Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Why .410 Shotguns Are Better for Experts than for Kids

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Gun Nuts
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

December 28, 2009

Why .410 Shotguns Are Better for Experts than for Kids

By Phil Bourjaily

A lot of us here probably started with .410s. The first gun I shot was a single-shot Beretta that my dad had cut down to fit me when I was quite young. I mostly remember shooting stationary paper plates and balloons blowing along the ground with it. For puncturing plates and popping ballons, a .410 is plenty of gun and they have practically no recoil. For anything else, it can be challenging. There’s just not much shot in a .410 cartridge making the pattern core small and the fringes weak. I waited until both my kids were big enough to shoot 20 gauge youth model 1100s (age 11-12) to start them out because I wanted them to think shooting was fun, not frustrating.

.410s are better suited to experts with the skill to shoot the little guns and the maturity to know when not to shoot them. That brings us to the lovely O/U in this picture. It’s a Browning Cynergy Feather with an alloy receiver, a listed weight of 5 pounds and an “expert” price tag of $2500. This particular gun actually weighs closer to 6 pounds, but I think that makes it easier to shoot well. For such a dainty gun it was surprisingly easy to hit with on the skeet field. Light, but not too flighty. Like all Cynergies, it has very crisp trigger pulls.  Aesthetically, I think the slender .410 barrels are a nice fit for the Cynergy’s streamlined Euro-styling. And, it’s a small thing, but I really like the top lever  which is very comfortable to use. The Inflex recoil pad, which is mercifully cropped out of this picture, works but is hideous. Unlike traditional pads, it’s shaped like the harp on a Guiness bottle.

If I got to hunt  where there were enough birds that it didn’t bother me to pass up marginal shots, I might have a Cynergy Feather. If I was a Rich Guy who did my shooting on preserves, I’d own a .410 for sure, probably a Winchester Model 21. And, if I hunted squirrels seriously, I would find a Winchester lever-action 9410. Unfortunately, none of the above applies to me, which is why my gun cabinet is currently without a .410. You?

Comments (78)

Top Rated
All Comments
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

i started with a 20 gauge

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

No .410 in the gun cabinet -- only 20 and 12 gauge for reaching out a little farther with a little more umpf!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I got to go quail hunting for the first time ever back in October and after our hunt (in which I used a 20 ga), our guide offered to let us tag along as he trained a new pup. This was primarily due to the fact that the buddy I was there with had hunted on a number of occasions with this guide and had asked for him by name when we booked the hunt. Well, while out with him training the pup, he asked if I wanted to do the shooting and I agreed, but he still pulled his own shotgun out. I didn't realize at the time the importance of hitting a bird over a new dog on point in order to give him the necessary confidence to be trained appropriately. Well, the first one we flushed took off and I missed it and the pup took off after it, forcing it to actually circle back around and fly toward us. Well, our guide pulled his gun up and proceeded to drop the quail at about 30 yards. It wasn't until he ejected the single cartridge from his old shotgun that I realized it was a .410 he was shooting. The enormous respect I already had for him quadrupled right there. Incredible.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I shot some skeet with a 410. I quickly left the field with my tail between my legs.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mjenkins1 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

first shotgun was Mossberg 500 .410, yes it was frustrating, but i ended up being able to consistently shoot clays and birds alike with it. I'd say if you can get past the frustrating part, the .410 gives new shooters a greater respect for small bore shotguns.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harold wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I carry a .410 in my vehicle during deer/elk hunting season in case I run into a blue or ruffed grouse.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

this is just the opinion of a person that started hunting by shooting partridge with a youth model .410, I think that 410's are even better for starting young hunters than any other gun, this is because it makes the hunter a better shooter, thus making them a better hunter in the long run. So what if they miss every now and then. It just makes the ones that they get even better.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Swinging a shotgun under 6 pounds (accurately) is a challenge for me. I also never liked the Cynergy recoil pad. Perhaps better in the Cynergy Classic (such an ill-conceived misnomer).

I had a Savage 24 in .22/.410. It was an old wood-stocked, case-hardened, and very trim version. Always thought it was the perfect squirrel gun. The front sight sat cockeyed but it hit to point of aim. Have to be mindful of the season in Michigan - you can't carry rimfire shells for it while upland hunting.

I always wanted a Winchester Model 42 but just can't justify the cost, which has pretty much gone ballistic due to the collectors, who will never shoot the little gems.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

A gentleman that used to hunt doves with us would bring his 410 and one box of shells. He usually got his limit (12) first and had shells left over.
I think he used to be a magician ;-)!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Shoot, I have been using a shotgun for a while. Dont own a .410, so I wouldnt do that to my kids/grandkids either.
I can understand the point of it actually improving a sshooters capability to use one though. But I am scared lol

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first shotgun was 12gauge; kicked like mule when I was 10. I currently have a .410 in a "snake charmer" sigle shot, a .20 gauge single, and few 12s.
That .410 is a fun gun, and I don't take it seriously for hunting.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I remember when I was 7 I had a bolt action 410 and taken birds just like the big guys! They had pumps and autos and I could work the bolt just as fast and reload faster than the adults. Pattern was so tight and dense you could say it shot like a rifle it did!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I forgot to mention watching Dad with the US Air Force Skeet Team using 410 inserts in their over and under. But one thing for sure, that Winchester Model 12 he had used it for everything AAA Skeet to Ducks to making 300+ yard shots with slugs using iron sights

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a .410 and can't complain about the way it shot because it was explained to me at a young age how the .410 isn't considered a shotgun by some people. needless to say though it does the job my uncle called the local dnr and asked about using it for turkey. he made a ethical shot at a short range and dropped him right there.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Like Clay, I started with a .410. A single shot, break action H&R that I wish I still owned today. I did some missing, due to a very tight full choke, but once I realized ONE and ONLY ONE shot, I got to the point where I hit more than I missed. My next .410 was a double, and there is nothing more sporting than doves with a .410. I still have two, one pump, one O/U, and wouldn't take for either one of them.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mutt wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I have a .410 / 22 combo over under. works great for squirrels and don't know how many blackbirds I shot with it as a kid.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first real gun was a Stevens 94 .410 shotgun. I soon traded it for a 12 gauge 94 and started really killing doves and squirrels! The .410 shells were twice the price with double the miss factor. I recall hardly ever having a whole box of shells except at the bithday and Christmas. The rest I bought "each" from Hardy Stephens's hardware store with pop bottle return deposits and saved lunch money. Times were tough; three miles to school - uphill both ways.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My .410 side by side is a pleasure to carry in the woods while squirrel hunting and sometimes rabbits, when I'm not hungry.

