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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I previously posted my intent to use 444 Marlin cases to load 410 rds for my Judge.
Why?
Because I have pistol/rifle reloading equipment.
The 444 cases will fit the cylinders of a 2 1/2” Judge.
I have loaded a few test loads and been to the range for proof of concept. I loaded some with Unique and some with IMR4227, 2 powders I have in inventory and which I could find load info for. They function. Now to find a safe load.

The shot used was 0000 Buckshot. It measures 0.384” dia. And is 83g ea. And will not load in a shot wad at that dia. I ran the pellets through a 0.357” sizing die. It turned them into bullets with a round nose, 1/4” of straight side wall and rounded base. They now fit into a shot wad and slide easily into the 444 cases.
I used a 44 Mag bullet seating die to seat the shot wad down onto the powder charge.
I cut over shot cards from both cardboard and cool whip lids using a sharpened 444 case.
Pushed them into the cases over the shot wad w the 44 mag bullet seater.
To crimp I used a 308 sizing dir. the shoulder in the dir will make a nice crimp but take care to not over crimp.
To seal I have used: hot glue, silicone caulk, and Tite Bond.
Loads use Large Rifle primers, 3ea. Resized 0000 shot, for a Total wt of 256g.
I will try loads at 13.5g, 14.0g & 14.5g of IMR4227, running them all over a Chrony.
Choice of powder based on 410 loads & 45 LC loads which use 15-17g of 4227 under 1/2oz shot for 410 & 13-15.5g 4227 for 45 LC loads w 250g bullets.
Hope to get to range soon and provide results.
 

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Just make sure that you don't exceed 14,000psi. The Judge isn't rated for +P loads, so you want to stick with a powder load no greater than that of a Standard Pressure .45 Long Colt, granted that's still a good 400psi higher than your standard pressure .410 Bore 3" load, but the Judge is rated for .45LC first and foremost, so that's perfectly safe.
 

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Don't quite understand why you want to use #0000 and swage it down when #000 will work without swaging. One thing I have found out about my 2.5" chambered Judge is that soft shot deforms and sails off, while hardened shot does not deform and usually is more accurate. The shot cup is another good idea to keep the shot uniform.

Tuco is correct about keeping the PSI down to standard .45LC SAMMI max.
 

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I am curious how this will work since the base on 444 Marlin is a bit smaller, about .010. I guess if the brass stretches to fit without splitting it might work pretty good. Keep us informed.
 

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I am curious how this will work since the base on 444 Marlin is a bit smaller, about .010. I guess if the brass stretches to fit without splitting it might work pretty good. Keep us informed.
Seeing as .444 Marlin runs at 44,000psi, the case ought to be able to contain the significantly lower pressure of .410 Bore (13,000-13,600psi) and/or .45LC (14,000psi) without splitting until the case expands to the dimensions of the Judge's cylinder. (Or at least I hope it will.)
 
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Seeing as .444 Marlin runs at 44,000psi, the case ought to be able to contain the significantly lower pressure of .410 Bore (13,000-13,600psi) and/or .45LC (14,000psi) without splitting until the case expands to the dimensions of the Judge's cylinder. (Or at least I hope it will.)
The thicker brass might do it, I just know that 32 S&W long won't form to Nagant revolver cylinders without splitting consistently. Works fine once though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
0000 buckshot wt is 83g. 000 buckshot is 63 g. The 000 in the Fed shells is undersize & wt.

My thought was to hit with a heaver pellet at the same vel to do more damage. It has a bigger dia even after sizing. Should fit bore better, less mis alignment in barrel because of larger dia. Tighter groups at 20’ or that is the goal. Range day will tell the story.

Also taking a load w 2ea. 125g 0.358” dia, cast bullets, stacked in a shot wad to see what it does.

I have already fired several test loads, loaded in 444 cases. Fired OK, case extracts easy, case mouth does expand a little but a 44 mag bullet seating die does double duty. Shrinks case, pushes shot cup in, & pushes over shot wad in.

