Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Personal Protection Rounds - Kickin' It with A .410 Shotgun

I grew up using a .410 shotgun to hunt doves and have always had a "love" for these little shotguns. They can be quite versatile if you add some personal protection rounds to go along with your regular shotshells. You can add a little more kick to your .410 shotgun without making it a "recoil monster" that can scare some shooters away from using a shotgun.

One of the items that I've added to my ammunition inventory is Winchester 2 1/2 " 000 buckshot in .410 gauge. While this shotshell load has only 3 pellets (the 3" 000 buckshot in .410 has 5 pellets), it is a very effective round at 20 to 25 feet and has approximately the same ft/lbs of energy as a .44 Magnum round. This can turn your "little" .410 shotgun into a personal defense firearm quite easily.

Although I wouldn't recommend this round for deer hunting (where it's legal for shotguns), I think it would be excellent against larger varmints like coyotes, bobcats or big gophers (the Texas Maximus).

While it does add considerably more kick than standard .410 shotshell loads, it is still very manageable for almost anyone, including younger children and adults of a smaller stature.

With a muzzle velocity of 1135 fps, this should be a more than adequate round for use in a self defense situation or hunting smaller game.

You can check out the availability of 000 buckshot for your .410 shotgun here:

Even if a .410 shotgun is the only firearm you own, you can still make it suitable for use in a self defense scenario by having this item in your personal ammunition inventory.

I've also included a few pics of my H&R Topper Model 88 .410 shotgun.

Got personal protection rounds?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

I keep a few S&B buckshot loads as well for my .410s too, because like you said - you just never know. I had no idea they had that kind of power, but it makes sense - getting hit by three of a kind has to have some sting, right?

The 'handiest' .410 I have is a 10" T/C Contender barrel, which gets past the less than mandatory 18" shotgun barrel length by being chambered for the .45 Colt in a rifled barrel. My boss had one of those .410 derringers - whoo man, did he have some things to say about that one. A little too much, at least for pleasant shooting experiencs.

I have a coupla single shot longarms much like the H&R you have - my first shotgun was a Savage 94Y, which is now carried by my wife - she loves it!

Any experience with that Academy sold Yildiz? Its a very light folding shotgun with a long 28" barrel (very quiet) but recoil is a bit stout because of light weight. It is priced to move - approximately $120 NIB! Might give this one a look - we like 'em.

Anonymous said...

That's a nice .410 RW. Would be good for girls wanting to start shooting shotguns. A 12 gauge can kick pretty good if you're not used to it.

Kentucky Preppers Network

western mass. man said...

If you like the .410, how bout this for versatility...


One weapon that fires both the .410 and the .45 and you can even alternate the rounds. I saw it at a gun shop in Rhode Island last week. Price wasn't bad either, $475 in the box if memory serves.

Mayberry said...

"She stepped into the alley with a single shot .410, the road goes on forever and the party never ends"....

Nice gun RW!

SurvivalTopics.com said...

Many elementary school age kids start off with this gun, but don't underestimate it! Nice little survival gauge, and for those of small stature.

Joel the K said...

A friend of mine has a 410. The user manual says to use 3" shells. Can it also take the 2-1/2" shells? Maybe it was 2-3/4" ? I cant remember. But I do know that there are 3" shells and shorter shells. Does it matter? Also, can slugs be used in the same barrel as bird-shot shells? Forgive my ignorance. The only firearm I ever got to know well was the M-16. I always had airguns growing up. But I always see all these different length shells for 410 and even 20 and 12 guage too. Does it matter? Would it cause the gun to misfire or explode if the wrong length were used?

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 6:21

The Thompson Contender's are a nice firearm but pack a lot of punch in a small package. While a great item, they could be difficult for someone of smaller stature to shoot. I would love to have one myself but right now having problems just affording the ammo for the firearms I currently own. The prices have gotten so high that I don't shoot as many practice rounds as I should because of the sheer cost of replacement ammo. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: matthiasj

Many people start out with a .410 shotgun as a starter type firearm and work there way up to something bigger as they become familiar with using a shotgun.


riverwalker said...

To: western mass.man

Thanks for the link! A great little alternative but it is still a bit pricey. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

Nice little quote. You need to be careful when you're wandering around those back alleys!LOL


riverwalker said...

To: survivaltopics

I started off in middle school using a Stevens double barrel .410 and it served me well. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: Joel the K

If your shotgun is chambered for 3 inch rounds, you can shoot the shorter 2 1/2 inch rounds without a problem but not vice versa. A .410 chambered in 3 inch will shoot both the 3 inch 000 buckshot (5 pellets) or the 2 1/2 inch 000 buckshot (3 pellets), which adds to its versatility. The same applies to other shotgun gauges but I think the 000 buckshot is only available in .410 and 12 gauge. Thanks.


shiloh1862 said...

.410 is a good snake gun too :)


Anonymous said...

Totally understand the T/C comment. Durn expensive now.

Only reason I mentioned was that I had purchased one many years ago, so paying the $120 for a used .410 barrel made sense to me. The initial expense is the receiver - you can buy the barrels for surprising little money after that.

Also a good gun for training a young hunter, a .22 / .223 / .30-30 barrel kit is a lightweight compact kit that fits in a small space. Teaches them to make their shots count.

If seeking compact .410, someone makes the Survivor, which is .410 / .45 Colt for reasonable cost (<$200). Be aware these convertibles will not shoot the Colt round accurately, 3" groups at 25 yards about it. But in an emergency, enough to gain you some venison.

The Snakecharmer is a good snake gun, but lack of stock makes it a bit difficult for longer range accuracy. For snake protection - it will do.

riverwalker said...

To: shiloh1862

Agreed! They are great for taking care of snakes. I'm still considering the .410 for use as a truck gun, especially with a few personal protection rounds to go with it. Thanks Pickdog!


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:41

Too bad I didn't buy every used gun for sale out there BEFORE the election...I could have made a small fortune! The .410 shotshells have always been pretty high as far as cost goes but .410's are compact and easy to carry. You right that the range is fairly limited but still good as far as a varmint gun is concerned. Thanks.


John C said...

Check out this youtube video of converting a 410 to use as a 410 or 45 long colt

riverwalker said...

To: John C

I watched the video and they said they shortened the barrel 5 inches to remove the "choke" portion of the barrel. Don't know if that keeps it at a legal length of 18 inches. The buckshot loads work pretty well without having to modify the barrel. Thanks for the link.


Anonymous said...


Great article. I thought I recognized that shotgun. I have one JUST LIKE IT!

Late last year I inherited all the guns my grandfather had. One of them was an H&R .410. I haven't taken it out yet but I plan to. I'm also going to pick up some ammo based upon what you mentioned here.

Good stuff!


riverwalker said...

To: jason

A .410 gauge shotgun can be a great little gun. Easy to use and compact.

Thanks Jason!


Anonymous said...

I own the Snake charmer, a great little survival shotgun !Alittle trick to make your .410 shotgun alittle more powerful if all you have is the #8 shot, cut off the top of the shell and pour out the shot, replace it with several .177 airgun pellets or BB's(about 5 or 6)or even two fired ,22 bullets, reseal the top of the shell with hot wax !A small bird shot shell becomes a .410 shell for personal protection !

Scott said...

I grew up with this exact H&R 410 (Toppper 88), I can't tell you how many rabbits and squirrels I could bring home after a day out in my farm's timber. Comfortable to carry, light, virtually no recoil so you can shoot it all day long. I just recovered it from my dad's estate sale after not having it for 30 years or more, and it still looks great. Lots of great memories with the shotgun.

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