.410 hunting uses?


February 25, 2003, 09:46 PM
What hunting applications, limitations or advantages apply to the .410. What type of game (preferably birds) is this round good for? I've not seen many informative articles on the .410 in the major magazines. I'm a handgun hunter and would like to take a .410/22 combo gun on hunts for quail, squirrel, etc. Any info or perspective would be appreciated.

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Red Label
February 25, 2003, 10:50 PM
I use my .410 sometimes when I am in the mood for a challenge or I just feel like some fun. .410 can be used on most any small game or bird however pheasant would probably be pushing it. You gotta be close and fast because there just isn't much shot to play with.:D


February 25, 2003, 11:50 PM
I've used a single-barrel Bronco .410 on grouse and rabbits.
At short range it worked. Rabbits without a dog seemed like a better fit than grouse.

February 26, 2003, 12:42 AM
Your smaller Game birds, rabbitt, squirrell, etc. Winchester has a new model 9410 lever gun out that is to die for. I handled one the other day, very nice! .410's can also be used for shooting clays and just having a fun low kick/no kick shotgun! Some people use them with slugs for home defense too.


Dave McCracken
February 26, 2003, 05:57 AM
IMO, the 410 can be used to humanely take the smallest most delicate gamebirds at close range by experienced and skilled shotgunners.

But most experienced and skilled shotgunners leave their 410s home when they hunt.

Max distance on anything that will suffer from a marginal hit is probably less than 25 yards.

A much better small gauge/bore is the 28. Not available in a combo gun tho.

February 26, 2003, 09:00 AM
I had a Savage .410/.22Mag 35 to 40 years ago. Two words - too heavy. About 8# IIRC.


2nd Amendment
February 26, 2003, 09:41 AM
I've got to go read it again but I am almost certain that while perusing the Indiana hunting regs last nite the .410 was listed as acceptable for deer hunting. Seriously.


Deer Hunting Equipment

Legal Firearms

Hunters may carry more than one type of firearm in the field at a time when hunting during the firearms season only (as long as all firearms are legal for hunting deer). Shotguns must be 10-, 12-, 16- or 20-gauge or .410 bore loaded with slugs or sabots. Rifled slug barrels are permitted. Combination rifle-shotguns are not allowed.

February 26, 2003, 10:10 AM
My experience with the .410 is limited but from what little I've done and seen with the cartridge leads me to conclude that it is a crippler on anything much larger than a song bird at 25 yards.

The long shot columns, generally poor patterns and the light payload doesn't give one much confidence. Several years ago, a good friend who is one of the better shotgunners in my acquaintance wanted to try a .410 on a preserve chukar hunt. The birds are small and we were hunting over dogs. His hit percentage dropped significantly and I spent the afternoon backing him up with my 12.

A couple of afternoons on a skeet range with a .410 is enough to convince me that it doesn't get the job done. The 28 gauge however is another story entirely and is as small as I would go to hunt live animals of any type.


February 26, 2003, 10:22 AM
The .410 is a fun challenging gun to hunt any small game bird. It does require a more experienced person to handle it due to its small shot pattern and limited range.

If you are serious about hunting with a .410 I'd suggest going to the range and spending a lot of time busting clays before you try to waste shells on quail or dove. It is much harder than a 20 or 12. But I know many proficient people that hunt with them from time to time. And I know one old gentleman that hunts dove with them exclusively and willput most hunters to shame.

Good shooting.

February 26, 2003, 11:45 AM
I routienely use my Winchester mod 42 for hunting doves and quail here in SE AZ. I also use the .410 in my various M6 Scouts to hunt bunnys. You have to remember that the .410 has the same performance as the bigger guages it just does it with a LOT less payload. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of the .410 is important if you want to use it for hunting. Shooting skeet with one is a great way to do that.

I have been a .410 skeet shooter for many years and have no problem limiting on doves here in AZ. I know using something bigger is probably better but limiting on doves with 1/2 oz. of #9's in a 2.5" shell gives some satisfaction.

February 26, 2003, 02:18 PM
A couple of years ago I bought a .410 Wingmaster, and I have had more fun than the law allows with that gun. I have used it several times on sporting clays. You should see the jaws drop when I run 10 straight at a station. The unfortunate part is that I can also run 10 misses at a station if the shots are much over 20 yards. At skeet, the best I have done with the modified choked WM is 22. More typically, I score below 20 with it. I have hunted doves and will use it again for that purpose. On early season doves where shots are close, the .410 is pretty good. You have to pick your shots, but crippling is not a problem. If you can center that modified choke pattern on a dove at less than 25 yards, you will bring it down. If you don't, you typically miss altogether. By my estimation you give up a good 10-15 yards to a 20 gauge when dove hunting. Dove hunting is the only place that I use 3 inch shells, too. Targets break just fine with 1/2 oz loads. I would think that pen-raised quail would be a good match for a .410. Squirrels would also be fair game.

February 26, 2003, 11:28 PM
I've always hunted with a 12 gua (except for a brief stint with a 16 gua). I was particularily interested in a combo gun a friend has offered. It sounds like a lot of handicap with the .410. Maybe I'll look at a 12 gua/22 LR instead. I like the combo approach. If I were rich I'd be looking at a drilling, except that I've seen none with a rimfire as the rifle cartridge

February 27, 2003, 12:17 PM
I have taken a number of squirrels w/ my TC contender 10" 45/410 barrel. If it will take squirrels, it will take small game birds like dove, and quail.
If I keep my shots under 25 yrds, they dont get up! it is a good way to take small game during Deer season.

February 27, 2003, 09:45 PM
I've killed more small game with 410 guage shotguns than all other shotguns i've owned.

Pheasants, rabbits, quail, etc...

If you could use lead hunting ducks, i would have no problem gunning them over DECOYS with a load of #5 shot with a full choked gun.

I've hammered pheasants at 40 yards with a 410 that fell like they were poleaxed.

Some of the 410 guns i've owned :Stevens 311a [ first shotgun i owned that my father bought me] Savage bolt action [tube fed mag] that was one sweet & cheap gun, Remington 870 Wingmaster [this is one of the guns that i've owned that i'm really sorry i sold!!].

Next 410?? Winchester Model 42........... :)

Happy hunting.


Gordy Wesen
February 28, 2003, 01:22 AM
Every gun is good for something and I keep a .410 in the closet to deal with woodpeckers and small nuisance varmints. Thats about all its good for unless my nephew visits and wants to shoot cans or camp on the back 40. It then for him is a good deterrent against night time coyote and couger visits.

March 1, 2003, 06:03 PM
Question: Where can you get some reasonalby priced .410 loads?
I'm all ears

March 1, 2003, 09:24 PM
I have a very early tenite stocked Savage .22/.410 that is my preferred gopher gun. Unlike the later Savage combo's this ones 6 1/2 pounds and hangs out real well while you are gardening. I also have other .410's and in the .22hornet/.410 M-6 my son takes it back packing and the .410 takes quail to 25yds. and with the 3 pellet 000 buck load is good for defense in a pinch.:)

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