This is a collection I saved of posts to the CAS-L list and the SASS Wire on black powder shotshell reloading. Any of this information of course is to be used only at your own risk. As for myself, I use Win AA or Rem STS (preferred) hulls, 4.3cc dipper FFg (approx. 65gr), Win red wad, 1oz shot. I use a Lee Load-All loader with the powder side empty and dip the BP by hand. Takes about 30 minutes per box of 25. Fouling cleans out of my Baikal easily with any of the usual methods. If I clean at the range, I pour the dirty soapy water that the brass has been soaking in through the barrels, then stuff 1/2 paper towel in each side and shove through with a rod. If a bit of fouling remains then I'll spray some water/ballistol mix in the bore and let it soak a few minutes then repeat with paper towels. At home I often just run the garden hose through the barrels for a few minutes. In my cartridge guns I sometimes use BP and sometimes use some of the BP substitutes, but in shotgun I always use regular BP because shotshells use a lot of it and it is much cheaper than the subs, and a SxS shotgun is just so easy to clean. I mostly load in all brass hulls now, same load as above but sealed on top with overshot card and waterglass sealer. See my article on brass shotshell loading for more info. - Abilene


Professor, its easy,

winchester AA hull

Winchester AA RED wad

65 grns goex

1-1/8 oz. 71/2 shot

Makes a perfect aa reload don't even have to adjust the reloader.

Use 409 or simular solution to clean with and any plastic will skin right out of the barrel after shooting.

I got this recipe from someone on the CAS list and it has worked very well for me.



Well, I'll throw my opinion out here, it being as good as anybodys:

My BP shotgun load consists of a Winchester AA hull, 209 primer, 90 grains of FFg, half-inch fiber wad that has been dipped in melted lube, one ounce of shot which may be #6 or #8, a .125 inch thick card

wad, and a good tight crimp. The wads and cards are made by Butler Creek, and available through

Dixie Gun Works or the Log Cabin Shop. I use one of those electric coffee cup warmers to melt a small can of lube, which is one third beeswax and two thirds Crisco. You want to take a

pair of tongs or something and grab the wads and just dip them. Don't let them soak, they'll get really heavy! If you don't lube the wads, you'll have a horrible mess in your barrel to clean out, plus just a couple of shots will make the gun too hot to hold.

When I started loading BP shotshells, I was using 75 grains of FFg and an ounce and a quarter of shot. This knocked down steel plates just fine, but I could never hit a clay bird with it. Never chronographed it, but it was just way too slow. The 90 grain load works fine on both steel and clay.

I use a card over the shot because it seems like you can never get that crimp just right on a AA hull, and shot starts to leak out. With the over-shot card, the shells can be bounced around all day without any problems. Never noticed any problem hitting anything because of it, either. These are loaded on a Lee Load-All that I inherited from my Dad, and I use a separate powder measure for the BP.

That ought to be enough information to get you going. A 12 guage loaded with black powder makes a wonderful, distinctive "BOOM!" when it goes off that makes folks stop what they're doing. Loads of fun!

I just acquired a 10 guage double that I hope to have to BP shells loaded for before the NCOWS National Shoot. That should be even better!

Grizzle Bear


No doubt, many will tell you to use this, and use that, in the way of BP shotshells. But, if you want a simple, safe, effective solution........A_A huls...Aared wads...1 - 1 1/8 oz. shot...65 grs. FFG....load them in a MEC, be done with it. Good load, plenty of power, but yet not too powerful......loads easy, drops from gun good.....Now then, if you really want to make an easy job up circle fly wad and order over powder, felt cusion, and over shot wads....and load about 1/5 as many shells per hour with more work, more money, and probably less performance..... Your call........yours on the trail......Southpaw Too


I've been using my Mec Jr to load my BP shot shells. I use the Circle Fly hard cards and Blue and Grey pre-lubed wads. I load in groups of five. I meter my powder with CVA cylinder flask the tube cut for 75 gr load

1) size and primer

2) take shell and dump powder

3) put in hard card

4) replace in Mec and compress card over powder

5) insert wad and compress a bit

6) drop shot (1 1/8 oz) and continue as normal

I have been using AA's as I have a bunch but the cheepy federals have a bit more room(for boom!!)

I enjoy this load very much and it hits hard, but it does get a bit hard to see the second target on a calm day!

Sierra SouthPaw


Loading Black Powder shot shell is not as hard as it seems. For all the supplies go to Balistics Products. Call them and they can set you up.

You can use any empty plastic hull. I use Federal's cheapest once fired hulls and toss them when you fire them with Black Powder.

Here is what you load in your shell in order

1. Black Powder (I use 85 Gr.)

2. Hard over powder wad (Looks like a disk of Masonite.)

3. Fiber wad (Looks like compressed lawn clippings.)

4. Shot (I use 1 1/8 oz of #8s)

All this has to be loaded by hand, and a muzzloader's short starter is handy for this. Once you have the shell loaded just crimp the shell in any shot shell reloading machine as ususal. All this sounds a lot harder than it is. It takes a lot more time than smokeless loading because you have to load the shells by hand. Once you do it the first time you will see how easy it is.

