06 pm

Well got some FPS results, using Wally World birdshot, number 8 universal in a 26" H&R fixed modified choke uncut ammo produced a average of 1229.5 FPS while the cut shells produced an average of 1078.5 FPS.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by MaconCJ7 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:52 pm

Not surprising considering the added friction from the casing. Do you have anything with an open choke to run a test with? I'm curious if the choke is causing the slow down, or if it's just the case friction.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Skull_Hide » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:57 am

Yeah, I'll do it with my cylinder bore 590.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Skull_Hide » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:52 pm

Interesting, just got done with the 590 testing and here are the results. On average with three shots the un cut shells put out 1165 FPS while with a three shot average the cut shells put out 935.6 FPS. So it seems the cut shells are around 200 FPS slower, due to the slight increase of weight and the increased friction traveling down the bore.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by MaconCJ7 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:40 am

That is interesting. It must be the added weight. I was stuck on the idea of friction, but if there was a lot of it, the shot would just push through the end.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by ODA 226 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:49 am

Tommy Tran wrote:Do you gents think this would make a good impromtu door breach round?
We SF guys were taught this as an improvised technique for breaching doors at Mott Lake over 30 years ago. 30 years?! Damn I'm getting old! :shock: :lol:

And YES! It works!

BTW: Our technique was a little different. We would cut the shell all the way around at one -half inch from the top of the shell and tape the cut shell with one wrap of electricians tape to keep everything in the cup during flight. This allowed cycling with a pump Remington 870.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by the old gringo » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:33 am

Ok here is the low down on cut shells
1 for several years I apprenticed under one fantastic gun smith and I have built several nice weapons
2 the pressure created in the barrel of a shotgun vary from amount of shot and amount of powder driving it. You throw a new variable in when forcing the oversized casing down the tube remember the chamber is slightly larger than the barrel this can create over pressure of the barrel and receiver if you want nearly the same effect in a safe method may I suggest loading some shells with MULTI METAL UNSLIT shot cups they achieve the same result but safely I have used for years turkey hunting and if left intact (not cut down the sides) are still in one piece at 50 yards these can be found at http://www.ballisticproducts.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That being said if push came to shove and I had a good shotgun and needed to put something down I would not hesitate to cut prey and send it down range
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by 400 Grains » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:32 pm

Turtlewolf wrote:Makes me wonder why there are no Glaser style slugs for shotguns, I'm sure that there may be a good reason. I couldn't find anything on Google about it,
Perhaps there's not been a large demand for expensive shotgun ammunition with poor terminal performance.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by 400 Grains » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:41 pm

BigD wrote:Cut shells. We call them BEAR LOAD. When out hunting upland game, We would carry a few of them in case we ran into a bear and had to defend ourselfs.
You should be glad yourselfs never had to try and use one.

Does anyone really think that birdshot suspended in a plastic cup will hold together, and have penetration comparable with an actual solid slug?

We used to do this for fun at the range, and to entertain the recruits, but even 30 years ago, we were never deluded enough to think it would substitute for a slug.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by 400 Grains » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:43 pm

ODA 226 wrote:
Tommy Tran wrote:Do you gents think this would make a good impromtu door breach round?
We SF guys were taught this as an improvised technique for breaching doors at Mott Lake over 30 years ago. 30 years?! Damn I'm getting old! :shock: :lol:

And YES! It works!

BTW: Our technique was a little different. We would cut the shell all the way around at one -half inch from the top of the shell and tape the cut shell with one wrap of electricians tape to keep everything in the cup during flight. This allowed cycling with a pump Remington 870.
I can see that working.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Dogan » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:44 pm

400 Grains wrote:
BigD wrote:Cut shells. We call them BEAR LOAD. When out hunting upland game, We would carry a few of them in case we ran into a bear and had to defend ourselfs.
You should be glad yourselfs never had to try and use one.

Does anyone really think that birdshot suspended in a plastic cup will hold together, and have penetration comparable with an actual solid slug?

We used to do this for fun at the range, and to entertain the recruits, but even 30 years ago, we were never deluded enough to think it would substitute for a slug.
IIRC, this was never presented as "Cut shell = slug", but rather "birdshot < Cut shell != slug"
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by 400 Grains » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:33 am

Dogan wrote:
400 Grains wrote:
BigD wrote:Cut shells. We call them BEAR LOAD. When out hunting upland game, We would carry a few of them in case we ran into a bear and had to defend ourselfs.
You should be glad yourselfs never had to try and use one.

Does anyone really think that birdshot suspended in a plastic cup will hold together, and have penetration comparable with an actual solid slug?

We used to do this for fun at the range, and to entertain the recruits, but even 30 years ago, we were never deluded enough to think it would substitute for a slug.
IIRC, this was never presented as "Cut shell = slug", but rather "birdshot < Cut shell != slug"
Did I misunderstand the post I quoted, (which you then quoted)?

Or did you not read it?

Here, I'll quote it again so you can't miss it..
BigD wrote:Cut shells. We call them BEAR LOAD. When out hunting upland game, We would carry a few of them in case we ran into a bear and had to defend ourselfs.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Dogan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:45 pm

400 Grains wrote:
Dogan wrote:
400 Grains wrote:
BigD wrote:Cut shells. We call them BEAR LOAD. When out hunting upland game, We would carry a few of them in case we ran into a bear and had to defend ourselfs.
You should be glad yourselfs never had to try and use one.

Does anyone really think that birdshot suspended in a plastic cup will hold together, and have penetration comparable with an actual solid slug?

