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Best .410 load for home defense

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by dasmi, May 19, 2005.

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  1. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    Yes, I know .410 isn't a good choice for HD, and a single shot is even worse, but a friend of mine living out in the sticks has a problem with illegals breaking into her home. She was given a .410 single shot Stevens, that she wants me to teach her how to use. So, until I convince her to get a 12 ga pump, whats the best load for this gun?
     
  2. pangris

    pangris Member

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    At home defense distances, a shotgun pattern won't really open up much. Measure the longest shot in the house then pattern it. Most people are suprised to see how small the pattern is... like Clint Smith says, at the distances you'll use a shotgun in home defense, it is a rifle.

    So with that said, any given buckshot, slug, or even .45 long colt (i believe these fit a .410 and would have little recoil) would probably do its job if she'll do hers.

    Also consider a 12 ga pump may not be the best solution for HER. AR-15, 20 ga semi, etc etc could all be a better option for HER. Expose her to options. I've bought more guns than necessary buying what I thought my wife wanted/would like. She now picks what she likes and things reside in teh safe I don't want that she doesn't like...

    And all that said, on a personal note I have decided I'm not pushing friends to defend themselves anymore. I'll nuture & help those with an interest - as you are doing- but refuse to beat into peoples heads that bad things can happen and that they need to arm themselves. If they chose to ignore the basic reality that there are wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs I'm not wasting my breathe anymore explaining natural selection...

    Sadly, I find many people want a gun because it is a talisman that wards off evil. They feel safer with it around... but don't put in the hours and rounds to learn how to use it. I think that is almost as dangerous, if not more dangerous than not having it at all.

    Paul
     
  3. kudu
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    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    DANGER DO NOT LOAD A .45LC into a .410. It will more than likely blow the barrel up.

    A .45LC will fit the chambers, but trying to force a .45 bullet into a .41 barrel will move something.

    As far as HD rounds, a .410 slug or the buck rounds will do fine, even the #4 birdshot loads will be better than nothing.
     
  4. mscott

    mscott Member

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    I'm thinking Sellier & Bellot markets a 3" buckshot load in .410. It has 3 pellets of 00 buck in the shell which would probably do a good job at in-home distances.
     
  5. sm

    sm member

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    kudu's post

    Read it again folks - kudu speaks truth.

    Me...gonna use slugs, then again I prefer slugs no matter the gauge. :p
     
  6. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    The barrel isn't rifled, will slugs still be ok?
     
  7. pangris

    pangris Member

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    I apologize for the .45 LC suggestion, I've seen several firearms avertised that claim to handle both. I'm not that familiar with the .410, but I suppose some basic math should have raised a caution flag...
     
  8. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Slugs will be OK in a smoothbore barrel. I would recommend either slugs, or a load of the largest birdshot she can find. The .410 buckshot rounds carry only 3 pellets, which is ridiculous. A load of #4 or BB shot, on the other hand, will have dozens of pellets: and at close-up defensive ranges, it won't matter to the guy on the other end. Personally, I'd choose slugs in this caliber, but if her accuracy isn't good, then a birdshot round may be better for her.

    I'd also suggest very, very strongly that she get something better than a single-shot anything for defence! :eek:
     
  9. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    I'm considering giving her my Service Six. But I doubt she'll accept.
     
  10. kudu
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    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    Where the .45/.410 come into being is mainly from Thomson/Center handguns. The .45LC barrel will shoot .410 shells with the choke adapter in place. If the adapter is left in and the .45 is shot = ruined barrel.

    There are also some derringers that are a .45LC that will also shoot .410 shells. It's always a .45LC barrel to begin with that is able to shoot other shells.
     
  11. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Member

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  12. gezzer

    gezzer Member

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    3 inch 4's for indoors
     
  13. Joshua Hutchison

    Joshua Hutchison Member

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    I keep a Saiga .410 loaded with 5 pellet OO S&B 3in loads, those seem to be the best i can find.
     
  14. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    I agree.

