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Old August 26, 2012, 08:54 AM   #1
Gdawgs
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410 usefulness

Hello, I'm new to the shotgun forum here, I spend most of my time over in the handgun and reloading areas.

My son(age 8, coming up on 9) and I were browsing around at the gunstore yesterday and he came across a Mossberg youth 410. I Don't remember the exact model, but it was a 5XX someting in camo. He's like "Dad, I have to have this, it's my dream". He got home and started counting his money to see how much he has. Christmas and his birthday are coming up, so I'm thinking maybe a shotgun would be a good gift.

My dad has one of those New England Arms Survivors in 410/45 Colt, so we borrowed that, bought a box of shells(wow, they are expensive!) and some 45 Colts that I had loaded up, and went out to the range. We had a great time blasting cans, pop bottles and clay pigeons (on the ground). It's a pretty heavy gun so recoil was minimal, especially with my wimpy 45 Colt loads. I also took a 20 ga along and figured he could try that as well, but after I shot it first I knew the recoil would be too much for him(he's a pretty little guy). We also have a Cricket .22 that he has been shooting for a few years and he really enjoys that.

So my question is how useful is a 410?? I have a couple 12 ga guns and I started out on a 20ga, but I was older than him when I started out. I have never really looked at 410 before. It looks like the 410 would be plenty powerful for squirrels, small birds, etc., but I'm thinking knocking pheasants out of the sky would be pretty tough. I know he will outgrow this gun in a few years, so I'm wondering if it is even worth while. We could always trade it off for something else when he gets bigger, so I guess that's not the end of the world. Are there better options than the Mossberg, or is that a pretty solid gun? I wouldn't want to spend a ton of money on this.
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Old August 26, 2012, 09:05 AM   #2
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When i first started hunting at 13 my first shotgun was a 410. I could not count how many pheasant and grouse i took with that thing. Now for duck and goose...... Not sure, would have to be one good shot i think. It's a good starter shotgun for sure. If he can master a 410 to where he hits all the time. You better watch out for him when he gets a 12. He might just shoot you under the table. Always nice to hear these stories. Keep us posted.
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Old August 26, 2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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Agree ^ Also, Mossberg seems to really want the .410 pump market with a few different choices in .410. At 700 plus foot pounds it is more gun than most people think. Obviously, it has its limits, but for a child, it makes the most sense. Mossberg pump actions are as good as it gets. Some may like another brand more, but objectively, none are better and some are as good.
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Old August 26, 2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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I am more a rifle man and handgunner than I am a shotgunner. I have a few shotguns and my all time favorite is my Winchester M-42 in 410. Now, I am told by my friends that "I shoot my shotguns all wrong" I shoot them like rifles. Too many years shooting rifles I guess, and I just don't get the thing of "point it - don't aim it"
I aim.
However I seldom miss a bird.

I believe a 410 is very useful. I have killed chucker, quail dove and pheasants with it. I might miss about one in 5 shots. It doesn't hammer a bird as well as my 12 gauge does, but so what? It kills them!

I eat what I shoot, and a 410 with #5 or #4 shot doesn't leave any pellets in the birds as a rule. They shoot through, so I don't have to pick around many at the dinner table.

If I hit a bird with 3-5 pellets it kills them and my 12 gauge hits them with 10.
They are not any more dead. With 10 holes in them.

So in my opinion the 410 is very useful. I recommend you buy a LEE Load-All with the gun so your son can get into loading his own shells. That's just part of the experience and he'll love doing it. That way he can afford to shoot more and the shooting is what's going to make him into a great wingshot.
Happy hunting to you both
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Old August 26, 2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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In terms of relatively inexpensive .410's ....Browning BPS Hunter model is a much better gun in my opinion over the Mossberg...around $ 600....

.../ but a .410's limitation is primarily the size of the pattern and 1/2 oz of shot. 1 pellet out of a 12ga # 9 at 1200 fps ....hits just as hard as a single #9 pellet at 1200 fps out of a .410.../ but its number of pellets and effective pattern that make the .410 a difficult gague to shoot / not really for rookies.

but serioiusly, I'd go with a 28ga over the .410 ...28ga is a lot more versatile. Ammo is still expensive..but a MEC reloader will solve all that for you. I'd look at the MEC Grabber model for an entry level loader...and if you want auto indexing then go with the 9000 GN model.
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Old August 26, 2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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BigJim, Perhaps you could handle the Browning when you were 8, but this guy's kid is small. Both Browning and Remington have youth models, but I thing both have longer barrels and a longer lop.
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Old August 26, 2012, 02:55 PM   #7
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Klawman is right ...and every kid is different...and in general, I wouldn't start them on shotgunning until they're at least 12 or 13...unless they are big for their age..

