Reloading and Shooting the H&R 45/410


September 5, 2011, 12:11 PM
I was at a gun show today and sold and old Makarov for $235 and picked up a new in the box H&R 45/410 Survival Model SB1 for a total cost with tax of $229. This is easily the ugliest gun I have ever owned but should prove useful as a truck gun. So I have a few questions.

1. This has a screw out choke for firing 45 Colt. With the choke out, can one still fire 410 with any decent <20 yard pattern?
2. I am planning on using my own reloads and cast bullets anywhere from 220 - 320 grains. Will that be a problem if my loads are within less than the max on Ruger Blackhawk 445 loads?
3. Since we are talking about a longer barrel than my 45 BlackHawk, should I use a slower powder? Right now my loads are W231 and Red Dot, but I have a lot of powders in my inventory.
4. I have a spare 20 guage barrel that fits really nice. Any problem using that with this system?
5. The gun only comes with a front bead. Should one put a nice large aperature on the barrel?
6. Anyone else own one of these and what is your experience?

Thank you ahead of time for any feedback.


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September 5, 2011, 12:44 PM
I would not recommend shooting shotshells with the choke tube removed.

Leading & plastic wad build-up will occur in the fine choke tube threads, and it will be hard to remove.

Without the spin stopping choke tube, you in effect have a rifled shotgun barrel, so no, I doubt it would pattern worth a dough-nut at 20 yards with bird-shot.

IMO: Either Red Dot or W231 are a little on the fast side for best performance in .45 Colt.
Fine for lighter plinking loads.
But a medium burn rate powder like Unique or HS-6 will give more velocity with less chance of pressure spikes. Especially with those heavier bullets you mentioned.

I have no idea if the H&R is strong enough for "Ruger Only" .45 Colt loads.

I also have no idea if the 20 ga barrel will lock up properly on the .410 reciever.

I can't comment on the need for sights either.
Only you can determine if you can hit anything without a rear sight.

But it would seem to me adding an aperature sight to the rear of the tapered barrel would place it high enough above the front bead as to require a higher front sight too.


September 5, 2011, 07:07 PM

Thank you for the information. Good Stuff. The 20 guage barrel locks up nicely. I agree that I will go with Unique or possibly Blue Dot but am leaning more to Unique. H&R has two frames the SB1 rated to 35000 psi pressure or CUPS (can't remember which) and the SB2 rated to 70000 I believe. The 45/410 is on a SB1 frame.

My thinking is if I can get 900-1100 fps with a 1580170 Keith bullet then that should be more than enough.

Any comments on 2400?

September 5, 2011, 08:46 PM
I use Unique with a mild load and that shoots the best for mine. I also load brass .410 shotshells with nitro cards and felt wads/buckshot for it. The other barrel may lock up fine but it could fly apart when fired if not fitted correctly. I would not do it. I have a SB2 I got with a 30-06 barrel that was not correct and it would open up and spit the brass back some with each shot when fired. I sent the receiver back and had them put a 243 barrel on it and that one works fine. They said to destroy the 06 barrel as they could not make it work and to get a new one if I still needed an 06 barrel. Replacement barrels will have the serial number etched into the mounting lug and are to be used in that firearm only. The SB1 receivers are color case hardened and the SB2's are solid deep blued. BTW I have 7 Handi Rifles and 9 spare barrels between them.

I have a 500 S&W and 45-70 barrel for my SB2 and called the factory about the pressures. I talked to an engineer there and he said that the 45-70 should be kept to 20,000 psi or the locking mechanism would stretch and fail eventually. Not to use the high pressure loads as a regular diet and keep all reloading done with that in mind. I did not ask him about the SB1 as my 45/410 barrel was added onto a SB2. You might try emailing or calling H&R 1871 to find out what they recommend for your gun.

September 5, 2011, 09:30 PM
I have a couple of these and they will shoot pretty good groups if you mess with them and get the load right. Unique throws the best loads for the 45 LC. in these, and if I'm remebering right, I use 8.5 gr with 255 gr lead FN bullets. These will be pretty forgiving when it comes to loads , as the rifling is very generous in diameter. I also drilled and tapped both of them, but took the scopes off after I got a 45 LC barrel. I have several of the rifles and quite a few barrels and they are a quality gub.

I also get pretty good groups out of the 410 out to about 25 yds. Plenty for partridge. 3/4 oz 3" loads pattern well.

Your patterns will suck without the choke tube, but I cant say I've had any issues with the thread with the choke tube removed, regardless of what I shoot.

The 20 ga barrel will work fine if you have a good lock-up, but the stock will be mighty harsh even with a 20 ga. You'll like this gun and it will be an excellent truck gun.

March 26, 2016, 02:43 PM
Ok First I do not reload. But having a 45/410 survivor rifle and have killed birds and small game with it. I had an old Remington sight put on the rear and filed the notch down deeper. It shoots about a 4 inch group out too seventy yards with cowboy magtec ammo. I have shot crows that were flying over my porch this winter. I have shot muskrat and other small varmints out too 25 yards with 3 inch #4 shot. It cleans up easy and is a handi rifle and a shotgun too boot. I carry it in my Kawasaki mule where it is ready for whatever I need too shoot. Accuracy is fine for deer size game out to 75 yards with 45 colt. It works well too 25 yards as a bird killer. After all this is not a hunting shotgun or rifle, but a good gun too keep around for emergency or just too carry when you do not want to pack a larger gun..

April 24, 2016, 03:17 PM
Anybody know where/how to get BRASS shell casings that can be reloaded with .410 components to be used in a single shot .410 shotgun? Could I use .45-90 cases or something similar?

April 24, 2016, 10:14 PM

They're not cheap, but not too bad.

April 24, 2016, 10:27 PM
I purchased several boxes of Magtech 2 1/2 inch brass shotshells from Natchez shooters supplies in the past. I see them in stock at Midway USA today for about $25 per box. I purchased the Nitro cards and fiber wadding from They also had the brass shotshells but were slightly more expensive. They come 25 to a box. They use large pistol primers. I deprime them with a Lee universal decapping die. The wads/nitro cards are also available from Circle Fly Wads. Use the .430 diameter X 1/8 inch nitro cards and 1/4 inch wads. Use the .450 over shot cards. I glue them in with a hot glue gun. I use cream of wheat as a buffer with Buckshot. With a little experimentation I got some good shooting loads.
Some shotguns will work with 444Marlin brass but they are shorter than the Magtech brass.

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