.410 / Small Western Game


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blarby
June 20, 2013, 06:19 PM
So, I was lucky enough to pick up a savage pump .410 at the pawnshop today for a mighty good deal.

Havent had anything this fun since I was in my 'tweens, which also happens to be the last time I bought ammo for one- a .410 that is.

I picked up a box of remington #6 in 2.5"- which was the old standby back in those crazy longhaired days of my youth.... Which brings me to the meat of the issue :

Has anything radically changed the .410 ammo market for hunting small game in the last 15 years ?

This savage will take 3" shells, so I have some room.

I know that with the introduction of the Judge and its clones, "defense" .410 has come a long way. Thats not really what I'm looking for. I'm looking to kill small meat and fur critters at 25-40 yards.

FWIW, the 2.5" #6 took clays just fine at 25 and 35, so if nothings changed, I guess that'll do.

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ridgerunner1965
June 20, 2013, 09:13 PM
nuttins much changed. no 6 shot is about the best you get for small game.there are sum different goofy wanna be self defense loads out there but they aint much good for hunting.

303tom
June 21, 2013, 10:39 PM
Nuttins changed with me, I use my .410 more times than not for small game, but I use the 3" 2`s or 4`s, a little more killing power with the bigger shot.................That`s a good looking shotgun !.........

rcmodel
June 21, 2013, 10:50 PM
If you can reliably kill clays at 35 yards with a .410?

Yes, that will do on game birds too.

rc

blarby
June 22, 2013, 02:24 AM
Well, I guess #6 it is.

I picked up some of the 3" winchester in the HS variety at wallyworld today. Funny thing, .410 was about all they had- and they had TONS of it.

I'm going to do some patterning with it next week, and see how it compares to the 2.5". I got some in #6 and #4.

Thanks for the updates!

40 rod
June 22, 2013, 03:30 AM
One big change, steel shot is now avalible . Don't laugh, and of course it don't make it a goose gun, but you get about 10% more pellets per oz. And since a 410 does'nt pattern well past 25yd velocity loss is a moot point.

35 Whelen
June 22, 2013, 04:34 AM
A few years ago I went through a phase in which I hunted dove and quail and shot clays and (lots of) skeet with a .410. I learned a lot about the guns and handloading those cartridges during those few years. I was very carefully to use specific components that kept chamber pressures low and strictly loaded hard, high antimony shot.

The most important thing I did was have choke tubes installed in my little Spanish SxS. The next most important thing I did was to use I/C and Mod chokes for hunting and clays, skeet and I/C for skeet shooting. The .410 is realistically a 25 yd., maybe a 30 yard proposition, As such the more open chokes gave much more even patterns and made the little gun very effective. For me, if a quail was inside 25 yards, they stood zero chance. Very much past that and I could still kill birds, but found I was much more likely to wound them. Same with doves. Clay birds are different matter because it only takes an errant pellet or two to break a clay bird.

Have fun!

35W

Deer_Freak
June 22, 2013, 07:44 AM
The savage should shoot 3.5" 410 shells. Most hunters prefer 3.5" ammo. 2.5" 410 ammo is for pistols like the judge. 3" 410 ammo is ok for rabbits and squirrels. It is hard to hit anything flying with 3" 410 ammo.

35 Whelen
June 22, 2013, 11:11 AM
The savage should shoot 3.5" 410 shells. Most hunters prefer 3.5" ammo. 2.5" 410 ammo is for pistols like the judge. 3" 410 ammo is ok for rabbits and squirrels. It is hard to hit anything flying with 3" 410 ammo.
Huh?

RetiredUSNChief
June 22, 2013, 11:37 AM
Double "Huh?" for me, as well.

I took plenty of game with 2.5 inch shells...and if "most hunters prefer 3.5" ammo", then why is it not nearly so widely available as others?

As with most matters gun related, size isn't everything. The ability to actually hit one's target in the first place has to rank #1.

