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Hi

I've been challenged to make a shotgun cartridge belt for a friend. I wanted to ask some questions of anyone who uses one.

I've had a look at various pictures online, and have seen some quite nice belts. I've also seen some discussion on whether they are easy to use or not.

So here go the questions:
I don't have a machine for stitching, so was thinking of riveting the loops with brass rivets. Any thoughts whether that will be OK? I know you can make holes and loop the inner strip through them, but that probably needs a tool to make them nice and neat and even.

Also I've seen in some forums discussion about how easy it is to get your cartidges in and out. One person had the loops done with elastic webbing, which seems quite a neat idea. I've seen some 2" military elastic webbing that would do the job. Any thoughts?

How much bigger than waist size should I make it? I'm thinking about 6" with obviously some belt holes either side of that.

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Shotgun belts are fiddly things to make, in my opinion. Red Cent has posted a couple of nice ones on here somewhere. Are they for Single Action shooting or hunting use? If you make them with loops then you will need a strip below the loop to stop the cartridges going in too far if they're for SA. For SA they need to be just tight enough to hold them without falling out but so they can be removed easily, for hunting you want them tighter so you don't loose them! For SA most prefer them in pairs and some make "pouches", which I think work better but are definitely fiddly to make! You can also make them as slides, so they are independent of the belt. Elastic will work although some prefer all leather (more traditional).

A few thoughts, perhaps a bit more info on its intended use?

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Hi Dikman

It's for hunting. The guy I'm doing this for is a game-keeper. He'll be out stalking deer etc.
PS I don't even know what Single Action is ;-)

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Single Action, or Cowboy Action, is a form of competition using pistols, rifles and shotguns from the American West, i.e. single action revolvers, lever action rifles and double barrel shotguns. In the case of the shotguns it's often necessary to reload one or more times in a stage, so easy withdrawal of the shells (in pairs) is a must. For hunting this style of cartridge retention isn't the best as it can be quite easy to lose the shells!!

Elastic will certainly work for what you want to make but each loop will need to be stitched or rivetted. In my opinion the simplest way is to form the loops by feeding in and out of a slot in the belt and then rivetting the ends. All you have to do is work out the thickness of the leather you're going to use for the loops and buy a suitable slot punch.

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I posted a picture of a shot gun shell belt that I made on March 24, 2018 under Gun Holsters, Rifle Slings and Knife Sheaths.  Hand stitched and it holds 20 shells.  You may be interested in it.

IMG_0046.jpg

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Agreed with dikman on the form serving the function and hunting or range carry being very different than for CAS shooting. I would post shots of my CAS shotgun belt slides but sadly I realised I have never taken any...

here is a nice Stohlman graphic of some different approaches... I like style 2 for cartridges but would use style 1 for shells...  I guess some feel that style 3 avoids lots of slots punched in the belt and perhaps allowing It to sag more over time... which have witnessed... but if you line or double layer the belt after doing the loops the belt gains a little more stability due to the lamination.

Will Ghormley's aptly named cartridge belt pattern pack gives loop style details and measurements and slot sized etc. good pack to get actually fro many reasons.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

cartidge loop styles.PNG

WG belt pack.png

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I've made belts a couple of different ways, . . . and Ghormley's Style # 1 has never let me down.

For a shotgun belt for myself, . . . 12 ounce belt, . . . 12 ounce backer , . . . 2 to 2 1/2 inch nylon webbing to hold em, . . . or 7/8 ounce leather.

Once you lace them in and out, . . . pull it as tight as you can, . . . leave the shell in it, . . . move on to the next one, . . . I would rivet it at both ends.

Attach the backer to the belt with lacing . . . sew it on, . . . or rivet it, . . . but whichever you do, . . . put the backer piece on the belt with contact cement, . . . and it'll never move.

Show us what you did when you get done.

Here is a drawing of how I would do it, . . . an an example of what Ghormley recommends.  The first picture is my "cheat sheet" I keep in my cowboy bag for when I have to make one.  Just did one last week for a "Have Gun Will Travel" type rig.

May God bless,

Dwight

cartridge example 1.jpg

cartridge example 3.jpg

cartridge example 4.jpg

cartridge example shotgun shell belt.jpg

Edited by Dwight

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The first time I made some loops I had very little idea of what I was doing (pretty normal for me!) and #1 seemed like the right way, as at that stage I hadn't seen any drawings etc like this so made it up as I went. It worked, but next time I tried #2 and find I prefer that as i think it looks neater, but that's just my opinion. I found that by cutting the loop strap slightly oversize for the slot and wetting it down first it fits without showing the slot afterwards and wetting it allows it to sit flatter on the back. As Dwight said if the backing piece is glued then the whole thing becomes more rigid.

I also made a "cheat sheet" but drew mine on paper and then laminated it.

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Any pics Dikman? I also have no idea..

