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.410 Shotgun Uses?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by macavada, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. macavada

    macavada Well-Known Member

    What can you use a .410 shotgun for besides shooting snakes? The local gun shop has a Russian SXS .410. Kind of nice. Looks like a fun toy, I just need to find an application. Trying to rationalize the reason why I NEED it.

    What sizes of shot do they make .410 shells in and what would you use the various .410 shots for?

    Thanks for the input.

  2. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    410s are kinda limited. Skeet comes to mind, so does squirrels and rabbits. Use on winged game is quite limited.

    Fun, though, for informal clays and plinking. 9s for skeet and landfill rats, 8s and 7 1/2s for clays, 6s for fur.
  3. ACP230

    ACP230 Well-Known Member

    I have used the .410s on a rabbit and a grouse. Shots were short and it killed OK. I jumped a few woodcock while carrying one, but never really had a decent shot at them.
    Mostly I stuck to a 16 or 20 gauge.

    My sons and I had a lot of fun shooting hand-thrown clay targets with my single-shot .410 last summer. My youngest throws a nice, easy clay and we broke quite a few with two and a half and three inch shells.
    Shot used was fives and seven and a halfs.

    I have been close to buying a side by side .410 several times, but haven't acquired one yet.
  4. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    My grandfather (the other grandfather) used to shoot skunks...after they'd been caught in the Havahart. Didn't mess the Havahart up as much as you'd think, not as much as a 12. :D I've used one for keeping the barn-varmints down.
  5. PJR

    PJR Well-Known Member

    The best use of a .410 is for showing skeet shooters that they still have a lot to learn. I can knock them down well enough with the bigger gauges but the .410 is what separates the wheat from the chaff.

    In the field, my overwhelming memory of the gauge was when one of the better wingshooters I know tried a .410 on a preserve hunt for partridge. He hit very few birds solidly and I spent a pleasant afternoon backing him up with my 12 gauge.

    The .410's best use might be small pests at close range. It's also good in built up areas because it's much quieter than larger gauges. If you are in an area where suppressors are permitted, a .410 with a suppressor is very good for pest control. I've seen guns like this in the UK for controling starlings and other small birds.

  6. Ron L

    Ron L Well-Known Member

    I used a Snake Charmer in .410 to kill a squirrel in the attic. It was late, I was tired, and it kept making noise waking me up, so...... :uhoh:
  7. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    Any .410 is an expert's shotgun. Not much shot so the pattern is small. Definitely not the shotgun for a beginner.
  8. JA

    JA Well-Known Member

    The 410 is a fine squirrel/rabbit gun as it throws enough shot to bag them but not so much as you feel like you are eating shot with a little meat instead of the other way around.
    2-1/2" shells with 9 to 7-1/2 size shot are fine for small birds and clay targets but are just a little light on the shot charge for anything else except maybe rats,gohpers,and other small garden pests. #4 shot is pretty useless unless you are shooting from one side of the garden to the other. #6 is a better choice for pests as past 25 feet you don't get the holes in the pattern the #4 gives.
    3" shells are for squirrel/rabbit hunting and doves at the watering hole.
    The 7-1/2 shot is strickly for birds and #4 shot is pretty iffy as anything past 15 yards you start getting holes big enough in the pattern for squirrels to dance through. #6 shot is real good for squirrels and rabbits but I prefer #5 shot myself. It has more engery per pellet than #6 shot and nails them real good. But there are more pellets per shell than #4 shot so you don't get the big holes in the pattern at 15 yards or more. But the main reason is there are not as many shot per shell that you will be chewing on when you fry those squirrels and rabbits. So you get the best of both worlds with #5 shot.
    I have hunted squirrels since the early 1970's with 12,16,20, and 410 shotguns. 12,16,and 20 gauge are good at the opening of the season when the leaves are still green and you are hunting tall old growth timber.
    But you will be chomping on a lot of shot at dinner time. So unless I am hunting early season in woods with 100 foot tall trees I stick with the 410 3" #5 shot.
    Shoot a 410 for a year and I garantee you will be a lot better shooter at the end of that year. You will be more sneaky in the woods as you have to get closer to use that 410.
  9. NoCoastal

