.410 reloading - .444 cases


December 22, 2010, 06:05 PM
I would like to begin .410 reloading. I already reload for pistol and rifle and 12 gauge, but I dont wanna buy a press just for .410 - its alot of money. So I was thinking about using .444.

1. Can I reload .410 using .444 cases and rifle dies (and a few homemade hand tools) instead of buying a .410 press?
2. Can I use .410 slugs in .444 brass cases?
3. Is the loading data for .444 brass cases the same as for .410 plastic?
4. Does the slight length difference (.444 is shorter than .410) make much of a difference?
5. If I did use slugs, how would I crimp them? Would I crimp it like a rifle bullet, or leave the tip of the slug flush with the end of the brass and roll the end in slightly?
6. Are there .410 slugs heavier than 87 grains? What about a 150 or 200 grain slug? Is there data for such?
7. Could I use .410 shells made out of .444 brass in a pump?
8. I've heard that .410 made out of .44 brass should use pistol primers instead of rifle primers. Is this true?

*yes, I already know not to use bullets for a .444!!!

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December 22, 2010, 06:55 PM
I don't know a whole lot about the subject, but there are a lot of articles about it on the internet. I do know that a lot of people use .444 Marlin brass and it seems to work OK. You do know that you can buy .410 brass shotshells made by Magtech right? You might have to make your own custom sized wads though because normal .410 wads won't work, they are too small in the brass shells. For slugs, you might find that a .452 or .454 bullet will work.

Try this site for a lot more info


December 22, 2010, 07:47 PM
I have messed around with 444 Marlin loaded for 410 shotgun. IMO, it's not worth the hassle. The smaller rim doesn't extract well in the 410 that I have.

For slugs, you might find that a .452 or .454 bullet will work.

That won't work, I cast .380 ball as my barrel without the choke(barrel cut down) measures around .413. I load 3 of them in my 2.5" 410 loads with great satisfaction when I pull the trigger.
I don't use them in my O/U 410.
It may not be what you want to do, but I'm telling you that the money saved loading 410 is rapidly recouped with the cost of new 410 shells.
Get yourself at least a Mec 600 markV in 410, and life will get much easier.


December 22, 2010, 08:00 PM
Get yourself at least a Mec 600 markV in 410, and life will get much easier.

That's good advice IMHO.

December 22, 2010, 08:16 PM
I highly doubt that a .452 bullet will work. You cant put a .45 colt through a .410 without blowing it up, and a .45 colt is .452.

Soo... without buying a $150 reloading setup, how can I do this? I can also get .444 brass for half the cost of all-brass .410 from Magtech.

December 22, 2010, 10:54 PM
I am experimenting with the 444 Marlin casings and it will work somewhat. Your gun may not eject the shell due to rim diameter, my Savage 24 does and my NEF also does. You can get 410 brass cartridges from several sources---Midway and Graff's are two I can think of easily. You can get proper sized nitro cards and wadding from Ballistic Products. They also have a 2 page sheet about loading these. You still have to use the same basic recipes as regular shot shells will require with substitutions of wadding instead of plastic wads due to gas blow-by. I have built some working rounds with #4 and 000 Buck (using cream of wheat filler) with glued on nitro cards instead of crimping. I am still in the experimental stage and am having a machinist modify an old 270 die for sizing/depriming as I want to keep the 444 die for loading the rifle. FWIW the casings have been able to be reloaded multiple times without sizing them yet as the rims are not crimped and they spring back to their original size and will chamber in the shotguns. When I get more data on this I plan on starting a thread about how to do it on here.

If you have a straight barrel that is rifled the 45 colt bullet will work. Any choke and that is the max diameter of the projectile. No rifiling and the projectile will need to be round or it will tumble and loose accuracy. They make a special slug that is front heavy to fly well but it is designed for plastic shot shells and will not work with thin walled brass hulls.

December 22, 2010, 11:02 PM
Sorry double post.

December 22, 2010, 11:04 PM
I have used the Magtech .410 brass as opposed to trying to make brass. I use 444 Marlin dies to resize the brass. My info is in another place, but if I remember correctly I used the seater die to resize the top half of the .410 brass.

I use 303 Enfield shell holders.

The volume inside the brass cases is larger than a plastic .410 shell. I use both over powder and over shot wads.

I have never loaded slugs for .410, sorry cannot help you there. I use an over shot wad and Duco cement.

My loads have been shot in a Mossberg 500. I have not loaded them through the magazine for fear of the glue letting loose. Single loaded them for now. It may be fine, but I really have not fired enough of the brass rounds.I recently got a .410 O/U and will see how my loads handle the recoil.

To work in a pump, the mouth of the case probably should be crimped a little to keep the mouth from catching on something in the action.

I think I remember seeing folks made .410 brass out of 303 Enfield brass. They still used 444 Marlin dies.

I have not searched in a couple years, but there was not much reloading data for .410 brass shot shells. maybe more is available now.

I loaded the brass shells for a challenge but it is alot of work.

I used to shoot competitive skeet and reloaded my .410 with a Mec 600 Jr. Maybe you could find a used one around for a good price.

Hope this helps.

December 22, 2010, 11:34 PM
I've got an old Dixie Gun Works catalog that shows Turner Kirkland's sons reloading brass .410 shells with blackpowder, using an ice pick to punch out the old primer, a wooden dowel and a wood block to seat the new primer, and using crumpled newspaper for wadding over powder and over shot. Looks like cheap fun, the brass cases should last almost forever with BP loads.

December 23, 2010, 06:49 AM
I found in our litle Rossi kit gun I had to mill .015 off the heads for complete lock .

The 444s eject fine in the Rossie but 45colt cases would ride over the ejector.

Then I could use LP primers . We cut cards from cereal boxes & such .

4grs. of clays powder ,card , 1.6cc of #9 shot , card , seal with 1 drop of waterproof carpenters glue .

This is a very soft load & my girls like to shoot it !!!& it`ll work on tree rat !!

They understand reloading now , so I put em to loading there own , with a watchful eye of course !

Pete D.
December 23, 2010, 07:33 AM
I think I remember seeing folks made .410 brass out of 303 Enfield brass.

I have made some.410 cases from .303 British brass. They work just fine but are shorter than normal .410 brass hulls and thus shot loads are limited to a half an ounce. Because of the length and the difference in rim diameter, I don't know that such shells would function in a pump gun. I have used them break opens only. I do not use any dies for loading these. There is no need.
They are kind of odd looking because the head of the .303 case does not blow out completely.
Here's a picture with two of the reformed .303s:

May 5, 2011, 03:24 PM
I'm on a straight-wall kick this summer. I have a Lone eagle, a T/C .460 S&W Katahdin Pro-Hunter, in which I'd like to fire similar hand-loads, of extra length, carefully built, to find a .460Maxx load for other straight-wall fans. Where do I start, and do YOU think it can be done safely? Dao.

May 5, 2011, 07:20 PM
Made some "everlasting" 410s out of 444s a few years ago. First time firing was uneventful, not a good seal as the cases had to fire form. After that, fun and games. I use Herco, a .410 wad, 7 1/2 shot and an overshot wad sealed in with waterglass (sodium silicate). I recently found some 12 gauge brass shells I'd loaded in the seventies and sealed with waterglass...was kind of white and chalky but fired quite satisfactorily.
Tried the 303 route but it didn't work for me. I've also made 444s into full length (cylinder length) for my super Blackhawk..had to file flats on the rims but they made really great shotshells.

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