410 Pattern too large?


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JSH1
June 27, 2013, 01:02 AM
I'm new to 410's and recent purchased an H&R .410 bore with a full choke. I took it out the range to check the pattern and was very surprised with what I found. The first photo is a 410 bore 2 1/2 Winchester AA with # 9 shot fired at 10 paces. The box is 20 inches wide and the pattern measures 16 inches across. (Ignore the buckshot that was a different test) Again, this is my first 410 but the pattern is much larger than I would expect for a full choke at such close range. Is this normal?

For comparison the second photo is a 12 gauge 2 3/4 Winchester AA with #9 shot fired at 10 paces with a modified choke. That pattern is 9 inches across.

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Certaindeaf
June 27, 2013, 01:09 AM
That'll bust a varmint.

JSH1
June 27, 2013, 01:55 AM
I'm more interest in busting clay pigeons. It just seems odd to me that the pattern is twice the size of a 12 gauge with a more open choke at the same distance.

RUT
June 27, 2013, 07:48 AM
I don't know what to tell you except "it is what it is". Since it's a fixed choke gun you really have no control over the pattern except to change shot size. In my case, I use a Browning O/U w/ IC chokes and it busts clays quite nicely. You should probably give it a try on the clays course before you get too excited. You might want to try #8s as well.

Good luck...

Sav .250
June 27, 2013, 07:53 AM
Don`t get your 10 paces test . Not at all.

rule303
June 27, 2013, 09:59 AM
A pattern is measured by the percentage of pellets hitting in a 30" circle, not the overall size of the pattern. A .410 is patterned at 25yds, all other gauges are at 40yds, which is why a .410 would have a larger spread than a 12ga given the same distance and choke.

oneounceload
June 27, 2013, 12:36 PM
^^^^^^
Yep, you need to redo your test. besides, what a barrel is marked, and what it actually mics out at can be two different things. First mic the barrel and choke areas (or have a gunsmith with the proper bore gauge do it, takes about 10 seconds) and then do your pattern test. A single shot 410 isn't typically used for clays, especially the H&R, but you can always have Briley or similar install choke tubes

JSH1
June 27, 2013, 01:42 PM
I guess more explanation is required. I've wanted to buy a H&R Topper Deluxe in 20 gauge but haven't found any for sale and have read online that they have been discontinued. I got tired of looking and decided to buy a regular topper and send it to H&R to have a 28" ventilated barrel with interchangeable chokes installed. In effect, to create my own Topper Deluxe. I was on the lookout for a nice H&R with any barrel and found this 410 bore in a local pawn shop for a good price.

I've also been trying to get my wife interested in shotgun shooting and thought the 410 might work be cause she is very recoil shy. (Her father bought her a 12 gauge when she was 12 and 100 lbs so she equates shotguns with pain.) We went to the local wildlife management area clay range to shoot. We shot singles using a mechanical thrower. She shot 1 out of 15 targets even though she is an excellent shot with a rifle using open sights. Needless to say she wasn't enthusiastic. I decided to give it a try and did slightly better with 2 out of 10. I'm not a great shot but hit about 50-60% with her 12 gauge Mossberg pump. All of our hits were very light like only a couple of pellet hit the clay. That was when I decided to pattern the gun to see if we were missing because we missed the target with a small full choke pattern or if the pattern was just really thin at 25 yards. I also wanted to see if it shot to point of aim. I chose 10 paces because that was the biggest box I had and wanted to keep all the pattern on the box. The range doesn't allow any ground targets so I can't set up a large target to do a regular pattern test. The box let me sneak in two quick shots while no one else was at the range.

I realize that this particular gun is what it is. I asked whether such a large pattern is normal because it is a used gun so who knows what the previous owner may have done to screw up the choke. If the choke is just blown out I might look at having choke tubes fitted or look for a different 410 for her. We shot again the next week and she did better but only if she shot very quickly. If the clay got out to 25 yards she didn't break any.

rule303
June 27, 2013, 02:42 PM
Lots of people run out and buy a .410 for beginners due to the low recoil. The .410 really should be considered an experts cartridge. Guys who can regularly shoot 100 straight at skeet with a 12 or 20ga can be humbled quickly trying to do the same with a .410. My advice would be to find a 20ga gas auto, or some sort of 28ga to start with. Either will throw a much denser pattern at longer ranges than the .410, without too much recoil. Save the single shot .410 for squirrels and short range varmints.

RUT
June 27, 2013, 03:44 PM
>>Save the single shot .410 for squirrels and short range varmints.<<

I agree.... it does not lend itself well to clay shooting, especially in the hands of a beginner.

oneounceload
June 27, 2013, 04:29 PM
A 410, as mentioned - and especially the H&R which is known for poor fit - is about the worst thing you can buy for clays success. You two might want to go to your local trap/skeet range and explain how new things are and see if they have guns you can either rent or borrow. Even the Mossberg is not the best choice for clays. A good solid semi like a Remington 1100 in either 12 or 20 and using light target loads will do wonders (after it has been fitted to the missus) for her success rate. A heavier gun with a gas action shooting light loads will deliver the softest felt recoil

JSH1
June 27, 2013, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the advice on 410s. I understand a 410 isn't the best gun for beginners and a single shot or pump isn't a first choice for clays. The 410 barrel is basically a bonus once the 20 GA barrel is fitted. We will have to see how my wife does with the 20 GA with recoil pad.