Will update after range day. Hope I covered all the questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Todfay was Range Day. Mixed results. All loadings used 444 Marlin cases.
I tried out 3 different powder loads under 2 ea. 125g 0.357" bullets contained in a ShotWad. None of these preformed well. The second bullet pushes the first out of the way resulting with the front bullet keyholing.

I tried 4 different powed loading under 3 ea. 0000 buckshot (0.384" balls sized to 0.358" mini bullets), wt 83g, with shot wad over cards.
The powder loads were 13.5g, 14.0g, 14.5g & 15.0g IMR 4227. They all fired OK.
I.V.s ranged from 688 to 850 fps. with a wide range for each powder loading. My loading skills & IMR 4227 may not be the best powder selection. But it is in my inventory.
Groupings ran from 2.5" to over 4". So it was at least as good as the 000 loads commercially available which have 4 balls, 0.350" and 60g.
Recoil was less than factory 45 LC loadings.

Conclusion. The 444 Marlin case will work! Gualandi .410 Ga. Magnum Wads 1/2 oz. to 11/16 oz. (250 Wads) is the shot wads I used. Justneed to keep looking for a more suitable powder. I'm gonna have to buy a powder more suitable to 410 shotgun loadings.

I also ran some 45 LC loads over my Chrony.
Bullets were home cast 230g LRN. C.O.L. 1.585", and 2 different powders, Unique & IMR4227
There is a Published Cowboy 45LC load of 8.5g Unique under a 230g LRN that is suppose to run 700ish fps.
The loading leaves the case very empty so I filled the space with cardboard wads. I got IVs in the mid 300s to low 400s fps. very tame. I believe, in the Judge, the load could be pushed up to 9 or 9.5g. Have to load some and graduate my way up to see what happens.
I also tried IMR 4227 loads: 13.5g, 14.0g. 14.5g. Ivs were irradic and all loads left 20% or more of unburned powder in the cases. Gonna have to ask the Pistol Loaders WHAT THE H=LL is up with that. my suspicion is it was underloaded so it got an incomplete burn and low IVs. Another mystery to resolve.

So there it is. Happy to answer questions if I can. I will continue to research the 410/444 loadings and post up results. Will have to wait a few weeks. Got to go make a few $$ first.

Gualandi .410 Ga. Magnum Wads 1/2 oz. to 11/16 oz. (250 Wads)
 

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First off, #4227 powder is never happy unless it is at or near MAXIMUM pressure . When loaded in light loads, it will remain unburned and highly erratic. If your only other available powder is Unique, then use Unique, because it is much better choice for low pressure loads.

Since you are using 444 Marlin brass cartridges, why bother to use a wad to CONTAIN the projectiles.? Turn a 44 gas-check cup-side-down over the powder and load the balls directly over that, perhaps. The gascheck will serve the project well as an over-the-powder wad. Or if the platic wad you are uing has a built-in over the powder wad, with cupped edges, cut the wad off and use it without the shot column.

Then you need only seal the front of the cartridge with a crimp or overshot wad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Flash 60601;
The purpose of using a shot wad w the 0000 buckshot is to increase the dia of the projectile load.
0000 buckshot (norm dia 0.384”) sized to 0.358” & inserted into a shotwad has a final OD of 0.429”.

Just loading the 0000 buckshot in the case with an over powder wad makes a projectile load OD of 0.384”.

With a barrel ID of 0.452, the shot wad load (0.492 OD) fills the barrel better than the load without the shotwad (0.384 OD) reducing shot mis-alignment in the bore, reducing the shot pattern size. Or at least that is the idea behind it.

Yes, I am hearing much about the properties of 4227 from several sites. Been trying to find something to use it on. Picked it up by accident several years back.

I have also tried Unique in a couple of loadings and may try some Unique loads again. Not much loading data foe Unique in 410s. Folks say it is Too Hot for 410s. That said, the Judge does not act like a normal 410 shotgun which has a 410 chamber & barrel because it has a 45 cal chamber & barrel. Therefore Unique loads may work well. Will have to evaluate loads based upon felt recoil (as compared to factory 45 LC loads) & IV.

