I am looking for some suggestions related to reloading 3" shotshells in .410 bore. I have read a number of posts on the internet related to this topic, but none of them provide all of the information I am looking for, and some are rather old, and I'd like to have more current information. Below I will lay out what my experience has been in trying to learn about reloading 3" .410 shells, followed by my questions.
I have purchased a Tristar Viper G2 semi-auto .410 that shoots both 2-1/2" and 3" shotshells. I am looking to use it to shoot clays. It's been a very long time since I shot .410, and then only at squirrels, and I know it will be a challenge to do anything but whiff when shooting a .410 at clays. After watching some internet videos that showed .410 shotshell patterns, it seems like the small amount of extra shot you get with a 3" shell would be helpful, so I decided I want to try it, but I have had difficulty finding much information on reloading 3" .410 shells.
All of the advice I have gotten from people for both 28 gauge and .410 bore shell reloading is to use Winchester AA HS hulls because they are stronger, reload more times, have fewer issues, and crimp better. As part of a process of evaluating the cost of buying .410 shells vs reloading them I asked Winchester which of their .410 shells use AA HS hulls. They told me that all of their 2-1/2" shells but none of their 3" shells use AA HS hulls. I also could not find a shell on the Remington web site for 3" .410 shells. But I see reloading recipes on the Alliant and Hodgdon reloading data web sites for 3" .410 bore reloads using Winchester AA HS and Remington STS hulls. Huh.
All of my shotshell recipes have come from the Alliant and Hodgdon reloading data web sites. Alliant 410 and Hodgdon H110 look like the best bets to me. I know there are books that contain shotshell reloading information, but I don't know whether or not they are more complete or better than the manufacturer web sites.
I have purchased a MEC Sizemaster reloader in .410 bore because it supports both 2-1/2" and 3" shells. The only reloaders I could find that support 3" .410 shells are the Sizemaster and MEC 600 Jr Mark V. I would rather use a MEC 9000GN, but it only support 2-1/2" .410 shells.
First question: In your experience, is the extra shot in a 3" .410 shell vs a 2-1/2" shell of much help in shooting clays? Is it worth the extra expense and effort?
Second question: What source do you use for reloading data?
Third question: What brand and model of 3" .410 hull do you use for reloading? What is your favorite reload recipe for that hull?
Fourth question: Do you know of a web site where I could buy 3" .410 bore Winchester AA HS or Remington STS hulls? I can't find ANY.
Fifth question: Have you ever reloaded Winchester Super-X 3" .410 hulls? What is your favorite reload recipe for that hull?
Sixth question: Have you ever reloaded NSI .410M 3" .410 hulls? What is your favorite reload recipe for that hull?
Seventh question: Do you have any tips and tricks that you would care to share about using the MEC Sizemaster for reloading .410 hulls?
Thank you in advance for your help.