Y-man’s home-made slug shooting adventures continue [ Part 7 ]

[ Y-Man, our resident Nigerian shotgunner, continues his series of guest articles about his quest to build the perfect shotgun. Being one of the lucky few in Africa to legally own a gun, he has to fabricate many parts and ammunition himself because supplies of gun parts are so limited. You can read Part 6 here. ]

Hi y’all, long time no see, as we say here! I have been regaling you with stories of my adventures with my shotgun, and my stock, sight, and ammunition improvisations. This is another update, I hope you enjoy it.

I got really frustrated with the slug designs I had been working on and using because accuracy degenerated terribly. I think I finally know why the accuracy of my original slugs, and all the different versions I came up with too over the last few months, went downhill.

The authors now-broken Turkish EFE Magnum Semi-Auto Shotgun

I cast those slugs at about .660”. They were Foster style slugs, slotted into the shotcups and they worked reasonably well: groups of 2″ at 35-40 yards.

I fired them out of my Turkish EFE Magnum Semi-Auto Shotgun. Good shotgun, but it had substandard parts. Sadly, within a year, the firing pin broke. I discovered the shotgun was a discontinued model and manufactured by a small company in Turkey so ordering the replacement was out. I thought of repairing but the restrictions we have here stopped me from trying to locally fix it. So I dumped it.

But I was able to use part of the barrel to improvise a “Bore-size” Slug mould.

Then I got my Mossberg 500A, it cost almost $3,000 (Three thousand dollars!)

I started firing my slugs out of that and noticed accuracy going downhill! I was using the “Bore-size” Slug mould from the Turkish gun’s barrel.

I recently got some brass balls of exactly .729″. I did some experimenting, and discovered that while the balls would slide easily (Loosely) down the bore of the Mossberg, when I tried sliding the same ball down the barrel of the Turkish shotgun: it would not go in at all.

Obviously that Turkish gun was choked, while the Mossberg is straight cylinder (No choke). No wonder I was getting the kind of accuracy I was getting from the Turkish gun.
I got really frustrated with the lack of accuracy on the slugs, I went through so many designs without luck or success, so I did some more research, and decided to go the round ball route (basically with smooth round ball slugs to fire out of smoothbore shotguns). Round balls are known to be reliable and consistent out to 50 yards. I did a LOT of research.

Firstly, I improvised a round ball mould, by drilling out 2 half-spheres in steel pieces, then aligning them.

1.Y-man’s Locally fabricated Round Ball Mould

It worked, but produced a rough ball, which I then needed to file down to shape. (more…)

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Anthony

    Your ingenuity with what you have to work with is awesome! Thanks for posting, it’s a very interesting read, and stay safe. You’re an excellent example of the right mindset trumping a lack of resources!

  • Kyle

    My heart goes out to this Y-Man. It’s glad to see that, even in turmoilous times, he is dedicated to finding and making ingenious ways to improve his shotgun from a basic bed sight and bird shot. Someone should fly him to the USA one time so he could get a taste of what he could get if he moved here. But I know better than to separate a man from his country, so best of luck Y-Man, and keep chugging away at your project

  • Mel

    Y-Man , I salute you for a good job in tough circumstances. You have to use your brains and hands to make what you need, but you never give up. That is a really good job !! I wish I could take you to one of our local stores and let you get what you need. Maybe some day you can come to the U.S. for a visit. Good luck, and keep up the good work.

  • Jim

    It’s a shame YMan can’t get a hold of a nice 22 rifle and some ammo. It’s far less expensive to shoot a lot, and he would have more fun trying to accurize it due to the inherently superior accuracy. The lower sound profile would also help him to not attract attention.

  • Andy

    Love it! If I win any gun raffles or parts giveaways this year, it’s going to y-man! He does more with less than anyone I know.

  • Pedro

    Just shows what a bit of ingenuity and drive can accomplish. Many people in Western countries would give up if faced with the difficulties that Y-Man has to confront.

    Congratulations on your shotgun Y-Man. It is a credit to you. Stay safe.

  • Necessity is the mother of Invention.
    Sound thinking, perseverance, that is valuable. Keep up the good work, that also inspires others, like me.

