The Best .410 Pump Shotguns for Hunting and Target Shooting

With the advancement of shotshell technology, the .410 has become a more deadly hunting shotgun. These .410 pumps are worthy of your gun closet
410 pump shotguns

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More

I received a New England Firearms .410 single shot for my eighth birthday. It was my first shotgun and it opened up a universe of hunting opportunities. Most importantly, it allowed me to be more than a spectator when I accompanied my dad afield. I was a hunter of rabbits, squirrels, and the occasional quail. Like so many other hunters, my .410 was the gun that forged the path to all of my future sporting pursuits.

Five years later, though, I wanted something more potent. My friends carried 12s and 20s, and my little .410 left me feeling undergunned. I purchased a Winchester 1300 20-gauge pump and the .410 was relegated to the back of the gun safe. I didn’t plan on ever using it again.

But, as it turns out, the .410 has returned to active duty in my lineup of shotguns. Modern loads—specifically TSS—have revived the .410, transforming my NEF single shot into an effective turkey gun. I carry a .410 shotgun as often as any gauge. It’s in my hands when I’m following a pack of beagles at full cry on the heels of a cottontail, and it’s my go-to squirrel gun, especially when I’m locating bushytails with a call (odds are I’ll have to shoot at a moving target and a shotgun is more adept at that than a .22 LR).

As much as I like my single-shot .410, a repeater is a more practical option for most hunting situations, and there’s nothing more American than a classic slide-action scattergun. Today, the best .410 pump shotguns are light, generate low recoil, and are lethal in the hands of an experienced shooter. When I was a teenager, carrying a .410 was a sign of immaturity—the shotgun equivalent of wearing floaties in the swimming pool. Now when I see a hunter carrying a .410, I recognize an experienced hand who understands that the best shooters don’t need magnum 12-gauge loads so long as they pick their shots and possess the skill needed to make a .410 payload accurate on game. Here are the four best .410 gauge pump shotguns.

Best .410 Pump Shotguns Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Browning BPS

Browning BPS

See It

Key Features

  • Chamber: 3 inches
  • Barrel Length: 26 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Choke: 3 (M, IC, F) Invector-Plus
  • MSRP:  $879

Pros

  • Runs smoothly and swings like a full-sized shotgun.

Cons

  • Finicky loading

My vote for the most under-appreciated shotgun in North America goes to the BPS. Sure, these guns cost a little more than the average pump, but the styling and craftsmanship is worth it, plus they last forever. Browning’s BPS Field .410 comes with a robust steel receiver and weighs a bit more than other .410s on this list at 7 pounds—not ideal for young upland hunters who have to walk long distances with the gun. However, these guns have virtually no recoil with .410 loads and follow-up shots are blisteringly quick. That extra weight the BPS carries also helps it swing quickly and smoothly. The BPS features a tang-mounted safety which is a nice feature but takes a little getting used to. And because the safety is ambidextrous and the BPS has a straight stock, it’s a good fit for right- and left-handed shooters. The BPS has a 3-inch chamber, the barrel is 26 inches, and it comes with Browning Invector-Plus chokes (IC, M, F). If your looking for a silky-smooth action, this is the best .410 pump shotgun you’ll find.

Best for Turkey Hunting: Mossberg 500 Turkey

Mossberg 500

See It

Key Features

  • Chamber: 3 inches
  • Barrel Length: 24 inches
  • Weight: 6.25 pounds
  • Choke: X-Full
  • MSRP: $644

Pros

  • Durable and reliable. Optics ready.

Cons

  • Only one choke included

Mossberg knows pump guns, so it’s no surprise that the company’s catalog of .410 pumps is the longest of any shotgun maker. Mossberg’s flagship pump is the 500. It’s available with walnut or black synthetic stocks, but the most interesting option is the .410 Turkey. This model comes in Bottomland camo, with a tang safety of course, and an extended X-Full choke. The newest version of the gun is made with a small cut-out in the receiver so you can mount an RMSc-footprint red dot directly to the gun (no rail required). With one of the best red dots for turkey hunting mounted on this little shotgun, you’ll have the ultimate gobbler hunting rig.

