410 effective range?


May 20, 2009, 12:08 AM

I dont know too much about shotguns and only have a single shot 410 that i got from grandad. I loaded up some expanded 303 shells and she shoots pretty good. I want to take it and my dog out for some guinneafowl but what would the effective range be? and what size shot should i load for guinneas. I have a bunch of shot but im not sure how the sizes work. Could someone convert the recomended shot size to millimeters. What velocity should i load up to with the recomended shot, i have a crono.

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May 20, 2009, 04:43 AM
I would load up #6 or possibly #4 at 1330fps and keep the shots under 60yds. assuming a full choke.
Shot size information and conversion can be found here http://www.chuckhawks.com/shot_info.htm

Bailey Boat
May 20, 2009, 06:14 AM
Regardless of the choke a .410 is a 30-35 yard gun at best. The patterns get too thin after that point for humanely killing a bird. 6x6 is correct on the shot sizes based on the fact that a Guinea is about the same size as our Pheasant.

May 20, 2009, 06:43 AM
60 yards with a .410 !!! WOW !
I'd say 30 to 35 yards max, and that would have to be one with a full choke that I knew would put killing patterns on target at that range. The .410 is an experts gun for hunting game. #6 shot ought to get the job done.

May 20, 2009, 08:45 AM
I was going to say 25 yards, but I don't think I've ever tried shooting anything past 25 yards. At 35 I'm thinking 28 ga.

We're talking about American #6 just to be clear; the English call our 6 a 5 for some reason. A table with both www.hallowellco.com/shot_size_chart.htm


Bud Tugly
May 20, 2009, 08:49 AM
How heavy a load can you fit into an expanded ,303 brass? I've shot lots of grouse and rabbits with a .410 and I prefer 3" shells with 11/16 oz of #6 or 7 1/2 shot.

Like others have said, that load is deadly out to about 30-35 yards tops. If your loads are lighter than that then the range would be even less.

If you're going to hunt seriously and ethically with a .410 you have to learn to discipline yourself not to take shots much longer than that. Best bet is to pattern your gun at various distances and loads and stay within the zone where the pattern is still reasonably dense.

May 20, 2009, 09:16 AM
About 30 yards is about as good as I've seen from 410

Perfect for tiny little varmints and vermin.

May 20, 2009, 09:28 AM
The .410s I've owned had a choice of choke, so long as that choice was full. LOL 30-35 is about right. I did hit a teal once at 50 yards when I was a kid walking down the creek not far from our home. It few into the ground across the creek and I managed to get across the creek (a mud bog) to get at it. I hit it with one golden number six shot in the chest. LOL! More luck than skill, of course. Ain't a lot of shot in a .410 pattern. 28 gauge is a vast improvement if you like the sub-bores. Some folks I know are all into .410, though. I always here stories about .410 side by sides from guys at the gun club. Don't know if it's a cult thing locally or what. LOL! I'll keep my 20, though.

May 20, 2009, 09:57 AM
MC the 410 fills a niche (I'm sure a 20 or 28ga would do fine too) for a quiet, low/no recoil for tiny stuff like blackbirds, rabbits et al within that 20-30 yard range. I have quite a few neighbors within 100-200 yards and my little 410 fits the bill for that.

For things like dove or quail, a 20ga might fit the bill more than my 12ga benelli. I end up using my Ithica because it's lighter than the Benelli. I may end up with a 20 or 28 for dove and quail.

May 20, 2009, 10:23 AM
The only .410 I currently own is a 10" contender, mega-fun barrel for just knocking around shooting black birds or I even jumped and took a rabbit with it last year. :D It ain't real quiet, though, LOL!

I'd been using my 12 guage Winchester auto for years on doves and it does a fine job, I gotta admit. But, I got my 20 gauge side by side a couple of years ago and I've fallen in love with the thing for doves and even teal. It's very quick compared to the big 12 gauge auto or my pump 500 Mossberg. The down side of that is that you really have to concentrate on your swing and follow through. It's pretty whippy being so light and short. But, it's a whole lotta fun.