Mark in CA


Hi Lawson,

Mostly I use Federal paper hulls, but Winchester AA hulls are easy to get and work great. If you care about speed, use AAs or Activs...not paper. Paper hulls stick in chambers, as anyone who has seen me shoot can attest.


I use brood core over the powder charge, but I think you can skip it. I get my wads and cards from Dixie Gun Works. I use 12 ga, Circle Fly card wads over the powder and on the top and bottom of my shot collumn. As a cushion wad I use pre-lubed Blue & Gray felt wads. They are saturated with Bore Butter, or it's generic equivalent. I've tried plastic wads, but I like the cards and felt better. For me it doesn't take any longer to load than a plastic wad does.

take care,

Bottom Dealin' Mike


>Dear usta b. slim,


>You might want to contact "Circle Fly Wads", in Union, KY....they make >all >kinds of fibre, veg., and over powder, over shot etc....and they sell the >shotgun was saturated with my "BIG ROCK BUFFALO BUTTER".... call, Larry >Smith >(sorry, I can't find the ph. #....but the operator should have it.....SP2

Did a web search: (606)689-5100

Circle Fly Wads

4314 Dale Williamson Rd.

Union, KY 41091



Veggie or "anything else"...if you want "real" lube/powder fouling reduction...try... BIG ROCK BUFFALO BUTTER.....BAR NONE..........SP2.......I'd almost think that I've won enough Plainsman events and Frontiersman categories to know.......

Yours on the trail,..........Southpaw Too # 199



My meager experience with my brand new out of the box 1851 seems to parallel yours. The spent caps did sometimes fall back into the hammer channel and cushioned the hammer fall. after they were flattened out, they were a bear to pluck free. My 1851 says that you can use #10 or #11 caps. I didn't have any #10's but I buy my #11's by the thousand...(Serious BP Shooter?). The #11's stayed on without need for pinching. It appears that the manufacturers are listening to the gripes out here and are installing tapered nipples. I am using CCI standard and never had a misfire. I fired 100 rounds without a need for cleaning with no binding. I used two different types of lube. I used Bore Butter 1000 plus and , get this, TALLOW used in metal finishing. before entering law enforcement, I was a metal polisher. I bagan getting into BP cartridge rifles ans sent away for a few sticks of SPG lube. When it arrived, I noticed that the smell and consistency were the same as the tubes of tallow I used as a metal polisher. I went out to the garage and examined a couple of tubes that I had there and guess what? Same stuff. This is my warm weather lube now as it holds up to melrdown better than Wonder Lube 1000 plus. If anybody would be interested in purchasing this, contact The Kocour Co. 1-773-847-1111. This is a Chicago based company specializing in metal polishing supplies such as greaseless polishing compounds, steel buffing , tripoli, rouge compounds. they also stock buffing wheels... If they ask you where you got their number, tell them from a Chicago Police Sergeant that used to work for Clybourn Metal Finishing. My father was the company Vice President up until his death in 1984. Work out whatever deals are possible. If anyone does contact them, let me and the rest of the list know. 

Sergeant Smokepole...


Subject: (CAS-L) Convert brass hulls to standard shotgun primers

 Mark in CA wrote:

> The biggest dis advantage is that the hills use a berdan primer. I wish > someone would make a brass hull that uses a standard 209 primer. You can > still reload berdan primers, it just takes a little longer.

Howdy Folks:

Quite some time ago I posted that the brass shotgun hulls that take a Berdan primer (the Brazilian ones, or whatever) can be converted with relative ease to using standard shotgun primers, because the diameter of the primer pockets is essentially the same as a standard shotgun primer opening, using the following process:

1. The integral anvil in the center of the primer pocket forms a corresponding dimple on the inside of the case, which is perfect for centering a drill bit to drill out the base of the pocket from the inside.

2. One of the standard drill bit sizes is perfect for this job, since it is just barely under the diameter of the primer pocket. This lets you drill out the base of the pocket with little or no contact with the sides of the pocket. Also, it leaves a very slight "collar" at the inside end of the now-open primer pocket, which seems to help hold shotgun primers firmly in place, yet permits their removal as easily as from any normal shotgun hull.(I don't recall the correct drill bit size, offhand, but can check and post the info if desired, though the size needed is readily apparent using a "go/no go" trial in the primer pocket.

3. You want to ensure that the drill bit stays aligned with the axis of the case (so it drills straight through into the primer pocket) and I presume that a good drillpress would help achieve this. However I accomplished the task with a hand held electric drill, by rigging up a sleeve to keep the shaft of the bit centered at the case mouth (remember, you're drilling through the bottom of the pocket from the inside.) My method was simplicity itself: using that tough fiberglass reinforced tape (the transparent or semi- transparent kind with the fibers visible in it, I wrapped the shaft of the bit at the critical point intil a collar was formed which would just slide into the case mouth, with a minimum of "play". 4. Another hint: you are better to avoid drilling any farther than is necessary to open up and clean out the base of the primer pocket, to avoid damage to the sides of the pocket if your drill bit is not in perfect alignment.

