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

Posts tagged “ammo

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

Golden Bear Slugs

Click here for Golden Bear Ammo. We make NOTHING from these sales. Smallbore exists by donations only.

Awesome 410 shotgun ammo for sale at Sportsmans guide! $66.00 a hundred! I killed a young “Spike” buck at 40 yards with one shot of this stuff three years ago from my Saiga 410 shotgun.

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Brenneke Slug Review

The two holes in the top-right.

The two holes in the top-right.

I have used .410 Brenneke slugs for two years now and find them to be extremely accurate. 3″ shotgroups at, ready for this, 75yards! That was from my Mossberg 183K with the accu-choke on “Modified”. The Brenneke is a 1/4 oz., 3″ Magnum slug load that boasts a “Practical Sight in Range” of 88 yds!

The Brenneke slug was invented by the German gun and ammunition designer Wilhelm Brenneke(1865–1951) in 1898. The Brenneke slug is a solid lead slug with fins cast onto the outside. The fins do not impart spin, but serve to lessen the contact area within the bore, therefore increasing velocity. A plastic, felt or cellulose fiber wad attached to the base remains after firing. This wad serves both as a gas seal and as a form of drag stabilization. Similar in theory to the Foster Slug with it’s hollow base and “Weight forward” design. But Since the Brenneke slug is solid, rather than hollow, the Brenneke will generally have less deformation on impact and will provide deeper penetration.

 At the pit today I shot two Brenneke slugs from my Mossberg 500. The aiming point was the “D” in “FORD” that was on an old tailgate from a Ford pickup truck. At 40 yards, from a full-choke, and with only the bead sights, I placed two shots within 2 inches of each other. The surprise was that the tailgate lay against the sand pile at a 60 degree angle and those slugs tore one inch holes in the Metal on impact and severely dented and split the other side of the tail-gate. Why was this so surprising? The tail-gate was from a late sixties or early seventies pick-up! So I would gauge the metal at 18 or better ( I am not a metalist or an auto buff so if someone can give a better idea of the metal thickness it will help). Therefore I suspect that a Brenneke would EASILY travel through most vehicle doors today when struck at a decent angle of trajectory. I will post some pic’s tomorrow of that tail-gate when I return for a second round of shooting. This time with my 148 grain slugs being pushed with 11grains of Red-Dot.








Featured Website for January

 Each month we will feature a different website for the smallbore community – enjoy.



12 gauge dangerous game slugs to 410 light game slugs and round ball.

Buck Ball and Slug is the only shotgun slug supplier for reloaders in the UK that can offer all common shotgun calibers. This is no mean boast as I have spent the past few years searching for these components myself and know from my own experience they are next to impossible to find here in the UK. Now I have secured a modest supply of these elusive beasts, I am happy to pass on my good fortune to other like minded responsible reloaders, shooters, and of course collectors within the UK.


New items are being added to this site at regular intervals as supplies become available but unfortunately on occasion demand can far out strip supply. So with this in mind please take a look at my products page for availability and pricing information. If you have any comments, would like to submit a link to this site, or if you have any information you feel may be of interest to like minded re-loaders or collectors, I would be pleased to include it on Buck Ball and Slug.

for more information email: slug.info@tiscali.co.uk


Shotgun slugs, what are they and how do they work?


roundball_shell_smallMany shotgun slugs are designed to be stable when fired from a smoothbore barrel, which lacksthe rifling normally used tostabilizethe projectile. The simplest shotgun slug is a round ball, often called a pumpkin ball or pumpkinshot. Since it is symmetricon all axis, the round ball will not significantly deviate from its path if ittumbles. A shotgun firing a round ball is similar inperformance toa smoothbore musket, and the restriction of the spherical shape limits thesectional density possiblefor a leadprojectileof a given bore diameter.

To obtain higher sectional density and better penetration, an elongated slug is needed, and a method must be provided to prevent the slug from tumbling. Foster slugs are designed with a deep cup in the back, so that the centre of mass is moved forward.  The forward mass of the slug helps keep it stable, and will tend to keep the slug moving point first.

