Minimalist reloading for .410


November 28, 2006, 01:06 AM
I have never reloaded before ever so im not sure how it all works. however, i have a .410 that im tired of paying too much for shells. i want to get into reloading as basic and minimally as i can and i dont mind having to spend more time doing it. i want to try to avoid buying a progressive reloader. is there any way i can get by with a hand priming tool, a powder measure, scale, a press to pack down the powder/wad/shot & re-crimp the shell, manual. guess what im trying to say is, whats the least amount of equipment i need to do this? i would really appreciate any info, tips, pricing, and equipment suggestions you have. thank you ! - Eric

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November 28, 2006, 01:39 AM
Unfortunately, I've never seen a sub-$100 setup for .410, like the Lee Load-All - those only come in 12 and 20 nowadays, I believe.

I'm quite interested in finding out if there is a cheap single-stage for the .410, too!

November 28, 2006, 07:08 AM
Apparently you can soetimes find old Lee Loaders on ebay:

But you would have to shoot a fair amount to recover the $50 spent for equipment that cost $15 when it was new.

What I have been playing around with is brass case shells:

November 28, 2006, 09:08 AM
With the price of 410 shells, this little puppy will pay for itself REAL quick.;jsessionid=3WJBII4FMIPH2CWQNWRSCOIK0BW0IIWE?id=0003129210668a&type=product&cmCat=perf&rid=0180101070502&xpid=k17401&cm_ven=Performics&cm_cat=Affiliate%2Dclick&cm_pla=Nextag&cm_ite=DDI%20Link&afsrc=1&_requestid=17611

November 28, 2006, 02:12 PM

You might try making .410-bore shells out of "alternative materials," such as some rifle cases as this article describes (pretty inventive I'd say):

...this way, you would use your current reloading press (assuming you have one) to reload your .410 shotgun AND the cases would be pretty durable for the long haul.

I know RCBS makes shotshell dies for use in standard reloading presses that accept the larger shotshell dies, but don't believe they come in'd have to check. If they don't presently make them but WOULD make them, it's be a "custom order" and therefore pretty expensive.

Good luck,

-- John D.

November 28, 2006, 02:18 PM
I'd check into getting a MEC jr. If you can find one on ebay, you might save a couple of dollars. Keep in mind you can buy them new for about $110, Graf sells them for $112 including shipping.

With the jr, you can load 2-3/4 and 3 inch shells. I've got a progressive press, a P-W single stage and a Mec. I always come back to using the MEC.

November 28, 2006, 03:00 PM
Do the cases still fit in the chamber?

Can you get the old primers out with a nail and two rocks?

Can you get the powder, wad, and shot to stay in place with a toilet paper wad?

Two rocks, a nail, and some toilet paper, fairly minimalist.

Back in the 60s I saw shot shell reloading done with dripped candle wax to hold the powder, wad, shot, and over shot wad in place in order to get Black Powder loads in used shells for Damascus double barrelled shotguns.

November 28, 2006, 04:24 PM
Get a MEC Jr. and buy your supplies in bulf. Recob's Target Supply is a very good source. Should be able to reload like a champ with a good MEC.

November 28, 2006, 05:49 PM
Mec 600 off ebay for 70-100 dollars shipped.

November 28, 2006, 06:36 PM
I'm kinda in the same boat at BT69.

My son is 6 and shoots his .410 maybe 5-10 times when we're at the range. But he likes to reload with Dad and wants to reload "his" .410 hulls (and the ones he finds). He currently loads 12 ga hulls for me on Lee-Load-All (under my close supervision) and is good for about 5-15 shells before I hear "I'm done, I'm going to go play now, thanks Dad."

If I could get a Lee Loader for ~$20 or a Mec 600Jr for ~$40-$50 then I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But I know he's gonna be moving up to a 20ga here few years, so I don't want to drop a huge amount to reload a very small number shells.

November 28, 2006, 06:53 PM
I'd go ahead and buy the MEC. It's a good machine. The only problem I've ever had, was shot larger than 8 bridging in the tube and that was solved by polishing the inside of the tube. Besides, when your son outgrows it, you can always sell it for almost as much as you paid. :)

November 28, 2006, 08:39 PM
I'd go ahead and buy the MEC. {snip} Besides, when your son outgrows it, you can always sell it for almost as much as you paid.

Yep, but HH6 (aka: Household-6, CINC-House, SWMBO, Mrs Scout26) has stated what can be spent on reloaders/reloading supplies, including the cash I can raise by selling other stuff. You try telling her that a 6 year old needs a $100- 120 reloader, and a 13 year old needs a $200-$250 reloader.

I'll be hiding in the basement or out in the car with the engine idling. :neener:

November 28, 2006, 08:57 PM
Single Stage MECs are great.

