Author Topic: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon  (Read 5685 times)

Offline rustyknife

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.410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« on: September 04, 2011, 11:00:21 PM »
Has any one tried or considered using a .410 shotgun as a survival weapon? Can you shoot 45LC through them like the handgun? A friend and I were talking about this today. No consideration was given to this as a battle weapon, just survival. Thanx in advance.
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Offline Steve Cover

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 12:17:02 PM »
First of all NEVER ATTEMPT TO FIRE A 45 BULLET THROUGH A 410 BARREL!!!
All of the 45/410 combination guns are 45's with a chamber long enough to accept a 410 shell.

If you want to shoot "Bullets", use slugs.
Being a smoothbore, accuracy will only be fair at best.

I recently did a test of a 10" Thompson Center Contender barrel chambered in 410.
Maximum practical range was about 15 yards with shot.
If anyone is interested I can also post it here.

Steve
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Offline rustyknife

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 04:47:05 PM »
Thank you Steve.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." Thomas Paine

"Survival is a form of rebellion, living is the punishment" Mr. Smith from the movie "The Way Back"

"Those who would give up freedom for a little security deserve neither" Ben Franklin

Ride hard as you can, rest when you die
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thouroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming "man what a ride!" Author unknown

Offline Sequanti

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 05:05:48 PM »
It wouldn't be my choice. I'd rather have a .22 rifle over a .410 shotgun. If you already got one, fine. But, I wouldn't tell anyone to go out an buy one for that express purpose.

Offline ArmedSuspect

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 12:49:58 PM »

i'll just put in a link to dismal .410 performance here.... http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot53.htm
sure it's out of a pistol but it's a decent indicator of what you're looking at.

my personal opinion on .410 is that it's completely worthless for everything other than small birds.... and 12ga works just fine for them.




D

Offline The Professor

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 06:12:59 PM »
Not to mention that .410 is actually more expensive to shoot than either 20 or 12-gauge.

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Offline Steve Cover

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2011, 10:09:34 PM »
(TC Contender Shot Load Tests Continued)

Next I was interested in a high velocity load in this short barrel

I chose the Remington 2 1/2" 1300 FPS Sporting Clays load of size 8 shot.



This proved to be quite a surprise.
Recoil was about the same as full power 44 magnum rounds.





10 Yard patterns were not as even as with the milder loads.
(This has been my experience in other handgun shot loads too. High Velocity = Blown Patterns)



I then moved the target out to 20 yards and fired another 2 1/2" size 8 round..



The pattern was very thin at this distance.

Moving the target back to 30 yards, I tested one more 2 1/2" round.



The pattern was totally unsatisfactory at this range.

Test conclusions:
The TC Contender barrel/choke combination appears to be limited to about 15 yards useful range.
The Russian Size 3 shot rounds produced the most even pattern and would be a very effective small game load.
Since all patters were high and to the left, I'll have to adjust the sights before the next round of tests.
Because of the short effective range, this should not be considered for aerial targets.
(Although, I plan on attempting a round of informal trap shooting to be included in the final tests)
The 000 Buckshot loads were totally unsatisfactory.
Future tests will include 410 slugs, but I have little faith in their accuracy.
Since I reload 410, I'm considering a .429 Lightweight handgun bullet in lieu of a slug.
The Russian steel cases may allow that load to happen....
As an accessory barrel for the Contender handgun, it does give shot utility at very short range for little weight penalty. 

I'll give more detail in the future tests

My Best to ALL,

Steve
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 10:31:28 PM by Steve Cover »
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Offline Steve Cover

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2011, 10:15:32 PM »
(TC Contender Shot Load Tests Continued)

Next up were the Federal Size 4 and Size 6 3" loads.




Again recoil was not harsh.





10 Yard patterns were again larger than my target, but evenly spread. Patterns were again centered left and higher than point of aim.



Size 4 Shot



Size 6 shot

(Continued Next Post)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 10:29:37 PM by Steve Cover »
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Offline Steve Cover

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2011, 10:17:34 PM »
(TC Contender Shot Load Tests Continued)

Next up was a Russian 410 3" steel case load of # 3 shot designed for use in the Saiga 410 Carbine.



The Steel case is not folded into a crimp, so the cartridge is a full 3" long.



The cartridge did easily chamber in the contender.



Recoil was stiffer than the 000 Buck loads, but not unpleasant at all.





