Shotgun Experiment

This morning I decided to make some shot shells that I read about in the Cheaper Than Dirt magazine, were selling these little darts called flechettes, from Vietnam War time period. They used these spikes in shotshells for a while.
Well I'm not about the order these spikes from Cheaper Than Dirt, and wait for a week for them to show up, so I go down to the hardware store and buy some 1 3/4" finishing nails. I took these home and used a grinding wheel to make points out of the heads. I was able to fit 60 nails per shotshell (the original shots carried 20 flechettes) and I used 3" Winchester Super X Drylock High Velocity ammo (1300 fps) BB Shot. I opened the shells carefully from the top, unfolding the crimping with a knife blade. I then emptied the BB's out and replaced them with the modified nails, packing them in as tightly as I though reasonable. I did not in any way change the plug, primer, or the powder. I then re-closed the crimping and that completed the manufacturing process.
The next thing to do obviously is shoot them, so I got my trusty old Remington 870 Express Magnum, and headed for a nearby farm, where I do most of my shooting. I made 3 shots so I could test them in 3 different ways.
First I did a pattern test at about 20 yards, I first shot the nail shot at one piece of paper.

Then I shot a standard BB shot load, just for a reference.

I then did a damage test, my first damage test I did from about 20 yards, and it had very little effect, the pattern being very much to wide for the 2x8 board I was shooting at, I never took a picture of that shot. I then Moved up to about 10 feet and shot the board. The shot ripped the board in half length wise, I replaced it back in it's original position for the picture, to show the circumference of the blast.

A close up of my 10 foot nail shot.

A regular shot from 10 feet.

What I've learned from this is that at a distance the steel nails were much to light to have very good penetrating power, and they do not maintain a good velocity because the nails tumble through the air, and in addition steel is a light metal. They would not have the killing power for anything bigger than a hare at 20 yards. However, at close range the damage, although not as penetrating, was shockingly powerful in it's damaging capacity. It literally ripped the board in half at close range, making a far wider spread than the BB shot, going through the same modified choke. I summarized that the nail shot would be a devastating defense shot to any would be attacker, having a wide spread and a very powerful impact. And another valuable aspect is that it would not go all the way through a body and damage any furniture or other items of value. I also summarized that if a heavier metal could be used, such as tungsten iron, the shot would be much more effective at longer ranges.


Guns keep America Free! said...

nice! now you need to try the CTD darts.

AdamVC said...

I'm actually going to see if I can get ahold of some Phil. of not then make make some. Can't be that hard

Guns keep America Free! said...

Yeah it can't be that hard. btw if you need any help just let me know, I love to blow things up =D