View Full Version : Best .410 load for home defense.

May 19, 2005, 06:38 PM
Yes, I know .410 isn't a good choice for HD, and a single shot is even worse, but a friend of mine living out in the sticks has a problem with illegals breaking into her home. She was given a .410 single shot Stevens, that she wants me to teach her how to use. So, until I convince her to get a 12 ga pump, whats the best load for this gun?

May 19, 2005, 06:54 PM
Ooh a single huh?

Teach her that she only gets one shot. SLUG.

IMHO, you really cant argue with a .410 caliber hunk of lead... placed properly.

... Or sell it and get a single 12 ga. ;)

May 19, 2005, 06:55 PM
I should also note that it's a smooth bore. No rifling.

May 19, 2005, 06:57 PM

May 19, 2005, 07:34 PM
hope she's a good shot. i wouldnt trust my self with only 1 .410 shot. if it were me id get a pump in any gauge, even another .410.

May 19, 2005, 07:58 PM
Ya know I read some thing just yesterday about the .410 being not bad for home D. But they wern't talking single shot of course. Any how they were using #4 shot and out of the barrel they were saying that it has about 500 + foot pounds of energy. Which is like a .357 energy levels. I was surprised to read this but hey look into it. Also Mossberg makes a .410 pump for home D so there may be something to it.
Then again nothing wrong with a good 12 guage to be sure. Your lady friend might find a 20 gauge more to her tastes though.

May 19, 2005, 08:13 PM
Either a slug, or one of those shells that have several pellets of 000 buck.

May 19, 2005, 09:10 PM
Slugs :d

May 27, 2005, 11:38 AM
Back in the late '60's I saw a Texan that recieved a load of 4's or 6's in his upper thigh. It convinced me not to mess with other people's women in The Great State of Texas.........Essex

May 28, 2005, 10:41 AM
I might trade it in and get a good used pump or auto for her, possibly 20 guage if she has a problem with the recoil of a 12. I wouldn't want to argue with a 410, but I would prefer a little more clout if I had to shoot. Hopefully she is really in the mindset of being able to shoot if necessary otherwise someone could turn the gun on her if he got it away from her.. nothing like some distance between her and the BG. The only problem, a BG can close that distance real quick, so the decission time to shoot or not shoot is very small. Hopefully she will never have to make the choice.. Be sure you ring the bell, knock and that she knows it is you at the door before entering :D

May 28, 2005, 09:30 PM
My preffered home defense load is double ought buck .... I think a 410 holds three to five double ought buck. I dont have any homes that are real close to me.

a slug has the possibilty of overpentration....even double ought buck in a bigger gage has this possibility.. in a .410 it probably wouldnt be a danger :confused:

In a bigger gage if houses are close you may want to use # 1 buck shot...

most home defense situations will probably happen at 7 yards or less..... and if the distance is a little more than 7 yards gives the pattern a little time to open up

double ought buck is .36 caliber I beleive and at close range 3-5 of these is going to leave a mark..hehe

the reason a shotgun is a deadly weapon is superior hit probability...a slug to me defeats this purpose.

Bob F.
May 28, 2005, 10:07 PM
Years ago, a deputy told about a call to a farm house. One of several over a few weeks-prowler, harrassment, etc. Got to the farmhouse and woman said the problem was ata mobile home out in the field. 14 yr old girl at home alone, prowler, etc: "be careful, she's fired out the door several times!". Deputy hollered several times identifying himself, finally eased the door open to see a shaking little girl holding a .410 on him. Got her calmed down and safed the weapon. She had in fact fired several rounds into the brush. Months later they'd still had no more prowler calls to those residences.
I wouldn't want to catch a load of 8's from a .410!!

Stay safe.

Ohio Annie
May 31, 2005, 12:29 PM
I have a .410 for HD loaded with 3-inch #4 shells. 3-inch #6 would be fine too. Check with a pumpkin what it will do at 15 feet distance, the amount of spread, etc. and practice on those punkins! Draw mean faces on them. :eek:

Death from Afar
May 31, 2005, 03:15 PM
I agree with not using slugs. It does reduce the chance of a hit. I would go for either #1 birdhsot or a 34 buck.

One idea- practice rapid reloading. With one shot you need to be able to relaod extremly quickly. For example, when you drop a load of sheels in your pocket, shake the pocket. so the weight of the lead puts the primer end upwards. If you can, try holding spare rounds between your fingers, like cigars, and try that as a way of reloading quickly. Practice firing from your off shoulder, and in poor lighting. All that stuff helps, but most importantly give syou confidence in yourself and the weapon. A .410 is not ideal for slef defence, but will kill a man and is a lot better than throwing rocks.

May 31, 2005, 10:27 PM
i would not bet my life on a .410, this weekend i shot a sick turkey in my yard with it. A center mass hit from maybe 10 feet did not even break the skin, my second head shot broker her neck... anyway after that i would never even think of trying to save my life with that round but that is just me

June 1, 2005, 04:26 AM
A .410 didn't break the skin from 10 feet? Was the shell defective?

The .410 isn't underpowered, it just has less shot. The shot it does have is moving at 1200-1300 fps. Pretty much the same speed as shot from the larger guages.

June 1, 2005, 08:11 AM
Thats why I would use slugs for .410. Shot may splash unclothed pumpkins pretty good but put a bunch of feathers or clothes (or walls) in front of em and suddenly your undergunned. If you do hit em, you want it to count.

June 1, 2005, 08:22 AM
Me I love the .410 for home defense even the single shot used one for years for the home.You take a .410 3" shell no. 4 shot at close range in the home you are going down.A slug there is a good chance of a miss a good shot shell can clear a lot of area.That little .410 will hit you just as hard as the 12ga at close range just not as many BBs.As far as that .410 not breaking the skin of a turkey from 10 feet there had to be something wrong with those shells.For me all the shotguns made for HD is mostly :barf:

June 1, 2005, 08:31 AM
a good shot shell can clear a lot of area.

