.410 bore is a great way to learn gun safety.
The little .410 shotgun has proven itself to be a great size for target shooting, small game and more. We have even heard about some people using it as a self-defense round for close range threats like snakes. There are even a few home defense shotguns floating around in .410 bore.
The great thing about .410 is that ammo is cheap, readily available and has minimal recoil. That means this is the ideal shotgun for new shooters and hunters, especially the younger ones.
Today we will look at some of the more popular .410 bore shotguns on the market today. These may be little guns, but they make it up for firepower in versatility and function.
Mossberg 510 Mini Super Bantam
This pump-action gun is primarily marketed towards youth hunters, but it could be a good option for older hunters who want something light and with less intensive recoil too. Mossberg offers the .410 version of this gun in several different finishes including synthetic, blued and wood and Mossy Oak Break-Up camo. It has an 18.5-inch vent rib barrel and a capacity of 2+1. The big selling point of this gun is that the synthetic stock has a spacer so you can adjust the fit for a growing young hunter. This gun can chamber 3-inch shells. Mossberg kept the overall length to 34.75 inches and the weight down to five pounds, making it easy to handle for youngsters who are not ready for a full-size gun just yet.
Henry Lever-action .410
While the Henry name is well known for their rifles, they also make a full line of .410s. These shotguns are often much more affordable than some of their rifle designs. This lever action shotgun uses many of the same design principles to make it one of the more interesting .410 gauge guns you will see. This would be a great small game or turkey hunting gun. The action is modeled off what Henry uses for their ever-popular .45-70 rifle. The Henry has a classic blued finish with a walnut stock and forend. There will not be much recoil, but what little there is will be soaked up by a generous recoil pad. The tube magazine holds five rounds and a 24 or 20-inch barrel length gives a little more accuracy to this firearm. The one downside is that this gun can only chamber 2.5-inch shotgun shells. Other than that, this is a solid gun that will be as much fun in the brush as it is on the range. Henry also makes a couple shortened versions of this gun including their non-NFA "Axe" which is based on their popular "Mare's Leg" rifle designs. A good option if you are looking for a short gun that is discreet and easy to stash away in a truck or tractor.
Stevens 301 Single Shot
The use of .410 bore as a turkey gun has started to take off in recent years. With the right birdshot load and the right choke, it is more than capable of taking down a big gobbler. If you are looking for a solid turkey gun, this offering from Savage Arms is a good option. This break action single shot comes fitted with a 26-inch barrel and an extra-full choke tube for tight patterns. The 3-inch chamber allows this gun to handle magnum turkey loads. This gun comes pre-fitted with a rail, perfect for a small red dot sight. It also has a bead sight system compatible with TruGlo for turkey hunters looking for a little more simplicity. This gun is offered with a synthetic stock and forend in either Mossy Oak Obsession or Bottomland to blend into your surroundings. The best part is the price. The MRSP is only about $200 and this gun can usually be found for much less than that.
Browning Citori White Lightning Small Gauges
When it comes to a top of the line skeet or bird hunting gun, it is hard to argue against Browning. The Citori line are some of the highest quality shotguns on the market. Most hunters are familiar with these over-and-unders, but in larger gauges. This gun has a 26-inch barrel and a beautiful blued and silver nitride finish that offsets nicely with the satin finish walnut stock. The receiver is also beautifully engraved for an additional touch of class. This is not your average .410 and the price reflects that. However, that also makes this a gun you can pass down to future generations. Browning includes three invector choke tubes with this gun and the recoil pad helps make this gun even easier to handle. It is sure to be a hit your next time on the skeet or trap range.
Remington 870 410 Turkey TSS
The classic Remington 870 platform is one of the best pump guns on the market today. Remington made this gun specifically for use on turkey with the high density TSS loads that have become popular in recent years. This gun features a 25-inch vent rib barrel and is covered with a Realtree Camo finish. The extended full choke means tight patterns that will bring large gobblers down in a hurry. This gun also gives you the option of mounting a sight with the rail system. This gun is the perfect package for newer turkey hunters or seasoned vets looking for a new challenge.
Mossberg 500 All Purpose
The Mossberg 500 has been a proven firearm for larger gauge shotguns for decades. It makes perfect sense for the company to downsize the platform to .410 bore. This would be the ideal first pump gun for a new or younger shooter thanks to a manageable weight of just 6.25 pounds. The tang safety will also be easy for them to operate. It has a 24-inch vent rib barrel that can handle both 2.5 and 3-inch shotshells. It has a fixed full choke. This is ready to hunt right out of the box. At $349, it also comes at a great price point for newer shooters who are looking for a firearm with easily manageable recoil. Mossberg also makes a turkey variant of the 500 for hunters who want to focus exclusively on dropping big Toms every spring.