.410 brass shells: make your own!

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by aa1911, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    OK, so I owe you guys some pictures but wanted to start a discussion on reloading brass .410 shotgun shells, mainly in the form of fire-forming .303 british or .444 marlin cases. For you folks using the magtech brass feel free to add to this as well.

    There are a couple other odd-ball rounds out there that convert to .410 size shells but .444 marlin and .303 british are the two that seem to be used the most.

    In my experimenting so far, .303 takes several shots to fire-form and the rim thickness is too much. .444 marlin fits perfect and is already a straight wall case, measuring roughly 2 1/4"

    I've had decent results so far using Circle-Fly's wads/overshot cards although i've tried using my own wads as well. Greased Felt is great, milk cartons make great wads/powder seals also... just time consuming.

    if you make your own wads you will need a 7/16" hole punch, I bought an entire set at Harbor freight for cheap. honestly though, as cheap as they are, I am leaning towards just buying my wads from circle fly (out of Pennsylvania, my home state) from now on. it's only about $7-8 per 1000ct, that's a lot of work with a punch...

    basically, the best results so far have been outta my .444 marlins using 8.0gns of Herco, circle fly wads/powder seals and an overshot card from index card stock sealed with elmer's glue. I plan on using water-glass as soon as I get my hand on some but glue works in a pinch.

    you can easily make OOO buckshot loads (3 pellets, 4 max) and 1/2oz shot loads.

    The whole point of this (besides a reloading addiction) is to retain adequate amounts of .410 shells as the plastic hulls wear out quickly and are extremely expensive. Brass is obviously more expensive initially but lasts virtually forever.

    for those who don't want to read my longwinded post, here's the skinny:

    .444 Marlin brass
    Large Pistol Primers (I've been using Winchester)
    Herco (started with 8.0 gns)
    circle-fly wads (powder seal x 1, fiber wad x 1)
    overshot card (made from thinnest material possible besides paper, using manila/index card stock right now)
    Elmer's glue or waterglass

    without the seal on top, you won't develop any pressure unless you use black powder. the glue/waterglass creates enough backpressure to simulate a factory crimp and develp some useable velocities.

    Anyway, I have tons more info to post but I will stop here, let's hear your thoughts!

    AA
  2. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
  3. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
  4. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
  5. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
  6. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    10,543
    Location:
    NW Florida
    Problem with waterglass is, like any other adhesive, it congeals when exposed to air. So, you open your jar (I have a quart), pour some into a container and close up your jar, hoping that enough oxygen did not get in there to cause the surface to set up. Unless you are doing bunches and bunches at one time, whatever you have poured off in your small container has congealed before you get your third batch of shells loaded.

    Elmers works the best, for me.

    I was trying 30/40 Krag, as I have lots of that. Rim is too thick. Must take the thickness off the front of the rim. Much easier to remove it from the rear, but that makes the primer pocket shorter. Taking it off from the front, without cutting a hole in the side of the brass, is tricky, and a PITA. So I gave up and bought the Mag-tech stuff.

    Load 12 gauge, 16 gauge and 410s. The 410s are the easiest. 44/40 shell holder for priming. Pulled a half-ounce load out of Hodgdons manual. Powder, overpowder wad, felt wad, shot, overshot card, glue. I tried putting a small amount of crimp on it, just to make them feed into the gun easier. Shot the crimp off. The three I crimped are now a 16th of an inch shorter than my others. Oh well. Single shot and SxS, so I don't need that curved in front to feed from a magazine.

    I've been thinking of making "slug" loads. 180 grain 40 S&W bullet. Twice as heavy as a regular 410 slug, but still lighter than normal shot loads, so should not have a problem with safe powder charges. Probably won't be very accurate, but for up close and personal it might make an impression.

    I also use Circle Fly wads.
  8. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,782
    Location:
    Harriman, Tn
    Before I got to the middle of your first post I was thinking "somebody has been reading the endtimedreport". When you fire-formed the 303 brass did you fill the case with cream o wheat? It's easier to just buy the brass.
  9. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    yeah, I tried the cream of wheat trick with the .303's and it's a PITA and not really worth it unless you have a bunch already. I will be buying some magtech to experiment with shortly as well...

