Editor’s Word: Deer camp, fish camp, the taking pictures vary, or the gun store—irrespective of the place hunters and anglers get collectively, they’ll discover one thing to disagree on. And why not? There’s nothing like argument to get your blood pumping. So, to that finish, day by day this week we’ll be posting tales designed to stir issues up round looking and fishing’s most urgent debates. And for selection’s sake, we’ll make some critters, cartridges, and weapons go head-to-head, too. To kick issues off, we’re weighing the 28 gauge vs 410 to search out the most effective sub-gauge shell for turkeys. Welcome to Versus Week.

Just a few years in the past, the 410 was given new life due to Tungsten Tremendous Shot (TSS). The dense little pellets turned the diminutive gauge—normally reserved for youth small recreation hunters—right into a viable turkey killer. This 12 months, although, a brand new sub-gauge is getting its second within the turkey woods. On the 2023 SHOT Present and the NWTF Conference, it was onerous to take two steps with out listening to how the 28 gauge is the following massive factor for turkey hunters.

Is that this a push to get you to purchase a brand new shotgun? Or one other method to promote costly shotgun shells? You wager. However gun and ammo firms don’t put a bunch of money and time behind a shotgun shell in the event that they don’t suppose it’s going to work—or in the event that they suppose hunters gained’t need it. 

Going into turkey season this 12 months, our greatest questions have been, ought to these seeking to get into sub-gauge turkey weapons contemplate a brand new 28 gauge as a substitute of a 410? How significantly better is a 28-gauge turkey load than the already succesful 410? And, is it so good that those that already personal a 410 ought to do away with their weapons in favor of the 28? To seek out out, we put each shells head-to-head in a shoot-off. 

28 Gauge vs 410: Desk of Contents

  • How We Performed Our Take a look at
  • The 410 
  • The 28 Gauge 
  • 28 Gauge vs 410: Sample Take a look at 
  • 28 Gauge vs 410: Dealing with
  • 28 Gauge vs 410: Ammo Value and Availability
  • And the Winner is…

How We Performed Our Take a look at 

We wished to search out two of the very same turkey shotguns and hundreds to check these shells. For the weapons, we turned to Mossberg. They lent us a pair of SA-Collection shotguns, one in 410 and the opposite in 28 gauge. Turkey hundreds for the 28 gauge have been scarce throughout our take a look at, and we may solely provide you with ammo from Apex. Nonetheless, Apex’s TSS 9½-shot shells are about pretty much as good a turkey load as you should buy. Different shells would possibly carry out otherwise than the outcomes beneath, however we really feel that is nonetheless comparability. 

We shot every gun 3 times at turkey-patterning targets at two totally different distances—as soon as at 30 yards and once more at 40 yards. Then we determined to push issues a bit and shoot at 50 yards. (Extra on that beneath.) With the patterns on paper, we added the variety of pellets that hit inside a 10-inch circle for every goal and averaged them up for a rating at 30, 40, and 50 yards. We additionally judged the weapons on dealing with, ammo availability, and value for every shell. 

The creator taking pictures a sample with the 28-gauge Mossberg SA-28 turkey shotgun. Dave Hurteau

The 410 

The 410 took the turkey world by storm when hunters realized that—when loaded with TSS—the little shells may take down a gobbler. Since then, a number of producers have supplied 410 turkey weapons and hundreds. The 410 is technically not a gauge, moderately a measurement of the bore in hundredths of an inch. When you measured it when it comes to gauge, it might be a 67½ gauge. It doesn’t matter what you name it, the 410 is a favourite of small-game hunters, and with the correct ammo, it’s an incredible possibility for kids chasing lengthy beards. It kicks like a cottontail, carries mild, and places sufficient pellets on the right track to drop birds at 30, 40, and a few say 50 yards. 

The 28 Gauge

The 28 gauge appeared to be reserved for upland hunters—till not too long ago. TSS 28-gauge hundreds captured the eye of waterfowlers who wished rather less kick, and producers began making 28-gauge duck weapons with 3-inch chambers. At present, 4 ammo producers make 28-gauge turkey hundreds in 3-inch and 2¾-inch lengths. Thus far, Mossberg has answered with their SA-28 turkey shotgun (it’s chambered for 2¾-inch shells solely), and producers like Kicks, Carlesons, and Jebs are making 28-gauge turkey chokes for a lot of manufacturers of weapons. Sooner or later, we’ll seemingly see extra 28-gauge turkey weapons hit the market if hunters determine to take up the shell. 

28 Gauge vs 410: Sample Take a look at

What Occurred at 30 Yards?

Each shells can be devastating to turkeys at 30 yards. Out of three pictures, the 410 averaged 160 hits in a 10-inch Circle. The Apex shells peppered the kill zones on our turkey targets with a number of hits to the top and neck. One of the best hit out of three for the 410 was 195 pellets on the right track. 

The 28 gauge confirmed indicators of taking the lead proper off the bat. It scored a mean of 210 pellets in a 10-inch circle. It was additionally remarkably constant, throwing up stable patterns with each shot. We’re splitting hairs right here, as each the 410 and 28 gauge will kill turkeys deader than useless at 30 yards, however the winner is the 28 gauge. 

