hunting with a .410 shotgun


December 11, 2005, 10:31 PM
My friends dad has a .410 guage shotgun and he is convinced he could kill a deer with a 97 grain slug, is this possible. Or are .410 guage shotguns more for killing small birds and rabbits.

thanks in advance

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December 11, 2005, 10:54 PM
Not sure where you live, but many states specify minimum velocity requirements for rifles and shotguns used to hunt deer - I think the 20gauge may be the smallest shotgun that meets the requirements, at least in Maryland where I live.


Art Eatman
December 11, 2005, 11:12 PM
Hmmm. That's one of those deals where I'd agree with your friend's dad--if he was in the same closet as the deer...


December 11, 2005, 11:29 PM
I'd keep it to game birds and rabbits and stuff and leave deer to 12 and maybe 20 guage.

Sure it will do it, hell if you hit a deer right with a .22 it will kill it. The better question is how well, how quick, and how humanly.

December 12, 2005, 11:38 AM
It can be done, just not my first choice for hunting deer.

I live in Iowa and you need a 20 guage slug or bigger to hunt deer with a shotgun. Even a hot 12 guage slug will not drop a deer in its tracks, unless the shot placement is correct and you have some luck on your side.


December 12, 2005, 12:52 PM
should it be done, probably not.

December 12, 2005, 02:28 PM
Dont listen to those Na-sayers.

How many of you even OWN, let alone have hunted with a .410 shotgun? I thought as much.

Too bad i dont have the link to an article...An eleven year old boy took that states record buck with a single shot .410 a while back.

I know people that have been taking Indiana Whitetail Bucks with a .410 slug since they were ten years old. I actualy HUNT with a .410 and YES YOU CAN ETHICALY TAKE MATURE WHITETAIL WITH A .410 SLUG.

I would use a 1/4oz, 3" slug over a 1/5oz 2.5" though. Just a little more umph.

People dont complain about using a hot 45 Colt with a light cast lead bullet; same bullet type, same basic bullet diameter. .410 is no different, except the .410 has MORE ENERGY than the 45 Colt.

The problem is that people try to hunt the .410 like a shotgun. The secret to using a .410 for deer is to use it like a handgun: 20 yards or less, and dont take marginal shots.

Happy hunting!

December 12, 2005, 03:09 PM
At 20 minus yards sure. But what people say and do are often two different things.

But like I said you can also kill a deer with a .22. Just because it can be done doesn't make it a good idea.

December 12, 2005, 04:02 PM
Indaina says you can hunt with a .410 shotgun for deer. It has about the same power as a hot .357 mag load. It has accounted for quite a few deer in the last few years since it was approved. I have played with the slugs, and they are very accurate out of 3 of my .410 shotguns, never felt like taking a deer with one with so many other larger shotguns available.

If I had to choose between a .410 slug and a .45 round ball out of a muzzleloader, I would take the .410.

December 12, 2005, 06:08 PM
Dont listen to those Na-sayers.

How many of you even OWN, let alone have hunted with a .410 shotgun? I thought as much.

Ha Ha Ha

December 13, 2005, 11:01 AM
well let me start by saying i own a .410 and yes you can kill a deer with a 410 slug but also i have been told (i have never tried it but it is supoosed to work) you can shoot .45 long colt through them and i know it will kill a deer but my grnadfather also has a .410 and he always carries a slug or two in his truck jsut in case he sees the deer he wants that day

December 13, 2005, 12:54 PM
i've seen deer taken down with a .22 lr and .22 mag ( real patient guys and shot at less than 20 yards), and yes i have a two .410's and have hunted with them (squirrle & rabbit). i still say that there are too many "better" choices out there to go into the field with a .410 to take a deer. in an emergency when its all you have and you need to eat, sure but to plan a deer hunt with a .410 as your primary weapon is asking for disapointment.

December 13, 2005, 05:53 PM
i have never tried it but it is supoosed to work) you can shoot .45 long colt through them and i know it will kill a deer :what:

Yet again another myth. Try forcing a .45 cal bullet down a bore that is between .385-.410. It will blow that barrel in a heartbeat, and maybe a finger or two, and whatever else the shrapnel happens to hit. Yes there are .45 Long Colt guns that can chamber a .410 shell and fire them, Thompson Contender being the most popular, but it is first a .45LC and second , with the addition of a choke device inserted in the barrel, a 410 shotgun/pistol.

Just trying to keep people from doing something dumb that could really hurt themselves. :rolleyes: Not trying to offend anyone. Be safe.

December 13, 2005, 06:45 PM
I could probably successfully land a jumbo jet, but would you wanna be on board when I tried? :p

20 guage is the minimum here in NY, but oddly enough we can hunt rifle with ANY centerfire cartridge, I'm willing to bet some oaf has tried going after deer with a .204 ruger, doesnt make it a good idea tho...

December 13, 2005, 07:21 PM
Dont listen to those Na-sayers.

How many of you even OWN, let alone have hunted with a .410 shotgun? I thought as much.

As for trophies and such, the record Brown Bear for a while was taken by an Innuit woman who was out small game hunting, and eventually fired her .22 LR in self-defense at a Brownie that was following her. So, yeah, a .22 has been used to kill the largest land predator, but that doesn't make it a good idea. People have also fought off bears with pocket knives.

belton, there have been a few firearms made that will chamber and fire both .45 Colt and .410 safely, if not necessarily well. Those firearms will be marked accordingly.

Mr. Trooper, I personally would have no problem using a stout .45 Colt load on close deer, but yes, I have heard arguments against using .45 Colt on deer. As has been mentioned, a deer can be killed with almost anything, but a .410 is rightfully an expert's gun.

John, started out with a .410...:rolleyes:

December 14, 2005, 10:32 AM
Yet again another myth. Try forcing a .45 cal bullet down a bore that is between .385-.410. It will blow that barrel in a heartbeat, and maybe a finger or two
that is why i havent tried it i figured something was wrong with the scence of putting a lead bullet like that through a shotgun but i still say a 410 slug will do the job bbut one question i do have is this

" if 410's use less lead, plastic, brass, etc.. why do the cost more than their bigger counter parts?"

December 14, 2005, 12:13 PM
Fewer sales.

If you sell enough of something, the price usually can go down per each item.

