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.410's  Who's using them?


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I tried a bunch last season to kill a woodcock with my CZ 410 Ringneck (thanks Browndog) and finally knocked one down on the last outing.  

This year I've only been out a couple times for woodcock, but of the 4 I've shot at, I've knocked down three.  Two have been with the second barrel.  If I've had to guess, more than half the birds I've ever shot (not an impressive number) have been killed with the second shot (or even third with ducks).  Anyone else rely so heavily on the second barrel?

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The late Gene Hill said it best in his book Shotgunners Notebook.

"How many times has the first shot been by fright and the second by sight"?

The above sounds like me at times......

He urged us to SLOW down. Take the time to really focus on the target then shoot.

I think he was right.

Bryan

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In my younger years I used a 16 ga., then when I had some cash and enlarged my guns I went to a lite 12 sXs and used that for years, and as I got older I switched to a 20 o/u and used it for years for all of my ulpland shooting.  However as all shooter/hunters do, I wanted to go to a 410 bore.  It's a man thing.  I used my little 410 auto (1100) for everything from skeet to ducks.  Now don't go off on that remark, if you shoot lead, or Bismuth and keep you shots to 25/30 yards it kills clean.  I no longer hunt, but to shoot trap/skeep/Clays from time to time (three times a week in season) and find it fun and a challange.  Remember 9/16 oz in a 3 inch so not much shot.  I use the skeet barrel for skeet and early season grouse, but switch to a mod barrel late in the season, that is did.
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walks with gun
The first is a warning shot and the second if they didn't move along fast enough.  I love hunting doodles with a .410 double, I recomend having the chokes opened up a bit.
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I own a .410 that was passed down to me from my father (which is was passed to him from an old friend) under the agreement that I use it to 'kill' at least one bird with it a year... and that it is not a gun to keep and not use.

I usually take it out during the woodcock flights and am generally as effective in downing birds as my 28ga or 12ga. The gun is then put away when all the leaves are down and I need an extra 10-20 yards of lethal lead.

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I think the .410 Mdl 42 is the most fun gun ever made and I enjoy using mine - kill a great many birds with it each year.  It is effective and humane killer out to 25 yards or so.  I use it ONLY for pen-raised birds - no longer use it for any sort of wild birds.

I've never hunted woodcock per se; and when I do bump into them, I don't shoot them anymore - just like to watch them these days.  That said, if I did actually hunt them, I suspect a .410 would work just fine on those tiny birds that are probably shot at 15 yards or less more often than not.

It's rare I kill a bird with my second shot.  If I do, it's usually it's because the open choked first bbl didn't have enough reach and I had to waste a round (my gun has a non-selective trigger) to get to the tightly choked second bbl.  

I suspect that those who are missing a lot on the first shot are just excited and/or surprised at the flush and are simply throwing the gun at the bird instead of bearing down and doing the things necessary to make a good clean shot.  But after they blow off a round - they calm down and make the shot.  I think the only cure for that is experience - after you've seen 10,000 birds flush, it's unlikely bird No. 10,001 is going to fluster you or do anything unexpected.

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Fieldwalker, what's the make and model of your .410?  Pics?  What size shot are you guys using?  My father gave me a big box of 3" #9 handloads, and they are doing the trick.

After tonight, I really love my little .410.  A limit of woodcock in 20 minutes, no birds got away.  And one of them was even with the first barrel (he was hovering like a helicopeter right over my head!)  That makes 7 doodle's with the little gun.  As far as I'm concerned, there's no other way to hunt mud bats other than with a .410 and a pointing dog.  

The only problem with the CZ Ringneck .410 is that the safety doesn't auto reset after you reload.   Who makes a .410 side by side pistol grip, side plates, with single selective trigger, reseting safety, on a .410 frame?  And while I'm asking for the world, how about screw in chokes, including rifled chokes so I can pretend I have a double rifle too?

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Why is the mechanical safety an issue?  Some of my SxSs do go on safe, some don't, but I manually check the safety after opening the breech.  None of my self loaders, pumps, bolts etc have automatic safeties, no problem.  My 410 hunting has been limited to rabbits and it works fine for that, yet do prefer a .22rf semi auto.
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The safetys an issue because I've been hunting with a Beretta O/U with a reseting safety for over 20 years and now I'm old and set in my ways.  I'm pretty good about remembering to reset the CZ but I've caught my self a couple times not doing it as part of the reload.
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CowboyBirdDogs
First gun I ever owned was my family's 3rd generation .410 bolt action made in the 1930s. I'd like to try and knock down a wild bird with it. I've shot pen raised with it but never a wild bird.
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