I have always owned at least one .410 and couldn't imagine not owning one.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter-
You must have been raised in New Mexico. I recently learned (hunting elk) that ALL of NM runs uphill both ways! As to buying one shell at a time, the Gibson's Discount Center in my home town made us buy a minimum of five.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Phil, Dave or whoever posted this;
I agree, a .410 for a first shotgun is to small. At 12 mine was a single shot break-open 20 that was easy to shoot with 7/8oz field loads. Give the .410's and 28 gauges to experienced hunters/shooters. JMO

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I think some of the guys here have it figured out. A .410 shotgun is really a .22 that you can use on running targets. I have an uncle who used a Savage 24 o/u in .22 Long Rifle and .410; a better gun for squirrels or bunnies does not exist.

Any expensive .410 double seems to me to be something like a Holland double rifle in .22 Hornet; extremely cool, but what's it for?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from shermanator wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

first shotgun i shot was a 410 and my dad had me learn so i was a better shot and it has proven to be worth it cause i am by far the best shot in my school and i still have it and shoot it from time to time and love it but i still like my 20 and 12 gauges alot to

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from luckytexan wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

The first game I ever bagged, a fat squirrel that I patiently hunted all morning in a pecan patch, was taken with my dad's .410 Winchester Model 42. That said, when he got me my first shotgun, it was a 20 gauge. I'm glad he did that. A 20 gauge is far more versatile.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from tuckerj5047 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My very first gun, which I still have was a bolt action 410.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwallen wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started out with a heavy, long barreled 12 gauge double with 1 oz field loads. The recoil was light and success came easily. Ducks, geese and pheasants were the primary targets and my friends that shot .410's spent a lot of time chasing wounded roosters down corn rows as none of us had dogs. I started my son out with a 20 ga. side by side and 7/8 oz loads for ptarmigan. I think that was the right way to go. With nontoxic shot being required for waterfowl the 1 oz Bismuth loads in the 20 ga. will still work over decoys or close jump shooting. Forget using .410’s for waterfowl, in a steel shot world 12ga is it. The one place where a .410 shines is for cotton tail rabbits. If you started a kid out on them then it would be a great choice.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

On my 8th Xmas Santa left me a gently used 3"mag .410 single shot, and I used it on hare and grouse til I had the shoulders to carry a 16ga.I still have that old single .410, though it only comes outta the safe for its yearly cleaning.God willing I will pass it down to a littlejake soon enough.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from BarkeyVA wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My dad taught me to wing shoot with his 20 ga. Ithaca Model 37 with hand-thrown clays. The first gun I hunted with was a Savage Model 24, .22/.410 with the selector button on the side of the receiver. Mostly I hunted rabbits and squirrels although I did get a few quail doves with it. My first "grown-up gun" was a 12 ga. Marlin Model 90 o/u that my dad bought used when I was 14. Never hunted with the Savage 24 after that. Dad cut off the Model 90's stock to fit me and then added a piece back when I got bigger. I still have it. Now I have a .410 Model 90 and a Model 90 .22/.410 combo that I shoot for fun (mostly skeet)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim Blum wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a 410 single shot then I got a savage
222/20 ga over and under... I now have a lot of different guns in the safe... awwww those days are over when you only own one or two guns.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim Blum wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a 410 single shot then I got a savage
222/20 ga over and under... I now have a lot of different guns in the safe... awwww those days are over when you only own one or two guns.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluegraytx wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a single-shot .410. That was back in 1950. Still have it in the shop for "emergencies". The one I keep in the gun safe is the current Marlin lever-action .410. It does its job quite nicely.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

i've owned a pardner 12 g. for years, and after i moved to colorado i found a pardner .410 that my mom had and quickly aquired it. my youngest daughter shoots it and loves it! the fact that it compliments my 12 g. is even better. i will never get rid of it and have had a lot of success with it. my daughter is going after game with it for the first time this year. .410's have their place in any gun cabinet. just use them wisely.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from PawPaw wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I use a .410 for a variety of small tasks. It is useful for teaching grandkids about very basic shotgunning, things like perforating pop cans and deflating balloons. For wing shooting, we step up to the 20 gauge.

A small, light .410 is also useful for an off-season woods-traipsing gun, primarily as snake repellent. I'm not opposed to snakes, but I am opposed to being snake bit.

Then again, a .410 is almost perfect for the squirrel woods.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My Dad started me out hunting at age six. I was given an unloaded Iver Johnson singleshot .410 to carry, the same one his Dad had given him. On days my older brother came along, I got to carry our BB gun. Safety was key and I was in basic training for two years. We also had a .22/.410 later on. We hunted rabbits and on occasion, squirels. Dad took us dove shooting with those .410's and you learned the value of a single-shot very quickly. For Christmas at age 12 came the Winchester Model 12 with a shortened stock. Still have both today. On a recent goose hunt, I missed three shots at the same pair, all within range. Reloaded with a single shell and when the next opportunity came, I concentrated on the shot like I did as a kid and made a clean kill. God bless that earlt training with the single shot .410.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

When I went to buy my first shotgun, I was going to buy a .410 as it was extremely cheap, but I decided it made more sense to buy a 12. And it did

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I only own one .410 at the moment, and just sold a neat little s/s double to a friend. Back when I was doing a lot of skeet shooting, I got pretty good and once shot a 99 with my Remington 48 auto. I used to do a bunch of Grouse hunting at my cabin in Quebec. In a excess of over-confidence one year, I decided that I was going to kill all my birds with the .410. Not a good plan! The cartridge simply does not have enough oomph and I lost (and missed) too many birds. I still like the .410, but it's practical use is pretty limited.