One can change these to reload other gauges, MEC has great service and sells conversion kits.

Meaning, if you find a steal of a deal at a yard sale - buy it, even if not the gauge you want. Contact MEC for a Owner's guide, and conversion kit and any other supplies.

Warning: Many Folks have said " I will convert the .410 when the kid gets bigger".

It does not always work out. The kid and parents / grandparents have bonded with that .410 reloader,and the .410 single shot shotgun. Reloading popcorn kernels instead of lead pellets, allows for eradicating pests out of barns, sheds, and not doing damage to structures and equipment.

Oh yeah, going to the country to see Grandparents, or anyone, Moms, Dads, kids, all race to get the .410 and some popcorn loads...great for getting pests out of garden. Snagging some lead loads for fun times...

.410 is for Experts they say - FUN is FUN - no rating needed for Fun!

My thoughts run to not being able to put a value on quality time with kids, Single Stage MECs even new are a small investment in quality time, passing forward and investment in Our Firearms Future.

November 28, 2006, 11:38 PM
If I could get a Lee Loader for ~$20 or a Mec 600Jr for ~$40-$50 then I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

A new MEC 600 jr reloader is $112 delivered and you can sell it on Ebay for at least $75.
Let's do the math,
$112 - $75 = $37
That is $13 less than the maximum you would pay for one.

So what is holding you up?

November 29, 2006, 01:03 AM
Save a little here at midway.

Too bad lee doesn't make their hand tool for .410! It would be perfect for that minimalist outlook!

November 29, 2006, 07:59 AM
So what is holding you up?

Mrs Scout26. She has stated what can be spent, and I've grown fond of sleeping indoors and eating on a regular basis. ;)

Like I said, she had no problem with me dropping a couple of hundred on a progessive for me in 12ga. because she knows/sees it being used....alot.

But try to convince her that a 6 year old needs a $100-$120 reloader and you get: :rolleyes:

She might be willing to go higher on the 20 ga progressive, but she's willing to wait for "a deal", as the Lee Load-All "works just fine", at least for now.

It could be worse, I could be one of those poor schmucks that can't even talk their significant others into owning a gun or having one in the house.

November 29, 2006, 08:54 AM
Granted, I got a MEC JR for 12 gauge, but I purchased one used on e-bay last year for about $85 delivered, and the person I got it from included a bunch of wads, hulls and shot and powder bushings. I only had to get two little parts, some primers and powder, and I was ready to go. Just set your e-bay bid limit lower than what it would cost you to get a new one, and you should do just fine.


December 1, 2006, 11:01 AM
Tell Mrs Scout26 that you want to get your kid a $500 Playstation 3. When she balks 'settle' for the MEC. :evil:

December 2, 2006, 01:33 AM

"Mrs Scout26. She has stated what can be spent, and I've grown fond of sleeping indoors and eating on a regular basis."

How condolences to her.

-- John D.

P.S. I wish you a speedy recovery.

December 2, 2006, 11:07 AM

I'm not sure how to take you comments, so I'll stay on The High Road and explain....

In the division of responsiblities in our marriage Mrs Scout pays the bills/handles the finances. We both make decent incomes, and have the usual bills (mortgage, groceries, car payments, utilities, etc). We are relatively debt free and each month put aside money into our emergency fund (for unusual one time of occurances like, having to pay the deductible because of an auto accident, cars need emergency repairs, Insurance covered everthing but X amount when one of the kids got sick and we took them to the doctor, emergency house repairs, appliances break, etc. ), plus we save money to fund a pair of college educations, and retirement (we each have IRA's in addition to the 401(k)'s we have through work).

That said, we have an agreement the we discuss what were going to spend, for anything above and beyond our usual weekly "allowance" expenses; groceries, gas, and lunches while at work. I normally brown bag it at least 4 days a week.

Guns, hunting trips, and reloading supplies fall into the "discuss" catagory (along with things like "the kids/I need clothes/shoes", one of the cars is due for service, an appliance is making a funny noise, and what we're spending on each kid and the relatives for Christmas, etc.).

After looking over the budget we agreed that $80 is what's available for "used" reloaders for the kids. Doesn't mean that things are so tight that we couldn't afford to spend more or buy them new ones. Just means that there were other priorities, and as I said she can't see spending $100-120 on reloader for a six year old that won't get used that much. Like I said she had no problem with spending several hundred on a 12ga progressive, she can see the value, as it gets used....alot. But my son is good for 10-15 minutes on the Lee Load-All, then gets bored (yes, shocking news: 6 year olds have short attention spans) and moves on to playing with his trucks, planes, cars or trains. Hard to justify the expense.

