Spreading Ashes, via a 12 gauge?

In 2011 we reported on a company called Holy Smoke, LLC that offers  a service wherein a family could have their ashes spread via reloaded ammunition. The company takes in your deceased loved ones ashes, and loads them into approximately 250 shotgun shells, 100 rifle rounds, or 250 handgun rounds. Although this news report did not go through that company, the report is about a family who recently had their loved one loaded into 50 shotshells, and fired off the shells at the trap and skeet range that the loved one favorited.

How a family got the number of 250 shotshells down to 50 must be due to the measurements they used in mixing the gunpowder and ashes. Maybe the rest were cast out in another fashion? I would be concerned about there not being enough powder to propel the shot if there is more ash than powder. Because I’m pretty sure ashes don’t turn into the right amount of gas necessary to propel any sort of shot fired out of a 12 gauge shell. Either way, the deceased was a Veteran of the Vietnam War, and apparently really liked his shotguns. He certainly went out in style that way. I’m sure he had some measure of decision making when it came to his own cremation.

A Vietnam War veteran literally went out with a bang on Saturday, the St. George Spectrum newspaper reports.

The son of Walter “Jim” Hosey of LaVerkin, Utah, loaded a total of 50 shotgun shells with his father’s ashes and fired them off at the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park in Hurricane with the help of relatives and friends

His son, Clint Hosey, says: “I think he got a kick out of that.”

The newspaper reports that Walter Hosey, who often visited the sports park, died on Jan. 2.

Spilsbury funeral director Mark Heiner called the firing of the shells “a fitting tribute to the way he lived.”

Heiner told the Spectrum that he has read about funeral ashes being loaded into shells for memorial shooting, but it’s the first instance he knows of in Utah.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I prefer to be spread over the ocean.

    • wetcorps

      You beat me to it!

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I think of that scene every time I hear about ashes being spread.

        • SP mclaughlin

          Was Donny really just a figment of Walter’s Vietnam induced PTSD?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Interesting theory.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            The Walter character was based on John milieus who wrote Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn.

          • John Yossarian

            That would explain Walter telling Donny to “shut up” every time he began to talk. But so would Fargo, in which the Steve Buscemi character was killed simply for jabbering too much. And the Coen’s admit putting the “Shut up, Donny” joke into Lebowski for that very reason. I like both explanations!

  • Geoffry K

    I think the ashes replaced the shot. Not mixed with the powder.

    • Dan

      Better hope the wind is at your back or you might end up with a nose full of uncle Al. Maybe we should start up a buisness and compress the ashes into a projectile, and then design it as a defensive round that way your loved one can always protect you! awww……

  • Mazryonh

    This reminds me of a famous one-eyed fictional character. He might say something like this when using this kind of ammunition.

    “I won’t scatter your sorrow to the heartless sea. I won’t see you end as ashes . . .

    “You will always be with me, ammunition for our guns, ammunition for the instruments of our revenge. And you will have your chance soon.”

  • Matt Russian Roulette

    I added my fathers ashes to hollowpoint .223s. Cost me zero except the actual cartridges themselves.

  • smitty26

    We put the ashess from my father in some sky rockets and launched them so they exploded
    over the sea.As a former navy officer he would have like that.

  • john4637

    Strange behavior occurs every day by someone!

  • Earl

    End of life issues must be handled with care. Therefore, I have instructed my wife that if she wishes to inherit the vast estate that I am leaving her as a soon to be retired pastor, then she must comply with my requirements for my remains. She is to cremate me. My ashes are to be loaded into shotgun shells. She is to have my family take these shotgun shells and shoot them over the front lawns of the churches which I have loved and served as pastor. If the EPA takes issue with this, they are welcome to come out and try to vacuum me up. Of course my wife has promised to comply completely with these very reasonable requirements. 🙂

  • Captain Obvious

    Well duh. I hope the author of that article realizes that you don’t mix the ashes with the gunpowder. You put it in the shot cup wrapped in something like wadding, cloth bag etc as the projectile. And of course you don’t need to use all the ashes, just some of them. I have a friend whose brother died. They dispersed some of his ashes near his favorite deer blind using tannerite. And no, they didn’t mix the ashes in the tannerite, they put a container of tannerite in the ashes and then shot it. He went out with a bang.