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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a friend of mine was looking for some popper shells for training. I havent ever used any so I did some searching and found them to be pretty expensive for what they are. I cut a couple of Kent popper shells apart and they would be easy to make. A box of poppers at Dogs Afield is almost 14 bucks. Do many folks use them? The reason I am asking is that I have my 06 and 07 FFLs. The 06 allows me to manufacture ammo. If there is a need I could produce them at significantly less.

Thanks
RJ
 

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The other option is to buy a case of Fiocchi poppers. 1000 for about $180. It's a shell and a primer, that's it! It's plenty loud and works just great!
 

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Been buying Kents from the Local Cabelas for $10. Still seems expensive for what they are. That Fiocchi price above is awesome!
 

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The Fiocchi's referenced are primer only. They also make blank, "field trial loads." The primer loads - "poppers" - do not give the same report that 12 ga blanks make which have some amount of powder. They are great for short marks or shooting over your dog in training or HRC tests. But on a windy day and long marks they can be hard to hear. Days End makes a 12 ga blank that is reliable, not as loud as the Fiocchi blank and a bit less. Winchester and Kent also make blanks. Lots of folks reload blanks for their own use and a company, now out of business, sold reloaded cartridges. My problem with that is the loads are not clearly labled as blanks. Came very close one time to loading a live round instead of a reloaded blank. Just before I inserted the cartridge I realized it was too heavy to be a blank, but had it been mixed in with reloaded blanks. Found a couple more in the same bag. I don't like using reloads in tests or trials for that reason.
Fiocchi also makes a 20 ga blank but i don't know about 16s.
 

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poppers or blanks. i bought 50 poppers from gundogsupply a while back for $12-$13 and after they have been shot i just replace the primer (i can get a box of 100 209primers for $4) so i can get 150 poppers for around $16.

blanks may be a little harder and expensive to reload.
 

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Might just be me, but I think a 209 primer shot out of a blank pistol is a lot louder than the "poppers" that are just a primer in an empty hull shot out of a shotgun. If its windy or there is some other background noise, those primer hulls just don't do the job.
 

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Where do you get primers for that price? I can't even find them in my local stores? They have been out of stock for 6 months.
 

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Where do you get primers for that price? I can't even find them in my local stores? They have been out of stock for 6 months.
i get my from the local academy sports you have to ask because they are hidden behind the gun counter.
 

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If you are having problems finding "reloading primers" go to any store of the Dick's Sporting Goods chain. They have 209's in the Muzzle Loading stuff (Winchester 7's). If you ask them for a 209 primer, they will look at you clueless. Ask for a muzzleloading primer, and they will go "Oh, yeah. We got those!"
 

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Only issue with someone making ammo to sell, as the OP mentioned, is the possible liability. Some idiot hurts someone with a "blank" and then they look for someone to blame. A full power blank will blow up a pumpkin at 5 yards. Can cause serious injury or worse. A primer will hurt your ears if too close but not damage your body.
That being said, when I shoot a shot prior to a throw on a long mark, I prefer a full blank.
Hardest part about reloading your own blanks is deciding what filler to use instead of shot. You cannot just put powder and a wad in, there has to be a replacement for the shot or you do not get enough wad pressure for the powder to burn properly. I still have some Winchesters factory blanks from when I bought a flat a long time ago. Alway best to use a fiber wad, ie biodegradable, shotcup not needed since not using shot.
 

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Dog's Afield typically has Cheddite 209 primers at a very reasonable price. They are out of stock at the moment.
 

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I agree,the price for blanks is ridiculous. I started loading my own since I'm a serious reloader anyway. I use a cork wad and then fill the rest up with rice and crimp it. Makes a decent bang, much louder than just a primer popper. I've tried several different ways to make them and there is some that are louder but I like this one best.
 

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I agree,the price for blanks is ridiculous. I started loading my own since I'm a serious reloader anyway. I use a cork wad and then fill the rest up with rice and crimp it. Makes a decent bang, much louder than just a primer popper. I've tried several different ways to make them and there is some that are louder but I like this one best.
What powder and how much are you using? I was thinking of using bird seed. I was told that if birds eat rice it will swell and cause them to choke?? Anyone know if that is true??
 

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The other option is to buy a case of Fiocchi poppers. 1000 for about $180. It's a shell and a primer, that's it! It's plenty loud and works just great!
The loads you describe are not poppers but primer loads. Such load are excellent for HRC style shooting at the line & even for AKC type HT set-ups. They will not work well for long FT type marks, especially with a wind factor. Fiocchi does make a FT popper however, & it is priced in the range Dogs Afield quotes for the Kent FT poppers.
 

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The problem with most home-made popper loads is the safety factor because they contain a wad or other projectile. Another factor is that because most popper loads don't have good compression on the powder (because there is no load) they are subject to water absorption (especially when loads such as bird feed which are readily water absorbing are used). Water absorption can cause poppers (not primer loads) to dud if stored for some period after loading. Shooting poppers or blank loads as they are sometimes referred gives some folks the idea that they are not harmful. A popper load with a wad of any type can, in fact, cause death at very short range. There are unfortunately a number of such accidents in FTs & HTs where a popper load has blown the knee-cap off a bird boy, a toe & caused blindness in the cases which I am familiar with. If you are going to go so far as to load bird seed, it is almost the equivalent of a 9-shot load. If you are willing to shoot such loads, I'd opt instead for low-brass 8 shot live loads at less than $5/box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just to clarify,
I am not talking about primed hulls. Those can be purchased for about $13 for 100 and reloaded with just a primer.
the "poppers" or blanks have a powder charge and then some sort of filler to create pressure, thats what makes them louder.

Ive seen bird seed used, but it can still sting if you get hit by it. Some use toilet paper with a card on each end. Kent just uses buffer media, which is probably the safest.
 
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