Archive for the ‘ammo’ Category

New NEF 410 Shotgun for sale

H&R Topper .410
H&R Topper .410

In Stock New England Topper Jr. for $150.00 Just click the image to see all the details.

.410 Shotgun shells for sale

Bass Pro Shops

Image via Wikipedia

Since I found out that Bass Pro Shops carries .410 ammo, reloading equipment and GUNS, I have enjoyed browsing their sight. Though I have not purchased anything for the hunting season I am going to take advantage of some fly-fishing equipment.

So why write about shotgun shells? Because they are what drives our sport when it comes to frequency of enjoyment. Anyone can own a smallbore shotgun – but without ammo it’s just an expensive club, walking stick or wall hanger.

I have purchased ammo from Cabela’s, Able-ammo, big dog ammo, and from gunbroker as well as Wal-mart, K-mart, and the plethora of local shops and sporting goods stores. When it comes to 12 gauge ammo for sale – help yourself friends – $6 a box of 25 rounds and it can be cheaper obviously if purchased in volume. But not for the .410 or 28ga. The cheapest (and best for hunting) slugs I found were the Silver Bear Russian rounds. 5 slugs for, you ready,$ 3.50 a box! I once purchased 270 rounds of Silver Bear Slugs and Golden Bear .410 buckshot for $85.00! Remington, Federal and Winchester slugs are $5 and Brenneke’s are $7-$9 – for 5 rounds.

Birdshot is no better for the smallbore shooter. A box of 25 #6 3″ remingtons can run you $11-$13 at Wally World, Dick’s or your local shop. This is why I started reloading. An endeavour that is well worth your time and money as regards savings and enjoyment in the long term. But back to .410 shotgun shells. Remington has a great deal now on the “Slugger” packs of slugs. 15 rounds of Remington’s 2.5″ .410 slugs can be had for $11.00 at Wal-mart. My local shops do not carry them at all. So what’s the major problem? Popularity is the problem. The .410 bore has been so maligned, for so long, by so many, that both ownership of and usefulness for the .410 bore shotgun was relegated to women and small children for the most part.

Well, the times they are a changin’ folks! Today you can safely and ethically shoot Deer size game on down with a .410 shotgun. I know because I have done it, as have others, and the only difference between my 30-30 and my .410 is that I can only use the 30-30 on larger game! But the .410 I can use on Deer, Coyote, Fox, Rabbits, Woodcock, Pheasent, and Partridge. I can also shoot clay birds one hour and switch to plinking tin cans the next – with my Deer gun! I might add as well that after two hours shooting at the range my shoulders are just getting tuned in – not broken up?! Try that with your 12gauge.

Anyhoo…enough truth for now, I wouldn’t want the nay-Sayers runnin’ home cryin’ to mama bout how wrong they been all these years. You know, the ones who write articles about the “Diminutive little .410”. Diminutive my butt! I got 148grains of diminutive that is pretty darn lethal in the woods of New England. I got a buckshot round made from .40 pellets that’ll drop Bobcats, fox, or ‘yote’s without blowin a hole clean through the pelt! I got…..@#(^$@!$^ ah forget it! What did I start out talking about? O’ right, ammo, anyway, I have to go now. My Marine Corps, God fearing, hardcore Officer of a son is gonna call me soon. Probably showed ‘um up again at the range. That’s what happens when a boy learns to shoot with his “a’hum” NEF .410 Pardner we bought him when he was ten! An all out full chokin’, deer killin’, bird droppin’, clay pigeon shootin’ single shot it is – and his favorite – because he was taught “To ride, shoot straight and speak the truth” with it, and busted birds at the high tower is all truth – regardless of the gun.

Some of you will appreciate that last part.

thanks for reading folks,

the vintage sportsman

(and no, “the vintage sportsman” don’t refer to my age!)

Bass Pro Shops for hunting?!

I cannot believe this! .410 game loads and target loads for $10.00 a box!!!

.410 shotgun shells for sale at Bass Pro!? $10.49 for these Remington #6s

.410 shotgun shells for sale at Bass Pro!? $10.49 for these Remington #6s

Shells are not this low at Wally World! $9.99 a box for AA's

Shells are not this low at Wally World! $9.99 a box for AA's

If there is one thing a 410 shotgun shooter has a hard time with it’s the price we pay to play. Most gun shops and retail stores are 13-16 a box for .410 shotgun shells for sale.

That is why I began to reload my own several years ago. Now I have the best of both worlds when I buy a box of shells, keep the hulls, and use them two more times – that is frugality; and in toady’s financial climate we all need to save as much as possible.

So check out Bass Pro Shops by clicking the links above. I also threw one in for their “Clearance” dept., and if anyone else knows of lower prices on .410 shells for sale or .410 shotguns for sale please let us know.

the smallbore staff




Shop the Clearance Department at

Categories: ammo

Who has the best ammo deals online?

Winchester 410 Ga. AA Target LoadEstate Super Sport Target 410 GaI am compiling a list of online ammo dealers for smallbore ammo. Also, any other web-sites that cater to our passion for smallbore .410, 28, and 20 gauge shotguns. You can find .410 shotguns for sale, or 28 gauge shotguns for sale, or 20 gauge shotguns for sale – but can you get the ammo for sale – without paying through the teeth?!

For a good 410 ammo comparison website, check out


I ask this because there is an automatic charge vie., USPS et al., for shipping ammo. So let us know where we can get bulk (200 rds or more) ammo for our sport.

silver bear 410

Smallbore Staff

Categories: ammo

Brenneke Slug Review

The two holes in the top-right.

The two holes in the top-right.

I have used .410 Brenneke slugs for two years now and find them to be extremely accurate. 3″ shotgroups at, ready for this, 75yards! That was from my Mossberg 183K with the accu-choke on “Modified”. The Brenneke is a 1/4 oz., 3″ Magnum slug load that boasts a “Practical Sight in Range” of 88 yds!

The Brenneke slug was invented by the German gun and ammunition designer Wilhelm Brenneke(1865–1951) in 1898. The Brenneke slug is a solid lead slug with fins cast onto the outside. The fins do not impart spin, but serve to lessen the contact area within the bore, therefore increasing velocity. A plastic, felt or cellulose fiber wad attached to the base remains after firing. This wad serves both as a gas seal and as a form of drag stabilization. Similar in theory to the Foster Slug with it’s hollow base and “Weight forward” design. But Since the Brenneke slug is solid, rather than hollow, the Brenneke will generally have less deformation on impact and will provide deeper penetration.

 At the pit today I shot two Brenneke slugs from my Mossberg 500. The aiming point was the “D” in “FORD” that was on an old tailgate from a Ford pickup truck. At 40 yards, from a full-choke, and with only the bead sights, I placed two shots within 2 inches of each other. The surprise was that the tailgate lay against the sand pile at a 60 degree angle and those slugs tore one inch holes in the Metal on impact and severely dented and split the other side of the tail-gate. Why was this so surprising? The tail-gate was from a late sixties or early seventies pick-up! So I would gauge the metal at 18 or better ( I am not a metalist or an auto buff so if someone can give a better idea of the metal thickness it will help). Therefore I suspect that a Brenneke would EASILY travel through most vehicle doors today when struck at a decent angle of trajectory. I will post some pic’s tomorrow of that tail-gate when I return for a second round of shooting. This time with my 148 grain slugs being pushed with 11grains of Red-Dot.








What are .410 Shotguns used for?

