A place for those who enjoy the .410 bore family of Shotguns


The 410/45 Shotgun Dilemma

The 410 shotgun 45 handgun combination is quite appealing to many people. Firstly, you have the 45 Colt cartridge with its proven ballistics as a hunting and self defense round: “Double Tap” ammo has a 225 grain round that boasts 1117 pounds of muzzle energy and a wopping 1495 fps! As for the .410 shotgun side of things, because the 45 colt round and the 410 Hull are of equal size you can chamber both. The .410 shell loaded with #4-7 birdshot at a close distance can wreak havoc on snakes: both those that crawl and those that do not.

Great ammunition for cowboy action shoots and target shooting. Developed with controlled recoil for enhanced accuracy. Loaded with 250-grain lead round-nose bullets.

The purpose for writing this article is that some folks have written in wondering what size slug to use in the Taurus or Leinad family of rifled 45/410 pistols. The largest .410 shotgun slug is only .410″ in diameter. The 45 Colt is .451-.454 and therefore you can fire a .410 slug from your Taurus, Rossi, et al., but accuracy will be lousy as will power. The 45 Colt is the slug for this family of .410 shotgun.

Some guys mistakenly believe you can fire a .45 slug from a .410 shotgun – not so. The same principle works in reverse and if you try to fire that .45

Buffered .410 Coyote Round

The statute outside Cabela's in Wheeling, WV

Image via Wikipedia

Going out to try some new .410 shotgun shells today. Buffered buckshot rounds for Coyote hunting. These are made by putting  .375 buckshot rounds in a Winchester 410 wad and then adding a talcum powder. As you add the powder you vibrate the load on something small like a norelco razor – just enough vibration to sift the powder in between eac round. What happens is that the powder takes up the empty space between the buckshot pellets and when the .410 shotgun is fired the pellets do not deform and hence do not fly erraticaly in flight. I will let you know how they turn out.

We have been finding alot of good deals at Cabela’s lately. These .410 Winchesters are great for your reloads – and the price is right too. Let me know if there is something you cannot find for your .410 and we will research it for you.

At $14.37 a box of 25 that is a good deal! Reload them 5 times and you really can save.

Mossberg 500E .410 silencer/ammunition review


Submitted by Al Pounder. One of our UK 410 shotgunners.


Silenced .410 Mossberg

Some might believe that the average citizen can’t own a gun inEngland, let alone a silencer, but my handy little suppressed .410 is proof to the contrary!

I shouldn’t need to explain the many great attributes of the diminutive .410 to experienced shotgunners, so I won’t. Coupled with an effective silencer, this is a tool that any serious hunter, pest controller or even home defence proponent should have in their arsenal (I’ll explain that last one later).

I began dreaming of having a shotgun so quiet that I could shoot without alerting neighbours (who are never far away in the densely populatedUnited Kingdom) and creating an effective gun that could even be safely fired indoors without hearing-protection if the need arose. Well here it is…

Total length is 52” with the 9” silencer fitted to a 26” barrel. Silencer could be fitted to a shorter non-ribbed or de-ribbed barrel extending at least 2.5” forward of the magazine tube.

The project gun is a non-ribbed barrel full-choke Mossberg 500E .410 from 1985, which makes this shotgun older than me and still more reliable. I fitted a silencer which requires no modification to the gun other than removing the front bead sight and thanks to a clever collet fitting system; the unit can be quickly attached and removed:










The silencer features the same blast chamber and baffles arrangement found on most modern designs. However, a shotgun greatly increases the chance of a “baffle-strike” so when firing shot loads, only modified and tighter chokes are recommended to help the shot pass through unobstructed. The use of fibre rather than plastic wads also

eliminates the possibility of the wad causing a bore obstruction and a potentially lethal detonation. It is worth noting that the .410 has one of the highest chamber pressures of any common shotgun. Plastic wads can be used if the barrel/silencer is checked after each shot. Slug rounds can also be fired through the silencer with any choke. Slug ammunition is highly restricted in theUK, so I won’t deal any further with it at this time.



