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Old April 6, 2014, 02:34 AM   #1
Cosmodragoon
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Tactical/SD value in .410 AR?

Whether Judges or standard shotguns, people often knock the .410. It fires a much smaller load of projectiles and the effective pattern is obviously less than other gauges. On the up-side, the shells are small and the recoil is light. In self defense or tactical scenarios, that seems like exactly the kind of thing we might look for in a modern sporting rifle like the AR. Then I discovered that you can get a .410 AR with 15-round magazines.

Sure, it is the lightest in a shotgun but are we really comparing it to other shotguns? In the AR platform, I'd put it up against the much broader category of modern sporting rifles, home defense weapons, and emergency guns. There, we have some interesting things to consider.

First, is there sufficient power? Any shotgun blast will be devastating to an unarmored human at point-blank range with just about any number shot. (Try it out on test media if you don't believe me.) The question comes with distance. As air resistance spreads out and slows down your swarm of projectiles, the .410 starts showing its limitations compared to heavier gauges. At longer distances, concerns with lighter shot may be well founded. Heavy buck like the 00 or 000 could be a different story. Correct me if I'm wrong but by weight, an average on-target strike should be on par with a triple-tap of .32acp or .32 S&W Long. Both are maligned self-defense calibers in their own right but a repeatable three rounds rapid of either is definitely nothing to sneeze at!

Second, is there a reason to think this may be safer in closed structures such as inside a home or business when friendly positions might not be known? (I understand that discharging any firearm in such a situation is inherently unsafe. I'm talking about situations of absolute need.)

Third, how poor a choice is this against the rare threat of armored bad guys?

Any other advantages or disadvantages come to mind?
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Old April 6, 2014, 04:05 AM   #2
chris in va
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410 has a heck of a lot less recoil than 20 or 12 ga. However it is substantially more expensive if you wish to put practice ammo through it.
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Old April 6, 2014, 06:42 AM   #3
idek
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Quote:
Any shotgun blast will be devastating to an unarmored human at point-blank range with just about any number shot. (Try it out on test media if you don't believe me.)
What do you consider "test media?" I guess I'm one of those people would really prefer to not use birdshot for defense.

There are .410 loads out there that shoot five 000 pellets at a listed 1135 fps. I think 000 is something like .36" and 70 grains each. I suspect it could be pretty effective at the right distances, but it may overpenetrate more that desired.

I believe ammo tests have shown that, with proper ammo selection, .223/5.56 will actually be less dangerous in terms of penetrating walls than shotgun and handgun ammo.

I think a .410 could be decent for defense, but there are several others options I'd take first.
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Old April 6, 2014, 06:46 PM   #4
Cosmodragoon
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idek wrote:
Quote:
What do you consider "test media?" I guess I'm one of those people would really prefer to not use birdshot for defense.
I wouldn't recommend bird shot for all defensive purposes. My point is that it is much more destructive than many people realize when delivered up close.

People scoff at the idea but I often wonder how many of those people have tried it. Obviously, we can't go testing ballistics on humans. That's why people use all sorts of test media to approximate: ballistic gel, water jugs, wet newspaper, spaced boards, various fruit, pieces of meat, carcasses, etc... When you've settled on a medium that you think will demonstrate tissue damage, watch what happens to all shot types from all gauges as you get up close. Just please be careful not to shoot anything hard at point-blank range!

That said, I'd definitely plan on 00 or 000 buck for most purposes.
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Old April 6, 2014, 10:44 PM   #5
trg42wraglefragle
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.410 in an AR is more a gimmick than anything, a way of having a bit of fun.

I'd be more inclined to use 223 for less recoil and many times has been shown to have less over penetration and excellent close range performance. Or spend the money of an upper on a shotgun and use 12ga.
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Old April 7, 2014, 06:25 AM   #6
Mobuck
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Just my observations, but 410 often does not feed through the action nearly as well as bigger shells. I don't know how those AR410 "things" work but would expect some functional hiccups.
I've seen the damage done by birdshot up close and have no problem using it for defense. For those "doubters", have you watched the effect of "bean bag" rounds? Give that some thought. Cops use them to subdue aggressive, hyped up suspects w/o ANY penetrative component. Couple the same impact with even minimal penetration and what would you expect to happen? Consider that a 1-1 1/8 ounce of #6 will penetrate a mature bovine skull(a full 1/4" of age hardened bone) from 10'.
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Old April 7, 2014, 01:32 PM   #7
JD0x0
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Wouldn't be my first choice. I know of accounts of people shot at very short range with 12Ga's, in some cases, multiple times, and surviving, even able to walk away in some cases... SO a .410 would be far from my first choice for SD
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