Here's how the gauge of a shotgun is determined.

Here's how the gauge of a shotgun is determined.

The gauge of a shotgun barrel was originally determined by the number of identically-sized lead balls that have the same diameter as the bore, and weigh one pound. Example: Let's say the bore of a 20 gauge is .6 of an inch. It would take 20, six tenths of an inch lead balls, to weigh 1 pound. Using the same numbers, if one were to build a gun with a bore of .675 it would take 16 lead balls that size to weigh 1 pound--- thus a 16 gauge. Oops !! - what about a 410? Truth is a 410 is not actually a gauge. It is a caliber... .410 inches bore. Applying the math to this would make a 410 shotgun actually a 67 gauge.... so next time you go to buy your 410 shells ask for some 67 gauge shells and see what happens :-).

If you want to play with this (lots of time on your hands) here is some of the math.

* Formula for volume of a sphere is (4/3) *( pie [3.1416]) * (R cubed).
* "R" is radius or 1/2 the diameter which in this case would represent the bore of a shotgun.
* Approx. 2.4 cubic inches of lead weighs one pound.

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13 Comments

4 years 34 weeks ago, 4:11 PM

beaudarvil

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Good info

Thanks Snake. This is good info that frankly, I did not know. Now I can impress my hunting buddies.

Just because it's legal don't mean it's right.
4 years 34 weeks ago, 4:15 PM

Anonymous

beaudarvil

Sure thing bro.

4 years 34 weeks ago, 6:39 PM

CharlesW

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Sounds interesting

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4 years 34 weeks ago, 6:54 PM

Anonymous

CharelsW

I dont understand the question.

4 years 34 weeks ago, 8:49 PM

CharlesW

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How is the lead shot made ?

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
4 years 34 weeks ago, 7:41 PM

zx12rmike

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I pull the trigger and it goes boom, the bird or the bad guy die. That's all I care about!!lol

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
4 years 34 weeks ago, 8:50 PM

CharlesW

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Good one Mike

Snake has started us on an education class.
I thought I would give Snake some fruit for
thought.

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
4 years 34 weeks ago, 8:59 PM

Anonymous

Lead Shot

Lead shot is a collective term for small balls of lead. These were the original projectiles for muskets and early rifles, but today shot is fired primarily from shotguns. It is also used for a variety of other purposes. It was originally made by pouring molten lead into wooden molds and later more economically mass-produced using a shot tower.

Manufacturing

Producing lead shot from a shot tower was pioneered by William Watts of Bristol who adapted his house on Redcliffe Way by adding a three-storey tower and digging a shaft under the house through the caves underneath to achieve the required drop. The process was patented in 1782.[1]

The process was brought above ground through the building of shot towers.

Molten lead would be dropped from the top of the tower. Like most liquids, molten lead becomes spherical as it falls. Usually water is placed at the bottom of the tower, causing the lead to be cooled immediately after dropping.

Roundness of manufactured shot produced from the shot tower process is graded by forcing the newly produced shot to roll accurately down inclined planes; unround shot will naturally roll to the side, for collection. The unround shot was either re-processed in another attempt to make round shot using the shot tower again, or used for applications which did not require round shot (e.g., split shot).[1]

Hardness of lead shot for shotgun shells is controlled through adding variable amounts of antimony and arsenic, forming lead-antimony alloys.

Sizes

Larger lead shot comes in three sizes: B, BB, and BBB. Smaller lead shot is available in sizes 7½, 8, and 9, with applications ranging from sporting clays and skeet shooting, to non-waterfowl hunting at progressively shorter distances. The larger bird shot sizes (i.e., 6, 5, 4)are mostly used in turkey and pheasant hunting applications where legal. Older shotguns continue to use lead shot, as firing newer, harder, non-lead shot may damage the shotgun, and firing soft metal substitutes for lead shot may not be economical.

Buckshot

Buckshot is simply lead shot formed to larger diameters. Sizes range in ascending order from size B to Tri-Ball.

