View Full Version : .410, is it enough?

November 10, 1999, 06:38 PM
I recently picked up a Mossberg 500 in .410ga. Wallyworld had 'em marked down to $100. Could not pass it up. I will use it for squirrel hunting...

Does the .410 have enough "stopping power" to be suitable for a HD s/g? My Rem 870 Marine Magnum is just to heavy for my wife (recoil and weight) to use. She shoots the .410 fine and is not "afraid" of its recoil.

I'm fairly new at using s/g's for defensive purposes and need some opinions here. What load would you pick if you were in my place?

Dave McC
November 10, 1999, 10:40 PM
The answer's maybe....

And I'm not crazy about staking the safety of my family on a maybe.

In my experience, only those folks who like to shoot shotguns achieve any sort of proficiency. Wife doesn't like shotguns, neither does Daughter. I don't talk mmuch about our arrangements, but they have other options here, the 870 Tactical is mine.

Hope this helps....

November 11, 1999, 01:07 AM
I agree with DaveMcC It might be enough but for for little bit more, I think I personaly would get whats out there? For not much more? If it is for HD? I mean a 22 might work? But I just like a little more.

November 11, 1999, 08:15 AM
Here's a real surprise for you folks. The velocity and hitting power of pellets launched from a 12 ga and a 410 bore are almost the same. Actually the 410 usually has a little more speed. The only difference is the number of pellets.

At most home defense distances the .410 will do just fine. If your wife likes to shoot it, then let her. No the .410 won't work for turkey hunting or Ducks, but they are shot at long distances where the more pellets the better the chance of hitting the target. At home defense distances, usually less than 15 yds the 410 is quite adequate and easier to handle for smaller people, quicker second and third shots too!.

My $.02 as usual

Geoff Ross

Damn!...I need more practice!
Pi$$ off the left, register to vote.

November 11, 1999, 11:03 PM
i read a review on de web of the saigia .410 semi shotgun...

it is basicly an AK shotgun

the tester shot slugs at a stump
they penetrated an inch before ricocheting off

not a lot of power in that load


Matt VDW
November 12, 1999, 09:07 AM
bk40: Have you patterned your .410? I would load up several shells and see what sort of holes they make in paper at ten feet. If you get one ragged hole, then the shot should penetrate en masse and could be a good "stopper". If you get a pattern of many small holes, then penetration won't be very good and Mr. Bad Guy probably won't be seriously impaired.

Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable relying upon a .410, but that's based upon a hunch, not experience. It's certainly better than nothing and there's much to be said for a gun that your wife likes.

November 12, 1999, 09:55 AM
The 410 is not idea but if your wife can shoot it well it will work. IMHO being comfortable and accurate is the most important factor.

I'm puzzled about the concerns of power though. A standard .410 load is the 11/16 oz slug at over 1830 fps with 651 ft.lbs. of energy at the muzzle. How is it that most people agree that a 40 S&W with a 200 grain bullet at 1125 fps is good defensive round but a 410 with larger diameter, heavier bullet going just as fast isn't? Compared to a 20 or 12 gauge the 410 is wimpy, but compared to most of the popular pistol rounds it holds its own. Just my opinion.

[This message has been edited by CapeFear (edited November 12, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by CapeFear (edited November 12, 1999).]

cornered rat
November 12, 1999, 01:20 PM
Are you sure .410 slugs are 11/16oz? I think their shot charges are heavy, but slugs are only 1/6-1/4oz.

i read a review on de web of the saigia .410 semi shotgun...it is basicly an AK shotgun the tester shot slugs at a stump
they penetrated an inch before ricocheting off

That mirrors my test results exactly. Having used a single-shot .410 on a variety of targets, I would say that it is adequate for defense the same way an M1 carbine is adequate...both would do damage, but I wouldn't expect one round to do it (unlike a 12ga) and requiring multiple shots takes one of shotgun's main pluses away. At .410 recoil level, an AK would make more sense, IMO, as it would defeat cover better. Then again, somebody's cover may be your wall to the nursery...

Cornered Rat
http://dd-b.net/RKBA RKBA posters
http://dd-b.net/olegv Portrait, nature photos

Matt VDW
November 12, 1999, 02:17 PM
I just looked up the ballistics of some typical .410 loads:

0.2 ounce slug @ 1830 fps

0.5 ounce birdshot @ 1200 fps (2.5" shell)

0.7 ounce birdshot @ 1135 fps (3" shell)

I must admit that these numbers are better than I expected. The slug load, for instance, is delivering a 1400 grain projectile with 651 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

But for home defense, using slugs defeats the "low penetration" advantage of a shotgun and increases recoil, which is what .410 users are typically trying to avoid in the first place.

I suppose I'd feel more enthusiastic about the .410 if it didn't have the reputation of being marginal for the larger small game, such as pheasants. Now, I realize that a home invader isn't going to be flying around at 30 yards the way a pheasant would be, but a human being is still a lot larger than a pheasant.

