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

Hunting with a .410

Indiana Buck with a 410 SLug

A white-tailed deer

A white-tailed deer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was hunting in central Indiana and I had already taken 2 does with my .410. I had a buck tag left but I was sure that I would not be lucky enough to get one. The guys who leased the property with me said that an 8 point was roaming the property but no one had been able to get a shot at it.

My tree stand sets in a row of trees that divides 2 fields. I climbed up in my stand , unzipped the .410 from it’s case and waited.  I was scanning both fields for about 45 minutes when I saw the large, dark brown, body of a deer in the field to my left. Its head was down and it was about 30 yards away. I looked at its head and noticed it was the buck that the other guys had been talking about. It crept slowly into the tree line and I slowly brought the Marlin into a get ready shooting position. I waited for it to travel through the trees and it appeared without a sound to my right. Its head was down but its chest was behind a few shrubs so I waited for it to move. It moved 3 more feet and I had a clear, broadside shot at it’s chest. The inner circles of the crosshairs moved on it’s chest as I told myself to calm down. I squeezed the trigger and the buck jumped in the air kicking toward his chest. It ran to my right and I levered another round in the Marlin. I was going to shoot again but the buck staggered and fell 20 yards from my stand. It was the largest deer that I have ever shot with anything. If someone tells you, that you can’t kill a deer with a .410 I have killed 3. It is not a stunt and a .410 slug in the vitals is a lot more effective than a 12 gauge slug anywhere else.

Scott Mahl

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!..




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.

Roos and Bunnies

Bunnies and Roos...

Hi guys had another evening away in the bush with the Wife an mate and a bunch of unlucky critters got up to the farm about 2ish setup camp had a drink and decides how we were going to do this as a Discovery is not the best for shooting out of but better than walking as we have 4500 acres to cover. Normally on the way in we see some signs of life but this time nothing.We headed down to the bottom paddock just on sun set for a look around nothing in the top corner and on getting to the bottom of that fence line 2 bunnies ran out of the grass under the fence and into the scrub. No chance they were too far off we stopped adjusted the lights so they covered a larger area and we headed of on foot with the car behind. We had a bit of success but seemed to be disturbing them before we got in range the .410 was of no use and the 12g not much better. so we decided that we would sit on the front of the car feet resting on the bull bar .410 on the right covering the field and the 12g on the left the fence go’s about 2km maybe 3 and after 1 slow pass up we had 7 bunnies on the wire. we had a rest for a bit before turning around I got out the .22 which has a 6 inch “power beam” light mounted on it I could see the little buggers out at about 100m but only had 10 or 15 shots before the plug gave up and left me with a nice little burn we drove back along the fence line about half way and there was a mad rush bunnies every where we each got off a bunch of shots the 12g hit 4 and 3 on the .410 unfortunately the 12g hit 2 with some OOsg and they weren’t worth having. We ended up going for a bit of a drive around to see what else we could find and stumbled across some roos but once again were to far away. We headed back up the fence line with only one more each giving us a tally for the evening of 14. 8 to the 12g and 6 to the .410. as we headed for the gate the wife spoted something a few hundred meters away a Skippy “go” “go” she planted the pedal to the floor as i fumbled to get some slugs in the tube we hurtled across the paddock towards it as it bounded off into the distance the 12g let of 2 shots the roo didn’t falter but now we were between it and the fence it changed direction to go behind and i was on the wrong side for a shot she hit the brakes and i jumped out it took a few shots to hit him but when the slug found its mark he stopped dead. We hooked him onto the back of the car and headed back to the camp with my mate sitting on the roof rack so he had good 360 visibility. about halfway back and reasonably happy with our score for 3 hours a big western grey bounced out in front of us and again the 12g let fly at about 50m the number 4 shot is not up to the hide of a roo but it certainly stunned it and allowed me to once again send a couple of slugs to him. We tried to hang him on the back but we couldn’t lift the bugger that high. This trip the .410 didn’t really out shoot the 12g but we would have been down on meat if we had used anything else.


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There are 410 shotguns for sale, reloading articles, a soon to be store, etc., etc., all for those who appreciate a good shotgun!

thanks a bunch

Tristans first Deer!

Good shootin' Tristan
Good shootin’ Tristan
Went to visit my dad on father’s day and spent some time with my brothers and their families. My sister-in-law had some pictures she passed around of Tristan’s first deer. No he did’nt shoot it with a smallbore shotgun – but a real nice .280 Rem.! The Doe weighed 143 pds.
Tristan was hunting with his dad in the early evening. As they were walking into their stand three does popped up to take a look at who was coming their way.  At first Tristan could’nt see her very well until she stepped out of the brush onto a logging road. He explains the story like this…
Dad asked me, “Do you see her, do you see her?”  
“Yup” tristan said.
Then Dad started coaching me…”OK breathe, breathe, bre…”  and boomm I let her fly on the third breathe and down she went!
Tristan has also shot a squirrel with his .410 Rossi and a Turkey  with his 20ga. He says that huntin’ deer is the best though.
For all you kid’s out there who want to try hunting Tristan says “it’s fun and entertaining – but you have to be patient.”
Well said Tristan.

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’.


Why should I own a 410 shotgun?

Nice 10 Point!

Nice .410 Buck!

The 410 shotgun is by far the most versatile of the smallbore shotguns. Especially as concerns the taking of wildgame. I have despatched everything from Squirrels to deer with the .410, and my hunting life will never be the same because of it. The 410 is often maligned because of it’s diminutive size, but consider this photo. Not convinced, follow this link to the story: http://mcb-homis.com/deer9410b/deer9410b.htm

click to go to the US Concealed Carry Assoc. website