December 16, 2005, 07:04 PM
I never said that .410 is the BEST shotgun to use for deer. All I said was that those who bemoan the .410 bore as "Inadequate" and "Inhumane" don’t know what your talking about.

Use YOUR judgement on YOUR hunt. ;)

Matt G
December 17, 2005, 12:08 PM
I was wondering when this question would come up, when I saw that nifty 1894-410 that Winchester started making last year. Now that looks like a barrel of fun, for squirrels and rabbits and close turkey and quail and close dove. I've no doubt that a mess of javelina, 'coon, 'possum, and some coyote will drop to 'em, too. If they're carried for those, you just know that someone's going to chance a shot at a deer or a hog with one. :rolleyes:

The .410 bore is a mighty anemic proposition for anything above 50 lbs.

As with so many rounds, whether you can reload makes a difference. Check out the complete fetish made of .410 slug loads over at Doug's .410 Slug Forum (! :) Most of those guys are reloading.

Doing a quick look at the big manufacturers' published data on their .410 bore loads, I'm struck by two things: How fast the MV is, and how light the slugs are. 1800+ fps is great, but 1/5 oz is only 87.5 grains!!! (7000 grains to a pound / 16 ounces / 5 = 87.5 grains)

My word. Consider how lame that is. We're talking about something with about the killing power of a .38 Special, without the penetration. I tend to think of the 87g load as a little light for deer out of a .257 Rbts or .250 Savage (at around 3000 fps!). Also consider that the manufacturers likely are using full-length (26 or 28 inch) barrels, whereas the most popular .410 bore guns sport lighter, handier barrels. So you're likely getting a MV somewhere in the 1750 fps range, with your handy 22" gun.

I tend to agree with Art's statement: it depends on the size of the closet the guy and the deer were in together. At handgun ranges (under 20 yards), on an unsuspecting deer that was standing still, with a broadside shot, with excellent sights and a load that proved very accurate, I wouldn't say that it was too big a stunt. I know I've related the tale of my friend who wanted to kill a deer with his family legacy .32-20, using my Dad as backup with an '06. Given the way he was trying it, it wouldn't have been too big a stunt.

But don't believe for a second that it carries the same killing power as a nice .45 Colt load, or a .357 magnum load, or even a nice .44 Special. Frankly, I'd feel a lot better equipped with a .38 Special loaded with hot 158g +P loads.

Matt G
December 17, 2005, 12:10 PM
Forgot to attach the comparison views of Winchester and Remington's slugs:

December 17, 2005, 05:05 PM
It worked pretty well for this lady using 3 in Brenneke 114 gr slugs.

Matt G
December 17, 2005, 07:53 PM
I forgot that Brenneke made a .410 bore slug! According to their website, their only .410 slug is a 3" with a 1/4 ounce projectile, which is 109 grains. At over 1500 fps (that link quotes 1755?), this gives 780 ft/lbs at the muzzle, but that diminishes to 342 ft/lbs by the 50 yard mark.

The nice thing about Brennekes is that they hit HARD. They have that "wadcutter" shape that exacts complete devastation over everything within the full-bore meplat. They're also pretty accurate through smothbores. Frankly, these are the way I would go, if I were going to try a .410 on deer. But it would require a 3" chamber.

Note: More good .410 slug information here (

December 30, 2005, 11:37 AM
People dont complain about using a hot 45 Colt with a light cast lead bullet; same bullet type, same basic bullet diameter.

The lightest bullet I have ever heard of for a 45 was 155 grain, and that is nicknamed a collar button bullet. People that hunt with the 45 tend to start with 250 grain slugs and go up. I have no doubt an experienced hunter could make a 410 work at short range, but why?

Matt G
December 30, 2005, 02:16 PM
Well put, griz.

I handled a friend's new M9410 the other day, and found it to be the good Winchester M94 that we all know and love. It's not a thin shotgun barrel, but a bored-out .41 caliber smoothbore from rifle barrel stock. The one I handled was the full-length version, which is definitely what I would get for help with swinging on birds and moving game. Unfortunately, they come with only 2.5" chambers, so the Brennekes are out for them, unless you do what one guy on the Dougs .410 Slug site (previously linked) did, and cut the shells open, move the slugs back, and re-crimp them. He was, surprisingly, getting decent 50 yard accuracy with them. I wonder about the pressures, though?

In search of a use: friend who bought it is a big lover of hunting squirrels around his land where he usually fishes. I could definitely see the fun of stoking it full of #6 highbrass loads and going into the woods for safe, fun, fast squirrel hunting, with a couple of slug loads in the pocket for taking coons, bobcat, or popping a big fish-eating turtle off the edge of the stocktank or the creek. Likewise for popping daytime skunks at safe distances, or the unaware coyote. If you got lucky and got within 20 yards, highbrass loads to the head would do a good job on turkey, too. [shrug]

Vern Humphrey
December 30, 2005, 03:25 PM
People dont complain about using a hot 45 Colt with a light cast lead bullet; same bullet type, same basic bullet diameter. .410 is no different, except the .410 has MORE ENERGY than the 45 Colt.

Hmmmm . . . .410 shotgun slug load:

97 grain projectile at about 1200 fps. About 310 ft lbs.

My .45 Colt load:

255 grain projectile at about 1200 fps. About 815 ft lbs.

May 23, 2007, 09:47 PM
A .410 slug has about the same ballistics as a .357 or 10MM handgun and both are very suitable for deer hunting. Of course you can take deer with a .410. Not at 300 yards but within about 40 yards no problem. Of course down here in Louisiana (Sportsman Paradise) we have taken hunting to a whole other level.

May 23, 2007, 09:55 PM
Hunting with a .410 shotgun with slugs for deer in Michigan is common in the lower half of the state. I normally hunt with a 12 gauge but have hunted with the .410 and taken deer.

stan in sc
May 24, 2007, 04:57 AM
This is an interesting discussion.The figures difference between .410 slug loads and pistol loads are a good point.
The .410 shotgun is and always has been an expert's shotgun.Just because of the relatively small size of the shell it still is effective when used correctly.
Many farmers carry .410's on their tractors or in their trucks.
The slug is not the "drop it right there in it's tracks" kind of load but it will kill a deer.I have killed two deer with a .410 slug.One at about 40 yards and one at 20 feet.Shot placement is everything.Both slugs were 3" Brenneke.
The more you shoot a .410 the more interesting it becomes.