We used to do this for fun at the range, and to entertain the recruits, but even 30 years ago, we were never deluded enough to think it would substitute for a slug.
IIRC, this was never presented as "Cut shell = slug", but rather "birdshot < Cut shell != slug"
Did I misunderstand the post I quoted, (which you then quoted)?

Or did you not read it?

Here, I'll quote it again so you can't miss it..
BigD wrote:Cut shells. We call them BEAR LOAD. When out hunting upland game, We would carry a few of them in case we ran into a bear and had to defend ourselfs.
I read it, and I understood it, I was just commenting on your interpretation. It seems that CS's were presented as being better than bird shot while using the rounds available.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by tim929 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:19 pm

Howdy everybody. I just wanted to weigh in here. The cut shell method of creating a slug can be effective and is generaly very devestating on impact. However, it does come with certain risks. The diameter of a typical shotgun shell is between .78 to .795, while the inside diameter of the bore is only .740 at the forcing cone and may constict down to as small as .690 at the muzzel in a full choke. Trying to force the top half of a cut shell through the bore of a shotgun results in very high pressures and can result in barrel bulges or worse. Additionaly, its not uncommon for the shot column to break through the crimp befor the projectile has left the bore and end up leaving part of the hull in the barrel to form a barrel obstuction for the next shot. You may never exerience these results...on the other hand you may end up going online to buy a new barrel for your pet riot gun for a couple hundred dollars after the doctors determine that you are stable enough to release from the hospital. Your friends and family may not recognize you with all the bandages and the missing lower lip, but the dog still recognizes your smell.

A better method of creating cheap slugs for your shotgun is to buy a Lee or a Lyman one ounce slug mould and simply open the crimp on the target shells, melt the lead and cast your own slugs. Another option for those of us who prefer buckshot is a nifty little mould made by Sharp Shooter USA. It will mould up to 20 pellets of 00 (.33) buckshot at a time and is very easy to use. Simply open the crimp on the cheap target shell and dump the shot out, melt it and pour your own buckshot. Load the pellets back in the shell and recrimp it.

The latest word in police buckshot more closely resembles a target load anyway. Its usualy a 2 3/4 inch shell with eight pellets rather than nine pellets of 00 buck loaded to a reduced velocity. The advantage of having one less pellet is reduced recoil and the advantage of the reduced velocity is that the pellets deform less on firing which leads to substantialy tighter patterns in most smooth bores. The buckshot moulds can be had in a variety of other sizes as well such as number four buck, 000 buck and so forth.

For those who dont know this, many years ago there was another buckshot size that some shooters realy liked. It was 0000 buck. Thats right...four ought buckshot. The typical load was six or seven pellets of .38 caliber buckshot. Use of 0000 buck sort of died out in the late 1800's or very early 1900's. As it happens, the larger the shot size, the tighter the patterns tend to be.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Kiwi Bowhunter » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:49 pm

Seeing as this looks like it got necro'd, here's some vids I did a while back.

They work fine out of my BSA Snipe(Shotgun in vid) and also out of my Baikal Coach Gun. Both 12g.


[YouTube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mk_j8Cb ... ure=relmfu[/YouTube]

One thing I've read about wax slugs, is you have to file down the top, to make sure there are no metal protrusions(i.e. shot pushing through the wax) as this can potentially set off the primer of the shell infront of it when loaded in a tube mag and exposed to recoil.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by jor-el » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:42 pm

Is a cut shell reloadable? I would think not.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by tim929 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:00 pm

jor-el wrote:Is a cut shell reloadable? I would think not.
No. After the hull has been cut there isnt enough room to make anything more than a blank out of it. There are a series of slugs that apperantly come out of Europe that are 2" shells. I saw a guy using them on a range the other day. They dont like to cycle in magazine fed shotguns but in a side by side, over under or single shot they work just great.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Kiwi Bowhunter » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:11 am

I don't reload for shotguns, but unless you had a way to replace the hulls into the brass base, then no.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Brock Meatstone » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:17 am



I have always thought these were a better, safer, and arguably more (consistently) effective alternative to cut shells.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Skull_Hide » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:41 am

Cut shells are unable to be reloaded considering you literally fire 3/4 of the hull out. However waxed shells can be reloaded, simply by refilling with powder, shot wad, lead and wax, but can also be reloader with a roll crimp tool.
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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by Kiwi Bowhunter » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:03 am

I think where the cutshell comes into it's own, is that you ONLY need a knife to make it effective.
No melting pot, no casting mould, no wax, none of that carry on.

In the field, you might be stranded and only have a few shotshells. If you decided you needed a cut shell, only takes a few seconds to make it into something that can fill that role. They obviously aren't equal to real slugs, but that's why real slugs were made.

It's just a useful bit of knowledge to keep in your survival arsenal.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by mastersplinter » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:34 pm

My buddy and I went camping and made a bunch of cut shells. We manually fed them into the chamber of a rem 870. Worked great.

On the last one (last for a reason), when he pulled the trigger it looked like he shot a flintlock rifle. A huge puff of ignited gunpowder went straight up from the chamber right near his face. Then all the shot just rolled out of the barrel. The shell case was melted in solid a few inches down the barrel. It was scary, but he was just fine.

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Re: Cut shells (The poor man's slugs)

Post by GoSlash27 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:26 pm

Thread necro!
We made some of these and corked them off down at the range today. No issues to report, and they look pretty vicious at the bad guy's end. They make a very evil hissing sound in transit :shock:

I think Kiwi Bowhunter has the right frame of mind about this; An actual slug or buckshot is preferable whenever available, but in a survival situation where you need some serious hitting power and don't have anything else? A cut shell could be just the ticket.
*edit* I'd be very leery of trying this with anything tighter than a mod choke. That's a lot of plastic to squeeze through the bore.
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