Hot Waterfowl Reloads

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
Dolores, Colorado
I guess I'll start this off.

Back in the 60's when I first really got into reloading shotgun, my buddies and I would do a lot of experimenting as there wasn't a whole lot of information like there is today. We didn't have plastic wads and all the hulls were paper. We were going duck hunting in a couple of weeks so we decided to load up some "magnum" duck loads. We didn't have a chance to shoot these new loads before we went hunting, but took them with us anyway. My hunting buddy said these were so hot we should be able to kill the birds 75 years in the air, we even had to put tape over the crimp to keep the shot from coming out!

We drew permits for the state hunting area at the Salton Sea's (in California) Wister Hunting Unit. We had a pickup with a homemade sleeper on it and stayed the night at the hunting Hdqts with most of the rest of the hunters. We went out in an field and decided to pattern a couple of the new loads that afternoon. I shot one in my M12 Winchester 3" 12ga duck gun. It kicked like hell and blew the extractor out of the gun! We said these were too damn hot and decided not to use them. When we went to bed that night I put them (2 boxes) on the truck bumper so in the morning we wouldn't accidently take the with us. The next morning I noticed they were gone. I asked my buddy if he took them....he said "No". Someone had stole them. Man were they in for a surprise!!

I sure wish I could have watched them shoot the first one...........

Tim McCoy

Veteran member
Dec 15, 2014
Not a reload story, but it was hot. We were teenagers, I was reloading my own 12ga. and doing well with ducks. We got into some geese and only managed to bag one. My Grandfather, my hunting mentor, told me we needed more gun. So he finds this 10ga. double barrel shotgun, a tank of a gun. I find some 3 1/2 heavy loads I believe they were. Off to hunt we go. Sure enough the geese come calling. I raise that thing, pick my target, and next thing I can recall I am sitting on the bottom of the blind, butt of gun on ground, my hands are around the barrel, there is blood all over my hands and I have zero idea what just happened. As it turns out, the gun had two triggers, so did the 12ga. I'd shot before. Well this was a whole new level of bang. Apparently in my haste, I touched off the front trigger first I'm guessing, then the recoil immediately jerked my hand back enough to fire the second barrel. No one could tell it was two shots till I opened the gun. Let's just say that was a Big Bang. Handed it to my brother, never shot it since and he still shoots it today. It's never double fired, so am pretty certain it was operator error.

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
Dolores, Colorado
I have a 10 ga coach gun that I shoot in some cowboy action shoots. We do some exhibition night blackpowder shoots at state matches. Here is a shot of me pulling both triggers at once. I load 125 gr of BP and 2 1/2 ounces of shot and it does go bang!!View attachment 19291


Veteran member
Apr 7, 2011
West Side, MoMo
I have a 10 ga coach gun that I shoot in some cowboy action shoots. We do some exhibition night blackpowder shoots at state matches. Here is a shot of me pulling both triggers at once. I load 125 gr of BP and 2 1/2 ounces of shot and it does go bang!!View attachment 19291
Bahahah! That would be a heck of a home protection load! Kill one bad guy, scare the others, burn your house down!


Very Active Member
Jun 9, 2011
Peoples Republik of Kalifornia
Not a reloading story, but interesting nonetheless. When I lived in Louisiana, our usual method of duck hunting was to scour out of the way marshes and cypress breaks in chest waders, in pursuit of ducks resting up from their long flights down the nearby Mississippi River. Many times we had to walk to these out of remote areas through muddy fields wearing our chest waders, and carrying decoys, guns, ammunition etc. for the days hunt. After a few of these burdensome experiences, we began taking a small pram with us to make the hauling job a little easier, and as a safety measure in case we stepped in an alligator hole. (When the water was low in the summer, the alligators would wallow out an area to keep themselves cool in the hot weather. When the breaks filled up in the winter, these "alligator holes" were traps for the unwary.) One particularly cold day we were hunting a large brake that required a long wade to our favorite pothole. An older cousin was with us, and he continuously complained about his cold feet, and the great distance required when he needed to go urinate. Tiring of his whining, we uncharitably suggested, that he make his way back to the truck, and wait for us to finish hunting. He opined that he was smarter than all of us, and had devised a solution to his two problems. He would simply pee in his new waders, which would not only relieve his bladder but would also warm his feet. He chortled with glee as he relieved his pain, and warmed his feet. The ducks were flying, and he was quiet, so things were good. After a while, he ran out of fluid, and the liquid in his waders cooled off. The rapidly falling afternoon temperature made him colder than ever before, and he complained that he thought he was getting frostbite. We were glad when that day was finally over. He later admitted that despite repeated washings, he was never able to get the stench out of his waders. He hung them in the sun to deodorize, and the offensive odor apparently infuriated the neighbors pit bull, who ripped the waders to shreds. A true story.
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dirtclod Az.

Veteran member
Jan 26, 2018
Back when we reloaded we had no plastic wads so we used paper.The crimps kept seperating
so Dad dripped hot wax in the crimps.After a while Dad left us kids to do the reloading.
Hunting was quite a circus with us...Some shells fired,which shot a giant load of confetti down range.
Which our relatives thought was hilarious!Some didn't fire at all(no primer or powder)
Others made a popping sound like a cap gun and the shot made it out the end of the barrel,
but just barely.Never a dull moment!〽💥


Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
I know a guy who shot a carp with a shotgun shell filled with 209 primers same guy shot a hole through the cubbord door at my hunting camp with a "marshmallow load"

From my youth and even into today ( Although I pretty much behave myself now that I have a family ), I can attest to the toughness of a shotgun barrel

Doesnt really apply here but I'll post up a picture of what my homemade shot looks like. My dad refers to it as my "aerodynamic shot" lol I have killed a lot of game with it though. I had a lot of fun making all sorts of shot over the years. I built and designed all kinds of crap when I was younger. My current process is much more civilized and utilizes electric shot ladels...ha!

I am glad the smelting process if over. I have enough lead to last 4 lifetimes and thats if I took up competitive shooting....

From this (Wheel weights and range scrap)

To this (The smelting process...Never will forget the time I saw the loaded .45 ACP shell come floating to the top of the buddy and I ran like little )

To this (My buddy with ingots)


To this


To this (Finished, unsorted shot)

Ready for reloader...

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