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I've been trying to show some attention to a few of my guns which don't see as much use as they probably should. I broke out a single shot stevens .410 yesterday that I got from my Grandfather. We had a warm front come through over the week end and with temps getting up in the high 60's I thought it'd be a good time to go for a walk and see what I could kick up. Still hunted through a pine stand and flushed some quail, The birds were a little too quick and I was a little too slow to get the hammer back. Checked out a hardwood stand adjacent to a field were I killed a doe during bow season, found part of my arrow that the deer broke off when she ran through before collapsing. Too bad it wasn't the part of the arrow with the broadhead on it. (those things are about five bucks apiece). Sat down and drank a bottle of water and ate a pack of peanut butter and crackers. Noticed a squirrel sunning himself on a limb. Dropped him and sat back down. Pretty soon another one came scratching through the leaves looking for something to eat. I added him to the first one. As I was walking down the ridge I blew the chance at a large orange fox squirrel with a larger than normal white mask on his face but was able to add another grey to the first two. The day was winding down and I wanted to check another field for deer that might be using it in the evenings. I was slipping though some think stuff along the edge and kicked up a rabbit that ran down hill about twenty yards and stopped (bad move on the bunnie's part) and with another 2 1/2" #6 I had the main course to another meal. With three bushytails and a bonus bunny I headed to the house. A day like that sure beat the heck out of cleaning out the gutters and taking down the Christmas lights. :)

Frog :D
 

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:D Howdy Ya'll

I've always left those 410's to you marksmen! I've never doubted their ability to keep meat in the pot, only my skill to use them, so I've always relied on the old Topper 20ga..

I gotta agree with frog about out weather, though, I live on the east side of I65, so we had no rain and yeaterday was a beaut!!!! I even grabbed my flyrod yesterday afternoon and headed for my favorite spot below the dam on Green River. They were discharging water fast enough that it was up in the trees, so I just sat and watched for a while. Supposed to snow by the end of the week, so I guess I'll need to change my outdoor activity.

Butler Ford
 

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.410 Can Be Practical If Used Sensibly

I used a .410 alot when I was a kid and still keep one around our country place. If you limit 2-1/2" shells to 25 yards with shot no larger than 7-1/2s and 3" shells to 30 yards with no shot larger than 6s you will do OK.

To get an idea of how well your gun shoots, get some wooden tent stakes, some 5" paper dessert plates and a steel tape. At measured distances place these paper plates which are about the same area as a game bird or rabbit at 25, 50, 75 and 100 feet. If you can staple the paper plate onto a larger backer cardboard at least 20" across, this helps to determine where the rest of the pattern goes relative to point of aim, but what you really want to do is see how many pellet hits you can get on a small game target.

To be effective you need to have a number of pellet hits on the 5" paper plate which are equal to the shot size, such as seven 7-1/2s, six 6s, etc. If you try larger shot such as 4s it will become very clear how ineffective larger shot become beyond very short ranges when there are less than 200 pellets in the shell.

A full choke .410 doesn't necessarily give you more range than a more open choke. It does tear up more eating game at short range and is more difficult for most people to hit with. While a cylinder bore is of only limited utility, an improved cylinder or modified choke will kill game reliably to 30 yards if you shoot 7-1/2s in 3" shells and 8s in 2-1/2" shells and use fine shot for everything. Beyond this range you should use a gun which enables at least an ounce of shot if you want to shoot 6s or larger.
 

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You ever notice how as a teenager all you wanted was a 12 ga. like the men used. That was the way I started. Then at age 18 I wanted a 10 ga. for waterfowl. By the time I was 35 I was using my 20 ga. more and more. Somewhere around 45 I found myself using either a 28 ga. or one of my .410's for everything except waterfowl, pheasants and turkeys. A day in the woods with a .410 just doesn't get any better. We all need to do it more. Lawdog
 

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Very true lawdog, seems to be the same with deer rifles as well. I've had 2 side by side 410s for a number of years one with rabbit ears the other hammerless. More swamp rabbits fell to the 2 1/2" #6 than any other gauge I own. It just seemed to tear them up less than my 20s,16s and 12s. Now that I think of it I never had a swamper run more than one hop after being hit by the 410. Brings back som memories frog123, I guess that's what's most important about hunting, the memories.
 

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I too learned to hunt with a old western auto bolt action 410 that was my grandfathers. I still love to hunt with it. It is light and easy to carry with mild recoil. It just grinds my gizzard for what you have to pay for a box of 410 shells now days which I dont fully understand... I know ... supply and demand and all that hooeeyyy. Maybe if there was a cheaper supply there would be a higher demand.
 

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I keep a .410 around for chores like keeping red squirrels and pigeons away from the house!
I reload my own 2 1/2 inch shells, and use #5 shot! I feel that #6 is a little light and #4 doesn't meter through my loader very well! Casings don't last that long in .410 because they feather on the case mouth and don't crimp very well after a few loadings! If the shot will stay in, until the trigger is pulled, I'm happy!
My shots range from 10 feet to 40 yards! At 10 feet, it's almost like shooting a slug (pattern about the size of a nickle) and the #5 is still effective at 40 yards!
I started out with a .410 and I guess that's what I'll end with!
 

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We have peak bunny population this year here in SW Wyo and I have been using a 28 gauge and my new Marlin Lever action .410. The .410 is a hoot to shoot and I haven't seen where I am handicapping myself when I use it. Plenty of gun for these bunnies.
 
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