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Thread: New to shotshell reloading and I know enough to know I don't know enough

  1. #1
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    New to shotshell reloading and I know enough to know I don't know enough

    Hi all. I have been reloading a few different rifle and pistol calibres over the last 10 years but never any shotshells yet.

    I have bought Lee whack mole sets in .410 and 12g, some .410 magtech brass, some Lil'gun powder, primers and some #4shot.

    What my end goal is, is to be able to load up the .410 magtech. The loads don't really have to be anything special as I just use the .410 for possums and rabbits up close when a stray .22 projectile could lead to problems. Ideally I would like to use non plastic wads if this is practical.


    I think I have a fairly solid understanding of reloading for rifled barrels and which precautions to take when substituting components. However reading the different stuff online about reloading for smooth barrels has left me apprehensive about just diving in. I feel like I am struggling to grasp the relationship between hulls,wads,charge weight and powder charge. Coupled with the fact that it isn't easy to find a large variety of .410 wads around, I can't just follow the data to the letter.

    Is there anyone local or semi local who really knows their stuff that would be keen to walk me through the process (preferably for .410) so I can get a proper understanding of what to be careful of. Happy to provide an appropriate gesture of appreciation.


    Before anyone wants to suggest I just buy factory because shells are cheap, yes I realise this but reloading is a hobby for me as well as a means to an end.

    Thanks in advance for any help on this one.
    Jhon likes this.

  2. #2
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    I reload 410 on a mec 650 press for shooting skeet,
    It's not hard to get your head around, certainly easier than loading rifle.
    The only wads you will come across will be one piece plastic,I suspect to smaller diameter wise for your brass cases,you may have to make your own fibre wads or import same?
    Look on the net for data useing the powder you want to use or have, and stick to required shot weight and you will be fine,

  3. #3
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    If you want to go with fiber wads its fairly easy, old pinex tiles seem to be a common choice but you need a way to cut them to the correct diameter, cardboard also works although takes a fair bit more effort as it compresses quite easily so takes more card to get the stack height correct,

    pretty sure ballistic products produces fiber wads and the importer was beaver grease? not sure if he has any in at the moment though,
    if you're using brass hulls I assume that you'd be using overshot cards? if you get a hollow punch they are easy to cut out from spare boxes and then affix over the shot with glue, nail polish, candle wax, theres lots of different options for that.

    pretty sure magtech brass isnt rated for smokeless powders, may be wrong on that one, I know that you can convert some larger bore rifle brass into 410 bore but again dont know if that would be smokeless safe.

  4. #4
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    Is there a reason you don't want to go with plastic cases?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeetshooter View Post
    I reload 410 on a mec 650 press for shooting skeet,
    It's not hard to get your head around, certainly easier than loading rifle.
    The only wads you will come across will be one piece plastic,I suspect to smaller diameter wise for your brass cases,you may have to make your own fibre wads or import same?
    Look on the net for data useing the powder you want to use or have, and stick to required shot weight and you will be fine,
    I bought fibre/ felt wads for magtech brass hulls from Beavergrease in ChCh a few years back, 12g and 410 bore. Still around

    https://www.beavergrease.co.nz

    And to OP, have you found this site?

    https://www.endtimesreport.com/410reloading.html
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  6. #6
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    you have black powder in your cupboard do you not???? equal measure of powder and shot...with wads to fill rest of case...another wad on top glued into place job done.....
    in metallic case it will be childs play to a clever chap like yourself.
    trick with .410 whackamole is columb height is critical ...an overshot card wad helps no end... in break open gun you will get away with some crude looking crimps.
    if youve got lilgun no issues win 296 was other powder I used... I didnt find any issues just had two loads one for 3" and another for 2 1/2" and my 3" had 3/4oz shot the shorty 1/2oz
    dont overthink it..its not hugely high pressure to begin with and your metal cases give you more strength again.
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  7. #7
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    Forum threads on reloading are a mixed blessing- plenty of useful information, some real traps for the unwary.

    Here is one worth reading re smokeless powder in brass hulls. Why yiu might do it, and why you might not.
    https://castboolits.gunloads.com/pri...t=326072&pp=40
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  8. #8
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    Thanks all for the input so far.
    @Skeetshooter, to answer your question, there is no real reason for me not to use plastic cases. I will be shooting a fair few winchester 3" factory shells over the next while, so there will be no shortage of plastic shells to reload in the immediate.
    The driving factors for using brass is that I have already bought some and that it will last longer.
    @Micky Duck, I don't have any blackpowder in the cupboard. In some of the links there is some mention of not using smokeless powder in these brass shells. Is it best if I use black powder? Pyrodex/FFFG or FFG an option?. Granted I will look into it further before dropping powder into a shell, but I just want to know if I am looking in the right place?. Also at the risk of nailing colours to the pole, what does black powder actually shoot like in a .410 compared to smokeless, all other things being equal?



    Questions I still have?

    Something I should have mentioned at the start, this .410 that I am using is a baikal break barrel with a suppressed ported barrel (suppressor and porting starts from just in front of the forend), is this a consideration on what sort of wads to use? i.e. could some of a shot column catch on the edges of the port holes if not supported within a cup wad?

    Does a fibre wad vs plastic wad affect pressure to any degree that could cause problems.

    Does the length of a fibre wad need to be limited by any factor other than shot column height and powder charge volume? for example can it be long enough to cause too much bearing resistance against the barrel and then cause a spike in pressure? Can it be too short and tumble in the barrel, or would that be prevented by it being forced agains't the rear of the shot column?
    Last edited by longshot; 12-02-2024 at 08:40 PM.

  9. #9
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    I can not see how you aren't asking for trouble with that set up if you aren't useing plastic wads? Uncontained shot coloum travelling down a ported barrel can't be good surely.
    When loading plastic cases, a fibre wad would produce less pressure than a plastic wad to my mind, due to not sealing as well.
    Your wad coloum won't be much anyway more than likely due to there not being a lot of room in the 410 case,
    Micky Duck likes this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeetshooter View Post
    I can not see how you aren't asking for trouble with that set up if you aren't useing plastic wads? Uncontained shot coloum travelling down a ported barrel can't be good surely.
    When loading plastic cases, a fibre wad would produce less pressure than a plastic wad to my mind, due to not sealing as well.
    Your wad coloum won't be much anyway more than likely due to there not being a lot of room in the 410 case,
    Trouble is exactly what I am not asking for, hence proceeding with caution and wanting to understand the big picture before diving in. As per the heading of this thread, I know enough to know I don't know enough, entertaining the idea of uncontained shot in a ported barrel being a case in point.

  11. #11
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    Realistically, if you put the correct amount of the correct powder behind the correct amount of lead shot you won't have any issues.
    The interchange of felt wads for plastic wads won't be an issue,
    Which primer you use won't be an issue,
    The unknown is things like the ported barrel etc
    Micky Duck likes this.

  12. #12
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Using felt or card wads in brass cases allows you to get slightly more shot in if you wish as wad and shot column height isn't critical as you don't crimp brass rather use an over shot card, glued in with a dab of nail varnish.
    NAKED_GOOSE likes this.

  13. #13
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    WHO built suppressor??? bakails built tough but that changes things.. black powder should be slower than smokeless...depending on suppressor will be dirty as heck....
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  14. #14
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    I ensure my powder drop about every 25 on the scales to make sure getting consistent drop. Took my eye off my hydraulic press earlier today am
    nd spilt a shell full of shot all over the machine.gotta love it when that happens
    Jhon likes this.

 

 

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