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410 On Laid Barley


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A farming friend phoned - ‘there are pigeons on my laid barley’. I dashed out the same day for a look and sure enough there were some flat patches, but this huge field seemed to go on to the edges of the earth. Where to start? There were plenty of pigeons curling in on the strong westerly, but which laid patch to set up beside….? In the end I decided to build a hide near the closest laid patch to a field margin. A wide grassy strip between two barley fields provided limited hide potentials however - no hedge whatsoever. There were a few bushes strung out along this strip, so I decided to build a false one near my laid patch - using the usual poles and hide netting as a base, and building around it with cut branches. Once built I was pleased with the result. At a casual glance it did seem like one more of the several bushes present. I then retreated to let the birds get used to it all day. The next day I arrived to find the laid patch full of pigeons. 

As the furthest part of the patch was only about 35 yards from the hide - the middle being about 20 yards - I decided to have some fun with the 410 using 14 gram 71/2 cart’s. To be honest, I used these cart’s as they were all I had available at the time - no clever ballistic calculations involved whatsoever….!

I settled in to the hide and while I was fiddling about with my seat position, the first bird rocketed overhead from behind, and threw me a left hand curve as it dropped. I stood up and took a quick shot. Thankfully it tumbled. I was pleased as this gave me a bird for the flapper. Once the flapper was working well, it seemed to draw the birds well. The little 26 inch barreled Yildiz I used is a youth version with a very short stock and zero cast. While ideal for my 12 year old son, I’m 6 ft 2 inch, so to say it doesn’t fit is a gross understatement (excuses I know…….?!). However, I overcame the high comb by shooting under the birds…… when I remembered, and rolling my head slightly over the stock. A most unnatural gun mount, but it seemed to work….well, usually. 

The birds came in from all angles, sometimes against the wind and others flying with it at great speed then suddenly slamming the breaks on and turning in front of the hide and dropping like a stone. The latter were the most challenging and satisfying. The little clay cartridges kept folding birds convincingly - pop, feathers, tumble. I was surprised they were so effective. There was a mid afternoon lull when I only shot a crow and a few pigeons. However, the pre roosting shift kicked in and there seemed to be larger groups arriving. However, these birds tended to skirt wide around the patch and only offered longish shots. It was during this spell that the little 410 demonstrated its range limits. I managed to fold a few, but my cartridge/kill ratio tumbled more than the pigeons did during that phase. At the day’s end I resisted going in to the standing crop looking for shot birds - which I think does more harm than the pigeons do. Hence I only picked the minority of birds from the grassy margin or the flat patch.

Thoughts on the 410? Well, it was surprisingly effective on the average birds - which make up the majority of course. I did shoot one bird at about 40 yards, but I think it was a fluke with one pellet in the back of its head. What I really noticed was the recoil - or should I say the apparent lack of it. I think we all normalise 12 bore recoil and for most it’s not really a problem. When it seems to suddenly disappear altogether however,  this seems very noticeable, and I have to say quite pleasant. As for the effectiveness of this tiny caliber and it’s 14 gram poppers…..? I’m no world champion and am quite happy to admit that I usually average about a 66% kill ratio with my 12 bore. Shooting yesterday with the little gun, I was surprised to be matching that for most of the day. It was only the late tricky birds which dropped the ratio to about 50% overall.  However, the enjoyment of seeing birds falling out of the sky to this sweet little gun was worth the small sacrifice of a few less long birds. Lesson to self: try not to be tempted by long stuff next time. 

620E510B-1466-46E8-84D3-0C3296274269.jpeg

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Awesome there is little to beat the satisfaction  of a good day on the pige with a .410 .I had 11 the other day averaging around a 50 % kill ratio .again like you , we just have to be careful not to stretch the range too far .30 yds seems about max .

I use 18 grm no6 which work well .and a ylidiz single barrel with mod .

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11 minutes ago, Ultrastu said:

Awesome there is little to beat the satisfaction  of a good day on the pige with a .410 .I had 11 the other day averaging around a 50 % kill ratio .again like you , we just have to be careful not to stretch the range too far .30 yds seems about max .

