Using a 410 Lee Loader

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Using a 410 Lee Loader

Postby Green Frog » 05 Nov 2021 19:32

Well, this section of the forum doesn’t seem to be very lively, so let me take a stick and see what I can stir up. At a fund raiser auction our club ran several years ago, somebody donated an old 410 Lee Loader from the old Lee Custom iteration of the company. AFAIK, this tool didn’t make the jump to Lee Precision. My example is made for the desirable (to me at least) 2 1/2” shell.

A year or two later I was able to buy a Marlin Model 90 in 410 bore. For those who aren’t familiar, the Model 90 is an over under developed prior to WW II, then continued after the war until the late ‘50s or early ‘60s. To the point of this post, the 410 was only in production for a couple of years prior to the war with a few odd pieces rumored to have been made up on special order right after the war (perhaps with leftover parts??)

So, why am I posting this on the Lee Loader Forum? I’ve got a couple of hundred once fired Winchester AA hulls and all of the components to reload them. I just need to “screw up my courage to the sticking point” (with proper nod to The Bard”) and actually make some reloads and shoot them through my rare and valuable shotgun. I’d love to hear from any of my fellow forum members who have loaded 410 bore shells with a Lee Loader. I’m experienced with metallic cartridges using all sorts of tools including Lee Loaders, but have only loaded a few thousand shot shells using an actual loading press, none on a Lee Loader.

tIA ~ Froggie
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Re: Using a 410 Lee Loader

Postby GasGuzzler » 06 Nov 2021 04:44

I had a 410 bore Lee Loader and sold it on eBay for nearly $300. That is where my knowledge ends.
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Re: Using a 410 Lee Loader

Postby Green Frog » 06 Nov 2021 08:35

GasGuzzler wrote:I had a 410 bore Lee Loader and sold it on eBay for nearly $300. That is where my knowledge ends.


Thank you for your input. I look at those lofty prices being brought by this seemingly rarest of the Lee Loaders for shot shells and wonder whether I would be better off selling mine and buying a basic bench tool (like maybe a MEC 600 Jr) to load 410s, but the small space occupied by the Lee Loader box by comparison is quite attractive, and I really don’t load and shoot that many 410 shells. If the Lee Loader will give good, serviceable shells, I have to ask, “Why not?”

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Re: Using a 410 Lee Loader

Postby RBHarter » 06 Nov 2021 12:53

I'm no help either I've loaded several 1000 12&20 ga on a press and have given up hope of finding a die set for or 650 in 410 . Ammo has been scarce even when it is available so I've resigned myself gathering 303 brass even Berdan primed for conversion to 410 they are a little short but not bad in 2.5 chambers coming out at 2.1" . 30-40 Krag comes out about 2.2" .
9.3×72 will make 3" cases and readily trims to fill a 2.5" chamber . Of course correct cases are available but 1x 303 can be had for 25¢ per and Berdan is often used for box filler , vs new correct at $2 ea .

In the dim recesses it seems like I did do some 45 Colts full cylinder length "410ish" plastic shot shells . The final crimp was the bug that I just couldn't get right .

Yeah the Lee loaders and variants are really valuable in the market , but so are everything else in 410 loading tools . Be aware of the live primer when you make the final crimp and you should be fine .
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Re: Using a 410 Lee Loader

Postby Green Frog » 06 Nov 2021 14:34

RBH, every time I look on everyone's favorite auction site I see a couple (or more) MECs in 410 available, and as the going rate for my 410 Lee Loader and the MEC get closer together, that becomes an option. I think if I were going to go with brass cases I would just go with a couple of boxes of the Brazilian ones. As they say "Buy the best and cry once..."

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Re: Using a 410 Lee Loader

Postby RBHarter » 06 Nov 2021 21:39

I've been pretty happy with PPU brass , not long ago I found some in 9.3×74 new in bags of 50 at $38 I think . 73-78¢ I think .
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Re: Using a 410 Lee Loader

Postby GasGuzzler » 07 Nov 2021 04:14

I bought a bunch of .410 before the price tripled. I've never shot my 500E (or my grand dad's 870 in 20) so I guess I still have enough ammo.
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