September 30, 2007, 06:12 PM
First time on and I like seeing all the views. Letting you know, I just got back from a youth hunt with my son in Indiana. He took a 114 lb. doe with his .410 shooting Brenneke 3" magnums. He took it just behind the shoulder, it went all the way through, and the deer dropped about 40 yds. away. The shot was about 10 yds. away. Only problem was we found the fur, but no blood trail. The exit hole was the same size as the entry. Mixed feelings on the round because if he wouldn't have made a perfect shot and it would have ran as far as some of my other deer, we would have had a hard time finding it. We had the place scouted and the longest shot he could have taken was about 40 yards.

.41 magnum man
September 30, 2007, 09:05 PM
I started out with a .410 when I was a kid. I think it was a Glenfield, and I used it for small game hunting and with slugs for deer. One of my brothers had one also, a Winchester, and used it for the same purpose. I tell you, I hated those guns! I don't know how many squirrels I shot with mine, even knocking them out of trees, and they got up and run away, or into a den. Evidently by some posts here there are .410s that shoot a slug accurate, I have never seen one. Waiting for a shot with a shotgun at 20 yards is pretty senseless to me. So is giving a gun to a youngster that does nothing to boost his self worth as a hunter because all the game he hits goes running off. I almost quit hunting because of that. It wasn't fun. My brother has been taking his son hunting with his .410 and the poor boy has lost several squirrles and he wanted to quit hunting too, until this year when he could shoot a .20 ga. He finally started getting his hands on some of those squirrels he had been shooting, but not getting. A .410, TO ME, (I know a lot of people like them) might be a good plinking gun, but I would never let a kid even hunt with one. If he can't use a 20 gauge, (and I don't have much use for them either) he will wait until he/she can. Now when I was able to get my hands on a Winchester single shot, full choke 12 gauge, man, I got all kinds of stuff. Squirrels, grouse, quail, rabbits, what ever, I had lots of success, and lots of fun.

October 1, 2007, 11:28 AM
There are just SOOOOOOO many better choices for, about anything above .22 LR.:rolleyes:

October 2, 2007, 07:37 PM
...Shoot a deer with a 410 slug (67 GA.!) and it will VERY likely die. There is no emergency room for the poor hobbled suffering creature to appeal to. It is in my opinion, FAR from ethical to use such a gun for deer hunting. Respect for our quarry ought to auger for a better, more humane choice in caliber, or gauge for killing game as large and hardy as whitetail deer.The poor little 410 isn't a good choice for small game, without a seasoned shooter behind it. I believe the 410 is in it's prime use when chosen by an EXPERT marksman for practice with skeet clays. Around a farm it makes a good gun to rid the barn or grain silos of vermin, it is also a superb snake killer, and works OK defending one's home with size 6 shot loads. The 28 ga. I believe is as small a gauge as the more prudent man would chose for most hunting chores..

Right Wing Wacko
October 3, 2007, 06:05 AM
Here in WA:

Rifles—Elk, deer, and bear may be
hunted with a minimum of 24 caliber
(6mm) centerfire rifle. Cougar may
be hunted with 22 caliber centerfire
rifle. Rimfire rifles are not legal.
Handguns must have minimum barrel
length of 4 inches per manufacturers
specification, and fire a minimum
24 caliber centerfire cartridge.
Shotguns—Deer, bear, and cougar
may be hunted with 20 gauge to 10
gauge shotguns shooting slugs or #1
or larger buckshot. Other big game
may be hunted with a 10 or 12 gauge
shotgun using slugs.

October 3, 2007, 10:14 PM
Help me out here. Just wanting some discussion as it relates to this .410 deer gun issue. I have yet to see someone define "ethics" as a standard. Comparing a .410 and a 12ga. for deer hunting is somewhat like saying it is more ethical to kill a deer in only 2 seconds letting it run 5 yards with a 12 ga. than to kill a deer in 20 seconds after it runs 100 yards with a .410. Or throw in bow kills. Are those unethical or inhumane because they don't typically kill a deer faster than a 12 ga. And will somebody take a shot at this one: why are you so worried about an animal being taken unethically or inhumanely when you are simultaneously taking its life. If you care so much about it suffering, don't shoot it in the first place. Under the general rationale I see, it is unethical for all of us to hunt because we all know every time we go out, we can take a bad shot and wound a deer or make it suffer more than if the shot was perfect. And we've all made bad shots. Are we all unethical for causing a deer to suffer? I hunt an am pro-hunting, but it seems to me this talk about ethics and humane issues just divides hunters and gives anti-hunting groups a rationale, and logic, to hurt hunting. We all hunt because it is fun and exciting and relaxing, or whatever, not because it is necessary. Let me know your thoughts.

Vern Humphrey
October 4, 2007, 10:42 AM
I think keeping records and statistics is the answer. What percentage of wounded deer are "lost" from the .410, versus the 12 ga?

October 4, 2007, 10:45 AM
It's not legal in CT, but like mr. trooper said, if you limit shots to 20 yards it can probably be effective.

Leads us back to the old debate of how much is enough? if you want to use the bare minumum, then it is probably good enough

October 4, 2007, 10:43 PM
....What is "Ethical" in my view (and this obviously varies with the man) is a round that reflects a respect for life and your quarry. That is certainly not to say that 'if we feel that way we shouldn't kill the game at all. There is nothing unethical about acknowledging the natural food chain as wrought by nature's author. Is it unethical for a bear, cougar,weasel, ect.ect.. to kill and eat other life forms? Without taking life either animal or vegetable, our own is soon taken by nature. WE are predators by creation nothing unethical I can see in that!

....Do I wish to maim and un-necessarily inflict pain and suffering in taking the life that is to become my sustenance? NO! That is the measure of ethics for "ME". Each man must make this measure for himself. I killed a couple deer with a bow, then chose to give it up. I'd heard to many stories of lost animals around bow camps, and did not wish to have those experiences in my own memory banks. That's my choice, for me it is not more "sporting" to hunt with the bow, at least not for the game animal. My son John loves his bow hunting, and it would be un-ethical of me to enforce feelings born in me of sentimentality, and a kinship I feel with deer, on my son ,or on my fellow hunters. Each of us must judge such ancillary matters ourselves, while the right to hunt , the right to kill game, ought to be acknowledged in my view by way of studying natures law itself.

