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Old September 28, 2019, 03:19 AM   #1
TruthTellers
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What does .410 do well?

A year ago I made a thread asking about .410 or 20 gauge for a single shot shotgun. I ended up getting a Taurus Public Defender 6 months ago, so I'm most definitely going to get a .410 shotgun in the future, likely a single shot.

When I made the thread last year I was surprised at the amount of disdain for the .410. I know it's the smallest true shotgun shell out there, but it was made out to be nearly useless.

So I want to hear from people who shoot shotguns more than I do (I'm not a shotgun guy) what .410 does well that 12 or 20 gauge can't do better? What's the argument for .410 vs a larger bore?

One thing I want to mention is I intend to reload .410 in the future, the price of the ammo is not fair compared to 12 gauge.
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Old September 28, 2019, 04:06 AM   #2
Doug Lee
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I shot skeet years ago against a 14 year old young man with a .410 gauge shotgun, he broke 98, I broke 95 with my 12 gauge, I have a lot of respect for .410's
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Old September 28, 2019, 05:59 AM   #3
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Old September 28, 2019, 06:52 AM   #4
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My uncle's eyes got bad on him as it eventually does with all of us. Actually, he was my grandma's youngest brother and we spent a lot of time with him.

He lived in a small town about 50 miles from Abilene and owned approximately a section of land that included fields and a large pecan orchard. Needless to say, there were always a large population of squirrels living amongst the pecan trees.

He loved squirrel hunting, but couldn't see the sights on his trusty 22 LR. He bought a bolt action 410 shotgun as a replacement and damned if he didn't bag just about every one he drew a bead on. He has passed on to the happy hunting grounds maybe 30 or so years ago, but his memory lives on in us. And his use of the 410.
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Old September 28, 2019, 07:14 AM   #5
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1) It’s a great starter shotgun particularly for youth.
2) They’re available in single shot as a bolt gun (for beginners)
3) The costs are usually pretty low
4) much lower recoil than larger bores
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Old September 28, 2019, 07:18 AM   #6
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And to add to TXAZ’s post, they are also just a lot of fun..
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Old September 28, 2019, 07:22 AM   #7
MTT TL
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Quote:
what .410 does well that 12 or 20 gauge can't do better?
Nothing really.

It is more of starter shotgun for youth and people who can't handle recoil. A 20 is perfectly adequate for just about everything and the 12 is of course much more standardized and popular.

As you pointed out you can also shoot it in certain handguns reasonably well. Sure there are a couple of 12 Gauge pistols out there but these are gimmicky clownshoes guns.
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Old September 28, 2019, 07:41 AM   #8
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The .410 excels at providing challenge. Though it is commonly considered a beginner's gun, it is really an expert's.
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Old September 28, 2019, 08:10 AM   #9
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If you are a rabbit hunter, the .410 is the best shotgun available. I used one for many years, and bagged hundreds upon hundreds of rabbits with it. I had one of those .22 LR over a .410 shotgun double barrel break open guns. If the rabbit was sitting, click over to the .22. If the rabbit was on the move, click over to the .410. The perfect rabbit gun.
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Old September 28, 2019, 09:09 AM   #10
Don Fischer
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I've got a 410 SxS that I carry along as a back up to my 28 SxS bird hunting for grouse. What does 3/4 oz shot in a 410 do that a 3/4oz shot in a 20 won't? Nothing! I started carrying my 410 because I took it out training with my dog's one time and used it on pigeons. This will be hard for some to believe but it killed them just as fast and just as dead as any 12ga or 16ga or even 20 ga I ever used. For a starter gun for kids ya can't beat it I don't think. Really light gun that doesn't kill and someone that learns on a 410 I believe will be better with a larger bore. My 410 is awful light and doesn't track as well as heavier guns so I generally just throw it up and shoot. Learned that lesson with an 870 Special Field 20ga I had years ago. You try to track and it just doesn't do it. Well not for me it doesn't anyway.

Another thing I can do with my 410 I'm not sure I could with a 20ga is put a whole box of ammo in my coat pocket! Funny how thing's work. 1st shotgun was a single shot 16ga, then to a bolt 16ga then to a 12ga pump to a 20ga pump, back to a 12 ga and then a 16ga again. I have two 16's today I seldom use. I go out to shoot it's either my 28ga or my 410! Go figure.I think a lot of dad's miss the boat with the 410 for a starter for their kids, I did!
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Old September 28, 2019, 09:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
I've got a 410 SxS that I carry along as a back up to my 28 SxS bird hunting for grouse. What does 3/4 oz shot in a 410 do that a 3/4oz shot in a 20 won't? Nothing! I started carrying my 410 because I took it out training with my dog's one time and used it on pigeons. This will be hard for some to believe but it killed them just as fast and just as dead as any 12ga or 16ga or even 20 ga I ever used. For a starter gun for kids ya can't beat it I don't think. Really light gun that doesn't kill and someone that learns on a 410 I believe will be better with a larger bore.
If a 410 works well for you, then congratulations, you are obviously a very good shot.

