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Old March 12, 2013, 05:17 PM   #1
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Question for the shotgun handloaders/reloaders of the forum

I've been kicking around an experimental load for the .410 shotguns I have.

My goal is to try boost the perfromance a bit by using lead airgun .177 caliber pointed pellets,the weight on them is 7.9 grain.

I plan on stacking the pellets on top of each other inside the shell to fit as many as I can into it while getting to the target payload weight or just a bit under the target payload weight.

I have seen a youtube vid of a guy loading .22 caliber pellets into a 12 gauge shell and shooting them,but I think the way he loaded them could have had an effect on the way the shot went.

But I need help with the grain to ounce weight conversion so I'll know for sure if the figures I've been working with would be correct.
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Old March 12, 2013, 06:17 PM   #2
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16 ounces and 7000 grains to the pound.

When you do the division, one ounce = 437.5 grains.

Not sure your pointed pellets would work out too well - that stuff is supposed to be spin-stabilised along its own long axis. Shot works because even if the individual pellets tumble, it doesn't change the aspect that they present to the air*; and although they don't maintain the same straightline path from the muzzle (at reasonably short distances) a rifle bullet does, patterning remains relatively predictable (all else being equal).

An airgun pellet that tumbles is constantly changing the frontal aspect, and the path will be grossly unpredictable to the point where you may not get much use beyond almost contact range.

* = yes, okay, pellets deform and that does change things, but I'm talking the ideal case here.
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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Nice idea but you'll be sorely disappointed in the results.

First issue is stacking them; to get a layer of three you'll need to use card wads for the base.

Second, the pellets are are space hogs vs. weight so you'll find the loads to be light.

Third, the skirts will be heavily damaged when you fire the gun; this will ruin any ballistic advantage that they started with.

Fourth, the pellets will be further damaged if you have any level of choke in the gun. 410's are usually Full choke or Mod.

Points three and four are compliments of the soft lead used for airgun pellets and the thin skirts needed for good obturation in a low pressure system. By gun standards even a high power air gun is low pressure. If you really want to try this, use something along the line of Beeman Kodiak pellets. At least they are made for the real high power air guns and offer a higher space to weight ratio.
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:11 PM   #4
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You may want to use some sort of buffer material between and around the pellets as well. Corn Meal is an old favorite. But they do make commercial buffer material.

Like the earlier posters, I expect you will be unimpressed with the pattern any further than about 10 yards.
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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The barrels I would be using them from are cylinder choke which should give them a smooth enough launch,I've thought about the flight control wads to keep the pellets tighter too.

The pellets should be front heavy.

But if that isn't the case I could trim the skirts off them and check the weight before loading.

I thought about using grex for buffering but cornmeal should work just as well (and be cheaper)

The main reason I've wanted to use this in a .410 is to boost the effective pattern for a close range general purpose load,and if it works out as well as I've been thinking for the .410 it should do pretty well in larger gauge shotguns,maybe a 28,20,or 12 gauge.

Last edited by Pfletch83; March 12, 2013 at 07:36 PM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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Here is the payload data I've thought out so far ( without trying to load anything so far)

I've been using the payload weight for the two federal '000' buck loads as a measure of safe payload weights and have tried to come up with numbers that would be better than the 3-inch #4 buck load but without going over what I feel is a safe payload weight.

Control #1: Federal 2-1/2 inch '000' buck weight in ounces = 0.620

Control #2: Federal 3-inch '000' buck weight in ounces = 0.775

(note that these numbers are just an estimation,but I think the first two do have a good potential for a 2-1/2 inch shell capacity)

7.9 X 10= 79 grains

7.9X15 = 118.5 grains

7.9 X 20= 158 grains
7.9X 25= 197.5 grains
7.9X30= 237 grains
7.9X 35= 276.5 grains
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:44 PM   #7
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The barrels I would be using them from are cylinder choke which should give them a smooth enough launch,I've thought about the flight control wads to keep the pellets tighter too.
You are forgetting acceleration forces which will compress / destroy the skirts. If you cut off the skirts, you destroy the front heavy aspect of the pellet and you'll get erratic performance. "Flight control" wads for a 410??? You missed the part of to get three to a layer you need card wads.

Load'll never get 30 pellets loaded even with a single over-powder wad.

We haven't even begun discussing barrel scrubbing, disrupted air flow, etc.

Just for an academic exercise try the following: Take a 3" shell and cut off just enough of the top so you remove the crimp. Dump the shot out. Load as many steel BB's in there with the petals on the wad without going over the top of the hull. Next, pull the the powder though. Cut the petals off of the wad. Put the base of the wad back in over the powder and seat it. Now see how many steel BB's you can get in there without going over the top. You now know the limits with wad petals and without. Because of the height difference you will get more BB's in there than pellets.
You can also measure the depth of the available space in the shell. Now stack your chosen pellets one on top of the other until you come close but not exceeding the available height. Multiply that number x2 if you are using a wad with petals, multiply X3 if petals removed. You will know how many pellets will fit. Knowing how many pellets will fit, you can calculate the weight of your load.

Understand that I am NOT advocating loading a shell to be fired with common steel BB's. But steel BB's are cheap, plentiful and the same diameter as your pellets (actually the base of the skirt is just a tad wider). This way you will see that with petals you get two wide at best (wad taper is an issue) and without petals it is a tight three per layer.

But hey, if you want to go where others have gone before and see for your self go for it. It's your time and money. I would go different routes depending on what you are really trying to accomplish.
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