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Utility of a short .410

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by WestKentucky, Mar 8, 2019.

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  1. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    The recent crop of “firearm” designs has me wondering if a super compact and light .410 might be a reasonable emergency gun. No, not talking about TEOTWAKI, but more of the “life happens” kind of thing. You have a wreck in the extreme rural area and need to pop a couple squirrels on your 2 day hike back to the main road kind of gun. What would the limitations of something like a shockwave, honcho, tac14, Comanche 45/410 or a legal “firearm” that is built from the ground up. Seems anything rifled would be less than ideal unless you are also intending to shoot slugs or 45colt through the gun.

    So in the smallest and lightest variety of scatterguns, how do they fare at small game. What are the limitations on range for things like rabbits and squirrel?
     
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  2. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    I used to pop squirrels with my buddies snake charmer. H&r doesn’t make them anymore but they were great. Limitation will always be range based on velocity and rate of expansion. Squirrels is about all a 410 is good for
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    My son used an old H&R single-shot .410 as a knock-about gun for traipsing the woods on the local farms he trapped on, that and an old Iver Johnson .22 revolver, when he was a kid.

    For what use you put forth, a Springfield Armory M6 Survival gun would be ideal.

    Squirrels and grouse up to 30 yards would be about the limits for the .410, but the .22 would give you longer range and more options. .
     
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  4. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    I would opt for a short bolt action .22 rifle tube fed(no magazine to loose) with a decent 4x scope. more range that a 410 and more accurett, with light weight ammo and available every where. low noise level with .22 shorts.
     
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  5. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    Properly loaded, a .410 is a good foraging gun for mostly stationary small game. Due to the tiny shot column, hitting flying targets can be difficult.

    I see the .410 as a nice, lightweight gun for outings when hunting isn’t the primary purpose, but you want the option to knock a bird or squirrel off a tree limb, should the opportunity arise.
     
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  6. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Stevens 22-410. That's all you need. It's still made as a savage 24. Mine is 22lr over 410. There is no gun better for walking the woods after small game. Its light, compact, and is the most accurate 22 I own.

    It can be had in multiple calibers and bores.

    The US M6 was 22 hornet over 410. That would be a fun one
     
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  7. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Hum...

    I think the 3" five pellet 000 loading might disagree with that sentiment.
     
  8. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    My best woods walk gun is a Savage 24 with 22WMR over 20ga. Not a fan of the little 410 for most uses.
     
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  9. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Or the 1/4oz rifled slugs...

    With the 22-410 and 4 types of ammo I can take down nearly anything that's on the continent: 22, and 410 birdshot, buckshot, and a couple slugs.
     
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  10. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Carried an AR-7 as a Jeep gun for decades. One incident made me want something a bit stouter. I took my old Mossy .410 model 500 and turned it into the "Perfect Jeep Gun"

    Shown broken down with the AR-7 for size comparison.
    H1W0FLw.jpg
     
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  11. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    For what you are describing, a crack barrel 20 gauge like a H&R from a yard sale with a standard barrel and stock would have more flexibility. Such a gun could be taken down or assembled with a screwdriver and fit inside of a backpack. That gun would be legal in 50 states, and a trip to wally world could get you a selection of ammo to successfully harvest any critter in the lower 48, or even defend yourself better from humans. Not my first choice, but a better choice than a 410, and cheaper to feed to boot.
     
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  12. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    Meh I got too many options and I never tried that in the 18” barrel. I’d likely try a 45 colt if it were my only option. Providing the choke was open.
     
  13. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

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    Maybe you'd be better off with a jug of coolant, a "real" spare tire, a good tire iron and a good jack, a modern jump starter, a mini compressor, some basic tools, etc...

    The dollar isn't what it used to be, but if you are worried about eating, ~$300 buys a lot of water and a lot of cans of chili (or MRE's if you are fancy). Probably more than you can shoot or eat in two days. Or maybe even three.

    Shockwaves and such don't really seem to be intended for taking game, and that's fair since they are poorly suited for such.

