View Full Version : Shot my first round of .410 Sporting today

November 17, 2012, 08:17 PM
Very humbling, but I had a great time.

My score was in the crapper(34/100), but I had a big smile the whole day. We shot the A (orange) course at Lehigh Valley and all I had was a pair of IC chokes and #9 shells as I was planning on shooting skeet until it changed at breakfast. It wasn't enough for a lot of the targets and I ended up dusting but not breaking a number of them. I think some more choke to get the most out of the .410 pattern would probably help. Regardless, I had enough fun today, that I will definitely be back again.

Just thought I would share a nice day out.



November 18, 2012, 11:35 AM
Glad to hear you had a great day out there....keep it up !

Old Grump
November 18, 2012, 12:26 PM
Good to see another convert to that grand little round. The more we can get shooting it the more the price will go down and then we can enjoy it even more. :D

November 18, 2012, 02:05 PM
If you were hitting but not breaking the targets, your pellets didn't have enough retained energy to do the job. Unfortunately you only had #9's...some #8's would have probably made a difference.

The fun and also the frustration of the little 410 is that they have a way of humbling a person PDQ. Limited payload, limited ability to jack up the velocity, and quick handling all add up to showing any flaw in your technique each and every shot.

November 19, 2012, 12:49 PM
I reload ....so I can shoot whatever I want in a .410 ....

....but 1/2oz of 8's is my primary shell for the .410 in sporting clays..../ for Skeet - I load 1/2 oz of 9's....and in both cases, I buy the hardest shot I can find....vs stuff I'll load in 12ga, 20ga or 28ga ....where I don't really care if its a premium shot or not.

A note.....If I was shooting a course set up for 12ga or 20ga shotguns.../ I might carry 3 or 4 boxes of 7 1/2's ( in 1/2oz of course ) ....to reach out a little more....everything I load in .410 ( is 2 1/2" shells ) and at a velocity of 1200 fps....( but typically on a 100 target clays course....I'll carry 150 shells....( even in 12ga ) ...where I carry some loads with 9's, some 8's and some 7 1/2's because you never know what the target setter had in mind for you today ...or who he was mad at that morning....

Balistically: 1/2 oz of 8's still gives me about 205 pellets in the pattern / and when I load 1/2oz of 7 1/2's I still have about 173 pellets...so if I were to shoot an IC choke in a 12ga ...I might go to a Mod choke in a .410 ....to tighten the pattern up a little ...and let me reach out there a little.....but one # 7 1/2 pellet out of a 12ga or a .410 at 1200 fps ...will hit that target just as hard...( but in general it will take 4 or 5 #9's to break a clay, 3 or 4 #8's to break a clay ...and only 2 or 3 # 7 1/2's to break a clay...) ...and the larger the pellet - the longer the effective range is - because larger pellets carry their energy further downrange.

But in clays ...its not just the range....its what aspect of the clay you see when it gets to your break point...( the underside is easier to break ), if the target rolls over and you can see the top its pretty easy to break ....but if all you see is "edge on" of the target...its hard to break....so they harder the aspect of the target is ...the bigger the pellet you need / or the more choke you need.....

but in the right hands.....410's are capable of amazing scores on a sporting clays course ( not in my hands ) ...:D ....but in capable hands....

November 19, 2012, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. It really was a great time.

I did pick up a couple boxes of #8 shot to keep in the range bag. If I can find some reasonable 7.5 I will grab a box or two of them also. I'm sure it was dumb luck, but I was able to break a couple 40+ yard birds using IC and 9 shot. I just wasn't able to do it more than once.

Jim - What kind of press do you use for the .410? I end up with shot bridging when I use anything other than 9 shot. It drives me nuts as I have a few hundred pounds of 8.5 shot here that I use for 12 and 20.

November 19, 2012, 08:18 PM
Shot bridging is a common issue ....but thankfully, it has not been a problem on my press...

I'm using a MEC 9000-HN ( its their hydraulic press) ...and I have their 9000 HN's in all 4 gagues...12, 20, 28 and .410 .....and my press is about 5 yrs old or so ....and shot bridging on it has never been an issue regardless of whether I load 9's, 8's or 7 1/2's...but I keep a close eye on station 4 - to make sure I get a good charge of shot on each case....( shot drops in station 3 ) ...but station 4 is where you can look into the case and see the shot level in the wad inside the case....

