.357 magnum Speer Shotshell Capsule Test
This is a continuation from my earlier post #80992 on 05-24-09, .357 magnum Shotshell Test. I posted the results of patterning some .38 Special/.357 magnum CCI shotshells. CCI loads their rounds with ¼ oz of #9 shot equaling ~135 pellets per round.
I loaded up some .357 magnum rounds with Speer capsules with #12 shot that I pulled from some 12 ga shells I bought from Cheaper Than Dirt. I would like to share my results.
Caliber: .357 magnum
Powder: 5.5 gr of Unique
Bullet Type: ¼ oz #12 shot (pellets varied between .04”-.06” dia) in a Speer Shot Capsule
Pellet Count (approx): 450
Estimated fps: 1111
The 5” target was set up 5 feet from the muzzle of my Dan Wesson with a 6 inch barrel. The largest hole was made from the cap part of the capsule. Fragment from the capsule tore the paper around the perimeter of the 5” ring. The pattern seems dense enough to handle small pests.
The 10” target was set up 10 feet from the muzzle of my Dan Wesson with a 6 inch barrel. You can see the pattern is significantly less dense. This seems to be near the effective range for handling small pests. The pattern shows an expansion rate of ~1+ inch diameter per foot distance to target. The capsule cap seems to hold course while the shot spreads.
The 15” target was set up 15 feet from the muzzle of my Dan Wesson with a 6 inch barrel. The pattern density seems to be too spread to be effective for handling small pests even with the increased shot count by going from #9 to #12. The #12 shot seems to spread more than the rate of ~1 inch diameter per foot distance to target for the CCI #9 to almost 1 ½” to 2” diameter per foot distance to target.
The 20” target was set up 20 feet from the muzzle of my Dan Wesson with a 6 inch barrel. This pattern shows the cap of the capsule near the center but a lack of shot density at the center to be effective for handling small pests. There is almost a doughnut pattern developing as density seems better around the perimeter of the 20” circle than the center.
I opted to reduce the test variables as much as possible so I used two new dry phone books at a distance of 10 feet to measure the penetration of the CCI #9 shot and again with the home load using the home loaded with #12 shot. I understand all of my results are from sample points of one so I’m shy to draw many conclusions from these results. I estimated the number of sheets (not to be confused with pages, front and back, per sheet) based on the last group of pellets that tore holes in the sheet. When the number of tears in the sheets began to greatly reduce and the pattern became less dense, I called it.
Both produced a large center hole made by the capsule caps. The caps had similar deformation and made the deepest tears in the phone books.
The CCI load made a tear through 225 sheets.
The home load #12 using 5.5 gr of Unique powder and the Speer capsule made a tear through 110 sheets
Both loads penetrated deeper than I thought they would and the pellet damage dropped off at similar rates. The CCI effectively cut through 126 sheets of paper.
The home load cut through 90 sheets.
To get a feeling of what I measured, pinch a phone book from the cover to page ~200 for the CCI results and cover to page 160 for my home loads. My phone books had about 20 pages of tables and advertisements before the regular page count started.
The recoil of the home loaded shells were light but the pellets penetrated through or damaged enough paper to make me believe they would dispatch a rabbit size animal at 10 feet. I was surprised to see the pattern density near the center of the target wasn’t all that improved by the increase of pellet count. I believe the effect ranges of these loads are near 10 feet but you might get lucky at a greater distance with a few stray pellets.