Applications outside firearms

Lead shot is also often used as ballast in various situations, especially where a dense pourable weight is required. Generally small shot is best for these applications, as it can be poured more like a liquid. Completely round shot is not required. Some examples applications are:

* Providing variable weights in strength-of-materials stress-testing systems. Shot pours from a hopper into a basket, which is connected to the test item. When the test item fractures, the chute closes and the mass of the lead shot in the basket is used to calculate the fracture stress of the item.
* Hydrometers also often use a weight made of shot, since the weight has to be poured into a narrow glass vessel.
* Split shot is a larger type of lead shot where each pellet is cut part-way through the diameter, and has been commonly used as a line weight in angling. Split shot is placed over the line and closed in a crimp using pliers in this application.
* The heads of some dead blow hammers are filled with shot to minimize rebound off the struck surface.
* Some scuba diving weight belts are nylon webbing pouches filled with shot: see shot belt.
* It can be used to fill speaker stands for additional acoustic decoupling, as well as stability.
* It can be used in Model Rocketry to add weight to the nose of the rocket, increasing the stability factor when bonded with a small amount of Epoxy.

Non lead alternatives

When hunters use lead shot, waterfowl such as ducks can ingest the spent pellets later and be poisoned; predators that eat these birds are also at risk.[2] There are various places in the world (e.g., the Netherlands, the Wetlands in Britain, North American Wetlands [3] where hunting with lead shot is banned due to metal's toxicity. For these places, nonlead alternatives have been introduced, using materials such as steel, tungsten-nickel-iron, bismuth-tin, and tungsten-polymer.

From Wikipedia

The Shotmaker

Traditionally lead shot have been made in high shot towers. The shotmakers melted the lead up in the tower and poured it through a sieve. The lead drops transformed into relatively round shot in the air because of the surface tension. On the ground they hit a container filled with water that cooled the shot and prevented it from deforming.

From the USA many have known the machine called the “Shotmaker”. The machine goes by the immodest name “Littleton's Incredible Shotmaker” and is named after the inventor Jerry Littleton from Oroville, California. Littleton has now sold the business to Alan and Michael Burgess from Moses Lake, Washington. Their company is named Burgess Bullets. Burgess Bullets have improved the shotmaker quite a lot and the machine has become more user friendly. The Shotmaker comes in two versions: The Model 65 with 7 drippers and the Model 135 with 14 drippers.

The Shotmaker is constructed of powder-coated steel, both models feature cooling vents, high temperature connectors; Teflon insulated wires, and 15 amp safety fuses. Each model comes with seven drippers for each ladle, and additional size drippers are available for less than $50 per set of seven. The dippers are available in sizes from US #6 to #9. I recently bought a Model 65 shotmaker from Burgess Bullets. The price was $375. Production rate for the Model 65 is as much as 45 pounds per hour, and if you have the Model 135 it's possible to drip two different shot sizes at the same time, if desired.

When you operate the Shotmaker you simply turn on the machine and put some bars of cleaned wheel weight lead in the ladle. Clean lead is important because lead with dirt in it can clog up the dippers. It also important to remember that pure lead is too soft to make quality shot.

When the lead melts it drips though the dippers, then hit a small ramp and drops into your selected coolant fluid. I have used DOT 3 brake fluid as a coolant and that works perfect. If you use plain water as a coolant the shot will be out of round. You can also use a mix of water and water soluble oil, a mix of water and liquid soap or flame retardant hydraulic oil as a coolant. Afterwards the shot should be cleaned in soapy water to get rid of the coolant fluids. Not a big problem if you use liquid soap as a coolant though. Just rinse it with water a couple of times.

The Shotmaker produces very uniform and round shot and it should be more than good enough for most shooters. If you tumble them in graphite powder you probably wouldn’t be able to see the difference if you compared them to factory lead shot. I and a couple of my friends have tried the shot and it works really great. Nice patterns in both front and backstuffers. Who needs a 120 foot high shot tower when you can have a Shotmaker?

http://www.svartkrutt.net/articles/vis.php?id=8

4 years 34 weeks ago, 9:04 PM

CharlesW

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Way to go snake

I knew this but thought you might find it
interesting. Very simple process.

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
4 years 34 weeks ago, 9:05 PM

Anonymous

CharlesW

Yup sounds easy but knowing me I would find a way to screw it up lol

Anything else pal?

4 years 34 weeks ago, 9:10 PM

CharlesW

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Who needs a 120 ft tower?
Shotguns are a lot older than
shot makers.

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
4 years 34 weeks ago, 9:12 PM

Anonymous

CharlesW

I think I heard some where that the Blunder Buss was the first scatter gun any truth to this?

4 years 34 weeks ago, 9:27 PM

CharlesW

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Snake that's close

The Blunderbuss appeared about 1728
and would be the 1st modern day shot gun
but the Chinese had hand cannons as
early as 1260. The hand cannon was made
of wood wrapped real tight with leather strings
and looked like a small log.

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
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