    At across the room ranges, bird shot, 6's or 4's will do the job.
     
  15. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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  16. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    dasmi,

    Even a single shot .410 is not to be sneezed at, especially in the hands of a confident and capable shooter. Granted it is not an optimal defensive tool but it will definitely do the job, if the shooter does their part. And confidence in the gun is important to the shooter, do not denigrate either a single shot or a small bore. As unfortunate evidence of the effectiveness of that gun/caliber, there was a tragic case of double murder in a nearby city recently, and the killer used a single shot .410.

    In this caliber (.410 is a caliber, not a gauge) I would stick to slugs or larger buckshot for HD. At close range it won't matter that much which is used but either of these loads will penetrate better than light loads of birdshot. Any less expensive birdshot load can be used for training, of course, but the heavier loads should be deployed for HD.

    Do you know the old single shot shooter's trick of keeping a spare shell or two between the fingers? It makes reloading faster but has to be practiced, like all other shooting skills. It works very well with small diameter .410 shells, too.

    I would recommend a butt cuff on this gun, it helps to have a supply of ammo attached to the weapon. Make sure the stock fits properly, it is hard for a petite person to shoot a shotgun with a too- long stock well.

    Other than that, training and practice are in order. Teach her to use a barricaded position of her own choosing/preparation somewhere in the home, using substantial furniture to provide both cover and concealment as well as a barrier to physical attack. I usually suggest the opposite side of the bed from the bedroom door, back protected by the wall, cell phone handy to dial 911 (even a cell phone with no paid service can dial 911, a cell phone is a must-have because the landline might be cut), shotgun rested across the bed and aimed at the door, with a night light etc. backlighting the area behind the door.

    Start off with 'normal' range practice and familiarization firing at 7 yards or so. Be sure you are familiar with and prepared to teach fundamentals of safety, basic gun use (example- if she cocks it and doesn't fire, then what?), stance, mount etc, even a .410 can hurt if not properly handled. With fundamentals down solid, practice on silhouette targets from the range equivalent of her barricaded position helps a lot in this drill IMO, if it ever gets real that is what she will essentially be looking at. Remember to check the longest distance in her home she might have to shoot, and keep practice ranges realistic based on that distance. Emphasize safety throughout, be sure to demonstrate that it is easy to miss with a shotgun at close range, and reinforce her willingness to shoot a target that appears in the door after "night noises" are duly challenged/warned. Teach her to reload instinctively immediately after firing and be prepared ASAP to fire again if necessary, there might be more than one intruder (or the first round might not stop the attack and a followup shot might be required).

    If she is a starting-from-scratch new shooter this will take time, and multiple range sessions. Make range sessions as pleasant as possible, keep things as upbeat as possible, keep it short enough that she does not tire. Often women are actually better defensive shooting trainers for other women than most any man, believe it or not, enlist female help if you can.

    lpl/nc (my wife didn't make me type that last sentence)
     
  17. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    I think some people are quiting being sheep after 9/11. Even Jesus himself told his diciples to buy a sword if they didn't have one.

    I do agree with this. A person should at least dry fire the gun if he can't make to the range. He should also ask himself will he shoot if he has no other choice.

    While a single shot .410 isn't the best choice, having A gun when you need it may save your life.

    -Bill
     
  18. cpileri

    cpileri Member

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    45lc/410bore

    Some firearms are chambered for 45LC, some for 410 bore, and some for both.

    A 410 is loaded to about 14,000psi. A 45LC is about double that!

    If a firearm is chambered for both, you can use both up to the suggested max loads. (i.e. buffalo bore 45LC+P loads are still too hot for some 45 colts!)

    if its chambered for only 45LC it may be possible to fire a 410 if it will chamber, though it may not fit.

