Just In Case
Some people believe that unless your front door is being kicked in by a squirrel, your .410 shotgun is more useful as a club than a firearm. I say, don’t break into my house to find out.
My favorite home defense/travel companion is my Mossberg Cruiser in 410 bore (NOT gauge, dammit) shotgun. The 18.5-inch barrel has no choke so you can fire any of the 410 “self-defense” loads you like. It holds 5+1 if you prefer 2.5″ inch shells and 4 +1 if you like 3″ shells. I’ve learned to not combine 2.5″ with 3″ shells as it doesn’t eject or feed as well.
The gun also has a pistol grip. That, with the shorter barrel, means the weapon is easy to maneuver. It has almost no recoil, and only a bit when shooting slugs. You can easily fit it in a larger suitcase or break it down and put it in a backpack.
The Mossberg 500 Cruiser or “snake-charmer” is perfect for a lighter framed person or someone who needs a home-defense weapon in a smaller house or apartment. It weighs a little over 5 lbs. unloaded, has a single bead sight and an ambidextrous safety. You can add a buttstock to it if you like but the pistol grip is half the fun.
— Hugh M (@UncleHubie) November 3, 2015
Above, a 410 Mossberg Cruiser with other weapons.
I can fire this weapon with one hand if I need to. It’s also easily fired from the hip. I added a blinding 1200 lumen flashlight with a pressure switch. This serves two functions: 1) it blinds the bad guy and 2) it makes sure I’m about to shoot the right person.
This weapon is a lot of fun to practice with. The downside is that .410 ammo is expensive IF YOU CAN FIND IT.
I bought mine used, slightly banged up, off of gunbroker.com for $230. Of course, that was before Gropey-Joe Biden slimed his way into office and drove the price of 2nd Amendment freedoms through the roof.
The size of your home, the distance from your muzzle to the attacker, the ammo you’re using, etc., will all have an effect on how much “spread” you’ll get before your shot makes contact with the goon who decided to make an uninvited visit into your castle. Some of the .410 ammo I like is the Winchester PDX1 Defender shells. The 2.5″ shells shoot three plated disks and 12 small pellets. The 3″ shells shoot four disks and 16 pellets, leaving a lovely pattern of destruction across the center mass of any attacker who dared challenge your .410 home defense theory.
I also like Hornady’s Triple Defense load. It consists of two 35-caliber balls and a slug. This leaves your attacker with a large hole and second thoughts. I’m a BIG fan of Federals 2.5″, 000 buckshot, with four pellets and a muzzle velocity of 850 feet per second. Whereas there are a ton of fun loads for shotguns, I’ve always found that nothing gets a message across better than a chest full of buckshot.
The Mossberg 500 Cruiser, “Just in Case,” is pictured above in 12 gauge (no .410 pics available right now).
When choosing a load for your .410, it’s wise to take the layout of your home, and the materials used for building it, into account. If you fire buckshot at an attacker in a mobile home and miss, you could hit the kid in the next trailer. Number 4 shot would be a good call for this situation. If you live alone in the woods and get attacked, fire dragon’s breath and watch the fun.