Tom

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started out with a Savage .410 break-action single, which I still have. I often put it up on the dashboard for opportune grouse when driving around the woods.
A few years ago someone gave me a Savage 24F 22lr/410 over/under and it is absoloutely the best Ptarmigan and hare gun for going on s snowshoe hunt in the winter. It's light, carries easily and is good close or far.
It makes you a better shotgunner, but I wish I would've taken everyone's advice and gotten a 20 or a 12 when I was a kid. 410 shells were $7.50 per box and 12's were $3.50 or so if I remember. I had to make every shot count. .410 is also outstanding for ground-squirrels in the springtime. My kids are going to start with 20's.
AKX

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from LutherMartin1517 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I vote for 16 guage and 28 guage.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Hmmm...A CZ o/u with 30" barrels, A DeHaan S2 sxs with 30" barrels, Browning mod 42, Remington 1100 sporting; if I was rich I would have a baby frame Winchester 21 410 myself. Yeah, I love 410's despite Michael MacIntosh's withering scorn for this ultra small gauge. I use them for clay targets, doves, and occasionally quail. My dove hunting here in the Texas Panhandle is such that I am able to pick my shots (over mojo decoys) and have bagged 15 bird limits many times with a 410. I don't take every shot; only the ones I know I can hit. A wonderful book on the 410 is Ronald Gabriel's British and American 410's. It is worth reading, and the photos of great 410 guns are magnificent. 50 years ago, my dad cut silhouette dove decoys from heavy cardboard, glued a clothespin on them, and put me near a dead tree with the decoys on it. I had to wait until a dove lit. The Iver Johnson with full choke barrel would roll doves like magic. However, a couple years later when I started shooting birds on the wing, I had a 20 ga. sxs. When I started my son shooting flying birds, it was with an o/u 28ga which I consider better for a beginner than a 20.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

that's a really nice shotgun in the pic but for $2500 you can keep it. no way it's worth that!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

no .410's in this household. no reason to have one. i did see and fonle one of the cute winchester 9410's. if i had a use for one, it is a really neat gun. i think the only .410 that i would seriously consider is a taurus judge 3" magnum.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisher girl wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I have a Mossberg .410 (pump). i first shot at clay pigeons with it . For the first rime shooting this gun I was very accurate with it. My brother and a couple of his friends and I had a shooting contest once, and I (with the smallest gun) was just shy of first. I love bird hunting with my gun. I think it's a great gun, plus I'm accurate with it!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I inherited an Ithaca lever breakdown .410. Neat little gun and it has taken squirrels. Great for when a rifle has no backstop.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I stick with 12 Ga, except for the 16Ga 870 for home defense.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Christmas 1960 my first game ever bagged with my brand new Revelation bolt action 410 was a coot. I've written on this site in the past about the poor choice a 410 is for a kid. It did eventually make me a better shot. That gun accounted for many squirrels, coons, rabbits, doves, quail and jacksnipe the first few years of my hunting career. Never did make any 300 yd shots with it though. IMO A 20 guage single shot is the ideal shotgun to start a youngster with.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kerby wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Funny thing, I was given a Savage .410/.22 O/U as a present on my 14th birthday. I had a better hit to miss ratio on ruf grouse with that gun than the 12Ga I use now. I could not, however, hit rabbits. 40 years later that gun still sits in the cabinet, doesn't fit quite like it did at 14. I use the .22 barrel on occasion for varmits but the .410 shells are to expensive in my opinion. I also have a Ithaca 66 in .410 I "inherited" from an inlaw. Maybe I'll dust one of them off, splurge for a box of 3" 6 shot and see if I've gotten an better on bunnies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian W. Thair wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

AMEN to that. Many decades ago, my first shotgun was a mistake. It was also a .410. Some 45 yrs later, I bought my first 20 to go with a cabinet full of 12's.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first was a .410 and was a frustrating experience. I soon got a 20 ga. and my success rate and confidence improved vastly. I agree that it's an expert's gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ray j wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

A pump, a bolt, 2 single shots, .22/410 o/u :-)but sold my O/u double :-( .410's are just so much fun...:-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

When my grandfather died I found a single shot Eastern Arms 410 in his cabinet. A little research found it was made by another company for Montgomery Ward back in the 1930's. It was the first shotgun I let my son shoot and while we are out shooting at random targets a dove flies well overhead. He asks if he can shoot at it and I foolishly said yes, never dreaming that he would bring it down which of course he did.
It is fun for ground squirrels but 20 gauge shells are sure a lot cheaper.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I use all three. I use a .410 for raccoons, possums, squirrels, and stray cats. I used one of my 20ga. for deer, but now use it for skeet. I now use the other 20ga. for just blasting things. I use my 12ga. for blasting things that need blasted, and I also keep it near at hand for things that go "bump" in the night. So, yes I use them all.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paratrooper Dave wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

12/29/09

Nice write-up about the +'s/-'s of the 410.

In your article, you mentioned the Winchester 9410. Try a Marlin 39A or 39AS and you will find it will run circles around any other 22LR Levergun

Best to all for 2010 !!!

Paratrooper Dave

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a springfield bolt 410 as a kid served me well with small game.Bought one used for the kids they grew up killing small game and snakes.Since my eyes have gone bad it's hard to head shoot the snakes at the creekbank so i carry the 410 and just dust them off

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

No gun cabinet is complete without a 410 in single and dble bbl. Load a few rounds with lots of powder and a Sabort for a B/P and see what you get at l00 yds. Suprise it's awsome.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

When I got old enough I thought I had to have a .410 but my dad solidly refused, instead providing a 20. He said the same thing as here, the .410 was not very well suited for kids and would only result in disappointment and bad habits. Dad was smarter than I gave him credit for. Regarding the Savage .22 LR over .410, I hope I run across one some fine day and I have the disposable income available, it will go home with me. The neighbor kids had one and I coveted it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Skeetrider wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

That Synergy looks terrific. It's funny how many guys would think nothing of the price if it was a side by side. The club of which Mr. Petzal and I are members still has a cadre of men who think the .410 is a beginners gun. They say "Let him/her shoot it, it will be fun". I have never understood how missing most of the targets is fun! I was lucky my Dad was not so foolish.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Keith Selvidge wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I have two .410s in my gun cabinet.One was aquired forty years ago when I was learning to hunt squirrels.The other belongs to my wife who bought it for a home defense weapon long before we were married.These are great little shotguns and they certainly have their purpose.An article I read from another gun writer about 28gauge shotguns stated that their is only a certain number of shot in the center of the pattern,regardless of gauge. If your target is very far off center,you will have a cripple or a miss.That being said,I still like my 12 gauge.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started out with a .410 in the grouse woods, and my kids will do the same...I still prefer a single shot .410 with 3 inch 6 shot shells when hunting for grouse...a 20 or 12 is preferred for pheasants though...I see the small shot pattern as a benefit for the kids, I want them to learn to shoot true...and not be rewarded for bad shooting because of a large shot pattern...while time in the woods should be enjoyable for kids, it's not all about getting, it's about learning and trying, and more is learned from a miss any day....less bb's usually equal better birds to eat as well, a breast full of shot doesn't taste very good...I don't ever remember feeling under gunned as a kid with my .410, and any friends that laughed at my little .410 when we took to the field quickly changed their minds as many a grouse, quail, pheasant, chuckar, and Hun dropped from the sky to my little shot gun...and I believe I became a good wing shooter because of the time I spent with the .410..

