View Full Version : slugs in .410

November 1, 2001, 08:08 PM
I am a new member- long time and avid hunter and shooter.

My wife generally hunts whitetails with a Winchester M70 Classic Compact in 7mm-08. She will be hunting in some brushy areas this year so I thought about trying a more suitable firearm for the situation. I have a remington 870 .410 full choke and have tossed around the idea of trying her out with it loaded with slugs. I've never hunted with slugs, so this is new to me. I'm pretty certain that it is not a good idea to shoot slugs in the full choke barrel (I read another post here concerning that, too)- but to my knowledge there has never been a rifled slug barrel made for the 870 .410. Does anyone know for sure? I don't like the idea of shooting a slug from a smoothbore anyway. The whole notion of a non-rotating projectile seems primitive and unreliable. Any input is appreciated.


November 1, 2001, 08:59 PM
Not sure about your state-----but here in Nebraska---nothing smaller than a 20ga is legal for deer.

Al Thompson
November 1, 2001, 09:42 PM
The .410 slug seems (don't have info in front of me) very undergunned for deer.

The unrifled aspect of the gun is a moot point. In it's range a good slug fired from a SG with a rear sight will group very well for game.


November 1, 2001, 11:23 PM
Here in Arkansas the .410 is legal for deer. I would agree that it is a bit on the weak side, but when there isn't a shot over 40 yards, even a .22LR will do the job. That's not legal here, though.


Oleg Volk
November 2, 2001, 12:31 AM
AFAIK, .410 slug is 1/5 to 1/4 of an ounce (i.e. roughly 75-90 grains but with much bigger cross-section) with muzzle velocity of 1600-1850fps. Though it would lose velocity fast, I'd expect it to retain sufficient energy to drop deer out to 50m or so.

I've only fired .410 slugs from a full choke H&R breaktop and found it to be very accurate and recoil to be mild to non-existent. In a heavier pump gun, the kick won't be an issue.

The only concern would be lack of penetration, so perhaps oblique angles wouldn't work as well as with 20ga.

Dave McC
November 2, 2001, 05:37 AM
It can be done, but I see some drawbacks, besides legal questions.

As anyone who's had to trail up a deer hit with an inadequate cartridge, even when hit in the right place, will tell you, long blood trails are depressing. Or, they should be,to ethical hunters.

A critter hit and lost is egregious,and possibly bad PR for hunters.

That dinky little slug has little energy to begin with, and at 40 yards even less. Bullet weight and velocity at 40 yards would be similar to a 32 S&W Long target cartridge at close range.

Will a 410 slug kill a deer? Yes.

Will it kill one humanely and quickly? Not very likely....

November 2, 2001, 08:09 AM

IF for some reason a guy wanted to shoot slugs in a 870 .410- what would he need to know?

Al Thompson
November 2, 2001, 12:12 PM
The key to getting good shot placement in the feild with a SG using slugs is to have a rear sight. Way too easy to lift your head off the stock and throw a shot off. I like the clamp on style sights on guns with a vent rib. Just make sure you tighten and lock-tite the screws. Brownells offers them.

Once you have the sights on-board, hit the range for ammo checks and (once a brand is selected) zeroing.



November 4, 2001, 10:57 PM
Sportsman's Guide used to carry some 410 cartridges that contained three 000 buckshot balls. They claimed that they outperformed 410 slugs. I should have ordered a couple boxes and tried them. Anyone ever shot any of those?

November 5, 2001, 12:30 AM
The only experience I've had with them is that they scatter wildly, which is a very bad thing-and especially when there are only three projectiles to begin with. I doubt they would be very effective for hunting. I know that laws vary by state, but here a .410 can not be used for deer when firing multiple projectiles.


November 8, 2001, 01:50 AM

Thanks, you probably saved me ten bucks and 20 minutes of aggravation!