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12 gauge Practice Round

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 round. 


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.




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