View Full Version : 410 for defense and hunting

September 1, 2001, 04:17 PM
You CAN get buckshot in 410 gauge! Three 000 buck pellets.
But isn't there a 3" buckshot round from some manufacturer?

As to hunting for squirrels and sitting or slow rabbits, isn't 12 gauge or even 20 gauge overkill if you want to eat 'em? Isn't a half ounce or 11/16th's ounce of #4 or #6 entirely adequate to the job of bringing a squirrel down from up in a tree?

Unfortunately 410 ammo is more expensive than 12 gauge.

September 1, 2001, 04:56 PM
Yes, there is a 3" shell in .410. If I am not mistaken, it is available with five 000 pellets. :D

Dave McC
September 1, 2001, 06:01 PM
To the best of my recollection, only one or two rodenta in the last 40 years have been too shot up to eat. All were taken with shotguns of at least 20 ga.

While I've friends who swear by the 410 for ground game and small birds, gotta admit their averages on game have lots of room for improvement.

Will a 410 suffice? Possibly. Will a larger gauge suffice, probably.

As for 410 buckshot loads, it'll beat fang and claw.....

Oleg Volk
September 1, 2001, 09:09 PM
No one has ever posted any info on 5-pelet S&B load. I am half-tempted to buy an old 410 and some buckshot for testing...

September 1, 2001, 11:01 PM
The trick with hunting with a scattergun is to only put a few pellets into the animal, not the whole load of shot!

That is why chokes and loads are so important. If you hit the bunny or bird with a full choke at close range you will not have any meat that is edible.

To see how this works I recommend obtaining a copy of Bob Bristers "Shotgunning , the Art and the Science" He explains visually how shotgun patterns work and what to look for in optimum patterns.

As for squirrels in trees, try a .22.

The .410 shotgun is an abomination that tends to wound game rather than kill cleanly. .410s throw worthless patterns, that is why skeet shooters call it the "Idiots stick".

28 GA, now that is another story. The 28 is perfect. It is everything the 410 wishes it could be. Now if we could only get the manufacturers to produce economical ammo for it!

The above is of course my own opinion and not based on any factual research, just on my having shot with both gauges.

Geoff Ross

September 2, 2001, 04:08 AM
Thanks for the advice on the 28 gauge. Then I may as well stay with the 20 gauge since it has worked well for me on squirrel and rabbit and the available loads are more diverse and common. This appears to be the classic "caliber creep" - 410 caliber is not enough, 28 gauge is better but by then 20 is only a short jump, 16 is not much better than 3" 20 gauge, oh shucks, might as well go to 2 3/4" 12 gauge, but then may as well get a 12 gauge that is capable of 3 1/2", though the 10 gauge is reputed to pattern better for really long range.

Where this started was the 20 gauge having a decent spread from just under an ounce to 1 1/4 ounces of shot. The 28 gauge from 3/4 to 1 ounce and the 410 from 1/2 to nearly 3/4.

I too need to find an old 410 to take it out for a spin on some squirrels. It seemed that a 1/2 ounce of #4's would be just right for 30 to 40 feet up in a tree. I'd rather not use a 22 since it carries so far. As a kid I was raised to be very wary of shooting a rifle into the air without a good backstop (tree trunk, barn timber, etc.) though I was a good enough shot to hit what I was shooting at. Yet the idea of a .22 round continuing on, especially if I missed, and hitting somebody a half mile away (as has happened to others) had me seriously considering the 410 as "just enough to do the job". Sorta like using a 45 Long Colt with a shot charge instead of a slug. Actually it is isn't it.

Dave McC
September 2, 2001, 06:04 AM
In the days of yesteryear, waterfowl were taken with 8 and 10 gauge shotguns, upland bird hunters swore by the 16 ga, quail hunters cherished their 20 and 28 gauges, and 410s were for kids. The last was because everyone figured that they could do little damage with same.Kick was negligible, ammo was cheap(then).

The 12 gauge became popular because it could double as a goose gun or a quail gun. The fact that compromises are hardly ever as good as what they replace seems to have been ignored generally.

I wouldn't call them expert's weapons, but IMO, the small gauges should be used by experienced shooters well aware of their limits.

Years ago, I hunted with a friend who bred and trained his Welsh Springer Spaniels and liked to use a 28 ga H&H double on game farm pheasants and chukars. I was amazed at how fast he could turn off a bird with that thing.For quail, he also used a Darne 20 ga, a little French thing with an odd design and excellent construction. He was superb with any gun.

But, on wild ringnecks, he grabbed a 12 ga.

September 2, 2001, 09:51 AM
The Saiga 410 autoloading shotgun would probably do fine with buck or slug loads for HD. It is based on the AK action and you can get 3 or 5 round mags IIRC.

Alex Johnson
September 2, 2001, 08:56 PM
One of the neatest guns that my dad's bought in years is a combination 22 Hornet / .410. I don't know about its uses for defense, but I guess it would certainly do the job if it came to that, I recall cratering a 3/8" steel plate sillohette with the 22 hornet, so I would say there is plenty of devastation in the round. I think the gun is made by Springfield Armory and its all steel construction makes it a perfect pickup gun. It's a nice gun to have when checking the fields in the evening for the occasional upland game bird or rabbit that one comes across. I've heard somepeople say that you can fire a 45 LC in the .410 barrel, though I have never tried this, but I guess that I have shot .410's in a Thompson Contender barrel made for the .45 LC cartridge, who knows.

September 2, 2001, 11:16 PM
I bought a Mossberg .410 pump pretty cheap a couple years ago at Wally's. Don't undersell the .410 its a lot more powerfull than most people give it credit for--even the 2 1/2'' loads. That being said one of my 12 guages usually comes along hunting-----it might overkill for some purposes but I don't like leaving things to chance either.

My .410 has pretty much assumed the role of a fun gun--even though the ammo is pretty expensive.

September 3, 2001, 06:21 AM
Winchester has just come out with a lever action .410. Great looking gun and is supposed to be a good shooting gun. Chokes are also available. It looks like it would be fun gun to own.