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Pigeon guns today.


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After a life time of mostly 12 bore for my  pigeon shooting and given the ever increasing price of ammo  and powder and components for reloading  i have recently been contemplating changing from the bigger bores to the .410 for pigeons.  I have used a Basque .410 SxS for some game shooting this past few years and have no doubts the .410 can do all i need from a pigeon gun.

 I am considering an O/U  browning or  possibly a beretta .410 i am sure there are other makes out there that will suffice  but i will by getting one of these two, most probably a browning.

I will be reloading  and looking at the non tox loads right from the start. I drop bismuth myself already and will be looking at 7/16th oz steel loads too.  Having no personal experience of non tox in .410 i would appreciate any advice and experience from those that have.

 

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Hi! What I have seen is a aluminium framed KOFS where the stock bolt wrecked the action. The .410" although a small cartridge in size works at high pressure. Is an ejector worth the extra cost? I have an AyA No 4 in .410" and it fails to eject Fiocchi 3" cartridges but works, consistently, with Eley Fourlong. I know it isn't what you want to hear but I'd actually think if handloading you'd be better with a 28 Bore or a light (home) loaded 20 Bore. I think your Basque SxS will do very well as a pigeon gun with, say, English #7 shot in lead. I don't know about steel though. Sorry.

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15 minutes ago, London Best said:

But not so wee! 

Yes. That's surely the crux. If your "modern" .410" weighs the same as even a  20 Bore (and you are using 3" .410" with 19 gram loads) then IMHO you might as well use a 20 Bore! There's no cost saving, cartridges are harder to source and, indeed, less easy to load. For is not the joy of a .410" that it is a lightweight gun that weighs under five pounds in weight? I recently sold a .410" Zabala SxS BLNE here on P/W. It tipped the scales at 6lbs 1 oz! My late father's G E Lewis 20 SxS BLE chambered for the 2 3/4" cartridge weighed less.

Edited by enfieldspares
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12 minutes ago, enfieldspares said:

Yes. That's surely the crux. If your "modern" .410" weighs the same as even a  20 Bore (and you are using 3" .410" with 19 gram loads) then IMHO you might as well use a 20 Bore! There's no cost saving, cartridges are harder to source and, indeed, less easy to load. For is not the joy of a .410" that it is a lightweight gun that weighs under five pounds in weight? I recently sold a .410" Zabala SxS BLNE here on P/W. It tipped the scales at 6lbs 1 oz! My late father's G E Lewis 20 SxS BLE chambered for the 2 3/4" cartridge weighed less.

Each to their own, everyone has different requirements 

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If the lead is put on target it will do the job. BUT, The pattern out of a 20 or 28 is far, far better.  All of this goes back to the teachings of Gough Thomas of a short wide shot column,  even back to the 2inch 12 bore.  Perhaps not what you want to hear but a different angle.

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I’ve got both the browning and the beretta the browning is a fair bit heavier 

both do the job both have ejector issues with the 3 inch rto cartridges occasionally irritating but not the end of the world 

as for steel loads I’m experimenting with some home load’s at the moment my main problem is fibre wad as I’m trying to move on for plastic 

best of luck with the transition 👍

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14 hours ago, Minky said:

If the lead is put on target it will do the job. BUT, The pattern out of a 20 or 28 is far, far better.  All of this goes back to the teachings of Gough Thomas of a short wide shot column,  even back to the 2inch 12 bore.  Perhaps not what you want to hear but a different angle.

Hello, there's a man who knew his trade, 

21 hours ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, a nice browning 525 game gun in 410  would be my choice 🤔👍

Saying this many years ago I had a Winchester 101 in 20 bore and that was so nice to shoot , it use to sort out any sporting clays and hide shooting, one gun I wish had kept,

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22 hours ago, Fen tiger said:

After a life time of mostly 12 bore for my  pigeon shooting and given the ever increasing price of ammo and powder and components for reloading  i have recently been contemplating changing from the bigger bores to the .410 for pigeons.  I have used a Basque .410 SxS for some game shooting this past few years and have no doubts the .410 can do all i need from a pigeon gun.

