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Discussion Starter #1
How does the 2 1/2" load compare to the 3" load. Several of the stores that I go to in my area are almost overstocked with the shorter shells and the 3" shells are sometimes harder to find. Just wondering. I have shot the 3" load for many years but have never tried the shorter ones. I use them mostly for grouse and snowshoe hares.
 

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I've found the 2-1/2" pattern better in my three 410's. Most everyone suffers from the bigger has to be better mentality.
 

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I've never done any serious pattern testing with any of my .410's, but a lot of people do say they get better (more even) patterns with the 2 1/2" shells.

Seeing as how a .410 is essentially a 25 yard (maybe 30 at most) gun individual pellet energy isn't as critical as it would be with a gun you're shooting at 40 yards or more. What this means is you can go to the next smaller shot size and gain pattern density and still have sufficient individual pellet energy for clean kills.

For example: If you're currently shooting 11/16oz. loads of #6 shot (155 pellets) you could go to a 1/2 oz. load of #7 1/2 shot (175 pellets), and the smaller shot would have ample energy for grouse, and even snowshoe hares at .410 ranges.

And like rswink said - pattern some loads and see what looks best on paper. Each gun is different and will usually show a preference.
 

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Never really had a option between 2 1/2 or 3 inch. the Old Ivers Johnson only chambers the 2 1/2 loads as it is also a 44 lug gun.

Got really hard in the 1970 to find 2 1/2 shells so when I ran across them I would buy a bunch.

Then I started hand loading them always used 7 1/2 shot when hand loading. How ever been years since I have shot it at game. I tend to grab the 16 instead these days.

:D Al
 

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Every 410 I've owned patterned better with 2 1/2" shells. I think the longer shot column results in more deformed BB's and therefore flyers widening the pattern. Not all bad on a flushing grouse but leaving holes a clay bird can get through.
 
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