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 410 Revolvers for self defense?
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Marv
New Member

57 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  1:34:01 PM  Show Profile
I bought a S&W Governor a few years back and have played with it quite a bit. I've shot most of the 2 1/2" defensive and shot loads through it and have been less than impressed. The Winchester PDX1 load might be OK at near point blank range for defense but ignition problems with it keep it from being used for anything other than the range. I haven't been able to find the Winchester 000 2 1/2" load but Iíve heard other people give it positive reviews. The data I did find for it listed it's velocity at 1300 fps. At 500+ fps faster than the PDX1 load, I doubt that was from a 2 7/8" barrel.

The PDX1 load prints the three .40 caliber, 71 gr disc into 3" at seven yards and the 12 8.5 gr .180 cal. BBs are already spreading outside the silhouette. 15' is as far as you can go to keep everything in and 10' to keep them all in the chest. The one 10% ballistic gel test I found for it said the BBs penetrated 4.5" and the disc penetrated 7.5 to 8.5s". The load is listed on Winchester's data sheet at 750 fps. The combined disc/shot weight is approximately 315 gr and it produces a paper energy of 392 ft/lbs of energy. I tried chronographing it and the few readings I actually captured, and were in a believable range, were closer to 700 fps from the Governor. That would be 342 ft/lbs of energy. Also, Iím not sure that ft/lbs measurements are valid for a multiple projectile round. The individual 71 gr disc would be 82 and 77 ft/lbs. A 71gr. 32acp round is about 200fps faster and produces around 130 ft/lbs of energy. I've seen videos of slingshots that were more powerful than the individual disc. This brings me to my question.

Are 410 revolvers viable self defense guns? Once the shot spreads, can the individual pellets/disc be an effective fight stopper? I've studied terminal/wound ballistics of handgun ammo since I started my LE career 40+ years ago. Long enough to see the big/slow - small/fast debate roll around twice. I've read everything from 1904's Thompson-LeGarde test though the FBI test and beyond and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject. I haven't found any in-depth test/article on 410 handguns. Does anyone know of articles, test or research that has been done on it? Or, know of any incident in which it was actually used for self defense? Sorry for the length and thanks in advance.

NRA - Benefactor Member

beantownshootah
Advanced Member

USA
13617 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  1:53:44 PM  Show Profile
Here is your scientific testing: www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot41.htm

EDIT: Here is another objective review from a knowledgeable reviewer:
https://www.swatmag.com/article/verdict-taurus-judge-revolver/


Here are some earlier thoughts from me on this question (scroll down):
http://forums.GunBroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=453054
http://forums.GunBroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=468165

Edit: I'd note that maybe the Smith version of this is better than the Taurus version. But even if it is, I'd avoid that one too.

Rant on:

"Can" a .410 be used for defense? Sure. Just having ANY gun can dissuade an attacker. Some attackers will stop if they are hit with ANY bullet, because they become "persuaded" not to continue. You could potentially shoot someone in the face with a .410 then blind them. I wouldn't use that as my main defense strategy, but if all I had was a .410, that's probably what I'd try do to, rather than take the (IMO pretty likely) chance of my shots creating nothing worse than skin wounds.

Would I deliberately pick .410 for a defense gun?

No. . no. . and HELL NO.

Bluntly, main use of .410 shells is to teach children how to use a shotgun. .410 from a SHOTGUN lacks enough power to kill a duck. Its marginal for hunting rabbits. Do you want to trust your life to something too weak to reliably hunt rabbits with?

Why any rational adult knowledgeable in any manner about firearms would deliberately choose this caliber as a self-defense weapon against human beings is utterly baffling.

I'd rather have this than the proverbial pointed stick, but if I'm going to pick a revolver for self-defense, its not going to be one firing anemic shotshells.

quote:
Once the shot spreads, can the individual pellets/disc be an effective fight stopper?
Per above testing, at distance .410 shot won't penetrate the wall of a plastic water bottle or a sheet of drywall.

Just because you "can" stop a fight with a #2 pencil. . .if you stick it in the right place. . .doesn't mean that a #2 pencil is what you want to be carrying when a fight starts, right?

Edited by - beantownshootah on 02/08/2018 2:06:37 PM
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gunnut505
Advanced Member

USA
9490 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  2:09:15 PM  Show Profile
I guess that the 410 slugs are simply balls of cotton candy that merely bounce off "bad guys", and do no harm whatsoever.
Rilly?!
Shoot a cooler full of ice chunks with the well-known manstopper that is the 38Special, then hit it with a 40 caliber slug going almost 1200fps; the difference is palpable.
If you use a 410 revolver, and expect the latest multi-projectile load to save your hide; better pack a lunch. More projectiles means less energy from each. A single 1/10 ounce slug will punch a hole in whatever is in your way, and definitely change an assaultive personality into one of submission.
Rabbits and ducks notwithstanding.

"Qui non est hodie cras minus aptus erit" --OVID

"It never hurts to help!"--EEEK the Cat
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Bill DeShivs
Senior Member

USA
1246 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  2:38:41 PM  Show Profile
If you look at the energy levels of .410 slugs, you'll find that they aren't very impressive at all. And those energy levels are from a shotgun barrel, not a pistol.
Don't delude yourself.

Bill DeShivs
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beantownshootah
Advanced Member

USA
13617 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  3:02:44 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by gunnut505

I guess that the 410 slugs are simply balls of cotton candy that merely bounce off "bad guys", and do no harm whatsoever.
Rilly?!


