.410 cut shells out of a 45 Colt - THR

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Old May 11, 2015, 09:51 PM   #1
Join Date: March 27, 2006
Location: Brighton, MI
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.410 cut shells out of a 45 Colt

Recently picked up a Pietta 1873 in 45 Colt. Been learning about this round, and was wondering if anyone has tried .410 shells, cut to the same length as a 45 Colt? Either with shot buck, or slugs? What would be the safety concerns of attempting this? Am I mistaken the .410 is a little lower psi than a 45 Colt?
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Old May 11, 2015, 09:59 PM   #2
Barry the Bear
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Do not use in a .45 colt revolver that is not designed to fire the .410 shotshell!!!!!

If you really want to do that then buy a judge or governor but dont mess up your new gun on this.
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Old May 11, 2015, 10:00 PM   #3
Barry the Bear
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The psi maybe lower but you are putting shot in a revolver not designed to fire that type of round, i would be hesitant and would not try it, maybe someone more knowledgable would tell us straight.
I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country --
William Barret Travis
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Old May 11, 2015, 10:39 PM   #4
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The big question is: WHY?

What would you expect out of a cut-down .410 shotshell that a .45 Colt cartridge couldn't do, and do better?
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Old May 11, 2015, 10:43 PM   #5
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Was just more of a curiosity question with no practical purpose.
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Old May 11, 2015, 10:46 PM   #6
the Real Alpo
Join Date: December 30, 2014
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Shooting shot in a revolver is not going to hurt it. People shoot 38 shotshells, 44 shotshells, 45 shotshells and 22 shotshells in revolvers all the time. The shot, without a shot cup, will probably lead up your rifling, but cleaning it will take care of that.

I don't understand your plan though. The OD of a 410 shotshell is the same OD as a 45 cartridge. But a 45 case is only 1.28 inches long. Then there is a stepdown, where the "bullet area" of the cylinder is smaller than the "case area" of the cylinder. To make your 410 fit, you'd have to cut it down to an inch and a quarter. How do you plan to load your mini-410? There is no data. And if you plan to use 45 data, why not just use 45 Colt brass?

edit: and I see that Bob beat me to the question
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Old May 11, 2015, 11:04 PM   #7
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Lol yes he did. Again, aside from the practical reasons, was more of a "could I do it" question. Sportsman guide has Fiocchi 250gr cowboy loads for under $28 per 50. Before shipping of course. So I'll likely just order some from there. But was just exploring other options is all

Last edited by doctorj77; May 12, 2015 at 08:02 AM.
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Old May 11, 2015, 11:27 PM   #8
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When you cut the .410 lshell down to the length of a 45 Colt won't you be cutting off most of the shot/slug load?
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Old May 12, 2015, 12:11 AM   #9
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You're welcome.
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Old May 12, 2015, 12:29 AM   #10
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Don't even try it.

Shotgun shells are long, because they have to be to house the over-powder wad, or one piece plasticky wad to cushion the powder explosion as it hits the shot charge.

That limits the thrust on the breach face, and more importantly.
It prevents the shot charge from being accelerated so fast & hard it all fuses together into one solid bore plug of lead.


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Or all your primers in a glass jar!
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Old May 13, 2015, 07:50 PM   #11
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If you reload, check this page out:
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Old May 14, 2015, 09:13 AM   #12
Bullet Bob
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Can be done, I had a high school teacher that did it (I'm well over 60, so that was a while a ago ) and used it in an old 1917 Colt for a snake gun. This was an early one without the "step" in the chambers. He was my shop teacher, he had also cut the barrel down to 3" and welded a new front sight on. It was his fishing gun. I remember him bringing it in to show us 8th grade boys. Different times!

Last edited by Bullet Bob; May 15, 2015 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Trouble bringing up old mental files. Bad hardware :-)
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Old May 14, 2015, 09:21 AM   #13
Jim Watson
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I used to have a full set of Handloader's Digest and Gun Digest. Somewhere in there was an article on revolver shotshells and one approach to the .45 was cutting a .410 shell off to cylinder length.
So it has been done.
We hear: "There is no such thing as a stupid question."
But: "What did I just buy and what is it worth?" comes awful close.
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Old May 14, 2015, 02:14 PM   #14
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I don't see cutting down .410's but there's lots of information on making light shot snake loads from regular brass.

Keep in mind that there's a step in the chambers to a smaller throat. And just like with a regular shot gun chamber you need to either use a separate over shot card wad or to allow for the opening of the casing so it doesn't open into the throat.

Given that you would not be using a bullet so you have more room in the chamber for shot loads you COULD use .454 Casull brass. That would give you a little more room.

The other issue is the donut like pattern that is made by shot shells when spit out of a rifled barrel. This spreads the pattern so fast that snake loads are generally only good to around 6 feet. Or since the pattern becomes a rapidly expanding donut shape if you know the patterning you'd want to aim off to one side so the more dense "ring" hits the snake. But even with that given the small number of pellets that fit into such a case you're looking at only a few feet for any sort of effectiveness.

