Article 4 – 2011
Question: I bought a second hand Kemen shotgun late last year mainly to shoot Sporting Clays with. It has a reasonably light barrel of 1.45kg and the barrel has a larger, than what I thought was normal, bore size of 18.7mm. Since I have changed to this new shotgun I am experiencing some problems with my shot shells. I have been reloading ammunition all my life and feel I am fairly proficient at this. About one in every fifty shells seems to go off very lightly. I have discussed this with a few other shooters and some of them think that because of the over sized bore in my new shotgun the wads that I am using in my reloads may not be sealing correctly inside the barrel. I have been using Winchester wads all my life and still have many thousands left so I am keen to seek your advice before I purchase any more.
Bruce Henderson, Fremantle WA
Answer: Bruce your bore size of 18.7 is really not that large. It is larger than many Italian shotguns which traditionally produced barrels of around 18.4mm, but these days barrels bore sizes of up to 18.7mm are not uncommon for most manufacturers especially those which are produced for the American trap shooting market. What bore size is best for each clay target discipline is another debatable topic altogether. In any case I very much doubt your wad sealing problem is in any way related to the bore diameter of your barrel. There are 12 gauge custom barrels in the USA which have been over bored way larger than yours and do not experience any wad “sealing” problems that I am aware of.
I will make the assumption that the cases you are reloading are suitable for this purpose and you are loading a recommended safe load as suggested by the powder manufacturer. I would then suggest what you are experiencing is a small amount of powder seating itself between the wall of the case and the wad thus not creating a proper seal inside the shot shell. This maybe happening when you are placing the wad down upon the powder and for some reason you are damaging the side wall of the wad thus allowing an improper pressure seal. The only other explanation I can think of is simply the cases you are using have been reloaded too many times and the plastic is wearing thin and it is time to throw them away.
Question: I feel as though my triggers in my Browning are experiencing a little bit of “creep”. Is there a gun grease you recommend to use on the trigger mechanism to help smooth them out?
Tim Nettlefold, Burwood VIC
Answer: I would never use any grease on the trigger mechanism Tim. If they need cleaning use a degreaser or even petrol then blow the mechanism clean if you have an air compressor. If the triggers are crafted properly they should have a clean sharp edge against the sears. There will always be a little creep in nearly any shotgun trigger. This is normal and is not a problem. Use a good quality spray on gun oil if you wish, but only lightly. If you still feel there is too much movement in the trigger before it engages then I feel it’s time to visit a gunsmith to file the edges sharp again. This is a relatively common problem and easy to fix.