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  #1  
Old 05-31-2012, 12:45 PM
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Default BEEFED UP WAX SLUGS!

A few months ago I started a thread over at TFL wanting learn about homemade wax shotshells (wax slugs). If you are interested, here's the link:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=479852

If you don't know what a wax shotshell is (otherwise known as a wax slug), watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBWWq...e_gdata_player

I've been doing a bit of experimenting building wax shotshells, and I've come up with some new ways and ideas to save a bit more cash utilizing wax shot shells, or waxers as I now call them. Before reading any further, please realize this post is entirely conjecture on my part. Always use your best judgment in dealing with anything gun related, and if you feel something is unsafe, don't do it. That being said, I've been safely experimenting with these waxers for a few months now and would like to share what I've learned.

Note on saftey using wax slugs: Only use wax slugs in a pump or break barrel shotgun, and DO NOT put waxers in the mag tube of a pump or semi.

While shooting next to a guy at the range the other day, and his wax shells kept fraging apart before hitting his target, but mine were not. I think I identified 3 potential problems with his waxers. (1) He was using paraffin wax. I know a lot of guys say to use paraffin, but I think it may be too brittle for waxers. (2) His waxers may have been to warm. It was a fairly warm day, and he was storing his waxers in an ammo can with all his other ammo. (3) Choke- He may have been using a full choke causing some constriction of the coagulated wax slug which in turn caused the slug to frag upon exiting the barrel.

I have 2 potential remedies for his problems1) Candle wax- particularly a good scented candle (like many of us with wives/GFs have all over the house) seem to work great for waxers. (2) Keep them cool. I keep my waxers in a cool dry place, and usually won't store them for more than a week- if I build 'em, I plan on shooting them soon. Also, I place each box in a large freezer bag, an put them in the refrigerator for a few hours befor heading to the range. They then go in in my cooler lunch box with my packed food and drinks for the range trip. (3) I only use waxers for pump and break barrel shotguns with either mod or cylinder chokes, and always a gun with a fixed choke. I would not run them through a gun with removable chokes- only because I think the wax might case some issues gumming up the treading.

Reuse of spent lead:
Sometimes at the range when resetting targets, my 7-year-old and I will pick up used/warped bullets just for sh*+$ and giggles. This got me thinking... These spent bullets are heavy little chunks of lead- why not use them as a core for my wax slugs? So the other day I was cooking up a batch, I did just that. I still use the bird shot dropped in meled wax, but not as much.

Directions:
1. I fill the wad about a third of the way full with melted wax and bird shot.


2. I seat the used bullet in the center of the melted wax/shot so that the tip of the bullet is level with the top of the cut shotshell.




3. I then just fill the remainder of the wad with more melted wax and birdshot.


Done.


I found that using a spent 9mm bullet as a core saved me about a third of my bird shot, which I can now go use for reloaded clay/hunting shotshells. In an effort to save more new bird shot, in the coming days I plan to experiment with other types of used lead such as used buck shot. I will post results after shooting.

On yesterday's range trip, at twenty yards I was punching clean 2" holes all the way through BOTH sides of an old microwave with my new 9mm core waxers. I'll take picks next time and post them.

Hope my fellow Calguners dig this post and find it useful.

- rich
*
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:32 PM
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WTFizzle? I put quite a bit of time into this thread... Nobody finds it useful?
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Old 06-01-2012, 8:01 AM
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You're going to put your eye out.
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Old 06-01-2012, 8:07 AM
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I don't have a shotgun yet... I do find it useful, but I cannot test, or play until I do so.

Thanks for the info...

I would think that dimes (0.705 in?) reloaded in a 12 gauge (0.729 in?) barrel, waxed together might make a hell of a pseudo-slug, but at the cost of a dollar a shot, that is comparable with $1/round for some .223 ammo...

Some might even say that would nickel and DIME someone to death...
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Last edited by the86d; 06-01-2012 at 9:11 AM.. Reason: nickel and DIME to death... reference
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Old 06-01-2012, 8:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorRichRichard View Post
WTFizzle? I put quite a bit of time into this thread... Nobody finds it useful?
OK, I'm not a shot gunner, but I did see something in your OP that roused my curiosity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorRichRichard View Post
A few months ago I started a thread over at TFL wanting learn about homemade wax shotshells (wax slugs).....

