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Thread: Inheriting a .410, opinions on reloading

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Inheriting a .410, opinions on reloading

    My wife's grandfather passed last year and the estate is being settled. I'm inheriting his break action .410 less because I'm interested in the caliber and more because he told me it was the gun he first used. So I want it to be the first gun my daughters use. That's a piece of family history you can't buy.

    On the one hand I don't know how much it will be used. On the other hand since it's not going to be sold having the means to reload it seems a reasonable thing. The cost of a press seems rather high. I've been looking into the older posts and see that some people use brass shells or fireform brass into a .410 shell the only thing that makes me leery there is that the brass shells are only published with BP loads. Smokeless you're in unpublished territory and this gun is at least 70 years old.

    I'm curious what direction you guys would be inclined. Last time I cheaped out on reloading I regretted it and did not wind up saving any money. But I can't quite bring myself to look at a 150-250 press for a gun I won't be using all the time. I know the .410 lee loaders command a premium but right now that seems the logical place to go. Opinions?
    "There are no solutions there are only tradeoffs" ~ Thomas Sowell

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I would buy a couple boxes of factory shells if you don't plan on shooting it a lot. But, if you are dead set on reloading for it, look into the "survival reloader".

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I would say the same as psweigle also. If you do want to set up a reloader you can also make one from the parts from a single stage Mec reloader. and also make some of the parts yourself.I had try to set up one of my sisters that way but she did not follow on the rest.I had came up with some things for her.and told her what she had to get.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  4. #4
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I have been gearing up to load 444 Marlin cases for a 410 bolt gun. I have only gotten as far as fireforming the cases. I intend to load with smokeless, they will not be hot loads, but rather lighter loads for coons and possums and such. I do not expect to need any dies or presses. Just something to cut wads and will hand prime and deprime will need a scale for powder and shot and that should be about it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    410 data is plentiful but wads are a little skimpy .
    You can use , I think , a 303/30-40 Krag shell holder to size the brass . A roll crimp tool is probably the least expensive way to load 410 . A MEC is north of $350 for 410 . Parts to convert one is over $150 . Decapping is kind of pain as is getting it back in . In my very limited experience standard data worked up appropriately in brass cases is fine . Several points , the brass cases have a lot less base in them than plastic cases and keep in mind that a 2 1/2 .410 is only 2 1/4" closed . Depending on case source you may gain space to nearly equal the 3" plastic case in a 2.5" brass case .

    If you have access try a 460 S&W case .
    If you're forming 30-40 is longer than 303 but head and base dimensions are the same .
    I didn't try 444 brass or 460 in the 45/410 I was messing with at the time .
    If you don't mind a little busy work I think belted mags can be debelted also .
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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Check the chamber length. Some older .410's where only chambered for 2 1/2" shells not the 3" shells.

    All I used my .410 for was hunting/pest control. Would take years to recoup the cost of a press.

    The 444 Marlin case option might be fun and not horribly expensive.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    .444 Marlin works just fine. Never crimped any - just over shot card and Elmer's white glue

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I believe there are 7/8 14 die sets for loading 410 in a rifle handgun press. the only issue is the crimp you may have to roll crimp or use and overshot wad lightly glued in. There might be a sizing die for a straight walled rifle case that will work also. The big part is sizing back down so the round will chamber again and at the shotgun pressures this doesn't take a lot. Then its simply drop the powder charge and insert wad stack or wads drop shot charge and crimp or over shot card. Most can be done easily with out a press.
    I believe lee made a load all in 410 also that is a mallet type tool but it could be used with a light arbor press also.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Midway has the Ballistic Products roll crimp tool for about $30. A friend uses one and his loads look and shoot great.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I would tell you, unless you want to get serious about reloading it, you donít need any sort of reloading press. A simple roll crimper is all you really need. I use one on my drill press. I donít suggest you do brass shells, unless your going to get advanced into reloading for 410. It opens another whole level, which unless you are really gunna use it, is probably overkill.. get some 2400 powder, and a BPI roll crimper, and you can do what you want...

    PM me if you want, and I can help you get started.