    The .410 is more of a specialty gauge. Unless you have a medical need for low recoil, wish to preserve pelts, or are an expert shotgunner in search of challenge, I'm not sure it makes much sense. Since a cheap break-action is probably what you should be posting about instead, a 12 or 20 gauge offers at least double the horsepower for about the same weight and costs a lot less to shoot. If you are less concerned about wingshooting, a .22 would also be fine.
     
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  14. Old Shooter

    Old Shooter Member

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    I don't know how "small and light" you can get in a 20 gauge, but for the situation you described that is the direction I would be going. That and a gallon of drinking water for that 2 day hike back to the main road.
     
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  15. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    In the given scenario, I would rather have a backpack full of jerky and bottled water.
     
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  16. HB

    HB Member

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    A 410 slug is usually 110gr at 1800 fps... about as effective as a .40 kentucky rifle I guess.

    The “Honcho” style gun would work but only effective to 20 yards or so if that.

    I have had terrible luck with 410s on game. I would use your $300 for a fullsize spare and a single shot 12 gauge.


    HB
     
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  17. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Yeah I wasnt claiming it to be a powerhouse, but itll do everything a 32-20 would (within range) and those have taken thousands of deer. It would not be adequate alone anywhere a bear or moose live. Here in KS, it's all I need. But it's more of a close up gun. I carried it with a 22 up top and a 410 birdshot on the bottom. Couple slugs in the pocket in the off chance I ran up on a deer or pig. The selector switch was on the 22 usually, for squirrels, muskrat, beaver, etc. The birdshot was for flying quarry.

    My point was the dual caliber break action is a very versatile and handy firearm for vehicle use. Its light, compact, and inherently accurate. The only weak part was the 50 year old selector switch, and when it broke, I could still shoot 22s. It was fixed easily and no more issues. A 22 hornet over a 20ga would be a bit heavier, but probably better suited to general usefulness.

    I love my little Stevens though. It would be the last gun I would ever think of selling.
     
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  18. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I’ll take a 20 gauge.
     
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  19. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    I love a good 410! And they work!
     
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  20. H3NT3

    H3NT3 Member

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    I have pondered similar. Most of my interest is for hiking no less than 5 miles and hunting throughout. So similar enough. First I'll ramble about some guns that might fit your pursuits.

    A consideration for this could be Chiappa Double Badger. I own one of the .22LR/.410 varieties and am pleased with it. It folds in half which fits nicely in the bottle holder pockets of my backpacks provided I use the horizontal compression straps to prevent it from tipping out. 5.5 pounds IIRC. Longest portion/half when folded is just shy 20" IIRC. My DB patterns excellent. With Fiocchi 7.5 2.5" 410 I pattern excellent to 40 yards - I have taken squirrels 40 yards out. With a 40 yard range I rarely use the rimfire side.
    Not all 410's are created equal. My brother's Mossberg 500 410 patterns horribly from every load compared to the DB. Sad because I really wanted a 500.
    Brenneke 410 slugs have good praise online for more serious sized game like deer. Patterns great from the DB.
    ~$320-360
    View attachment 830326

    Another option is the AR-7. My marksmanship with it makes it a 30 yard gun.
    ~$220
    View attachment 830327

    These days I typically use a Henry single shot 410. Separates in two. I stuff the two halves in my cupholder pocket on the backpack for long treks. Heavier at 6.5lbs. Patterns good enough I could sell the DB. Not the kind of gun you leave in a vehicle tho for rare occasions. But I intend to drag mine through rainy days (havr already) and maybe use it as a tent pole from time to time. I like it the most. Made in usa unlike lighter and cheaper options.
    ~$350-400
    View attachment 830329 View attachment 830330


    I considred the shockwave. But decided against it... for now.
    Here is a well done video showing a 12g variety being used for hunting... but this stuff is the work of a very skilled and competent hunter. fun to think about...But not a fit for reaching civilization for a tire fix imo.

    Rifling would be a absolute no go. I can sling a single 38 caliber round ball(BPI LGS) from my DB from 50-60 yards out snd consistently hit a 6-8" steel target. Brenekes group just as great.
    Problem is, will you be realistically presented 50, or even 100 yard shot at a 100+ pound animal when you got somewhere to be in a hurry? Rifling is discouraged. Smooth bore can get the iob done.

