Well back in August I posted that i had taken my 12" .410 pistol to the trap range. Well since then I've been back a for more times and even got the wife to go with her single shot .410. We have fun even though we miss more than hit but we're getting better. Which leads to .410 shell cost $10 for 2 1/2 or $15 for the 3" and then they dont always have the same ones when we go back. So what does this lead to? A MEC 600jr reloader. Had them in stock at Sportsman warehouse but they wanted $250, good thing I looked at their price match policy. They even match certain online retailers..midway,Amazon,Bass Pro,brownells. Well Bass Pro had one but out of stock $220 but SW priced matched. Best part, over the year I buy stuff (gas,restaurant..etc) on CC just and pay it off at end of every month so no interest but I get some cash back.It's not much but over a year its usually couple hundred, well I had $187 cash back=reloader $33 before tax. So reloaded price minus hulls $4 for 2 1/2 or 4.60 for 3in. NOw this was stuff I just picked up at SW might be able to get a little cheaper Not sure how long hulls will last since this is my first shotgun press but we'll find out. So I've set the press up and ran 50 thru it, hardest part was making couple adjustments to pre crimp and crimp stations. Nothing hard just couple turn of screws. One thing I'm still up in the air about are the use of bushing for powder. Don't mind set bar for shot but would like adjustable powder.
There is a adjustable bar you can buy but I'll give it some time. Sure that extra gr of powder isn't going to make me hit any more clay pigeons. It does both 2 1/2 and 3" hulls, comes set for 2 1/2. You can adjust it for 3" then just pay a plate that clips on for 2 1/2 shells so you dont have to keep adjusting back and forth. Now before I started I checked powder dumps usually +/- .1 did same with shot. Checked few times during reloading all in same range.
I also have a MEC 600 that started out as a 12g press that I picked up used. Found a local fellow that had the 410 dies and picked them up also. One thing with 410 is that they crush/bulge pretty easy if things aren't set up right and or you try to stuff too much in the hull. Also if you don't have the crimper set right it'll bulge them. The stiffer AA hulls work better than some of the euro ones and you'll find out that everyone seems to have a different length on their hulls even though they claim to be 2.5" and 3" so sorting is a must. Hotter loads take a toll on hulls but sometimes seem to pattern better/tighter. Sometimes you can pick up hulls at the local clays range too. If you have a bushing that throws a decent powder charge and it works, all is good. Mine had the adjustable one in it and it is nice but not really necessary. I load different loads so it's nice but most just stick to one or two loads and the bushings work fine. I've even just thrown or trickled some from a powder measure for testing new loads. Kinda slow but just for five or so it works. Have fun and definitely save some money.
A body at rest stays at rest, until the wife shows up.
Thanks, wouldn't have even thought about the hull lengths. I'm just loading the AA that we shot previously, I kept everything we shot, you know how us reloaders are.
Wow, goes to show how long it's been since I bought a loader. A 600 Jr. is over $200 !
I have them for 10, 12 and 16, and have an old Pacific for 20. I do have one adjustable powder bar, but mostly used the bushings as well. I think I had the adjustable one in my 16, as I was diddling around with a bunch of loads for it for a while.
I don't think bumping powder a grain for velocity matters, but I did find in my own loading, that moving the powder charge up/down can make the shot pattern better/worse. Sometimes it gets better by even backing down the powder a little.
Same goes for wad pressure. For years I never messed with wad pressure (16 ga), and wasn't even sure what to do with it (before AlGore invented the internet).
Still something a bit "voodoo-magical" about shotshell loading to me I guess.
Glad to hear you found a cheaper way to get 410 shells. Those little turkey's are expensive.
This is one I've been considering loading myself as, as you noted, the shells ate not only pricey but difficult to find. Especially if you find a load u really like, getting more of the same caen be a real challenge! Seen a 600jr a while back for $50 used and almost bought it with the intent of converting it to 410. I passed on it and later found the conversation is $100! Hopefully I'll eventually find a used one already set up for 410. Enjoy!
I'm always on the look out for one of the old Lee hand loaders at a reasonable piece. When I do find one it's either gold plated, already sold or not complete.
I see Paco Kelly makes 410 reloading hand tools, the standard kit will load either 2.5 or 3" shells is $100. The combo kit, too load both lengths, is $120. Not cheap but they are available.
Thanks for posting the link to those tools. I may have to get the rimfire tool sets for "educational" purposes.
Welcome to the 410 addition!
Six years ago my son asked Dad can I shoot a shotgun. Started looking for a 24
Contender 410 barrel. Very rear and very expensive. We went to local gun show and low and behold
Found one. Guy wanted $300 for it and I walked away saying I’ll go back later. It was still there and offered guy $250 and he accepted. Found out like you 410’s are expensive. Bought 600 hulls off gun broker and bought a Mec 600 JR. I was bitten by the 410 bug and bought a contender 16 1/4 inch 45/410 and Encore 12 inch 45/410. We shot clay Pigeons at our WV property and had a blast. Hulls are on 3’rd reloading so we’ve shot them a lot
Nice...I've been looking at the MGM pistol shotgun barrels for the encore, straight rifling with different chokes.
I took the plunge last week and ordered a new 600jr. I had been watching a couple on the auction sites that were used and, with shipping, were more $ than I could get one new from one of my distributors. I did find one of the universal charge bars, which I've used a lot in 12ga, for this and got it bought and delivered.
Picked up some AA410 HS wads, some magnum 7.5 shot, W209 primers and a box of hornady .375" round ball's, already had some 2.5" 410AA HS hulls. Hodgdon's site has plenty of data to get ya started including that 3- round ball load. I did get the 1/2 ounce 7.5 shot loads put together and shot, seemed to pattern decently, small game lethal, out to at least 25 yards. I also got some of the round ball loads put together but not shot.
I did run into issues with this set up. I had an extreme issue with my can of H110 having static cling. It would bridge in the drop tube, etc... Made weighing charges difficult at best not to mention at times there'd be powder in the slot charge. Also had bridging with the shot in the drop tube if I didn't lift the handle until the drop tube was nearly out of the case. The universal charge bar didn't care for the 1/2 ounce weight and wouldn't always throw the full charge weight. I switched to the mec charge bar that came with the press and it seemed to throw the shot charge more consistently, not perfect but definitely more consistently. As to charging the case with powder, I went to charging them one at a time from my Lyman Gen 6 dispenser. After priming, I manually charged the case from the charge thrown by my Lyman and then proceeded as normal. This sped up the process a lot and gave me the piece of mind that I'm not going to blown up anything! The 3 round ball loads assembled easily. After seating the wad, I'd place one of the ball's on the wad guide and use the drop tube to push it into the case, gently. Did that for all 3 and then crimped as normal. Powder was thrown from the Lyman with these too. Overall, even with the issues I'm experiencing I'm happy with the press/ process and now have a means to make a bunch of ammo for my 410s fairly easily.
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