new cartridge development: 410 super magnum revolvers


captain awesome
October 3, 2011, 03:10 AM
I posted a brief synopsis of my idea for this on the "Taurus Judge opinions" thread in the revolver section. No one commented on it so I wanted to do a devoted thread to it and see peoples thoughts. It seems to be a common concern about the Taurus Judge lacking penetration because of its short barrel which causes a lack of velocity for the small shot generally found in a 410 shotgun round. Is this a solution to that issue? possibly although it creates other issues to contend with as you will no doubt conclude as I have.

First, both Magnum Research and Taurus make revolvers capable of chambering and firing the 3" magnum shot-shells. Taurus has a whole slew of variations on their Judge line, Magnum Research has 2 of noteworthiness, their 410/45 colt revolver and their 460 s&w offering. The two that intrigue me the most are the Raging Judge from Taurus capable of running 454 casull through it, And the Magnum Research 460 S&W BFR. The 460 does not advertize being able to chamber 410, but considering its dimensions (it has the 3" cylinder) there is no reason why it shouldn't.

The 460 s&w has a max saami pressure of 65,000 psi, the 454 Casull is 60,000 or 65,000 psi (i have read both numbers on the interwebs I am unsure which is correct) which is far beyond any pressure seen in any shotgun cartridge that I know of. So my idea is loading 410 up to those super magnum pressures, and creating the 410 super-mag shotgun cartridge. I know its not as simple as all that, so here are the forseen issues that I believe are possible;

I highly doubt even a plastic high strength magnum shot-shell could take those kind of pressures, so a new high strength brass shell would need to be produced. The other possible issue I foresee is case extraction. being that these revolvers (as far as I know) still have a throat in each chamber that is smaller than the rest of the chamber, the expanding case could fire form against the step and be difficult to extract. This is just speculation though, as I don't know for sure that this would cause difficult extraction. And the other issue would be what exactly would the dimension of this new brass casing be? would it be better to just make a cylinder that is specifically for 410 with no throat, or make the case with a step already there, and if so it would be different for 460 S&W chambers and 454 Casull chambers.

The next issue would be the wad. similar to the issue with the case, I have my doubts if the wads can take that kind of pressure and velocity. melting and plastic fouling in the barrel and chambers could be an issue here. So it would possibly need a new type of wad to be designed, or a new material, maybe both. I may be off base with this one, but it's something that I believe needs to be considered.

Other thoughts;
Another issue commonly brought up with the judge is the fact that because of the required by law rifling in the barrel, it spreads the shot out very quickly and hence its effective range is very short. Magnum Research makes a removable choke for there 410 version BFR, perhaps something like that could be done here as well to fix that problem. It would get battered quite a bit more due to the higher velocity, so it would definitely need beefed up. Of course all of this would be much better accomplished with a smooth bore but hey we have to work with the laws we have.
The other thing about this is these guns are rather large and heavy. personally I wouldn't carry either one anywhere unless it was in a shoulder rig. Of course i probably wouldn't be carrying around the regular judge either because of the same issue but that's beside the point. That being said I don't know how useful this idea for a cartridge would be( I guess it could still have its place as a car/truck gun or HD gun), but its intriguing non the less. And most of my guns I don't use for any practical purpose other than range fun anyway.

I own the 410 BFR and think it is a fine firearm, very well made. Being only advertized and rated for 410 and 45 colt, I dont want to push any pressures beyond what the 45 colt would produce (though I have my suspicions that it can take a lot more than given credit for seeing that it is on the same frame as the 500s&w and 460 S&W offerings.)

So that's my modern day Elmer Keith style magnum revolver Idea. Any comments or suggestions? Or heck even if someone thought enough of it to go into development with me on to hear some feedback either way.

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October 3, 2011, 12:33 PM
as I don't know for sure that this would cause difficult extraction.It would not cause difficult extraction.

What it would cause is an impossible to turn cylinder for the next shot after the first one.

Fired revolver cases must be able to freely slide back and forth in the chamber.

They set back hard against the recoil shield and expand when fired, then they must be able contract and slip back forward to allow cylinder rotation.

That is the reason very few bottleneck revolver cartridges have ever been successful.
And certainly none running 65,000 PSI.

As for your idea of a new 65,000 PSI shotshell cartridge?
They would have to be made long enough that there would be no possible way they could be chambered in any older weaker .45 Colt revolvers, or 2 1/2" Judges or S&W Goveners, or any .410 shotgun ever made.
Otherwise, SAAMI would never ever sign off on it.

As for hyper-velocity shot loads?
Driving lead shot that hard would probably result in a fused lump of lead exiting the muzzle.
The upper limit of a lead shot column has about already been reached with standard hi-velocity loads.

Beyond that, deformed pellets blow the pattern when the flattened shot takes off every which way.


October 3, 2011, 03:41 PM
Driving lead shot that hard would probably result in a fused lump of lead exiting the muzzle.
The upper limit of a lead shot column has about already been reached with standard hi-velocity loads.

Beyond that, deformed pellets blow the pattern when the flattened shot takes off every which way.


October 3, 2011, 06:08 PM
Instead of using a plastic hull you can use .444 Marlin brass and there is at least 1 revolver already chambered in this round.

captain awesome
October 3, 2011, 06:12 PM
Thanks for the reply RC, those are some very valid points.

