View Full Version : Feedback for: HD shotgun for small statured/recoil shy ind. - Saiga .410

January 22, 2001, 06:26 PM
Just an idea that I'm sure has been tossed around plenty of times before, but I might have missed out on the conversation.
What does everyone think about the Saiga .410 semi-auto, magazine fed with a shortened stock for a HD weapon? This would be for small statured, less than ideally trained individuals, or just someone who doesn't like the 12 gauge.
--Advantages would obviously be the ability to fire faster follow-up shots.

EricO (who uses a ghostringed, Rem870MM) :-)

Dave McC
January 23, 2001, 07:39 AM
410s might be enough for protection. I don't feel like gambling my family's well being on a might be. A better choice for those that do not like shotguns or cannot use them well would be a handgun caliber carbine or rifle. IMO, one of the lever actions in 357 shooting good 38 HPs would be adequate,handy,and easier for non aficiandos to operate.

And, I bet those carbines run a bit less at the shop...

January 23, 2001, 11:49 AM
If I had to pick a HD shotgun for both me and my wife, I'd go with a Remington 1100 in 20 gauge with a short stock. The "youth" model would fit the bill nicely:


Why this choice?

#3 Buck in a 20 gauge is an effective defense load -- perhaps even too much for extreme close-quarters. I prefer it over .410.

Recoil of a 20-gauge 1100 would be relatively mild.

Autoloaders require a little more caretaking, but are easier to actually operate. I would rather spend the extra time keeping the 1100 clean than worry about my wife short-stroking and jamming up a pump.

Not cheap compared to a pump, but affordable and available at most sporting goods stores.

All just my opinion, of course.

[Edited by Elmo on 01-23-2001 at 12:40 PM]

Daniel Watters
January 23, 2001, 03:12 PM
The Russians seem to be sold on the general concept, producing a version of the Saiga 410 equipped with military AK-style furniture: folding stock, pistol grip, 10rd magazine, et al. (All of the nasty bits, short of a bayonet lug, which would prevent US importation.)

Back around the mid-1980s, Franchi experimented with a select-fire bullpup .410 which vaguely resembled the FN P90 (with the exception of magazine placement and sights). It used a 15rd box magazine and fired 200rpm on full-auto.

For defensive loads, there are three-pellet 000 Buck .410 shells (2.5" Hull) available from American Deringer (made by Winchester) and Sellier & Bellot. S&B also offers a five-pellet 00 Buck loadings in a 3" .410 hull.

Experimenters have even surpassed the pellet count of the S&B loads. In the Handloader's Digest, 11th Ed., C. Rodney James wrote up his experiments with six-pellet 00 Buck .410s. 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 claimed 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!

Even if you didn't want to play with pellets this large, you could try substituting the soft lead pellets in the S&B loads with 'premium' buckshot (hardened and plated), commercially available from Ballistic Products. Ballistic Products also makes a nifty '0000' Buck, a true .380" pellet.