......Law ,true LAW,( not man's rules) is immutable, Ethics change with time & circumstance. In pioneer times, the children in need of food, winter bearing down, Mom and Dad hungry too, it wouldn't be unethical to take a deer, however much the beast must suffer, that isn't a necessary component of my hunts today.

.41 magnum man
October 6, 2007, 07:40 PM
Quote from olhippie: Each man must make this measure for himself. I go along with that. Just so happens many of us see many of the same things as ethical, but it really boils down to how each person views the world. Now whether using a .410 instead of a larger gauge is ethical or not I can't say. But I think it sure is dumb! :D :D :D

October 6, 2007, 10:22 PM
A .410 H&R single shot was my very first deer gun.

That said...if you believe a 410 slug is no good for deer, then you'd better never hunt them with a 45 caliber muzzleloader...

October 7, 2007, 03:26 AM
...There is not much comparison between a 410 slug (which weighs 1/5 oz. or 88 grains, about what a .380 pistol bullet weighs) and a 200+grain .45 caliber muzzle loader's bullet. The muzzle loader in addition to having greater velocity and energy, has the advantage of a rifled barrel and far better accuracy and ranging ability. Check out manufacturer's ballistic tables and you'll see that the 410 slug loads are better suited to shooting a coon out of a tree than for humanly taking game like deer. Using one deer hunting is a good recipe for bad memories! ....Think I'm full of beans? Look up those ballistic tables. The 410 slug loads by Remington. Winchester and Federal are MUCH closer to .380 auto power level and don't approach the .45 caliber muzzle loader (the muzzle loader can more nearly match 44 magnum power).

October 8, 2007, 12:04 AM
I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a deer with a 410 slug, but I know the limitations and would have to have the perfect situation.

October 8, 2007, 07:32 PM
I have a .410, but why in the world would I take it deer hunting when I also have a 20 and 12 gauge. I have shot slugs out of all of them and have no doubt that it would kill a deer. It's just not what I would call the best choice if something else is easily available. The .410 is great for skeet training, squirrel hunting, and introducing others to shotguns. It is not however, something I would want to shoot a deer with unless I had to. I agree that within 40 yards it could be a great first deer gun. It could also be a challenge to get a deer at 70 yards with one. But when a failed challenge can cause pain and a slow death in another living creature I tend to sit them out. I might try it at the range for giggles next time though.

March 23, 2008, 11:51 AM
I am a .410 enthusiast. I hunt all small game and Javelina with my .410's I have never considered the possibility of hunting deer with them. I do however hunt deer with my bow and can't see much difference between using the .410 and bow. They both require better hunting skills, closer range shots, and better shot placements. When it comes to ethical I don't understand the guys who insist on using large caliber rifles and shooting unsuspecting animals at over 200yds, that is truely unethical in my books. Good hunting takes time and patience. The closer you can get to your prey the better the hunt and the hunter.

March 23, 2008, 12:25 PM
I have taken deer out to 80yds with my single shot 410 and a slug.. Smooth bore and bead sighted... Yes its possible and a good choice if you want a challenge... Although i have just about sworn off shotguns all together i wouldnt hesitate to take a slug deer hunting if it were my only option...

March 29, 2008, 09:46 PM
Is there a real reason why you couldn't find a better choice than a .410? Seriously!

March 29, 2008, 11:40 PM
I've shot my son't .410 with various slugs for accuracy and informal penetration. Accuracy was bad with all slugs I tried and penetration was shallow at best. Maybe another gun would shoot better, but I think it's better to use more gun to make a quick humaine kill.

March 30, 2008, 12:03 AM
Granted, many of you have taken deer and all manner of critter with a .410. That's super. However, on the whole, I think a little more punch would be appropriate if it can be had.

My dad has a .410. I call it "The Crippler," not the killer.

March 31, 2008, 10:41 AM
No reason not to find a better choice but no reason to not use it either... Its no worse than a bow... How many bow hunt... I do...
Its like fishing in the river.. Locally trout love chicken livers cause the cat fishermen use them lots for cats after the trout were introduced... But most say why ant you use something more traditional than livers...

And if we are going to look for something more why not get a 500 S&W instead of a 40S&W for CC I mean the 40 has a chance to not do as much damage right.... The 500 hit in the COM you could park your truck in right...

Seriously the 410 is a very useful tool... But its a tool... There is always better but when you have 1 tool that will work why go buy another

April 1, 2008, 10:26 PM
Nobody has really mentioned the .410 slug is severely underdeveloped compared to a pistol or muzzle loader bullet. A .410 slug is usually a pure lead 97 grain chunk of metal while a pistol bullet is usually 225+ grain piece of hardcast lead or copper jacketed lead. I'm sure the slug also has terrible penetraction (so light:barf:).The accuracy of a smoothbore can also leave a lot to be desired. I won't trust a .410 on much of anything, that being said I occasionally enjoy them for squirrels and small birds.

April 1, 2008, 10:56 PM
I shoot a 300 grain Hornady XTP in .45 colt to 1200 fps for 1000 ft lbs, and actually in Rugers and TCs, it's capable of probably closer to 1300 fps in that bullet weight. I just don't like to push it too far. :D The .410 slug has little or no real utility in hunting. I really don't know why anyone would buy a box, maybe just curiosity or something. I'd sooner use a .22 mag (illegal in Texas). It's more accurate and at least I could get a head shot with it to 100 yards. It makes as much energy as a .410 slug at the muzzle and carries more downrange.

stan in sc
April 2, 2008, 06:47 AM
All the conjecture and comparison is good info.However,practical usage is the best comparison.I've killed two deer with .410 slugs at distances of more than 50 yards and both were dispatched where they were hit.Many feral dogs and coyotes have been kiled with one shot at 50 yards or so.
The .410 is all we used to have in the farm truck and was used whenever necessary.The slugs were always 3" Brenneke.


April 9, 2008, 04:28 PM
Is there a real reason why you couldn't find a better choice than a .410? Seriously!

Define better. Most hunters think more energy = better. I'm not convinced.

A close friend of mine has used a .410 to take deer in Indiana and lower Michigan for over 10 years. He just waits until the come within 20 yards.

I have a pack of 3" winchester slugs IN MY HAND as i post this. 1/4 ounce slug at 1,800 feet per second.