;)

Davek1977
June 22, 2013, 11:38 AM
The savage should shoot 3.5" 410 shells. Most hunters prefer 3.5" ammo. 2.5" 410 ammo is for pistols like the judge. 3" 410 ammo is ok for rabbits and squirrels. It is hard to hit anything flying with 3" 410 ammo.

What????...as a lifelong 410 shooter....I've never seen nor heard of a 3.5 in 410 round, nor have I found it hard to hit flying birds with the 3 in loads commonly available.

35 Whelen
June 22, 2013, 11:39 AM
My "Huh?" stems from the fact that in 50 years I've never heard of 3 1/2" .410 ammunition.
35W

RetiredUSNChief
June 22, 2013, 02:30 PM
My "Huh?" stems from the fact that in 50 years I've never heard of 3 1/2" .410 ammunition.
35W

Probably explains why it's "not nearly so widely available as others". I've been googling it since my own posting and I haven't been able to find it anywhere.

:cool:

powell&hyde
June 22, 2013, 03:05 PM
Never heard of the 3 1/2" 410 shell?

blarby
June 22, 2013, 03:10 PM
I've personally never seen a 3.5" .410

Texan Scott
June 22, 2013, 03:26 PM
I've never shot a bird for food with a 410, and harvesting a rooster with a 22 is not hunting.

2.5" 410 #6 is great for small furry things, though. Given that the 2.5 works, putting more pellets in it just means more work picking pellets out of it.

I won't be getting a chamber reamer to try'n fit this new "Bigfoot" 3.5 shell. Still, if anyone has any pictures of the beast that aren't too blurry, I'm willing to believe it exists.

MtnCreek
June 23, 2013, 07:40 AM
this new "Bigfoot" 3.5 shell. Still, if anyone has any pictures of the beast that aren't too blurry, I'm willing to believe it exists.

I'd say Bigfoot sums it up. :)

I like 3" #5's for small furry critters and 3" #7.5 for quail. Whelen, you're a heck of a shot using a 410 for dove! (unless you're sitting under the loan tree in the field.. ;) )

au_prospector
June 23, 2013, 09:24 AM
Use 2.5 inch shells for hitting clays. They like the higher velocity shells.
Never have known a .410 with a 3.5 inch chamber. That poster made a typo mistake or something and here we are beating him up for it.

35 Whelen
June 23, 2013, 11:56 AM
Whelen, you're a heck of a shot using a 410 for dove! (unless you're sitting under the loan tree in the field.. ;) )

Not really. Just like with any shotgun, you use it within its potential and it'll work. I have hunted and shot clays with guys that use .410's that are incredible shots though!

35W

12Bravo20
June 27, 2013, 11:41 PM
I grew up using a .410 for small game and that is what I still use to this day. Doves can be tricky to hit with the .410 but it is doable. Rabbits, squirrels, and quail don't stand a chance (within limits of the .410). I've even taken turkeys with my dad's old Western Field single shot .410, that thing has a very tight pattern.

If you plan on shooting the .410 a lot, look into getting a MEC re-loader. Even with today's prices on components, I can still re-load .410 shells for 1/3 cost of factory ammo.

ATCDoktor
July 2, 2013, 02:32 PM
Inside the ranges it's designed for, the 410 is still (and always has been) quite capable of taken all manner "western" small game.

It's especially useful for the youngsters and their training in the field.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c307/ATCDoctor/100_0640.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/ATCDoctor/media/100_0640.jpg.html)

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c307/ATCDoctor/100_0632.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/ATCDoctor/media/100_0632.jpg.html)

The increased hit probability associated with the use of a scattergun (in my experience) bolsters their confidence and enjoyment in the field.

That said, there's no need to limit the 410's use to the kids, as the old man appreciates it as well.

