Suppose I wanted to reload .410 shells…

I reload a lot of .410s, usually three inchers. I use 2400 as my go to powder. More often than not I load them on a MEC 600. I buy bags of primed hulls from BPI. Never a problem.
notes: waterglass is ok as a Sealant if you are going to shoot the shells fairly quickly. If you are trying to load ahead and put a few boxes on the shelf, waterglass dries out and becomes a white powder. Better than waterglass is plastic cement like Duco.
Brass hulls….there are two types, drawn brass (Magtech). These are thinner walled and require oversize components. Primers are large pistol. Relatively inexpensive.
Then there are lathe turned hulls (Rocky Mt. Cartridge Co.). These are top shelf. They will outlive you. They use standard modern components. Priming is with standard shotshell primers. The downside is price…..they run about $7 per hull. Worth it? Worth every penny.
Lee used to make a Lee Loader for 410. I started with one and moved on to a MEC 600. I also have tried Magtech hulls and 444 Marlin brass. Bought a set of 444 marlin dies and honed the sizing die out to match my Magtech brass dimensions. Still experimenting with the brass hulls to get good results compared to the STS hulls. I use hot glue to hold the overshot card in, oversized nitro cards, and fibre wads from Balistic Products with my brass hulls. Like the hot glue better than the duco cement after trying. Also use an overshot card and hot glue on plastic hulls with the petals cut off after the crimps become unusable.
Lee no longer makes a .410 loader, either the press or the wackamole version. However there is an outfit making a loading set up like the Lee Classic Loader of old. It's priced at $90, and all you need is a mallet and the components and you're good to go for small volume loading.
Loading 410 is stupid easy.
For a half ounce of shot I use non-magnum primers, any shell, use 12 or 13gr (usually 12gr) of al410, any wad and cap it off with an overshot card.
There's almost no point in buying loaded ammo.
Some wad comobs give unburnt powder kernels with 13gr. I'll up the powder charge a third of a grain at a time or add more shot till I get a clean powder burn or till I get over pressure signs.
I’m very familiar with reloading centerfire rifle and handgun cartridges, but I’ve never reloaded a shotshell in my life. I’m completely uneducated on the presses for reloading shotshells.

What kind of investment would I be looking at to safely and effectively reload 2.5” and 3” standard plastic hull .410 shotshells with #4, #6, and 000 buck?
Have you checked out the Survival Reloader kit?
It's a good way to get your little toe into reloading.
When I bought a SXS .410 for my Granddaughter a couple years ago I picked one up off ebay, I have used Lee hand loading kits in the past but this kit is really nice and Mt Granddaughter sure likes to assist in making Grouse loads.


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I use a Mech Jr and set it up to load skeet shells. never had a reason to change it to anything else but every thing about it is easy as pie. If you have EVER reloaded ANY THING successfully, you can reload 410 shells on one of these.

If my hulls start getting worn out I just buy another box of AA from walmart and that is all I use.

BUT, I like that idea of getting 3" hulls and cutting them down as they wear out. I'm going to start looking at them closer for potential there but I don't recall mine wearing out in a way that would be helpful. Yet.
I did make a dozen everlasting 410 shells out of 444 Marlin brass. First shot fireformed them. I’ve lost my load book in the recent move but know that it included large rifle primer, .410 plastic wad, Unique, and a glued on top wad of milk carton cardboard. For my Contender. Others have used 303 Brit after blowing out the shoulder with Herco and cream of wheat
With 410 being so hard to find on the shelf, seems like a good idea to roll yer own...
So, the Lee would probably work just fine for you.

As an aside, if you want a larger shot size selection but want to keep the bore size down, look at 28 ga. Pretty amazing bore actually.
Lee appears to have dropped the 410 from the list. 12 16 20 is all that shows up on their web site.
I have been told by shotshell reloaders that you can’t easily experiment (safely) with shotshells, so you have to follow the published data exactly
That's what I have always read and been told, have yet to try it yet.