So, on to ammunition – silencers work by reducing the blast effect of the propellant but they do not reduce the sharp crack of supersonic projectiles. Therefore in theory, subsonic ammunition should be used for best suppressing effect. I tested the only commercially loaded fibre wad subsonic ammunition I could find; Eley Extra Long 3” Magnum – 18g of lead at 900fps. I also tested a selection of standard supersonic ammunition:


  • Eley Fourlong – 2.5” 12.5g, fibre wad @ 1110fps
  • Lyalvale Express – 2.5” 14g, plastic wad @ 1350fps
  • Lyalvale Express – 3” 16g, plastic wad @  1150fps
  • WinchesterSuper-X – 3” 5 pellet 000 buckshot @ 1135fps


Fibre wad or subsonic ammunition may not be available or affordable where you are, so hand-loading may become a necessary but very enjoyable hobby!


 With the silencer fitted, perceived noise to the shooter is greatly reduced and comfortable without hearing protection with all loads tested. Recoil is reduced to virtually zero and the suppressed muzzle report is unrecognisable as a gunshot. Subsonic ammunition was not noticeably quieter to the shooter than supersonic, but when observed from a distance by a spectator, the supersonic crack which accompanied standard loads was clearly absent. This resulted in a slightly quieter overall shot.

Plastic wads left some residue in the silencer, but checking the barrel after every shot, no dangerous obstruction was observed. Heavy subsonic loads killed small game well but required more forward leading of moving targets than the standard, faster loads. Patterns remained tight and dense out to a maximum effective range of around 30 yards with all loads. Fibre wads opened patterns by about 1” compared to plastic.

The Winchester Super-X buckshot produced a 5 shot average pattern of 2.5” at 30 feet! This load was also comfortable to fire indoors through the suppressor without hearing protection.

Tape is POA

Conclusion: With birdshot loads, this silenced .410 is incredibly quiet and lethal on small game to 30 yards. The suppressed shot does not scare away surrounding wildlife and can for instance allow a flock of birds or a group of rabbits to be repeatedly shot at without the others fleeing. Whilst this is also achievable with a suppressed .22 rimfire, hitting moving targets is infinitely easier with the .410.

The .410 is considered by many shooters to be a child’s or novice’s gun. I would argue that it is actually an expert’s gun. It requires a more accurate shooter to put the smaller, sparser shot pattern in the kill zone, but a pellet from a .410 bore typically carries as much energy as a pellet from a 12 gauge.

I will not draw many conclusions about Winchester’s buckshot load as I have not tested it on simulated or living targets. I can say though that it suppresses well enough to fire indoors without hearing protection. I would also speculate that five 000 buckshot pellets fired at 1135fps, hitting in a 3” circle should cause devastating results in a defense or hunting situation. This load also shot accurately to point of aim when I account for the fact that the suppressor puts the shooter’s line of sight high and subsequently, the gun shoots slightly low.

Things to do:

  • Drill and tap the receiver to fit either ghost ring or red dot sights. A bead sight can be attached to the silencer itself or a front sight mounted on a rail clamped to the barrel.
  • Experiment with home-loaded subsonic buckshot loads.
  • Get out and shoot more!..




Ammo Update

Wow folks! Brenneke must be feeling the crunch! They have great deals on .410 shotgun slugs @ Ammunition to go. In fact, there is great ammo – period! As always, I make no money if you click the picture and go to the .410 shotgun ammunition page at ammunition to go. Just trying to help out.

Taurus 410/45 Public Defender Review

The Taurus Judge 45/410 pistol really took the .410 shotgun world by storm. Here we have a video review of the “Public Defender” using OOO Buckshot. Not my favorite .410 buck round, but a good video overall.

410 Bond Arms Review and Ammo Test Video

This is a review and video of the Bond Arms Snake Slayer 410 shotgun and 410 shotgun ammunition that can be used for it.

New Batch of 410 Shotgun Slugs

click here for the Recipe to make these slugs!

Just made a new batch of 410 slugs. 196 grain magnums! Using a slightly different recipe so I will not post it until I know it is safe. I was going out today to shoot but good old New England weather arrived – 6 inches of wet snow! First official day of spring too. O’ well, as the saying goes “Don’t like the weather in New England – just wait an hour it will change.”

Check back tomorrow for some pics as I will shoot in the morning.

30 yard 3" group with my 210 grain 410 slugs.

New NEF 410 Shotgun for sale

H&R Topper .410
H&R Topper .410

In Stock New England Topper Jr. for $150.00 Just click the image to see all the details.

.410 Shotgun shells for sale

Bass Pro Shops

Image via Wikipedia

Since I found out that Bass Pro Shops carries .410 ammo, reloading equipment and GUNS, I have enjoyed browsing their sight. Though I have not purchased anything for the hunting season I am going to take advantage of some fly-fishing equipment.