Wanna make some loading strips up for CAS in .357/38 so interested in the spacing for the different calibers and the best method for securing the loops.

8 hours ago, Dwight said:

I've made belts a couple of different ways, . . . and Ghormley's Style # 1 has never let me down.

For a shotgun belt for myself, . . . 12 ounce belt, . . . 12 ounce backer , . . . 2 to 2 1/2 inch nylon webbing to hold em, . . . or 7/8 ounce leather.

Once you lace them in and out, . . . pull it as tight as you can, . . . leave the shell in it, . . . move on to the next one, . . . I would rivet it at both ends.

Attach the backer to the belt with lacing . . . sew it on, . . . or rivet it, . . . but whichever you do, . . . put the backer piece on the belt with contact cement, . . . and it'll never move.

Show us what you did when you get done.

Here is a drawing of how I would do it, . . . an an example of what Ghormley recommends.  The first picture is my "cheat sheet" I keep in my cowboy bag for when I have to make one.  Just did one last week for a "Have Gun Will Travel" type rig.

May God bless,

Dwight

cartridge example 1.jpg

cartridge example 3.jpg

cartridge example 4.jpg

cartridge example shotgun shell belt.jpg

Dwight any tips on punch sizing,spacing for a .357/38 cartridge belt?

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22 minutes ago, noobleather said:

Any pics Dikman? I also have no idea..

Wanna make some loading strips up for CAS in .357/38 so interested in the spacing for the different calibers and the best method for securing the loops.

Dwight any tips on punch sizing,spacing for a .357/38 cartridge belt?

Because I already have this template made up, . . . I would personally just go ahead and use the 5/8 inch spacing and every thing else the same.

Realistically, . . . we are talking .450 minus .357, . . . which turns out to be .093 inches or 1/10 of an inch. 

I'm not going thru the pain to adjust everything for 1/10 of an inch.

May God bless,

Dwight

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I'll have a look later, noob. Dwight is right  in that the spacing isn't critical you just have to make sure that there is enough clearance between the loops so that they can sit properly with cartridges inserted. I just tried a few on scrap leather until it looked right.

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This is my chart. The slot width will depend on the thickness of the loop leather, as I'm currently using Kangaroo (which is thin but tough) my slots are not very wide. I use dividers to step out the spacing. Between Dwight's measurements and mine this should give you a good place to start.

 

Loop chart a.jpg

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15 hours ago, Dwight said:

Because I already have this template made up, . . . I would personally just go ahead and use the 5/8 inch spacing and every thing else the same.

Realistically, . . . we are talking .450 minus .357, . . . which turns out to be .093 inches or 1/10 of an inch. 

I'm not going thru the pain to adjust everything for 1/10 of an inch.

May God bless,

Dwight

Thanks Dwight

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6 hours ago, dikman said:

This is my chart. The slot width will depend on the thickness of the loop leather, as I'm currently using Kangaroo (which is thin but tough) my slots are not very wide. I use dividers to step out the spacing. Between Dwight's measurements and mine this should give you a good place to start.

 

Loop chart a.jpg

Thanks heaps dikman.

Will try and do up some rough .38 loading strips this weekend. Now where to find some punches 

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I found some on ebay (from China), weren't very dear and I just picked an assortment of sizes.

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1 hour ago, noobleather said:

... Now where to find some punches 

I get my oval punches from various Chinese sellers on ebay. The punches need a bit of sharpening when they arrive. Search thru the sellers as the prices can vary quite a bit for the same tool

An example; https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-25mm-Rectangle-Leather-Craft-Belt-Hole-Lacing-Stitching-Hollow-Punch-Tool/173266496279?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D49129%26meid%3Dd881b6471c6046bd8d73f025f03e0802%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D382330467556%26itm%3D173266496279&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

The order takes between 10 and 25 days to arrive with me, average is now about 14 days.

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14 hours ago, fredk said:

I get my oval punches from various Chinese sellers on ebay. The punches need a bit of sharpening when they arrive. Search thru the sellers as the prices can vary quite a bit for the same tool

An example; https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-25mm-Rectangle-Leather-Craft-Belt-Hole-Lacing-Stitching-Hollow-Punch-Tool/173266496279?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D49129%26meid%3Dd881b6471c6046bd8d73f025f03e0802%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D382330467556%26itm%3D173266496279&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

The order takes between 10 and 25 days to arrive with me, average is now about 14 days.

Thanks for that information

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Well I have made myself a prototype. Not sure if the leather on the loops are thick enough but will see how it goes.

Thanks for your help guys.

 

IMG_20180618_182348.jpg

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Looks good to me. The good thing about making boolit loops is that there's no right or wrong way, it's whatever works for you.I made up some dummy rounds (filled the primer pockets with silicone just in case Mr. Plod sees them and has a coronary!) that I keep in the loops while drying in case of shrinkage.

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