I would really like an over\under but they seem to start at $600 which is more than I'm willing to pay for a gun.

I'll measure the barrel and go from there.

rsrocket1
June 27, 2013, 06:08 PM
Get your wife a used 1100 12 gauge and shoot 3/4 oz loads with it. The recoil is closer to an AR-15 and if she can hit clays with 1-1/8 oz of lead, she can break it with 3/4 oz, just less pain and fewer $$$ sent down range.
I got one for $350 with an IC and it's all I need for skeet and 16 yd trap.

JSH1
June 27, 2013, 09:40 PM
Get your wife a used 1100 12 gauge and shoot 3/4 oz loads with it. The recoil is closer to an AR-15 and if she can hit clays with 1-1/8 oz of lead, she can break it with 3/4 oz, just less pain and fewer $$$ sent down range.
I got one for $350 with an IC and it's all I need for skeet and 16 yd trap.

I have no interest in an autoloader or a 12 gauge. I know a lot of people like them but I like the simplicity of a break action and I've never had reason to put more than 2 shells in the Mossberg pump I already have.

Are 3/4 oz loads available commercially or do you need to reload them yourself?

oneounceload
June 28, 2013, 12:23 PM
3/4oz loads need to be reloaded. A MEC Jr used can be found for about $75 on various sites like Craigs List, buying components in bulk will result in costs of about $3.50/box. There are better made guns that fit out there, but they will be more expensive. A 20, or even a 28 will do a lot more than the 410

Certaindeaf
June 28, 2013, 03:34 PM
So are you asking if the pattern is too large for a FC .410? I'd say pattern it and compare it to convention/same.

JSH1
June 28, 2013, 10:56 PM
So are you asking if the pattern is too large for a FC .410? I'd say pattern it and compare it to convention/same.

Yes that was my question and the pictures I posted where my attempt to pattern it with the location and materials I have access to. I understand to do an official pattern I would need to shoot a round into a very large target at 25 yards and count the percentage of shot in a 30 inch circle. I may give it a try when the gun gets back from H&R. Right now I only have the .410 barrel. I could set up a large target at the rifle/pistol range but they tend to go hot for about 30 minutes at a time. It would probably take at least 45 minutes to get that one shot.

3/4oz loads need to be reloaded. A MEC Jr used can be found for about $75 on various sites like Craigs List, buying components in bulk will result in costs of about $3.50/box. There are better made guns that fit out there, but they will be more expensive. A 20, or even a 28 will do a lot more than the 410

I've thought of getting into reloading if we start shooting more. $7 a box for 12 or 20 gauge shells won't break the bank but $13 for a box of 410 is mighty steep. I know there are some really nice guns out there but I'm not looking for a fancy setup. We won't be shooting at a club (the closest is 45 minutes away and requires a membership). We will be shooting at the local wildlife management area range for $12.50 per year. I also don't really see any reason to shoot doubles unless we get so good at singles it becomes boring. We are just keeping it simple and having some fun.

JSH1
July 7, 2013, 10:05 PM
I thought I would give a quick update. The shotgun came back from H&R Friday with the 20 gauge barrel. It is a very heavy barrel and does appear that H&R uses the same ventilated barrel blank for both the 12 gauge and 20 gauge. My wife and I headed to the range today and she shot much better with the 20 gauge then with the 410 barrel. It does kick a bit more but the extra weight from the barrel helps and she didn't mind the recoil. Since she prefers the 20 gauge that means the 410 barrel will go in the back of the closet. Thanks for the responses from everyone.

mio
July 8, 2013, 06:38 PM
I prefer the 28ga both for grouse and the few times a year i shoot clays. If you have a few extra $ it would be worth you getting a barrel. Lower recoil that the 20ga and a lot better patterns than the 410bore.

JSH1
July 8, 2013, 09:54 PM
I prefer the 28ga both for grouse and the few times a year i shoot clays. If you have a few extra $ it would be worth you getting a barrel. Lower recoil that the 20ga and a lot better patterns than the 410bore.

I may give it a try in the future. H&R has a 22" or 26" barrel in 28 gauge for $58.

Pete D.
July 9, 2013, 06:15 AM
Interesting reading. Good that you are happy with the 20 gauge.
That .410 pattern at ten paces is more what I would expect from a cylinder choked gun. CYL chokes typically open at two inches a yard, regardless of gauge. As pointed out, however, every gun is different and every load is a bit different yet.
Did you pattern the 20 gauge yet?

JSH1
July 9, 2013, 12:30 PM
I have not patterned the 20 gauge yet. I may try to do it sometime this week after work when the range isn't as busy. I also need to adjust the front sight on my Mosin-Nagant so I may take both to the range.

I agree that the 410 pattern is larger than I would expect especially from a full choke. My brother's Stevens 20ga with a full choke puts all the shot in a 6 inch circle at that distance.

I did measure the ID of the .410 barrel and it measures 0.395". That is in the choke section, I don't have a good way to measure the barrel beyond the choke. I have access to ID micrometers at work but I'm not going to try to sneak one out of the quality lab or take my barrel into the lab.

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