Author Topic: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial  (Read 672 times)

Offline Brokennock

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Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« on: February 11, 2020, 02:59:04 AM »
Due to some conversation in another topic, I'm going to attempt to copy and paste (with some editing) my shot cup tutorial from another site. I'm hoping the pics will copy and paste along with the rest. I originally posted this in multiple postings, if the 1st attempt works, I might try to do less, but longer posts.
Here goes,

I know this seems overly thought out/complex, but I had a few issues to work out when making more simple cartridges. Namely too much paper where I wanted to twist it, or not enough around the shot, as well as getting the size right in relation to the bore size. I don't have a wood lathe so getting a dowel to the right dimension was tricky (luck played a roll).

We will be using paper from brown paper shopping bags, thin cotton string (like kite string), masking tape (optional), wood templates quickly made of craft maple once dimensions are determined. I am making these for a 20 gauge smoothbore. I have 2 templates for the shot cups, one for 1oz loads and 1 for 1 1/4oz loads, so your sizes may vary but process is the same.



So here you see the basic components. I've made maple templates of craft maple from Lowes. There was a lot of trial and error in getting the correct dimensions to wind up with 2 layers of paper around the shot, 1 layer of paper for the twisted end, and just enough paper past the shot to fold it closed like a coin roll.


These should show the dimensions for the 1oz shot load template. The last one is a crucial measurement as it determines the volume of the shotcup. (Edit, I'm missing one of the dimension pics from the original post.)

You probably noticed 2 dowels in the 1st photo. The big one is the more necessary. It is the mandrel the shot up will be formed around. For those with a lathe, just turn down a hardwood dowel to a diameter that will just barely enter the bore with 2 wraps of the paper around it. I don't have a lathe so needed to find a material I could work with (doesn't have to be wood) and was close to the size I need already. Lucked out when I found these

At Hobby Lobby for $2.99 note the diameter, my bore is .615

To be continued....
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 03:12:25 AM by Brokennock »

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 02:59:59 AM »
Of course the images didn't work. I'll see if I can edit the post to add them.



Grrrrrr!

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 03:13:50 AM »
Sorry, please be patient, this will be multiple posts as I try to copy and paste the text, then edit in the photos. I hope some find it worthy.

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2020, 03:38:05 AM »
To keep moving....
The smaller dowel isn't completely necessary but I use it to pre roll and pre stress the paper which seems to result in less tearing of the paper. You may be able to see a thin slit down into it lengthwise with a model makers saw.
Used thusly

Edge of paper in saw cut, wrap paper around dowel in both directions.
repeat with this edge in thin dowel.

This just kind of pre-stresses the paper and takes some of the stiffness out reducing the likelihood of tearing when twisting and crimping. There are other ways of doing the same.

Next up, forming the cup...

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2020, 03:49:49 AM »
As you see in the 1st picture in the 1st post, I have precut several papers using my template. The big square template is used to reduce the paper bags to easier to store pieces that are closer to the finished dimensions.
I would recommend cutting some pieces of string for tying the twisted ends closed in advance, and, starting an overhand knot on each piece before forming your cup.

Notice we are rolling this shorter "tab" on our blank will be to the inside of the roll/tube and the section that will only reach around the dowel once is toward the end of the mandrel.

So we now have a short section of tube double thick around the mandrel and the longer end is about to create a single wrap. We want to slide this down the mandrel so the double thick portion is just to the end of the mandrel and the single thickness overhangs.

Wrap it closed and

Twist it shut.
Tip: counter intuitively, twist away from the open edge of the paper. You can see the edge of the paper here facing left, as the paper was wrapped clockwise as seen in the previous picture, twist counter clockwise, I seem to find continuing the twist clockwise caused the paper to slide and try to open. But do what works for you.
Now, take one of your precut pieces of thread, that hopefully you started an overhand knot on, and drop that loop created by the started knot around the twisted end and pull it tight around the twist



Try to tie this as close to the shoulder/body of the cup as possible.
Turn it so the overhand knot is opposite from you

And tie a square knot opposite the overhand knot. Trim your ends based on desired use (more on this when we're done)
Here we are....

Next up, charging and finishing......

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2020, 03:14:24 PM »
 Good job, look forward to the next installment.

   Tim C.

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2020, 05:33:57 PM »
Been wondering if you could use a glue stick on the overlap.  One swipe down the edge of the short wrap would probably do the job,
Nice templates!
Craig Wilcox
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Offline Clark Badgett

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2020, 08:16:56 PM »
Been wondering if you could use a glue stick on the overlap.  One swipe down the edge of the short wrap would probably do the job,
Nice templates!