The 2.5" slugs use an 1/5 ounce (87 grain) slug, but as far as i can tell 1/4 ounce comes out to 109 grains. I guessed at the ballistic coefficient of a 1/4oz slug, but I'm guessing it sucks. i used a .1 BC for these calculations.

just shy of 800ft-lbs at the muzzle. Where is the guy who said the .410 is like a .380? Id like to hear from him again. Even with that atrocious BC, it still retains over 700ft-lbs at 25 yards.

That said, I would use my 12 gauge under most circumstances, simply because it affords more margin of error, but I surely wouldn't critisize anyone who chose to use a .410. Nor would I pass up a close range shot on a deer if it presented itself, and I had a .410 in my hand.

April 16, 2008, 10:50 PM
That's great news! I hope that your big game hunting goes well with your energy producing, powerful .410 shotgun. I am not going to dismiss you, as most everyone I know started out with a .410 or a 20 gauge, but for heaven's sake, there's a reason that centerfire rifles, and 12 gauge slugs are preferred. even a 20 gauge with a scope can "knock em dead" but the .410 is intended for a starter gun. If you wish to take on the great outdoors with a .410 and swear by it, I guess that you have made up your mind. I'd advise against it though. It is not an effective deer round, let alone a squirrel, or pheasant round, in practical terms, in my humble opinion

May 31, 2008, 11:36 PM

I find the Barnaul (Russian) 410 slug interesting. It is roughly a 10 mm foster type slug in a sabot that makes the combo basically 44 mag. The Russians have been shooting that down the Saiga 410 AK platform...

I find the same cartridge to be the most accurate cartridge for my BFR 45LC/.410, my encore 45/.410, and my NEF/H&R 45/.410. It appears the greater accuracy may be due to:
1)putting the bullet nearer the threads than any other system with a 45/.410 combo
2)perhaps the sabot/foster slug expand to engage the .452 caliber barrel.

Anyway, jump over to this other thread:

Let me know what you guys think of the several failed trials of myself and others to improve the 45/.410 and the additional ideas I have...

June 1, 2008, 04:01 PM
DEC 11 2005. The Christmas gift that keeps giving.

June 3, 2008, 06:28 AM
Wonder if a .410 slug could bring down a thread that just won't die?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 3, 2008, 11:22 AM
Get a load of this crazy long Yildiz .410 shotgun that is for sale at Academy:

It's $115, walnut stock, crazy lightweight, 28" bbl, and folds completely in half. Kinda cool.

July 4, 2008, 07:48 PM
Personally I really enjoy hunting with my Saiga 410. I hunt with guys very similar to those above who think you need a 12 gauge to kill a spider. A 410 in the hands of someone who can actually shoot is very effective for small game and birds, still not sure about the whole deer thing.
Anyway for those who don't like the AK style 410's like the Saiga410 here is an option
I for one would love to get my hands on it.

July 4, 2008, 09:04 PM
The .410 slug has approximately the same striking energy as a .40cal muzzle-loading patched ball, said patched-ball loads killing deer just fine...I hunt with a .410 and speak from experience rather than armchair addition, within 20-25yds inside a 20" circle, its pattern density equals a 12ga cyl bore shotgun at 30yds/30" circle....with either slug or shot, it does the job fine if you know how to aim or point....

July 4, 2008, 10:02 PM
yah, saw it was an old thread straight off, BUT, obviously of interest, and probably better than a new thread on the same subject....PLUS, a fair amount of bad info to be corrected....

vintage sportsman
December 6, 2008, 10:47 AM
Don't know what all the hub bubs about - many deer have been shot and killed with a .410 - I shot a buck on opening day with my .410 and he dropped in his tracks at 40 yds.+/-
As for the .410 being a starter gun it is more than that - it is a sharpshooting, meat hunting, coyote killing, home defending, partridge dropping weapon for SKILLED SHOOTERS. I lost 0% meat from that buck. Had I used a 12GA, my '06, .308, whatever, he would have been blown all to H.E double hockey sticks! But not with my .410 - 1/4 ounce, 2 3/4" Barnaul slug.
So say what you think gentlemen - those who have experience with a .410 know it's the world's best kept secret of those who covet the "Expert" marksman badge.

December 8, 2008, 12:27 AM
The basic problem with the 410 besides the low power, has been the combination of who hunts with them and quality of most 410s.

I had a 410 as a kid and it sucked. bad trigger, bolt action that was difficult to operate and a stock that was all wrong for shotgunning . The front bead sight was almost useless, a rifle type adjustable sight would have been helpful.

I would take my 65 lb Bow with 410 grain arrows deer hunting over a 410 shotgun.

vintage sportsman
December 8, 2008, 09:34 AM
Lefteyedom is right - it matters who is hunting with the .410. I would not hand one to an inexperienced hunter and say "Go kill you a deer". As for his first shotgun - Some of the older 410 bolt actions are junk - had one blow up on me after 300-400 rounds, it seems the HS went South and that was that.
I recently bought a new Saiga .410 and with the Russian Ammo it is fantastic! Low power is not an issue here as the Barnaul, Brenneke, ammo is great: Check out,
This gun is fun to shoot and shoots straight. The Iron sights came through "Spot on" and I can plink with this thing all day at ranges from 25-75 yards. At 100 yards I have sported 3" groups.
My son has a NEF .410, and with the Brenneke slugs it shoots great! With only the beaded sights we can manage 2" consitent groups at 20 yards.
The beauty of the .410 is it's range of use:
Squirrels, Rabbits, Partridge, woodcock, clays, plinking, Fox, Coyote's, Deer, self defense - and more, all from one gun shooting different rounds. I am working on a Double slug round that put's both slugs into a 1" or less! group at - ready for this - 50 yards! A killer 'yote round for New England Predator hunters. Low Pellet damage, no pass-through shots, less damage than a smallbore rifle or Buck shot rounds.
Thanks for the feedback Lefteye...

October 3, 2009, 12:32 PM
A good question with plenty of possible answers. As far as being able to bring down a deer with a slug from a 410 it is very possible. A .177 caliber air rifle can do a lot of damage to anything with the right circumstances, But the question at hand should be is it ethical to hunt with that type of gun. Part of being an ethical hunter is obeying the laws of your home state or the state your hunting in. Some states may allow that type of round for hunting. In my state of Alabama the law only specifies that a center fire mushrooming round is used. So pretty much bigger than a .22. Best answer from me it can be done, but make it a legal kill.

