Explosive? 12 gauge slug

Paul Smith had five sectioned explosive bullets in his The Better Half column in the recent issue (456) of the IAA Journal. These included three with red painted percussion caps and two with yellow painted cartridge primers in the noses of the bullets. I recently obtained a Remington Peters 12 gauge shotgun shell loaded with what would appear to be an explosive lead slug that as a red painted cap (or primer) in the nose. While I have seen the cartridges before, the shotgun shell is a new one to me.

There used to be some available you could fill with your own explosive and use a standard large rifle primer or percussion cap for a detonator. Yours could be something like this hand loaded or even a completely home made explosive slug.

Given the irregular sort of “staking” to hold the primer in place (I’d expect a factory item to have a consistent sort of ring crimp), I’d say that this is probably a “DIY” slug, as Falcon says.

I’m going to have to agree. A roll test of the shell showed the primer to be slightly off-center. Another one for the reject bucket.


Bearing in mind what this projectile is intended to do on impact, perhaps you should place it carefully in the reject bucket!


I’ll be disassembling it in just a moment. My granddaughter knocked it off my desk just a moment ago, and I couldn’t help bracing for the worst when it hit the floor. Fortunately, it hit base first.

I am quite confident you have one of the many types of loads I classify as “gun show loads”…(those that depend on who, when and whatever they have to dump into a shotshell and come up with the wackiest name for the “tacks, chain, nails, etc, etc.”). I don’t doubt you round photo’d is an explosive round type with some type of primer driven powder charge…but certainly very very doubtful any type of HE charge. Once these rounds leave “the box”…it is the holder’s word against whatever someone else claims, as they are virtually, non documented “wing-dings” (I have a drawer full and try to collect two of each, as I like to section the hull to expose the (often entertaining) payloads). To see a “real” explosive 12 ga round…do a Google on FRAG-12…it is an impressive (and nasty) critter. Once I figure it all out, I will post some photos…here is one of many links out there…


I appreciate the response and the link. The Frag 12 is impressive.