The Box O' Truth - The Box O' Truth
The guys at the above website have done a fair amount of testing on just the question above. Some of the test reveled interesting results. The 410 even in the slug form leaves a lot to be desired.
What Missileman states about practice and using the ammo you are planing to carry is very good advice. Practice at different distances and different light levels. Winter requires different loads than summer, because of the clothing used by the baddies. The firearm will be warmer but harder to get to with winter clothes and cold does have an effect on some powders, so practice dressed as you would be for the weather conditions.
As to old ammo? I shot about 50 rounds of 38 Spl. a while back that had to be 40 or more years old. every round went bang. The velocities were higher than stated on the box 855fps. I've also fired 22rf that were over 10 years old and had as many no fires as I have had with new ammo. Between Winchester and Remington, Remington being the brand with the most miss fires. Again practice check different brands to get the most reliable and stay with it.
38 Spl. is still a good round and 125 grain or 135 grain hollow or expanding point work very well. True, only revolvers apply.