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410 Power

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jackarunda, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Jackarunda

    Jackarunda Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
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    Hey folks, I have two 12-gauges and I decided it might be fun to get a 410 so that my girls and other recoil-sensitive folks I shoot with can enjoy busting things with shot as much as I do. Yes I'm aware you can load and buy low-recoil 12ga but a 410 weapon would be lighter weight and there's just something cute about 410 shells.

    So as a plinker, 410 is great, assuming you're handloading to cut down on the ridiculous ammo cost. But then I got to overthinking it, as I do with everything, and started searching to figure out how powerful I could make a 410 safely. Everything I've found has indicated that for a 2-1/2 in shell, a half-ounce of shot at 1800fps is about the hottest you'll ever get. That's about 800 joules of energy.

    Why is 410 ammo so weak in general? Even a 2-1/2 inch cartridge is larger than a .44 Magnum cartridge, and yet no one loads them hot it seems.

    I really think that I could put 300 grains of lead into a 410 and propel it to 1200+ fps out of a long barrel, thereby effectively matching .44 Magnum energy, and it wouldn't generate unsafe chamber pressures. The 44 Mag has a much higher chamber pressure limit, but it's a pistol cartridge and has to reach that speed out of a pistol barrel. I'm talking about reaching that power out of a full-length shotgun barrel.

    Is it just tradition that everyone loads them so light? Are manufacturers worried about old firearms that are operating on the edge of the chamber pressure limit? Is there some unspoken wisdom about not loading a 410 hot lest you blow your fingers off? It can't be a recoil thing, as a 44 Magnum out of a Henry lever gun is very manageable, much more so than a 12ga. I'm just a kid, so please forgive my naivety.

    Yes, I know that loading things hot is not how you achieve accuracy. This is a question about power and safety.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    At higher pressures, plastic deformation may weld the shotgun hull to the chamber?

    The steel is different in most shotgun. Even if you used a converted rifle action, the plastic hull would be the weak component.

    I see SAAMI 410 slugs at 88 grains/12,500 psi , 1800 fps. A quick look at shot loads was a lot less velocity. 1/2 oz is 218 grs. The shot in a plastic cup expands on firing, grabbing the barrels walls more, raising pressures. Using slow burn rate powder would allow more velocity, but the case only has so much capacity.

    This would be my guess.

    Brass can handle 65,000 psi +.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  3. Jackarunda

    Jackarunda Member

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    My understanding is that the hull doesnt ever have to hold any pressure, as it's contained entirely by the chamber. The hull being stuck to the chamber seems like the only thing that could happen, yes, but I have never heard of anything like that happening. I'm wondering if anyone who reloads 410 around here has experience with hot loads.
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  5. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Most 410s, especially modern ones have extremely thin barrels. I would hotrod a lot of things, but a 410 is not one of them.
     
    ATLDave and Bfh_auto like this.
  6. mcb

    mcb Member

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    First up, if you looking for a mild recoiling shotgun for new shooters learning to shoot clay targets I would suggest the 28 gauge is a better choice than the 410 bore. 28 gauge throws a slightly heavier shot pattern (3/4 oz typical) with very little additional recoil and only slightly heavier but better balanced shotguns. And the 28 gauge, due to a "square-er" shot load, simply patterns much more uniform than 410. All of this makes the 28 gauge much more capable than the 410 bore and this helps keep new shooters from getting frustrated missing targets they shouldn't have while still not kicking hard enough to abuse recoil sensitives shooters.

    As for 410 power. 410 shotguns are pressure limited per SAAMI to 12,500 psi for a 2.5 chambered gun and 13,500 psi for a 3 inch chambered guns. If you stay with in that pressure spec that cartridge will be what it is. That said I have hunted everything from squirrel to deer with a 410 and as long as you are content to hunt within the very limited range the 410 shotshell and slug provides it will get the job done.
     
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  7. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

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    With the same powder charge, a load of shot generates more pressure than a slug of identical mass due to the shot squishing and exerting pressure on the side of the wad.

    If you are interested in wildcatting shotgun shells, you should talk to hubel458. He's done some very interesting work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  8. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    My dad feels that standard .410 is more than powerful enough since he fired his 'Snake Charmer' at a rattler and the severed head flew 6 feet from the body.
     
  9. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I personally would not try to “hot rod” any shotgun ammo no matter which gauge/bore size. This for both safety and also for longevity of hulls (if you plan on reloading them).

    I have been reloading 410 shells for over 20+ years. I played with powder charges when I first started reloading and didn’t find any benefit of running hot loads. In fact hotter loads had terrible patterns and also had signs of fatigue/failure in the hulls.
     
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  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    For skeet, my .410 loads were loaded to the same nominal velocity as my 12, 20 and 28 gauge ammunition. It kept the leads the same.

    .410 has a reputation as a “Starter gun” for the novice but as mcb said it is really a poor choice. It is really dificult to hit targets with a .410. Go look at the skeet classification averages. For the same class, there is a similar drop in average between 12, 20, and 28 gauges then a significant drop for .410.

    28 gauge or 20 gauge with a 3/4 ounce load would keep recoil low with a significant improvement in the chance of hitting the targets.
     
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I started on a .410, started my son on a .410. Mild loads in a lightweight 20ga are a much better option for a beginner/youngster, but the .410 really doesn’t give up as much in forgiveness as paper specs would have us believe. It’s easier to find a truly kid sized, kid weight, kid-level recoiling .410 than anything else. I had a double 28ga on a 20ga frame size, forget the brand, maybe a Wards? But it was about as close as I could get - but it was right on the edge of too heavy but still too much recoil for a young kid (4-7yrs old). On the other hand, a single shot .410 cut down to about 20-22” with a kid length stock (10” LOP) is very easily carried and shouldered by a youngster and the recoil remains light enough to keep them smiling. The pattern is smaller, but it’s still manageable.

    I also must admit, I have done the vast majority of my wingshooting and bunny hunting throughout my life with a single shot .410. Other than waterfowl, I haven’t ever had trouble bagging out as often as my troopmates.
     
  12. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I also started out with an old single shot 410 when I was little. I have used and still use either my Mossberg 500 410 or a Turkish O/U 410 for everything except waterfowl hunting. I have outshot my buddies while quail hunting with my little 410 vs their 12 and 20 gauges.
     
  13. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Very true.
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have a Mossberg 500 .410 that serves as a critter gun on my hobby horse farm. It serves well in that service. They are great, reliable shot guns.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    It lacks power over the others because it is the smallest and least powerful.

    Compare it to rat shot from pistol rounds and it will seem like a “super D duper” round for slinging shot.
     
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