No need to use glue if one used a trapezoidal pattern, with the long base being where the knot goes.
Psalms 144

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2020, 08:53:38 PM »
Been wondering if you could use a glue stick on the overlap.  One swipe down the edge of the short wrap would probably do the job,
Nice templates!

You could try. I had poor luck with it. My original intent was to have a design that could be better sealed and hold together longer for better patterns on turkeys. Sealing the cartridge further seamed to result in occasional "slugging" at the patterning board. Changing how I use these, to be discussed at the end, helped some with the pattern. Still seeking a way to get it to hold together a few feet more....

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 05:56:47 AM »
Fill your cup, I'm using 1oz #5 shot, the cup shouldn't be full to the edge

You need to have just enough to fold...

the edges closed like a coin wrapper

You now have some options or decisions to make. As these are my 1oz squirrel and small game loads, I'm going to keep these closed for storage and transport with a small piece of tape.....





You could potentially use wax or any number of things to hold this closed. A lot can depend on the paper used, and intended use, you may not need anything to hold this closed.


A tin of squirrel medicine.

Next, use and options. No more pictures

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2020, 06:05:21 AM »
For using these 1oz squirrel loads, they are placed folded end against my lubed felt wads. Which sit atop 2 thin cards, which sit over 65 grains of 3f powder. The card/wad/shotcup package is built at the muzzle, after pouring powder, I set 2 thin cards just inside the muzzle, then place my lubed felt wad and push all 3 in just enough to place the shot cup/cartridge on the felt without it falling off/out while I put the tin back in my pouch, now I push the package into the bore just to the shoulder of the cup and the twist closure, then tear or cut off the twist, top the whole mess off with an overshot card or two, and maybe, a SkyChief lubed cushion wad.
Thusly I trim the string ends fairly short and try to keep the folded closure flat, to sit flat against the flat felt wads.

When making the 1 1/4oz cartridges for turkey hunting, I leave the strings longer and try to keep my folded closure to a minimum. Why? I load the twisted end 1st, leaving it tied closed. It nestles into a small wad of shredded and lubed sisal twine (more available than tow) the flaps of the fold are cut off at the muzzle. This is in hopes that the strings will tangle with the shredded fiber creating drag on the cup when it leaves the muzzle, thus the shot leaves the cup behind more like a modern shot cup. Not sure if this has worked out.

This was more involved than expected, I address anything I missed tomorrow.

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2020, 06:15:12 AM »
One more pic and a comment on use that I didn't add to the original iteration of this found elsewhere. Some folks have asked more detailed questions on loading, elsewhere and by p.m.
Here is my tin of wads and cards,


No longer need 3 divisions since I started building the whole load at the muzzle. I no longer need cards with small cuts in the edge to defeat air buildup and pressure when seating the final overshot card.
When I go into this tin I only want to go in once so I pinch 4 cards and place the edged in my lips, palm my felt wad and put the tin away.
The little seating tool is just a 20 gauge jag set into a piece of shaped dowel, it is nice for keeping those 1st 2 cards level, but, I find that as I use this set up more I don't need it as much.

Be well, thanks for sticking with me through this. Hope it helps someone.

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2020, 08:45:20 AM »
Just found this addendum in the original thread elswhere,

So I now see a few misspellings and unfinished thoughts.
 The dowels for the mandrel luckily were an odd size in that they are not a standard hardware store or home improvement store diameter but are very close to bore diameter, close enough to be brought down to size with some sandpaper and patience.
Obviously one could skip the stepped shape and just use a rectangle of the correct length. But, the double thickness (or more) of paper doesn't want to twist up as nicely and tends to want to tear when enough torque is put to it to get the twist tight and secure, harder to tie too.

If someone can figure out how to make these hold together just a little longer after leaving the muzzle, and drop away, without slugging, I'd love to hear how. One could get some amazing turkey hunting patterns then. Everything I've tried to effect this results in great patterns when/if the shot leaves the cup, but, I can't get it to leave the cup reliably enough. All too often the whole package hits the patterning board together.

Offline John SMOthermon

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2020, 03:50:19 PM »
BN, great thread on building shot loads Thanks for posting.

In my limited experience and testing of pre made shot cups I had the same issues you have experienced....

My findings were they would slug ever so often, especially if glued or taped prior too loading.

Good Luck in your quest
Smo

Good Luck & Good Shootin'

Offline sonny

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2020, 09:25:44 AM »
I make cereal cardboard box shotgun type wad for my 16 gauge smoothie. I use a wooden dowel an wrap a measured square shape cutout of cereal box thickness  1 1/2 or 2 times around an elmers glue the tube. I then fold the cardboard shotgun type wad bottom an glue the wad into a cup. I then after finding my load size, trim the tube top so the shot just stays level with the wad edge at the top with just enough length to put an overshot thin card into the tube over the shot holding it level an down. I then melt candle wax an plop a small drop on the top thin wad sealing the deal shut. When shooting this cardboard wad, it retains the shot like a modern shotgun wad an makes a nicer pattern a bit further out then no wad an just barrel held shot column........sonny

Offline Kary

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2020, 05:36:23 PM »
A question to sonney and Brokennock, what kind of patterns are you guys getting at what yardage? Iím very intersted in this topic as I want to work up a turkey load for this season. Great tutorial by the way BN. Iíll somewhere to start at least.

