What are .410 Shotguns used for?
Well, they are not just for Kid’s! The .410 is good for hunting wild game, target practice and home defense. Let’s take a look at these three areas .410 shotguns excel in.
1. Hunting: The .410 is perfect for hunting small game and in the hands of a capable and experienced hunter, larger game such as deer. I use a .410 deer hunting and they are deadly under 50 yards. This year I used a “Silver Bear” 2.75″, 98gr. slug to down a buck on opening day of Rifle season – at 40 yards he dropped like a stone on the first shot. The slug having mushroomed to the size of a nickel.
2. Home Defense: Because of the .410’s lack of recoil, weight, and its ease of operation, it makes a wonderful home defense weapon; with buckshot or #4 birdshot as its best defense load. Whether #4, OO, or OOO buck, each round has ample short-range stopping power but will not typically carry through walls, floors, ceiling, etc., to harm those you are trying to protect. I have a Leinad 45/410 made by the folks at “Ducktown” in the bedroom. It is a double barrel pistol with 8″ barrels. This handles both 45 colt, 2.5″ and 3″ shotshells. I do not personally recommend the use of a wad in these loads – just a shotcup and shot or ball. The reason is that with the rifled barrels a shotshell packs a hell of alot of recoil, double that of the .45 Colt, and makes that follow up shot tricky. My favorite home defense load is:
Birdshot: 3″ BPI Skived hull packed with 12 gr. of 2400 touched off with a CCI 209 primer. With a 1/2″ fiber gas check topped with a load of #4 and finished with a typical star crimp you will have a solid 1/2 ounce of lead out to five feet with rapid spread beyond that.
Pumpkin Ball Round: Same Hull load, powder, primer, with three .395/40cal. balls and finished with a roll crimp. Remember not to over load the hull but leave the proper room for your roll crimp without scarring the ball itself. I use a small drill press set at a prescribed height to insure good roll crimps.
3. Plinking – Trap, Skeet, and target shooting are all fun. Though the .410 is considered a “Professionals” shotgun when it comes to clays – its multiple uses for recreational shooting far outstrip other small gauge shotguns. I have gone from birdshot, to buckshot, to slugs with the same gun and using various targets all in the same days shooting. My practice and research has led to a buffered buckshot round that boasts pellet on pellet accuracy at 30 yards (5 pellets 3 holes) and a double .40 pumpkin ball round that can hold quarter size groups to 50 yards (not the one described above). I have also found great fun using the BPI small-bore slug kits that utilize a .375 round-ball and a combination gas-check/buffer system similar to what Guilandi and Brenneke have. I can shoot three inch groups out to fifty yards and have kept up well with the guys shooting .22 rifles while plinking. Of course a scope/aimpoint increases the accuracy immensely as you otherwise have to depend on shotgun beads for an aiming point. MY Saiga being the exception as I used the iron sights when I shot that opening day buck.
So there it is for better or worse. My general position on the .410 as a useful firearm. If you have any comments, suggestions, stories, videos – whatever, please feel free to let me know. I would be pleased to print whatever you have. So until next time good huntin’ and shootin’.
This entry was posted on April 21, 2009 by Brent MacArthur Charles. It was filed under ammo, Autoloaders, Bolt - Actions, Buying used .410, Hunting with a .410, Reloading, Shotgun reviews, Uncategorized and was tagged with .410 reloading slugs, 410 light game slugs, 410 nreloading slugs, 410 slug loads, 410 UK Slugs, ballistics, buying Shotguns, For sale shotguns, Freedom, Reviews, roundball loads for the 410.