Skinny on the 410 shotshell????
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default Skinny on the 410 shotshell????

Howdy folks: Does anyone know the history behind the 410 shotshell? Like when it appeared and in what gun and chamber length? Then just how the progression went regarding hull lengths on this gauge? How many were there? And reasons for each length as well as what today is considered to be commercially available for the 410. I know about the 2.5 and 3 inch, but are there others available now? Any short help or long history lesson would certainly be appreciated. Smithy.

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Old 02-10-2015, 08:46 PM   #2
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The 410 was created arriving from the needs of the museum naturalist. It was created to allow easy collection of specimens for preservation by museum expiditions in the 1800's.

It is arguably a worse choice as a defensive cartridge than a good solid rock or a stick or a whistle. Most bb guns deliver more energy on target than a 410. If your getting attacked by a finch its a great choice but thats about it

They are quite fun to shoot but its purely an entertainment and small bird round

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Old 02-10-2015, 09:47 PM   #3
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Some folks will claim it is the descendant of the 44 XL- a 44-40 cartridge with an extended paper bullet- but that was actually a similar but separate path. Generally considered to have been created by Eley in England around 1857, the first shells were 2 inch, later 2 1/2 and then 3 inch. They have been made in paper, plastic, all brass and all aluminum (US military loads for M6 survival gun)

Below is a C&P of the .410 timeline:

Time Line for .410 Cartridges
◾1870s Both center fire and pin fire in Europe. Perhaps origin of 12 mm in Germany.
◾1870s First Wilkes .410 proved by London Proof House
◾1878 Gevelot catalog listed 12 mm (.410) center fire and pin fire.
◾June 1882 Kynoch listed .410 ammo in "Shooting Times" and "The Field" advertisements.
◾1883 Purdey made .410 gun.
◾1884 Kynoch listed .410 Perfect all brass.
◾1885 Eley .410 pin fire.
◾1886 Societe Francais de Munitions catalog described 12 mm shotshell.
◾Wanting to be different from Britain, in 1810 France used two systems: One similar to the British system but based on a different pound, to determine gauge and a bore system based on the kilogram. The bore system was abandoned in 1868. Some time later, the proof house decided that guns smaller than 10.6 mm (approximately .410") would be tested differently from larger ones. Thus, Pierto Fiocchi deemed that the .410 became the divider between serious guns and play guns and that this was probably the birth of the .410—though officially 12 mm in France. (Contemporary magazine articles continue to present controversies regarding effectiveness of the .410.)
◾The London Proof House proved a .410 circa 1887.
◾Several times the European ruling commission on arms and ammunition (CIP) standardized shotshell nominal diameters. In 1914, 12, 14, 16, 20, 24, and 28 gauges. In the 20s and 30s, 14 gauge disappeared and 32 reappeared. Sometime in the 20s, perhaps spearheaded by a German or Swiss wanting a logical progression the CIP used the 36 designation. Later the CIP reverted to using the correct .410 designation. In 1961 CIP made .410 the official designation. In 1969 CIP added 36 in parentheses. For many years, manufacturers in Italy and other countries labeled 2" and 2 ½" .410s 36 gauge and 3" .410s 36 magnum. Thus hundreds of arms and ammunition manufacturers have historic and other reasons such as marketing and sales for using two or all three designations.
◾1891 Kynoch .410/12 mm for rook rifles = 2" Gastight maroon or green or 12 mm all brass.
◾1892 Eley brass, green Extra Quality 2" 3/8 oz., and similar pin fire.
◾1893 Eley solid, drawn brass
◾1898 Kynoch Perfectly Gastight 2" paper or metallic and Thin Brass.
◾1899 Eley Thin Brass.
◾1902 Eley Improved Gastight.
◾1903 London Proof House proved a cane (walking stick) gun.
◾1904 First official reference to .410 by Royal Proof House
◾1908 Kynoch had eliminated brass.
◾1910 Eley Gastight pin fire and only solid drawn brass
◾1911 Eley and Kynoch 2 ½"
◾1914 Eley Fourten 2" and Fourlong 2 ½".
◾1915 Remington 1 ½".
◾1916 Winchester 2" Repeater quality, no. 1-12 shot sizes.
◾1917 Peters 2" no cannelure.
◾1919 Eley dropped pin fire and brass.
◾1920 Winchester Repeater 2" and 2 ½" new primed empties.
◾1921 Peters 2" and 2 ½" with cannelure.
◾1926 Fiocchi catalog showed "cabibro" .410 dimensions.
◾1923 Winchester 2 ½" loaded.
◾1926 Ithaca 2 3/8" chamber.
◾1927 Winchester Repeater Speed Load and dropped 2" new primed empty.
◾1927 Midland Gun Company (England) 3" double barrel.
◾1927-1939 ICI (British) brass.
◾1931 Ithaca 2 7/8" chamber.
◾1932 Speed Loads.
◾1933 Peters 3".
◾1933 Western Cartridge Company 3" and Winchester Model 42 development of which was changed from 2 ½" to 3" at behest of John M. Olin after purchase of Winchester.
◾1935 Ithaca 3" chamber.
◾1936 Winchester number 9s listed for skeet.
◾1937 Winchester Super Speed 2 ½" and 3".
◾1939 Winchester rifled slug.
◾Early 1960s marketing of plastic cases, first roll crimp, then six pie.