    Now for non gunny stuff.
    For a known trek to get help, two days or there abouts I think dehydrated foods are a more sure ticket. Highly suggest the Trangia 28($30) or 27(~$85-110) for making it an easy and enjoyable experience.

    I sometimes pounder if 110 or 120 connibear traps are better weight to be carried rather than a long gun in such a senario. Sadly traps mean hanging out in an area and not covering ground inorder to get fat/meat.
     
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  21. BlueHeelerFl

    BlueHeelerFl Member

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    I always thought the Rossi Circuit Judge would make a decent survival gun. 410 shot for self defense and hunting. 45 Colt for self defense and hunting as well, with the ability to reach out and hit at distance. Even at standard pressure there are some powerful 45 Colt loads, especially out of a rifle
     
  22. z7

    z7 Member

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    410’s can work very well for small game, squirrels, rabbits, grouse on the ground, and quail are all good targets

    With short/small 410’s the choke will be critical

    For survival or the use you describe I think a 22lr would be a better tool, but 410’s are handy little shotguns
     
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  23. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    1) Where were we driving that we had a wreck which was 2days walk from a road? Which didn't have cellular service? Are we flying over central Alaska in summer, with a shady pilot who didn't log any flight plans, and we didn't communicate any such to our loved ones so nobody realized when we didn't show up and nobody is looking for us even if they knew where to look if they did, and we have **** for luck so no other hunter/hiker/fisher/local would take note of a plane going down and be able to find us within a couple days? What's the game availability like in this area such we can expect to be 100% incommunicable, unknowingly unaccounted for in the travel, unwitnessed in crash, and too far from other outdoorsmen/locals that we could expect to find a squirrel to hunt in the proximity of our crash?

    2) We assume we survived such wreck in sufficient condition to be able to hunt, as well as travel by foot to the road 2 days away? We also assume the sustenance hunting firearm and ammunition weren't separated from us in the wreck, nor damaged?

    3) What's the calorie balance on adding time and energy to your survival situation to locate, successfully hunt, and prepare small game in this rural area? Rather than simply taking that time to travel towards the road - aka, salvation?

    4) What's the bird population, success ratio, and calorie balance for pursuing birds rather than mammalian small game as a protein source?

    5) What's the calorie balance on scavenging suitable local forage in the area, rather than hunting for such a low mass protein source?

    In planning a trip in such area, where I might have an opportunity to crash and be ~2days away from a road in an area which didn't have cellular service, I'd likely carry about 5lbs of granola bars, water, fruit snacks, and beef jerky, rather than 10lbs of a firearm, ammo, firemaking supplies, field cooking gear, etc. I've spent my entire life in "rural areas," have hiked and hunted in very "extreme rural areas" for 20yrs, and it has never made any sense to me to think a person should carry a firearm intent for sustenance hunting. I ride colts every spring which may not be the most reliable of transportation in cattle pastures far enough off of the beaten path and with enough terrain features that I've often joked - "if I fell off and hit my head, nobody would even find a body but the coyotes." I've hiked and hunted in areas where even in peak physical condition, simply being in that area is life threatening if separated from my gear, as the environmental conditions, opportunity for injury, and distance from communication and transportation in the event of an emergency all combine to a high risk situation. The answer to being stranded out there has never been to carry a sustenance firearm, but rather to carry sustenance, and plan a means of communication and accountability. A firearm isn't a bad idea out here, but a defensive firearm, not sustenance.

    A satellite phone (or Garmin Inreach or similar), a mylar blanket, and a couple pounds of food and water would be worth far more in any acre of North America than a sustenance hunting firearm.
     
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  24. KenW.

    KenW. Member

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    My shortest .410 has a 3.5 inch barrel. Bond Arms .410/.45 Colt derringer. Niche gun but I wouldn't want to get hit by it.
     
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  25. Roger Laird

    Roger Laird Member

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    I have a Rossi Circuit Judge with a 16.5 in barrel that I can take small game [ rabbits,squirrel,grouse] out to 30 yards . Took a white tail at 76 yards this last season with 45 colt .So that is my truck gun.
     
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