What Occurred at 40 Yards?

28 gauge shotgun with ammo next to a turkey patterning target.
An instance of a 28-gauge sample of Apex TSS 9.5 shot at 40 yards. Matthew Each

At 40 yards, issues began to alter. We seen a distinction in consistency with the 410. Patterns have been wider, with the facilities of some impacting off the goal. This might have been as a result of we have been utilizing a peep and fiber-optic entrance sight as a substitute of an optic. Different causes may very well be that our shells didn’t just like the choke we had in. However some patterns have been so extensive, they hit different targets—one scoring a kill shot with a pellet within the adjoining gobbler’s head. The 410 averaged 67 hits in a 10-inch circle at 40 yards—seemingly nonetheless sufficient to kill a turkey. If I have been planning to hunt with a 410 at 40 yards, I’d decide on choke-and-load combo and high my shotgun with an optic earlier than heading out to the sphere. 

The 28 gauge stored proper on truckin’ at 40 yards. Whereas we had to make use of binoculars to identify our 410 patterns from the bench, we may see our 28 gauge patterns with the bare eye. At each set off pull, the darkish shoot-and-see turkey goal turned neon inexperienced. The 28 gauge coated the goal, averaging 152 hits in a 10-inch circle whereas remaining exact and controllable. For sample density, the 28 gauge greater than doubled what the 410 can do. The clear winner at 40 yards is the 28 gauge. 

How about 50 Yards? 

With the 410 scaling down at 40, we didn’t wish to push it to 50. However we did wish to see what the 28 gauge may do at half a soccer discipline. We took two pictures (these shells are onerous to get, and we solely had 10 of them) and related with the goal with every. At 50 yards, the 28 laid down the sorts of patterns turkeys don’t stroll away from. 

Our first hit was slightly low, however we nonetheless managed to put down a 73-pellet sample in a 10-inch circle. The second shot hit the goal sq., delivering a 97-pellet TSS sandwich proper within the kill zone. If taking lengthy pictures at gobblers is your factor, the 28 gauge will seemingly ship. 

28 Gauge vs 410: Ammo Value and Availability

As with all TSS, each 410 and 28-gauge shells are costly—however not as unhealthy as 12- or 20-gauge. For a 410 loaded with Apex #9.5s, you’ll pay round $6.19 per shell. For that very same load within the 28 gauge, you possibly can count on to pay about $8.39 per shell. Twelves and 20s surpass $10 and even $12. Proper now, 410 is extra broadly accessible. We may discover each shells on-line, however we had bother discovering 28-gauge turkey hundreds (or any 28-gauge shells, for that matter) in native gun outlets and massive field retailers. Once we lastly did discover some 28-gauge goal hundreds in a retailer, the clerk stated, “You’re the one individual I’ve ever offered 28 gauge to.” The winner right here is the 410. 

Two Mossberg turkey hunting shotguns.
The body sizes of the 410 and 28 gauge are nearly the identical. Matthew Each

28 Gauge vs 410: Dealing with

We began our take a look at taking pictures the 410, and after we converted to the 28 gauge, we seen an uncomfortable leap in recoil. This might’ve been as a result of we’d gotten used to the 410, or simply the best way the gun match (our 28-gauge shotgun got here with a unique inventory than the 410), however the 28 did have slightly extra kick. That stated, it wasn’t that unhealthy as soon as we acquired used to it. When you’re extraordinarily delicate to recoil, that may be one thing to think about. I’d nonetheless suggest the 28 gauge for youth hunters.

Each the 410 and 28-gauge SA shotguns look to be constructed on the identical sized body. They’re about the identical weight, although the 410 has an extended barrel, making it a bit extra cumbersome. It’s additionally a ½ pound heavier. Although the 28 gauge kicks extra, it’s extra gun for much less weight than the 410 and the clear winner for this class. 

Learn Subsequent: The Finest Price range Turkey Masses Vs. TSS

And the Winner is…

Twenty-eight gauge followers have at all times thought their favourite sub-gauge was considerably magic. After taking pictures it, I’ve to say I do, too. I anticipated the shell to place out an honest sub-100-pellet sample at 40 yards. As a substitute, we noticed that form of efficiency at 50 yards, making the 28 gauge an absolute killer. The underside line is the 28 gauge mopped the ground with the 410. If I used to be searching for a brand new sub-gauge turkey gun, and it was right down to the 28 gauge vs 410, I’d choose the previous. It carries like a 410, kicks lower than a 20, and hits like a 12. 

However that doesn’t imply you need to neglect concerning the 410. The 410 has the 28 gauge on ammo and gun availability for now. The opposite benefit? You seemingly have already got a 410 accumulating mud in your secure, and you’ll flip it right into a turkey gun with a field of fancy shells. In truth, we took my Mossberg 500 410 with a set full choke and put some Apex shells by means of it to check this. It did simply nice—though it doesn’t have a turkey choke. For youth hunters, new shooters, or anyone who wants an additional turkey gun, the 410 loaded with TSS continues to be an incredible alternative. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *