Georgia Firearm Forums - Georgia Packing banner

Speaking of shotguns - Mossberg HS .410

2519 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  pml
A friend of mine (mother of two, husband travels frequently) had an epiphany. The alarm went off at 2 AM. She went to see what was happening, scared it was an intruder, with only her phone in hand. Turned out to be her husband coming home at an unexpected time. But she realized that if there was a home invasion, she needed more than just a cell phone and a rolling pin to defend her kids. She decided to buy her family's first gun.

Her father recommended a .410 shotgun. She latched onto ".410" as though it's the only option. Knowing I could not dissuade her from that, I found the Mossberg 500 HS 410 (item 50359 in the link).

Anyone know anything about this model? I recommended it to her because I figured .410 would be easy for her and her sons to handle as a first weapon, and better for her to get that & learn to uise it than just drop it and stick with the rolling pin.

Does anyone have any experience w/this gun? For home defense scenarios, i.e. dark & inside 10 yards, will the .410 be adequate? Any particular loads to recommend?

1 - 12 of 12 Posts
For close range home defense scenarios, .410 isn't the worst thing in the world. It's obviously better than a rolling pin.

Think about it this way, the Taurus Judge is a revolver that shoots .410 shells, and some people do choose it for a close range defense weapon. In fact, because of the Judge, some ammo manufacturers have started making self-defense loads specifically for .410. I would say looking into these loads would be your best option.

Federal Premium Personal Defense Ammunition 410 Bore 2-1/2" 7/16 oz #4 Shot
Federal Premium Personal Defense Ammunition 410 Bore 2-1/2" 000 Buckshot 4 Pellets

These are the most obvious ones that come to mind. You can find one of those, I can't remember which, at Wal-Mart, so they are easy to find and practice with.
Yeah, she mentioned the Judge as another option. I described it to her and told her to get whatever she's comfortable with (but to note that if she specifically wants a handgun, there's a lot more options to consider than just a Judge).

We'll have a look at the Federal shells, and I'll ask her to get some snap caps, too. This is all so new to her, she really needs to take some time to get familiar w/the weapon. Not sure she'll put that much into it, though...
Before settling on a .410 have her try out a Youth model 20ga. We went through this with my SO and she shot my 870 12ga once and said "no shotguns ever." Then I got a hold of a Youth 20ga pump and she loves shooting it and is very good with it. She's a little bitty thing too and is petrified of recoil and noise.

.410 is better than nothing, but it's not quite the stopper that a 20ga is. You don't want the intruder to leave because something hurts him. You (her) want him to not be able to continue because you just caused his body to physically fail. Drugs, alcohol, mental illness, adrenaline, etc. all do very strange things to people's pain responses.
I personally wouldn't recommend anything less than a 20ga for a shotgun.

IMHO, buying a .410 for a self-defense shotgun is like buying a .25acp for a self-defense carry weapon. :2cents:

But......a .410 or a .25acp is much better than nothing.
Please, please, please don't listen to the old "Heck yeah! 20 rounds of .22 to the face would make anybody change their mind!"

You want actual physical incapacity and I'm not sure a .410 would do that.
Blake said:
You want actual physical incapacity and I'm not sure a .410 would do that.
Ditto. I doubt .410 would penetrate a coat.
Box O' Truth tested .410 for defense with a Judge and it failed, although you may gain some velocity with the longer barrel of a full shotgun. I still think the round is insufficient for humans in any capacity.
I used to have the Mossberg Home Security .410

I sold it, about 2 years ago. There might still be pics that I posted in the Buy/Sell/ Trade forum from back then.

I didn't like the .410 caliber because I thought it was kind of weak, and I can handle more. But the gun was really intended for my mother who was in her mid-70s when we got that gun some 15 years ago.

Mom was not interested in practicing with guns, she just wanted to "have one" handy "just in case."
So the couple times I took her to the range, she had trouble operating it. Forgetting to pump, or trying to pump twice and finding the action locked, etc.
(Of course there's nothing special about the Mossy 500 in that regard--- any pump action shotgun would have given her the same trouble, which is why she transitioned to a revolver after that.)

Anyhow, I liked how short and light the gun was. It was reliable. It had almost no recoil. I attached a flashlight to the fore-end (using screws going right into the black plastic) and the light pointed right where the shot pattern hit.

Personally, I think 12 and 20 gauge shotguns are better choices except for people who are really recoil-shy.
The wider frame makes them easier to load shells up in the mag tube.
See less See more
Three other comments:

1.) The load I'd recommend is something that has big pellets or BBs. Maybe #4 birdshot? If they sell bigger, get bigger. But I'd avoid slugs, since they're a hit-or-miss proposition (literally).

2.) When shooting the long 3" shells, you have to be careful to pump FIRMLY and keep everything clear of the ejection port. The longer shells are more likely to hang up and fail to clear the weapon. But mine was still 99% reliable with any ammo.

3.) I tested penetration at very close ranges-- 5 to 15 feet. Penetration was OK. At five feet, this .410 would blow a hole through a car door. The hole was big enough to fit a tennis ball through.
At 15 feet penetration really dropped off, because the pellets spread more. But I think you would still inflict a very serious injury. It might be a good idea to train for one or two body shots followed by a blast to the face. This should be at least blinding, if not instantly fatal.
Update - I sent my friend the link to this thread. Now she and her husband are heading to Bullseye to see if they can rent a .20 ga. She says "if the recoil doesn't knock me on my butt" she'll move up to it.

One last point I made about recoil - for people in her situation, don't worry about it. It's not like she's going to shoot all the time. But if the need to defend the homestead ever arises, a sore shoulder is preferable to the alternatives.

BTW, the "boxotruth" website is nice. I'll be spending my lunch hour there!

Thanks to everyone for your input.
Blake said:
Box O' Truth tested .410 for defense with a Judge and it failed, although you may gain some velocity with the longer barrel of a full shotgun. I still think the round is insufficient for humans in any capacity.
Agree with them. If asked I recommend a 38 special revolver for people starting out.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.