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Question about reloading 410 brass shotshells

This is a discussion on Question about reloading 410 brass shotshells within the Shotgun Reloading forums, part of the Shotgun Forum Discussions category; I am reloading brass 410 cases I made from 303 British with Alliant 2400 powder, a 0.135 cardboard over-powder wad, a dry 3/8" thick unlubricated ...



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Old 08-07-2020, 01:11 PM   #1
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Question about reloading 410 brass shotshells

I am reloading brass 410 cases I made from 303 British with Alliant 2400 powder, a 0.135 cardboard over-powder wad, a dry 3/8" thick unlubricated felt wad, and 1/2 oz. of lead shot in a home made plastic shot capsule as pictured below. This load I am using works very well in my Stevens Model 58B; but this shotgun is chambered for 3 inch and I would like to try a longer shot capsule with 3/4 oz. of shot. My question is that I have read that when working up a new load I should keep an eye on the velocity to know when I am approaching a maximum powder charge. Is this reliable? How would I chronograph these things without blowing my chrony apart? Or is there another way to read pressure signs with these brass cases made from 303 British? I am an experienced long time reloader for rifle cartridges but not so much with shotgun. Thank you for any help.

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Old 08-08-2020, 08:32 AM   #2
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How much 2400 are you using?
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by G.O. West View Post
I am reloading brass 410 cases I made from 303 British with Alliant 2400 powder, a 0.135 cardboard over-powder wad, a dry 3/8" thick unlubricated felt wad, and 1/2 oz. of lead shot in a home made plastic shot capsule as pictured below. This load I am using works very well in my Stevens Model 58B; but this shotgun is chambered for 3 inch and I would like to try a longer shot capsule with 3/4 oz. of shot. My question is that I have read that when working up a new load I should keep an eye on the velocity to know when I am approaching a maximum powder charge. Is this reliable? How would I chronograph these things without blowing my chrony apart? Or is there another way to read pressure signs with these brass cases made from 303 British? I am an experienced long time reloader for rifle cartridges but not so much with shotgun. Thank you for any help.

1 - if the gun is 3 inch, that is the MAX length of the fired cartridge, including anything protruding from it.

2 - You do NOT work up loads; you find a load and produce it - this is NOT metallic .

3 - You set your chornograph with skyscreens 5' from the muzzle and shoot above the centerline - I haven't done any damage to mine with my 12 gauge reloads using that method.

4 - No, no other way except for your gun being in pieces. (see #2)
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Old 08-08-2020, 09:05 PM   #4
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Flash... I sent you a PM.
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:46 AM   #5
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Hey all
Frank Barnes covers this cartridge in "Cartridges of the World" 10th Edition. It is the Swiss 10.3 x 65R in the European Sporting Rifle Cartridges. Nothing more than a 2 1/2 inch brass .410 Shotgun shell, but the rim has been thickened. According to Barnes the loading was a lead or soft nose bullet of 285 to 290 grains driven at 1625-1785 fps. I assume from this that the correct length of the standard .410 shell at the time was 2 1/2.
Best of luck with your reloading experiment,
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:03 AM   #6
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Here's an article by Ed Harris about doing this exact thing.

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

Ed Harris is back with another of his terrific articles! This time, it’s about making your own all-brass shotshells in .410.
(If you’re not familiar with Ed Harris, you should be. Ed is one of the best sources of technical information in the shooting world, and he’s always doing something interesting. His articles are always popular, and today he shares with you how to make and load shotshells for your .410 shotgun using brass rifle cases!)
How to Make and Load All-Brass .410 Shotshells
by C.E. “Ed” Harris

I thought a brief how-to-do-it on loading all-brass .410s would be helpful. I’ve successfully done some of this, years ago fire-forming from .303 British, as well as 9.3x74R German and more recently using Magtech .410 all-brass shells from Midway, which is MUCH easier. Load data, wads and assembly/crimping technique are a bit different from using modern plastic shells and wads.

In break-open shotguns, all-brass cases can be made easily by fire-forming from .303 British brass, which is still cheap and plentiful. Charge the case with ten grains of any fast-burning pistol or shotshell powder you have handy. Almost anything you have will work. Push a cotton ball or wadded up square of TP down firmly onto the powder, fill the case to the shoulder with Cream of Wheat, then press a Gulf wax plug into the case mouth. Fire-form the case, pointing the muzzle straight up. The resulting case is 2.25″ in length. Cases should fire-form perfectly without splits on the first pop if they are either new, unfired, or have been mouth annealed first. Old .303 cases which have been reloaded as rifle rounds several times absolutely must be annealed first!