So why write about shotgun shells? Because they are what drives our sport when it comes to frequency of enjoyment. Anyone can own a smallbore shotgun – but without ammo it’s just an expensive club, walking stick or wall hanger.

I have purchased ammo from Cabela’s, Able-ammo, big dog ammo, and from gunbroker as well as Wal-mart, K-mart, and the plethora of local shops and sporting goods stores. When it comes to 12 gauge ammo for sale – help yourself friends – $6 a box of 25 rounds and it can be cheaper obviously if purchased in volume. But not for the .410 or 28ga. The cheapest (and best for hunting) slugs I found were the Silver Bear Russian rounds. 5 slugs for, you ready,$ 3.50 a box! I once purchased 270 rounds of Silver Bear Slugs and Golden Bear .410 buckshot for $85.00! Remington, Federal and Winchester slugs are $5 and Brenneke’s are $7-$9 – for 5 rounds.

Birdshot is no better for the smallbore shooter. A box of 25 #6 3″ remingtons can run you $11-$13 at Wally World, Dick’s or your local shop. This is why I started reloading. An endeavour that is well worth your time and money as regards savings and enjoyment in the long term. But back to .410 shotgun shells. Remington has a great deal now on the “Slugger” packs of slugs. 15 rounds of Remington’s 2.5″ .410 slugs can be had for $11.00 at Wal-mart. My local shops do not carry them at all. So what’s the major problem? Popularity is the problem. The .410 bore has been so maligned, for so long, by so many, that both ownership of and usefulness for the .410 bore shotgun was relegated to women and small children for the most part.

Well, the times they are a changin’ folks! Today you can safely and ethically shoot Deer size game on down with a .410 shotgun. I know because I have done it, as have others, and the only difference between my 30-30 and my .410 is that I can only use the 30-30 on larger game! But the .410 I can use on Deer, Coyote, Fox, Rabbits, Woodcock, Pheasent, and Partridge. I can also shoot clay birds one hour and switch to plinking tin cans the next – with my Deer gun! I might add as well that after two hours shooting at the range my shoulders are just getting tuned in – not broken up?! Try that with your 12gauge.

Anyhoo…enough truth for now, I wouldn’t want the nay-Sayers runnin’ home cryin’ to mama bout how wrong they been all these years. You know, the ones who write articles about the “Diminutive little .410”. Diminutive my butt! I got 148grains of diminutive that is pretty darn lethal in the woods of New England. I got a buckshot round made from .40 pellets that’ll drop Bobcats, fox, or ‘yote’s without blowin a hole clean through the pelt! I got…..@#(^$@!$^ ah forget it! What did I start out talking about? O’ right, ammo, anyway, I have to go now. My Marine Corps, God fearing, hardcore Officer of a son is gonna call me soon. Probably showed ‘um up again at the range. That’s what happens when a boy learns to shoot with his “a’hum” NEF .410 Pardner we bought him when he was ten! An all out full chokin’, deer killin’, bird droppin’, clay pigeon shootin’ single shot it is – and his favorite – because he was taught “To ride, shoot straight and speak the truth” with it, and busted birds at the high tower is all truth – regardless of the gun.

Some of you will appreciate that last part.

thanks for reading folks,

the vintage sportsman

(and no, “the vintage sportsman” don’t refer to my age!)

Bass Pro Shops for hunting?!

I cannot believe this! .410 game loads and target loads for $10.00 a box!!!

.410 shotgun shells for sale at Bass Pro!? $10.49 for these Remington #6s

.410 shotgun shells for sale at Bass Pro!? $10.49 for these Remington #6s

Shells are not this low at Wally World! $9.99 a box for AA's

Shells are not this low at Wally World! $9.99 a box for AA's

If there is one thing a 410 shotgun shooter has a hard time with it’s the price we pay to play. Most gun shops and retail stores are 13-16 a box for .410 shotgun shells for sale.

That is why I began to reload my own several years ago. Now I have the best of both worlds when I buy a box of shells, keep the hulls, and use them two more times – that is frugality; and in toady’s financial climate we all need to save as much as possible.

So check out Bass Pro Shops by clicking the links above. I also threw one in for their “Clearance” dept., and if anyone else knows of lower prices on .410 shells for sale or .410 shotguns for sale please let us know.

the smallbore staff




Shop the Clearance Department at Basspro.com