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BobT

.410 vs. 12ga.

22 posts in this topic

A collegue and I were discussing shotgun slugs and the question came up about why 12ga. is more often used than .410. We've been trying to find some ballistic data that compares the two but came up empty so far. Anyone here have some information along these lines? Trajectory, retained energy, etc? Seems that the .41 caliber pistol is a popular big game load, why not the .410 shotgun slug?

We both suspect that the .410 will likely carry a flatter trajectory and have similar muzzle velocity to the 12ga. but would like more accurate information.

Thanks,

Bob

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If you go to federal's website you can download a ballistics chart for everything they make. I'm not a slug hunter, and I reload everything else I shoot, so I can't give you any first hand experience with them. But, this is still handy to have and I use it often for some quick comparisons. It will give you trajectory, energy, wind drift etc... in increments of 50 or 100 yards starting at the muzzle and going out to 500 yds. Hope this helps.

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I've been under the impression there is not a .410 slug load available, but I could be wrong. Some comparison would be interesting...I can't see the .410 being a legit slug gun for deer. Hope to see some info posted soon!

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Federal site will answer your question. But I could tell you quick. Energy energy energy!! The 12ga has 2518 at muzzle the .410 has 762. At 50 yds 12ga has 1744 the .410 has 432. the min recomended for deer is around 600-700ftlbs. Also the 12ga weighs 438gr the .410 weighs in at 109gr. I do know a few who have taken deer with .410 but honestly more suited for Coyotes. Do the deer a favor and use a 12ga or 20ga. Actually the 12ga shoots just as flat as the .410 so I really can't see why a person would use the .410 for deer unless that is your only gun owned. The velocitys of the 12ga and .410 are within a few ftsec. Balistically the .410 is very close to the .41mag the .410 is a tad faster but the .41 uses a heavier projectile. if you are going to use a shotgun please do the deer a favor and use the bigger 12ga!

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There are 410 slugs out there, but I have not used them to take a deer. I read an article once that questioned the validity of the 410 slug for big game due to low velocities and knock down power. From what I remember, they claimed that it hits an animal with a lot less force than a pistol or rifle load of the same size. My guess would be a low powder capacity. It also said that for slugs, 20 guage was the minimum.

I have used 12 guage slugs quite a bit. The old pumpkin slugs for smooth bores hit like a ton of bricks. With sabots, I have found that at close range, you can pencil a deer if you don't hit bone, and they will run quite a ways before they expire. I have only shot one deer with them that folded on the spot. All others have ran at least 50 to 75 yards or more before they go down. All from well placed shots, but the good part is that they do die though.

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I have seen .410 in action and I am not impressed. The animal was shot at 30 yards in the sweet spot, and we allowed 20 min for her to lay up. She ran 250 yards before laying down. We are not talking about a large deer either, it was a 1 1/2 year old doe.

When I caught up with her she was still very alive and I put her down with a final head shot at point blank range. The slug did not exit the skull at a distance of 20 feet. After field dressing I found the slug from the first shot, and it had entered 1 lung and stopped, she still had a good pump and 1 good breather.

Had that been a 12ga or even a 20ga that slug would have exited with authority and she would not have gone 30 yards if that.

There is nothing behind that .410 slug IMO and wish the DNR would ban them for deer hunting. Save the .410 for varmints.

Just my 2 cents.

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I would agree with Ed on using a 410 for deer,to small.Now a 20ga might be a pretty good slug.But,how do you beat the power of the 12.?

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I have found .410 slugs, and I bought some. In my opinion, the 12-gauge is far superior, for a number of reasons. First is that the 12 will drop a deer in its tracks, if you make a decent hit. More energy downrange, due to the similar velocity but greater mass. Also, 12 gauge rifled slugs are cheaper! I paid something like 6 bucks for 5 slugs for my .410, and 3.50 for the 12-gauge slugs.

I've seen and heard about too many deer, hit in the vitals with a .410 slug, that were never recovered. They are an alright load for keeping foxes out of the chicken coop, and that's about it, as far as I'm concerned. Legal for deer, yes, but not ethical (IMHO).

Ben

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Thanks for the info. Sounds like an overwhelming majority would shy away from using the .410. Actually, it looks more or less unanimous.

Bob

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I went to the Federal web sight and did a comparison and here is the data;

.410

Velocity

Muzzle------25 yds------50 yds-----75 yds------100 yds

1775---------1540--------1337-------1175--------1061

Energy

762-----------574--------432--------334---------277

12 ga

Velocity

Muzzle------25 yds------50 yds------75 yds------100 yds

1610---------1467--------1340--------1229--------1139

Energy

2518--------2090---------1744--------1468--------1206

I would say the numbers speak for them self.