The test to me ...is can they shoulder and swing ...and dry fire a gun at a moving target ..like a rolling tennis ball in the yard / with a decent stance without bending backward at the waist as they mount and swing the gun ...if they're bent back at the waist - the gun is too heavy, too long, etc ...and you need to wait until they have more upper body strength.
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Old August 26, 2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
I recommend you buy a LEE Load-All with the gun
Sorry, no such animal....

I suspect all these folks mean well but when they say they never missed with a 410, I am going to call BS....

I think it is more of the old saying..."the older I get, the better I was" syndrome

The 410 has the smallest payload and is regarded by most as an expert's bore size, not a beginner's. The 28 is a great bore size with 50% more payload for better chance of success
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Old August 26, 2012, 08:08 PM   #9
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Oneounceload-- I don't doubt you at all,but everyone i know started with a 410.
It is the 22 cal of shotguns. I don't think any one would go so far as to say they have never missed with any shotgun for that matter. I for one and along with a vast amout of others im sure was very proficiant with a 410. Grouse are very fast birds and not that i did not miss my share of them,but i sure did take a lot of them in the time i used it. I know if my daughters where to get into trap or sheet shooting. I would definetly start them on a 410. It is a good shooting shotgun and in the hands of a good shot is also very deadly for hunting birds.
Don't underestamate what others can do,simply because you might or might not be able to do it.
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Old August 26, 2012, 08:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the feedback. I was thinking about the 28 ga and thought that looks like a pretty sweet load. Looks like finding a gun chambered in it is pretty tough, and there aren't nearly as many options. How much more recoil does the 28 ga have over the 410? I'm guessing it's going to be quite a bit more. I am familiar with the BPS, as that is what my 12 ga is. Sweet gun, but at twice the price of the Mossberg, I'd never go that direction. Plus it sounds like it's a bit big. That Mossberg was quite small and seemed to fit my son well. Every other 410 at the shop was too big for him.

I believe this is the model we were looking at, but I'd have to double check to be sure.
http://www.mossberg.com/product/shot...-purpose/50490
The one at the gunstore was marked $319, so maybe it's not the same model.

We have our local gun show coming up toward the end of September, so maybe I can find a good deal there, maybe a used one. I would also get a reloader if we ended up getting a gun. I enjoy reloading almost as much as shooting and it wouldn't take long to pay it off given the high price of ammo and it wouldn't cost much to reload these things. The kids help me out with that too. My four year old daughter was helping me out yesterday. She's my little reloading buddy.

We went out again today and shot off another box of shells(11 year old daughter helped out too). Also shot a lot out of the Crickett too. Lots of fun. Brought my BFR 460 along too. The kids go running when I load up a hot round(they don't like the big booms), but my son likes shooting 45 Colts out of it off of a rest.

Thanks again!
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Old August 26, 2012, 10:54 PM   #11
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If I had a vote, I would go with the Mossberg youth model. As far as I know, the competition youth models have a longer LOP and longer barrels. I think it is kind of like shoes for kids; they outgrow them fast so don't spend too much on quality. Not than Mossberg isn't a good gun. Besides, it's what he saw and wants (and is also less $$$$).
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Old August 26, 2012, 11:54 PM   #12
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I started with a .410 ..... full choked single shot. It was a good couple of years before I managed to hit anything on the wing with that tiny pattern..... and the first pheasant I downed with it I had to chase 1/2 a mile thought the snow .....