Bud Tugly
October 3, 2009, 02:47 PM
IMO hunting with a .410 is similar to hunting with a bow. They are both limited to a range of 20-30 yards and they require that you hunt the way primitive people did - stalk your game or wait until it's within the effective range of your weapon and have the discipline to pass on longer shots.

If people are taking long shots with either a .410 or a bow then they are definitely unethical hunters, but the same is true FOR ANY WEAPON. Just because you tote a 12 gauge doesn't mean that 70 yard shots at geese, ducks, or pheasants are a good thing. How much game gets wounded because people think their wizz-gang gun shoots photon torpedoes and take ridiculous shots beyond their effective range?

A thorough knowledge of the limitations of your weapon and your skill needs to be a vital part of the training for any hunter.

The ethical hunter knows the range of his/her weapon and realizes that knowing WHEN NOT TO SHOOT is a vital part of the sport. It's never the weapon that is unethical, it's the way it's used.

October 3, 2009, 06:00 PM

Don't tell this kid the .410 can't hunt! :D

October 3, 2009, 09:38 PM
I once had a Stevens bolt action .410, and it worked great on squirrels under 20 yds. Thats the largest critter I've used one on. I have killed several deer with .22 LR's and .22 magnums. Head shots with either translate to DRT. I suspect a 100+ gr. .410 slug will do quite well with proper placement and very reasonable ranges.

October 3, 2009, 10:52 PM
I've taken rabbits, squirrel (well beyond 20 yards), even a few ducks off the creek when I was a kid. It's what I started hunting doves with, too. My 10" Contender .410 will kill fine to 20 yards, let alone a full sized shotgun. The only difference in a .410 and a 10 gauge 3.5" magnum is the weight of the shot string and, thus, density. Most .410s are rather tightly choked for this reason so it takes being ON target with one. But, if you can shoot, it will amaze your friends. :D

Man, this is an OLD thread!

October 3, 2009, 10:57 PM
we got 20 gauge as are minimum gauge here. i bet it would work but its probly not legal.

October 4, 2009, 01:14 AM
One shot, 410 with birshot, one 800lb gator dead.

October 4, 2009, 01:17 AM
Just because you tote a 12 gauge doesn't mean that 70 yard shots at geese, ducks, or pheasants are a good thing.
I wish I had the opportunity to hunt up there where you live. In the land of 20yds feet down (geese). But down here in South Texas, after y'all have educated them, 60 yds landing in your spread of a thousand Rags/Shells is almost the norm. I shoot a 10 ga with T-Shot at every thing inside 80 yds. If that makes me unethical, so be it.

October 4, 2009, 09:18 AM
Just because you tote a 12 gauge doesn't mean that 70 yard shots at geese, ducks, or pheasants are a good thing.

See, that's why I bought a 10 gauge. :D

October 4, 2009, 01:07 PM
Shot my first deer,..and many more since,... over the last 45 years with a 410 single shot. Not my first choice,...but surely not my last either. Not tack driver or for any distance,...we're talking point blank to about 30-35 yards here.

October 4, 2009, 01:51 PM
Yet another "can kill" thread. :barf:

Yes, you can inflict a fatal wound on a deer with a 410 slug if the range is short and shot placement is perfect.

Is it a good idea to hunt deer with one?

No. The 410 slug is very light for caliber, which results in poor penetration. A 10mm mag pistol would be a better choice. Or just about any centerfire rifle.

October 4, 2009, 01:54 PM
I think keeping records and statistics is the answer. What percentage of wounded deer are "lost" from the .410, versus the 12 ga?
Much, much more.

Bud Tugly
October 5, 2009, 01:31 PM
IMO the bottom line is this - every weapon has an effective range, and taking shots beyond that range is unethical. A 12 gauge or 30-.06 is not automatically a more ethical hunting weapon than a .410 or bow if the shooter takes ridiculous shots that have a high probability of wounding rather than killing.

Every hunter needs to know that range and also needs to know their own skill level well enough to understand when it is better to pass on taking questionable shots.

Many people seem to think that giving beginners the most powerful weapon they can possibly handle is more ethical than starting them on less powerful ones, but I disagree. IMO it's far more important to learn to shoot with confidence and accuracy and also know your limitations with the weapon you have.

There's definitely more margin for error with more powerful weapons, but that can lead to thinking that there is no need to learn hunting discipline as a part of the process, and IMO that's a major mistake. If you first learn to hunt successfully with a less powerful weapon the transition to more powerful ones will be much easier than going the other way.

October 5, 2009, 05:40 PM
definitly you can have adeer with 410 slug within 50 yards

October 5, 2009, 05:54 PM
I have a Winchester 9410 that I have been wanting to deer hunt with for sometime. I have practiced with remmington sluggers and have had a hard time hitting a 2 liter bottle past 20 yards. I want to try Federals new 000 bucks shot for handguns (The Judge). I think it could possibly work well.

To the point of the OP yes you can but you would be limited. This may be what you are trying to do though. Making it more sporting so to say.

March 9, 2011, 04:01 PM
I am an avid whitetail hunter whom was diagnosed at the age of 18 with Muscular Dystrophy. I am 27 years old now. Over the years I've found carrying the larger gauged shotguns afield were limiting my saftey factors and my ability to properly make a good shot. I purchased an H&R .410 single shot over the summer and had it fitted with the handi rifle stock set (to reduce the weight) I also had the barrel cut down and recrowned from 24 inches down to 18 inches. I had it drilled and tapped for a scope and am using a Bushnell trohpy hunter 3x9x40 scope. Many of my friends laughed when they seen the gun, but when they shot it, they were astounded by the performance it had. It shot just like a .22 mag, hardly any recoil and was flat shooting out to 75 yards. While many ponder the use of the .410 slugs against a healthy mature whitetail, I am proud to say it can be done. On November 15th, opening day of Michigan's firearm season at 3:35pm, I put down a 3 year old 9 point, weighing in at 172lbs field dressed. The shot was just over 35 yards and the bullet passed clean through the right frontal, between the shoulder and brisket and exited out the left side, just behind the left front leg, taking out the heart and left lung. The buck only ran 10 yards and then dropped. I was using Brenneke 3 inch magnum 1/4 ounce silver slugs. While every gun may shoot every brand of ammo differently, the latter is obvious... You can harvest mature whitetails with a .410. Just need proper shot placement. And yes, I would feel comfortable shooting out to 75 yards, no problem. Hope this helps.