My two favorite .410s- the single shot H&R I was given the day I was born by my granddad, and the Remington 1100 Light Field I inherited from my Dad.

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Old 02-10-2015, 11:36 PM   #4
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5-000 buck from a 3" 410 @ 1100 fps is not a slouch but the slugs are anemic for hunting. 1/5 oz and 1/4 oz are about all that is available. The 3" Winchester slug load is 1/4 oz (109.4 grains) @1800 fps would make a respectable self defense load along with the 000 buck load. I know there are some people loading custom slug loads that are pretty nasty. Keep in mind that 410 is more expensive than 12 gauge or 20 gauge.

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Old 02-11-2015, 05:23 AM   #5
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Folks, Folks: What can I say. Ask and you shall receive. Thanks to all and a special tip of the hat to c3shooter!!! Not only a more approving acceptance of the round, but a well documented history lesson to boot (just what I'd hoped for). I learned a lot of things tonight. I had no idea that the 410 was that old? I'd rather of guessed that it was a more modern type of thing since back to the muzzle loader days it would have really proven to be a bit lacking as opposed to the 8, 4, and 2 bore punt guns or market guns. Then it was size does matter. Making the transfer to cartridge arms and running uninterrupted till present day.

I was hoping that a 2" length was to be mentioned and it was, although I didn't read if that was a commercially available round? So is it now just the 2.5 and 3"? I didn't realize that Fiocchi had that many years behind it for another thing.

As well, did the Speed Load from Winchester only have that name as a marketing ploy or did it refer to anything of note? Another shell head scratcher was the fact that the questionable pin fire was in production for as long as it was. I'd of thought that as soon as the center fire was fully developed that the pin fire would have been dropped like a hot potato. Now for me....

I just love the round. Cheap to reload albeit expensive to acquire the hulls if buying factory rounds to get the re-loadable empties. Same primer and similar wad costs, but what a savings on shot and on powder to be sure. After 25 years of registered skeet I loved the game of doubles (12 gauge of course since there is no gauge distinction in the sport of skeet doubles leaving a 410 as a serious handicap. I loved shooting regular rounds with the 410 as that helped your shooting in every gauge for the sport period. Absolutely terrific gun for rabbit when jump shooting them. If you pop one too close, a 12 gauge would destroy the whole animal whereas the 410 will leave something to put into the pot. Useful for dove and quail as well. Deer is a new concept for me and one I felt worth pursuing as well as the home defense aspect. As a poster previously mentioned that five 000 buck does some damage at the muzzle end of things while not knocking the shooter off his/her pegs. 2" sound like the shell length of choice for my project and I have a shell cutter (electric cut off saw with a shell holder rack to hold the hull in perfect alignment at the proper length). Rounds will fit 50 to the MTM plastic 45 LC slip top box. So thanks again and if anyone has any more tidbits to add, I'll still be checking this thread as I think this is absolutely an interesting and historical field of study for me. Thanks again. Smithy.

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Old 02-11-2015, 07:32 AM   #6
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I have an old HR .410. Nothing fancy. I have refinished the walnut and blued the barrel. The receiver is color casehardened.
It weighs next to nothing. I've hunted squirrels and doves with it.
I would love to have a double .410. I saw one in Shooting Classic, I think, that was a work of art. The scaled down action fit in the palm of your hand. the whole gun didn't weight three pounds, perhaps and fabulous wood and engraving. I won't be able to buy one of those but there should be a good lightweight out there.
Next up would be the 28 gauge. Shells are pretty widely available but guns not so much and pricey.
Maybe the 28 gauge would be a better balance of weight and performance but I'm happy with the .410

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Old 02-11-2015, 10:40 AM   #7
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c3shooter, great write up on the history. Thanks. My only .410 experience was with a Savage .22 over .410. I shot a few rabbits when I had the o/u combo, most people I knew had a .410 for varmints around the farm, more of a close range deal. When you get up to the 20 gauge, you are getting a much more effective round.

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Old 02-11-2015, 11:00 AM   #8
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Y'all are welcome. For years the 2 inch was the standard .410 shell. Why did the pinfire last so long? There were guns that shot it. Guns are durable, y'know.

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Old 02-11-2015, 03:58 PM   #9
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.410_bore
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:25 PM   #10
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2" all brass shells can be made from 303 British.

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