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I’ve posted this query in 3 or 4 places (including "Shotguns and Wing Shooting" here on this forum, hoping to get some starting loads for 45 Colt and 410 (brass cases – 444 Marlin & Magtech 410 shells) low velocity shot loads. My initial need was to eliminate some pesty red squirrels who’ve been raising a litter of little ones – probably born in the walls of our 150+ year old post and beam farmhouse.

I guess I didn’t clarify some info about where I live! Though our old 80 acre farm is in southern Maine and not as “country” as it was 30 years ago, my 2 closest neighbor’s houses are 300yds away, others are 1/2 to a mile away. It’s an active hunting area, thickly wooded, nobody calls “police” when shots are fired (even when it's rapid fire semi auto high cap. clip), rarely even a game warden. I normally testfire new rifles and handguns from my back porch, last deer I shot was 250’ behind the house at a range of 32’! I own and regularly fire 2 doz.+ rifles and handguns – from 22 Hornet to 50-110 Winchester, and am building a new personal shooting range out back, so I can work up loads for both accuracy and chronograph same – once I finish the new backstop and bench! I no longer wander around my fields and woods with a 22 LR – often with a Ruger 22Mag though, but none of the random shots I used to take up north, or in the northern Adirondacks 40 years ago.

Though I really wanted to come up with some low velocity shot loads to use in both my 45 Colt Ruger and 45/410 derringer, even in my 45 Colt Rossi lever and NEF 45/410 – I realize that even with lots of time reloading and patterning – I’ll be lucky to come up with fairly reliable 20’ killer! That’s all I want, something which will dissipate energy real fast, none of the 22 worries when firing into my pines!

Regarding poison or traps – done both, with woodchucks over the years – also shot them along with raccoons and skunks out of my barn and henhouse, foxes with my chickens or turkeys in their mouths – with pistols and rifles and shotguns! Thanks for the hint on mothballs, planning to load up the back wall! My earliest hunting experience was for Connecticut Gray squirrels as a kid nearly 50 years ago – with a scoped Sheriden Blue Streak – generally dropped them in their tracks! My local red squirrels are half the size of a Gray, about like a small Chipmunk, probably taste like a pinecone, and have moved into my yard since we’re now housecatless. I hate it but will tolerate them badmouthing me when I’m sitting on a deerstand, but the woods are theirs, my yard is mine, and they’ve crossed the line!

In my circumstance for back porch/yard squirrel control a 22BB cap would surely be safe, as would 22 skirted pellets with a Magnum primer and/or light charge of Bullseye out of my Browning 1885 Hornet – it’s just that I carry a handgun 24/7, generally a 45 Colt, and would like to use that and my NEF single shot. I’m pretty sure I’d have problems with shotloads out of my Taurus 2” ported snubby and will hopefully be replacing it soon, my Blackhawk should be okay, same with that derringer – heck, I can get within 10-15’ of them generally!

Call me a sadistic squirrel killer – just want the challenge of shooting them with a shotload! Any hints on loads will be appreciated – thanks to those who’ve suggested some light loads already!

Thanks, Joe
 

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For your revolver, Speer makes the plastic shot capsule for the .45 Colt. Pattern isn't real great, but within 15 feet should be OK. I put about 75 #6 pellets in the capsule, pattern is a little spotty. I've worked some on loading the .45 Colt case like a shotgun shell, overpowder and overshot wads, but don't have a real good load............yet.
 

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for the 45 colt you can use normal brass. get yourself a pack of 45 cal wonder wads and or a pack of 45 gas checks. you prime the case and put powder in it like you are loading a normal bullet. put a gas check cup up over the powder and push it tightly over the powder charge. then fill the case with shot. I like to use #9 shot as you get more pellets and a little better pattern. once filled you use another gas check or the wonder wad over the lead shot then crimp it in place. this is a very good load out to about 20 feet before the pattern opens up so much a fat house cat would not be hit.
 

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In your choked 45-410 NEF..you can use brass shells, but not neccessary...regular shot-shells work just fine. 4.0 grs of Red Dot and 1/2 ounce of whatever shot you prefer works great for Squirrels or other pests, and is preety quiet. I use #6 because it reaches out a little more than 7&1/2 and hits harder.
 
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