Bird Dog & Retriever News

June / July 2003 issue Page 36

 hester made a million of these in all gauges between 1936 and 1963. The best known single shot .410 shotgun on today's market is New England Firearms Pardner model. which retails for about $130.
Most over/under markers offer a .410, like the Browning Superlight shown here; but the big news for over/under and side/side owners are the sub-gauge .410 drop-in tubes that can quickly convert a larger gauge gun into a .410. Some even offer screw-in chokes. Ruger offers a proprietary line at about $500 and Briley offers a pretty full selection of .410 tubes for a variety of larger gauges and barrel lengths. Seminole products just announced the availability of Chamber Mates - sub-gauge chamber inserts - which quickly convert your 16 (or 12 or 20) gauge side-by-side or over/under to shoot either 28 gauge or .410 shells. Cost on these is $240 a pair for each gauge. Chamber Mates are about 3 long and centered in the barrel with a rubber O ring. Easy in and out, they utilize the chokes of the barrels and they work in extractor or ejector guns. Blow the cobwebs off that old 16 and pop a few .410 (or 28 gauge) caps, for goodness sake.
New this year will be the Savage Arms Russian-made Stevens M411 Upland Sporter - the first new name brand .410 side-by-side in a month of Sundays -sporting a price tag of only $432 and includes amenities like a single selective trigger, automatic ejectors and chrome-lined barrel. with 3 chambers. These .410's are choked Improved Modified and Full. Yes, these little devils are necked down like a rifle but that requires interpretation.
Tight chokes are the curse/joy of shooting a .410. The ultimate form of .410 one-upmanship is to wisely observe to your friends that you prefer to shoot tight chokes because they allow you to read the break. Inferring, of course, that you are so good that such knowledge enables you to make minute adjustments that allow you to hit the target wherever you wish. Thus, if you miss on the next shot - you really didn't miss. You overcompensated. Shooting a tightly choked .410 enables you to celebrate a certain measure of martyrdom while still hinting at perfection. Deviously, a .410 builds character while teaching life-skills other than humility. It's an affordable, educational and good therapy for the off-season - which you may have noticed is longer than the on-season.
Bill Hanus hails from Newport, OR

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