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BamaHunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I am cutting down an old, cheap imported Brazilian .410 for my 6 yr old son to squirrel and deer hunt with next year. That said, AS SOON as he gets physically large enough for my 870 Youth 20 Ga the 410 will be relegated back to yard pest control. I believe they simply dont have the shot capacity to ethically hunt with them at any but the shortest ranges. I have heard people over the years say their 410 full choke "shoots so tight it's like a rifle" and that it will shoot a squirrel out of the tallest tree in Whatever county. Those people have never put their pet 410 up against a pattern board. Give me 7/8 to 1 ounce of shot for small game EVERY time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BamaHunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

PS the shot pattern isn't ANY smaller on a 410. It's fewer pellets spread more thinly over the same area. Anything farther than 15 yards and its like having only the fringes of a heavier load without the dense core.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BamaHunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

PS the shot pattern isn't ANY smaller on a 410. It's fewer pellets spread more thinly over the same area. Anything farther than 15 yards and its like having only the fringes of a heavier load without the dense core.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from captainjim wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My 1st shotgun as a kid was a Beretta single shot .410, which I still proudly own. I remember my dad taking me on my 1st rabbit hunting trip, with 3 of his co-workers. I was only 12 years old. I shocked all of the veteran hunters that day by out shooting them all. I was the only one that day that got my limit of cottontails. I fondly remember my dad bragging about how well he taught me to hunt.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from time2be wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first shotgun was a 410 bolt action from Sears. I used it to hunt rabbits, doves, and quail. I only hunted squirrels with a 22. I praticed a lot with it till I could bring down the birds and rabbits with the 410. Today I still own a 410 H&R breakdown. I still like to take it out and use it for small game.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from texhunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

The first gun I ever hunted with was my father's bolt action .410, and I was able to take my first dove, and many more with it when I was about 8. I had already been hunting squirrels with a ruger .22 and, black birds with my old daisy pellet gun. I have always felt that starting small and aiming small eventually creates better hunters.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Shooting a 410 or 67 1/2 gauge is like this!

I can take a Air Rifle Shooter and make him a good Small Bore Shooter or a darn good High Power Shooter.

BUT!

It's difficult to do it in reverse order!

SO!

A 410 shooter can make a darn good 12 gauge shooter, but difficult in reverse oder!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Morris wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I have a few 410s but shoot them not too often. The darn ammo is as expensive as "real" 12 guage ammo. The guns serve a real pupose never the less. I have taught my 4 boys at a young age how to shoot trap "at close range" with the .410. They quickly learned the idea of follow through and pulling the triger vs. squeezing with a rifle. I got the 410s cheap and they are still fun. Would love to have a lever action 9410.
Morris

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunting022 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Started with a J C Higgins 410 from Sears, still in my safe. All my kids used it to learn with. It sits right along side my Remington 48 in 410 that I use for rabbits. I wouldn't get rid of either one, plan on passing them to the garndkids.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from .30cal fan wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

i started out with a 410 some times i squirrel hunt with it some but mostly take it on scouting trips for snakes

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I thought every serious hunter owned a 410, either dble or single. If he does not, then it's time he added one. I boght a new 410 i l967, sawed the bbl to l6" and cut the stock to the hand grip, added a sling. Thats my saddle horse gun, does wondes to thoe pesty rattlers and not bad if a un wanted stray animal wonders in your yard r human for that matter. A 420 is by far moe safe for a beginning hunter than a 22 LR.I opened the shell of a 410, poured out all the powder, then refiled with my own brand.I added a special molded bullet ( really a lead tube) woich is l/2" long, after filling with all the powder i could get in a 3" shell and the lead bullet, i sealed the very end with yhot glue gun. Now you got a load that can and will kill a deeer to about l00 yds.O, forgot to add the rear sight made by my gun smith, which is like the Marlin 336 for adjustments. Happy New Year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Do any yoys have the e-mail a address of Bill Jordon or a way to make sure he gets the message? many thanks if you can.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Gunslinger,
If I'm not mistaken Mr. Jordan is dead, unless your talking of someone else.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from green pond mike wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

A friend of mine seemed to do very well with a 410. I've witnessed him shooting down a flying bat with it. I have owned 3 myself. The one I have now and the one before it, both NEF pardners, havn't seen too much action. My first 410 killed a running squirrel at a distance that I would consider a stretch for any guage. That particular 410 didn't even have a brand name--it was like it was generic or something, but it seemed to have "made for Kmart" on the barrel. THAT gun broke down into 3 parts in under 1/2 a minute and went together just as quick--without any tools. That was one sweet shooting gun and I wished I'd never traded it off. I think a 410 does a lot better in hunting situations than they do on paper. I've even read where deer have been taken with 410 slugs. My only experience with a 410 slug is on a cerial box in a tree at a distance the width of a gas pipelike right of way. Windage was on the money, but it shot 2 inches high.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I started with an old Stevens 16 ga. side by side. My grand dad said it would make me think twice about shooting something that didn't necessarily need it. I still have it and treasure it today. Nice thread.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nic Meador wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

a 410. is my rabbit gun. an old wingmaster 870. i love shooting that gun. One gauge you dont hear a lot about is a 28, also a great gauge for small game.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dchassell wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I started out with an old .410 pump dove hunting. It wasn't too long after that my dad upgraded me to a remington 870 20 gauge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from birdshooter wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I like the 410 as an introduction to shooting sports. At our youth day camps we let anyone interested try shooting a 410 at stationary targets. This shows the lethality of any firearm and also show how much fun it can be to shatter a clay target. Personally, I am not a good enough of a shot to try taking a 410 out in the field for any game birds. They are fun to shoot!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

no .410 but my grandpa has a savage .410/.22 that i whant to get

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from camerontcraig wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

I know I'm late coming to this one, but I can't resist. I started shooting trap with my dad and his friends when I was 5. One of Dad's friends had a single shot .410 that he loaned us so that I could become accustomed to the noise, and feel of a shotgun. By the time I was 8 I was hitting 48 out of 50 from the trap thrower, much better than most of the adults with pump and O/U big guns.