Many Foster slugs are also rifled. Rifled slugs have what looks like rifling cast into the surface, Contrary to popular belief the rifling does not provide any spin.  These cast ridges allow the slug to be safely swaged down when fired through a choke.

A variation on the Foster design is the Brenneke slug, which uses a solid lead rifled projectile with an attached plastic, felt, or cellulose fibre wad that provides drag stabilization. Brenneke slugs are more suited for dangerous game, as the solid slug is less prone to deformation than the hollow Foster type.

Sabot slugs are generally designed to be fired from a special rifled shotgun barrel. Sabot slugs are smaller than the bore diameter, and offer significant advantages in external ballistics with the reduced drag. Some shotgun slugs also use fins or a lightweight plastic portion in the rear to provide stability from smooth bores, and may be designed to work with or without sabots.

Shotgun slugs intended for use in smoothbore barrels need to be made out of very soft lead alloys or have a compressible sabot, as they must be able to fit through the restrictive choke present in most shotgun barrels. Even so, it is not recommended to fire slugs through very constrictive chokes, as the effort of compressing the slug will at the least damage the end of the barrel effectively reducing the degree of choke, and at worst significantly raise the pressure within the barrel to cause a burst or explosion.

Foster Slugs

defender_slug_smallThe Foster slug, invented by Karl Foster in 1931, is a type of shotgun slug designed to be fired through a smoothbore shotgun barrel.  The defining characteristic of the Foster slug is the deep hollow in the rear, which places the centre of mass very near the tip of the slug, much like a shuttlecock. If the slug begins to tumble in flight, drag will tend to push the slug back into straight flight. This gives the Foster slug stability and allows for accurate shooting out to ranges of about 50 – 70 yards.

Foster slugs may also have rifling, which consists of eleven or twelve fins either cast or swaged on the outside of the slug. Contrary to popular belief these fins actually impart no spin on the slug as it travels through the air.

The actual purpose of the fins is to allow the slug to be safely swaged down when fired through a choked shotgun barrel, although accuracy will suffer when such a slug is fired through chokes tighter than improved cylinder, with a cylinder choke being recommended for best use.

As with all shotgun slugs it is possible to fire Foster slugs through rifled slug barrels, but if doing so leading of the rifling and barrel becomes a great problem necessitating regular cleaning to maintain any degree of accuracy.

Brenneke Slugs

brenn_clas_12The Brenneke slug is similar in appearance to a rifled Foster slug. The Brenneke slug was developed by the famous German gun and ammunition designer Wilhelm Brenneke (1865 – 1951) in 1898. The original Brenneke slug is a solid lead projectile with fins cast onto the outside, much like a modern rifled Foster slug. There is a plastic, felt or cellulose fibre wad attached to the base that remains attached after firing. This wad serves both as a gas seal and as a form of drag stabilization, much like the mass-forward design of the Foster slug. The fins or rifling are easily deformed to pass through choked shotgun barrels.  Extensive tests have shown these fins do not impart any stabilizing spin on the projectile.

Since the Brenneke slug is solid, rather than hollow like the Foster slug, the Brenneke will generally deform less on impact and provide deeper penetration. The sharp shoulder and flat front of the Brenneke mean that its external ballistics restrict it to short range use, as it does not hold velocity well. The Brenneke slug in 12 gauge is well suited for large and dangerous game at close ranges, and deer sized game out to about 50 – 70 yards.

Brenneke slugs in the .410 calibre are useful with smaller game and deer, but usually at a much more reduced range of about 30 – 50 yards.  Brenneke slugs are somewhat gualandi_sabot_12_smallmore accurate than the Foster slugs, but are usually more expensive.