    Marko
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    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I have way more 410 reloading gear than anyone needs. My advice is to just find a means of knocking the primer out and buy a 410 roll crimping tool. You can reprime like you would with the Lee loaders using a wooden dowel, fill in the needed powder and wads, push down tight and roll crimp. Helps get a nice clean crimp if you reload 3" hulls to cut off the old crimp to 2 1/2". Gp
    Last edited by gpidaho; 06-13-2019 at 11:39 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    As suggested for a small volume of shooting, but the economy of reloading I'd use .303 British or .30-40 Krag cases blown out straight. I form cases for my Lee Enfield No. 1 MK III in .410 Musket (.303 British as a straight case in a single shot smoothbore rifle). I anneal the cases about 1/2 way down the body, then prime them, load about 8.0 to 8.5 grains of Nitro Trap 100 (since I have a lot of it, but any fast burning shotgun or pistol powder will do such as Red Dot, 700X, Bullseye, etc.). I use a wooden dowel to press a 1/4 sheet of toilet tissue down onto the powder charge, then fill the case with bulk yellow cornmeal, and cap it off with another 1/4 sheet of toilet paper pressed in with my wooden dowel. The British had both a single round ball load plus shot loads. I'd fire-form suitable brass cases in your .410 shotgun which should have a very long reloading life. The fire-formed cases shouldn't need resizing again either since they'll be used in the same gun they were fire-formed in. The thinner walled brass cases will need slightly oversized card and fibre wads to seal properly, but Circle Fly Wads offers suitable card and fibre wads at very reasonable prices. If you can find suitable size punches you could cut your own card and fibre wads as an alternative. Work up loads using published data for .410 shells using 4227 or 2400. The thinner walled brass cases will have larger volume than plastic hulls thereby yielding lower velocities and pressures, so just start a bit low of the published loads and work up until you are satisfied with the results. Good luck with the project!









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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy gunarea's Avatar
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    Sorry guys
    Don't mean to be arbitrary, but, if the kid/s like shooting the 410, you are gonna be busy. I loaded 410 for two boys and two girls. You can load reasonable shells with the old Lee whack-a-shell. You can load reasonable shells on the old Lee plastic press even faster. A 45acp size die with the decap rod removed will size empties. Re-prime without a press has obvious pitfalls. Roll crimp is tricky on 410 hulls with a single rod roll crimp tool. More expensive two and four rod crimp tools do much better on 410s. Collapsed hulls don't work! Glue crimping works but generally degrades patterns. For her first gun, correct consistent performance will definitely help with young shooter confidence.
    Bite the proverbial bullet and get a good loading press. As you have learned from your research, 410 loading tools do not depreciate. A MEC 650 is OK but, get a Sizemaster or a Grabber and after several hundred rounds you will understand the bargin. My 410 usage paid for my presses long ago and many times over. The Sizemaster is more versatile and will accommodate playing with and adjusting 410 shells for specific uses. I make a 2" 410 for little kids to shoot and local squirrel control. Correctly crimping a loaded round will improve patterns and give much more consistent velocities. Both the MEC presses mentioned will load any 410 hull you pick up and make it function well, with a good crimp. This is a once in a lifetime purchase for a Daddy period that you will not be able to put a price tag on. My kid/s still love to shoot the 410s.
    Good skill to you.
    Roy
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    What's in the loaded shell, eh?
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"

    Last of the original Group Buy Honcho's.

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  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I too inherited a nice old Iver Johnson I haven't shot, then got a little utility "snake charmer" type of thing that rides in my lap when I mow or gets carried around my place. I looked into reloading and got 25 Magtech brass cases. Read this article by Ed Harris;

    https://www.grantcunningham.com/2014...10-shotshells/

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'd be willing to bet when you start reloading these wether in plastic, or brass, bp or smokeless, you'll have a blast doing it. I load all brass and plastic, and yes I do some with BP and some with smokeless. I've found lots of recipes in older manuals citing red dot and others of the era, personally I have used a lot of lil gun and 410 aliant in my brass with no apperent issues as of yet (2k rounds plus) my wife loves her little tenner its pretty tough on the grouse with a stiff load of BP under #2 shot and a roll crimp or elmers white to top it off. Go ahead and try it you'll like it

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Did I read that right, #2 shot? Seems kinda big for a .410 and grouse.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Number 8 for grouse around here.
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Personally I am in the “go on and get a press “ camp. But then I love shooting 410 and so does my son. You can get a single stage MEC generally for under150$ used, and if you don’t find it useful, you will sell it for what you have for it, easily. Remember, you won’t use it up, and don’t need to throw it away when the interest passes, they hold their value and sell quickly. At 9$+ a box the 410 is the quickest payback of any gage. 12s aren’t worth loading unless you shoot special loads, but 28s and 410s are. You will be surprised how much ammo you will go thru, the things are a ball. The 2 of us went thru 150 shells in a Yildiz 410 single, just playing around after a skeet clinic!
    ďYou donít practice until you get it right. You practice until you canít get it wrong.Ē Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  20. #20
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish View Post
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    What's in the loaded shell, eh?
    Too my bad eyes it looks like an MT 303 Brit before it was FF to 410.

    BB

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check