Lane shotshell loader in .410 for BP shells and range report


April 30, 2013, 05:35 PM
Howdy guys! :) I recently got a new shotgun in a new-to-me gauge as far as reloading goes. I don't have any smokeless gunpowder suitable for loading .410's, but I do have 8 pounds of Green Dot, some Bullseye, and a pound of Pyrodex and BP. So for now I'm going to load all my .410 with the proper powder, the smokey and dirty stuff. ;)

As most of you know, I'm a huge proponent of loading shotgun shells with blackpowder. It seems to enhance the performance by not deforming the shot as bad and make the loads more fun to shoot. Up until this point I was loading my non-12 gauge shells nail and dowel, a technique I learned from one of Mike Beleview's videos. But I wanted to have a crimp and a neater looking shotshell, so I decided to take a look at what options I had. The Mec loaders were all too pricey for my taste, being that I'm not going to be loading a high volume of shells. Lee loaders were too rare and hard to find.

I stumbled upon a site selling Lee loader style handloading tools for $30 a set. My order came out to $38 dollars shipped, not bad. The loaders come in 12, 16, 20, 28 gauge and .410 bore.

Yesterday the tool arrived in the morning. I came back from school and loaded a box of .410 with it. It took me about half a dozen shells to figure out how it worked, but once I figured it out I was loading shells like nobody's business! :D Not a bad little tool, it fits in the palm of my hand but it isn't too hard to use at all. :)

Here's what the setup looks like. You have a de-capping/recapping dye, a wad/primer seating rod, a de-burring tool, the body of the tool starts the crimp and the "T" shaped tool finishes the crimp. It's a pretty basic but effective little setup. All the parts are made of aluminum. (

As I mentioned, very compact. :) (

I made a box of shells in about a half hour. My standard load for the .410 right now is 1 dram of BP and a half ounce of #7 1/2 shot. (

The crimps even turned out fairly nice looking. :P I'm diggin' this neat little tool. I think it's worth every penny. :) (

After my testing of different hulls I've concluded AA Winchesters are the best to load. They crimp easily and it's not hard to start the crimp. The low-brass Fiocci's aren't easy to crimp, I suspect since the hull doesn't retain the crimp from the first time it was loaded as well as others. Remington Nitro's work well too. The Nitro Gold's work well with my loader as well. My only complaint is the loader didn't like the low-brass Fiocci hulls that I've got a few hundred of. But that's okay, I'll probably just trade them with my friend who's got a real press for some Winchester hulls. :D

I'll probably make a video of this tool in action as well as some BP cartridges being unraveled. :)
Have a nice day y'all.

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April 30, 2013, 06:36 PM
You get a fair amount of smoke from that diminutive little cartridge. :) Not a bad little shotgun round when loaded with the PROPER powder. :D

Look at the smoke! Too darn cool!!! :evil: (

If you look closely at the middle of the "confederate grey" cloud you can see something darker. I'm starting to think that might be the shot exiting the barrel.

May 2, 2013, 11:18 PM
love the .410

May 3, 2013, 12:56 AM
Me too, it's a fun gauge and a pleasure to shoot. ESPECIALLY with the proper powder. (the dirty black stuff) :D

Texan Scott
May 3, 2013, 05:57 AM
Holy moly, I want one of these! How are you (are you?) resizing the brass base?

Waiting for your video!

What kind of velocity are you getting from a dram of powder and a half oz of shot?

Black powder loads for my Bond derringer, and maybe BB loads too!

(My wife's gonna kill me! :D)

May 3, 2013, 06:16 AM
I have one of the lee loaders for a .410 that i have had for years and never have used it. Did you use a shot cup?

May 3, 2013, 10:19 AM
I have used a LEE Loader in .410 to load BP shells. I cut the fingers off a plastic .410 shotcup and just used the remaining flat wad between powder and shot. I figured ballistically it would be about the same load as a .44-40 cartridge, so first I used 40 grains of powder. It did not leave much room for shot, so I backed off that a bit. I loaded #8 shot, and found that some would dribble through an imperfect crimp. So I used a gasket punch on some manilla file folders to make an over-shot card.