.410 is good for small game, shot many a rabbit and squirrel with one when I was a kid, old JC Higgins (mossberg) pump. I shot my first doves with it, hunted with it for into my high school years when my grandpa gave me his 20 gauge 870. I normally hunted small game with my .22s, but I managed a lot more hits on running rabbits with the .410, of course. It was deadly on bunnies. Can't do anything the 20 gauge can't do, though, and 20 gauge ammo doesn't bankrupt the poor, either. LOL

Bud Tugly
May 20, 2009, 10:45 AM
The .410 is a niche shotgun. If you want one gun to do everything then a 12 or 20 are definitely much more versatile.

IMO the ONLY hunting situation where the .410 shines is brush-busting in heavy cover. Light weight and quick pointing are huge pluses in those tight conditions and most .410's have those virtues over the larger gauges.

It generally only takes 3-4 appropriately-sized pellet hits in the central body core to effectively kill most upland small game species, and the animal doesn't care what size pipe those pellets came from. Any gun and shooter that can consistently accomplish that will be successful regardless of gauge.

May 20, 2009, 10:54 AM
Even on those tight cover short range shots, if you're shooting a full choked .410, you'd better be well practiced with it. It's going to be a lot easier to make a hit with an I/C choked 20 and most .410s are full choked, all that I've ever picked up, because of the thin patterns they toss.

Personally, in tight cover like that, short shots, I'd prefer my little 20 gauge Spartan hammerless coach gun or a light 28 gauge. But, if you can shoot it, you can take lots of game with a .410 and I think it made me a better shot as a kid since I had to learn to concentrate more if I were to come anywhere close to a dove with it, LOL.

Bud Tugly
May 20, 2009, 11:45 AM
MCgunner, I agree completely. Heavy brush is where a light coach gun will definitely be very effective, and might be my next purchase..

My Rossi .410 has a fixed modified choke and shoots a very nice pattern at close ranges, so it works well for me.

May 20, 2009, 02:21 PM
and keep the shots under 60yds.Thats a real knee slapper ratch there!


Even a full choke 12 ga with heavy field loads is not a 60 yard guinnea fowl gun.


May 20, 2009, 02:53 PM
I think ill stick to 30meters then get 5 closer. Ive shot a problem monkey at about 15m and it fell stone dead. Ill check the shot load capacity of a 303. Can you guys give me a break down in size ie: size 6 = 2mm etc. I have to sort out my shot but have no size to go by.

May 20, 2009, 04:25 PM

Sorry, you'll have to do the metric conversion yourself.

I've measured in thousandths all my life.
Metric mystifies me!


May 20, 2009, 04:30 PM
If you're new to shotgunning, I wouldn't even shoot 25 yds, unless you can reliably hit one out that far.

dagger dog
May 20, 2009, 04:35 PM
The conversion list #6 shot as 2.71mm and will have 225 count to the ounce. # 7 1/2 shot is .100th inch which = 2.41 mm .
Guinneas are quite large larger than most ringneck pheasant, I would think 6's to be the smallest in a .410 most likley 5-4's but then the shot count goes way down and head shots would be a must, I've never hunted guinneas but the ones I've had any dealings with show that they are plenty wary and 30 yds would be a long shot with the .410!

May 20, 2009, 07:36 PM
6s will work fine. Hell, if one number six in the chest can down a teal at 50 yards, it'll take a guinea at 30 and you'll have more hits at 30, no doubt. I used to duck hunt over deeks with lead number six back before steel shot got mandated. It worked quite well from a 20 guage 2 3/4", though 5s seemed to pattern better. I've taken more'n a few big ol' summer mallards (black or mottled ducks) with 'em.

May 20, 2009, 11:53 PM
Thanks guys. My brother has a corn farm down the road that literally has thousands of guinneas. I hunt warthog there very often and if i wait till sundown, they fly over the land and go to roost. If im patient, ill get very close shots. So close that ive been tempted to draw my snubby on them, but that would be dangerous. Im taking my dog on monday, going to use her to flush and see what happens. Thats if she remembers what to do.

May 21, 2009, 06:27 AM
I am going pheasant hunting tomorrow and the friend I am taking has decided he would take his trusty Winchester model 9410 .410 shotgun.
I told him he would be better off with a bigger shotgun. (he normally carries a 20 gauge.)