    NoCoastal Member

    I used to hunt doves with a guy that used a double. One shot, one bird. It was embarassing. He'd bring one box of shells for a weekend hunt and I'd bring 4. Hunting with a rifle though, the tables were turned. I could reclaim my dignity
  10. macavada

    macavada Well-Known Member

    Excellent post JA. Would you say that by practicing with a .410, one can become a better shotgun shooter, or would one already need to be an accomplished shooter before trying to hunt very much with the .410?

  11. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Well-Known Member

  12. macavada

    macavada Well-Known Member

  13. JA

    JA Well-Known Member

    Shooting a 410 will make you a better shot because using it on flushing birds,rabbits, or clay targets you have to get on target and shoot quicker as the pattern is the same size as other gauges but due to the smaller amount of shot the pattern starts to thin out at shorter distances than larger gauges. With doves you will have to wait letting them get closer before you shoot. Hunting squirrels you have to stalk about 10 yards closer before taking the shot than with larger gauges.
    Yes,I think that you need to have some shooting exspearence before trying to use a 410 as a all around shotgun. The biggest mistake made using 410's is people who buy a full choked single shot for their small kid. Then let them shoot 2-1/2" shells because the kid is too small to take the pounding of a 3" shell or larger gauge. Then they take the little kid hunting with them and they use a 12ga. A 410 with 2-1/2" shells has less than half the range of a 12ga. So they see the game within the range of their 12ga and say "shoot little johnny" not thinking that little johnny's 410 has half the range of their 12ga. Well johnny misses every time because a 2-1/2" shells has 1/2 ounce of shot vs. the 1-1/4 ounce of the 12ga and there are holes in the pattern big enough for the kid to stand in and not get hit with a pellet at 25 yards. After several hunting trips they can't figure out why little johnny who has never hit anything looses intrest.
    The 410 is fine for starting out a small kid if you remember the limited range the shotgun has and only let the kid shoot at things within that limited range.
  14. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Well-Known Member

    My dad uses one for armadillos that tear up the yard all the time. He has to get a head shot though.

  15. RandyB

    RandyB Well-Known Member

    Use a single shot for vermin around the house. Fun for skeet. They also make a buckshot round with your choice of 3- OOO buck or 5- OO buck by S&B. Makes for fun when shooting with the guys when your 'lil .410 can use buckshot. I've had thoughts of getting a double for my wife to use with the OO buck as a home defense gun (not my 1st choice, but she likes the idea more than some of the others I've had)
  16. JA

    JA Well-Known Member

    Get you dad a couple boxes of these for those possums on the half shell and he won't have to make head shots. Besides you get 10 shells per box and they cost less than Remington or Winchester slugs that come 5 shells to a box. They also have the same shells loaded with #3 size shot for the same price and they do a number on full 16oz water bottles at 15 yards.
  17. Biff

    Biff Well-Known Member

    Here in Alaska the .410 is found on quite a few charter fishing boats. Quite a few stainless Snake Charmers are sold here. Charter skippers use them to brain shoot large halibut before bringing them on board. A flopping halibut weighing between 60 - 300 lbs. can cause quite a bit of damage or injury on a boat.
  18. bud45

    bud45 Well-Known Member

    Deer hunting w/slugs

    I have a .410 pump I aquired from my paw-in-law, who aquired it from a lady hunter who shot three deer with as many slugs- one shot, one kill! It's a sweet gun. She wanted a rifle, and so parted with it. The price was so good, I couldn't resist. My son's 13 now & about ready for a 20 ga., so it'll most likely pass to my 9-year-old daughter, who's been shooting since she was 4.

    Have fun!

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