(A quickie on how to anneal rifle brass which works for this application:
)

With Magtech 2-1/2” brass use 15.4 grains of #2400 powder, a Buffalo Arms .44 vegetable fiber 1/16” card over the powder, then two Buffalo Arms .44-45 wool felt cushion wads , LIGHTLY oiling the top cushion wad only, applying TWO DROPS of 30 weight motor oil with an eye dropper, squishing the wad between the fingers a few times to work it in, then wrapping the wad in a square of TP, squeezing it again between the thumb and forefinger to wick out and absorb any excess oil. This greatly reduces leading if you load birdshot directly, without using the Federal No.410SC shot cup.

A .45 Schofield case holds about half an ounce of lead shot, if you want to make a dip-cup . Fill the case to within 1/8” of the case mouth with fine shot, 7-1/2 or smaller. Insert another 1/16” card as an overshot wad, and glue in place with Elmer’s Glue. You more shot in the case by using the old fashioned card and fiber wad column, but my cylinder-bore gun throws better patterns using the Federal No.410SC (1/2 oz. Skeet) shot cup over the card, pouring the shot into that and closing the shell by crimping (or gluing with Elmer’s) a .36 cal. card inside the top of the shot cup, as shown in the photo.

If you have a Lee .38-56 Winchester seater die, you can make a finished-looking crimp by inserting a blank Lyman 450 sizer top punch into the seater die plug, adjusting the seating stem to position the top card, (use a .44 cal. to fit the all-brass shell, or a .36 cal. to fit inside the Federal shot cup when using that one). You want the overshot card slightly below the case mouth, as you bump the case mouth against the die shoulder to form a nicely rounded, professional-looking crimp.

To load buckshot, charge powder in the primed case, insert a card firmly over the powder, as you did before. Use a Federal No.410SC plastic shot cup to contain and center the buckshot. It is absolutely necessary to use an over-powder card under the Federal plastic shot cup in brass cases, because the wad diameter is too small to seal the case interior. Omitting the card results in powder leaking past the wad, causing “bloopers.” After firmly seating the Federal No.410SC plastic wad column against the over-powder card, drop four 00 buckshot into the shot cup, then add one SOFT cast ..395”roundball on top of the stack. Adjust the .38-56 seater so the top ball is crimped neatly, but positively in the end of the shell.

The 1951 Ideal Handbook provides data with #2400 powder for .410 shells with conventional wad columns, which is appropriate. It also suggests thickness of the filler wad(s) should be not less than 1/2 bore diameter and not more than bore diameter. Minimum filler wad thickness in the 410 bore is 0.205 inches. A .444 Marlin sizer die with Lee No.5 shell holder can be used to resize brass cases if necessary. Prime cases with large pistol primers. The RCBS Little Dandy Rotors #19 measures the appropriate charge of Alliant #2400. Thumb an over powder card into case mouth and slide firmly onto the powder using a dowel. Similarly seat the filler wad(s), or plastic shot cup, if used. Add shot and top card or buckshot. Glue top card or crimp, if a suitable die is available. That’s all there is to it.

(The opening picture shows features two all-brass .410s, one with birdshot, another with buckshot, with .44-40 cartridge for comparison.)
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:45 PM   #7
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If anyone is interested, here is how I make my shot capsules:



I cut rectangles of plastic from used milk jugs as pictured above.


This is the tool I made to form the shot capsules (as well as pack the wads in the case).



Wrap the plastic around the rod and hold it in place with a section from a discarded brass 410 case. (Made from one that split the neck when fireforming.) Set the end of the steel rod 1/8" below the mouth of the brass case. Then heat the end of the plastic extending beyond the brass with a microtorch for a few seconds until it turns transparent. (It doesn't matter if it ignites.) Then with a small wooden stick fold the hot plastic into the mouth of the brass. Quickly slide the brass out another 1/4 inch beyond the melted plastic, then push the whole thing straight down onto a hard flat surface for a few seconds until it solidifies. Now remove the steel rod and you are left with the capsule inside the brass that has one end already closed. Pour the measure of loose shot into the open end of the capsule. (I then drop on top a thin 3/8" dia. overshot wad punched out from the same plastic.) Finally heat the open end of the plastic capsule, fold it over and press it onto a hard surface as before.



The final product looks like this.



These are the remains of the capsules after firing.

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Old 08-17-2020, 12:30 PM   #8
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A lot of rifle shooter's swear they can tell pressure by velocity. Hog wash I think. if you have five different rounds loaded the same and there's a 15 foot per sec spread in velocity, what's the pressure of the load? If you want to check pressure, you really should get the proper tools to do it with. In the op's case I would think it is vital. He took a brass rifle case and reformed it to a brass 410 shell and then made a home made plastic shot cup! And in the end has no way to measure pressure other than velocity! I suspect you could come close that way but if something goes wrong what then? Buy something to test pressure with.
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