I regularly nail the coffin shut on most species of western small game with the boys Stoeger Upland in 410 using 3" #6's:

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c307/ATCDoctor/100_0642.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/ATCDoctor/media/100_0642.jpg.html)

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c307/ATCDoctor/100_0571.jpg (http://s30.photobucket.com/user/ATCDoctor/media/100_0571.jpg.html)

As stated previously, within it's range limitations, the 410 is quite useful in the small game role out west.

JShirley
July 5, 2013, 10:48 PM
Larry,

This might be a good candidate for trying some of your super-large shot. A tri-ball load of .41 balls might be a pretty decent rabbit getter at 35 yards, if they'll hold a pattern.

John

GooseGestapo
July 6, 2013, 02:22 AM
I bought one of the Academy Sports imported Yildiz o/u in .410.
That thing is a riot!
single selective trigger, ejectors, and 5 choke tubes! for $500. A close friend had three Browning .410 o/u's, two for him and one for his wife. After handling my Yildiz, he sold two of the Brownings and and bought five of the Yildiz's. One for him and his wife, and one each for each of his three daughters.....

I've shot it more than all my other shotguns put together. I've even got a box of steel shot (#4's) and a box of Bismuth for the next time I go duck hunting.

I made up a homemade shotshell loader using wood dowels, pvc plastic tubing (that used for toilet lines) and heavy metal wire to make a decapping punch and I use a 3/8pipe and brass fitting to make a crimp starter and use a 7/16" bolt cut down to punch the crimp.
I have however bought two used 12ga Mec 650's at flea markets that I've reconditioned and plan on converting to 28 and 410.
I've also found that 0.375" round ball makes a good 4-pellet load with a 3" Winchester HS hull and PC orange wad. I simply use an over shot card wad cut with a .452" Lee bullet sizer as an over-shot wad. The 4 pellet load patterns better than 3-pellet 2.5" for some reason.

My largest use for the .410 is with .45colt cases loaded with 5.0gr of Bullseye and either .4oz of birdshot or case full of walnut hull tumbling media. I've taken squirrels in the front yard with my fiest treeing them, or especially, controlling the carpenter bee's in the spring. I shot over 100 bee's this spring alone..... They love the stained pine facia boards on my log house...

I too agree that #6's for squirrels and similar game is probably the best. I've used #4's and #5's, and the patterns are a bit thin past 25yds.

For skeet, the 2.5" #9's is the way to go. For quail, dove, ect. #7.5 is good. To me, #8's are just neither-nor. Not as much punch as a 7.5 and not nearly as dense patterning as the 9's.
For self-defense or taking a hog off of a quail dog, the 4-pellet 0000-buck (.375") is much better than the puny slugs. (I was hunting quail with above mentioned friend on a quail plantation in central Alabama several years ago. A ~250lb hog got into a donny-brook with one of the dogs. A load of buck from a .410 ended the fight. .410 won !

The new 3" Winchester HS factory loads have 3/4oz of shot (up from 11/16oz). They are the equal of the 28ga. Hence, my Rem 28ga 870 dosen't see much field duty....

JShirley
July 6, 2013, 09:06 AM
How much penetration do your .375 loads give?

22-rimfire
July 6, 2013, 11:24 AM
I'm not much of a shotgun shooter, but I would probably have a blast with a 410. I enjoyed reading the responses.

Bull Nutria
July 6, 2013, 02:13 PM
ATCdoctor,

looks like you and those 2 boys are having a blast chasing those bunnies with the 410 double gun!! great photos!

Bull

loose noose
July 6, 2013, 06:54 PM
I bought my oldest boy a Boito SXS .410 about 35 years ago, I've still got that little shotgun. I had the stock cut down to fit him, he used 3" #7.5 shot during his first dove hunt, and he did really well as I recall. It wasn't too much longer I got him a youth model Mossberg 20 ga. which he still has.

My yougest boy which is 35, and I went out and shot some trap with that .410 just a few months ago, and I was surprised at how many of those clays we actually hit.:D

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