Sabot Slugs

The main characteristic of sabot slugs is the plastic carrier or sabot, which is of bore size or sometimes a little larger to enable the sabot to engage the rifling found in modern slug barrels.  The slugs contained in sabots are usually of pistol calibre with hollow points.  Although the sabot slug is used primarily in rifled barrels, some designs of sabot slugs can be of use in smoothbore shotguns most notably the Brenneke Rubin Sabot, a sub-calibre slug utilizing the familiar Brenneke attached wad system, and the “Palla Gualbo” again a slug using an attached wad system.sabot_slug1


The smaller projectile held within sabots will have a much flatter trajectory, and will travel at much higher velocities than the more traditional foster or rifled slug, which coupled with a rifled slug barrel will increase accuracy and range to near rifle proportion.  Another advantage of the sabot type of shotgun slug is no lead comes into contact with the barrel at all, so preventing lead fouling.  Which is of course excellent for the slug shooter wishing to use his shotgun for target shooting as well as hunting.

Reprinted by permission courtesy http://www.buckandslug.co.uk/

Thanks Richard…

Pumpkin Ball Slug Loads, single lead round ball loads


Hornady Muzzleloading Bullets 36 Caliber (375 Diameter) Round Ball Box of 100

Ball diameter should be no more then a thousandth of an inch bigger then the smallest diameter in the guns barrel. This is usually right at the muzzle on a choked gun. The minimum diameter for best accuracy can be calculated by the following formula: (Min. Ball Size) = (Min. Internal Barrel diameter) – (2 x (Wad Petal Thickness)) in other words when the wad is inside the barrel the ball does not rattle around inside the wad because it is too small. Normally standard wads have a petal thickness between 0.020″ & 0.035″ and non-toxic shot wads have a petal thickness between 0.035″ & 0.050″. The balls should be cast of an alloy harder then pure lead. Pure lead balls will turn into misshapen hunks of lead under the acceleration forces when the gun is fired. For best accuracy the ball must remain round. Minimum hardness for the balls to remain ball shaped is about 20:1 alloy and WW alloy, which is harder still, works great. Regardless of what size or alloy you make your balls you should always manually check them for safety by dropping one through the guns barrel from breach to muzzle. With a ball that is a thousandth bigger then the smallest point in the barrel, slight hand pressure with a wooden dowel may be needed to get the ball to pass fully through the guns barrel. If anymore then hand pressure is required to make the ball pass through the barrel it should not be used for that gun. This may seem to be a no-brainer test but it should always be done with smooth bore guns, it’s one of those “just to be absolutely sure” kind of things. With rifled guns considerably greater resistance is acceptable because the ball has to engrave the rifling.

Wads must be modified for pumpkin ball slug loads. This is accomplished by cutting down the petals of the wad to form a shallow cup which encloses only the bottom half of the ball. I call this a “ball cup wad” for the bigger balls within the acceptable size range the cup should enclose slightly less then the bottom half of the ball. For the smaller balls within the acceptable size range the cup should enclose slightly more then the bottom half of the ball. If you want exact measurements call it 7/16 and 9/16 of the balls diameter. This arrangement of holding half the ball will give the best accuracy. It will hold the ball dead centre in the barrel without allowing it to roll or bounce along the internal walls of the barrel and give a clean release from the wad once it leaves the muzzle. Additional gas seals or various card, felt, or cork wads are used under the ball cup wad in order to achieve the correct wad column height for a good crimp.

Shot Buffer both under, around, and on top of the ball improves accuracy. A fully buffered ball will ride more centred in the barrel, pass through the choke without bouncing of one side of the choke, and have a smoother separation from the ball cup wad once it leaves the barrel. For best results I recommend the use of BPI#47 buffer. This buffer unlike others is Teflon based and will not pack like other buffers. Packing raises pressures in a load. The #47 buffer may still raise pressures by a very slight amount but nothing like other buffers will do. It will take a little bit of experimentation to figure out exactly how much buffer to put in both under the ball and on top of it. The best way to measure buffer is with a set of Lee dippers. What you want to do is put just enough buffer inside the ball cup wad so that when you put the ball in next it fills up all the empty space under the ball around the edges formed by the curvature of the ball. This “nests” the ball providing an even soft thrust platform and prevents the ball cup wad from sticking to the ball and not separating cleanly. Figure out which of the dippers dumps in the right amount of buffer to accomplish this. If the correct amount falls in-between two dipper sizes use the larger one. Next you need just enough buffer on top of the ball to fill in around the edges and just cover the ball. Again, use the larger dipper if this amount is between two dipper sizes.