It would be better to have a lengthened 460 s&w shell as the casing, and the chambers on the firearm bored out to accept the longer case. this would solve the problems of the cylinder being unable to turn after the first firing, as well as keeping the cartridge from chambering in firearms unable to withstand the pressure. One other bonus to this would be with some modification, you could have a sizing die from a 45 colt, 454 casull or 460s&w die.

next, obviously pure lead would be unacceptable for this application, so a different harder alloy would be necessary, or a different metal all together. I know of one company that produces tungsten iron shot, and then there is always steel shot, which is close to the price of lead shot, though not as dense.(from what i have seen, I haven't researched it much)

Its a shame it cant be used in any revolvers in their current state but wouldn't be to difficult to get a custom cylinder done to make it possible. the hardest part would be getting brass, and wads that could take it.

also of note; these cartridges wouldn't necessarily need to be loaded all the way to 65000 psi, but could be anywhere from standard 410 max of 12000psi all the way up to the full 65000psi.

captain awesome
October 3, 2011, 07:51 PM
I also like the 444 marlin idea, though it would be a shame not to be able to use the entire 3inches.

October 3, 2011, 11:02 PM
I've had similar thoughts -- from 460 cases just loaded the old way with shot and gas check covers (and higher pressure), to 444 Marlin brass with two 44 cal speer shot capsules loaded sequentially. There are other brass sources (true brass 410 cases, but I think they are only 2.5") and cut down 9.3x74R cases and fireformed to straight wall.

I'm leaning to the 444 with two 44 capsules to experiment with next. I think those capsules help the pattern a lot. But one just doesn't hold enough shot. What would be ideal is if Speer would make a 45 colt shot capsule that is twice as long as usual 2" instead of 1).

The 44 brass is kind of tricky to use, and I think the 9.3x74 will be even harder. The 444 Marlin sizer die reduces the diameter a bit too much. When you fire light to normal loads from 444 brass, they work fine. If a heavy load, they can back out when firing and tie up the cylinder. My second loadings of the brass work better than virgin sized cases because they fit the neck tighter. Part of the remediation is not resizing all the way (keep the die a turn or two from hitting the shell holder).

35 Whelen
October 3, 2011, 11:39 PM
If you're talking about loading shotshells to the enormous pressures generated by cartridges such as the 454 Casull, I don't think it'd work. A shotload wouldn't stand a chance with that much pressure.

Years ago I loaded 3 ea, .375" round balls in a .375 Winchester case. I don't recall the powder charge, but it was based on the total weight of the projectiles, so the velocity was probably somewhere a little under 2000 fps. I fired the load into a 100 yd. target. Onmly one hole as the balls fuzed together. This was confirmed when I dug it/them out of the back stop. And we're talking WAY less pressure than the Casull generates.


October 4, 2011, 08:57 PM
More than likely the plastic shot shells will disintegrate almost immediately upon firing

October 4, 2011, 11:24 PM
Regarding the bras hull, I know there is a cmpany that already makes brass hulls. They've been around for a good 20 yrs or so. I don't no if they make a .410 version, but they might. When I log off here I'll get that information.

So far as the whole 65,000 psi thing, I really don't think the lead shot would be coming out in a predictable form, or direction, at those kind of pressures. And the wad system would have to be capable of sustaining those excessive pressures. I would think that even a magnum wad system would disinegrate at anything above 25,000 psi.

But it's a neat thought to invent some new super magnum cartridge for the .410 handgun capable actions.

October 4, 2011, 11:53 PM

Magtech/CBC makes the 2.5 inch all brass shells. They use a large pistol primer.

Captain, you're trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. The 45/.410 is possible because the wads used in .410 shells have the ability to expand the over-powder gas seal to accommodate the larger .452 bore. Asking them to do that AND seal those higher pressure just isn't going to happen.

I understand the idea/charm of a super .410 revolver. BUT I would hate to fire a small revolver at those velocities, the recoil would be fierce!

I have a comanche 45/.410 single shot. It's crude by anybodies standard, but it does work. I made a load for the all brass magtech shells that employed a 310 grain .452 SWCGC lead bullet. The gas check shank sat inside the neck/mouth of the shotshell, they chambered okay in that single shot. I only fired a couple of those with a small charge of unique, they were nothing special, they did shoot okay. I dropped the project with no more development because the barrel was so crudely made I could expect nothing as far as accuracy.

captain awesome
October 5, 2011, 01:33 AM
thanks for all the input guys.
it may just sound like a pipe dream but I am crazy enough to start messing with it. I plan to start by purchasing the 444 marlin BFR and testing capabilities of the various wads out of those. (this will take a while so dont expect any results for quite some time, I am not a rich man.) I am choosing the 444 because it will not require any gunsmithing or modification to make 2.5 inch shells operate at high pressure. as I make progress I will post it either here or a new thread. Eventually I will explore other avenues once I have things where I want them with the 444. Just so you are all aware and not worry, I will not exceed saami max pressure rating for the original chambering for the respective guns.

August 4, 2013, 02:12 PM
I own a raging judge with a 3" barrel. I know this is an old thread but I have hand loaded 3" cheddite .410 shot shells to 45 colt +p levels using H110 powder, BPI stump wads, and four .395 round balls from lee mold using 5% antimony with lead and shot buffer between balls to help prevent deformation with a roll crimp. Recoil is stout. The .395 hard cast round balls pattern 3 inches acrossed the shape of diamond at 25 feet. I have not chronographed but I think it should be pushing 850 to 950 fps from a 3" barrel. Not bad considering the total weight of the load is 368 grains or 92 grains per round ball. I will be testing soon to see how much penetration I get though various media and wood. (MY RAGING JUDGE IS RATED FOR 454 CASULL DO NOT TRY THIS IN A REGULAR JUDGE). All rounds stuck a little when ejecting but I expected that.

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