I can't see how this will lower your outgoings?

 I am considering an O/U  browning or  possibly a beretta .410 i am sure there are other makes out there that will suffice  but i will by getting one of these two, most probably a browning.

Then make sure you get one that is true to size and not just a re-barrelled larger gun.

I will be reloading and looking at the non tox loads right from the start. I drop bismuth myself already and will be looking at 7/16th oz steel loads too.  Having no personal experience of non tox in .410 i would appreciate any advice and experience from those that have.

Better to call it non lead.

 

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14 hours ago, Minky said:

If the lead is put on target it will do the job. BUT, The pattern out of a 20 or 28 is far, far better.  All of this goes back to the teachings of Gough Thomas of a short wide shot column,  even back to the 2inch 12 bore.  Perhaps not what you want to hear but a different angle.

Now we're talking. I inherited three; a Hellis, a Patstone and a Linsley. Back then, supply and demand meant this not too popular calibre was expensive to feed and having to work and as I was already reloading rifle I sold them. In short, idiot. 

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32 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:
32 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

 

 

33 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

 

I can see that there may be other reasons...such as a physical infirmity where a heavy gun with a light load might be the "medicine" suggested by the OP's GP. But elsewise I too cannot see...except with a major saving if bismuth used with a lesser amount of shot used...the savings from costs of primer, wad, tools and time. Even the powder savings is but pennies overall.

Edited by enfieldspares
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52 minutes ago, wymberley said:

Now we're talking. I inherited three; a Hellis, a Patstone and a Linsley. Back then, supply and demand meant this not too popular calibre was expensive to feed and having to work and as I was already reloading rifle I sold them. In short, idiot. 

I know how you feel. 
I had the chance to purchase a lovely Dickson BLE at a bargain price and turned it down because it was a two inch twelve bore. In short, another idiot.

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18 minutes ago, enfieldspares said:

I can see that there may be other reasons...such as a physical infirmity where a heavy gun with a light load might be the "medicine" suggested by the OP's GP. But elsewise I too cannot see...except with a major saving if bismuth used with a lesser amount of shot used...the savings from costs of primer, wad, tools and time. Even the powder savings is but pennies overall.

Good points above, but in my personal case its more a case of the fact i have seen clearly what .410s with all their obvious technical shortfalls are capable of  i want to use the .410 ok to save a small amount of money and do more with less. And  from a reloading angle it opens up a new set of potential options. the rifle case option appeals to me. i have used brass cases in 4s and 8s  in the past and revisiting this with some of the loads is something i am looking forward too.

  The 20 bore option i already have two and the 28 though a clear winner technically is not where i want to go. .410..  its the challenge something i  want to do and i think for today the conservative nature of the .410 in my opinion fits in well with many aspects of todays changing shooting scene .  TSS shot is one aspect of the .410 which its demuitive size and shot charge volumes largely eliviate the need for packers and the charge weights involved increase the number of shots per kilo and with the prices involved that is not a negative.

The same can be said of bismuth to some extent.  and Bismuth being the obvious felt wad shot option at the moment more shots per kilo again is practical.

My opinion is i have done things with the .410  and certainly for decoying pigeons this last few years the 12 though it still works i sometimes think its a bit overkill for decoying these days having dipped my toe in the .410 waters it seems god to me.

2 minutes ago, Fen tiger said:

Good points above, but in my personal case its more a case of the fact i have seen clearly what .410s with all their obvious technical shortfalls are capable of  i want to use the .410 ok to save a small amount of money and do more with less. And  from a reloading angle it opens up a new set of potential options. the rifle case option appeals to me. i have used brass cases in 4s and 8s  in the past and revisiting this with some of the loads is something i am looking forward too.

  The 20 bore option i already have two and the 28 though a clear winner technically is not where i want to go. .410..  its the challenge something i  want to do and i think for today the conservative nature of the .410 in my opinion fits in well with many aspects of todays changing shooting scene .  TSS shot is one aspect of the .410 which its demuitive size and shot charge volumes largely eliviate the need for packers and the charge weights involved increase the number of shots per kilo and with the prices involved that is not a negative.

