View Full Version : Opinions on .410 for whitetail

December 9, 2002, 09:23 PM
OK, season is almost over. We just moved the climbing stand into a really thick area. To thick I think for a .44 mag. handgun or rifle. ( just think I'd have a better chance with buckshot) I have an old .410 double barrel I could use. What is the effective range of a .410? BTW, the deer in our area are fairly small. Not going after the 200 lb. monsters you see on TV and in the magazines.

December 9, 2002, 09:42 PM
.410 is not advisable at all.

Get a 12 Gauge or go with the .44 magnum.

December 9, 2002, 10:00 PM
My step-mother-in-law does fine year after year with a 20 gauge. Kills 'em plenty dead. Don't know if I could recommend .410 though.

December 9, 2002, 10:44 PM
If the brush is too thick for rifle or handgun...
I definately wouldn't use the shotgun.
.410, in the hands of a good hunter and good marksman, can fill the pot but one has to be able to pick the shot taken.

Really dense brush doesn't strike me as an area where it would be easy to carefully place a shot.


Dave R
December 9, 2002, 10:51 PM
What are the specs for a .410 slug?

300gr at 1500fps? Kinda like a .41mag, or close to a .44 mag. Neither of them would be too small, so why would a .410 slug? Not flaming, just wondering.

I'd be more concerned about whether the double will shoot to point of aim. If you can't aim it, you can't hit.

Al Thompson
December 9, 2002, 11:24 PM
The problem with .410 slugs is that they are pretty soft. I'd use the .44 myself.

December 10, 2002, 12:36 AM
Did post imply buckshot? If so, I don't think very pretty. Last I looked, only three 30 caliber or so balls in 2 1/2" shells. Would need to be really close and unobstructed.

IIRC, 410s around 1800 fps with 1/2 ounce slugs. Not too shabby on little deer IF good shot placement.

December 10, 2002, 01:25 AM
It's an 87 grain (1/5 oz.) soft lead slug at 1,830 fps for 651 ft/lbs.

It won't penetrate well enough.

December 10, 2002, 02:06 AM
I've a couple boxes of Federal .410 2-3/4" slugs = 1/4 oz @ "maximum velocity."

Figure just over 100 grs at maybe 1600 fps .... essentially a .357 Lite.

Buck would be much worse.

BTW, what's max size buck shot .410s come in? 3 pellets of 00?

Think I'd take any rifle (including a .223 - if legal) over anything .410 for deer.

At the very least, you could thread the bullet through the brush limbs - or better yet, enjoy a fine day in the woods & write a great essay about the Ethical One you didn't even take a shot at.

No flames in the least. I'd much rather read a story about that one you could almost touch & never shoot (a lot of thicket archery is like that) than the one that was lost due to inadequate shootin' fodder.

December 10, 2002, 08:27 AM
Thanks for all the great info guys. Sounds like too little in too much brush. Or just too little together. I was kind of looking for something easy to swing around and aim in the climbing stand too. I have a Winchester model 12 I could use, but that barrel feels like it is 5 feet long sometimes! I'll stick to the .44 magnum or my M1a.

December 10, 2002, 07:47 PM
I stand corrected. Kilgore right about 1/5 ounce instead of 1/2 ounce. (old eyes :( , slippin' memory:( ). I musta had the same brand as box also said 1830 fps.

While diggin' thru misc. box of .410 ammo today, it seems they can be had with 3, 4 or 5 (some 3") pellets of 00 buck. Got last batch at Cheaper Than Dirt showroom in Fort Worth.

Best use I've found for little .410 is in 32" Snake Charmer "emergency kit" that wife and daughter have in car right now somewhere between here and Austin ...

December 10, 2002, 07:50 PM
.410 is not legal were I am from for big game nothing smaller then 20 ga in Shotgun and nothing in .22 caliber (22-250 .223 for example)

December 10, 2002, 11:05 PM
They (DNR) just made hunting with .410 legal this year in Indiana. It is an attempt to get women and younger people out in the woods.

December 11, 2002, 03:52 PM
The 410 shotgun will do the job as long as your shot placement is good. I shot a deer when I was 12 with a 410 slug,my brother did as well, due to it was the first rifle our father let us use when we started hunting in the field, Both of us made good behind the shoulder shots and dropped them like a heart beat,this was a old JC higgins bolt action, worked for us, I still have it and when taking a youth in the field for the first time thats what he gets;)You can also shoot 410's out of a 454 Casull, a friend of mine made some nasty rat shot for his 454 Casull, just had to cut them down a bit. They have some new .410' Mag's I have seen out there also. I would say nothing over 50 yards for this cal, but for the most part most hunters shoot deer under 50 yards right;)Don't get me wrong there is so many other cal's that are more suitable than the 410 shotgun, but if thats is all you got ,it will work with in its limits, just like any other rifle. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.

December 11, 2002, 04:53 PM
While we're on it, what is a .410 good for, other than small varmint? Just curious...


December 11, 2002, 10:12 PM
Using a .410 makes a round of skeet a real challenge. :p

December 14, 2002, 01:10 PM
Lessee, a 20 gauge is 69 caliber and a 12 gauge is 75 caliber right? The old trade muskets were 20 gauge and Pennsylvania and kentucky rifles long were sometimes 36 cal. (Quick calculation) Its doable, but a person would have to be willing to tracka wounded deer all day if need be.

December 14, 2002, 06:09 PM
Here in NYS the .410 is illegal. The .20 gauge sabot is roughly .40 caliber and I'm not sure what the .410 would be.

The .20 gauge is becoming the weapon of choice for shotgunners here. They're getting good range and good power using sabots in rifled barrels.

In brushy territory I'd stay away from a .410, especially in a smoothbore, and go with the .44 mag.