March 9, 2011, 04:19 PM
My grandpa used to hunt pheasant with a single shot 410. I don't know about 410 slugs and a deer. First off, why even bother with 410 slugs? you can shoot 45LC in a single shot 410 shotgun.

March 9, 2011, 04:39 PM
Well, in the state of Michigan, in zone 2 (southwest Michigan) it's unlawful to use any centerfire rounds other than in a hand gun. We are only entitled to muzzleloaders, shotguns, and handguns (straight walled cartridges only), so not alot of options. And a few other states have these restrictions as well. Believe me, I am in huge favor of centerfire in rifles, for instance .44mag or .45lc in a lever gun, (considering they have the same ballistics as shotguns... maximum range of 150yds flat shooting for standard loads out of a 20inch barrel) but the laws won't change here. And aside from that, while a .410 might not be the best choice for everybody, some folks with physical disabilities, like myself for instance, just don't have a choice. The common 20 gauge and 12 gauges are too heavy for me due to my condition. I was a bit skeptical myself about getting the .410 from all the reviews, but when I did and seen the results, I am happy I made the purchase. And just for saftey reasons... never attempt to fire a .45lc out of a .410, unless the gun has been marked accordingly to do so.

March 9, 2011, 04:40 PM
No, you CAN NOT shoot 45 colt thru a .410 single shot. It might fit but it's not safe. There are guns that are set up to do this, the Taurus Judge, the TC Contender's and such. The H&R's are not. Just because it will fit doesn't mean it's to be done. I can drop a 460 S&W in my 45/410 contender barrel, anyone care to pull the trigger.

March 9, 2011, 04:49 PM
Okiecruffler is right. however, H&R does make a single shot that shoots the .45lc round. The buffalo classic rifle. I would be in huge favor of this gun as I have taken deer with my .45lc S&W 4&1/4 inch mountain gun at 83 yards. But again, state laws do apply.

March 9, 2011, 04:49 PM
This guy got a really nice buck with his .410.

May 16, 2011, 10:33 PM
I'd check the regs, but it if is legal in your state, I'd say it can kill a deer for sure.
A well placed shot that takes the heart or lungs is gonna put the animal down.

May 17, 2011, 01:56 AM
I killed my first deer with a 410. It was a slug out of a Springfield model 67. double, err 1.5, lung shot right around 30 yards. Tracked it about 70 yards.

May 17, 2011, 05:43 PM
The thread that won't die.

May 17, 2011, 05:48 PM
Hmmmm . . . .410 shotgun slug load:

97 grain projectile at about 1200 fps. About 310 ft lbs.

My .45 Colt load:

255 grain projectile at about 1200 fps. About 815 ft lbs.

Never mind the fact that your GUESSTIMATED hand loads exceed Buffalo Bore by more than 60%...

Take note of the fact that 410 factory ammo is loaded to 1800fps almost universally in BOTH the .20 and .25 oz loads.

I use a 12 gauge rifled slug gun myself, but I've only been deer hunting for a few years. My close childhood friend started deer hunting here in Indiana with his dad, back when he was 7 or 8 years old. He used a 410 single shot because he was not only young, but also small for his size. Eventually he grew up, but he never 'traded up' - he never had a need to.

His dad set him up in a tree stand a few yards off of a major trail on their own private land. Guess what? He got his deer every season with no troubles. HOW? Because he hunted it like a handgun - ranges in those thick pines were typically about 20 yards.

Is it a 150+ yard gun like a good 12gauge? Not a chance.
Is it a 100 yard gun? No way.
Is it a 50 yard gun? Yes. Reality has proved it such many times.

May 17, 2011, 05:56 PM
^^^^^The quote you just quoted is from a post from 2005......

Sako Shooter
May 20, 2011, 08:48 PM
I will say this. In the early 1970, I mowed yards for a summer and bought a used .410 shotgun, bolt action. Used it to bag many squirrels and birds as a child. Problem with a .410 is that there are so many better choices. Will it work - yes; but why use it with so many other options?

Vern Humphrey
May 21, 2011, 12:46 PM
Now there I agree with you. There are reasons to use smaller gauges, such as less weight and so on, but a 12 ga. will do anything a leeser gauge will do.

June 2, 2011, 09:25 PM
it could be done, no question. it could probably be done with a big enough slingshot, if you wanted to roll the dice, and didnt care about the animal or how humanely it is killed.

November 27, 2011, 06:52 PM
I just had to join THR, just because of this great 6-year-old thread! I just bought a Yildiz TK-36 .410 at Academy. Pretty little thing. 5.5" group at 40 yards, so I need some practice before I hunt deer with it though ;o).

Be safe out there.

November 27, 2011, 08:19 PM
i would have to bet that i can kill more deer reliably with a 410 slug than i can with a compound bow.and im not a bad shot with a bow.35 yrd max shot, only broadside thru the lungs, dead deer.a gun, even a 410 can be put into action at close range with less movement than a bow and fired quicker.nobody seems to question the leathility of a bow?

November 28, 2011, 09:40 AM
I have killed White-tail with a 410, I take it some of you have never hunted White-tail in the woods ! Around here if you are hunting deer in the woods you will count your self lucky if you see a deer at 40 yds. Hell I have killed Canadian Geese at 40 yds. with 410 3in. Mag. #2`s, I have shot the heck of Ducks out to 60 yds. with 3in. 4`s & 6`s. So yes a 410 will kill, anything from White-tail to Cotton-tail WITHIN RANGE...........

November 29, 2011, 09:16 PM
If I was patient enough and got a pencil sharp enough I could probably kill a deer with it. What is the fascination of all these threads about "Can xxx caliber kill a deer?" Why not just use enough gun in the first place. I hate losing a deer, it makes me physically sick. I use enough gun so that this isn't normally an issue, why limit yourself to 20 yards with a questionable load when you can use an adequate load and not have to worry about it. I'm out there to put meat in the freezer not to shoot deer with a pop gun and loose them.