  • Falcon500

    This guy’s brilliant. I definitely wish him luck.

  • Jesse

    I always look forward to these updates. It’s like watching a MacGyver episode only for real.

  • These stories are completely awesome, and it really humbles me. I mean, I have so many incomplete or poorly finished projects, and parts are so easy to get over here.

    Hats off to Y-Man.

  • Bryan S

    Now that he has a 500, someone get this man a rifled barrel with a cantilever scope mount!

  • aeronathan

    Love the guys can do attitude and ability to get $%&^ done!

    But JFC, $3k for a mossberg 500!! I paid $250 for mine lightly used!

  • this is what happen,s when you live in a country that dose not trust is citazen,s with firearm,s i would comment further however i know fulll welll most of my coment,s would be delited

  • Kyle

    You are one smart guy, the length you go to improve your slugs is very impressive, you seem like a patient man. Stay safe as always, look forward to your next update.

  • Yazz

    I look forward to your next story!

  • Komrad

    I like the new front sight, with a little black paint and some polishing, it would look like it was original manufacture.

    You should see about getting a buckshot mold from your friend, I’d suggest no smaller than #4 size and no larger than 00. With buckshot, you could really be sure of yourself at close range. It might be more time consuming, but may be worth it if you can get the molds. you might even be able to make your own like you did the round ball one. The slightly misshapen spheres wouldn’t have any detrimental effect on accuracy because you’re not shooting for accuracy.

    You might also try using other pieces of your Turkish shotgun barrel. They should be the same size as the bore of the Mossberg because the choke is only on the end. Or you could fabricate sabots to match the smaller slugs to the size of the bore using paper or plastic.
    You may find the saboted slugs to be more accurate.

    I’m not sure if you can buy powder, primers, and a reloading press, but you could save quite a bit by re-using the shotguns hulls if you can get the supplies.

    The only other thing I think you might like to try is alloying other metals with the lead. Zinc and tin are some of the most common because they have low melting points like lead. Antimony is also used but melts at around 1100F (630C) so it may be hard to generate enough heat. You probably won’t notice any improvement in accuracy, but the slugs will be harder and, god forbid, if you are in a situation where your life depends on your gun, they will penetrate further and deform less.

    Love your stories. Keep shooting.

  • M.G. Halvorsen

    Anytime I start to feel sorry for myself for having the restrictions we have here in the”People’s Republik of Kalifornia”, I think of Y-Man…and then I think of my Polish Grandmother, who used to say, “I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” Y-Man, you give everyone here inspiration with your innovation, ingenuity, and just plain determination. “Improvise, adapt, overcome!” should be every shooter’s bywords today, and Y-Man exemplifies what we all should learn from. Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.

  • Y-Man,
    Come to American and become a gun smith.

  • Always enjoy your updates here Y-Man, glad to see you got a good brass mold in country. Having proper ammo will save you loads of trouble, as you have found through your amazing trial and error process.
    Sorry to hear that things are still so expensive and hard to find, wish we could all raise some funds and mail you various pieces and parts to accessorize your 500, craft more ammo and possibly repair your Turkish semi-auto, but after 5 minutes of googling that process, seems like we would likely get you in trouble if we mail anything your way that is firearm related.
    Keep up the great work, and the posts here.
    Stay safe!

  • Chase

    Y-man, you are an exemplar of ingenuity and indomitable spirit that every one of us would do well to learn from and follow! My friend, I salute you!

  • Adam

    we need to bake a box of shells into a cake in mail it to y-man, that or get him out the Knob Creek MG shoot here in Kentucky.


    Hey Y-man, I just saw a YouTube video of someone using a “Cut Shell” in their shotgun. It’s better to watch the video than to describe what a “cut” or a “ringed” shell is. The effects looks devastating. I haven’t tried it out myself, yet.

  • I’m all over this using this type of write-up, I seriously believe this amazing site requirements additional consideration. I’ll probably be all over again to see considerably more, thank you for the info.

  • Cervantes

    Have you tried using plain wax inside your shells? Plain old wax and bird shot or BBs as the ones used in standard BB guns.
    At close range they carry tremendous kinetic energy.