The same can be said of bismuth to some extent.  and Bismuth being the obvious felt wad shot option at the moment more shots per kilo again is practical.

My opinion is i have done things with the .410  and certainly for decoying pigeons this last few years the 12 though it still works i sometimes think its a bit overkill for decoying these days having dipped my toe in the .410 waters it seems  all good to me.

 

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1 hour ago, Fen tiger said:

Good points above, but in my personal case its more a case of the fact i have seen clearly what .410s with all their obvious technical shortfalls are capable of  i want to use the .410 ok to save a small amount of money and do more with less. And  from a reloading angle it opens up a new set of potential options. the rifle case option appeals to me. i have used brass cases in 4s and 8s  in the past and revisiting this with some of the loads is something i am looking forward too.

  The 20 bore option i already have two and the 28 though a clear winner technically is not where i want to go. .410..  its the challenge something i  want to do and i think for today the conservative nature of the .410 in my opinion fits in well with many aspects of todays changing shooting scene .  TSS shot is one aspect of the .410 which its demuitive size and shot charge volumes largely eliviate the need for packers and the charge weights involved increase the number of shots per kilo and with the prices involved that is not a negative.

The same can be said of bismuth to some extent.  and Bismuth being the obvious felt wad shot option at the moment more shots per kilo again is practical.

My opinion is i have done things with the .410  and certainly for decoying pigeons this last few years the 12 though it still works i sometimes think its a bit overkill for decoying these days having dipped my toe in the .410 waters it seems god to me.

 

Hello, let us know how you get on, years ago I bought a lot of 410 carts when just carts were moving thinking I might do the same, no 410 yet 🤔

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1 hour ago, Fen tiger said:

Good points above, but in my personal case its more a case of the fact i have seen clearly what .410s with all their obvious technical shortfalls are capable of  i want to use the .410 ok to save a small amount of money and do more with less. And  from a reloading angle it opens up a new set of potential options. the rifle case option appeals to me. i have used brass cases in 4s and 8s  in the past and revisiting this with some of the loads is something i am looking forward too.

 

During the war...a man told me about his late father and his late father's circle of friends...they'd take .303 cartridges and pull the bullets. Then take out half the powder charge be it nitrocellulose of cordite use a dowel to open out the case and make a cork driving wad. The bullet would be hammered flat...so he said of they'd source lead wire and chop up the wire into "pellets" or ditto with the lead core from the bullet once flattened. Their very own homemade .410" cartridges. 

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3 hours ago, enfieldspares said:

During the war...a man told me about his late father and his late father's circle of friends...they'd take .303 cartridges and pull the bullets. Then take out half the powder charge be it nitrocellulose of cordite use a dowel to open out the case and make a cork driving wad. The bullet would be hammered flat...so he said of they'd source lead wire and chop up the wire into "pellets" or ditto with the lead core from the bullet once flattened. Their very own homemade .410" cartridges. 

 Winchester h cases and their comparable wads work great in .410, but with diferent wads the case internal profile is not condusive to best use of these cases. Its kind of ok to load bismuth, and with the plaswad but what with the fibre wad move in the future its just fiocchi remington chedite etc.

 They will work but not as tough as the old winchesters. A move to brass as in CBC Brass .410s or (Reformed rifle cases) Is an option and 444 marlin 303 british, and the 9.3x 74r case (this will give close to a 3 inch case). These cases offer good case volume and in a sxs or O/U / single etc you can easily keep track of all cases not so practical with pumps or autos. 

  wad sizes need consideration with brass and sometimes depending on powders or charge weights a squib load can present itself. Swapping out the often used large pistol primers for a large rifle can often solve such issues. pressure testing is of course needed in any such substitution.

Video here on the creation of .410 from the 9.3x74 r brass. A formimng die would be preferable if  available to avoid the inconvenience of fire forming not sure how hard one would be to make however.

 

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