I think the .410 is a great way to introduce kids to the shooting sports as well as teach them about accuracy and "gun control"- the kind it takes to hit a dove at 25 yds, not the kind that takes our guns away.

I'm reminded of a quote from one of my favorite movies "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson "Aim small, Miss small" that quote says it all. Nothing could have prepared me better for a life long love of hunting and shooting than that single shot .410.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alexis Cooper M... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I have been given a New England Firearms Pardner model SEI 410 GA 3' FULL P.
I went to our local Firearms store and shooting range and gave him the above information and he sold me FEDERAL BUCKSHOT 2 3/4 inchg shells...

I have never owned a shotgun before and it seems that I could handle this small one, but looking at the shell it is not going to fit in the shotgun... I have called several stores and no one carries the correct ammo...???? Any suggestions? Also do you think this shotgun is a good and reliable weapon to have for home defense, snakes, varmits around the yard???? I am not a strong woman, and am not young, so I thought I could surely handle it. Any comments would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Cactusgal

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first real gun was a Stevens 94 .410 shotgun. I soon traded it for a 12 gauge 94 and started really killing doves and squirrels! The .410 shells were twice the price with double the miss factor. I recall hardly ever having a whole box of shells except at the bithday and Christmas. The rest I bought "each" from Hardy Stephens's hardware store with pop bottle return deposits and saved lunch money. Times were tough; three miles to school - uphill both ways.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

this is just the opinion of a person that started hunting by shooting partridge with a youth model .410, I think that 410's are even better for starting young hunters than any other gun, this is because it makes the hunter a better shooter, thus making them a better hunter in the long run. So what if they miss every now and then. It just makes the ones that they get even better.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Phil, Dave or whoever posted this;
I agree, a .410 for a first shotgun is to small. At 12 mine was a single shot break-open 20 that was easy to shoot with 7/8oz field loads. Give the .410's and 28 gauges to experienced hunters/shooters. JMO

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Swinging a shotgun under 6 pounds (accurately) is a challenge for me. I also never liked the Cynergy recoil pad. Perhaps better in the Cynergy Classic (such an ill-conceived misnomer).

I had a Savage 24 in .22/.410. It was an old wood-stocked, case-hardened, and very trim version. Always thought it was the perfect squirrel gun. The front sight sat cockeyed but it hit to point of aim. Have to be mindful of the season in Michigan - you can't carry rimfire shells for it while upland hunting.

I always wanted a Winchester Model 42 but just can't justify the cost, which has pretty much gone ballistic due to the collectors, who will never shoot the little gems.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first shotgun was 12gauge; kicked like mule when I was 10. I currently have a .410 in a "snake charmer" sigle shot, a .20 gauge single, and few 12s.
That .410 is a fun gun, and I don't take it seriously for hunting.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Like Clay, I started with a .410. A single shot, break action H&R that I wish I still owned today. I did some missing, due to a very tight full choke, but once I realized ONE and ONLY ONE shot, I got to the point where I hit more than I missed. My next .410 was a double, and there is nothing more sporting than doves with a .410. I still have two, one pump, one O/U, and wouldn't take for either one of them.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter-
You must have been raised in New Mexico. I recently learned (hunting elk) that ALL of NM runs uphill both ways! As to buying one shell at a time, the Gibson's Discount Center in my home town made us buy a minimum of five.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I think some of the guys here have it figured out. A .410 shotgun is really a .22 that you can use on running targets. I have an uncle who used a Savage 24 o/u in .22 Long Rifle and .410; a better gun for squirrels or bunnies does not exist.

Any expensive .410 double seems to me to be something like a Holland double rifle in .22 Hornet; extremely cool, but what's it for?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

On my 8th Xmas Santa left me a gently used 3"mag .410 single shot, and I used it on hare and grouse til I had the shoulders to carry a 16ga.I still have that old single .410, though it only comes outta the safe for its yearly cleaning.God willing I will pass it down to a littlejake soon enough.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

i started with a 20 gauge

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

No .410 in the gun cabinet -- only 20 and 12 gauge for reaching out a little farther with a little more umpf!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I got to go quail hunting for the first time ever back in October and after our hunt (in which I used a 20 ga), our guide offered to let us tag along as he trained a new pup. This was primarily due to the fact that the buddy I was there with had hunted on a number of occasions with this guide and had asked for him by name when we booked the hunt. Well, while out with him training the pup, he asked if I wanted to do the shooting and I agreed, but he still pulled his own shotgun out. I didn't realize at the time the importance of hitting a bird over a new dog on point in order to give him the necessary confidence to be trained appropriately. Well, the first one we flushed took off and I missed it and the pup took off after it, forcing it to actually circle back around and fly toward us. Well, our guide pulled his gun up and proceeded to drop the quail at about 30 yards. It wasn't until he ejected the single cartridge from his old shotgun that I realized it was a .410 he was shooting. The enormous respect I already had for him quadrupled right there. Incredible.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I shot some skeet with a 410. I quickly left the field with my tail between my legs.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

A gentleman that used to hunt doves with us would bring his 410 and one box of shells. He usually got his limit (12) first and had shells left over.
I think he used to be a magician ;-)!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Shoot, I have been using a shotgun for a while. Dont own a .410, so I wouldnt do that to my kids/grandkids either.
I can understand the point of it actually improving a sshooters capability to use one though. But I am scared lol

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I remember when I was 7 I had a bolt action 410 and taken birds just like the big guys! They had pumps and autos and I could work the bolt just as fast and reload faster than the adults. Pattern was so tight and dense you could say it shot like a rifle it did!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from mutt wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I have a .410 / 22 combo over under. works great for squirrels and don't know how many blackbirds I shot with it as a kid.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My .410 side by side is a pleasure to carry in the woods while squirrel hunting and sometimes rabbits, when I'm not hungry.