Once I mastered that and moved up to a 16 guage double, though, I could not seem to miss!
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Old August 27, 2012, 08:56 AM   #13
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4Runner- a lot of folks started with a 410, correct. For a lot of folks also, though, the success rate on flying objects was not typically too good and can cause discouragement. If rifle shooting at cans at close range - perfect, go have some fun. If there's any kind of upland or flying clays, then I stand by my earlier post

Most important for this kid will be fit - and a stock a little too short is better than one a little too long. If he is missing targets AND getting pounded, then he won't be having fun and won't want to continue
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Old August 27, 2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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To the OP: I am in a similar predicament with my daughter. She wants to shoot pretty bad. She is only 7 so I am insisting on the 22 for now.
Back to were you are. .410 is very tough to hit anything with. A 28 would be a much better choice. The downfall to both is the high cost of shells and the usefulness of the gun other than target. If I were you I would check into the 20LITE loads. It may allow him to shoot the gun for now, and with the 20 he can move up. Youth models from most manufacturers or just cut the stock down. As he grows you can always block the stock.
My first gun was a 870 Wingmaster youth in 20ga. I was about 10 or so and I shot that thing until I was about 15. I used it for my boys who have just recently outgrown it. My daughter will get it next as soon as she is up to the task.
If you need to lighten further consider a semi-auto 20ga.
Thats just my $0.02. I have never been a fan of .410's.
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Old August 27, 2012, 01:05 PM   #15
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Gdawgs, Per your post #10, I believe you were looking at is a Mossberg 505 Youth available in .410 or 20 guage. It also comes to accept accu chokes or with a fixed modified choke. http://www.mossberg.com/product/shot...-purpose/57110

Another one to consider is the 505 Super Bantham All Purpose, which has a black synthetic stock that can be adjusted from 12" to 13". http://www.mossberg.com/product/shot...-purpose/54210

The prices quoted on the Mossberg site or any manufacturer's site are usually higher than the price asked in stores, so don't let that confuse you too much. Just be sure that you buy what you want. The guys in the gun stores often don't have a clue what they are selling, so write down the model number, gauge, and barrel length you want before going to make a buy.

If cost were about the same, I would go with the 54210 in black synthetic so as to allow for some growth. but that is just me.
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Old August 27, 2012, 01:31 PM   #16
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A 28 would be a much better choice. The downfall to both is the high cost of shells and the usefulness of the gun other than target
Using a MEC cuts costs down to about $3.00/box

The 28 is a premier upland hunting bore size and will work within its parameters from woodcock to grouse to pheasant
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Old August 27, 2012, 09:15 PM   #17
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Thanks again for the info and recommendations.
I went back to the store and checked that one out again. It is the 510 mini. They also have a black one that is marked $289.
At this point a 20 ga is out of the question. He would take one shot then never want to touch it again. So the 500 Super Bantam is out. Too bad, That one looks pretty slick. Might still be a bit big for him now though.

So that leaves the Mini, or the 505 Youth. The youth looks like it would work well too, although I believe that might be a bit too big right now too, but maybe not. I wish it had the adjustable stock like the others.

Is there a good way to determine a person's Length of Pull? I did some searching, but didn't come up with anything good. I'm worried that the Mini probably fits him now but he may outgrow it soon. So maybe the 505 would be the way to go. But he probably won't like the wood stock

I've been checking the Minnesota hunting regulations, and I can actually take him small game hunting. He doesn't need hunter's safety yet, just has to be someone right next to him at all times, and the license is even free. So when I take him he, I wouldn't carry a gun. I told him about that today, and now he really really wants a gun so we can go this fall. He asked us at lunch if he could get one, I'm thinking I'm really going to have to work on my wife to get this to go through, but she said to him "If you are an angel the next few weeks, I'll get it for you with my first paycheck". (she just got a full time job. Had been staying home with the little ones) What a woman!!

So I'm thinking we should determine his correct LOP and go from there. Any more thoughts? Sorry about the long post again.
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Old August 27, 2012, 09:40 PM   #18
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Gdawgs - I'm not certain, but I think there is at least one .410 out there with a sectioned butt-pad/recoil absorber that can be increased as the shooter grows older. At any rate, recommend you make sure the .410 takes 3" shells, so you can start with 2 1/2" and work up. The .28 may be the best all-round gauge ever invented relative to efficiency, but unless you're rich, good luck finding an affordable shotgun for a young shooter who will outgrow a proper-fitting stock in a hurry.

