12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

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12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby kenner » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:38 pm

Hi all,
I'm hoping some can benefit from my little experiment/tinkering. I was having trouble with a load fitting in the shot cup, even though the wad was made for a particular payload of that size steel shot. I tried pushing the payload down with a spent rifle cartridge, but still couldn't get a good fit.

I was looking for something to use in my MEC Sizemaster press, that would compress the load. I took the inner and outer dimensions of the shot drop tube and the inner dimensions of the shot cup/wad with a mic. I was headed up to the rifle range to see if I could find a large caliber rifle/pistol case that I could put a dowel in. The dowel would fit in the shot drop tube and I would epoxy it into the spent cartridge case. The rifle range is 25mi away, so I stopped at the local builders' supply, with mic in hand.

I made this tamp/shot ram out of: 2.5-3" x 1/4" carriage bolt, w/head cut off, using the threaded shaft, 1-5/8" long; white, plastic, threaded "thingy" on the bottom (I'll find out what it's called), 0.62" diam.; 1/4" nut to jam the plastic "thingy" and keep it from coming unscrewed; 1/4" washer, for the shot tube to press down on; masking tape, 0.42" total thickness.

The shortness of the shaft allows the ram to come out easily, when removing the tamped shell; the tape is just tight enough in the tube, to prevent much wiggle/wobble; the shaft of the screw/bolt is wrapped with a little bit of masking tape, so the washer has a little play, but not much; the thick taped is not all the way down to the washer.. my mistake,, but it allows the washer to settle on the shell, without any torque to the side.. it could just as easily have been a little tighter, but I don't want to unwrap and rewrap the tape; the screw/bolt face sits flush with the white, plunger/tamp, giving a uniform press to the shot charge; the diameter of the tamp fits perfectly in the shot cup.

Here's the pic and the shell is a reloaded Herter's hull w/7/8oz #4, xxx-gr Steel, pressed with my Sizemaster. The hull comes with a 6pt... woulda preferred an 8pt.. oh well.

Take care, Ken

Shot tamp.jpg
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby lostknife4 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:41 pm

For the 12 ga I'm using an expanded mouth, to have a grip on the inside of the drop tube, 43 Mauser spent shell.
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby kenner » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:05 pm

I could have made a tight fit, with the tape, but I like to position the ram in the hull mouth and shot cup first. But, with the way I'm doing it, one has to replace the ram each time.

So, what diam is the base of the 43 Mauser?

Is there something comparable in a pistol shell.. something more readily available?

Thanks!... Ken
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby Jim Atlas » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:27 pm

I use a mec 400. Has a ram behind the drop tube for knocking the finished shell out of the crimping sleeve. Picked it up for $20.
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby brad43 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:36 pm

Kenner,
How much wad pressure are you putting on the load before you crunch down on the shot column? I think your loading a LS load and a 383 gr shot charge I just can get my head around you having space issues....maybe with a tapered hull, but not a straight walled (unless you have big powder charge?)

I like my crimp deeper, especially on those 7/8 oz loads.

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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby kenner » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:04 pm

I'm at 90#,, but the wad cup comes up with the tube, so I press it down in. I may have loaded others/previous incorrectly.
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby BBK » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:09 pm

kenner wrote:I'm at 90#,, but the wad cup comes up with the tube, so I press it down in. I may have loaded others/previous incorrectly.


Same problem here with straight walled hulls. I use a dowel and a hammer to seat the wad after I use the press to get it in the hull. Three light taps on the dowel seats the wad very well. Wooden only of course on the dowel, you dont want to be dropping sparks on your reloading bench hitting steel with a hammer!
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby kenner » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:21 pm

Oh,, the Herter's is a Cheddite hull and I was/am using a B&P 7/8oz wad.
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby lostknife4 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:52 pm

kenner wrote:I could have made a tight fit, with the tape, but I like to position the ram in the hull mouth and shot cup first. But, with the way I'm doing it, one has to replace the ram each time.

So, what diam is the base of the 43 Mauser?

Is there something comparable in a pistol shell.. something more readily available?

Thanks!... Ken



Ø.505 and the od of the rim is Ø.585. Fits just a bit loose so I expanded the bottleneck to snug it up

Maybe a 45-70 would work but you may have to expand the case end to make a reverse bottleneck of it too so that it will stay in place.
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Last edited by lostknife4 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby Jim Atlas » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:58 pm

kenner wrote:Oh,, the Herter's is a Cheddite hull and I was/am using a B&P 7/8oz wad.

Try cutting the post on the cushion section of the wad.
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Re: 12ga Shot Column Tamp/Ram

Postby kenner » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:11 pm

Cool!.. thanks, Jim.
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