There's MANY advantages of using ball bearings for your shotgun loads:
- Many people have difficulty obtaining lead in their area due to many recyclers not reselling to the public as they are contracted with other business, and therefore people are limited to buying lead on places like ebay which the purchase and shipping costs put a hurting on you versus the cost of ball bearings
- You don't have to go through the process of melting your lead and casting the round balls or slugs
- You can find a large variety of sizes for the ball bearings that will fit most 12ga, 20ga, etc.
- Right now on Ebay you can buy 1,000 3/8 (.375) ball bearings for 18.50 and free shipping. The price also goes down with the more you buy.
I've already loaded 1500 rounds each of 12ga Lee 7/8oz KeyDrive slugs plus cast an extra 1500 of them for later on, and 1500 rounds of the 20ga Lymans 350 grain Sabot slugs plus cast an extra 1500 of them for later on. So now I'm onto my wife's 410 shotgun loads. I bought the Lee .375 round ball mold whereby the Hodgdon load data calls for 2 1/2" hulls, 14 grains of H110 powder, common claybuster 410 wad, and 3 of the round balls that fit NICELY in the wad cup taking the place of the lead shot, and followed by a fold crimp.
Well imagine 1500 410 rounds and 3 of these lead round balls in each load! I am TIRED of casting them once I got around 200 of them done especially when the Lee mold will only do 2 round balls at a time, Lee and nowhere else has had the .375 6-cavity mold in stock for months now, and those other molds that do like 20 balls a t a time are expensive and leave a pain in the azz lead tree you then have to come back and cut off of each round ball which isn't good when they now will a little protrusion from the stem that WILL LEAVE a bulge in your shell.
So ball bearings anyone? YOU BET I'm going with ball bearings.. your barrel is protected from the steel ball bearings by the plastic wad that surrounds them and this load is called triple aught buck (000 Buck) that will do some DAMAGE especially since these are for my wife's home defense shotgun, but yeah we also like putting holes in old tv's or our Honda Civic that we owe some vengeance to lol
Oh and I just checked Ebay again and if you buy 4 or more lots of 1,000 ball bearings, they're actually 15.00 per 1,000 and so in my case I need 4,500 and they're free shipping!!! ... no more casting these tedious lead round balls when I need 3 in each load for those 1500 410 rounds
but I guess one of the main downfalls is if you want to cause more damage to whatever you're shooting... shotgun loads are supposed to have soft lead in them so when they hit they will deform/mushroom in order to cause more damage, and the lead is heavier than the steel bearings (size per size), and the lead balls will spread out more than what the steel bearings will and so the steel bearings will try to stay grouped together longer than what the lead ones will.