Plan B: find a decent used .410 single-shot that is dirt-cheap. Have the stock cut down to your son's current LOP. When he grows a bit, add a slip-on recoil absorber that adds an inch or so to the LOP ($20). After that, he might well be ready and anxious to move to a 20 gauge.
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Old August 27, 2012, 09:48 PM   #19
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Plan B: find a decent used .410 single-shot that is dirt-cheap. Have the stock cut down to your son's current LOP. When he grows a bit, add a slip-on recoil absorber that adds an inch or so to the LOP ($20). After that, he might well be ready and anxious to move to a 20 gauge.
Or do that with a 28 in the same gun
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Old August 27, 2012, 10:02 PM   #20
Gdawgs
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Did some more searching on the length of point. Using this method;
http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f...gth-pull-5551/

I'm measuring him up at around 10" to 10.5". So the mini should be good.

I measure myself at 12.5". I guess I should be shooting a youth gun
I guess that's why most guns I pick up feel too long.
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Old August 28, 2012, 06:16 AM   #21
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to load a box of shotgun shell for about 3.00 a box is alfull hard to do if to go to a sporting goods store and buy you supplies. lead 45.00 for 25lbs,wads 11.00 for 500,primers 35.00 a thousand and powder at 24.00 a lbs. and here theres 6 percent tax too, and that comes out to over .25 cents per shell. now if you go in with friends and buy a truck load of supplies you can cut the cost quite a bit. i just bought rem gun club 1-1/8-#7.5 shot 12ga shells at bass pro for 53.00 a flat including tax and that comes out to .22 cents a shell, and its hard to load a comparable load for that price. i am not busting any one,s balls,but for alot of people reloading may not be the money savings thing to do,as not every one has a mec 9000g or ever a mec 650. try running 500 shells with your mec 600 or god forbid a lee load all in less than 2-3 hours. eastbank.
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:01 AM   #22
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My dad has a ton (well maybe not literally) of shot laying around at his place. He used to reload 20 some years ago, but I think his reloading days are over. So I think I can sweet talk him out of that. I already have a few different powders on hand that will work for 410 (Lil gun, 4227, 296 and 2400), so I just need some wads and a reloader. I don't reload just for the cost savings, I like doing it.

Are the MECs the reloaders of choice these days? I can't remember what my dad has, but it's not a MEC. Works really well though, but that's a 12 ga.

Last edited by Gdawgs; August 28, 2012 at 07:10 AM.
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:15 AM   #23
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to load a box of shotgun shell for about 3.00 a box is alfull hard to do if to go to a sporting goods store and buy you supplies. lead 45.00 for 25lbs,wads 11.00 for 500,primers 35.00 a thousand and powder at 24.00 a lbs. and here theres 6 percent tax too, and that comes out to over .25 cents per shell. now if you go in with friends and buy a truck load of supplies you can cut the cost quite a bit. i just bought rem gun club 1-1/8-#7.5 shot 12ga shells at bass pro for 53.00 a flat including tax and that comes out to .22 cents a shell, and its hard to load a comparable load for that price. i am not busting any one,s balls,but for alot of people reloading may not be the money savings thing to do,as not every one has a mec 9000g or ever a mec 650. try running 500 shells with your mec 600 or god forbid a lee load all in less than 2-3 hours. eastbank.
I buy reclaimed shot at $1/pound; wads are $8/bag, powder in 8# jugs is $14/pound and primers by the 5000 are $18/1000. My prices are OTD through my local club

I can easily run 6 boxes on my MEC Jr. - not 500 to be sure - but more than enough for a trip to the range

For light loading duties, the MEC 600 will do the job - to add a little speed, get the auto prime feed
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Old August 28, 2012, 12:06 PM   #24
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oneounceloads, you have said the majic words,thru my gun club. at thoses prices it,s 3.60 a box,but not every one can get those prices in most areas. and i too like to reload shotgun and pistol plus rifle and don,t count my time. i have been shooting trap twice a week and shoot four round,plus a pratice round at each range,so thats 250 rounds,plus i shot five stand twice a month, two rounds and that a exra 100 rounds and sporting clays also twice a month for another 100 rounds. thats at least 450 rounds a month. i would love to buy at the prices you do,but alas i must hunt long and hard at gun shows,flea markets and yard sales to try to keep costs down.i did get a good buy off a man who quit shooting,claybusters,7.00 a bag and fresh shot at 25.00,but didn,t get near enough. i would be hard put to get rid of my 9000g and my 650. good shooting eastbank.
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Old August 28, 2012, 12:15 PM   #25
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The press my dad has is a Ponsness-Warren(actually he has two of them). Not sure how those compare to the MECs, but from what I remember, it worked really well. Maybe I'll have to talk him out of one of them.
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