Powder Charge is calculated according to the combined weight of the balls, buffer, extra wad spacers, etc using equivalent shot load weights. A good deal of research has been done in this area by enterprising individuals and the general consensus is that when you use a single slug of identical weight to a shot charge with otherwise identical components and powder charge the resulting pressure will be if anything less then the equivalent shot weight. This is due to the fact that a mass of small balls acts like a fluid under acceleration and applies pressure sideways against the internal walls of the barrel thus increasing friction and thus the pressure of the load. The single mass slug does not do this — thus the lower pressure. With rifled barrel guns and full bore size slugs pressure reduction is minimal do to the additional friction from the rifling. It would be best to stick to linear burning curve powders such as those produced by Alliant but with single ball loads this is not a necessity like it is with multi-ball loads.

Hulls used can be whatever you prefer and what you can find equivalent shot weight data for.

Crimps can be either fold crimps or roll crimps provided you have properly buffered around the top of the ball. If you choose not to buffer around the top of the ball do not use a roll crimp. The reason for this is that without the buffer around the ball the over-shot card could get “over-run” by the ball thus resulting in a barrel constriction and potentially “explosive situation” I recommend sealing crimp joints with finger-nail polish to prevent leakage of the buffer during long term storage, transport, and handling, especially when rattling around in your bag on a hunting trip.

This Article is courtesy of  http://www.buckandslug.co.uk/ and printed here by permission. Please visit Richards website for some great .410 info. from our friends in the UK.

Federal Slug Review

power-shokrifledslug58f6-smSo I bought a box of Federal 2.5″ slugs for my shotgun just to give them a try. It is always better to try different slugs in your shotgun so that you can find which brand flies true. These slugs are 1/4 ounce 109 grain rifled slugs that can be purchases in boxes of 15 rounds for $11.00 at most sporting goods stores – or check our affiliates by clicking the links below..
I loaded all of my gear: Shotgun, range box, target boards and some paper targets and headed for the range. When we arrived I set up shop and the boys placed our target boards at 20 yards for starters. According to the “Federal” specs on these slugs, they would be traveling 1500fps and have 500+ foot pounds of humph at this range. I always shoot a couple rounds first at these ranges to check the “Mushroom” of a round. The groups at this short distance were funny. Two within a dimes distance and a flier, two spot on and a flier. The deformation of these rounds is great, the 109 grain slug really flattens out well to the size of a penny. As we stretched out the distance to 50 yards things were promising. Even at this distance the Federal rounds held up well. Shot groups were tolerable, within 3″, and still two spot on and a flier.rifled_slug

Now we all know that the chances of rounds being deformed to the point of creating such strange shot groups is near to impossible. Therefore we concluded human error and decided to take it slow and easy, with “Sniper like” posture, breathing, trigger squeeze, etc. And what do you suppose happened? Two tight rounds, could cover with a nickel, and one flier an inch away. O’ well, I never was a Carlos Hathcock with a rifle anyway.

In all sincerity guys the Federal Slugs are a great deal for the price. I will be using them in my .410 Marlin Lever-Action soon and will post pic’s too. For the price you cannot beat them and for accuracy they will need you to test them in your gun. For all the data go to http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/slug.aspx?id=144 and you can read the specifics.


Good shootin’


Silver Bear Slug Review

silver-bear-410Have been shooting Silver Bear 97-grain lead saboted slugs for several months now. They are definately a “Hot” round for the 410. I shot a buck on opening day with a Silver Bear slug. The round entered high on the left front shoulder making a SMALLISH ENTRY hole, proceeded through the shoulder blade, into the liver, and stopped just under the skin on the right shoulder w/o damaging so much as three tablespoons of meat.

When I approached the deer he tried to rise so I shot him again in the neck – he did’nt move then. My partner pointed out that the first round would have done him in for sure HAD I WAITED! But I was excited that I had downed that buck with my 410 Saiga. My future hunts will not end this way as I will trust a well placed shot better.

As for the round – a PERFECT MUSHROOMED ROUND! Perfect!!!! The size of a nickel with NO fragmentation at all. Wonderful slug.


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