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Thread: Reloading .410 shotshells without a press

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    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    Default Reloading .410 shotshells without a press

    I was talking to Greythorn3 the other day and he mentioned how expensive his .410 was to shoot, so I decided that I should share this easy way to reload .410 shells with common tools. Most people don't shoot their .410 enough to justify spending $150 for a press, but $10+ for a box of shells gets expensive fast. As long as you shoot the shells in the same shotgun, you shouldn't need to resize them.

    First the disclaimer: Reloading is done at your own risk. If you blow your fingers off, don't point the blame at me. Get a reloading book and stick with the recipes given there or on Hodgdon.com

    The pictures for each step are linked at the bottom.

    1. Place the hull over a 5/16" socket. Using a small punch, tap out the old primer.

    2. Slide the hull over a bit driver*. Press the hull down onto the new primer until it sits flush.
    *Not all bit drivers will fit into a .410 hull. Anything that will fit into the hull, but leaves room for the primer in the middle will work. Be careful not to stretch the hull or it won't chamber properly.

    3. Measure the proper amount of powder according to the recipe you chose. Magnum pistol powders like H110/296 are commonly used. Use a small funnel to pour it into the hull.

    4. Use the punch to seat a wad firmly over the powder. Most .410 wads are the same for all hulls and loads, both 2 1/2" and 3" hulls.

    5. Measure the proper amount of shot and pour it in over the wad.

    6. Start the crimp by hand using the existing folds.

    7. Push a 7/16" 1/4 drive socket down over the crimp (6 point sockets fit better). Push until the crimp comes together, then use the punch through the hole in the socket to invert the crimp slightly. Sometimes I push the finished shell into the small funnel to shrink the crimped area if it got stretched.

    That is all there is to it. Always use standard safety practices when reloading. I hope this helps some people save a little bit of money. If you need pictures to make any step make more sense, click here:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1115863...eat=directlink

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    Very nice job and good photos. Thanks

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    Member DanAKAL's Avatar
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    As a skeet shooter I load 500 to 1000 410 shells every year. Far and away the best 410 hull is the Winchester AA-HS. I load these twice as many times as any other hull. Hull life is rather important to me since a box of 410 shells cost about the same regardless of brand. I've tried all of them Win, Fed, Rem, Estate, and several other European brands and Winchester AA-HS outlast them all by at least 2 to 1.

    I load with the Claybuster clone of the Winchester wad and Winchester 296 or Hodgdon H-110 powder. Claybuster wads because they are less expensive than the OEM and perform just as well. The other powders like Alliant 410 or 2400 aren't as friendly to the hulls. They burn of the crimped end or burn through at the base of the hull prematurely. Sometimes after only a couple of reloads.

    FWIW the same here applies to 28 ga hulls. I have standardized with Winchester AA-HS in 410 and 28 ga.

    Dan

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    hey thanks allot i will have to give this a try! would like to do some custom loads.
    Semper Fi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanAKAL View Post
    As a skeet shooter I load 500 to 1000 410 shells every year. Far and away the best 410 hull is the Winchester AA-HS. I load these twice as many times as any other hull. Hull life is rather important to me since a box of 410 shells cost about the same regardless of brand. I've tried all of them Win, Fed, Rem, Estate, and several other European brands and Winchester AA-HS outlast them all by at least 2 to 1.

    I load with the Claybuster clone of the Winchester wad and Winchester 296 or Hodgdon H-110 powder. Claybuster wads because they are less expensive than the OEM and perform just as well. The other powders like Alliant 410 or 2400 aren't as friendly to the hulls. They burn of the crimped end or burn through at the base of the hull prematurely. Sometimes after only a couple of reloads.

    FWIW the same here applies to 28 ga hulls. I have standardized with Winchester AA-HS in 410 and 28 ga.

    Dan
    Same experience with Double A's...hard to beat them and I cry when I loose one hunting!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    I have been using 444Marlin cases for reloading 410 shells with an upside down gas check over the powder, 3/4 oz shot and an over shot wad glued in. I'm sure they don't pattern quite as well as loads with shot cups but they are cheap to load and the cases last forever.

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    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    I would think you could use a wad in 444 brass. It might be a little sloppy until it got through the forcing cone, but it would be worth a try. I was also wondering if a 444 die could be used to size the hulls. Has anyone tried this?

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    I have used wads in the 444cases and they work fine but they use up a lot of space. 1/2 oz is about max with a wad. You could certainly use a 444 die to resize the cases if you wanted but as the cases are fairly strong I have been getting away without resizing them. I think I sized some useing a 45acp sizer die but it's been a while and my memory sucks. I have been using them in a Savage 22/410 OU with 3/4 oz of #9 shot and they have been very effective on the few bunnies and grouse I have shot at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    I have been using them in a Savage 22/410 OU with 3/4 oz of #9 shot and they have been very effective on the few bunnies and grouse I have shot at.
    3/4 oz load out of a .410 is pretty neat! Have you tried 71/2's yet? I wonder about pattern density. I usually carry a 22 mag/20ga model 24, but I also have 22 LR over 410 that has a full choke and the 1/2 oz loads seem to be pretty spotty on crows. Even 25 yds shots seem to end up with a lot of wounded birds using 7 1/2's.