November 12, 1999, 02:41 PM
Yeah, cornered rat you got me! I mixed the two sets of numbers from the Alliant pdf file I have. It is 11/16 oz at 1135 fps or the 1/5 at 1830 fps. The muzzle energy is listed in the Remington catalog at 651 ft/lbs though.
I appreciate the heads up. We have enough confusion in the shooting world without me reversing specifications.

[This message has been edited by CapeFear (edited November 12, 1999).]

Daniel Watters
November 13, 1999, 05:29 AM
Matt: You need to recheck your math. A 1/5th ounce slug comes out to 87.5 grains.

7000 / 16 / 5 = 87.5

Matt VDW
November 15, 1999, 09:50 AM
Whoops! Yes, I did make a silly mistake: I was thinking that there are 7000 grains in an ounce, rather than 7000 grains in a pound. (This is why I wish we'd go metric :).)

That .410 slug doesn't look so formidable now...

Thanks for the correction.

Big Bunny
November 15, 1999, 06:06 PM
There are certainly other rounds available for the 410 in 3" and 2" other than these you have discussed, I have some Eley loaded with three solid balls of 1/2 oz total (for export only -pest control) in a steel head non-reloadable 2 1/2" case, they are stacked on top of each other with a thick black waxed gas-seal underneath.
I had our balistics guru go over them and he said they were around .38" diam !
My tests gave bad deformation due to "bumping" and wobbling along the barrel and consequently lousy accuracy at 25m ..but at 15m they were formidable and gave a nice triagle and hit hard too, for HD I have two of them handy in a copper pipe bracket over the wardrobe(loaded firearms are illegal here).
When the case goes to court (and if I survive !) my Q.C. can say "Well M'Lud my client used the least powerful of his weaponry arsenal in self-defence".
Big brownie points here with Jury - we hope.

But still I prefer a 12 Ga and 36gm of birdshot...so come see me in jail !!

***Big Bunny***

Daniel Watters
November 16, 1999, 08:09 AM
You might check out the Sellier & Bellot four-pellet 000 Buck and five-pellet 00 Buck loadings. These are all based on the 3-inch hull.

I have continued an odd personal crusade for improving the .410 as a defensive cartridge. Experimenters have surpassed the pellet count of the S&B loads by one apiece. C. Rodney James wrote an article on six-pellet 00 Buck .410s in _Handloader's Digest, 11th ed_. Furthermore, in _Cartridges of the World, 6th Ed._, Frank C. Barnes mentions playing with five-pellet 000 Buck loads. These were launched with either 16 grains of 4227 or 14.6 grs of 2400 to achieve a muzzle velocity of 1,100 fps. He was getting patterns of ~6 inches at 25 yards.

Playing with ball diameters other than standard buckshot, I have calculated that a 3-inch .410 hull could hold either five 93gr .395" balls or four 104gr .410" balls. (The former is calculated from the length of a six-pellet 00 stack, and the latter from the length of a five-pellet 00 stack.) The .395" ball is available for muzzleloading rifles from sources such as Hornady, while NEI offers a .410" ball mold. Given the straight stack of the pellets, a rifled choke might actually enhance the patterning...shades of the Paradox shotguns!

The .410 would appear to be an ideal size for a high capacity box magazine unlike the 12 gauge. The 10 round magazines for the Saiga 410 appear to be equal in length and definitely thinner than the 5 round magazine for the 12 gauge Saiga 12. Given the similar size envelope of the 3-inch .410, 7.62x54mmR Russian, and the .303 British, a double-stacked .410 magazine might even be feasible (although the straight walled hull would probably proscribe double-position feed lips).

The Russians seem to be sold on the general concept, producing a version of the Saiga 410 (http://club.guns.ru/eng/saiga410.html) equipped with military AK-style furniture: folding stock, pistol grip, et al. (All the nasty bits that prevent importation short of a bayonet lug.)

Franchi played with a cute little full-auto bullpup in .410 during the mid-80s. It used a 15rd magazine and had a cyclic rate of 200 rpm. Unfortunately, that is all that I know of its existence other than a photograph and a tid bit that Franchi was using steel buckshot pellets.

Dave McC
November 16, 1999, 01:13 PM
Dan, I'm impressed! However, it's still a 410.


Living in an area like DC where handguns are outlawed. A Little Old Lady needs a HD weapon that's legal, effective, and mighty short on recoil. Voila! The 00 loaded 410.

Yup, there's a place for same, just glad I can avail myself of other options...

Big Bunny
November 16, 1999, 06:35 PM
Yes, I have seen a 303SMLE converted to 410 but only single shot, the mag was blanked off with a wood incert as the owner had feeding problems with the 3" cases.
This was an Isophore Indian type issued (I was told )to Calcutta police for riot control and imported for occaisional pest control here.

It was very heavy and handled worse than an out of control water-melon truck ! Yuk.

***Big Bunny***