.410 for Turkey?

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,059
453
Eastern Nebraska
My youngest is determined to hunt turkeys this spring. I have finally given in and decided to let him try to take one with a .410. I don't think he can handle any more recoil than that. Has anyone on here done it before? What loads did you use? I am planning to restrict him to 20 yards and was thinking 3" #4 shot. Appreciate any feedback- thanks.
 

okielite

Banned
Jul 30, 2014
401
0
NW Nebraska
Sounds like fun. I have a friend who lets his kids shoot a crossbow and they really enjoy it. I think because there is no bang and no recoil the kids are not scared.
 

MWScott72

Active Member
Jan 27, 2012
220
0
West Jordan, UT
A turkey shot in the head at 20 yards will be just as dead with a .410 than with a 12 gauge. As long as your kiddo can hit a turkey head-sized target at 20 yards, I say go for it. If you're worried about the pattern, get a turkey target and let him shoot a couple of them to see where the pellets are landing. That would probably be a good confidence booster too!
 

roknHS

Member
Sep 25, 2014
135
0
North Idaho, Tick Fever Country
20yd head shot.........no problem. Even #6 shot will do the job. I like a full choke but, let him shoot some paper or cardboard at 20yds so he has an idea how small the pattern is. You're probably only gonna get 12"-16" max at 20yds...........but, that's plenty. I wouldn't try to stretch much past 20yds. It only takes one BB in the right place but, turkeys are tough. Hope you guys have a great time. There's probably more pressure on you to call one in that close without getting busted.
 

CrimsonArrow

Very Active Member
Feb 21, 2011
717
87
Minnesota
I'd go with 5 or 6 shot to increase pellet count. Plenty of killing power at that range. My boy killed his first honker with a head shot at 25 yards with 410 #6 shot.
 

Gr8bawana

Veteran member
Aug 14, 2014
2,272
120
Nevada
.410 at 20 yards, why not. Like was said before shot placement is the key.
When my brother and I were kids my dad had only a .410, we used that shotgun to shoot ducks and sage grouse using 2 1/2 inch #4 shot. It wouldn't be my first choice now but it sure brought them down, and it really taught us to shoot accurately.
 

Dark Mavis

Active Member
Mar 6, 2015
239
17
Vernon Parish, LA
Hevi-shot

You might as well pony up some extra coin for some hevi-shot, (or any other denser than lead load) IF you can find it in .410. Any advantage you can get will be helpful when dealing with the El Gobbleros, and the hevi-shot is a definite advantage over regular lead shot. You can use a smaller shot size of the hevi stuff (which will increase your pattern density), but still get the penetration needed. Good luck!
 

25contender

Veteran member
Mar 20, 2013
1,624
25
I would also recommend 5-6 shot for the 410. A friends boy has shot a couple with #5s at 20-25yds and both dropped in there tracks.
 

lostriverproductions

Active Member
Dec 27, 2011
463
40
Goshen IN
I'm doing the same with my 8 year old this spring 410 full choke, but am using #6 hevi shot. The 410 actually pattern really well out to 30-40 yards given the amount of shot in the shell. I did some testing and a heavier 20 ga shooting 2-3/4" shell with #7's has less recoil then his single shot 410. But were already geared up for the 410
 

johnsd16

Active Member
Mar 16, 2014
353
3
N Idaho
I agree with considering the 20ga. I plan on taking my 6 year old this spring and am planning on having him practice with some really light target loads and shooting the bird with true turkey loads. I will pattern the gun/choke with the turkey loads. I figure the light loads will get him comfortable with shooting and using the gun and when he actually shoots at a bird he won't notice the increased recoil. I'd hate for him to have his first hunting experience be a lost crippled bird so I wanted to use the 20 over the 410, but realize a marginal hit from any gun will end the same.
 

ElkTrout

Veteran member
Feb 2, 2012
2,443
42
Parker, CO
Hilltop, I don't think he will have any problem at 20 yards or less. I have a buddy that started his son that way as well. He shot a couple with a .410 before moving on to a larger gauge. He was using #5's and stoned them. Best of luck and can't wait to see the pics!


Sent from my iPhone
 

shootbrownelk

Veteran member
Apr 11, 2011
1,454
41
Wyoming
Dammit you guys. You made hunting with a .410 sound like fun. Now I'm going to have to take a second look at that Mossberg O/U flyweight shotgun at my LGS.....
 

buckbull

Veteran member
Jun 20, 2011
1,384
279
I wish I was able to logon sooner... but as lostriverproductions points out you can get 20 guage loads with manageable recoil. I did the same investigation for my son 2 years ago. I ended up going with a remington 1100 20 guage full choke (already in my gun safe). The semi-auto is not only heavy compared to the 410 but the gas operation helps with the recoil too.
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,059
453
Eastern Nebraska
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I had a generous offer from another member here that I couldn't pass up. He is letting my son shoot his youth auto .28 gauge. Length of pull is perfect and the 28 seems to have plenty of power for reasonable ranges but yet has lower recoil than the .410 single shot. We now just need the rain to stop long enough this weekend for us to get in the field... Good luck to everyone and thanks NE69. Hope to post pictures soon!
 

johnsd16

Active Member
Mar 16, 2014
353
3
N Idaho
That's awesome, quite generous. I had my little guy out and shooting the 20ga and he did really well. I was worried about recoil with the 20ga and him only being 6 years old and around 50lbs. He wasn't put off by the recoil and rattled off several shots. He has a mossberg youth pump, forget the model but the lop is around 11" and comes with another recoil pad and a spacer so you can have 4 different lop configurations.
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,059
453
Eastern Nebraska
We finally got it done! It was a fun hunt for both of us. I got off work at 5pm, picked him up and hit the road for the 1 hour drive to my favorite turkey spot. I hurried as fast as I could to get setup but with a 6 year old in tow it was 6:30 before we were in the blind. Within a minute of being in the blind I heard a turkey call close. I opened the window to find 3 big toms running into the decoys... agggg! I got his gun out and loaded as fast as I could, set him up in the shooting hole just as they reached the decoys. In the excitement, he missed the shot. He was very disappointed and so was I for not coaching him through the shot a little more. We decided to wait 20 minutes after that miss and let everything settle down before trying to call. 30 minutes later I had Terin's bird coming fast... This bird came in so fast he couldn't get a shot right away. It literally got within a few feet of the blind. I think it heard us because it ran out to 30 yards and stopped to look at what had spooked it. When it paused he made a great shot. He was elated to say the least...


It's not the big tom that he could have gotten but he is super proud of that bird. The .28 gauge that NE69 let us borrow worked great! I would recommend this gauge to anyone with a little one wanting to hunt turkeys. Thanks again NE69!