I have always owned at least one .410 and couldn't imagine not owning one.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from shermanator wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

first shotgun i shot was a 410 and my dad had me learn so i was a better shot and it has proven to be worth it cause i am by far the best shot in my school and i still have it and shoot it from time to time and love it but i still like my 20 and 12 gauges alot to

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from luckytexan wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

The first game I ever bagged, a fat squirrel that I patiently hunted all morning in a pecan patch, was taken with my dad's .410 Winchester Model 42. That said, when he got me my first shotgun, it was a 20 gauge. I'm glad he did that. A 20 gauge is far more versatile.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from tuckerj5047 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My very first gun, which I still have was a bolt action 410.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

i've owned a pardner 12 g. for years, and after i moved to colorado i found a pardner .410 that my mom had and quickly aquired it. my youngest daughter shoots it and loves it! the fact that it compliments my 12 g. is even better. i will never get rid of it and have had a lot of success with it. my daughter is going after game with it for the first time this year. .410's have their place in any gun cabinet. just use them wisely.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from LutherMartin1517 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I vote for 16 guage and 28 guage.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisher girl wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I have a Mossberg .410 (pump). i first shot at clay pigeons with it . For the first rime shooting this gun I was very accurate with it. My brother and a couple of his friends and I had a shooting contest once, and I (with the smallest gun) was just shy of first. I love bird hunting with my gun. I think it's a great gun, plus I'm accurate with it!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mjenkins1 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

first shotgun was Mossberg 500 .410, yes it was frustrating, but i ended up being able to consistently shoot clays and birds alike with it. I'd say if you can get past the frustrating part, the .410 gives new shooters a greater respect for small bore shotguns.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harold wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I carry a .410 in my vehicle during deer/elk hunting season in case I run into a blue or ruffed grouse.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a .410 and can't complain about the way it shot because it was explained to me at a young age how the .410 isn't considered a shotgun by some people. needless to say though it does the job my uncle called the local dnr and asked about using it for turkey. he made a ethical shot at a short range and dropped him right there.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwallen wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started out with a heavy, long barreled 12 gauge double with 1 oz field loads. The recoil was light and success came easily. Ducks, geese and pheasants were the primary targets and my friends that shot .410's spent a lot of time chasing wounded roosters down corn rows as none of us had dogs. I started my son out with a 20 ga. side by side and 7/8 oz loads for ptarmigan. I think that was the right way to go. With nontoxic shot being required for waterfowl the 1 oz Bismuth loads in the 20 ga. will still work over decoys or close jump shooting. Forget using .410’s for waterfowl, in a steel shot world 12ga is it. The one place where a .410 shines is for cotton tail rabbits. If you started a kid out on them then it would be a great choice.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BarkeyVA wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My dad taught me to wing shoot with his 20 ga. Ithaca Model 37 with hand-thrown clays. The first gun I hunted with was a Savage Model 24, .22/.410 with the selector button on the side of the receiver. Mostly I hunted rabbits and squirrels although I did get a few quail doves with it. My first "grown-up gun" was a 12 ga. Marlin Model 90 o/u that my dad bought used when I was 14. Never hunted with the Savage 24 after that. Dad cut off the Model 90's stock to fit me and then added a piece back when I got bigger. I still have it. Now I have a .410 Model 90 and a Model 90 .22/.410 combo that I shoot for fun (mostly skeet)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim Blum wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a 410 single shot then I got a savage
222/20 ga over and under... I now have a lot of different guns in the safe... awwww those days are over when you only own one or two guns.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim Blum wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a 410 single shot then I got a savage
222/20 ga over and under... I now have a lot of different guns in the safe... awwww those days are over when you only own one or two guns.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluegraytx wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a single-shot .410. That was back in 1950. Still have it in the shop for "emergencies". The one I keep in the gun safe is the current Marlin lever-action .410. It does its job quite nicely.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from PawPaw wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I use a .410 for a variety of small tasks. It is useful for teaching grandkids about very basic shotgunning, things like perforating pop cans and deflating balloons. For wing shooting, we step up to the 20 gauge.

A small, light .410 is also useful for an off-season woods-traipsing gun, primarily as snake repellent. I'm not opposed to snakes, but I am opposed to being snake bit.

Then again, a .410 is almost perfect for the squirrel woods.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My Dad started me out hunting at age six. I was given an unloaded Iver Johnson singleshot .410 to carry, the same one his Dad had given him. On days my older brother came along, I got to carry our BB gun. Safety was key and I was in basic training for two years. We also had a .22/.410 later on. We hunted rabbits and on occasion, squirels. Dad took us dove shooting with those .410's and you learned the value of a single-shot very quickly. For Christmas at age 12 came the Winchester Model 12 with a shortened stock. Still have both today. On a recent goose hunt, I missed three shots at the same pair, all within range. Reloaded with a single shell and when the next opportunity came, I concentrated on the shot like I did as a kid and made a clean kill. God bless that earlt training with the single shot .410.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

When I went to buy my first shotgun, I was going to buy a .410 as it was extremely cheap, but I decided it made more sense to buy a 12. And it did

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I only own one .410 at the moment, and just sold a neat little s/s double to a friend. Back when I was doing a lot of skeet shooting, I got pretty good and once shot a 99 with my Remington 48 auto. I used to do a bunch of Grouse hunting at my cabin in Quebec. In a excess of over-confidence one year, I decided that I was going to kill all my birds with the .410. Not a good plan! The cartridge simply does not have enough oomph and I lost (and missed) too many birds. I still like the .410, but it's practical use is pretty limited.

Tom

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started out with a Savage .410 break-action single, which I still have. I often put it up on the dashboard for opportune grouse when driving around the woods.
A few years ago someone gave me a Savage 24F 22lr/410 over/under and it is absoloutely the best Ptarmigan and hare gun for going on s snowshoe hunt in the winter. It's light, carries easily and is good close or far.
It makes you a better shotgunner, but I wish I would've taken everyone's advice and gotten a 20 or a 12 when I was a kid. 410 shells were $7.50 per box and 12's were $3.50 or so if I remember. I had to make every shot count. .410 is also outstanding for ground-squirrels in the springtime. My kids are going to start with 20's.
AKX

