.410 brass shells: make your own!

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

  1. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    >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?
  2. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    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
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    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.
  4. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    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)
  5. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i want some pics!
  6. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    OK, took some photos of the (much ignored) project. some .303 cases that are almost done, a few are ready to go but most need one more firing with COW (cream of wheat).

    Here's the best pic of fire-forming the 303 british shells although they do work out OK, the rims are very tight and some will not close in my gun. (Verona LX501 O/U)

    [​IMG]

    .444 works out much better I think, all close in the gun and no fire forming needed. Magtech brass even better, more room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    cream of wheat! tastes good and works great for working those british cases. Black powder gives the best results, less need to get a good seal.

    [​IMG]
  7. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    you can see the results of using black powder and not cleaning the shells right away though; bad corrosion on a few from sitting un-disturbed for too long!
  8. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    neat!, thanks!
  9. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

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    Slightly away from this, but I use .444 Marlin brass for shotshells in my .45 L.C. revolvers.
    The amount of brass removed from the head for clearance is minimal.
  10. jimhickson

    jimhickson New Member

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    Loading 410 Shot Shells Using 444 Marlin Brass ( by Jim H.)
    First, I want to acknowledge the article written by Woody, and copied below, which was most helpful in my starting of this endeavor. Quote,
    “For reference, the base diameter of factory .410's is 0.469", and the rim diameter is 0.524". .444 Marlin cases are straight walled and can be used as .410 brass without the need for fireforming, but have the penalty of a 2.162" case length. The base diameter of the .444 Marlin is 0.469", whereas the .303 British has a base diameter of 0.458". The rim diameter is smaller with the .444 Marlin - 0.514" instead of the 0530" rim diameter of the .303 British - so it is theoretically possible that a really loose extractor might not catch the rim. The 9.3 x 74R European brass has a base diameter of 0.465", a rim diameter of 0.524, and an overall length of 3.47". The rim thickness (headspace) of the 9.3 x 74R, however, can be a tight fit in minimum .410 bore shotgun chambers, and may need to be thinned before use. Obviously we're only talking a few hundreds or thousands of an inch differences here, but it is a complication not taken with abandon.
    FWIW - Loading .444's for the .410

    Assuming we’re using fired cases, check to see if they’ll fit in the shotgun. If not they’ll need resizing at some point.

    De-prime any way you can, even to using a homemade punch from a 16d nail.
    Re-prime using an appropriate shell holder and large rifle (or pistol) primers.

    Add appropriate powder charge for ½ oz. .410 load. Top powder charge with overpowder wad seated firmly against the powder with a 3/8" dowel. I cut my own wads from cardboard boxes ranging from primer boxes to cereal boxes using a homemade cutter. I then add one or two more cardboard wads lubed with bullet lube and top with a styrofoam filler wad cut from a meat packing tray. Again, seat wads firmly. Note, no seating die used. With a little finger finesse, the wads can be inserted individually and run down inside the case with the dowel.

    Add shot and top with an overshot wad, again, homemade from card stock. The overshot wad can be sealed with most anything from Elmer’s glue to waterglass (the old way). In addition, if desired, a slight bevel can be added to everything by running the loaded shell into a .308 size die until it contacts the shoulder. This also resizes the case sufficiently that it always fits in my .410's.

    I wrote this up for another forum. Maybe it'll help you. Regards, Woody”

    I have perfected the use of 444 Marlin Brass in the loading of 410 Shot Shells in the following ways.

    I have two over/under 410 shotguns. Both shotguns require sanding of the heads on the 444 Marlin brass to permit complete and proper breach closing. I use a 2” belt sander (be sure to use the portion of the moving belt that has the backup plate support below in order to obtain flat sanding of the head) and a 15/32 bit and drill to spin the brass on the moving sand belt. I use a “stop” on the sander that is set to about 1/8” above the moving belt which keeps the spinning shell from “tracking” off, or all over, the moving belt. Also, use a glove to remove the sanded shell from the bit, it will be extremely hot after only a 1 second sanding. Carefully remove all of the embossed brass head lettering and try in your gun to gauge the amount of any extra brass needed to be removed to properly close the breach. Some loose breached guns my not need this sanding to properly close. Check by closing the gun with no 444 Marlin shells in the chambers as well as with shells. The opening tang on the gun should be identical with both checks. If not, continue to sand the shell head. See left photo below, also note the “SHIP” metal plate clamped to the sander table to get above the backup plate for the flat sanding of the spinning head.