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A .410 is OK for the young kids or the ladies....my mom used one for as many years as I can remember and she has gotten a deer evey year....again the problem lies like everyone said......the farther the distance the least amount of knockdown power......50 yrd max shot with a .410.

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I don't think a .410 should be allowed for deer. It doesn't have the power to consistantly kill deer cleanly. I know deer can be killed with it, they can also be killed with a .22 but that doesn't make it a deer cartridge. I started my sons with a scoped 20 gauge with Brenneke slugs and limited them to shots under 50 yards. If you respect the deer enough to hunt them, use enough gun for a humane kill.

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I have used a .410 to shoot a deer, it does the job, but like other posters have stated, the range should be kept short, like 25 -30 yards. As for those that say the .410 should be outlawed for deer, I have chased far more deer wounded with a .243 than from anyother firearm. Should the .243 be banned?

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I have also seen a lot of deer, shot with a .243, lost. That's a whole different can of worms, though. I'm not sure, but I would imagine that the .243 carries more energy downrange due to its velocity.

I've always been told, and I live by this: Shoot the heaviest gun or bow you can shoot accurately.

Ben

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Good post guys! A 12 ga. is .73 when fired as a slug while a .410 is around .45. Like the earlier data said, the 12 ga. is a bigger, more powerful animal. I shot my first deer with a .410 so I do have a sentimental spot for it. That being said, I would get my child into a 20 ga. way before a .410.

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The main thing with any weapon is shot placement, resonable distances and hunter ability.

.410, .243, .270, 30-06, blackpowder or archary, a poorly placed shot and the animal will run.

Along with shot placement is reasonable distance. To 30 yards and well placed a .410 may be adiquate, and there inlies the problem. I usually see the .410 put in the hands of a kid or first time hunter that usually does not have the experience to place a shot well, wait for the animal to present a standing broadside, or come to with in a distance suitable for the weapon. In this situation I am a great advocate of a 30-30. The recoil is managable, the weapon has enough umph to do the job. If you are in the shotgun zone I guess 20ga would be my choice.

This also falls into the ability of the hunter and the ability to recognize your own personel limitations. I take 40 yard shots at deer with my bow because I can do it effectivly, it falls with in my limitations. If they are 50 yards I let them walk. I have nothing to prove by taking long, low percentage shots and leave them on the range.

IMO

16 Days till opener grin.gif

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My brother used a .410 until the 10 pointer he hit kept on walking as though nothing happened. It was not a long distance shot, 35 yrds or less. My son-in-law from No. Dak. says for that reason, .410 slugs aren't allowed over there. At least they weren't when he was hunting there.

I use a 50 year old .16 guage....no problems dropping them when I see them. So if a .16 guage works, a .12 should be even better.

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Like LoveToHunt says, it's a matter of shot placement and target distance. Get far enough away and any projectile will lose enough energy to be inadequate. Place the shot poorly and the deer may just keep going.

I've shot deer with my 30-06 using 180gr projectiles and watched them take off like they were missed. Fortunately for me, my shot placement was good and they fell soon enough for me to find them. The problem? Poor bullet choice. I was using Winchester Silver-tip in close range. The bullet didn't mushroom so had I not peirced the heart as I did, the deer may still be alive today.

I've seen a doe hit from less than 30yds using a .375 Weatherby magnum only to have it get up a run away as the shooter was walking toward it never to be seen again. The problem? Poor shot placement. Certainly a heavy enough caliber with plenty of punch.

I can see by the balistic charts that the .410 just wouldn't be a very reliable choice expecially in the hands of a greenhorn who is more likely to not place the shot well.

Bob

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I will add visual to this subject.

I took the balistics from .410, 12ga, .243 and 30-06 and plotted them on a line graph so you can see the results.

Obviously the 30-06 is head and shoulders above the rest but that was expected. But the .410 balistics and extreamly low to be considered adiquate. It also shows that velocity isn't everything.

balistics.jpg

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Iowa does not allow any shotgun slug less than 20 gauge to be used on deer. I think the reasons are pretty obvious and have been explained by others. You can kill a deer with a .22 but it is not practical nor is a .410 slug.

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Ahhhh.....the .410 slug. We'd shake our heads at every person who came in to buy them. We'd try to talk folks out of it, but if it's legal, some guys are gonna use it, regardless of the ethics.

When stocking them, we'd refer to this round as "the crippler". mad.gif

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I was always taught, by my father and grandfather, that we have an ethical obligation to make quick,clean kills. We must learn to shoot straight and use enough gun. I know some of these old fashioned ideas bother many of todays young hunters, but I gotta say that aside from the fact that use of a .410 for deer hunting is use of an improper tool ir is, to me, unsporting. We still have to maintain respect for the animals we hunt.

Leave the .410 for what it was designed for: Rook hunting in Europe.

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