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Hmmm...A CZ o/u with 30" barrels, A DeHaan S2 sxs with 30" barrels, Browning mod 42, Remington 1100 sporting; if I was rich I would have a baby frame Winchester 21 410 myself. Yeah, I love 410's despite Michael MacIntosh's withering scorn for this ultra small gauge. I use them for clay targets, doves, and occasionally quail. My dove hunting here in the Texas Panhandle is such that I am able to pick my shots (over mojo decoys) and have bagged 15 bird limits many times with a 410. I don't take every shot; only the ones I know I can hit. A wonderful book on the 410 is Ronald Gabriel's British and American 410's. It is worth reading, and the photos of great 410 guns are magnificent. 50 years ago, my dad cut silhouette dove decoys from heavy cardboard, glued a clothespin on them, and put me near a dead tree with the decoys on it. I had to wait until a dove lit. The Iver Johnson with full choke barrel would roll doves like magic. However, a couple years later when I started shooting birds on the wing, I had a 20 ga. sxs. When I started my son shooting flying birds, it was with an o/u 28ga which I consider better for a beginner than a 20.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

that's a really nice shotgun in the pic but for $2500 you can keep it. no way it's worth that!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

no .410's in this household. no reason to have one. i did see and fonle one of the cute winchester 9410's. if i had a use for one, it is a really neat gun. i think the only .410 that i would seriously consider is a taurus judge 3" magnum.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I inherited an Ithaca lever breakdown .410. Neat little gun and it has taken squirrels. Great for when a rifle has no backstop.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Christmas 1960 my first game ever bagged with my brand new Revelation bolt action 410 was a coot. I've written on this site in the past about the poor choice a 410 is for a kid. It did eventually make me a better shot. That gun accounted for many squirrels, coons, rabbits, doves, quail and jacksnipe the first few years of my hunting career. Never did make any 300 yd shots with it though. IMO A 20 guage single shot is the ideal shotgun to start a youngster with.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

When my grandfather died I found a single shot Eastern Arms 410 in his cabinet. A little research found it was made by another company for Montgomery Ward back in the 1930's. It was the first shotgun I let my son shoot and while we are out shooting at random targets a dove flies well overhead. He asks if he can shoot at it and I foolishly said yes, never dreaming that he would bring it down which of course he did.
It is fun for ground squirrels but 20 gauge shells are sure a lot cheaper.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

When I got old enough I thought I had to have a .410 but my dad solidly refused, instead providing a 20. He said the same thing as here, the .410 was not very well suited for kids and would only result in disappointment and bad habits. Dad was smarter than I gave him credit for. Regarding the Savage .22 LR over .410, I hope I run across one some fine day and I have the disposable income available, it will go home with me. The neighbor kids had one and I coveted it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started out with a .410 in the grouse woods, and my kids will do the same...I still prefer a single shot .410 with 3 inch 6 shot shells when hunting for grouse...a 20 or 12 is preferred for pheasants though...I see the small shot pattern as a benefit for the kids, I want them to learn to shoot true...and not be rewarded for bad shooting because of a large shot pattern...while time in the woods should be enjoyable for kids, it's not all about getting, it's about learning and trying, and more is learned from a miss any day....less bb's usually equal better birds to eat as well, a breast full of shot doesn't taste very good...I don't ever remember feeling under gunned as a kid with my .410, and any friends that laughed at my little .410 when we took to the field quickly changed their minds as many a grouse, quail, pheasant, chuckar, and Hun dropped from the sky to my little shot gun...and I believe I became a good wing shooter because of the time I spent with the .410..

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from texhunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

The first gun I ever hunted with was my father's bolt action .410, and I was able to take my first dove, and many more with it when I was about 8. I had already been hunting squirrels with a ruger .22 and, black birds with my old daisy pellet gun. I have always felt that starting small and aiming small eventually creates better hunters.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Shooting a 410 or 67 1/2 gauge is like this!

I can take a Air Rifle Shooter and make him a good Small Bore Shooter or a darn good High Power Shooter.

BUT!

It's difficult to do it in reverse order!

SO!

A 410 shooter can make a darn good 12 gauge shooter, but difficult in reverse oder!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I forgot to mention watching Dad with the US Air Force Skeet Team using 410 inserts in their over and under. But one thing for sure, that Winchester Model 12 he had used it for everything AAA Skeet to Ducks to making 300+ yard shots with slugs using iron sights

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I stick with 12 Ga, except for the 16Ga 870 for home defense.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kerby wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Funny thing, I was given a Savage .410/.22 O/U as a present on my 14th birthday. I had a better hit to miss ratio on ruf grouse with that gun than the 12Ga I use now. I could not, however, hit rabbits. 40 years later that gun still sits in the cabinet, doesn't fit quite like it did at 14. I use the .22 barrel on occasion for varmits but the .410 shells are to expensive in my opinion. I also have a Ithaca 66 in .410 I "inherited" from an inlaw. Maybe I'll dust one of them off, splurge for a box of 3" 6 shot and see if I've gotten an better on bunnies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian W. Thair wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

AMEN to that. Many decades ago, my first shotgun was a mistake. It was also a .410. Some 45 yrs later, I bought my first 20 to go with a cabinet full of 12's.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first was a .410 and was a frustrating experience. I soon got a 20 ga. and my success rate and confidence improved vastly. I agree that it's an expert's gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ray j wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

A pump, a bolt, 2 single shots, .22/410 o/u :-)but sold my O/u double :-( .410's are just so much fun...:-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I use all three. I use a .410 for raccoons, possums, squirrels, and stray cats. I used one of my 20ga. for deer, but now use it for skeet. I now use the other 20ga. for just blasting things. I use my 12ga. for blasting things that need blasted, and I also keep it near at hand for things that go "bump" in the night. So, yes I use them all.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I started with a springfield bolt 410 as a kid served me well with small game.Bought one used for the kids they grew up killing small game and snakes.Since my eyes have gone bad it's hard to head shoot the snakes at the creekbank so i carry the 410 and just dust them off

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

No gun cabinet is complete without a 410 in single and dble bbl. Load a few rounds with lots of powder and a Sabort for a B/P and see what you get at l00 yds. Suprise it's awsome.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Skeetrider wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

That Synergy looks terrific. It's funny how many guys would think nothing of the price if it was a side by side. The club of which Mr. Petzal and I are members still has a cadre of men who think the .410 is a beginners gun. They say "Let him/her shoot it, it will be fun". I have never understood how missing most of the targets is fun! I was lucky my Dad was not so foolish.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Keith Selvidge wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I have two .410s in my gun cabinet.One was aquired forty years ago when I was learning to hunt squirrels.The other belongs to my wife who bought it for a home defense weapon long before we were married.These are great little shotguns and they certainly have their purpose.An article I read from another gun writer about 28gauge shotguns stated that their is only a certain number of shot in the center of the pattern,regardless of gauge. If your target is very far off center,you will have a cripple or a miss.That being said,I still like my 12 gauge.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BamaHunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I am cutting down an old, cheap imported Brazilian .410 for my 6 yr old son to squirrel and deer hunt with next year. That said, AS SOON as he gets physically large enough for my 870 Youth 20 Ga the 410 will be relegated back to yard pest control. I believe they simply dont have the shot capacity to ethically hunt with them at any but the shortest ranges. I have heard people over the years say their 410 full choke "shoots so tight it's like a rifle" and that it will shoot a squirrel out of the tallest tree in Whatever county. Those people have never put their pet 410 up against a pattern board. Give me 7/8 to 1 ounce of shot for small game EVERY time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BamaHunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

