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.410 as replacement for 12ga

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Mr. Mosin, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Out of curiosity, how does the .410 fare as a replacement for the 12ga in regards to small game (rabbit, squirrel), medium sized game, and self defense (in a tight pinch) ? Question originally started brewing as me wanting a lighter recoiling shotgun then my 870 12ga for small game hunting, but I thought to ask regarding the whole gamut.

    I know all manner of loads are made for the .410, from buckshot and slugs, to #12 shot; and that it's generally a far shorter range than a 12ga/20ga. Thought to ask the experts. This would be mainly a small game scattergun and woods walking gun.
     
  2. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    If 8 or 9 00 buck pellets from a 12 ga are excellent for defense, then 5 000 pellets from a .410 will be darn effective.
     
  3. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Not necessarily so good for deer, but acceptable for HD ? Hehehe. I find it ironic.
     
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  4. Ohen Cepel
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    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    I would look at a 20 or the other options before I drop to .410. Also, .410 ammo always seems rather $$ for what one gets.
     
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  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I am a fan of .410, but generally regard them as the ultra-light of the shotgun world. They are notoriously tight patterned and light payload. Ammo is expensive but available. A .410 with 3 inch #6 loads is pretty effective on small game at hunting distances and deadly on pests up close. I think a column of #4 buck would be a pretty good SD load.

    I like a 28ga for small upland game but the price and availability of ammo is limiting. The 28 is a fun gun. The guns are generally light as is the recoil.

    20 ga is king for what you describe. Some more felt recoil but the ammo is so much more available and the selection is there for ducks to doves to deer. SD is a given with 20ga.
    Just my $.02
     
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  6. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    If the goal is lower recoil, use lower weight loads in your 12ga. Lower shot weight and same weight gun delivers less recoil.

    The max loads for the .410 are 11/16ths oz in 3" shells. A .410 should weigh considerably less than a 12 ga, so max loads in a an appropriately framed and weight 410 will deliver relatively high recoil.

    Hitting, let alone killing with 1/2oz to 5/8oz of shot vs 1oz - 1 1/4oz is a lot harder. And patterns generally have to be tighter with the 410 to deliver results on target, which is why fixed choke .410s tend to be a tight Mod - Full. This makes hits and kills that little bit harder as well. For squirrels and backyard pests, the 410 is fine. But for birds, bunnies, and anything else on the move, you have got to be a darned fine shot and probably within 15 yards to get consistent hits. For self defense, I would not use a 410 if I had other choices.

    A 1 oz or 7/8oz 12 ga load is a better choice for lower recoil. You may also need to look at the fit of your existing gun.
     
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  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The 410's only practical use is for squirrel hunting, or other small game when shots are taken at stationary targets. It CAN be somewhat effective for wing shooting at close range if the shooter has above average skills. But for most people the pattern and small number of pellets make it a poor choice.

    While it, or any firearm can be effective for defensive purposes in ideal conditions I just think there are much better choices. I'd use it if it were all that I had, but a 20 is as small as I'd want to go for most shot gunning purposes.
     
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  8. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    12 ga 2 3/4" Reduced Recoil Tactical Buckshot- 8 pellets 00 buck @1200 fps

    .410 3" Buckshot- 5 pellets 000 buck @1135 fps.

    Just wondering, how can one be the bees knees for shotgun defense and the other ineffective?
     
  9. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    amazing, isnt it ?
     
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  10. George P

    George P Member

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    I would prefer a 28 gauge for your purposes; 50% more pellets low recoil and a gun on the scaled frame is a joy to handle.
    As to HD, a 410 could do in a pinch but, there are better alternatives.
     
  11. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I totally agree. Especially when my reloaded 3" shells with 5 pellets of 000 buckshot will keep all five pellets inside an 8" circle out to 15 yards. And 5 shots out of my Mossberg 500 with the 18.5" cylinder bore barrel will keep the majority of the pellets inside the same 8" circle at 25 yards. I have no problem using a 410 with the proper load for home defense. The only difference between a 3" 410 buckshot shell and a 12 gauge 2 3/4" buckshot shell is 4 pellets. The pellets don't care what gauge shotgun they are shot out of, they are still traveling at the same speed.

    Here are two threads I started about using HD/SD ammo and buckshot shells in my Mossberg 500 and Mossberg Shockwave.

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...shockwave-range-results.870140/#post-11588420

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/more-410-fun-mossberg-500-range-results.872726/

    My fiancé and myself are both disabled and can't handle a 12 gauge anymore. The 410 fits the bill and works just as well. Plus I have been using a 410 for all my small game hunting since I was a little kid. I have even successfully taken turkeys with a 410.
     
  12. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    About the same comparison.

    In fact, if you handloaded 12ga down to 5 pellets of 000 Buck at 1135, they'd be the same! But why would you? And 3" buckshot shell in a typical 410 is going to have a LOT of recoil, which seems to be what the OP would like to avoid.

    You can't make the 410 the equal of the 12 ga.
     
  13. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I forgot to mention another thing. A 410 will show you your shotgun shooting mistakes right away on the skeet range. I have humbled really good shooters (with a 12 gauge) when I handed them a 410.
     
  14. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Actually I will argue the point with you about the recoil of 3" 410 buckshot loads. They do not kick any harder that a 3" Winchester Super X field load. In fact my 3" 000 pellet loads use the same powder charge as a 3/4 ounce of shot load. Yes my load data can be verified with actual reloading manuals.
     
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  15. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    That's what I was joking about ...
     
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  16. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Mr Mosin, a 410 would be a fine shotgun to use for hunting and home defense. I have actually outshot my buddies while hunting with my Mossberg 500 versus their 12 and 20 gauges. Like anything, practice and know the limits of each caliber or gauge you are using.
     
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  17. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Much like trying to make a 9mm equal a .357 Magnum. It's physically impossible.
     
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  18. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Normally, I would agree, especially in bird shot column performance and patterning.

    However, in the realm of 00/000 tactical buckshot, the delineation is a bit blurry.
     
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  19. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    You can't change the laws of physics to suit your bias.

    The same load fired in two different guns of different weight will have different recoil. So unless you have a 12 ga and a 410 gun that weigh exactly the same (which would defeat any reason for having a 410) shooting the exact same load, the heavier gun will always recoil less.
     
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  20. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I think he is referencing 3" .410 buck versus 3" .410 birdshot?
     
  21. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I apologize since I miss-read your post. I thought that you were saying that a 410 buckshot load will kick more than a 410 birdshot load. A 12 gauge will kick more for the simple fact of the amount of mass the powder charge is moving versus a 410.
     
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  22. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Again, physics. With the same load, the heavier gun kicks less.
     
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  23. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Correct. With that being said, a 410 loaded even with a heavy buckshot load will not kick anywhere near a 12 gauge even with super light loads. The 410 is not moving as much mass at discharge. The only type of 12 gauge loads I have found that are comparable are the really short mini shells as far as recoil is concerned between the 12 gauge and 410.

    The 410 is more than capable for hunting and home defense use for those that can not deal with the recoil or weight of a 12 gauge.
     
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  24. Terry G

    Terry G Member

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    I can't see a .410 for any bird or moving game, too handicapped by small pattern and number of shot. I made the mistake of buying one for my Son as beginners gun and it was frustrating to him missing birds (Pheasants) or losing them. Switched him to a 20 gauge and his tally picked up immediately. The .410 is an experts gun, not a beginners. I like my Sweet Sixteen, but 12 Gauge is the way to go.
     
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  25. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I guess I like the challenge. I have been using a 410 for quail and dove hunting since I was a kid. It makes you focus on actually aiming more along with using the proper lead.
     
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