I use 18 grm no6 which work well .and a ylidiz single barrel with mod .

Like the idea of a mod….!

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15 minutes ago, Fellside said:

Like the idea of a mod….!

I'd love to have a moderator  on the end of an .410 ou.

I'm very surprised  that saddlery and gunroom haven't made one yet .seems a better option than the 20b one available. 

Though my moderated 20b semi auto is awesome just not as quiet as a .410 could be .

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Another vote for single barrel Yildiz 410 and moderator the farm I do some pest control. It is covered by pigeons and corvids planning an afternoon  Friday if I can swing it - shooting around farm buildings next to young expensive excitable bulls !

Moderated 410 is as quiet 

 

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Superb report and a nice bag considering you were using a 4.10 , our harvest will be starting sometime next week and this is the first year for ages we haven't even got a small patch gone down let alone a field or a large area .

Today I did see more Pigeons than I had for a month or two , the ones I saw were mainly on the wires that ran over a Rape field , another lot were again weighing the wires down and these were dropping in on Wheat , I don't mind shooting over Wheat but the Rape is a no go area while the crop is standing , the top is a solid mass and I doubt a Pigeon would fall through the top , my dog would have a job on his ( paws ) and the combine might have a bit of a job spitting out dead Pigeon carcass'es , it will now only be a matter of time before it is gone and then the stubble shooting comes into it's own .

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1 minute ago, marsh man said:

Superb report and a nice bag considering you were using a 4.10 , our harvest will be starting sometime next week and this is the first year for ages we haven't even got a small patch gone down let alone a field or a large area .

Today I did see more Pigeons than I had for a month or two , the ones I saw were mainly on the wires that ran over a Rape field , another lot were again weighing the wires down and these were dropping in on Wheat , I don't mind shooting over Wheat but the Rape is a no go area while the crop is standing , the top is a solid mass and I doubt a Pigeon would fall through the top , my dog would have a job on his ( paws ) and the combine might have a bit of a job spitting out dead Pigeon carcass'es , it will now only be a matter of time before it is gone and then the stubble shooting comes into it's own .

Thank you marsh man. 
Sounds like they are building up on your patch. Good shooting soon hopefully. 

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11 minutes ago, Fellside said:

Thank you marsh man. 
Sounds like they are building up on your patch. Good shooting soon hopefully. 

THANKS Fellside , we do normally have one or two nice sessions when we can take advantage by building a hide against one of the giant bales in the middle of the field , the main advantage is you can shoot in any wind direction from the one bale .

Going back to using a 410 , the only time I ever owned a 410 was a converted 303 we used to practise on the poor ole Starlings that were about in good numbers flying over our allotment , the gun was bolt action with the magazine underneath that still worked when you ejected the used cartridge , don't know weather it would be legal to use one today , maybe it wasn't with the one we used at the time , but all we needed was a ten bob license and you could use just about anything that had a trigger, Happy days:drinks:

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1 hour ago, marsh man said:

THANKS Fellside , we do normally have one or two nice sessions when we can take advantage by building a hide against one of the giant bales in the middle of the field , the main advantage is you can shoot in any wind direction from the one bale .

Going back to using a 410 , the only time I ever owned a 410 was a converted 303 we used to practise on the poor ole Starlings that were about in good numbers flying over our allotment , the gun was bolt action with the magazine underneath that still worked when you ejected the used cartridge , don't know weather it would be legal to use one today , maybe it wasn't with the one we used at the time , but all we needed was a ten bob license and you could use just about anything that had a trigger, Happy days:drinks:

Indeed happy days. I also messed about with a 410 when I was a boy. I suppose that’s why the little gun has a special nostalgic appeal. Also surprised how effective it is really. I think today’s cart’s are a lot better than they used to be - perhaps that helps.

