I was on line looking at 12 gauge brass hulls and also saw 410 hulls for sale. They both ran about $25 for a box of 25, not too bad so I started looking at loads for 410 shells and ran across a link where 410 shells could be made from 303 British ammo. I decided making my own shells would be better that paying for them so I scrounged around and found an empty 303 cartridge and decided to experiment.
First I annealed the case by heating the top half of the shell over a gas burner till it turned red and then dropped it in cold water. This made the brass softer and easier to expand.
Next I put in a large rifle primer (I understand you could also use large pistol primers as the powder for shotgun is slowing burning like a pistol powder) and charged it with 17 to 20 grains of Unique powder. I decided the amount of powder is not overly critical at this stage because I was not shooting a projectile and pressures would be very low compared to shooting shot (much like a blank) I then filled the rest of the case up with Grits, you could also use cream of wheat, rice, or even pack the case with a t-shirt material. I then sealed the top of the case with wax ( I just jammed it into a candle)
I then loaded the cartridge into my Savage, over-under 22/410.
I folded a rag and placed it on my garage floor, rested the barrel on the rag and fired. The gun barely made a 'pop' sound, in fact it sounded like a dud almost and no recoil at all.
|Newly formed 410 shell|
I need to find a supply of spent 303 brass and make about 25 or 30 more and experiment with different loads. I plan to cut (or stamp) wads from heavy card stock or the sides of wax coated milk cartons. The primers can be punched out with a small punch and then re-primed by hand using a rubber mallet. I will then use a standard load's for 410's, cover the powder with a shot wad and fill the case up with BB's. A second wad can be placed on top and sealed with silicone or multi-purpose glue.
I will do a second part to this a little later and show results. I want to also test using single ball ammo as well. The case fits very well in the chamber and ejects easily.
The benefit of making this ammo is it can be loaded by hand without special tools and you could use large primers you have on hand. You also have the added bonus of developing any special load you can dream up from a slug to bird shot. I plan to explore this in the future for 410 as well as 12 gauge.