410 Shotgun for Home Defense?


410 Shotgun for Home Defense?

Paul Harrell has taken a look at a pile of popguns in his videos, and in this one he deals with using a 410 shotgun. Specifically, a 410-bore (not “gauge” because the 410 is designated by its approximate caliber — .410″ — instead of a gauge) for home defense.

Some may say, “It’s a shotgun, therefore it’s got to be good for home defense. Right?” Well, no. The 410 holds a much smaller payload of shot than 20-gauge or 12-gauge shotgun shells.

He begins by comparing 000, or “triple-ought” buckshot, in 2.75″ 12-gauge shells and 3″ 410 shells. The 12-gauge shells hold 8 of the .36-caliber round pellets while the 410s hold 5.

12 gauge velocity averages out to 1285 fps, while the 410s average 959. This in itself is an effective indicator that the 410 is substantially weaker than the 12 gauge. While 5 pellets per shell vs 8 isn’t that big a difference, the energy behind those pellets is quite a bit lower coming from a 410.

Further experimentation shows that, at the close ranges of home defense, both the 12 gauge and 410 will deliver all of their pellets to a target. The 12 gauge will definitely hit with more authority and with more pellets per shell, but still, is the 410 “enough?” Hmmm.

Cue the patented Harrell Meat Target.

The results there show that 410 buckshot can be effective; bird shot, not so much.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to rely on a 410 to save my life, but if it was the only thing I could put my hands on in a pinch, you’d better believe I would use it until the threat was gone or I could no longer load and fire it.

Is the 410 good enough for you? As Paul says in the video, only you can decide for you.

Interested in more information on the 410? Check out this article

Maximizing .410 Performance for Hunting and Defense

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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