For anything else the bullet is a better option.
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Old May 15, 2015, 07:47 AM   #15
Deaf Smith
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I have CCI shot capsules in .38 and .44. I reload my own.

You surely can do that for your .45 lc.

“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand
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Old May 15, 2015, 09:46 AM   #16
Carl N. Brown
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I got some .45 Colt shotshells from CCI (1/3 oz of #9) for use in my .410 M6 Scout around the campsite at my uncle's mountain property. I think they would work better from a .45 Colt revolver than cut .410 shells.
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Old May 15, 2015, 09:51 AM   #17
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I've loaded a bunch of these for 38 and 44. I think you can also buy the ammo.


Don't .410 shells use 209 primers? I'd think that might be issue with guns not speficially made to fire them.
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Old May 15, 2015, 12:42 PM   #18
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I have mentioned before using regular .45 Colt (LC, there I said it nyah-nyah!) with a fast powder (unique I believe) a gas check for a .45 bullet a load of shot and a second gas check on top.

Got the load data and idea from some gun rag decades ago. It went boom and threw the pellets in the correct direction. I seem to recall we did loads in #9 and #7 1/2 and one or two in #6 though that was not dense enough of a pattern for us. Buddy did a few with a round ball for a .36 navy and a bunch of # 9s with the idea it would be both anti snake and anti personel. It was terribly inaccurate, far more so than a single piece of 00 Buck in a .357 Speer capsule and #9. Honestly though both were useless.....but they made him feel better.

Nonte wrote of making near cylinder length brass from modified rifle cartridges and even reloading the old 5-in-1 blank as a shot cartridge for .45 colt.. He wrote of using cut down .30-06 (or mauser basic of any sort) to make long necked shot cartridges for use in 1917 pistols. I guess such would work in the S&W 1955/ M25 or even Ruger BH with .45ACP cylinder.

Oddly enough with in the last two years we had a thread on making .410 shotgun brass cartridges from rifle brass such as the Marlin .444. Wonder if that might be a starting place for making long brass shotgun shells for .45 LC (did that one for spite).

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Old May 15, 2015, 01:31 PM   #19
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In addition to the problem with loading the case, my Judge has just a trace of rifleing, just enough to not be a short-barrel shotgun; it still throws a really crappy pattern. I have heard the pattern described as "bagel shaped". Outside of bad breath distance, it is almost useless. Why bother?
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Old May 17, 2015, 07:08 AM   #20
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I go a different direction. I use .45colt cases to load .410 shells.
Mostly grits or walnut hull to shoot carpenter bees. I've loaded a few with shot, even once with #6's and killed a squirrel with it.
Btw, a .45colt case with 5gr Bullseye, card wads cut with 7/16" punch, will hold 0.4oz lead shot.
From the .410 o/u, its like shooting .38spl in a .357mag.
The .45 shot load will be much superior to the cut down .410 from a .45 revolver. The shot shell primer and hull construction is too bulky yeilding much less internal capacity.

I've tried using gas checks; works great! But increases cost by 6X!
Wads cut with 7/16" punch cost NOTHING.

I finally figured out how to reduce the base of some range pickup .45Casull brass to where it will chamber and extract. They hold a full 1/2oz shot. They're all loaded now with walnut hull media for the bees.
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Last edited by GooseGestapo; May 17, 2015 at 07:21 AM.
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Old May 17, 2015, 10:37 AM   #21
wild willy
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Jim Watson its the eleventh edition of Handloaders Digest.The author stated that other than a little harder extraction 410 hulls cut to cylinder length worked great. Easier than modifying .444 cases
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Old May 17, 2015, 10:50 AM   #22
Sav .250
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Some time I just wonder about what is posted.
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Old May 17, 2015, 10:59 AM   #23
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Thanks GooseG. 7/16 punch.

A buddy made a cutter for making .38 special/.357 mag wads from milk cartons and "shirt board" that consist of a .38 special case with a bolt out the base to mount it in a hand drill. He does a couple then picks them out before the case fills up. At one point he was considering experimenting with .357 maxim brass for cylinder length shot rounds in his Security Six for when checking his bee hives. Might work on .45 as well.

I have to admit when I first read the title of this thread I wondered if someone was thinking about using .410 "Cut Shells" in a Judge or whatever. If you don't know, this is when one used a razor or sharp knife to cut the hull of a loaded shot gun rounds In a way that allows the shot charge to leave the barrel inside the front half of the hull. Depending on the brand and where the cut was made this can result in the shot staying in the hull and wad column for around 25 yards and then acting as a sort of super Glaser Safety slug on impact. The practice is illegal in many states I under stand, but was a way folks could hunt deer at archery range with something like a slug when all they had was bird shot, like in the Great Depression for instance.

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Old May 17, 2015, 11:01 AM   #24
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Savage .250,

Whatever do you mean?

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Old May 18, 2015, 07:49 PM   #25
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Interesting read. I just buy the CCI .45LC shotshells and keep them in the first two chambers of my Ruger Blackhawk for snakes when I boony bang in the desert down here. After that I have Ruger/TC Contender only handloads with bullets for 2 and 4 legged critters.
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