In this article we’ll be learning how to make shotgun grenades using unconventional methodology. If you have no experience in munitions and explosives we suggest you become thoroughly familiar with the subject before taking a crack at this guide. Shotgun grenades’ usefulness to preppers and survival groups is contingent upon the situation, and should only be used to gain the tactical advantage.
To make a shotgun grenade you will need; gunpowder, vise, riveter, paraffin wax, hack saw, hammer, shotshell loader, and a rough file. Additionally you will need to color code each shotgun grenade type e.g. shrapnel based – blue, time delayed – green, incendiary – orange, and high explosive – red.
Please remember, no matter how long the individual grenade tube is, you can’t make the outer diameter of the rounds any larger than the inner diameter of the muzzle of your specific shotgun model. Make them small enough to fit into any choke or only to fit your specific shotgun. It’s your decision. The following steps will teach you how to make a mini grenade, which will be applied to the following types of shotgun grenades. These minis have an effective range of up to 100 yards with a 6in drop.
Steps to Make Shotgun Grenades
- Find thin steel or aluminum tubing that is the exact thickness of your shotgun’s inner bore diameter. See diagram 1.
- You can either cut off the end of a store bought shotshell or use a new shotshell. After loading either you’ll need to measure the depth of the shell to the end with no crimp to the inside bottom of the wad. See diagram 2.
- Add a ½ inch to the measurement in Step 2 and cut your tubing to that length.
- At the end of the tubing make ½ inch cuts on the outside of the tubing every 1/8th inch. See diagram 3.
- After making these cuts bend the fins inward to overlap. See diagram 4.
- Drill a hole and insert a rivet of your preference and set it in place.See diagram 5.
- Melt down a pea sized amount of wax and let it solidify around the inside bottom of the base to seal.
- Pick a pistol cartridge case loaded with a primer that’ll fit inside the tube casing. Don’t worry if there’s a gap, but the snugger the better. For instance; .38 used in a 12g bore. This can’t be closer than 3/8th inch of the end of the casing. It has to be recessed and you might need to shorten the casing. See diagram 6.
- Fill the cartridge full of the fastest burning smokeless powder you can find, and if possible – use the hottest magnum primer available in the case.
- Insert the pistol case in the explosive case (i.e. tubing) and press into wax at the base to keep the powder from coming out.
- Melt more wax over the outside of the explosive case and insert into shotshell case. Make sure it is a good fit to prevent the casing from falling out. (Note: if the explosive casing extends past the end of the shotshell do not proceed further, disassemble and shorten everything until it fits properly)
- Fill the end with more wax and insert a washer at the end of the shotshell while the wax is still hot and setting.
- Allow for wax to harden. Check assembled diagram to ensure proper construction.
Variations of Shotgun Shell Grenade Loads
6in High Explosive Shotgun Shell Grenade – Just like the steps above except the tubing in 6in long or longer and are not tube loadable. They should not be over 6in long if you wish load into an auto or pump action shotgun. However, it is possible to load tubing 10-14in long when used in single shot and double guns with 4 ½” fast burning smokeless powder. Effective range is 100 yards with a 15 inch drop and a 30 in shrapnel burst.
6in High Shrapnel Shotgun Shell Grenade – This is made exactly like the HE shell listed above, however you will mix in shrapnel with the powder. Examples of shrapnel that can be used include; buckshot, metal chips, and small washers that have been staggered. Effective range is 100 yards with a 11 inch drop and a 22 in shrapnel burst.
6in Incendiary Shotgun Shell – Again, these are made similar to the HE shell. However, after filling the pistol case with powder you drip a pea sized amount of wax at the end to seal and keep dry. Then feel in the steel casing with granulated magnesium, then you use the steps listed above to seal the casing. Effective range is 100 yards with a 17 inch drop and a 5 in x 12 in flame burst.
6in Time Delay Shotgun Shell Grenade – With this shell you will use 3 ½ in of fast burning powder with thin washers equaling a ½ in for a total of 4 inches. Inside the washer hole insert slow burning powder and inside the pistol case with a magnum primer. Seal using the steps above. This will give you a delay of up to 2+ seconds. Effective range is 100 yards with an 8 inch drop and a 15 in shrapnel burst.
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