Well, they are not just for Kid’s! The .410 is good for hunting wild game, target practice and home defense. Let’s take a look at these three areas .410 shotguns excel in.
1. Hunting: The .410 is perfect for hunting small game and in the hands of a capable and experienced hunter, larger game such as deer. I use a .410 deer hunting and they are deadly under 50 yards. This year I used a “Silver Bear” 2.75″, 98gr. slug to down a buck on opening day of Rifle season – at 40 yards he dropped like a stone on the first shot. The slug having mushroomed to the size of a nickel.
2. Home Defense: Because of the .410’s lack of recoil, weight, and its ease of operation, it makes a wonderful home defense weapon; with buckshot or #4 birdshot as its best defense load. Whether #4, OO, or OOO buck, each round has ample short-range stopping power but will not typically carry through walls, floors, ceiling, etc., to harm those you are trying to protect. I have a Leinad 45/410 made by the folks at “Ducktown” in the bedroom. It is a double barrel pistol with 8″ barrels. This handles both 45 colt, 2.5″ and 3″ shotshells. I do not personally recommend the use of a wad in these loads – just a shotcup and shot or ball. The reason is that with the rifled barrels a shotshell packs a hell of alot of recoil, double that of the .45 Colt, and makes that follow up shot tricky. My favorite home defense load is:

Birdshot: 3″ BPI Skived hull packed with 12 gr. of 2400 touched off with a CCI 209 primer. With a 1/2″ fiber gas check topped with a load of #4 and finished with a typical star crimp you will have a solid 1/2 ounce of lead out to five feet with rapid spread beyond that.

Pumpkin Ball Round: Same Hull load, powder, primer, with three .395/40cal. balls and finished with a roll crimp. Remember not to over load the hull but leave the proper room for your roll crimp without scarring the ball itself. I use a small drill press set at a prescribed height to insure good roll crimps.

3. Plinking – Trap, Skeet, and target shooting are all fun. Though the .410 is considered a “Professionals” shotgun when it comes to clays – its multiple uses for recreational shooting far outstrip other small gauge shotguns. I have gone from birdshot, to buckshot, to slugs with the same gun and using various targets all in the same days shooting. My practice and research has led to a buffered buckshot round that boasts pellet on pellet accuracy at 30 yards (5 pellets 3 holes) and a double .40 pumpkin ball round that can hold quarter size groups to 50 yards (not the one described above). I have also found great fun using the BPI small-bore slug kits that utilize a .375 round-ball and a combination gas-check/buffer system similar to what Guilandi and Brenneke have. I can shoot three inch groups out to fifty yards and have kept up well with the guys shooting .22 rifles while plinking. Of course a scope/aimpoint increases the accuracy immensely as you otherwise have to depend on shotgun beads for an aiming point. MY Saiga being the exception as I used the iron sights when I shot that opening day buck.

So there it is for better or worse. My general position on the .410 as a useful firearm. If you have any comments, suggestions, stories, videos – whatever, please feel free to let me know. I would be pleased to print whatever you have. So until next time good huntin’ and shootin’.


Shotgun slugs, what are they and how do they work?


roundball_shell_smallMany shotgun slugs are designed to be stable when fired from a smoothbore barrel, which lacksthe rifling normally used tostabilizethe projectile. The simplest shotgun slug is a round ball, often called a pumpkin ball or pumpkinshot. Since it is symmetricon all axis, the round ball will not significantly deviate from its path if ittumbles. A shotgun firing a round ball is similar inperformance toa smoothbore musket, and the restriction of the spherical shape limits thesectional density possiblefor a leadprojectileof a given bore diameter.

To obtain higher sectional density and better penetration, an elongated slug is needed, and a method must be provided to prevent the slug from tumbling. Foster slugs are designed with a deep cup in the back, so that the centre of mass is moved forward.  The forward mass of the slug helps keep it stable, and will tend to keep the slug moving point first.

Many Foster slugs are also rifled. Rifled slugs have what looks like rifling cast into the surface, Contrary to popular belief the rifling does not provide any spin.  These cast ridges allow the slug to be safely swaged down when fired through a choke.

A variation on the Foster design is the Brenneke slug, which uses a solid lead rifled projectile with an attached plastic, felt, or cellulose fibre wad that provides drag stabilization. Brenneke slugs are more suited for dangerous game, as the solid slug is less prone to deformation than the hollow Foster type.

Sabot slugs are generally designed to be fired from a special rifled shotgun barrel. Sabot slugs are smaller than the bore diameter, and offer significant advantages in external ballistics with the reduced drag. Some shotgun slugs also use fins or a lightweight plastic portion in the rear to provide stability from smooth bores, and may be designed to work with or without sabots.