    Ever try the 3/4 oz loads in the .444 case out of a .444 rifle? That could be an interesting combo gun!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    I have been loading 3/4 oz loads in my 3" shells. It gets a little tight with #4 but it still crimps. I'm loading #4 just because it is all I have besides 7 1/2. I had some old 12 gauge lead duck loads that I didn't have plans for, so I broke them down and made a jar of lead shot, and 25 12 gauge skeet loads. I haven't patterned it, but at the ranges I shoot ptarmigan at, it kills them quick every time and I never bite into a pellet. I have been shooting up the last of some #6 factory loads and they work well too, but I still find 1 or 2 pellets every now and then.

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    I don't have a 444 Marlin or I would have tried it. I have always used smaller shot size than most other folks with good results. When I was first starting to hunt birds I had a sxs 410 and my Dad bought a box of 3/4oz #6 for me. I missed way more doves than I hit. One day I shot at one sitting on a dry dirt hillside at about 25yds. The pattern covered him nicely but he flew off without a scratch. 7 1/2s helped a lot but 9s fixed it. Yeah, I pick shot out of everything I shoot, but that's better than not having anything to pick shot from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    I don't have a 444 Marlin or I would have tried it. I have always used smaller shot size than most other folks with good results. When I was first starting to hunt birds I had a sxs 410 and my Dad bought a box of 3/4oz #6 for me. I missed way more doves than I hit. One day I shot at one sitting on a dry dirt hillside at about 25yds. The pattern covered him nicely but he flew off without a scratch. 7 1/2s helped a lot but 9s fixed it. Yeah, I pick shot out of everything I shoot, but that's better than not having anything to pick shot from.
    That exactly mirrors my learning curve also, I got teased a lot about missing dove with a 410 and #6. Hahaha, your such a great shot bla bla. Pattern that thing and at 25 you see there are a bunch of places to let a bird live. 7-˝ helped a lot but rather than going to #9 I saved up for a 12 gage full choke and with 7-˝ in that there wasn’t a safe dove within 50 yards of me.

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    Hey Andy;
    Try that 12 ga with 1 1/4 oz of #9. Nothing gets through that pattern. It even works pretty good on Geese. You just shoot for there neck. I only used the 410 for a couple of years and then Dad gave me an old M10 Rem pump in 12 ga full. What a difference that made.

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    It does seem strange how much more a box of .410 costs vs 12. I have a T/C barrel in .410. Is it legal in AK to shoot grouse, etc., with it? I had a friend that was pretty good at shooting clay with it, but I never got the hang of moving targets with this set up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    I have a T/C barrel in .410. Is it legal in AK to shoot grouse, etc., with it?
    It is legal to kill small game with anything from rocks to 50 BMG. You just have to decide how much you want to have left to take home

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    Hey Andy;
    Try that 12 ga with 1 1/4 oz of #9. Nothing gets through that pattern. It even works pretty good on Geese. You just shoot for there neck. I only used the 410 for a couple of years and then Dad gave me an old M10 Rem pump in 12 ga full. What a difference that made.
    I may do just that, I'll be in AZ during dove season even.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Sometimes you can still pick up .410 Lee loaders for around ten bucks if you want to get fancy.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Count yourself very lucky if you can find a Lee Loader 410 for $10...they are so scarce in 410 nowadays that prices on Ebay for a complete original set now hover around $75. Sometimes more, but for that kind of money one might just as well spring for a Mec 600 Jr press and be done with it, IMO. I had a Mec 600 setup for 410 a few years ago, but I found reloading the 410 was not exactly an easy chore...talk about a finicky hull! Kept my Mec 600 for 12ga though, and I'm happy with it...it works good.
    "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticmayhem View Post
    It is legal to kill small game with anything from rocks to 50 BMG. You just have to decide how much you want to have left to take home
    hey were you out shootin clays at knik riverbed last weekend? found a bunch that were missed and intact. hope you got a better aim! hehe we should go down to the river and shoot sometimes, if you got any left.
    Semper Fi!

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    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    No I haven't been able to find a place or person to shoot clays with, and I usually don't let too many get away once I get warmed up. I still have a box of clays just waiting to be smashed. I don't know what your schedule is, and my weekends are weird, but we should work out a time to do some shooting. This weekend I have plans already made for Easter Sunday, but I have Monday and Tuesday free. Otherwise maybe next Sunday afternoon.

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