~ The Desperate Hot Springs News ~
Loading 12 ga. brass shells
Some tips about what I’ve found to work good for me.  
( This is NOT to be construed an instruction in how to do reloading.  There are appropriate
instructions available.  These are tips about what I’ve found handy and are for those who already
experienced  reloaders.  All normal safety rules are understood to be known and followed. )
I just recently made myself a 12 ga. loading block.  Very handy.  No
shells falling over, keeps thing more organized.  Block of press wood
( just what happened to be handy ) laid out a pattern and drilled holes
with a 7/8 in spade bit.  Didn’t go too deep at first, and then went back
to each and tried a shell, re drilling as needed to straighten up and /
or deepen the hole as required.  
This cut off plastic shell was my
original measure.  I cut it where it held
9 pellets of 00 Buck and used it for both
powder and for small ( 7 ) shot.  Gives
me a "Square Load".

I now throw powder with a flask which I
find to be handier than dipping with the
cut off shell.
With the cushion wad inserted
it is pressed down with the
dowel until the lower line is
equal with the top of the case.
( Not quite all the way  there in
this picture.)
With the powder charge in and the nitro card on
top the powder I compress with this dowel.
When the upper line ( indicated with the arrow )
is even with the top of the brass shell I have the
compression for the powder and nitro card.  
Then 9 pellets of 00 Buck or a dipper of small shot is added.  Finally the
over shot card is inserted and pressed firmly over the shot.  When I
re-ordered I got the thicker over shot cards and eliminated previous
problems with them coming loose.

Wads are from "Circle Fly"  11 ga. for the nitro card and cushion wads and
10 ga. for the overshot card.

I'd heard of cutting the cushion wads in half and having room for 12 pellets
of buck or more shot.  I tried this and the pattern blew out.  A coyote at 20
yards would have been perfectly safe as none would have hit him while
they  peppered the ground all around.  

I recently acquired a "Lee Load-All" from a pard with thoughts of adapting it
to do the compression ( rather than the current "arm strong" method) and
throwing the small shot charge with it.  But I haven't got around to doing
anything with it yet.
My priming set up.  I slide the
case up thru the top of the press
and seat the primer with the "Lee
Ram Primer" . . . yes a 12 ga. shell
holder would be handier.  I just
keep forgetting to order one.
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For tighter patterns out of a SxS with short cylinder
bore barrels a "shot cup" made of three wraps of
brown paper works great.  I have a "mandrel" that I
wrap the paper around, I then crimp one end, put it
into the shell over a half thickness compression
wad, then pour in the shot and an overshot card.

The examples to the right are with 9 pellets of OO
Buckshot fired at a distance of 10 yards. The one
the left with a paper shot cup the one on the right
the same load with no shot cup and a full thickness
cushion wad.
Gun cart built with a dolly, antlers, and
misc. lumber that was handy.
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Half way to Hell and in the middle of no where
from the wilds of California Territory