    But a 410 bore is limited to 410 shells only for safety reassons- wether it will admit a 45LC or not!
    C-
     
  19. shooter1

    shooter1 Member

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    Unfortunately, it is a common belief amoung the ill informed masses, that the 45LC and .410 ammo is interchangeable. I am grateful that Kudu was able to post a warning in such a timely manner. For those out there who want to really live dangerously, a .600 Nitro Express round will drop right into the chamber of a 20ga single barrel. BUT-------they are NOT interchangeable!!!
    Unless-----------you have a death wish----------.
    str1
     
  20. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Lee Lapin: Excellent post, Sir!
     
  21. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Lee Lapin's "dissertation" was correct.

    .410 at close range is no joke.

    Mossberg marketed a pump with pistol grip and enlarged barrel extension (made end look like a 12ga for greater intimidation) in .410 intended as a home defense gun.

    Having investigated a hunting accident involving a .410 with #6's at close range (under 10'), I can tell you that it IS LETHAL!.

    One shot likely will be all it takes.

    My grandmother who grew up in rural N.E.Alabama in late 1880's- early 1900's lived to be in her '90's. She kept a single-shot .410 in her bedroom with load of #4's. Never had to use it on anybody, (doors were never locked back in those days, strangers were ALWAYS WELCOME), but many chicken coop raiding racoons, possums, fox, owl, hawk, ect. met their demise at her hands with the little .410. That little .410 even did yeoman duties at dispatching slaughtered hogs and cows before my grandfather passed. (so my mother said, he passed on 9 months after I was born in '56.

    My brother was assigned duties of euthanizing a badly sick cat. He used the little .410 with impressive results (I was watching). He's never been able to kill a cat since. He's 53, and that was when he was 16.

    The little .410 will work, for home defense !!!

    Knowing "HOW and WHEN" to use it is paramount though.
     
  22. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    Good post, Goose..

    My first two rounds up in the 870 are Federal Home Defense, which are a hardened birdshot in the tactical cup. Not sure if they still make it. The rest are Tactical 00, in case it trouble goes outside.

    I, too, have seen what bird shot does at close range.
     
  23. KarbineKrazy

    KarbineKrazy Member

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    I think a .410 is fine. I took a self defense course and the instructor said a .410 will deliver more energy on target at 7 yard than an average 44 mag will.
    My sister has a .410/.17 HMR Rossi. I bought her a 9 round rifle butt cuff and it works excellent with .410 shells. I have no experience with them, but those winchester 5 pellet 000 buck loads sound like the ticket.

    I must admit, I've kep a single shot H&R Topper 12 gauge around for defense quite a few times. 2 3/4 00 buck in the barrel, and 5 on the stock. It's light, handy and it's not going off until you pull the hammer back. I know it doesn't compare to my ithacas or my Remington pumps and semis in fire power, but it will be there when I need it.

    I was in an ugly trespassing situation last year on a morning hunt, just before that one laotian guy shot up those people in wisconsin. I was out on my uncle's property for a morning hunt, nothing but my 30-06 and what ammuntion was in the magazine. Usually I have my Security Six on my hip, and I usually have a 4 wheeler close buy with the topper. But it was just a quick hunt so I didn't worry about it. I was supposed to be the only person on the property any way. I was tracking a nice buck through the woods I had seen earlier that morning when I heard a shot. Then a whoop. I made my way to where I'd heard it from, not 200 yards away, my buck layed dead. There was a group of 5 hunters there, admiring there kill.

    I was confused, there weren't supposed to be people out here. I told them they were trespassing and they looked at me funny. They said it was a friend of theres property they were on but they couldn't produce a name. There were plenty of signs posted saying no trespassing and no hunting. I told them I could have them prosecuted. They argued with me and things got heated. I told them I would be back in half and hour to 45 minutes and they better be gone. I should have took the deer, but it was just me and there were 5 of them and they were mighty unfriendly. They didn't make any actual physical threats but it felt like that's the direction it was headed. I made it back to the gut pile with my uncle and the deer was gone and they were long gone. I kicked my self in the @$$ for not making them leave the deer, but I always have that Topper with me from now on.

    Besides, there are plenty of grouse out there to shoot during deer season as well!
     
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