They went boom and made smoke and the kid using them in cowboy action competition was able to knock down the shotgun targets, so it was a successful experiment. Just time consuming to load very many of them.

May 3, 2013, 12:43 PM
Turner Kirkland had pics in the old Dixie Gun Works catalog of his two kids reloading brass .410 shells with blackpowder. They used an icepick and wood block with a hole in it for decapping, a wood dowel and the block for repriming, and Lee dippers for powder and shot, with crumpled newspaper for wadding. As I recall, they used "water glass" (sodium silicate solution) to seal the over-shot wad, instead of crimping, but diluted white glue would work as well. With blackpowder, all-brass shotshells should last pretty much forever.

May 3, 2013, 03:20 PM
Holy moly, I want one of these! How are you (are you?) resizing the brass base?

Waiting for your video!

What kind of velocity are you getting from a dram of powder and a half oz of shot?

Black powder loads for my Bond derringer, and maybe BB loads too!

(My wife's gonna kill me! :D)

Howdy, I'm not re-sizing them. I only have one .410 shotgun (not for long, I'm on a shotgun buying binge right now) so the brass swells to that chamber and doesn't seem to have problems ejecting.

I do check all my shells to see if they'll fit the chamber first though. This involves dumping all my hulls in a bucket or something, throwing an empty in the chamber and closing the gun, opening it to toss out the shell. If the hull pops out and isn't too crispy it's a keeper, if it sticks in the chamber I don't use it.

Right now my load consists of a dram of powder, a small card wad over that made from milk carton paper, a Federal plastic cup wad, and a half ounce of either #7 1/2 or #6 birdshot with a star crimp. If the hull is kinda crispy I do just what J-bar was referring to. I place a wad on the shot before crimping to keep the shot from leaking out the crimp. :)

May 3, 2013, 03:23 PM
Forgot to mention my little .410 trick. If you load your shells with a few literal grains of BP, two card wads, a shellfull of hulled millet seed, and a card wad on top you've got a very quiet and effective bee load.

I'm taking the wood boring bees off my back porch that are making their nests in the arbor. The .410 makes a superb bee gun. ;) (

May 3, 2013, 04:10 PM
Raid would be easier and more effective but not as much fun. :)

May 3, 2013, 04:52 PM
Exactly. I've blown $1.50 or so on primers and millet seed, no doubt a can of raid would cost more. The carpenter bees around here are practically extinct, my aim has improved, and we don't have any more problems with them. :)

I tried loading them with cornmeal and grits but neither provided the results I needed, the "shot" didn't get out far enough with enough energy. The hulled millet acts more like birdshot, in fact the seeds are literally the same size as #7 1/2 shot! :D

May 3, 2013, 05:25 PM
And there's no bag limit on carpenter bees. :-)

May 3, 2013, 05:54 PM
Absolutely! After spending my week shooting at raisin-sized flying vermin I went to the trap range and shot that same gun. All I can say is all this practice has caused my accuracy to improve! :D

May 3, 2013, 06:16 PM
Just wondering, because I can't test it at the moment...could one trim a .410 hull to fit a .45 Colt cylinder, and make Bee loads for a revolver?

Whatcha think?

May 3, 2013, 07:45 PM
I have a small quantity of that exact round, made for me by a friend. They hold 1/2 oz. of shot, and propel that shot quickly enough to kill a mourning dove or break a clay bird within twenty feet or so. I carry them in my Bisley Blackhawk for close-in snake defense during dove and quail season. I like the idea of killing snakes without endangering my fellow hunters.

Pics inbound....

May 3, 2013, 08:01 PM
Here we go- (

May 3, 2013, 08:04 PM
Love the 410.

May 3, 2013, 08:21 PM
Wonderful! A new project when I get home.

Thanks compadres!

May 3, 2013, 08:27 PM
One more- (

My friend cut the hulls down to 1 11/16" OAL. I'm sorry that I don't remember the powder type, or charge. He cut the cup off some AA wads and trimmed the wad fingers to fit in the case, then added whatever amount of shot it took to top off the case.