    I now use a 444 Marlin de-priming size die (Lee 444 Marlin die set) to de-prime and re-prime the used shells ( see 9:00 and 12:00 positions dies on the right photo above, one is without a de-priming pin the other is with a de-priming pin). Re-prime with either Large Pistol (preferred) or Large Rifle primers.
    I then use a Lee Powder measure set to drop 12.0 to 12.2 grains of Hodgen LiL Gun Powder into the brass, followed by Claybuster or Remington 410 red plastic wads for ½ oz.s of shot (see right photo below). All shells loaded with powder and topped with these wads (for 2 1/2” shells). Then the wads are pressed down firmly with a 5/16”x 6” stove bolt. See the upper right photo above, the ¼ x 6” stove bolt has large washers bolted to the head and is shown out of focus at the top of the photo.

    I then fill the shells with ½ to 9/16 oz. of shot using an old MEC loader with the bar drilled out to give slightly more than ½ oz. to properly fill the shell. See Left photo above.
    I now use a homemade punch (pictured below left) on my drill press to cut out plastic overshot wads (using old gal plastic milk or water jugs) that barely (.450” diameter size or less) can be inserted in the mouth of the shell over #6 to #9 shot. Cut wads are pictured below right.


    I now use a bullet seating die that I have modified using an old 308 bullet seating die, and an 18 mm nut that I have ground down (outside diameter)to just fit inside the die head and made to a conical shaped hole (smallest diameter about 13/32”or slightly less) using tapered drill bits and tapered grinding stones. I insert the modified tapered hole nut in the top of the bullet seating die, which has been further modified using a ¼” stove bolt (with head ground to about 5/16” diameter so as to pass through the 18 mm modified tapered hole nut) in order to seat the plastic overshot wad to the proper depth. This ¼” stove bolt is threaded through the die cap and held in place by a locking nut. Thus, when I seat the plastic overshot wad I also taper the cartridge mouth (with the same taper as the modified 18 mm nut) so the shot cannot come out. I can screw the ¼” bolt in the top of the die cap (the cap that holds the 18 mm nut modified in place inside the die) to put pressure on the overshot wad inside the tapered shell to get the proper depth of wad. The proper position of the overshot wad is sitting on the shot just below where the taper begins. See 6:00 position Left Photo below. Written by Jim H. on Jan.20,2013.

    [Loading 410 Shot Shells Using 45 Colt Pistol Brass (by Jim H.)]

    Please read ” Loading 410 Shot Shells Using 444 Marlin Brass “ (by Jim H.) above before reading this article. Most of the techniques are similar.
    The same procedure as above for the 444 Marlin brass is used for the 45 Colt brass in sanding off the markings on the head of the brass in order to have the breach on the gun properly close .
    Also, use 45 Colt dies to resize the brass and deprime the spent shell.
    I use 11.8 to 12.0 grains of Hodgon LiL Gun powder. I then top it with one of my plastic milk jug wads that is slightly larger in diameter than my overshot wads to obtain a snug fit when pressed over the powder (better gas seal). I then use my old MEC loader with a powder hole that has been drilled out to properly fill the brass with sufficient shot to leave just enough space for another overshot wad ( slightly smaller in diameter that the over powder wad) and leaving enough remaining length to make my taper crimp. See the lower right picture below, the loaded shell lying flat is a 45Colt with #9 shot.
    I have perfected the plastic milk carton die cutter for 410 wads and have them for sale for $29.95 plus S.H by calling (970-384-2513) and asking for Jim Hickson. It can be used for both wads, over powder wad (slightly larger) and over shot wad ( slightly smaller for easy insertion.

    .
    NOTE: The author assumes no Legal or Financial responsibility for anyone using the above information either expressed or implied.
    Written by Jim H. on July 9, 2013.
  11. WILD CAT

    WILD CAT New Member

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    I confess that I have not compared the dimensions, but is it possible to make the 410 brass shells from 30-30 or 375 Win. cases ? I own a single shot New England shotgun but ammo where I live is very difficult to find.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid not.

    The 410 shotgun is based on the 44/40 Winchester.
    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd4440winchester.jpg

    The base dimensions of both the 444 Marlin
    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd444marlin.jpg

    and the 303 Brit
    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd303british.jpg

    are very close to the 44/40.

    The dimensions of the 30/30, however,
    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd3030winchester.jpg

    are quite a bit smaller. .442 vs .460 and .470.

    .030 is a LOT of undersize, especially at the case head. The walls might blow out to fit the chamber, but you'd have this "rebated" head, and it would not be safe.

    Also, being that much undersize, your extractor would not reach it, and you'd be picking the empties out with your pocketknife.
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