I don't know if MEC revised the size of the shot drop tube ...or not....on my press.

Maybe its the smooth motion of the hydraulic ...that allows it to drop easily - don't know ..../ but, I do turn the control valve on the amount of oil coming into the actuation cyclinder on the back of the press down, to where the press travels both up and down at a little slower pace...primarily so the shells don't rock in the stations...throwing shot around.....

but I do recommend the MEC hydraulics ...if you have room for them / and shoot enough to justify them. I only have one motor and pump that sets on the floor - and then 4 presses. My bench allows for 2 presses to sit side by side....and I control the flow to one press or the other - so only one press operates at a time...with a simple shutoff valve on top of the pump on the floor. My 12ga stays in its left hand spot on the bench. I then just shut off the valve on the other press ..and rotate either the 20ga, 28ga or .410 in and out ....and keep the other 2 presses on an adjacent table.

The first 9000 HN press - with the pump and motor is about $1,000 ...but then you can add each press you want for about $500 each - because you don't need a 2nd motor and pump ...so you could do a 12ga ....410 combo for around $ 1,500 or so..../ your payback is really quick on .410's and 28ga ...and still pretty good on 12ga and 20ga these days as well - in my opinion. Drop me a personal note...if you want more specifics.

November 19, 2012, 08:50 PM
It's too bad that they don't allow 3" shells for registered events. That is the one way you could hot rod a 1/2 oz. load with published data and get better hitting power at range. The one thing you are allowed is plated shot; that can make a difference at range.

November 19, 2012, 10:11 PM
Shot bridging is a common issue...+1

Many years ago, I learned to give the handle a mini second stroke to make sure the wad doesn't try to back out and to break up any bridges, when reloading .410s.

BigJim, you use a hydo Mec -- don't they short of shudder during their operation? If so, this may reduce bridging.

November 20, 2012, 04:01 AM
BigJim, you use a hydo Mec -- don't they sort of shudder during their operation? If so, this may reduce bridging.

BigJim just glares and it shudders.

November 20, 2012, 11:38 AM
Klawman is just jealous because I'm younger than he is ( and better looking ) ....:D ....( my halloween mask was "the klawman"...) ....

You might have a point there Zippy ....haven't really thought about it .../ I just keep making shells !! :D But seriously, the hydraulics are pretty smooth...in fact I don't even bolt them down to the bench / although I do have them on an anti-skid mat....but they don't rock nearly as much as a machine where you pull the handle....( like the 9000 GN ) and the hydraulic machines have an extra stabilizer from the upper part of the press to the base / that the 9000 GN doesn't have too...

( the 9000 GN is a manually operated press/still has a handle that you pull down and then up to cycle the press ....the 9000 HN is operated by hydraulics - and operated by a foot pedal on the floor )...in case some of you guys have not seen these things work.

November 20, 2012, 09:34 PM
Many years ago, I learned to give the handle a mini second stroke to make sure the wad doesn't try to back out and to break up any bridges, when reloading .410s.

Zippy - How far up did you come before the mini down stroke? Just off the wad or did you come up a bit? I would like to get consistent results with larger shot. The bridging just drives me nuts.

My 12 and 20 presses are Hornady 366's. I've only been shooting and loading the .410 about 3 months now. I was given a pretty high mileage 762 grabber that belonged to a friend who passed. ( He once told me that I shoot pretty well for someone with absolutely no natural ability. :)) The Mec is new to me and it has taken me some time to get this thing dialed in so it runs fairly well.

Anyways, thanks for the input.

November 21, 2012, 12:01 AM
If you would only buy PW's. I'm gonna fess up here. I've got a Mec that I make 3" shells on. (Just because I'm to cheap to buy the tooling for 3 inch on my PW).
Called the good folks at Mec Probably a good generation ago on this very problem. Their solution for this was a 14" dowel rod and on the upstroke to tap the shot tube. Pretty low tech but it works.

340 Weatherby
November 21, 2012, 01:25 AM
I second the tapping the shot tube technique. Save a lot of messes for me too.

November 21, 2012, 12:56 PM
Zippy - How far up did you come before the mini down stroke? Just off the wad or did you come up a bit?
Dale, I raise the handle to where the charge bar just starts to move. The slack in your machine will determine how far. If shot starts to spill, you've gone too far.