Oddly expensive Eley .410 shotshells

Can anyone tell me why a relatively modern domestic repack of 5 Eley “Fourlong” .410 shotshells with 000-buck would be worth $94.00?! The pack from American Derringer literally has only 5 shells and is completely unremarkable as compared to other Eley Fourlong .410 shotshells that can be found online other than being in 000-buck which seems uncommon. Is this a rare Eley variant that was only loaded for American Derringer (as the package suggests)? I had always assumed that this and the more common S&B .410 buck loads in this packaging type were just the result of American Derringer buying this stuff in bulk and repacking it for smaller quantity sale. I also had assumed that the “loaded exclusively for” claim was a bit spurious… but maybe not apparently?


I don’t actually know the winning bidder, but I have bid against him and some of the other bidders in this auction. They are collectors. These guys seem to have a LOT MORE money than I have, but it is theirs, so all I can do is congratulate the seller. One of these days, I am going to start auctioning my duplicates and culls, and I hope the guys take an interest in those auctions!

I know the seller and have bought enough items from him that we are on a 1st name basis but that was in the past. He’s selling off a large collection and the type of stuff he sells, for the most part, sparks the interest of a certain group who tend to drive prices beyond reason. They have forced me out of many auctions for good items.
I hope some of these folks with deep pockets come to St Louis because I have lots of .410s that are extremely rare for sale.(:

I know and like the seller as well, but the starting price was something like $10.00 and I was just blown away by $94.00. Being a pistol-caliber multiball collector I wanted this one since I only have the S&B package type (almost identical), but $94 was too steep for me.

DK Configuration:
Auctions by 4guage on Gunbroker always start at $0.01, one cent. They always last for two weeks and always have clear photos. I think this is a winning strategy. It takes quite a bit of effort to run things as smoothly as he does, but it really pays off sometimes.

I can perhaps give you an insight rather than answer the question. In Britain, shotgun cartridges have to contain more than six projectiles none of which can be over .360" in diameter. This is not an either/or situation. So OO buck (which wouldn’t be called that in Britain anyway) would be legal in a 12ga but probably not in a 2 1/2" .410 because you couldn’t hold six.

So the chances are .410 00 buck were never made by Eley for UK civilian consumption* and so may well be extremely rare because I can see no obvious reason why American Derringer would ask Eley (of all people) to make cartridges for them, plus its the first I have heard of Eley .410s in a 5 pack.

*may well have been made as SG for a military contract to provide ammo for the smoothbore Lee Enfield .410 but they were usually all brass cases. I don’t know, thats one for TonyE

Matt, the original version of this loading was introduced in 1987 and its package was labeled “Manufactured exclusively for American Derringer Corporation. Made in U.S.A. by Olin Corporation” (rounds headstamped W-W 410). Winchester didn’t offered this buckshot load until many years after (announced as new in 2003).

What are the dark bands around the cases?


Hi Gravebelly,

Probably the wads inside of the case make this dark colour.
But I could be wrong.


It occours to me that I have seen banding used on British military or government contract shotgun cartridges in the past but I did not pay much attention to it and do not know what, if any, significance it may have .
Its possible that might solve the mystery (to me) of how and why they ended up sourcing .410 cartridges from Eley which I find extremely strange unless they were for some cancelled contract and then had to be sold off but thats purely speculation. I just keep coming back to “why Eley?”

…*may well have been made as SG for a military contract to provide ammo for the smoothbore Lee Enfield .410 but they were usually all brass cases. I don’t know, thats one for TonyE[/quote]

Not British military Vince. The shot rounds made for the Indian Pattern smoothbore L-E rifles were based on the un-necked .303 inch case, see attched picture.

I believe many years ago the Prison Service had some smooth bored L-es that may have taken normal shotshells but I have no info on the ammunition for these.


[quote=“gravelbelly”]What are the dark bands around the cases?


Black bands indicate seconds or reject cases. I’ve seen them on wartime headstamp ELEY-KYNOCH 12 ICI 12 cases and on more recent (introduced 1977) ELEY 12 ELEY 12 headstamp cases. Also seen bands on a cartridge by Mullerite headstamp MADE IN 12 ENGLAND 12

Here is a quote from ‘ELEY CARTRIDGES’ by C.W.Harding

‘Black bands around cartridge tube’
‘Used on shotgun cartridges supplied to the WD for training air gunners.
Later used on seconds sold to the civilian market. Since there was more than one quality of factory rejects, the number of black bands around cases was used as the means of identifying the level of reject. The most common reason for reject was poor tube printing’

Here’s another of the same item from the same seller, sold 9 months after the last one sold for $94 (that I mentioned in the first post). This time I actually won, and secured the win with only $25. It has the same black-banded shells, and although the package has glue that has failed, I can easily re-glue it, and I still appreciate that the package has the punch-out still in place in the hanger hole, which is sort of rare for packages like this. Now I just need one of these packs with the W-W markings on the label.