Y-man has a “FINALLY!” moment with his new slugs and new stock…

Hello y’all… Y-man here again…

I have FINALLY achieved what I have sought for more than five years now: self-cast and reloaded slugs, achieving accuracy, consistent performance and reliability. I also have fabricated a much better shotgun stock now (see photo above)

I finally got myself a Lyman Sabot Slug mold from the US in February 2013, and a BPI Roll-crimper. This has helped me arrive at where I proudly am today.

I cast and loaded some Lyman 525gr Sabot Slugs, in different configurations, with varying wad and buffer material considerations.

Everything was properly measured, and weighed – basically, what I was doing was casting the Lyman slugs, at about 525 grains, (Or 34 grams) taking a regular birdshot shell, cutting open the shell, pouring out the shot and loading the cast slug into the wad in the shell, then re-crimping using my BPI roll-crimper.

The major differences with normal reloading (Or what I like to call the “Y-man way…”) were the following innovations.

1. I used hard plastic donut buffer disks under each slug. In some, I used softer plastic disks, while in some, the material was more rigid.
2. I also inserted a small plastic ball into the cavity of each slug: just like the Federal Tru-Ball slug design.
The ball is to center the slug in the bore, and to prevent the wad being scrunched into the cavity. This is also to ensure clean separation of slug from wad.

Being able to properly roll-crimp is also a wonderful development.

Y-man Lyman Slug Reloading Picture

I built up a large number of shells for testing, and of course, I decided to test-fire these new, promising slugs, and use the opportunity to also test my new improvised stock. (After the last model almost tore my cheek open with vicious cheek-slaps, I had to re-work my stock.) when I went up north to visit family at the end of August 2013.

I fired a total of 14 slugs, firing them with my Mossberg 500A Smoothbore Shotgun with my left elbow braced against a truck hood (Or “Bonnet” as we call it here…), and firing from exactly 35 meters (Or 115 feet, or 38.2 yards.) (This was accurately measured, not stepped or estimated.)

I made sure that the different configurations of slugs were properly planned, so there would be no mix-ups, and the results would be very clear. I actually drew up a shooting schedule to ensure my slugs were well arranged. Each slug was clearly marked with symbols to differentiate from others…

Slug/ Shooting plan September “Expedition”…

Lyman Slugs Shooting plan SEP 2013

With each shot, and each subsequent batch of slugs, my excitement grew: I was getting accuracy! Consistent accuracy! At 35 meters!

I used an innovative target system: an eighteen-inch wide by four-foot tall HARD wood plank (Two inches thick) on which I hung my bullseye targets – the metal cover plates of discarded computer hard drives (Dimensions- six inches tall by four inches wide.)

In the first batch fired, out of five shots, I achieved a 6-inch circle of hits, including one miss. Two were on the target plate.
The second batch of four shots opened up a bit more to 8 inches, but ALL on the plank.

And the third batch of five rounds had a spectacular double-hit-in-one-hole… (Two slugs went through the same hole…Both on the metal plate) Yes, there were a few misses, but all within an eight-inch circle, and within 4 inches of point of aim for the last miss.

See video of the testing experience here. (Please drop a comment or two…)

By the third batch of slugs, I had quite a cheering audience of nearby villagers, and after this, I had to stop, as with each shot, costing equivalent of $3 here, my conscience bothered me as I felt it seemed I was “wasting” away the equivalent of a family meal for each poor villager. I kept the rest of the slugs for my self-defense hoard of ammo.

After shooting, I gave the village chief the fired empties: in the villages, they usually do some reloading, using locally made gunpowder, and stuffing the shell with locally made shot – lead melted from old car batteries, and dripped from height into buckets of rain water.

I searched for, and recovered the fired wads, and out of fourteen fired, I recovered thirteen wads, several buffer disks, and two slugs. Three wads were badly shredded, eight were not too bad: they lost their petals, and two were very good.

Y-man Lyman Slug Recovered wads Sep 2013

I also enjoyed using my new stock design. For the very first shot, I leaned forward a bit too much, and had my lip against the metal bracket of the stock. Needless to say, I did not do this for the subsequent thirteen shots! I only had a small split lip from the first one…

It was quite an exciting experience, and shows the possibilities that have opened up for me…

I know what direction to go now, with my designs and projects. In a way, it is almost an anti-climax: the feeling is more like, “Okay, this is done now, so what next?”

Meanwhile, a certain “someone I barely know” seems to be building up quite an arsenal! Check out his line up below

Y-man's Arsenal SEP 2013 (800x530)

1. Mossberg 500A 12ga with improvised stock and self-reloaded Lyman slugs…
2. Turkish Semi-Auto 12ga Shotgun (“Magnum”)
3. Crossman Air Pistol (With modified sights, as well as regular and “Penetrator” pellets…)
4. Daisy Sling Shot (With Steel Ball bearings…)
5. Gerber (Bear Grylls) Survival Knife (With built in Firestarter)
6. Cold Steel Kobun Knife…
7. Self-Fabricated “tactical” dagger.
8. SOG Tomahawk
9. Tactical shovel with serrated edge (Modified)

Maybe an African prepper?