I believe he used Duro cement to seal the case mouth and hold the overshot card in place. Water glass may have worked, but bear in mind that these rounds are meant to be carried mouth-down in a revolver while I'm chasing quail, riding horses and ATVs, that kinda thing, so the sealant had to be pretty tough.

He also had to taper the mouth of the case a bit so the rounds would chamber easily, so these cases can only be reloaded two or three times before the mouths start to split. Also, on a number of these rounds he inadvertently short-stroked the resizing station on his Mec loader, resulting rounds that would not fully seat in the chambers.

I cannot for the life of me recall why we couldn't do this with .45 Colt brass. In an effort to get more velocity, we tried something that proved fun, but futile: we captured some .444 Marlin brass at a gun show, which Rob had to cut to length, turn the rim down, and reduce the rim thickness on so our Bisleys could swallow them. The idea was that the beastly strong .444 brass would allow us stronger powder charges; I know we tried WW296 somewhere along the line. Loaded as above, they worked OK, but we had a hard time finding a way to keep the overshot cards in place for more than three shots. I believe that's what drove the decision to use plastic hulls.

This sounds like a lot of work, and it is. The payoff is having two mourning doves coming at you at mesquite-top height, beating the air with all the power their little wings can muster, and you go all "Tombstone" on 'em while your hunting buds are watching.

May 3, 2013, 08:33 PM
If I was going to go down the ".444/.45 Colt brass case" road again, I believe I'd just use a .45 gas check for an overshot card. In fact, I might just use another gas check for an overpowder wad, making more room for powder and/or shot.

Pete D.
May 3, 2013, 09:12 PM
Did any of these get patterned? Maybe at 20 feet?

May 3, 2013, 10:25 PM
I had a problem with bees one summer day. I took one of my brassers in .44 and made a square load of powder, wad, rock salt and another wad to hold it together. A steady shot worked every time.

May 4, 2013, 03:36 AM
Pete D. I'll post the pattern results tomorrow, the paper plate I patterned my shotgun on is still in my pickup truck. I went out today and did some plinking and varminting :D

The vermin count for today was 4 starlings. I used my #6 and #7 1/2 blend of shot and every bird I hit dropped stone cold dead like it had seen a naked picture of Diane Feinstein. My guestimation is the loads are about 900-1000 FPS or so.

May 4, 2013, 10:16 AM
I've tried shot out of a rifled barrel and it had a terrible pattern even up close .. big holes in the pattern.

May 4, 2013, 11:07 AM
Out of my Remington New Model Army some #9 didn't pattern well, but I did try making shot loads for my .32 and my Super Companion. Both have pretty slow rifling so the shot did alright. It wasn't something I'd take out past five feet but for critters you can't beat the load! :D

Update: I had a little lead therapy session yesterday. :) I fired about 175 rounds of 12 gauge and around 75+ BP .410's. ;) I got tons of footage but I'm not sure I should post er' here. There was some smokeless tobacco use and some cussing and I know this here's a family forum.

May 4, 2013, 11:22 AM
I like your .410 loading setup, Levi.
Where did you get it and how much does it cost?

.410 (from a shotgun barrel) has the muzzle energy of a .41 Mag.
Turns out, there's a lot more to the .410 than I used to recognize.
I knew a guy in high school who used to shoot fire and mounds with his .410.

May 4, 2013, 02:02 PM
Jeremy, you can get the loaders here. The total cost comes out to about $38 bucks shipped. It's a great buy and I'm extremely pleased with mine. :)

I've already loaded 5 boxes worth of shells with mine, probably only about a dozen or so have gotten too boogered up to chamber and fire. The tool has paid for itself in money saved on shells, that's for darn sure! :D

A few weeks back I got a 25 pound sack of #6 shot and 5 bags of Remington 12 gauge wads from an ol' woman who was having a garage sale. She said $3 for the shot and the wads were $1 per bag. Don't you just love garage sales!! :P This is what I'm using in my plinking loads, for working with clays I use #7 1/2 or 8 chilled lead or magnum shot. I hear #9 is good in the .410 bore as well.