November 30, 2011, 03:56 PM
If you're going to hunt deer with 97 grains, use a .243. :D

December 1, 2011, 09:36 PM
From TNBoy
What is the fascination of all these threads about "Can xxx caliber kill a deer?" Why not just use enough gun in the first place

TNBoy/Natman- This is not an answer to the question that was asked.

I believe this Question is being asked because of three reasons which i will clearly state here:
1. This is a common youth gun, generally the next step up from the more popular .22LR.
2. Buckshot and slugs are offered/ available for this calibur
3. For a Youth's first deer hunt they will turn to a familiar caliber, which is not intimidating to them in terms of recoil. (for young boys in my family, this point made the difference with them in going or them staying at home, so i let them take the .410)

This logic is what led both of my two sons to go deerhunting for the first time with the weak and lowly .410 with the slug.

Do i have other caliburs that they could have shot as an alternative as an option??? Of Course (7mm mag, .270 win, 30-30, sporter 7.62x54r, .223, 20 gauge w slug, and 12 ga w slug/ buck-shot). Any of these 7 other choices would have been much better, but at the time the boys, (ages 7 & 8, respectively) were both on the small side and wanted a gun with as little recoil as possible yet still had a chance at taking a deer.

I was there for back-up with a much larger caliber, and the fact of the matter was that they moved around so much that they spooked most of the deer well before shot opportunity... But it was an enjoyable experience, they learned something, and now that they are both years older, can handle a better firearm.

(& BTW...I have harvested a whitetail doe & 3 point buck with a 3.5" blade pocket-knife... )

December 2, 2011, 02:59 PM
@Cob: Bravo! Well said.

December 2, 2011, 04:05 PM
Retrieverman wrote:

I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a deer with a 410 slug, but I know the limitations and would have to have the perfect situation.

Yeah, but yours would probably be a “Merkle” and would actually shoot where you pointed! ;) :D



I shouldn’t really chime in here….I’ve never shot a deer with a 410/slug combo, only tracked down a little fork horned buck my Brother-in-Law gut-shot with one.

Finally found the poor thing standing in the middle of an old logging road all “humped up”. :(

His follow up shot (taken at the incredibly difficult distance of 15 yds.) STILL hit the buck about 10 inches behind the shoulder causing it to stumble and start bawling. :scrutiny:

That was all I could take, I had my .45 acp with me and administered the Coupe de Grace before my BIL could to it any more dis-service. :mad:

Yeah, I know…it’s all about shot placement, but honestly…most of us have better choices in our closets/gun cabinets than the .410

December 28, 2011, 04:29 PM
As a teenager in the 80's I had an old single shoot .410 with a riffled barrel and I/we use to smoke WT deer up to 200 lb all day long with them out to 75 yards, I want to say we used 1/4oz 3” mag., but I really cant remember. Round placement was always the key but that gun was flat shooting and the round would pass through most times. The framers that owned the land would not let us hunt with a rifle and back then 12 gages just did not shoot straight, well the ones we could afford anyways could not; back then $300-$400 for a deer slayer barrel was just too much money and still is…
I hunt in Florida now and have been using a 30/30 but the land I am hunt on is going to Shoot Gun only so I had to change my hunting gear in a matter of days…Gun safe had no 12 gage slugs only had 20 gage and 410 slugs so I headed out with them,,, 20 gage was shooting low and taking a few shoots on a phone book the 410 was the only thing shooting straight and I watched my buddy a few days before take a 115lbs sow with it at 22 yards using 5 shoot BB with 3 of them passing through the ribs. So down the road I went with ¼ oz slug and 5 shoot BB and a stock Mossberg 500- .410.
First night out got a 165lbs sow at 20 yards the slugs passed through her and she ran right at me I hit her back in the rib cage blew out one lung as she ran past me at 10 yards I hit her in the head with the BB she drop and it was all over.
Next morning got a 110lb bore at 25 yards 1/4oz slug hit its left should plate went through both lungs and out the right lower should blade he dropped 15 yards away.
Got out of the stand and taking a photo of a hog on the ground a 135lb bore walked right up next to me…buy the time I got the 410 up he was 15 yards away, he stopped and turned to look at me… put a 1/4 oz through his left should blade the round went downwards when it hit him through his heart out his ribs and through his right forearm, he drop got ran two feet and dropped again it was all over.
It was a good two days.. But the 3rd hog made me think about the round, I have never had a round bounce off a hog but I have head it has happen and this slug hit his plate and almost took a left hand turn downwards.. so I went back the phone book I was shooting the night before and notice the .410 slug did not pass through it but instead about ½ way through took a right and went out the side of it…So that what brings me to here to read up on stories and try to get some facts about the round. I have never had 2nd thought about the round because it has always worked for me as a kid but now after reading everything I can I am rethinking my what is best...for large hogs, but for Florida Deer I will not think twice about using a 410 out to 70 yards.
Mike C.

December 29, 2011, 06:02 AM
I never ask all the deer i killed back in the late 50's and early 60's with my Savage 410/22LR over under. They did not like that 410 with slugs as long as the shots where under 50 yards.

December 29, 2011, 11:16 AM
Although I would not care to deer hunt with a 410 I did come across a Japanese fellow on You Tube by the name of Virtuovice that hunts Sika deer in Japan and because of the weird gun laws there he has a modified Winchester model 70 that was made for Sabot slugs in 410.
Guy is kind of hard to understand as his English(Japlish really)is not so good.
Some of you will get a crank on with the amount of meat he wastes but that's there and not here so I can get past that part myself.
He also gives some knife reviews as he skins the deer he shoots with that weird Winchester.
Oh yea,it's a single shot as I guess the powers that be dictate this as well less he goes off and wipes an entire city out with a standard five shot bolt action rifle...Sigh...

January 8, 2012, 01:00 AM
A bullet from a .45 Colt measures .454 .
The Bore on a .410 Shotgun measures .410 .
Figure in the Full choke which most of them carry and your down to .389 .

Now if you want to attempt shoving , at high pressure , a .454 solid lead slug down a .389 tube of relatively thin steel , just do it far , far away from me and any of my friends . Figure about three counties away , as I don't want to have to deal with increased Ambulance traffic on the road . Thank You .

Art Eatman
January 8, 2012, 11:11 AM
Ehhh, folks maybe have got it figured out by now. Six years oughta be long enough. :D

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