5. Once the primer pockets are dilled through, it is also necessary to chamfer the the outer end of the opening so that the flange of the shotgun primer seats flush. I just used a much larger drill bit to form this "countersink"

6. When done, you have brass hulls that are primed and deprimed just like any other shotgun hull. I have employed this method to convert brass shotgun hulls and also a number of old Kynoch cases for my .577/.450 Martini-Henry (which were also Berdan primed, using the same size primer as the shotgun hulls) and didn't lose any in the process, even with the hand-held drill method.


"RATTLESNAKE JACK ROBSON" [Cowboy Action Shooting Alias]

WCFSS#198, WASA#4, AFS#69, RMR4, GHSS#CP03

[Real Life Identity: Grant Rombough, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada]



Howdy Pards:

1. The drillbit size I used was 15/64"

2. Yep, I mentioned the necessity to chamfer, in my original overly-wordy post. As I recall (I actually did this a couple of years ago) the bit size I used to do the chamfering was just the biggest I had at the time , likely 5/8" or 3/4" or some such.




Sgt. Drydock:

4.3cc FFg (approx. 70gr)

.2 overpowder card

1/2" lubed blue & gray wad

1 oz shot



You can also get them from Cabella's. A bit pricey but they sure do look purdy and will last a site longer than them new fangled plastic things.

Here is what I do for my brass 12ga rounds:

1. Pour in a heap (4cc or so of FFG Cleanshot)

2. Put in an over powder wad (I use Blue&Gray) and seat it on the powder with a dowel that just fits in the case.

3. Put in a 1/2" fiber wad an seat it with the dowel.

4. Put in 1 1/8 oz #8 shot (don't need the dowel here).

5. Put in an over shot wad (Blue & Gray agin) and use the dowel agin.


6. Put a thin bead of good ole Elmer's glue around the edge of the over shot wad.

I use my Lee Laod-All II for startin the wads and for the shot. I use my Bounty Hunter II hammer double ta get all that stuff back out of case again.

Best of luck to ya,

Capt. Bobbie D



Sgt. Drydock on 12ga Brass shells:

Get a Lee Load all,(Less than $40 out of Cabelas) and leave the powder side empty, put in a 1 oz shot bushing. Order the 2 5/8" brass from these take regular 209 primers, thus can be loaded on any regular shotshell loader. Don't bother trying to resize, you will only use these in one gun, right? Seat a primer, then pour in 70 grains volume of FFG. Seat a 1/8" overpowder card on the powder.

Seat a fiber wad. I prefer the Blue & Gray treated wads. drop 1 oz of shot.

Seat another overpowder card on the shot. You will find that this will seat fairly deep in the case, and that the heavy card will hold nicely with no further reinforcement. Or you may add another overpowder card beneath the fiber wad to bring the shot up closer to the case mouth, then use a thinner overshot card held with Elmers glue.

This is a nice comfortable load that will take down most any target. As you gain experience you can vary powder and shot charges, or wad columns to create the custom load that suits you best.

Wads and cards can be found at most any shop that carries muzzleloader supplys. Should they not have treated wads, use a plain wad with a glop of Crisco in the shot for lube.


Doc & All...

Ballard has sold their cartridge business to Rocky Mountain Cartridge Co.

12Ga are now $40/10 and other gauges are available.

You can get to 'em at:


Dave'll fix ya right up





Author Topic: Smokeless all Brass 12 guage loads

StoneyMike SASS# 35411

SASS Wire Vet

posted October 19, 2001 04:45 PM


Well here goes, These are the loads I've used all season in my 97 and Baikal Mule eared SXS.

I use Remington-Umc all brass hulls. They take a regular rifle/pistol primer. I use CCI Magnum pistol. Never had a light strike or misfife of any kind.

I use Titegroup in my 45Colt pistol and Rifle so it looked and the Hodgdon web site and found a handicap load using Titegroup that looked good.

It took some tweaking to get it right but now I'm set on 22 gr of Titegroup, on top of that an 11,guage, 1/4 overpowder wad from CircleFly wads. Then a half inch fiber cushion wad also from CircleFly. and another 1/4 card wad. This is mainly to take up space in the hull. I them use a Win AA RED wad. A regular white wad will be too long even without the last card and the red would be too short, trust me this is the combiation that works the best for me. I use 1 1/8 ounce of 7 1/2 shot and then another 1/4 heavy card and a slight

crimp, Just enough to hold the card and cycle good, It doesn't take much.

I have a set of dies for the All brass hulls from CH 40. Somebody out there emailed their address and phone to me , now I lost it. You need a RCBS reloader special #5 or a Rockchucker to use them as they are quite a bit bigger than regular dies.

You need the 1/4, harder card at the end instead of the thin overshot card.

unlike blackpowder you need pressure to get a good burn. I tried the thin over shot card glued in with various things but the primer was blowing the wad befor the powder ignited and the shot and wad barely left the barrel.

If anyone has anymore questions please feel free te email me or post a reply and I'll answer the best I can. As the shooters is Southern Wisconsin can attest. I use these every week.

I hope I covered all the bases,

Best Regards, StoneyMike



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