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Having recently completed Front Sight's tactical shotgun course, I was in need of some dry practice rounds for doing malfunction drills and more so, speed loading practice. I had a couple of A-Zoom snap caps but they are very pricey and I was looking for something that wouldn't smack the wallet so hard. I didn't want to "load up some dummy rounds" using some empty hulls as that can so easily lead to a live round getting mixed in with the practice rounds.
Gary, my shooting buddy, found some good looking dummy rounds except that they
were very light weight. Sometimes practice rounds won't run in the gun
when they don't have some weight to them. I decided it was worth a try to
see if I could fix that problem.
Some practice rounds are either crimped shut or sealed but these
were open. While I'm not actively reloading shotgun shells at this time, I
still had some #9 shot sitting on a storage shelf in the garage. If I
could fill the shell with some #9 shot and seal it in place, that should do the
trick. I had a tube of 5 minute J-B Weld in the workbench drawer (left
over form some other project) and thought it might be just the thing to seal the
shot in place. Would it work?
This J-B Weld was the two part putty type that looked like a big
Tootsie-Roll with a filling in it. I cut off a small piece and began
kneading it into a consistent color which indicates both parts are properly
mixed. Once mixed, you have about a 3~5 minute work window before it
begins to harden. You'll notice that as it gets warm, it also gets hard.
In about 10 minutes, the compound is quite hard and in 60 minutes, it is
completely cured and ready to go.
With some #9 shot in each of the practice rounds, I pressed a
small piece of J-B Weld into the end of each shell. I worked it into the
first layer of shot as best I could, making sure it fill the end of the practice
Slipped into the side saddle of my Benelli, I drew each one and rolled it into the ejection port as part of an emergency reload drill. After that, I loaded the magazine tube and cycled them into the chamber and back out. Didn't matter if I pumped the SuperNova fast or slow, they performed perfectly.
Time will tell if the J-B Weld "plug" stays in place once the
practice rounds start landing on the floor during dry practice. If they
don't survive, I'll try something else, such as RTV. If the J-B Weld
doesn't work out, I'll update this article with what ever I try next.
Until then, I'll be running these new practice rounds that feel much more like a
standard 12 gauge shot shell.