Looking forward to your comments and advice!


Y-man is based in a firearms restricted environment in West Africa, he is really interested in shotguns [Which is all he can legally get], and he makes the best of whatever he is able to lay his hands on.

Y-man had some training at an early age in the “Gentleman” forces of the Air Force in his country, including some weapon training…

He also appreciates your advice, comments and feedback almost as much as the air he breathes…


  • Zius Patagus

    Always fun to read your stuff Y-Man. Kinda makes me want to take my Mossberg out and test slugs with it.

  • M.M.D.C.

    “For the very first shot, I leaned forward a bit too much, and had my lip against the metal bracket of the stock. Needless to say, I did not do this for the subsequent thirteen shots! I only had a small split lip from the first one…”

    When I saw that stock I thought “forget about a cheek weld.”

    We look forward to your cheek pad build! 🙂

    Excellent work, Y Man! Always a treat.

  • Rob in Katy

    And he has one of those russian tactical shovels!

  • avconsumer2

    Nice. That stock looks a mess, but given your resources – your will & skills far, far exceed mine good sir & hell, whatever works. Bravo. You’re obviously an Afri-CAN (& not an Afri-can’t) 😉
    Keep shootin’!! (& posting)

    • JumpIf NotZero

      It’s insane how much better suited he would be with a normal field stock. Pistol grip shotguns suck In their own right, that mess of metal and welding wire is a whole different thing.

      I realize he can’t take proper training in the US, but one thing that gives away whether or not someone really knows what they are doing with a shotgun in my opinion is determined by if they have a field stock or not.

      He’ll figure it out one day, he’s a smart guy.

      • He does train here. In fact several times. Search his articles and you’ll see various range trips.
        Hey you use what you have to work with.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          I would be quiet about that actually. It’s against the law (ITAR) for non-US citizens to take formal training in the US.

          And I’ve seen his other articles. That doesn’t change anything that pistol grip shotguns are a foolish choice if it’s your only gun. And that contraption of a stock is specifically (and obviously) doing him more harm than good.

          • Y-man

            I wouldn’t say I come to the US to “train”… I have come over a few times as a tourist and shopping and try to have FUN at a few ranges, that’s all… Next stop, Vegas! I also have gone to Disneyland, and the CNN Center… Its all good fun…

            About my stock: that is what I can get, and I make the best out of it! (If I could get even a good wood stock to buy or build, I’d drop this contraption like a hot stone…) I do like the pistol grip though…

            About Pistol Grip Shotguns, that is ALL we see here, legally…ALL. EVER. So, bear with us for that.


          • JumpIf NotZero

            I think you should work with TFB to pass along a boot and we’ll all chip in to get you a $20 field stock that would be infinitely more useful to you. If ITAR is an issue, WolverineSupply in Canada can export, you’ll just have to call it a motorcycle part or home decoration for customs 😉

          • Y-man

            ITAR is not the issue. Money is not the issue. You just attempt to ship a stock down to me, even a wood stock you carved yourself, and I WILL get arrested (If not killed) as an “International terrorist and arms dealer” I kid you not. Circumstances where I am are VERY different from what YOU might take for granted.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Bummer. Sounds like you have some traveling to do then.

          • If we could we sure would! It’s just to dangerous for him.

          • Nick

            I don’t understand on the wood stock issue. Is it also illegal for him to make one? Like if he were to get the wood locally, shape it locally, and install it there all himself. Is that illegal as well? and why would importing the wood be illegal? Do they check for things that look like they could be turned into something for a weapon and call that grounds enough?

          • Y-man

            Thanks Nick, I could make one locally, no doubt. But the fit would be crude and painful.

            Well, events have overtaken this: I have been able to buy two great stocks: the Magpul SGA and the Mako FAB M500 folder. I am having a lot of fun with them now.

          • Y-man

            I wouldn’t say I come to the US to “train”… I have come over a few times as a tourist and do a lot of shopping and try to have FUN at a few ranges, that’s all… Next stop, Vegas! I also have gone to Disneyland, and the CNN Center… Its all good fun…

            About my stock: that is what I can get, and I make the best out of it! (If I could get even a good wood stock to buy or build, I’d drop this contraption like a hot stone…) I do like the pistol grip though…

            About Pistol Grip Shotguns, that is ALL we see here, legally…ALL. EVER. So, bear with us for that.


          • Wow, pistol grips ONLY? Shoulder stocks are illegal?

            And here they want you to only be able to own straight stocked guns and are trying to outlaw pistol grips. Go figger……

            How about Black Powder? Muzzleloaders? Cap and Ball revolvers are old fashioned and SLOW to reload, but are just as deadly as they were in the 1800’s. And completely unregulated here, dunno about your laws…..