Our relationship is built on trust and if we agree that we will spend "X" amount on a certain item then that's the limit of what we spend. While we have said things like "I know we agreed on $40 bucks for Aunt Mary's gift, but I found this for $42.99, and it's perfect for her." I'd much rather say "I know we agreed on $50 for a new reloader, but I managed to get this one for $45."

Just as an FYI. My son refers to reloading as "Family Fun Night". After dinner we all go down to the basement, with me, my son and daughter operating a reloader. My wife will work on whatever it she wants to do; work, scrapbooking, on the computer, reading a book/magazine. Like I said, my son is good for 10- 15 minutes on "his" reloader, then he announces that he's bored and goes to playing with his toys on the floor behind us. Even when he gets his .410 reloader, since he only shoots ~5 shots a week at the range and we *might* find another five or ten .410 hulls to reload, it's simply not going to get used that much. The cool thing is that were all together as a family, in one area of the house, with no TV, radio or other outside interference, just us talking and being together as a family.

We've been married for 19 years and rarely fight over money, so our system seems to work, at least for us. Last year when I got my bonus we agreed that 2/3's would go into the "family fund" and I got 1/3 to buy whatever I wanted (I bought a new gun). As I stated, I could be one of those poor schmucks whose significant other won't even allow them to have guns or even go hunting/shooting. Mrs Scout appericates having a freezer filled with venison, wild turkey, pheasants, etc.

Hope that clarifies things for you, because Mrs Scout said thanks, but she doesn't need your condolences. I do appericate your speedy recovery wishes. My nephrologist said my kidney function is up to 76% and getting better each month so we're continuing on the same course of treatment for now and if things continue to improve we'll be looking a tapering off the dosages and working them down to "maintenance" levels. The oncologist/hematologist is going to start me on Procrit next week to help fight the anemia, so that should make me "less tired" all the time.

Oh, and BT69. A MEC 600 Jr. would defintely be a money saving/shoot more for the same amount option in your situation. I've heard/read (check over at, and search/post a question in the reloading section) that .410's and a progressive press do a lot of aggrivation make. Also, I sinecerely apologize for the thread hi-jack. Please feel free to hi-jack any of mine. :neener: :neener:

December 2, 2006, 01:39 PM
The cool thing is that we're all together as a family, in one area of the house, with no TV, radio or other outside interference, just us talking and being together as a family.

That, right there, goes under the priceless category! Ya know those cute commercials with a list of costs, then the "priceless" tag? Reminds me of my son at age 8,(15 yrs. ago), watching me load shells. He asks " can I do something to help dad?" Soon, with my guideance he was loading rifle shells. "Priceless"!

December 2, 2006, 04:42 PM
I was going by what you first posted, taking it at face-value only, and that line sounded a lot like most married "men" would say nowadays, didn't it.

The emasculation of the American "male" -- and "masculation," if you will, of American women -- has been an issue for some time now in this country (related to the decline of the American family)...and that surely IS pathetic.

In your case, however, it sounds like you have a good system.


-- John D.

January 22, 2007, 01:02 AM
I dug this out of the past to make an addition to it. I've been loading some .410 shells for my comanche single shot pistol. It's one of those combo pistols that fire the 45 long colt and .410 3 inch shells.

I decided to go with the Mag tech all brass casings. They use a large pistol primer, so I already had those for other pistol shells I load for. I did read the blurb from the survivalist Miles Stair, he talks about converting several rifle casings to be used in .410 shotguns.

These magtech all brass shotshells are very well made. I also have some in 12 guage that I've been working with. I use a 12 guage mec 600 jr to deprime, by putting a .060 pin punch in place of the regular 12 ga punch. The nice thing about the 410 shells is they have the same head size as the 300 mag rifle! That means I can use my lee auto prime to insert primers. For the 12's, I have to use the primer punch for the 12 ga by placing the lg pistol primer on the re-prime station by "feeling" it into position under the casing, then pressing it in with the loader. So far, I've had problems with ignition using WW 296. The wads I'm using are WW 410HS, a 1 piece wad. BUT I didn't have a proper over/shot wad, I used some split over powder card wads, then sealed them with a latex clear sealer. No real crimp over them either. Now I ordered, (and recieved), some over/shot wads from BP,(ballistic products). I also took mr. Stair's advice and tried my Lee FCD for my 44 Mag shells. It does a real nice job of making a neat taper crimp on the mouth of the case!

Some of the problem with my pistol is that it has a .452 bore. Along with that is no forcing cone to retard the shot as it exits the shell. Then add a short barrel! So I just loaded some with Alliant 2400 and IMR 4227. 296 has always been real hard to get lit in other shells I've tried it in.

I'll post results if anyone is interested. Winter has officially hit central Wisconsin, there's 6-8 inches of snow on the ground, don't know if the saturn vue will get me down to the outdoor range! It has before with more snow than that so I may take a trip to the club!

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