Thx to all for your comments. They always make me re-think the subject. Additional comments always welcome.
 

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Flash 60601;
The purpose of using a shot wad w the 0000 buckshot is to increase the dia of the projectile load.
0000 buckshot (norm dia 0.384”) sized to 0.358” & inserted into a shotwad has a final OD of 0.429”.

Just loading the 0000 buckshot in the case with an over powder wad makes a projectile load OD of 0.384”.

With a barrel ID of 0.452, the shot wad load (0.492 OD) fills the barrel better than the load without the shotwad (0.384 OD) reducing shot mis-alignment in the bore, reducing the shot pattern size. Or at least that is the idea behind it.

Yes, I am hearing much about the properties of 4227 from several sites. Been trying to find something to use it on. Picked it up by accident several years back.

I have also tried Unique in a couple of loadings and may try some Unique loads again. Not much loading data foe Unique in 410s. Folks say it is Too Hot for 410s. That said, the Judge does not act like a normal 410 shotgun which has a 410 chamber & barrel because it has a 45 cal chamber & barrel. Therefore Unique loads may work well. Will have to evaluate loads based upon felt recoil (as compared to factory 45 LC loads) & IV.

Thx to all for your comments. They always make me re-think the subject. Additional comments always welcome.


Old Salt,

That idea of using the shot-wad makes perfect sense as to filling the bore with projectiles enclosed in wad. The wad thus used will accommodate the bore quite well, I'd think. I wish I knew more about the wad you are using. The question of "what kind of base" is on the plastic wad may have a bit to do with dispersion of projectiles ( blown pattern). Does the wad have a cupped base that will adequately seal the powder gasses in the barrel, and prevent the gasses from blowing by the side of the wad?

The condition that will permit passage of gasses will contribute more to blown pattern than most other items in the load. That's why I favor the upside-down gas-check in my 38/357 snake loads. It contains the gas, preventing blown patterns and by containing the gas provides a better combustion and consequent pressure for consistent velocities and overall contribution to desired results.

As for Unique being a "shotgun" powder, in this instance, I don't think it much matters what it is or is not called. You're propelling solid (albeit several ) solid projectiles out of brass cases. LOOK AT RIFE AND ISTOL DATA FOR THAT CTG/WEIGHT COMBINATION.If it does not exceed pressures for which your firearm is designed and built, what matter the number or shape of the projectile, or if it is in a wad or not? Look at your 45 LONG COLT load data, consider the total projectile weight, and then see if there is a recommended Unique loading for that combination.

I load the 38/357 snake loads with Bullseye which is a faster burning powder than Unique, and my process involves the gas check seated directly on the powder with some pressure.

Flash
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Flash,
Now I’ve found you here. Sent a pm, but will post much here for everyone.

The shot wad I’m using has a cupped base. I have cut a 90 deg length window out of a 444 case to see how the components line up inside and how much capacity is left for powder.

I cut over shot wads/cards from coffee / butter containers using a sharpened 444 case in my drill
press. I use a 44 mag bullet seating die to press them into the 444 cases, crimp then seal with silicone caulk or hot glue.

like you I see the 3 sized 0000 buckshot more as a bullet load not a shot load. Nice to get a confirming opinion. So I will refer to
my load manuals for a 252g 45 LC bullet loading with Unique and work it up. Will report my results.
 

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this post has got me thinking about the loads I was playing with. I was using 460 mag shells resized tighter and using 451 lead balls as a starting point. the balls were either hit with a hammer to flatten spots on the top and bottom then pressed into a 45 colt case and then pulled back out to get 139 grain "bullets" with rounded nose flat tip with small flats on the sides. 3 of these make a very heavy 415 grain load. I only tested over 10gr of 296 in a 460 mag shell but they felt rather weak in recoil. was planning on testing 12gr, 13gr, 14gr, 15gr loads but didn't get around to it. I didn't use any shot cups as the soft lead expands and seals in the barrel and grip the rifling.
the other attempt was using a 40S&W shell to cut the edge off the 451 balls then flatten and shape as above to make 123gr projectiles. 3 at 369gr is a better weight.
 
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