Where do I begin? I guess most guys on the Internet today would be more into writing reviews for say, a CZ Woodcock, Beretta, or some other “higher priced” .410 shotgun, but truth is, how many of us can afford one! Don’t get me wrong, if I was given one to test and review, I would, but on my income – cheaper is often better. Which brings up another issue, this little shotgun may be inexpensive – but it is not cheap!
The NEF .410 I write about is not mine. It is the one my wife and I bought our son 8 years ago for Christmas. You can read the story on my blog, somewhere in the archives now. Anyway, we purchased this .410 at K-Mart, before the chain stores started “wiggin out” and getting “Politically” correct. It cost us $79.00 and I believe that was the best money we ever spent.
First off, I want to say, when training youngsters to shoot, it can be a bit scary after the first shot. You know what I write of, that first shot can make or break a kid, and if they break, or at least get nervous, their could be another round right behind that one that needs to escape. O’ sure, we are all carefully standing behind them, waiting and watching, ready to grab the gun and help them put the safety on – speaking words of affirmation like – “Watch the barrel son” or “No honey you won’t die it only kicks a little”. Anyhow, the point has more to do with that first time in the field: when the young’un shoots that first rabbit, partridge, squirrel – whatever! Bang goes the gun, down falls the critter and “whoosh goes the kid” to collect their prize, and sometimes with no forethought of gun safety!
That is why I recommend a single shot firearm for beginners and the New England Firearms .410 is a great first gun. The length of pull is 14″, a bit large for the younger kids,a bit small for the older kids, but I found it to be easy mounting with little issue for sight picture – and I am 5’11”! The NEF .410 takes 2.5″. 2.75″ and 3″ shells. I have used all the shot shell sizes and found the pattern to be very tight out to 30 yards regardless of shot shell size, with 75% of the pellets in a 30″ radius, and #4s, 5s, and 6s performing the best. The interesting (and fun) thing about this .410 is how it throws Brennekeslugs. At 40 yards I have placed these slugs in a 2″ group – and that with only a bead front sight! As for looks, the one we bought has a beautiful rich brown stock and fore-arm. The NEF .410 is rugged! It opens smoothly and locks down tight as a drum! There is also a safety bar to prevent accidental dis-charge. A great asset afield.
Below are the specs for the New England Firearms Pardner .410 as taken from http://www.hr1871.com/Firearms/Shotguns/pardnerYouth.asp
|410 Bore (SB1-041)|
26″ (20 Gauge, 28 Gauge, .410 Bore)
|Stock||American hardwood, walnut finish, pistol grip.|
|Chamber||Up to 3″ (12 Gauge, 20 Gauge, .410 Bore)
2 3/4″ (28 Gauge)
|Choke||Modified or Full (12 Gauge, 20 Gauge)
Modified (28 Gauge)
Full (12 Gauge, .410 Bore)
41″ (20 Gauge, 28 Gauge, .410 Bore)
|Length of Pull||14″|
|Drop at Comb||1-1/2″|
|Drop at Heel||2″|
Aside from the safety standpoint a .410, single shot, will help young and old to better judge distance to target, timing, lead on fast moving gamebirds etc., because of three dynamics:
A. There is only one shot – make it count
B. The .410 REQUIRES accuracy and skill thereby requiring more practice and time afield (always a good thing)
C. The .410 does NOT mutilate everything it hits! Aside from the occasional squirrel or Woodcock that receives a “Dead On” direct hit, no pun intended, most of the game taken can be done with superb head shots.
Therefore once the .410 is mastered, and it takes mastering, the shooter will be well on their way to becoming a master gunner. I know, because my son is now 24 years old and a Marine Corps Officer shooting clay pigeons with his friends, and guess what his favorite shotgun is? That little single shot.410 by New England Firearms, and guess who shoots alot of birds other guys miss? You guessed it – my son and that diminutive .410 of his.