Shotgun slugs intended for use in smoothbore barrels need to be made out of very soft lead alloys or have a compressible sabot, as they must be able to fit through the restrictive choke present in most shotgun barrels. Even so, it is not recommended to fire slugs through very constrictive chokes, as the effort of compressing the slug will at the least damage the end of the barrel effectively reducing the degree of choke, and at worst significantly raise the pressure within the barrel to cause a burst or explosion.

Foster Slugs

defender_slug_smallThe Foster slug, invented by Karl Foster in 1931, is a type of shotgun slug designed to be fired through a smoothbore shotgun barrel.  The defining characteristic of the Foster slug is the deep hollow in the rear, which places the centre of mass very near the tip of the slug, much like a shuttlecock. If the slug begins to tumble in flight, drag will tend to push the slug back into straight flight. This gives the Foster slug stability and allows for accurate shooting out to ranges of about 50 – 70 yards.

Foster slugs may also have rifling, which consists of eleven or twelve fins either cast or swaged on the outside of the slug. Contrary to popular belief these fins actually impart no spin on the slug as it travels through the air.

The actual purpose of the fins is to allow the slug to be safely swaged down when fired through a choked shotgun barrel, although accuracy will suffer when such a slug is fired through chokes tighter than improved cylinder, with a cylinder choke being recommended for best use.

As with all shotgun slugs it is possible to fire Foster slugs through rifled slug barrels, but if doing so leading of the rifling and barrel becomes a great problem necessitating regular cleaning to maintain any degree of accuracy.

Brenneke Slugs

brenn_clas_12The Brenneke slug is similar in appearance to a rifled Foster slug. The Brenneke slug was developed by the famous German gun and ammunition designer Wilhelm Brenneke (1865 – 1951) in 1898. The original Brenneke slug is a solid lead projectile with fins cast onto the outside, much like a modern rifled Foster slug. There is a plastic, felt or cellulose fibre wad attached to the base that remains attached after firing. This wad serves both as a gas seal and as a form of drag stabilization, much like the mass-forward design of the Foster slug. The fins or rifling are easily deformed to pass through choked shotgun barrels.  Extensive tests have shown these fins do not impart any stabilizing spin on the projectile.

Since the Brenneke slug is solid, rather than hollow like the Foster slug, the Brenneke will generally deform less on impact and provide deeper penetration. The sharp shoulder and flat front of the Brenneke mean that its external ballistics restrict it to short range use, as it does not hold velocity well. The Brenneke slug in 12 gauge is well suited for large and dangerous game at close ranges, and deer sized game out to about 50 – 70 yards.

Brenneke slugs in the .410 calibre are useful with smaller game and deer, but usually at a much more reduced range of about 30 – 50 yards.  Brenneke slugs are somewhat gualandi_sabot_12_smallmore accurate than the Foster slugs, but are usually more expensive.

Sabot Slugs

The main characteristic of sabot slugs is the plastic carrier or sabot, which is of bore size or sometimes a little larger to enable the sabot to engage the rifling found in modern slug barrels.  The slugs contained in sabots are usually of pistol calibre with hollow points.  Although the sabot slug is used primarily in rifled barrels, some designs of sabot slugs can be of use in smoothbore shotguns most notably the Brenneke Rubin Sabot, a sub-calibre slug utilizing the familiar Brenneke attached wad system, and the “Palla Gualbo” again a slug using an attached wad system.sabot_slug1


The smaller projectile held within sabots will have a much flatter trajectory, and will travel at much higher velocities than the more traditional foster or rifled slug, which coupled with a rifled slug barrel will increase accuracy and range to near rifle proportion.  Another advantage of the sabot type of shotgun slug is no lead comes into contact with the barrel at all, so preventing lead fouling.  Which is of course excellent for the slug shooter wishing to use his shotgun for target shooting as well as hunting.

Reprinted by permission courtesy

Thanks Richard…


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