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.410 ga. in revolver for handy varmint control

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by VTmtn.man, Dec 7, 2012.

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  1. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Member

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    I have all sorts of trees & gardens where the chipmunks, red squirrels, sap sucker yellow winged birds are desimating & or comprimizing all the things planted and nurtured throuought the growing season. Most of the time I'm on and off the tractor & a 20 or 12 ga. gets used when it's at hands reach. Much of the time I'm stuck in an awkward position, yards away from my long gun, when a shot opportunity presents its self. A .410 on my hip is an attractive thought but don't have much experience w/ anything other than the usual varieties of .22 on up through .45 in pistols. Not a chance I would try w/ any of those

    What do yall think about a .410 revolver shooting 2.5 or 3" shells? I'm looking to be able to go 12 to 15 yds. If I can't go that far then a .22 rifle comes into play but it's got more drawbacks, as I will never point a rifle up at something in a branch and pull the trigger knowing that its bullet may go a mile or much farther before landing. I'm not in suburbia but don't want it landing off of my land, give or take a 1/4 mi in some angles of shooting. Any first hand advice on the 'Judge' or the 'Governor' in various configurations?
     
  2. DPris

    DPris Member

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    15 yards is pushing it for any type of birdshot in a .410 revolver because of the spin created by the rifling.
    It rapidly opens up the pattern with an empty hole in the middle.
    12-15 feet would be more realistic.
    I've done pattern testing with an early Judge & wouldn't much count on it at the distances you're talking about.
    Denis
     
  3. bikemutt
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    bikemutt Member

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    My experience with the S&W Governor was a reasonably tight pattern at the range you are considering, depending on the particular shot shell. I had no qualms about using it for taking Grouse instead of packing a rifle or shotgun for the same purpose. I never actually saw a darn Grouse when I had the Gov on my hip so my opinion is based solely on what I saw it capable of on a stationary target at that range. Grouse qualify as stationary targets so, ergo.

    It would not be an inexpensive experiment to learn if it would work for you but, if you buy one right and discover it's not going to work, you should be able to sell it for most of what you have into it.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I killed a flying Mallard duck at that range with a 4" .357 S&W Model 28 and CCI .38 shotshells a long time ago.

    I would hope to think a .410 revolver would work at least as well.

    rc
     
  5. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Member

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    Judge vs. Goveror

    Thanks DRris,

    I was actually more inclined towards the 'Judge' as they are potentially going on the market in a 28 ga. in addition to the .410. I think that there may be a market among those of us who are geared toward opporturnistic, varmint erradication (in our limited environs). It's kind of hard to wear a full size shotgun when you'r working a cant hook on the saw mill / working the hydrolicks on the tractor.... That is exactly the time that those small varmints present themselves! If I armed up I'm sure that they would out smart me, in time, as well... Just looking for an edge...
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The judge is always going to be a 5-shot gun.

    The S&W Governor is a 6-shot that also handles moon-clipped .45 ACP.

    A lot to be said for one more hole, and greater ammo versatility.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for a 28 ga Judge.

    And then don't hold your breath waiting for very many different shotshell loadings like slugs & buckshot in 28 ga either.

    rc
     
  7. David E

    David E Member

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    This may be too big, but a TC Encore in .45 Colt/.410. The shotshell barrel attachment supposedly nullifies the spin imparted by the rifling, increasing the effective range.

    Its a large single shot, tho.

    Me, I'd consider a .22 Mark-something for those longer shots.
     
  8. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Member

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    I'm wondering on the 6" vs. 3" barrel shooting the Judge vs. Goveror... Any thoughts... ?

    Sorry DPris on getting the name wrong.

    I guess it's only down to these two unless altering an existing shot thrower?
     
  9. bikemutt
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    bikemutt Member

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    ^^^ this
     
  10. David E

    David E Member

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    Last I heard, there's a federal law preventing handguns from being chambered in calibers above .50

    On top of that, there's a federal law banning shotguns with barrels shorter than 18" and OAL less than 26"

    The .410 revolvers can also shoot .45 Colt, which is a major requirement for the gun to exist. What cartridge, besides the shotshell, would the 28 ga shoot?

