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Seriously guys, when is a .410 gauge prefered over any other type of firearm for hunting. I cant really think of a situation a .410 could handle that a 28 gauge or .22LR wouldnt handle. Someone please enlighten me, a buddy of mine just bought a side by side .410, It just seems so useless. Granted, they are fun to shoot targets with, but other then that it seems like a horrible game crippler. Plus ammo is way over priced for it. What are you thoughts guys?
 

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Rabbits, quail, smaller preserve birds, close doves, dog training. I know there are people that use them for wild game and even pheasants in the right situation, but I agree that for most of us they have too light a shot charge to be effective. You have to be a perfect shot to center a bird in the pattern and have the right choke to make it dense enough to kill. Very few of us are that consistantly good. On the other hand, I have known some folks that can shoot skeet as well with a .410 as I can with a 12. Inside 25 yards I suppose it can be effective in the right hands.
 

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I would expect that the guy that uses a .410 for hunting is a very good shot. Also perhaps he's got the mind set of those that hunt with flintlock muzzle loaders.
 

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I learned to shoot with a single shot .410 when I was 8 years old. Starting with dove, then quail. Excellent learning tool for a skinny young kid that can’t handle the recoil of a larger gun. You learn to pick your shots carefully as there is little room for error.

But once one can handle a larger bore I agree, the .410 has little appeal other than nostalgia. I don’t have the eyes or the patience to use one anymore.
 
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Both my son and a friends son learned to shoot quail two years ago when they were 10, the guns were easily carried and shouldered well for both of them, they now shoot 20's but still enjoy shooting the 410's for clays and occasionally on quail.
 

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I will quote a gun book of mine: "the only thing the 410 is good for is making the sport of skeet much more difficult and an ethical sportsmen would never take one in the field" He goes on to mention the high rate of cripples. I have never shot one.

I agree. I don't see why you'd buy one. a young kid can just as easily learn on a 20 g IMO like I did. i shoot 3 - 3 1/2" 12 ga sisnce i was 16 and 130lbs. when you are in the heat of the hunt you never notice recoil.
 

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Now I'm a bit puzzled. Many decry the .410 as a crippler and yet the archers out there often leave some deer to die of an infected puncture wound. Don't misunderstand, an arrow in to right place is a killer, and fairly quickly too. A load of 410's in the right place is also a killer. What we are really talking about is the difficulty of proper shot placement. Hello. Neither the Arrow or the 410 will give you a big pile of overkill to cover up the gaps in skill.
 

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The game crippler wrap is pure BS. It’s the way you use the weapon not the power that leads to wasted game. An auto-loading 12 gauge will cripple a lot more game faster than a .410 if it used improperly e.g. flock shots, out of range shots, spray and pray … I don’t know who wrote your gun book but he if that’s all he brings to the table I’ll pass on reading it.
 

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Hell NO!! Behind a good dog and someone who can actually shoot under the gun (pun intended) they're great. Good learning tool for both dogs and kids. I used to shoot a bolt action .410 in the field and rarely lost one to cripples. More often than not it was my fault being out of position or not shouldering the gun properly. The only problem with them is that the ammo has gotten too expensive any more by comparison.
 

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A nice load of 7 1/2's in 1/2 or 5/8's oz would work in the right hands. I don't know anyone that prefers a .410. I know guys that hunt with them at times. Combined with a good dog, and shots at reasonable ranges a .410 is deadly. I like a .20 most times for my upland hunting. Some wouldn't think of shooting less than a .12. Some like to bow hunt, or hunt with muzzle loaders. They have different reasons for doing so. Might be the nostalgia of the weapon. Might be they get jazzed up sneaking up on critters. Could be these kind of folks like to fish steelhead with 4 lb test. I think thats going a bit too far. Scratch that one... Could be these .410 shooters like light fast swinging shotguns, and they see no reason to shoot over 25 yds. For whatever their reason... I say good on them.
 

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My first gun was a .410, 22mag over under. I've never seen another gun like it, but boy was that thing a fun shooting grouse killing machine! Also that gun could chamber and fire 45 colt ammo too, but being the smooth bore they weren't all that accurate. It was a great gun to learn on, and definately something worth keeping
 

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Captainpuget said:
The game crippler wrap is pure BS. It’s the way you use the weapon not the power that leads to wasted game. An auto-loading 12 gauge will cripple a lot more game faster than a .410 if it used improperly e.g. flock shots, out of range shots, spray and pray … I don’t know who wrote your gun book but he if that’s all he brings to the table I’ll pass on reading it.
are you trying to say that a .410 can be used for upland and ducks? the fact of the matter is that not only are there less shot in the .410, they travel slowly and with less downrange ballistics. of course all guages and calibers can be misused and a bad shot is a bad shot but please don't try to say the .410 "when used properly" is good for anything but woodcock sized game and at close range.

with that logic you could start making the case for .22 on deer and elk becasue "when used properly" you can kill them with that caliber too.
 

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Quail – Yes
Doves – Yes
Grouse – Yes
Pheasants – No
Ducks – No
Geese – No
Turkeys – No
Woodcock – Yes
Rabbits – Yes
Raccoon - Yes
Bear - No

Rimfire for deer and elk – No

Yes, the shots must be closer than with a bigger bore. The .410 is typically choked tighter than bigger guns so up close the pattern is just as dense, but smaller.
 
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