Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fun with Wax Shotgun Slugs

What is more fun than making wax shotgun slugs?
A barrel of monkeys?  No.  Watching Rosie O’Donnell on a trampoline?  Hell no. An entire package of Oreos, all for yourself?  No.  A harem of Las Vegas showgirls for the weekend?  Probably, but that’s another experiment, for another time.

It’s fun making wax slugs, but it’s even more fun shooting them.  And it’s a good way to spend quality time with your nephews as you think up new and different and challenging targets to use them on.  So let’s get started.
Lots of people make wax shotgun slugs, but that term is misleading, sort of.  All of the videos that I have seen show people making slugs out of a mixture of wax and birdshot. 
 That is all well and good, and they certainly seem effective, but that’s not what we’re doing.  We are making them out of wax.  Solid wax.  Nothing but wax.  No type of birdshot or other lead is left in the shot shell, just wax.
But why?  Why would you want to load shot shells full of wax?

The question should be, why wouldn’t you want to make shotgun slugs of wax?
After you scroll down and look at the pictures, I would think that most reasonable people can come up with a few ideas about things to shoot with them.  Stray dogs that get in your trash and scatter it out, perhaps?  That’s the first thing that comes to my mind.  But I’m sure if you take the time to think or go out in the back yard and look around, you could see lots of things that need to be shot with wax.
OK, first off, you will need to procure lots and lots of high tech lab equipment.  Such as this.
Here we have a small aluminum pan, manufactured to the highest standards using the latest technology available, a high performance, funny looking, streamlined spoon, a super duper Wal-Mart heat gun, and we have a supply of projectile material, sometimes called wax.  If you wish to replicate our experiment for yourself, the super duper Wal-Mart heat gun is not absolutely necessary, but you will need some type of heat source to melt your wax.

The steps to create wax shot shells are long and involved.  It goes something like this.

Step one.  Procure a box of cheap shot shells.  Take one out, cut off the very end of it with a knife.

Step two.  Pour out birdshot.

Step three.  Utilizing the high performance spoon, dump melted wax into the shot shell until full.

Step four.  Set it somewhere to cool off. (note) if you knock it over in the process and melted wax spills over the floor, do not be surprised if an angry, grandma type, looking woman comes out of nowhere and proceeds to chastise you and belittle your scientific experiments.

This is what they look like when they are done.  The wax will shrink a little.  The two on the right are full of nothing but wax, the one on the left looked a little different because we also mixed in birdshot with that.  It is a different experiment for a different time.

Now it is time for testing.  Using a 12 gauge Remington 870 as a test projectile launcher, the first test was conducted at 15 feet.  The results are plainly visible.  A hole completely through a 1 inch board, a board that is quite old, probably ash or pine.

The next test subject did no better.  It happens to be 3/8 inch plywood, and the distance was also 15 feet.

Still at 15 feet, this subject held up fairly well and remains suitable for many more experiments in the future.

Backing off to 35 feet, these are the results.  A nice solid dent in the plywood.  The 1 inch board did the same, a good impression but that was it.  The slug partially disintegrated and fell off to the side when it hits.  After shooting the boards at that distance and witnessing the effects, the metal sign was not fired at from that far away.  However, my nephew did get creative and stick a marble into the wax at the tip of one of the shells.  At 35 feet it put a nice little, marble sized hole right through the metal.

Observations and conclusions:

Melting wax is fun.  So is shooting wax.
When fired, wax shot shells are not terribly loud.  They are noticeably quieter than regular shot shells and no one in the neighborhood even bothered to call the police.

Shot shells containing wax slugs with a marble crammed inside are almost as loud as regular shot shells.  They are not recommended for neighborhoods.
Donkeys do not seem to be overly bothered by gunfire.  After the first shot, they came right up to us to participate in our experiment.  I didn’t know that animals like to experiment.

If you shoot someone at close range, even if it’s only a wax slug, they are probably going to be badly hurt.
Wax shotguns slugs seem to fly straight.

Shooting stuff with your nephews is fun.

1 comment:

  1. Steel filings, broken up safety glass or BB shot, rock salt or some of the lead shot that came out of the shells mixed in with the melted wax will provide a little seasoning for special occasions.