On yesterday's range trip, at twenty yards I was punching clean 2" holes all the way through BOTH sides of an old microwave with my new 9mm core waxers. .....*
Are you one of those shooters that hauls his old appliances out onto BLM land, shoots them to oblivion, and leaves all the debris behind for someone else to deal with?
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Old 06-01-2012, 9:20 AM
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Lol..good stuff..I just hope you didn't leave the microwave out there...
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Lol..good stuff..I just hope you didn't leave the microwave out there...
Na, it's a private range and we keep it pretty clean.
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Old 06-02-2012, 6:07 AM
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I don't know WHY you are doing this, but it is interesting...
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Old 06-02-2012, 6:32 AM
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As a young teen I used to do something similar with my brother and friends with pellets. We would put a small brad through the center of the pellet and fill the backside of the pellet with solder to hold it in place. If you shot a toy or other target the brad would be stuck firmly into the target with the pellet passing through. We also experimented with other modifications with solder. The end result is that it was a lot of fun but in reality, accuracy dropped and it was arguable if we actually made the pellets more "lethal". In further hindsight its too bad we didn't patent our penetrating tip at a young age as Hornady would be paying us royalties

So I agree with you, its a lot of fun to go create your own customized ammo and shoot it for penetration testing.

Insofar as it being a practical alternative to a slug (which I understand that you are not proposing) when you consider the time to cut the crimp off the cartridge, melt the wax, add it to the shot, I just don't see it. I also would not entrust those rounds as viable home defense rounds.

Last edited by Remus; 06-02-2012 at 6:38 AM..
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:40 PM
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Wax slugs are fun. I love em, fun and easy to make. The idea of combining a bullet into them makes perfect sense.

Shotguns are amazing and versatile tools. Anything you can think of can be done with shotguns. I love em. You can always do a wax bolo shot, or buck-n-ball, or spike shot, bladed collapsing shot, explosive.

The wax slug with the bullet embedded becomes a sabot round. The wax is the delivery vehicle and the initial energy transfer (particles) will then deliver the penetrator. Love it.

Should make one with a pack of nails embedded, flechette.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:55 AM
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Remus, meaty, and Cheap, thank you for your responses.
Quote:
I also would not entrust those rounds as viable home defense rounds.
Totally agree. I don't even consider factory reloads for HD. The possibility of a lawsuit using reloads or home modified ammo in an HD situation scares me. Factory JHPs are right an' fine by me.

Quote:
I don't know WHY you are doing this, but it is interesting...
Cheap, not sure if this is a question, but here are my answers: 1) cost> Low end slugs at Wally World runs about 85 cents a round- at the cheapest. These waxers only cost me the price of the cheap box of birdshot shotshells- about 23-30 cents a round, and when using spent bullets at the core, I have some bird shot left over for building hunting/trap shells. 2) I actually enjoy the proccess of making them, and have the time to do so. 3) They are SUPER fun at the range. Only accurate from about 15-30 yards, but hell, I'm not trying to build long range deer hunting slugs here, I'm just trying to maximize enjoyment of range time. For me, punching holes in metal and big chunks of ice is therapeutic... Yeah, so what if that makes me a bit of a redneck
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Last edited by PoorRichRichard; 06-05-2012 at 11:59 AM.. Reason: Grammar
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Old 06-08-2012, 9:42 AM
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I love making and using waxers. I have been successful with them at 100 yards, in 3 foot groups with only a beaded sight.

I am a decent shotgunner, and I have been able to practice so much because of waxers. I learned my technique from iraqveteran8888 on YouTube, and have made shot about 150 of them.

I use light target loads, in my norinco 97, treating it like a single shot. I too use scented candle wax, which smells great when you use it.

Whenever I am done shooting waxers I always throw a few hi brass slugs down the barrel and then clean the gun in the field while it's still hot. This is likely unnecessary, but gives me peace of mind.

I actually found this thread to see if public ranges have any problem with waxers. In my 150 fired I have only had 2 break up in flight, and I assume those were made when the wax was too cool, I have since made sure to keep the wax as hot as possible when making them.
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