Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

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Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby Jim Atlas » Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:26 pm

So I just got a screaming deal on a Rem. 1100 20LT with a youth stock/barrel for my son.
I've been loading steel, hevi shot, and lead in 16 and 12 ga for the last 10 years, and feel I've got a pretty good handle on components a d how they work for those gauges. However, I've never even owned a 20 ga, let alone loaded for one.

So what are the preferred wads and hulls for 2.75" 20 ga bismuth? (I won't be loading 3" or any steel.) Hodgdon lists load for the SP20--are they worth while?
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby azdukhuntr » Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:28 pm

JA it depends on which loads you're referring to. My pattern tests have shown that just like the old lead loads bismuth pellets benefit from a buffered load at speeds between 1200-1350 fps. I don't believe any of the Hodgdon loads are buffered. BPI's LOTW archives have a couple of 1oz loads that I have patterned and used with very good results using 2.75" Cheddite hulls. They are dated 10/22/16 in the archive list. One uses Lil' Gun powder and the other uses A.Steel powder with the CSD20 wad. I have used both to kill ducks and would probably recommend the A.Steel load at 1200 fps for your son. You can use tighter chokes with bismuth just like you can with lead to get very good patterns in the 35-40 yard range. Hope this helps. Good luck to you and your son this season.

p.s. I used 4 slits with #4's instead of the 3 slits listed in the load data.
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby Jim Atlas » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:21 am

Thanks!
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby Rob R. » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:59 am

I concur, stick with lower velocity bismuth loads and buffer does help but is not always required if you use shot cups that completely hold all the shot and velocity around 1200 FPS. I have found that IMP M does pattern well in my 20's out to 40 yards. Beyond that Full is required. Pattern and find out. Have fun with your son :wink:
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby azdukhuntr » Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:19 pm

^^^ X2 on the IM & Full chokes.
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby 3200 man » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:16 pm

20 ga ?
I see a standard load in a Win or STS 2 3/4" hull with a win 209 , using a Rem SP20 wad over 15 grs of Longshot !
This 7/8 oz load has 18 grs of Buffer , thinking inside the decoys it might be a good load at 1200 fps /11,800 psi ?
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby azdukhuntr » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:41 pm

3200 man wrote:20 ga ?
I see a standard load in a Win or STS 2 3/4" hull with a win 209 , using a Rem SP20 wad over 15 grs of Longshot !
This 7/8 oz load has 18 grs of Buffer , thinking inside the decoys it might be a good load at 1200 fps /11,800 psi ?


Is that from Hodgdon's Reloading Guide or another data source?
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby 3200 man » Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:19 am

It's in Tom Rosters "Buffering Lead and Bismuth Reloading Manual" , I haven't used this load but I have had good luck
with others in this manual ! There's another load for 2 3/4" hulls ,

Fed Plastic with paper basewad , Fed 209A ,21.0 BlueDot,WW 20F1 wad, 18.0 Buffer in 7/8 oz of shot ....1175 fps/11,900psi
I assume with 3's or 4's this also would do a good job in the decoys ! FWIW

For anyone interested in other gauges shooting Bismuth Tom shows what has patterned Best , with his loadings of bismuth !
10 , 12/3 1/2" ,3" / 2 3/4",16 ,20 /3" and 20 /2 3/4'.....for your info :thumbsup:
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby Jim Atlas » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:53 am

Thanks all! This is great. If my 12 and 16 ga reloading is any indication, I'll end up with all the components, but I always like the idea of simplicity. Ha!
About buffer: If I remove 18 grains of shot and replace it with 18 grains of buffer, I expect the pressure would go up somewhat since the whole point of buffer is to keep the shot stationary and stop it from reacting to setback forces etc. I assume it wouldn't be a radical change (what's a couple thousand psi among friends?), but that's just an assumption .
My question is, does anyone have experience doing so?
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby 3200 man » Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:45 am

Jim Atlas wrote:Thanks all! This is great. If my 12 and 16 ga reloading is any indication, I'll end up with all the components, but I always like the idea of simplicity. Ha!
About buffer: If I remove 18 grains of shot and replace it with 18 grains of buffer, I expect the pressure would go up somewhat since the whole point of buffer is to keep the shot stationary and stop it from reacting to setback forces etc. I assume it wouldn't be a radical change (what's a couple thousand psi among friends?), but that's just an assumption .
My question is, does anyone have experience doing so?


All I can say is , the loads I've tried with buffer were full of shot and by adding buffer only filled the crevices between the
bb's , I could only put in apart of the amount of buffer at a time , vibrate it down , then add the remainder .
The loads I patterned with buffer , were much tighter than loads without so , depending on your needs , that decision to
use it is up to you ? One thing for Sure , using a Tested Load that buffer has been added , is a heck of a lot safer than Not ! :yes:
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby garza7585 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:36 pm

I've been loading a recipe I got from goosepit which is very similar to BPI's Load of the Week 161012-9073.
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Re: Learn me about 20 ga bismuth reloading

Postby goosepit2007 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:46 am

garza7585 wrote:I've been loading a recipe I got from goosepit which is very similar to BPI's Load of the Week 161012-9073.


Ched. Hull 20 ga 2-3/4
Ched primer
21.5 grains longshot
Bnp lead wad
7/8 oz bismuth.
1350 fps

Can use buffer upto 12 grains but I do not use any buffer most all time!

Great load

I posted this load on here while back bee. Using this load for very long time
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