Offline sonny

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2020, 10:43:49 AM »
Making these heavier duty cereal box cardboard tubes, an messing around with powder loads an shot amounts, I found that 65gr or 70 gr of 2 F an 1 1/8 of #5 shot 1 overshot card-1 wonder felt wad then the tube of shot (I did smear some bear grease on the tube) an 1 over shot card to hold the column down. I could hit a turkey head an neck picture at 25 to 30 yards with 20 to 25 hits. I tried 1F an 2F an 3F powder from 55 grs up to 100 grs with 1oz up to 1 1/4 oz of #5s. Everything they say about less powder shoots tight is true. I also made card tubes from index card material, but I needed about 8 to 10 wraps for the tube thickness to be solid,  the shot tubes were about 4 inches long to hold 1 1/8 amount of shot......that shot decent also. The heavier cereal box's worked the best for me..............sonny...........still trying to make an even tighter group with something added to the shot to protect the deforming obturation of the shot  at bang time .....turkey choke barrels are the nuts for turkey patterns like a rifle, cylinder bore has its limits...........sonny
 

Offline Kary

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2020, 05:40:09 PM »
Understood. Have you tried putting two o/p cards in the twisted end ofyour shot tube, then load the twisted end first and put an over powder card on top of that. Iíve been told to try that it should act like a parachute keeping the shot column intact, I think Brokennock touched on this as well. I need to do some experimenting myself. I have a bunch of plastic shot cups that were donated to me. I had pretty descent groups out to 25 yards by filling them up and taping the sides together and adding an over powder card to top off the load. Iím looking for a little better, Iím thinking of sending the barrel out to be jug choked, but am unsure thats even worth it. Right now I shoot really good groups out to 65 yards with patched round ball and dont want to mess that up.
Super slow speed video like was used on Top Shots and other shooting tv shows would really help see whatís going on..

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2020, 03:33:22 AM »
Kary, I wish I could give you a technical percentage pattern answer, but, I can not. I am very satisfied with these patterns for squirrels and small game at the distances I've used them, from about 7 to 25ish yards.
Turkey patterns are tough, and tough to judge, as I think we sometimes have unreasonable modern expectations. I don't think shooting a squirrel out of a tree has changed much in the last few hundred years. But, turkey hunting has, at least for many of us. Birds are much more pressured, and I guess one could say, "educated" now. I believe it is far harder to get a wise older tom inside cylinder bore range now than in the 1700s.  So understand our quest for modern patterns from our traditional guns, and I fall into seeking them too. But, we have in fact chosen to use the old tools and to an extent, the old ways that go with them. It is still possible to bring these birds into bow range, just more difficult. We want the challenge, right?
With either of these cups turkey patterns are more than possible. Inside 25 yards, turkey killing patterns are possible without the cup.
I was mostly looking to not have to deal with loose shot in the field with a hopeful side effect of neater and denser patterns. I 1st started messing with shot cups, but formed at the muzzle, for the dual purpose of keep the lead off the barrel walls and hoping to get neater, more predictable edges to the pattern for small game hunting.
I strongly suggest time at the patterning board trying all this. I suggest it with the full disclosure that I hate it. Thus, don't do it as much as I should. Shooting roundballs at the range is fun, and, easy to compare improvements. The pattern involves witchcraft. What seems an improved pattern on one shot, is worse than what you had before the next shot. The most consistent improvement I've seen is with the "SkyChief Special" load. I would like to test it with the cup, but, as I said, I hate time at the patterning board.

Offline dogcatcher

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Re: Paper shot cup/cartridge tutorial
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2020, 04:05:39 AM »
Try the same method, but make a cardboard tube with the inside diameter the same as the barrel. These tubes will be for storage before shooting.  Before loading the shot, cut length pf the shot cup like a shotgun shell wad.  Slide your cut paper cup into the cardboard tube, then load shot, crimp the leftover paper as before.  To load, powder, cushion wad etc.,, then take the filled cardboard tube with the paper cup, use a short ramrod to push it into the barrel. 

I have never done this, but used to dove hunt with a guy that did.  The above description is what I remember his looking like.  Not sure about the paper or how his cup was made, but I remember seeing the paper cup having 4 wings like a shotgun wad.