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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to sort out this Versa-Pack I bought recently. I've burnished the .410 full choke barrel's bore and there is no burr at the threaded hole for the bead. Still shoots a little high at 30 yards and the pattern is full of holes and much larger and 'open' than a full choke ought to be. Shoots slugs (2.5" Remingtons) just fine. A consistent 2" group at 30 yards that is about 3" high and 2.5" to the right (I can work with that!). But refuses to pattern Remington 3" #6 worth a darn. I've heard rumors that .410's don't like 3" shot shells and pattern better with 2.5" shot shells. Is this generally true? The 3 inchers are everywhere here but the 2.5" are very hard to find in my locale. This is the first .410 I've messed with, generally sticking with the 12 and 20 guages. The .410 seems like a whole 'nother animal. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
 

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Re: .410 barrel pattern just plain stinks!

See if you can fine a Gunsmith that can do a forcing cone job on a .410 most times it will cost 35-40 bucks. it will help dense up that pattern. it will improve the transition of the shot from the chamber to the barrel.
if you look into the breech of your empty shotgun barrel you see the chamber. ther is a lip from the chamber to the barrel. a forcing cone reamer eliminates that ridge. it makes it cone shaped  so when you look into the chamber you see a darkish ring vs a ridge. it makes the transition from the chamber to the  barrel smoother for the shot . anytime you lessen the disruption you get better paterns especially with 2 3/4 shell into 3 & 3 1/2 chambers hels slugs some what also
Foggy
 

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Re: .410 barrel pattern just plain stinks!

Try 7 1/2 shot. I have a 12 ga. that likes 7 1/2 and 5. won't pattern 6 , 4
 

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Re: .410 barrel pattern just plain stinks!

JimG -- a forcing cone job involves lengthening the forcing cone (see Foggy's explanation). I had it done to my trap gun, and it did even up the patterns some. Should yield even better results in a .410. But -- the .410 is a finicky creature, particularly the 3". You are asking a very long shot column to produce an even pattern at 20 or 30 yards, and the only way to do it is to baby the shot as it passes from the shell through the narrow little bore and the choke. A shallow forcing cone angle helps a lot.

Another thing to consider in .410 ammo is the hardness of the shot. Most everyday shotgun ammunition is loaded with shot that is only slightly hardened with antimony. A handload made with 6% antimony target shot will pattern a whole lot better than most field-load shells. You can get high-antimony shot for handloading in field sizes (5, 6), but the only factory-loaded ammo that always has good hard shot in .410 bore are skeet loads, and they usually only come in #9.

If you don't handload, you might ask NEF if they will fit a larger-gauge barrel to your Versa-Pack frame. A 20 shooting 2-3/4" ammo doesn't kick much more than a 3" .410, and your ammo selection is much better.
 

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Re: .410 barrel pattern just plain stinks!

All gauges use the same frame for a rear reference. Therefore, for me anyway, the smaller the gauge the higher it throws the pattern. Traded off my 20 for that reason. Will replace it with a 12 and hope it doesn't kick too bad.
 

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Re: .410 barrel pattern just plain stinks!

My personal experience with my .410 Topper is that it likes 2 1/2" shells much better than 3" shells.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: .410 barrel pattern just plain stinks!

I found some 2.5" shells. Will try those soon. I actually think burnishing the bore made the problems worse! I've always burnished my NEF/H-R bores regardless of gauge or condition. Every single one improved dramatically after burnishing with '0000' steel wool. I'm going to try burnishing some more, concentrating on the forcing cone area.
 

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Re: .410 barrel pattern just plain stinks!

Burnishing seemed to have helped all three of the barrels I had done.
 
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