          • Mutaborax

            Y-man!!!!! great work! am also an gun enthusiast in Nigeria having to watch my back trying to train with both my semi auto n the pump action pistol gripped shotguns. Even with a valid license. I was thinking of ordering the Lyman Slug mold online but Guess I am just looking for trouble from the authorities. I also like test running my guns with various gauges of bird and buckshot. Though the largest caliber I have is the O buckshot. Would love to make my own slugs as well. Am a great fan! Hope to get more tips from you.

          • I wouldn’t say formal training so much as gun ranges and learning to use rental guns and such

          • Joe O.

            I am an American with advanced tactical including tactical shotgun training. I love traditional field stocks but find the SAW Grip and M4 stock on my 870 to be an extremely effective setup. As far as this man’s custom work why do you want to discourage him? He is not doing barrel / receiver mods! Y-Man keep up the testing and just spray that beast of a custom stock flat black…..

  • allannon

    I always like reading Y-man posts. The ingenuity bought to solving what would be simple problems here in the US is impressive.

    I mean, I know a lot of people who reload. I don’t know many who cast their own ammo, however (much less casting their own shot, like the intrepid villagers), to say nothing of reverse-engineering…well, everything.

    As usual, good job, and keep ’em coming. 🙂

  • Smitty

    I wish you the best with your hobby and in working so hard to be able to defend yourself.

  • C

    half of that arsenal was purchased from Big 5 lol

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    It’s great to hear from Y-Man again — as always. His intelligence, diligence and ability to make the best of what limited resources are actually available to him is truly commendable. And many thanks to him for generously sharing the results of his labors with the rest of us in a well-written article that obviously took time and effort.

  • rjackparis

    Again, Yman, I suggest you make a pipe fitting stock.

    more or less, one end cap attached to your knoxx breacher grip.
    a length of pipe threaded to it, with another end threaded end cap welded to a well padded buttplate. wrap the length of pipe in cloth. and you have a very sold stock with an adjustable length of pull.

  • AZRon

    I HATE reading Y-mans posts. They always remind me what a lazy bastard I’ve become because it’so easy for me to walk into a store and get exactly what I want. (even though I haven’t done so since 1995)

    Still, I absolutely applaud his efforts in working toward what he wants. I also appreciate the documented, methodical approach to his methods.

    Y (may I call you “Y”?), were it legal, I have no doubt that the US gun community would happily set you up with a new shotgun and thousands of rounds of factory ammunition at no cost to yourself. Of course laws (yours and ours) preclude this.

    I did have one thought, however, on the buttstock import issue. What if somebody bought a Mossberg 500 wood buttstock. If they decided that they didn’t like it, they might get angry enough to cut it in pieces. Let’s say the cut was 3″ behind where it would connect to the receiver. Would it be legal to receive a wooden trinket that was 4″ long, 2″ high, and 1 1/2″ wide? Surely you can access wood, glue, dowels, and carving knives…no?

    Just a thought.

  • Chase Buchanan

    Do you know what the villagers do for primers? I’ve heard of primers being reloaded with material from match heads. Or do they buy them?

    • Y-man

      Once they get any empties, they make their own gunpowder: sulfur, ash, other components I really do not know… Ground together and mixed thoroughly..

      They pour this (In most cases crude, instinctive measurement handed down from generation to generation.) into the shotshell.

      Primers are (I was shocked to discover!) derived from refill caps from children’s cap guns. The pry out the used primers, and simply replace with caps.

      Of course, when they fire, the caps are destroyed, but I hear they can get up to 5 firings from a shotshell before they become too unstable to use again. They simply pry off the fired cap, and insert a new one…

  • If we had half the dedication and drive he has we wouldn’t have to worry about gun laws!

  • Alex okc

    Congrats on gettin decent results. I’m still holding out on that Lyman cause it costs $100usd with the handles.

    Did you have pics of targets? Legal to ship hulls overseas? Have the folks be careful with they powder. I had a buddy at work who said someone’s kid was experimenting with chemicals in his room and for real sick. Maybe he was just makin meth or huffin paint.

  • Alex okc

    Hadn’t watched video before I posted. Good job. Anychance in gettin a savage bolt action fully rifled shotgun? Those will shoot cloverleafs with them expensive slugs

  • mosinman

    the Kobun is a nice knife, i like mine 🙂

  • Dustin

    Just a thought, I’ve herd you mention the self made shotguns used in the small villages over there for hunting, and the way they make the stocks, there are plenty of good hard woods to choose from there in Africa. Could you not have someone carve you a stock from a good hardwood? Or perhaps you could make one your self, you should be able to find patterns, drawings and measurements for one somewhere on the Internet.

  • GunFun ZS

    Good job sir. Might I suggest a “cheek riser” as your next project. Also, I would like to know what five shot groups were for your top performing loads.

  • Y-man

    Hello all… I FINALLY got a good, working stock for my shotgun! Update post coming up soon.