    Taurus salvaged the idea somewhat by turning it into a full legal length revolver shotgun complete with stock.
     
  11. DPris

    DPris Member

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    VT,
    Either brand will suffer from the same drawback: You shoot birdshot, or any shot, in a rifled barrel & the shot column immediately starts to spin & spread out on exiting.

    What I've found in testing shotshells through over 20 different guns of various types is that the barrel twist & length have strong influences on the rate of spread.
    Generally, the faster the velocity, the faster the spread.
    Generally, a longer barrel will create more velocity, which increases the pattern spin rate & pattern spread rate.
    Generally, a faster twist rate will do the same thing.

    If your primary use for the gun would be with birdshot, I'd recommend the shortest barrel you can find, if you insist on going with a .410 revolver.
    Denis
     
  12. snooperman

    snooperman Member

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    I also live on a farm and use an old 12 ga Stevens double barrel gun I cut down to 18" and a 13" Length of pull. I carry it sometimes on a tractor and also when riding my mule. At just 35" long it is easy to pull from the scabbard quickly. I also have a Russian made Baikal in 20 too. You will be much more successful with that set-up than a revolver with riflings in it that leaves big holes in a pattern. Just a thought. Snoop
     
  13. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    I've posted this comment on the last 10 or 20 threads about the Judge:D, but here it is again. The tests that I've seen and read about all report a horrible shot pattern for the Judge, it produces a bagel pattern with little or no shot hitting center mass, even as close as 15 feet. If you watch the production video, the President of the company said it was designed to be an anti-car jacking gun to be carried in the glove box, suggesting the suitable range for the gun would be 5 feet or under. Others report much better accuracy for the Governor for some reason.

    LD
     
  14. Dave P.

    Dave P. Member

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    Sounds like a chance to market a product.
    Slip on/clamp on choke for a judge?
    Dave
     
  15. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    It should work reasonably well for what you have in mind.

    It seems that the shorter the barrel length, the better the shot pattern you get.

    A gun that will take 3" shells will give you a bit more "umph" and flexibility on the ammo. However, I can't say that will actually make any significant difference in your application, as the extra "umph" is generally used to fire more shot, and at your ranges more shot probably won't help all that much.
     
  16. KenW.

    KenW. Member

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    With my 3.5" Bond derringer and 3" shells, there's only a half inch of rifling. That doesnt make a difference at derringer range.
     
  17. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    I had been a 'closet' Judge owner wannabe, halted in it's pursuit by two nagging facts: my early shooting comparison of one and my 625MG in .45 Colt and the simple fact that I am not impressed with Taurus products. I also couldn't believe the swirl pattern shot produced at 12yd - a family of snakes would have had a high survival rate. Skip ahead to 6/11 and my visit to a recently opened gunstore north of Trussville. Scattered around the store in their numerous display cases was an oddball - a black S&W revolver - lite like a Night Guard - but with a long .45-ish cylinder - dished out for .45 ACPs moonclips - tritium Night Sight included. I had wanted a 325NG for home use - but this thing only weighed 1.4 oz more and was 7/8" longer. Otherwise it was the same as a 325NG -just $300 cheaper. I spent my Jeep's promised new tire money on it - a spur buy - very uncharacteristic for me.

    I reload, so .45-ish loads were aplenty here - not so for 2.5" - .410's - a box of each: #6, #9, #11 and Win PDX1 - was bought that first week or so - and none since - and I still have some! Not much for shot shells here - in fact, at 64, that is still the only 'shotgun' caliber of any kind that I have owned! I bought it as a .45 home protector - mainly due to it's .45 ACP capability - I have 240+ moonclips loaded and just it and a 625JM to shoot them with. I do recall, as you'd expect, that the #6 had the tightest group. But - even the #9 was still on a full size silhouette target sheet at 12yd (The #11 was everywhere by that distance.). Below is my Governor sporting my X-frame Hogue .500 Magnum grips with the OEM boots, which were fine for the non-PDX1 shot shells, alongside:

    001-1.jpg

    Shown L-R: Win PDX1, #9, #6, 250gr Gold Dot .45 Colt, 200gr LRNFP .45 Schofield, & 230gr FMJ ball .45 ACP ammo. It hits coincident POA/POI from 7-12yd with the 250gr Gold Dot .45Colts & .45 ACP ball ammo. The center of mass of the #9 shot shells drops by 12yd - the #6 stays close. Don't use any copper-solvent type cleaner, like my usual Hoppes #9, on the finish as it softens that black finish. Hoppes 'Elite' (pricey) works okay. I like mine... it was a good purchase - fun, actually!

    Stainz
     
  18. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I have read that the #4 and #6 shot works the best when using shot.

    I was a wannabe on the Taurus. Handled it, fondled many of them, watched them sell quickly at gunshops and figured someone knew more than I did, but I have a general adversion to Taurus products. I stopped there because money doesn't grow on trees and my need for the gun was mostly as a novelty item.

    Then S&W comes out with their version.... must be more to it. I still haven't yanked my wallet out to buy one and still feel it is a novelty item for me. I would rather have a lot of other "novelty" or rarely shot guns before the Govenor (the little NA mini revolver is my wannabe gun now for that).

    I had visions of using it for hunting ruffed grouse, but the shot pattern is not the greatest as well as the practical range.

    In your case, I think the revolver has some merit. I bought a Henry Mare's Leg 22LR.... yes, I still get yanked in the novelty direction.... If I purchased it, I would accept that it is still no shotgun. It still is a rather large handgun and I don't generally like a big handgun hanging on my belt when I am working. So, move forward with your eyes open and give it a shot and see if it fulfills your need. I think if you think of it as a 10-yd (and less) gun, which is quite a stretch in practical distance for shot loads in most other revolvers, then it may work for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  19. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    Well i think you will mostly do more damage to the garden than the varmints:p
     
  20. Fotno

    Fotno Member

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    If I were in your shoes, I'd use the same thing I used as a kid on the farm I grew up on. A good air rifle. You shoot a .410 out of a short pistol barrel at anything over five or ten feet, and you're liable to have shot going places you don't want it to. A good pellet rifle will take care of anything you're dealing with, and won't leaving you worrying about the welfare of your plants, or where that .22 Long Rifle bullet went if you happen to miss.
     
  21. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    +2 on the air rifle.

    It's quiet, it's cheap, it's effective.
     
  22. suemarkp

    suemarkp Member

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    The Judge or Governor should be effective to 10yards, and maybe 15 depending on the size of what you're trying to hit and how many pellets need to hit the target. Try the Federal #4 shells and see if they pattern significantly better than general purpose #4 and #6. Federal has done something to make their OOO buck and #4 shot loads pattern better than everyone else in the Judge.

    Next step up would be a PGO shotgun with the barrel chopped. You can go shorter than 18" if the gun was a factory PGO and you keep the overall length to 26" or more. This is just a "firearm" and not a shotgun, rifle, nor pistol. No tax stamp required unless you want the overall length less than 26" because that makes it an AOW.

    One of those in 410 would be way better than the judge. Not sure if you could shoot it one handed though.
     
  23. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    VTmtn.man - they also make a .410 shell that has 00 buckshot (3 pellets) in it for the Judge/Governor. I haven't seen them but they may make a .410 shell with #4 birdshot and it's heavier weight might keep it in pattern better.
     
  24. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    My buddy was given judge as a present, and using it as his "tractor gun" is the only good use he can find for. Works great for killing birds and varmints close up. 15 yards is probably pushing it though.

    If you can find one of the old "Snake Charmer" .410's, they actually made a holster for them.

    In looking, Rossi now makes a version of it.

    S41118TUF.jpg
     
  25. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    I wish S&W made that gun with just a .45 Colt/ACP cylinder and a 4" barrel.

    Now, that would make a neat trail/house gun.
     
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