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Old July 27, 2020, 01:03 PM   #1
G.O. West
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Question about reloading 410 brass shotshells

I am reloading brass 410 cases with Alliant 2400 powder, a 0.135 cardboard over-powder wad, a dry 3/8" thick unlubricated felt wad, and 1/2 oz. of lead shot in a home made plastic shot capsule as pictured below. My question is: Would there be any problem if I left out the felt wad? What difference would it make? Could there be a pressure problem? My thinking was that with loose shot these felt wads are lubricated and used to reduce leading in the bore. My plastic shot capsule seems to eliminate the leading problem. Any information appreciated.

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Old July 27, 2020, 04:14 PM   #2
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Anything that takes up powder space increases pressure, but felt wad just might be cushioning the shot column a little and improving the gas seal. You could try leaving it out. The plastic will probably lube things fairly well. Try it and see if you lose too much velocity or if your pattern opens significantly.
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Old July 27, 2020, 07:15 PM   #3
FITASC
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Could always load them with the shot cup open at the top and glue a cardboard overshot card.
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Old July 28, 2020, 02:13 AM   #4
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Felt wads cushion the shock of acceleration and decrease deformation of the shot.
Deformed shot typically doesn't pattern well.

Try it. See what happens.
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Old July 28, 2020, 09:41 PM   #5
G.O. West
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So instead of the 3/8" thick felt wad I tried some only 3/16" thick. That permits seating the shot capsule deeper into the case. Also, because these brass cases are made from 303 British, their thick case walls nearer the base make the plastic shot capsule a pretty tight fit when seated that deep, which holds it in there pretty securely. The other photo is of three plastic shot capsules I picked up off the ground after firing.



I see that the shot pattern has a few more stray pellets with the thinner felt wad as
FrankenMauser suggested it would. Below are the results.



So I think I'll stay with the thicker felt wad and not even test a load with no felt at all.
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Old July 29, 2020, 12:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing.
And good on you for testing.

I definitely agree with not bothering to test a load with no cushion wad. I absolutely believe in people testing for themselves and seeing what happens (as I did). But this is a case where I can tell you that nearly everyone's results are the same.

For myself... I've experimented with such in .44 Mag, .444 Marlin, and .410 (in .444 Marlin cases and .410 hulls). With no cushion, patterns really go to crap.
Still fun. But usually somewhere between disappointing and useless.
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Old August 6, 2020, 06:35 PM   #7
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I have a question to ask, but first of all let me say that I haven't had so much fun in a long time! I shot a round of trap today with these little 410 shells. It's the first time I ever used a 410. The clay pigeons were hit at 35 yards and I only scored 20/25. I see you have to aim pretty carefully to break them. I think I can do better next time. I picked up off the ground what is left of three of my shot capsules as pictured below. As a result of the way they are made there is one full length slit in the capsule, and I had started cutting an additional half length slit (that would sit inside the brass case) on the opposite side but I'd say that this is a waste of time because none of the pellets seemed to have escaped that side, so in the future I'll skip that step when reloading.



So, here is my question: This 1/2 oz. shot load I am using works very well; but my gun is chambered for 3 inch and I would like to try a longer shot capsule with 3/4 oz. of shot. I have read that when working up a new load I should keep an eye on the velocity to know when I am approaching a maximum powder charge. Is this reliable? How would I chronograph these things without blowing my chrony apart? Or is there another way to read pressure signs with these brass cases made from 303 British? Thank you for any help.

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Old August 8, 2020, 03:31 PM   #8
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In any gun, muzzle energy is equal to the average (not peak) pressure behind the projectile all the way down the tube, multiplied by the length of the projectile travel down the tube. Thus, the average pressure is proportional to the square root of the velocity. But the proportion of the peak pressure to the lower pressure at the muzzle or other places in the barrel that go into making up that average is not knowable from velocity. So there is no way to measure peak pressure directly from velocity.

What you can do, and I expect this is what they meant, is look up loads with the same powder and primer and ejecta (pellets, wads, powder gases) mass and a provided powder charge and see how your velocity compares to theirs, assuming you have the same barrel length they used to collect their test data.

Measuring the velocity over an optical chronograph is risky, as even if you do it before the shot pattern spreads out, the wadding can still strike and damage the machine. Usually people put some kind of mask up to protect the chronograph, like a pine board with a hole through it that lets the shot through. The the first pellet should trip the machine and stop it, giving you maximum pellet velocity. The trailing pellets will be going slower, but they will be going.

I don't know how the Labradar and Magnetospeed would handle this. The Labradar might tend to track the wad's velocity and even if not, would tend to follow the trailing pellets and so give you a reading corresponding to the lowest velocity in the shot string. The Magnetospeed I think would favor the leading edge. You could call the maker and ask.

This is a funny situation in which an old fashioned ballistic pendulum might actually give you the best average velocity reading, though it is hard to get a lot of resolution out of one.

The alternative is to invest in a Pressure Trace instrument and get actual pressure readings you can compare to commercial shells fired in the same gun. It costs as much as many guns, so this would have to be something you want anyway for checking out other guns you own.
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