However the only virtue the 410 has as a beginner's gun is low recoil. The low hit percentage caused by the thin patterns and long shot string generated makes learning difficult and frustrating. It's just too unforgiving for beginners.

A 28 ga would be a better choice for beginners, a 20 ga better still if they can deal with the recoil.

I do agree that if someone learns to shoot well on a 410 they will be a better shot with a larger bore. If they don't get frustrated and quit first.
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Old September 28, 2019, 09:31 AM   #12
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What does the .410 do that bigger gauges cannot do better? It is better at not kicking the hell out of me.
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Old September 28, 2019, 09:45 AM   #13
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I'll agree with ligonierbill and natman in that the 410 ain't for beginners. The only thing it has in favor of it is low recoil. I was 5 yrs old when Dad asked me if I wanted to shoot his SxS 12 ga. I couldn't wait. It literally knocked me on my ass. But I didn't give up. When I started loading 12 ga, I loaded some powderpuff loads until I got the hang of it.
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Old September 28, 2019, 10:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
1) It’s a great starter shotgun particularly for youth.
No, it really isn't - the 28 gauge is a much better bore to start off kids with.
That said, the 410 is nice for garden pest control, shooting clay targets, small birds like dove and quail (all within its range limitations, typically about 25 yards)
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Old September 28, 2019, 10:07 AM   #15
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As a kid, I brought down a lot of ducks with a .410 while hunting with my dad. Later, I used a 20ga to shoot squirrels and a 12ga to shoot turkeys.

Nothing wrong with a .410, actually. My granny had a side by side .410 that she used to kill geese. I'd love to find a side by side like that some day.

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Old September 28, 2019, 10:28 AM   #16
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While I am not a current shotgun type I grew up shooting my share of them hunting. I took plenty of rabbit, squirrel and game birds with a 410. Much of the game I took would have been destroyed if I used a 12 gauge. I had an old Savage 410 bolt action shotgun which I really liked. I see nothing bad about a 410 and like any gun you use it within its limitations.

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Old September 28, 2019, 10:43 AM   #17
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A matter of personal preference and service

Quote:
what .410 does well that 12 or 20 gauge can't do better? What's the argument for .410 vs a larger bore?
In my opinion, I feel that you will never out-grow a 20Ga and eventually a .410 goes to the back of the closet. I get better performance from my 20Ga. The service is a factor on preference. Then again, those .410SXS are really sweet to shoot. …..

At our Hunter Safety classes, we only use a 20GA. …..

Quote:
Nothing wrong with a .410, actually.
No sir and it really comes down to a matter of personal preference. …..

Be Safe !!!
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Old September 28, 2019, 10:52 AM   #18
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The only thing it does well is prove you are a good skeet shooter.
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Old September 28, 2019, 10:56 AM   #19
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They make a good lightweight gun for squirrel hunters when combined with a full choke. That is the only practical use I can think of. They are a poor choice for beginning shooters to shoot clays or upland game. For hunting or clays they are an experts gun who is trying to increase the difficulty of making hits.

Technically you can make a good argument that a 28 is the better beginners gauge. I own't argue against it if someone has a 28 and can afford the ammo. But for most people a 20 is the starting point.
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Old September 28, 2019, 11:00 AM   #20
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The 410 does make a nice light gun when you use a shotgun like a rifle - firing at stationary targets like squirrels and rabbits.

For wingshooting you'd be better off with a larger gauge.
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Old September 28, 2019, 12:08 PM   #21
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There was an interesting story in an old gunzine.
A skeet shooter set out to determine the cause of his lower scores with .410.
He fired 100 shots on paper and found that his skeet gun would not fire 100 consecutive patterns without holes big enough to miss.
But his neighbor kid's .410 Ithaca would. A wealthy kid, right.
I am sure he got a new skeet gun or barrel.
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Old September 28, 2019, 01:03 PM   #22
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"...It’s a great starter shotgun..." No, it isn't. The .410 is for experts. A .410 will usually end up frustrating a new shooter. A 20 gauge semi-auto deals with the perceived felt recoil issue, but still lets the new shooter succeed.
It doesn't do anything better than a 12 or 20. Even with slugs, that aren't exactly easy to come by. Buck shot is a waste of time(3 whole pellets in Winchester 000 Buck).
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Old September 28, 2019, 01:07 PM   #23
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probably the best all around gun I ever used for squirrel hunting was a Mossberg 410 pump. low recoil, light carry, inexpensive.
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Old September 28, 2019, 01:29 PM   #24
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Good friend just got a lever action Henry in 410 & brought it out to our last shootin’ session & it was a hoot breaking doubles out of the new electric thrower.
Fun gun https://www.henryusa.com/shotgun/lev...n-410-shotgun/
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Old September 28, 2019, 03:15 PM   #25
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I use my rem 870 pump 410 for late season rabbits, I use # 4 shot and the area I like to hunt is thick with brush and briers and full of holes, in late winter they sit just out side the holes in late afternoon getting warm in the late sun. the #4 shot kills then right now so they don,t get down the holes and yet does not fill them with shot at the 15-20 yards max.
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