Anyway, what shotgun shells would be best 2.5" or 3" He has some 3" #4 shot.

What choke should he use? I have seen .410s put all the shot in a coke can with a full choke.
I am thinking mod. would work.

I know I am going to be taking my 20 gauge and a full choke with federal high brass #5s. Hell with toting a heavy 12.
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May 21, 2009, 09:46 AM
If I was forced to hunt pheasant with a .410, I'd use a full choke gun. Shots CAN be longish and the full choke gives the denser patterns since there's not a lot of shot in the pattern in the first place. I'd shoot number six to maximize shot count. 2 6s hit harder than one 4.

JMHO, though. I think I'd choke a 20 gauge modified, myself. Of course, with my double, I'd go I/C/mod. :D Mod in that gun reaches 35 yards at least. Full is almost too tight to use on it. But, different guns pattern differently.

May 21, 2009, 01:38 PM
Doesn't the 9410 only take 2.5"?

May 21, 2009, 02:22 PM
They never made any in 3" as far as I know.


May 22, 2009, 10:55 PM
I have a great love for old single shot shotguns (I have an antique one in .410, a gift from my wife), and since it is a family heirloom that should make it even more valuable to you. In Florida, most of the trees are less than 25 meters tall, so the .410 shotgun was a preferred gun by many of us squirrel hunters as the shots were generally 20 to 25 meters at running targets. I had excellent success with a 19.5 gram load of 2.79 mm shot at about 400 meters/sec. I believe such a load would serve you well for the birds in question, but you should pattern your gun at 25 meters to ensure your pattern is tight enough for a humane kill at that range. Good hunting to you.

May 23, 2009, 03:27 AM
They never made any in 3" as far as I know.

You most certainly do get 3" .410 rounds, often referd to as .410 magnum. I had a few that i got with the little rifle but cannot remember off hand who made them.

May 23, 2009, 07:30 AM
Mokwepa: get several sheets of cardboard at least 30 inches wide set them up at various distances and examine your patterns with what ever load you plan to use. I would talk to other hunters that use shotguns for advice. thing to remember is that a sngle #6 shot pellet from either a .410 or 10 ga assuming the velocities are the same kill about the same. The more shot pellets that you have, the better your chances of hitting a bird with multiple hits thusly insuring a kill. If your finances and legal circumstances allow, use a 12 bore. But if you get close you can kill a lot with your .410 and part of being a good hunter is being able to stalk and get close. Good luck.

May 23, 2009, 09:22 AM
"They never made any in 3" as far as I know."

They're talking about the Model 9410 lever gun.

September 5, 2009, 08:55 AM
right...Winchester 9410...ONLY 2 1/2" shells...

September 5, 2009, 09:15 AM
I'm curious about the .303 brass being used for .410 shotgun shells. Where do you find load recipes for something like that?

I know this is an older thread, but it's interesting none the less.

September 5, 2009, 09:41 AM
There's a bunch of info at www.endtimesreport.com/410reloading.html

September 5, 2009, 05:35 PM
Id say even 30 yards is optimistic. My patterns get pretty skimpy past 25 yards. 20 would be ideal.

September 5, 2009, 09:23 PM
Get some large pieces of cardboard and fire your load at the distances you plan to hunt and see what the pattern is. Most 2 1/2 inch 410 shells even with a full choke, is at best a 25 yard gun on that type of fowl. You only have about .5 ounces of # 4 shot, which is very skimpy.

September 6, 2009, 02:53 PM
I was thinking 25 yards tops. None of my old 410's were much after that. Every now and then Id get lucky, but not too often.

September 7, 2009, 03:26 PM
I have a 16 ga that I use Savage four tenner tubes in that I patterned a 38 yds that patterned 52% in barrel #1 and 48% in barrel 32 with #6 shot, Remington, Peters 3 inch shells. The pattern from #2 barrel was thin with a hole that would allow a dove to be missed. A number six shot will travel 235 feet from a gun elevated to 30 degrees. My gun effective range would be a bout 30 yards.
I want to know more more about expanded 303 rounds to load 410 rounds.

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