View Full Version : .410 for Deer Hunting?

April 12, 2009, 05:16 AM
I have just aquired a .410 break barrel,and it is the only shotgun/rifle I own.Do you think a slug would bring down a deer effectivly?

April 12, 2009, 06:29 AM
Effectively? Like any hunting situation, shot placement is the key. The .410 throws a 90 grain slug at 1600 fps. If the shooter does his/her job picking an appropriate distance (the little slug loses energy fast) and puts the slug in the right place, then it will be effective.
Would I hunt deer with a .410 slug? No. It is a marginal choice for that game.

Lee Lapin
April 12, 2009, 07:39 AM
The primary obligation to the game animal which a person assumes as a hunter is to kill quickly. I don't think a .410 slug is sufficient to do that in the hands of a beginner. It is possible, but it demands a great deal of patience, willingness to pass up marginal shots, ability to place the little projectile perfectly, skill to close the range to an effective distance, knowing one's limitations and being willing to live with them etc.

Only you can decide if you have those attributes. But they must be recognized and dealt with. Leaving a wounded animal to die a slow and agonizing death is not something I would want to be responsible for.


srt 10 jimbo
April 12, 2009, 08:45 AM
Or, ya could just wait till it gets close enough, and beat it over the Head.:)

April 12, 2009, 09:22 AM
All great points. I have used the 410 with slugs very effectively against javelina but have never taken it afield for deer. About the closest equivalent to the 410 shooting slugs would be a good bow. If you have the patience and ability to place your shot it could be done. I am a great fan of the 410 shotgun but then I keep its limitations in mind.

April 12, 2009, 01:23 PM
Check with your local conservation agent to see if the 410 is even leagl in your state.

April 12, 2009, 01:51 PM
I have three friends who all killed their first deer with a .410 and slugs. It will do the job, if the shooter does his.

April 12, 2009, 02:12 PM
Use 410 for deer? A 410 is not a effective weapon to take deer humanely. Will it kill deer? A 410 will certainly kill deer but should you? As a hunter you owe it to your prey to take them quickly and humanely. A 410 is not legal to hunt deer with in most states and the reason is that many animals are not dispatched quickly enough and many get away.

April 12, 2009, 02:26 PM
A 410 is about a suitable as a 40 caliber hand gun for hunting deer.

April 12, 2009, 03:25 PM
I plan on being within 50 yards of it,close enough for a neck hit.

April 12, 2009, 05:57 PM
The .410 is a good handgun caliber and legal for deer here as in 41 magnum, but the 410 shotgun isn't legal for deer in Klintonia.

April 12, 2009, 06:21 PM
"I plan on being within 50 yards of it,close enough for a neck hit."

I recommend you don't. The only kill you can make with a neck shot is on the jugular or the spine. With a .410 break barrel at 50 yards, IF you hit the deer, and don't hit the jugular or this spine, it'll be gone by the time you reload for a second shot, and die a slow death a long way from you.

April 12, 2009, 06:26 PM
My first deer was killed with a bolt .410. shot it in the neck at around 20 yds and dropped it

April 12, 2009, 06:47 PM
About the closest equivalent to the 410 shooting slugs would be a good bow. If you have the patience and ability to place your shot it could be done.

I think I know where you were going with this comparison, but I want to clear up some potential misconceptions it could engender in new hunters/shooters.

Yes, to be effective with a .410 on deer you've basically got to be within bow range and to have developed the woodsmanship necessary to get there. and to make the shot when the adrenaline is pumping and the deer is basically in bad breath range. (I think that's what you were getting at, but correct me if I'm wrong).

The .410 slug, however, is a marginal shotgun round for deer that IMO is head and shoulders below a good broadhead arrow (shot placement and distance to target being equal).

A bullet/slug of any kind basically tears and crushes its way through tissue. This results in a ragged wound channel that can clot and close up temporarily, allowing the animal to maintain enough blood pressure to run a good distance. As long as the deer has enough blood pumping to the brain, it will keep running.

A properly sharpened and designed broadhead, placed identically, will cut a razored path that does not allow for easy clotting and blood pressure drops dramatically. No blood to the brain, deer stops running.

I've shot deer through the heart with a rifle and it's run 100+ yards.

I've shot deer through the heart with a broadhead and they didn't make it 30 yards.

See where I'm going here?

Obviously it's possible to flub a bow shot and end up with a long track. Same is true for a rifle. I'm just saying, in my experience, all things being equal, the arrow kills quickly and in some cases quicker within it's effective range.

Certainly in comparison to the .410...........

April 12, 2009, 09:30 PM
even looking beyond the typical very soft slugs from remington and winchester, checking out the 3" .410 slug that Brenneke has, they reccomend it to be used on "small / varmints" its a 1/4 oz slug, 1755 fps/781 ft lbs at the muzzle. which seems decent for what it is. until you check out the more likely to encounter a deer range at 50 yards and take note that it is only 1179 fps and a mere 352 ft lbs of energy. at 100 yards get ready to laugh 930 fps and a mere 219 ft lbs.

sounds like a good load for a small framed person unclose for home defense, and maybe 50 yard coyote and bobcat :confused: i wouldnt trust it for deer at all. Too much chance to maim and not kill quick IMO.

get a 20 or 12 gauge if you are going to stay with a shotgun and be done with it, and have much much more flexability for everything else.

April 12, 2009, 09:45 PM
I'm not sure if im gonna try hunting this year with my .410.I can borrow a 30-30,270 weatherbymag,or 444 marlin,I was just hoping to use the only long gun I actually own,maybe i'll buy a cheap 06 0r 243/20ga combo.

April 12, 2009, 10:08 PM
That is probably the better choice. I know a .410 can kill a deer, but there are SOOO many better guns for the job. Of course, folks were killing deer many years ago with guns of equal or less power. I am glad to see you rethinking the choice of guns and going to one more suitable and able to dispach a deer quickly. Good for you.