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I don't currently reload for shotguns - though I do a lot of reloading for pistol and rifles.  Recently I've started thinking that maybe I'd like to try loading some shot shells, especially .410s for my 45/410 Contender, but I'm not really interested in buying an expensive press for the somewhat limited volume of shotgun shooting that I currently do.  Is it possible to assemble loads without using a press?   If it is, I'd appreciate someone steering me to a source of info on how to safely do it.
 

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Hi, Mike:
    I suppose you could reload them with some punches and a $2.00 MEC wad guide, but it would be a hassle.  You're next cheapest bet is an old Lee Loader.  Lee did make a .410 back in the `70s for $15.  I have one in 20 gauge.  They work, but you've got to match your componets to the loader.   If you find one, play with it until you know if you want  a MEC.

   The Lee Load-All isn't made in .410,  and I couldn't get rid of my 12 gauge fast enough.  The next step up is the MEC 600.  There's several on eBay now.  This one's at $61 right now.      
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1813942110

    Personally, I think the best way to discourage people from reloading shotshells is to set them up with Lee equipment.   There's enough good used MEC loaders out there at reasonable prices, so why fight with inadequate equipment?

Bye
Jack
 

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Hi, Mike:
   Me again.  Shotshell loading is a whole `nuther ball game from metallics.  Don't experiment until you have Mr. Gates' level of expertise.  If it's not in the book, don't try it.

    Interestingly, the preferred powders for the .410 are the same as for magnum handguns, 2400, 4227, 296, H110 & Lil'Gun.   Recipes are available at the powder people's websites.   You should get the Lyman Shotshell Reloading Handbook (1st choice) or  "Reloading for Shotgunners" from the Gun Digest folks (close 2nd choice).  Read them and you'll know why you're playing a different game.

Bye
Jack
 

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Right now, the Lyman 3rd Edition Shotshell Manual (Fourth Edition is now available), is listed in Lyman's 2002 catalog, as seen in the scanned image below at a VERY reasonable price.  

The info in the 3rd edition is just as valid now as when it was printed, it just doesn't have all the newest powders listed.... for the .410, I think Lil'Gun is about the only one not covered in the older 3rd edition.  A good investment for anyone who loads shotshells, or wants to, and doesn't own the book!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Friends All...Shotshell loading falls into two classes. One is loading for clay bird shooting and calls for volume. Having tested and used various presses over the years, I have come to realize that you get what you pay for. I use nothing except the machines made by Ponsness-Warren. As with metallics, to get quality reloads one needs a quality machine. When one gets off onto loading and developing shotshells, it's an entire different matter. Most of the time one is using new shells and the equipment can be quite simple...much can be home-made. One must remember that specialized shotshells fall into the same catagory as benchrest is to metallics. I will not belabor the point, as most members of the forum lean toward metallics. I will be most happy to help anyone that decides that they want to get involved in specialized shotgun loads.
Best Regards, James
 
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