    I prefere the .444 marlin, perfect fit so far in my O/U .410 (Verona LX501) and just haven't gotten around to ordering Magtech brass yet, they are a little bit longer than the .444's.

    good to know about the waterglass, these are the things I want to cover, thanks for posting that up! I think just about anything you use will cause some major fouling in the bore and elmer's is cheap/easy to get. I will try the smallest container of waterglass and see how many times I can open/re-open before it becomes useless.

    been busy lately and haven't messed much with this project but will keep updating this thread with anything new as I discover it/find it. Need to get some photos up too....

    thanks fellas, keep her going!
  10. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    10,543
    Location:
    NW Florida
    Something I've thought about, but haven't tried. A syringe. Suck up a syringe-full and close the jar back. When you go to seal your shell, just squirt some down into it. If you keep the level all the way up to the spout, only that part could gel. The rest, inside the syringe, should stay liquid. Maybe.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,236
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    you do owe me some pics aa, I wanna see.... Love brass shotshells, they just look cooler being put down the tubes of a double SXS than the 'spaceage' plastic shells do;)
  12. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    bumping my old thread, haven't done much with this lately and even backtracked a bit by ordering two cases of remington STS .410's when Brownells opened their ammo/free shipping deal.

    I have several people on the lookout for more .444 marlin shells to add to my collection, I don't think I will waste my time with .303's although it still is a viable option for anyone who already has a bunch. the .444's fit perfect and are already straightwalled and take a large pistol primer in the large rifle pocket.

    I'm thinking about just sticking with black powder/elmer's glue for this project at least for now and see how many rounds of skeet I can do between cleanings, my guess is not too many.

    My personal laptop crashed, just bought a refurbished desktop so should be able to get some photos posted up here shortly of my progress.

    I also have a chrony now so I will run some smokeless and black powder loads thru to see how much difference there is.

    want to get back to this, already burned up a case of factory ammo and been messing around with slugs and buckshot for the last year or so, skeet range should open back up here shortly so I can pull out the over/under .410 and get busy!
  13. torpedoman

    torpedoman New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    chattaroy wa.
    made some from 303 yea its a pia easy trick to anneal; leave primer in and stick case in your lead pot the primer keeps the lead out of the inside of the case. gives a nice even heat to your brass. tip 2, use a roll of cork from ace hardware to cut for your over powder and over shot cards. cut with a gasket punch or an old 45 apc brass drill hole in the primer pocket to allow you to push them out after cutting.. tip 3, seal them with wax either bees wax or paraffin from the canning aisle of grocery store or hardware.
  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    7,975
    Location:
    florida
    i know many drug stores still sell waterglas ( sidium silicate right? )

    skeaing of metal shotshells.

    anyone using the gold bear 410?

    I hear it's brass palted steel?
  15. time2shoot

    time2shoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,001
    Location:
    Brandon SD
    any chance of a vid of the prosses
  16. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    10,543
    Location:
    NW Florida
    >leave primer in and stick case in your lead pot the primer keeps the lead out of the inside of the case.<

    You're annealing the ENTIRE CASE?
  17. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    7,975
    Location:
    florida
    this thread got me to thinking.

    ok.. so if you can reshape 303 or similar brass to 410 use. I guess then a couple questions.

    are you usign a shotgun press to reload.. or using a large single stage press and special dies ( ie.. the rcbs rock chucker will accept the larger dies with rmeoval of the /8 bushing ).

    and lastly.

    any problem with ignition using the lr primer? vs a shotgun round using a shotgun primer?

    using a magnum lrp? or?

    might be nice to laod up some brass shells for my circuit judge.. and be able to do it on my regular press .. as I'm not looking into doing regular shotshell relaoding with an MEC or anything..

    thanks
  18. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    10,543
    Location:
    NW Florida
    I'm really amazed at these folks that use .444 brass. Maybe it works because of the slanted edge of the rim.

    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd444marlin.jpg

    But 303 Brit and 30/40 Krag are supposed to work. Notice they have almost the same diameter and thickness of rim as the .444. But then, the 30/40 has a slanted rim edge.

    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd303british.jpg

    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd3040krag.jpg

    I have never tried 444 brass, but I have tried 303 and 30/40 in 4 different shotguns, and since three of 'em were SxS, that means seven different barrels. None of the guns would close. Thinning the top of the head, which would be easier, would make the primer pocket shallower. So you'd have to thin the rim from the backside. I tried it. Pain in the butt. That's why I was so happy that the actual 410 brass became available.

    My brass cases, in 12 gauge, 16 gauge and 410, all use LP primers. Pistol, not rifle, and there is plenty of fire there to set the powder off.
  19. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,193
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    use large pistol primers is my recommendation instead of large rifle. I think a shotgun primer is just the equivalent of a large pistol primer anyway, it's just set in a different/larger case.

    Still haven't ordered any water-glass to use yet, this project will get underway down the road, I promise! Just busy lately with little time to reload. (relatively that is)
  20. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    7,975
    Location:
    florida
    i want some pics!
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Buckets of brass and shotgun shells! May 31, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Reloads for 12ga brass shells? Dec 17, 2006
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 12 ga brass shotshells Jan 16, 2006
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Storing primed brass Apr 8, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Different brass for +P loads? Apr 8, 2014