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Air Shotgun Experiment, May 22, 2010

Ever since I started my current employment I have wondered if the small slugs
created from perforating aeration flooring could be used for shot. Trying to find more
information on the shot size feasibility, I posted on the yellow forum. I was informed that
the shot would be to light and spread to quickly. I had to find out for myself as I know
little about shotguns. I was finally able to take a day off and so I thought it was time to try it.

Here is the "shot" compared to a .22 caliber pellet.

I had no idea what the shells should look like for an airgun. I have handled
shotgun shells long ago and saw some other shells online. I stopped by a local
"dollar" store that sells cheap merchandise. Buying stick-it note pads, a candle,
and some invisible tape.

I used my test rifle that I built to fire the air shotgun shell. The first shot was
from about 10 feet due to the fact I had no idea what would happen. I aimed and fired
through a cereal box to see the pattern. These are the firt two shots. The first shot
was at 500 PSI which barely went through the side of the box. Second shot was at 1000
PSI and went through easily, again shot from 10 ft.

Making the air shotgun shells for testing I used stick-it note pads. Rolling the note
pad paper on a mandrel small enough to fit the .384" bore. I then bent over paper in the
front and put a drop of hot wax on it to seal the end. Filling up the back with the shot
I sealed it with hot wax. I figured this was the easiest way to make a shell. Here are a few
pictures of making the shell.

I made another shot shell using more wax on the end and adding shot while the wax
was hot. The waxed hardened with some shot cemented in it. Loading the shot from the end
I pushed the shot shell into the barrel with a ram rod. This saved me from try to load
from the breech. I fired the shot at 2400 PSI as that is all I have left in my scuba
tank. I fired again from about 10 feet. The shot went through both sides of the box as seen
in the pictures. The singular hole shows the shot and hit the 1/4" plywood with some
force, enough force to splinter the wood.

Here are two pictures of the shot and size of shell. About 3/4 inch and mostly used
1/2 inch length at .380 diameter.

Here are a few pictures of testing the pattern and penetration on the plywood from 10 to 12 feet.

More pictures but shot from 25 feet. Shot opens up a lot at that distance.

I wanted to try some shot in .22 caliber as well. Using my 2240 as the source, I shot a few of the
smaller shot shell. The wax seemed to keep the shot together and hit the wood in a single
area and then spread out. The shot is much to light and it spread wide when I fired two
shots outside on a very windy day.

Next Step

A heavier, larger diameter lead shot will work better. As well as a shot shell that can
can be easily refilled or made. I may try to make some shot using some information I found
long ago about a lead shot making melting pot. This was a start to see how the shot would go. Designing
a better shell and gun to fire from would be a lot of fun. Perhaps will get a chance
to develop an air shot gun one day. If anyone has built an air shotgun or has more insight into them
please feel free to contact.

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