Best 410 Chokes For Game

Dear Bruce,

What are the best chokes for a side by side .410 used for quail and partridge?

Really enjoy your website. K

Dear K,

Partridge? 410? That’s like asking which BB gun is most effective against lions. Still, if you insist, I would choke that 410 SxS skeet and full. Skeet by definition is an optimal pattern at 21 yards. A 410 full might get you an effective pattern out as far as 30 yards.

I’ve shot preserve (not wild) quail with a 410 Model 42 and was chagrined at the number of wounded quail the dog bought back. Maybe I’m not the best 410 shot in the world, but I’m not the worst either. A clean kill required absolutely perfect pointing. Perfect aim is a sometime thing with me, so I prefer the margin of error provided by bigger gauges.

As to partridge (I assume you mean ruffed grouse, not the French or Spanish kind), you will have your work cut out with a 410. I don’t know where you hunt pats, but in my native Connecticut the birds are few, far between and very well educated. We have to work pretty hard to get any kind of shot at all. I’m not sure that I would want to trust my dinner to that tiny 410 pattern. Also, if a grouse isn’t killed cleanly it can be a dickens to find if you don’t have a good dog. I’ve seen wounded grouse hide in holes in the ground and in stone fences.

Lots of people claim to do very well with their 410s on game and I have no reason to doubt that they do.I sure haven’t been able to accomplish it myself. This may be more of an indication of my lack of talent than the gun’s lack of oomph, but I still have my doubts.

On the other side of things, I do have a friend who is restricted to shooting a 410 due to an injury. It’s either hunt with a 410 or not hunt at all. Through real dedication he has extracted surprising performance from the 410, but I know that he would be quick to go up a gauge if he could physically deal with it.

Now a 28 gauge, that’s something different.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC

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1 Response to Best 410 Chokes For Game

  1. Steve says:

    I had a friend that used a 410 for pen raised pheasant. He said with a 410 there is not enough energy beyond 20 yards to take down a bird. So he used open chokes and didn’t shoot if it was beyond that distance.


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