10 Yard pattern was larger than my 8.5"x11" target, but showed an even spread.





The pattern centered high and to the left of point of aim.

(Continued Next Post)
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Offline Steve Cover

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2011, 10:21:38 PM »
Here is another 410 Handgun Shot test

I've experimented with handgun shot loads for over 40 years.
I'm still working on a comprehensive test and discussion of Revolver & Pistol shot loads.

However, I recently completed a test of survival shot loads for the 10" Barrel TC Contender single shot handgun.

About 30 years ago, my wife bought me a Thompson Center Contender single shot handgun.
Knowing my interest in survival handguns, she chose the 44 Magnum/Hot Shot Cap barrel. It was a very interesting choice.
Not only would it shoot 44 Magnum ball loads, but when you screwed on the special choke, it would also shoot TC 44 Magnum Hot Shot Caps that held about the same amount of shot as a 2 1/2" 410 shot shell.
Unfortunately, the TC shot cap ammunition was about 10 times the cost of normal 410 cartridges.
Also, full power 44 Magnum loads in the old "saw handle" Contender were brutal!!

Thompson Center also offered (and still does) a 45 Colt/410 barrel for the Contender.

This combination never made much sense to me because the .410 wad would allow a lot of blow-by rattling down the .452" bore.

However, the 44 Magnum's .429" bore was much closer.
So, I elected to have my barrel rechambered to .410 3".

As such, it adds quite a value to my BOB arsenal.

I plan to do a much more in depth evaluation, when I take on the entire handgun shot report in the future.
But you may find my preliminary test useful.

First test was Winchester's 2.5"  000 Buck load (3 shot per cartridge)
This is the load used by 410 Derringers.

I was interested in seeing if the Buckshot would be accurate through the rifled 8" barrel (Choke removed).





Recoil was not as sharp as I expected.



However, accuracy at 10 yards was horrible.



I also attempted to chronograph the 000 Load.
Not only did the round not register on my chronograph, but the wad struck the chronograph frame!





(No further shot loads were chronographed)

Since only two of the three buckshot cut paper at 10 yards, further tests of the 000 Buck Shot round were terminated.

(Continued Next Post)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 10:26:44 PM by Steve Cover »
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Offline mobilus

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2011, 12:09:57 AM »
Steve, thanks for the write up and pictures.  Sorry about the chrono...that must have really been a bummer.

Offline TANK

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2011, 03:51:02 PM »
Steve is right the .410 shot gun barrel will not handle the increased pressure the 45 LC has, If you try to shoot a 45 LC out of a shotgun barrel you might have a real problem with the gun and you being in little pieces. But on the other hand buy a Judge or some other firearm designed to fire both.

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2011, 02:08:20 AM »
Steve is right the .410 shot gun barrel will not handle the increased pressure the 45 LC has, If you try to shoot a 45 LC out of a shotgun barrel you might have a real problem with the gun and you being in little pieces. But on the other hand buy a Judge or some other firearm designed to fire both.

My concern isn't the pressure difference as much as the difference in size!

A 45 Colt bullet measures .452"
A 410 bore is only .410"

Literally all 45/410 combination guns are bored .452".... They are a 45 that has a chamber long enough to fit a 410 shell into.
The 410 shot column easily rattles down the larger .452" bore.

However, if someone manages to chamber a 45 Colt cartridge into a 410 shotgun, they are trying to squeeze a .452" diameter bullet into a .410" tube....
It's the same as trying to fire a 308 in a 270.... Bullet too big to fit in the barrel.... Pressures skyrocket.... Gun shatters... BOOM!!!

Steve
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Offline ArmedSuspect

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 08:58:40 AM »

Steve,

  THANK YOU!!!!!!



Offline Cacinok

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 12:19:18 PM »
Great info Steve. 

I have an old Stevens-Savage  .410 and it works great around the property for snakes and, of course, small birds at a fairly close range.  Other than that, I wouldn't count on it for much more than that.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2011, 06:38:24 PM »
I have an older Remington 11-87 semi auto 410. Fun gun to shoot. It can be made to work, but you have to know your pattern / range / shot combinations well.

Offline Veritas

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Re: .410 shotgun as a survival weapon
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2011, 10:08:17 AM »
definitely a .22 over a .410.

Any gun is better than a sharp stick, but given the choice, I would choose a .22 a thousand times over a .410. It's just much more versatile. And you can carry about a thousand rounds of .22 in the same space you can carry 50 .410 shells.
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