Author Topic: Re-purposing shotgun shell components question  (Read 1775 times)

Offline Nate

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Re-purposing shotgun shell components question
« on: April 08, 2013, 06:08:17 AM »
I have a 20ga.  If SHTF and all I can find are 12ga shells what am I to do?  I had an idea that I want to run by those with more experience.  Could I use the primer, powder and shot from a 12ga shell and put them into a spent 20ga. shell?  The plastic wad may not fit but I could use cardboard as a over powder wad and over shot wad.  Is this possible and safe?  Would the powder charge from a 12 be too much for a 20?  I am pretty sure that I would have some shot left over which is fine.  Thanks for the insight!

Offline Jack Crabb

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Re: Re-purposing shotgun shell components question
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 06:42:59 AM »
Theoretically, yes. It could be done.

Reloaders do not buy 20 or 12 gauge primers. They are just shotgun shell primers. Depriming requires care to avoid unwanted detonations. But, shotgun shells would be better suited to live depriming than rifle/pistol cartridges.

Shot is shot so no worries there.

Powder is questionable. One could assume that if the powder charge is within pressure limits for 1.25 oz. of 12 gauge that it should fine for 7/8ths oz. of 20 gauge, but I would prefer to hold your hat and coat while you test that assumption. Ammo manufacturers use proprietary powders so trying to ID the powder and referring to loading data is a fruitless endeavor.

Then there is the whole wad issue. There is a good bit of space that needs accounted for and that also goes to payload weight.

Used Rem. 870s are around in the $275ish range. Absent some compelling limitation, maybe shooting the 12 gauge rounds in a 12 gauge gun would be the better option.

Offline Nate

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Re: Re-purposing shotgun shell components question
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 07:41:48 AM »
I can send my 20ga (NEF pardner) in to H&R and for $58 get a 12 ga. barrel.  I have thought of this as an option, but was more curious if components could be interchanged.  Thanks for the info!

Offline Taylor3006

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Re: Re-purposing shotgun shell components question
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 07:59:14 AM »
With shotgun loads, so much depends on the hull you are reloading. There are just too many variables to do what you want safely. I would get the 12 ga barrel in your situation, 60 bucks is not bad and just think, if you ever screw up one, you got another. I keep a couple of 12 ga to 20 ga adapters for my single and doubles in case I end up with ammo I normally couldn't use. They make a bunch of different adapters but IMHO the 12 to 20 is the only one that makes much sense.

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: Re-purposing shotgun shell components question
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 11:39:23 AM »
With shotgun loads, so much depends on the hull you are reloading. There are just too many variables to do what you want safely. I would get the 12 ga barrel in your situation, 60 bucks is not bad and just think, if you ever screw up one, you got another. I keep a couple of 12 ga to 20 ga adapters for my single and doubles in case I end up with ammo I normally couldn't use. They make a bunch of different adapters but IMHO the 12 to 20 is the only one that makes much sense.
+1

An extra 12 GA barrel makes much more sense.

I also have a couple of barrel adapters that greatly increase the flexibility of my shotgun battery.
I like them.

Steve
NRA Certified Shotshell Reloading Instructor