How much distance? If a 12 only spreads around 2" at 10 or 15 ft, then how much is a 410 going to spread and with less payload too. Even a 3" spread at inside the house distance wont make the difference between a hit or miss like if you had shot a slug. Plus with shot, the pellets are lighter and lose energy quicker. She had better still aim it even if she uses shot.

To each his own.

Death from Afar
June 1, 2005, 03:11 PM
Interesting Ayoob recommends slugs only. He states that the shot just doesnt have the density to hurt the bad guys.

June 1, 2005, 03:41 PM
I did some shooting with the .410 and bird shot this weekend. Two things I observed:
1) I don't want to be on the other end. It destroyed the various fruits I shot with it.
2) I think I will go with buckshot, for better penetration.

June 1, 2005, 10:26 PM
A 410 is fine for HD . Your talking 1/2 oz ( approx 220 gr) of lead moving @ 1200 fps. :eek: If you look at balistic tables you'll find that it has muzzle energy , lead weight and velocity similar to a mid range 44 mag load. I'd be more concerned about the single shot issue myself.
BTW, Mossberg made a great 410 pump gun just for home defence. Just the sound of that slide will likely clear people of any language off her property. :D

June 2, 2005, 01:52 AM
I did some shooting with the .410 and bird shot this weekend. Two things I observed:
1) I don't want to be on the other end. It destroyed the various fruits I shot with it.
2) I think I will go with buckshot, for better penetration.

The fruits you might have to shoot could be wearing thick clothing and they could duck behind a couch. I'm sorry that the majority of posts which recommend slugs hasn't convinced you. In 12ga, 27 # 4 buck has the least stopping power of any buckshot load. Once the pattern starts to spread, penetration becomes an issue, especially if any kind of barrier (like your couch) is in the way, or even heavy clothing.

Birdshot is easily defeated by heavy clothing at anything but spittin' distance. Once it starts to spread, you have tiny little individual pieces of shot that won't penetrate bare skin very deep. The only way it'll penetrate is if it's still all together, as one large mass--just like a slug, if you will. So, use a slug to begin with.

I regularly find birdshot just under the skin on small game birds (and not the far side, either) :cool:

June 2, 2005, 11:28 AM
Please tell her to sell this gun and get a short-barreled pump 12 gauge or 20 gauge. If she can't afford it, tell her to sell something. How much is her life worth to her? Used, reliable pump guns are cheap.

June 2, 2005, 11:29 AM
Yes, I will try and get her to do that.
I'll even offer her some money for the .410. I shot it and it was tons of fun :)

June 2, 2005, 08:25 PM
I'll even offer her some money for the .410. I shot it and it was tons of fun

A 410 single shot is teh perfect "behind the door " gun for popping pests in teh back yard. Effective on all but the biggest critters and the single shot keeps the complaint calls down. By the time the neighbors think they heard one shot, they don't know what it was ;)

June 7, 2005, 09:26 AM
I'll echo the call for slugs. The .410 just doesn't carry enough shot payload for two-legged critters--esp. at range.

And I'll also echo the call for a repeater. If recoil's the problem, a pump- or lever-action .410 would be acceptable for close-range HD. Or a pistol-caliber carbine.

If she can't handle the recoil, a 12ga or 20ga won't do her much good & may even cause her to leave the gun behind when she checks on those "poor, racially-oppressed migrant workers"... :rolleyes:

Most importantly---- BA/UU/R---as much as possible... :D

June 7, 2005, 10:22 AM
If that were me, I'd go with slugs - if she practices a little, placement with a long gun at defense ranges shouldn't be any problem at all.

I am sure these aren't perfect for HD, as you noted. According to Remington catalog, the .410 "Slugger" slug is pushing an 88gr slug at 1830fps, for 654ft-lb of energy. Of course, they're not jacketed, and I don't know how great penetration will be, but, it's not rediculous. How fast can you reload one of these suckers? :D

I know this is the shotgun forum :) ...but, a pistol caliber carbine like the Ruger PC4GR (.40S&W semiauto) or Marlin 1894C (.357magnum lever, action job is helpful for quick shooting) is handy sized, high capacity, light recoiling, and will definitely do it.

October 2, 2005, 11:32 PM
A single shot for defense against illegal aliens? I don't see so much of a problem with the .410 as a HD round. But the main problem is that illegals are NEVER alone. There are always MULTIPLE illegals. I suggest something with a LOT more ammo capacity.

October 3, 2005, 08:02 AM
I saw a .410 for the first time this weekend. It was a .22lr .410 combo neat little gun. The .410 didn't sound like anything that I'd argue with. Especially if you had a pump with several shells. Better to hit with a .410 than miss with a 12ga :D ?

October 3, 2005, 08:07 AM
#1's or #4's.....These will get the job done. Heck I've turkey hunted with 4's and deer hunted with 1's. More than enuff power to get someone outta the house. We are only talking 10 to 20 feet.


October 3, 2005, 10:38 AM
I would echo the single shot worry. I would not worry so much about which gauge or what shell, but I think for home defensive purposes, it is vital to have more then one shot. You can buy a 410 pump at wallyworld for about 200.00 or a maverick 12 gauge pump for 159.00.
As as another said, there is nothing more intimidating then the sound of the slide on a pump shotgun.
I now personally like a pistol PLUS a shotgun. Maneuverability can be an issue in close quarters. But - just my opinion.
People sometimes think I am nuts, but I also keep LOTS of ammunition. If Hurricane Katrina taught me anything, it is I had better be prepared to fend for myself and not expect quick resupplies.