Of course not, and thank you for completely mischaracterizing what I said.

The question isn't whether or not you can deter, hurt or even kill someone with a .410 gun of course you can. The question is, with so many other platforms and calibers available, is there any good reason to pick this one for defense? What (if any) advantage does this platform have?

I have yet to see anyone posit a good reason to pick a .410 revolver for self-defense, over say a .38, which is lighter, more powerful, has better overall ergonomics, more accurate, more easily concealable, has cheaper ammo that is both more readily available and available in a much wider variety of types.


quote:
Shoot a cooler full of ice chunks with the well-known manstopper that is the 38Special, then hit it with a 40 caliber slug going almost 1200fps; the difference is palpable.


Issue is that your .410 slugs only weigh 90 grains. That's pretty lightweight, offering limited penetration. BTW, that's why ballistic gel is the standard for assessing defensive merit, not breaking pieces of ice.

Another serious potential issue is that the primers with .410 slugs have a tendency to back out of the gun and lock up the revolver (see SWAT article reference in my post above).

If you do happen to like those particular ballistics (90 grain bullet/1200 fps), you can get identical ones with these Hornady "defense lite" rounds for your ordinary .38 revolver. Not only will you have all the other advantages mentioned above, but you'll also have purpose-constructed expanding defense bullets:

www.midwayusa.com%2Fproduct%2F1001573970%2Fhornady-critical-defense-lite-ammunition-38-special-90-grain-flex-tip-expanding-box-of-25" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/create.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.midwayusa.com%2Fproduct%2F1001573970%2Fhornady-critical-defense-lite-ammunition-38-special-90-grain-flex-tip-expanding-box-of-25



To be clear, I have no problem with these loads, but with the understanding that these are REDUCED power loads aimed at recoil shy WOMEN (NTTAWT). If that's the power level of round you want to shoot, why would you chose a .410 revolver to shoot them? Again, what is the advantage of this platform?

I would also argue to you that the whole point of a shotgun is to shoot SHOT, not slugs. If you want to fire a single solid projectile, why bother with a shotgun-revolver at all? You want the thing to be less accurate on purpose? Forget the slugs altogether, and instead load this revolver with .45LC, which will give you 1100 fps with a 200 grain bullet.

Now you have good ballistics, but you get right back to the question of why you're choosing to fire them from this inaccurate and ungainly revolver when you can get a proper revolver to do the same thing. . .BETTER.


quote:
If you use a 410 revolver, and expect the latest multi-projectile load to save your hide; better pack a lunch.


Here is more objective testing on that: https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-truth-53-the-taurus-judge-revisited/

Edited by - beantownshootah on 02/08/2018 3:04:42 PM
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charliemeyer007
Advanced Member

USA
5502 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  3:17:42 PM  Show Profile
410 with a short barrel and no choke, no thank you. I have shot the TC 410/45C with an external choke/spin stopper with 3" shells. I owned one the 44 mag hotshot ones with a 10" barrel and a fold down rear sight, internal screw in choke/spin stopper. I doubt either would do well with a mix of shot/bullets.

Ithaca Auto & Burglar in 12 or 20 you're on.
https://www.forgottenweapons.com/ithaca-auto-burglar-12ga/

I have a yet unfired LeMat repo in 20.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/PIETTA-LEMAT-CAVALRY-CAL-BP-REVOLVER/2349773.uts

The whole current concept of a shotgun pistol for self defense IMHO is to turn the shooter into you can't miss Anne Oakley.

My thought for self defense is first you need to hit them, then worry about how hard and how many times.

If you work at it a 45-70 will hold 1 1/8 of shot.
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62fuelie
Member

USA
973 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  4:03:11 PM  Show Profile
Why not take the big logical step and stuff it with the Federal 225 grain lead SWCHP???

B
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yoshmyster
Advanced Member

15547 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  4:16:03 PM  Show Profile
I wonder if you cut the shell a "certain" way if that'll improve the performance?
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rufe-snow
Advanced Member

17864 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  6:23:07 PM  Show Profile
I had one of the original Taurus Judges, that I bought second hand. Did a lot of experimenting with various handloads. None of the shot loads were viable, over 5 yds., from the muzzle. The reason being that the bore diameter was .452. Which is .050+ larger, that the normal 410 shotgun bore diameter.

The only 45 Colt load that was accurate. Was a Remington, .454 Swaged lead bullet. That weighed 255 grains. Only was accurate, with a very light powder charge. At a muzzle velocity, of a estimated 650-700 FPS.

To make a long story short. The Taurus Judge is a total piece of caca.

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gruntled
Advanced Member

10338 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  7:57:30 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by charliemeyer007
If you work at it a 45-70 will hold 1 1/8 of shot.



What load do you use for 1 1/8th oz? I use the same load as 2 1/2" .410s. I find it hard to believe you could get any useful velocity with over twice the shot. I use a good bit of toilet paper for the over powder wad but not that much.
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tsr1965
Advanced Member

USA
7870 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  8:13:31 PM  Show Profile
45 Colt/410 revolvers, or derringers are more novelties than they are practical. Loaded up with a 2 1/2", or 3" #8, I imagine it would make a pretty decent snake load for those with a population of dangerous, and in my case even non dangerous snakes. I hate them all. However, I do not use a hand held 410 for those.

As for personal defense, there are much better choices.

Take a look at these auctions on the otherside...
http://www.GunBroker.com/Auction/BrowseItems.aspx?IncludeSellers=484399

http://www.GunBroker.com/All/BI.aspx?IncludeSellers=716063

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