Bird Dog & Retriever News

June / July 2003 issue Page 35

 You and the .410
When it comes teaching lessons in humility, nothing comes close the .410

By Bill Hanus
www.billhanusbirdguns.com

The .410 shotgun gets short shrift in today s hunting journals - not that it's anyone's first choice as a game gun - but because people who write about shotguns start with the premise that their readers need all the help they can get - so better they should go afield maxed out in armament.
So while its not a great hunting gauge, it surpasses all others in its innate ability to teach humility. This is important. Far too often - especially when the birds are acting right, your dog is working right, and you haven't missed a bird off point since you can't remember when... there is a marked tendency to get a little cocky . . . to maybe get that feeling that you're ten feet tall. Since ten-foot-tall hunters tend to be difficult to live or even associate with, the .410 has come to play an important role in society today. When your feelings are running at unsustainable highs, it is important that you take your .410 and practice a little attitude adjustment on a couple of dozen clays. It's a proven fact that .410 s build character.
The author's favorite .410 cockiness cures shown here include a Winchester Model 42 , introduced in 1935 and of which about 165,00 were made. With the ventilated rib it might command a couple thousand dollars in the collector market. But Browning introduced a Model 42 Limited Edition of 6,000 in Grade I and 6,000 in Grade V from 1991 to 1993 and which carry price tags of only about $500 and $800 for Grades I and V. Other pump .410's you'll want to investigate will include Remington s M870 at about $335 and Mossberg s M500 at $310. Pumps offer the special appeal of involving both hands in the shooting experience, plus five or six shells up the spout allowing multiple opportunities to demonstrate one's shooting prowess . . . i.e. break the bird, then the largest piece, then the largest piece of the largest piece, etc.
Single shot shotguns have a special appeal all their own. The middle gun in the accompanying picture is a rarish Winchester M37 Red Letter .410. Win

Cockiness cures from the author s .410 shelf - top to bottom
Winchester Model 42 slide action, Winchester Model 37 Red
Letter single shot and a Browning Superlight over/under.

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Copyrights Bird Dog & Retriever News May 2003
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