TheKlawMan originally wrote: I thought we were talking about home defense use. Most users of home defense weapons are not professionals and are more likely to feel the pressure of any encounter with an intruder, which is likely to be in the middle of the night. Hence, they are better off with with a weapon that is more forgiving of less than perfect straight shooting.
At house hold distances, the patterning differences between any of the gauges / bores is insignificant. At 7 yards (maximum distance in most households) we are talking fist sized at worst with cylinder bore choke.
In the case of a 410 vs. 12 gauge and 000 Buck a 410 is 1/2 of a 12 gauge; 3" load vs. 3" load with the velocity difference being within 100 fps. A single CoM hit with a 410 will certainly be a game changer in all but the most statistically insignificant of cases. And as far as the most statistically insignificant of cases, a 12 gauge would also probably fail too.
A small of stature or physical ability limited person confident with a 410 and proper ammo is well if not better served than the same person afraid of or unable to handle the kick of a 12 gauge. I know a man who has Brittle Bone Disease. He is confined to a wheel chair, short of stature and physically limited. He absolutely can not fire a 12 gauge without causing physical damage to himself. A short youth 410 with a 2 1/2" shell is within his limitations as well as a 380 pistol. Mobility issues aside, he is able to use 'marginal weapons' effectively for defense of himself and his wife. God have mercy on the scum sucking vermin that invades his home.