I figured I should post this here, good reading on the delightful little gauge:

May 4, 2013, 03:24 PM
A few weeks back I got a 25 pound sack of #6 shot and 5 bags of Remington 12 gauge wads from an ol' woman who was having a garage sale. She said $3 for the shot and the wads were $1 per bag. Don't you just love garage sales!! :P This is what I'm using in my plinking loads, for working with clays I use #7 1/2 or 8 chilled lead or magnum shot. I hear #9 is good in the .410 bore as well.

That bag of shot alone would cost about $70+ retail.

May 4, 2013, 04:42 PM
Exactly. :) This is why I love garage sales! I can get #8 and #7 1/2 at the gun club for $38 per bag, but I can't get anything but those two sizes. My plan is to only use it for my .410, that way I'll go through it slower than I would with my 12 gauge semi auto.

Texan Scott
May 5, 2013, 12:47 AM
naked picture of Diane Feinstein


May 6, 2013, 12:56 PM
Levi, aren't there any rollcrimpers in 410?
I got two 19th century hand crankers in cal 12 and its a breeze making a very professional looking crimp in no time.
Plus the overshot card says THIS SIDE TOWARDS THE ENEMY :D

May 6, 2013, 01:48 PM
BPI has some roll crimpers in that caliber, I never have tried them though but I'd eventually like to get one. :)

May 6, 2013, 03:16 PM
That's for something like a cordless drill?
Nifty, but lacks the charm of the old-fashioned ones.

May 6, 2013, 03:36 PM
My lee hand loader does roll crimping.Like i said i have never used it so dont know how good it does.I looked at the instruction papers with it and it says a star crimper was available as an extra.

May 12, 2013, 12:42 AM
kituwa, that's interesting. I didn't know you could do roll crimps with a Lee loader.
I have a Lee star crimp starter dye that I purchased from a garage sale, it's made from what appears to be nylon. I am no expert, but I suspect it could be a part for a Lee Load All shotshell press.

Dirty Bob
May 12, 2013, 09:25 PM
There was an article not long ago in The Backwoodsman, showing how to make your own .410 loading kit, using hardware store stuff. I'll see if I can track it down and post the issue number. Charlie's happy to sell back issues.

Dirty Bob

May 13, 2013, 10:06 PM
Thanks Dirty Bob. :) Is the setup like Mike Beleview's 12 gauge shotshell loader? Here's the video:

I loaded my first box of shells with this method. They were 16 gauge, 2 1/2 inch birdshot. That is initially what got me started rolling my own shotgun shells.

May 13, 2013, 11:07 PM
Cool stuff.

May 14, 2013, 04:54 PM
Yipppers,, the lane loading tools are very handy.I've loaded up about 50 shells already.I make up a few here n there when I have time.The winchester hulls are easy to load and so much fun to shoot out of the .410 -----X PoooF B L A C K P O W D E R C L O U D + S H O T = FuN :D thanks Levi for the info ! :cool:

May 14, 2013, 08:34 PM
I'm glad you're enjoying the loader, it's fun to crank out a bunch of shells. :) If you've got a lot of downtime you can make use of it, just have plenty of components.

For a fun load try putting 1 oz of shot in some cigarette paper (the really big ones that are for pot work best) then load your shell without shot or a crimp. Just a dram of pyrodex and a wad. Slide the paper cartridge of shot into the hull and maybe put a little glue on the side. It's going to protrude out a bit, but if you shoot a single shot break open it's not a problem.

May 14, 2013, 09:42 PM
back in the good old days [60's] a friend & I reloaded our 12ga. shells with a Lee loader used toilet paper for wads & everytime we shot a rabbit there was a trail of bits of paper strung out across the field....good teacher on where we shot LOL

May 15, 2013, 01:47 AM
Kendak, that's a pretty clever way of improvising. :) I imagine with BP some bits would come out smoldering, might pose a fire hazard around dry grass.

I'm still tempted to try it though! :D

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