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Handloading .38 special rat/snake shot?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2022 6:06 pm
by keltex78
Hey all!
A few years back, I bought a Cobra .38 Special derringer for the express purpose of loading with CCI shotshells as a pocket shotgun.

Unfortunately, the square nose of the Speer shot capsules hits the rifling without seating completely in the derringer barrel.

I want to handload some shotshells specifically for this application. Does anyone have any recommendations on loading techniques to maximize shot payload? I've read about using gas checks for wad and cap. I've also found a 3d printed nose cap to load and crimp into the casing.

Before I start experimenting, anyone have any recommendations for a starting point?

Re: Handloading .38 special rat/snake shot?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2022 8:12 am
by Ben W.
Speer makes shot capsules you can get empty, cut to whatever length you want. I would think that should work. My experience with them was limited, and quite a while ago, but that's one place to begin looking, anyway.

Re: Handloading .38 special rat/snake shot?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2022 11:46 am
by Gd421
Sage outdoors sells over powder and over shot wads for this purpose.

You can trim a 357 case to just fit in the camber. Use #9 or #12 shot and a roll crimp.

Re: Handloading .38 special rat/snake shot?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2022 1:03 pm
by Badgerboy
I have a Taurus Judge that shoots either 45LC or .410 shotgun shells. S&W make the Governor that does the same. I always thought these revolvers great for snake guns as well as other self defense purposes, but they don't seem to get much press. Not a direct response to your original question, but for $500 you can get a Judge and not have to modify or make your own ammo. Plus, you get to add another firearm to your collection, which is always a positive move, right?