PS the shot pattern isn't ANY smaller on a 410. It's fewer pellets spread more thinly over the same area. Anything farther than 15 yards and its like having only the fringes of a heavier load without the dense core.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BamaHunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

PS the shot pattern isn't ANY smaller on a 410. It's fewer pellets spread more thinly over the same area. Anything farther than 15 yards and its like having only the fringes of a heavier load without the dense core.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from captainjim wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My 1st shotgun as a kid was a Beretta single shot .410, which I still proudly own. I remember my dad taking me on my 1st rabbit hunting trip, with 3 of his co-workers. I was only 12 years old. I shocked all of the veteran hunters that day by out shooting them all. I was the only one that day that got my limit of cottontails. I fondly remember my dad bragging about how well he taught me to hunt.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from time2be wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first shotgun was a 410 bolt action from Sears. I used it to hunt rabbits, doves, and quail. I only hunted squirrels with a 22. I praticed a lot with it till I could bring down the birds and rabbits with the 410. Today I still own a 410 H&R breakdown. I still like to take it out and use it for small game.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Morris wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I have a few 410s but shoot them not too often. The darn ammo is as expensive as "real" 12 guage ammo. The guns serve a real pupose never the less. I have taught my 4 boys at a young age how to shoot trap "at close range" with the .410. They quickly learned the idea of follow through and pulling the triger vs. squeezing with a rifle. I got the 410s cheap and they are still fun. Would love to have a lever action 9410.
Morris

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunting022 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Started with a J C Higgins 410 from Sears, still in my safe. All my kids used it to learn with. It sits right along side my Remington 48 in 410 that I use for rabbits. I wouldn't get rid of either one, plan on passing them to the garndkids.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from .30cal fan wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

i started out with a 410 some times i squirrel hunt with it some but mostly take it on scouting trips for snakes

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I thought every serious hunter owned a 410, either dble or single. If he does not, then it's time he added one. I boght a new 410 i l967, sawed the bbl to l6" and cut the stock to the hand grip, added a sling. Thats my saddle horse gun, does wondes to thoe pesty rattlers and not bad if a un wanted stray animal wonders in your yard r human for that matter. A 420 is by far moe safe for a beginning hunter than a 22 LR.I opened the shell of a 410, poured out all the powder, then refiled with my own brand.I added a special molded bullet ( really a lead tube) woich is l/2" long, after filling with all the powder i could get in a 3" shell and the lead bullet, i sealed the very end with yhot glue gun. Now you got a load that can and will kill a deeer to about l00 yds.O, forgot to add the rear sight made by my gun smith, which is like the Marlin 336 for adjustments. Happy New Year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Do any yoys have the e-mail a address of Bill Jordon or a way to make sure he gets the message? many thanks if you can.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Gunslinger,
If I'm not mistaken Mr. Jordan is dead, unless your talking of someone else.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from green pond mike wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

A friend of mine seemed to do very well with a 410. I've witnessed him shooting down a flying bat with it. I have owned 3 myself. The one I have now and the one before it, both NEF pardners, havn't seen too much action. My first 410 killed a running squirrel at a distance that I would consider a stretch for any guage. That particular 410 didn't even have a brand name--it was like it was generic or something, but it seemed to have "made for Kmart" on the barrel. THAT gun broke down into 3 parts in under 1/2 a minute and went together just as quick--without any tools. That was one sweet shooting gun and I wished I'd never traded it off. I think a 410 does a lot better in hunting situations than they do on paper. I've even read where deer have been taken with 410 slugs. My only experience with a 410 slug is on a cerial box in a tree at a distance the width of a gas pipelike right of way. Windage was on the money, but it shot 2 inches high.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I started with an old Stevens 16 ga. side by side. My grand dad said it would make me think twice about shooting something that didn't necessarily need it. I still have it and treasure it today. Nice thread.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

no .410 but my grandpa has a savage .410/.22 that i whant to get

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paratrooper Dave wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

12/29/09

Nice write-up about the +'s/-'s of the 410.

In your article, you mentioned the Winchester 9410. Try a Marlin 39A or 39AS and you will find it will run circles around any other 22LR Levergun

Best to all for 2010 !!!

Paratrooper Dave

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nic Meador wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

a 410. is my rabbit gun. an old wingmaster 870. i love shooting that gun. One gauge you dont hear a lot about is a 28, also a great gauge for small game.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dchassell wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I started out with an old .410 pump dove hunting. It wasn't too long after that my dad upgraded me to a remington 870 20 gauge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from birdshooter wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I like the 410 as an introduction to shooting sports. At our youth day camps we let anyone interested try shooting a 410 at stationary targets. This shows the lethality of any firearm and also show how much fun it can be to shatter a clay target. Personally, I am not a good enough of a shot to try taking a 410 out in the field for any game birds. They are fun to shoot!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from camerontcraig wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

I know I'm late coming to this one, but I can't resist. I started shooting trap with my dad and his friends when I was 5. One of Dad's friends had a single shot .410 that he loaned us so that I could become accustomed to the noise, and feel of a shotgun. By the time I was 8 I was hitting 48 out of 50 from the trap thrower, much better than most of the adults with pump and O/U big guns.

I think the .410 is a great way to introduce kids to the shooting sports as well as teach them about accuracy and "gun control"- the kind it takes to hit a dove at 25 yds, not the kind that takes our guns away.

I'm reminded of a quote from one of my favorite movies "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson "Aim small, Miss small" that quote says it all. Nothing could have prepared me better for a life long love of hunting and shooting than that single shot .410.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alexis Cooper M... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I have been given a New England Firearms Pardner model SEI 410 GA 3' FULL P.
I went to our local Firearms store and shooting range and gave him the above information and he sold me FEDERAL BUCKSHOT 2 3/4 inchg shells...

I have never owned a shotgun before and it seems that I could handle this small one, but looking at the shell it is not going to fit in the shotgun... I have called several stores and no one carries the correct ammo...???? Any suggestions? Also do you think this shotgun is a good and reliable weapon to have for home defense, snakes, varmits around the yard???? I am not a strong woman, and am not young, so I thought I could surely handle it. Any comments would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Cactusgal

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment