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Thread: .410 for Deer

  1. #1
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    Default .410 for Deer

    Just curious if anyone has used a .410 for deer. My son is 9yrs old, he's not big enough for a 20 gauge, and a rifle isn't an option. I don't anticipate the shot to be over 40yrds, and it's for a doe hunt. The data says yes, FPS... energy... Placement is the key, just wondering if anyone has first hand experience.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    There is no margin for error with a .410. I've used one and it will work, but maybe it would be better to wait on his deer hunting, until he can handle more fire power. A .410 is more of a gun for experts than for kids.

    Think about this: He will be hunting his first deer; and he will be very excited. This wonderful excitement of shooting that first deer will last a life time. So will the hellish memories of a botched job and the messy aftermath, even worse-- no recovery. Better to wait, and I speak from experience.
    Dan

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    I don't know about that .410 business. That's really questionable to me. If that's the only route you can go make sure you guys practice alot. Little room for error. You don't have a .243 or something smallt that might work a little better?
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  4. #4

    Default Bad idea

    I can't urge you enough to avoid this. Dan K is right. The .410 is an expert's gun, not a kid's gun. While it is possible, the chance of messing up the shot -- and possibly your son's attitude toward hunting with a wounded and lost animal -- is very real. I live in a southern state and recall a season years ago when a kid in a neighboring camp wounded and lost five deer with a .410. Shot one every day for a week. Blood trail from every one and they didn't find any. Very irritating that they let him keep hunting and almost as irritating that someone didn't loan him a rifle and take a few minutes to show him how to use it. He didn't come back the next year. On the flip side, there used to be an absolutely huge whitetail mount displayed in the headquarters of my state's game and fish agency that was killed by a 9 year old with a .410. Twenty nine steps, one shot. You never know how things are going to turn out. Better not to take the chance.

    Unless your son is very small, he should be able to hande a light rifle with a little practice. For example, a quick internet search of recoil charts shows the .410 (3 inch, 11/16 ounce slug) actually produces more recoil to the shooter (10.5 pounds) than a .243 shooting a 100 grain bullet (8.68 pounds). Of course, bullet weight and weapon weight, load, etc. all figure in, and might make a rifle more difficult for your son. If the rifle is not an option, the 20 gauge is a much better choice than the .410. Weight and aiming can be helped with shooting sticks or a bipod, or shooting off a field rest (rock, log, tree limb, a kneeling dad's shoulder). If he's still not up to it, you should consider waiting a year for his sake. Love my .410s, but I can't imagine ever shooting one at a deer.

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    Default 410

    well i have heard 410 flies like a rifle. that is why it is illegal to use in illinois for deer. at least thats what i was told as i was growing up. but i also heard you can use a 30-30 shell in a single shot 410. again havent tried because you cant use rifles in illinois either. just waited and used a 20 ga. well hope you figure something out for your son and happy hunting.

  6. #6

    Default Tough but do-able

    I used a .410 on deer in Washington. Practice is whats going to make the diff between doing it and making a mess. If he's good enough a 50 yards every time why not. A 30-30 would maybe be better or .35, but I've seen folks with a 30.06 make a mess of it because they practiced once in 10 years too.
    Oh I expect hate comments but gee not every one is lucky enough to be set up out of a Cabela's catalog, bet I took more deer with a .22 Mag in Montana than most get in a life time. But I was a great shot with it too.

  7. #7
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    Default Bigger gun?

    Are you sure he cant handle more fire power? I was a tiny 10 yr old in comparison to class mates when I took my first deer with a 300 savage. 50yrds and dropped him with the first shot. Took about 10 to 15 practice shots before going. I do however remember being scared of that rifle while practicing. Every time it fired it kicked me in my scrawny shoulder and hurt like hell. None of that bothered me a bit when that deer popped up though.

  8. #8

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    Let him use a 30-30 or .243 and get one of those super thick kickpads that you slide on. He'll get jolted but he won't mind... It'll be like someone winding up with a pillow and hittiing him in the shoulder. With no kickpad it'll feel like a hammer to him.

    I agree with most everyone else who posted.... .410 is not enough gun unless the shooter is truly an excellent shot. You don't need his first deer hunt to result in following a wounded deer for a couple of miles before seeing it sitting there blinking its eyes waiting to be finished off. You want to do everything you can to ensure a clean kill.

  9. #9
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    That .243 with a recoil pad won't bother him at all. Something you might look into for him, it would be a great gun for a few years until he can step up some.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  10. #10
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Default He isnt old enough (in mi)

    Quote Originally Posted by sparty2005 View Post
    Just curious if anyone has used a .410 for deer. My son is 9yrs old, he's not big enough for a 20 gauge, and a rifle isn't an option. I don't anticipate the shot to be over 40yrds, and it's for a doe hunt. The data says yes, FPS... energy... Placement is the key, just wondering if anyone has first hand experience.

    Thanks
    Sparty,

    I am not sure where you & your son are hunting but if its in Michigan its kinda a moot point as your son isnt allowed a chance with a firearm till he is at least 12yrs old & that is only on private lands. After he is 14 he can hunt under your direct supervision on public lands as well. Per the regs 10 & 11 year olds are restricted to archery only. Nine yrs old & big game is a def no no in Mi. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dn...8_239310_7.pdf

    To answer the question on 410 it is a big NO. But he will do just fine with a nice little 12g down in southern mi.

  11. #11

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    I don't recall the exact numbers that I saw once, but I did see the foot pounds of energy produced by a .410 slug and it was very dismal. A perfect/lucky shot may produce results, but I wouldn't try it except in a survival situation.
    Do you live in a firearm restricted area? If not why not try a .243?

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    Thank you all for your responses. Looks like we are going to hold out... you all brought up many good points. As I said, a rifle isn't an option where we're hunting. He's a good shot, but with the excitement of his first deer hunt and limited power, I now realize it's not a good idea.

  13. #13
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    Default deer

    My son shot his first doe with a 20 gauge slug. It went well but he was VERY calm. It was a Sitka deer in the snow on an AK island. He had boots which were too big for him and they enabled him to walk on the crusted snow, whereas I broke through the 20 inches of it. He sneaked around behind the doe we saw out of its sight, and then suddenly I couldn't see him anymore but could still see the doe. Finally she looked out to sea (we were on a beach) and he rose up and shot her. He told me later that he knew he couldn't hit her if she was moving, so when he was in range, he crouched down and waited until she looked away, and then rose up and shot her. At that point I knew that he had hunted with me long enough in earlier years so that he was actually mature enough to think that through on his own and that I didn't need to worry about hunting with him again. The whole point is that the twenty gauge worked and I would be dubious about the 410; I would only allow it to happen if your son is mature enough to handle the situation. We had shot the gun previously and he knew that at 25 yards he had to hold about 4 inches high and ten inches left to hit the target properly. That is why he wanted a perfect situation in order to shoot.

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    I am a very proud father and I'm a little bias... but he is a very bright kid. I just had him read through all of your replies. He agreed, it's not a good idea, we'll stick to squirrel and small game hunting for now!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparty2005 View Post
    I am a very proud father and I'm a little bias... but he is a very bright kid. I just had him read through all of your replies. He agreed, it's not a good idea, we'll stick to squirrel and small game hunting for now!
    I hoe you didn't get him all excited to hunt deer only to tell him he has to stick to squirrels with that .410.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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