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Sounds like a great outing with the little .410, well done 👍🏼
I use a mossberg pump action moderated .410 sometimes, have had some great days with it…..would love to try an o/u as I know how effective the calibre is and I’m sure would be much easier to shoot a non moderated one! 
I bought a 28g Beretta o/u last year and used it a lot since, absolutely love it…..bit more punch than a .410 obviously but with light ish shells recoil is far less than the 12 bore and as you say makes them really pleasant to use, so light and quick handling they’re a joy to use in a hide. 

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Good write up and good result. I took particular interest as I’ve got a 26” barrelled Kofs of my sons (similar age) with a similar short/high stock for a youngster. Only used it myself once on clays and it was odd to say the least, can’t imagine actually shooting live quarry (well in the general direction of!) with it.  I have a full length spare stock so may pluck up the courage once I fit that. 
 

 

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9 hours ago, Wilts#Dave said:

Sounds like a great outing with the little .410, well done 👍🏼
I use a mossberg pump action moderated .410 sometimes, have had some great days with it…..would love to try an o/u as I know how effective the calibre is and I’m sure would be much easier to shoot a non moderated one! 
I bought a 28g Beretta o/u last year and used it a lot since, absolutely love it…..bit more punch than a .410 obviously but with light ish shells recoil is far less than the 12 bore and as you say makes them really pleasant to use, so light and quick handling they’re a joy to use in a hide. 

What I have noticed over the last few years is a lot of people are turning up on the shoots with a smaller gauge gun , our area is pretty flat so there isn't any need to take on extreme game birds like they do in the hilly areas of say Wales and the Peak district , this is more noticeable on Partridges with the 28 g being the most popular , I can well remember one shoot we had where the chap who ran the Partridge shoots that year had a family and friends day , on one of the drives a flock of Canada geese headed towards the standing guns and normally the guns would be told to leave them alone when they had there briefing first thing in the morning , we watched the flock going over the guns and the agents father raised his gun and took out two as clean as a whistle , the chap was then well into his 70s and his gun was a o/u 28 gauge .

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9 hours ago, hod said:

Good write up and good result. I took particular interest as I’ve got a 26” barrelled Kofs of my sons (similar age) with a similar short/high stock for a youngster. Only used it myself once on clays and it was odd to say the least, can’t imagine actually shooting live quarry (well in the general direction of!) with it.  I have a full length spare stock so may pluck up the courage once I fit that. 
 

 

I would say just go for it. Obviously the youth stock is more difficult to shoot naturally with - as the gun mount has to be manipulated and is somewhat unnatural. Can be made to work though. The adult stock would be far better. I think the vast majority of pigeons we decoy are about 20  to 30 yards out - that is perfect 410 territory really and great fun. I’ve often found the 12 to be overkill, except on the few longer passing shots perhaps. These are only pigeons after all. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 07/07/2022 at 10:17, Fellside said:

I would say just go for it. Obviously the youth stock is more difficult to shoot naturally with - as the gun mount has to be manipulated and is somewhat unnatural. Can be made to work though. The adult stock would be far better. I think the vast majority of pigeons we decoy are about 20  to 30 yards out - that is perfect 410 territory really and great fun. I’ve often found the 12 to be overkill, except on the few longer passing shots perhaps. These are only pigeons after all. 

I have a 28g with a short stock I use a slip on recoil pad, you can pack it out to what fits [supplied] results in no felt recoil

l_beartooth_recoil_brown.jpg.b8a3886d80385abe108badff6305ac13.jpg

Edited by islandgun
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10 hours ago, islandgun said:

I have a 28g with a short stock I use a slip on recoil pad, you can pack it out to what fits [supplied] results in no felt recoil

l_beartooth_recoil_brown.jpg.b8a3886d80385abe108badff6305ac13.jpg

Good idea 👍

12 hours ago, Scully said:

Very satisfying. 👍

Yes it was good fun Scully. Didn’t brave it with the 410 today though. I took it with me, but the birds were tricky with a lot of long crossers. Cheated and used the big canon instead…… 🙂

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