Mossberg 500 .410
The Mossberg .410 Turkey is easily a 40-yard turkey gun when paired with premium TSS loads. Alex Robinson

It’s an ideal setup for new hunters who don’t want to be punished by recoil, and for veteran turkey hunters who want to call birds inside 40 yards. Last spring we patterned the Mossberg .410 at 40 yards and had no problem putting more than 140 TSS pellets inside a 10-inch circle.

Best Value: Tristar Cobra III Field Pump

Tristar Cobra III Field Pump

See It

Key Features

  • Chamber: 3 inches
  • Barrel Length: 28 inches
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Choke: CT-3 (IM, M, F)
  • MSRP: $455

Pros

  • Great value

Cons

  • Longer barrel is not ideal for carrying in the woods.

Tristars are well-made Turkish firearms, and the Cobra III Field Pump Walnut .410 is an excellent value. The Cobra weighs in at just over five pounds with a 28-inch barrel and the gloss-finish walnut stock looks like it belongs on a gun that should cost a lot more. Three chokes come standard, and the reliable slide-action design will hold up to plenty of spent rounds. It only weighs five pounds, and can handle 3-inch loads. The barrel is chrome-lined and there is a rubber recoil pad on the buttstock, so you should hardly feel a thing every time you pull the trigger.

Read Next: 410 Shotgun: Everything You Need to Know

Used .410 Pump Shotguns Worth Considering

Remington 870 Wingmaster

After years of financial troubles, Remington firearms are now being produced under the name RemArms. Recently, RemArms replaced the 870 Express with the newer 870 Fieldmaster, but currently, the Fieldmaster does not have a .410 offering. So if you want an 870 in a .410, you’ll have to hit the used market, and I suggest going with the Wingmaster model. The Wingmaster is known for its smooth action, blued finish, and walnut stock. There are plenty of beautiful .410 Wingmasters out there, but you can expect to pay $800 or more for them.

Winchester Model 42

The Winchester Model 42 is a scaled down version of the classic Model 12. According to gun writer Joe Genzel, who wrote a feature on his own Model 42, it was the first pump specifically designed for the .410-bore, so it’s always going to be held in high regard amongst wing and target shooters. It was also modeled after one of the greatest pump shotguns in history—the M12—so folks know that the 42 is a workhorse that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

Model 42s can fetch high prices, depending on the grade of the gun. There are five grades: Standard Grade, Skeet Grade, Trap Grade, Deluxe Grade, and Pigeon Grade. Deluxe guns can be worth upwards of $12,000 and Pigeon Grade guns can go for twice that much. 

Remington 870 Express

If you’re looking for a cheaper used option, the 870 Express might be a better fit. The Express in .410 comes with a 25-inch barrel, fixed full choke, walnut stock, and a 3-inch chamber. It still makes a good beater shotgun for chasing rabbits or squirrels. You’ll be able to find used versions in the $300 to $400 range without issue.

Why a .410?

.410 pump shotguns
The Browning BPS and Mossberg 500 after a day of pheasant hunting. Alex Robinson

The .410 packs a lot of performance into a small platform. It will shoot everything from 2½-inch loads (perfect for dispatching small pests like rats, starlings, and snakes) up to 3-inch magnums with 13/16 ounces of high-density shot for ducks, turkeys, and pheasants. If you’re of the mindset that a pump gun should double as a home defense weapon then you’re in luck with the .410 too, for there are a host of defensive options made popular by guns like the Taurus Judge. Federal Ammunition’s Custom Shop will also whip you up a batch of your favorite .410 loads so you can tailor your shotshells to the game you’re chasing.

Read Next: Rise of the Sub-Gauges: Why Small-Bore Shotguns Are Making a Comeback

Pump guns are the perfect platform to extoll the .410’s many virtues. We tend to think that pumps are considerably slower than semi-autos, but in truth that depends upon the capability of the shooter, the gun, and the load. A low-recoiling .410 pump in the hands of an experienced shooter cycles like lightning, and since you’re doing the brunt of the work to cycle the gun, odds are it will run without failure even if you’ve been a little lax on your cleaning detail. Pumps are also the most affordable repeaters, with a panache you can’t find in other guns.

The 12-gauge is still the standard-bearer and will be for the foreseeable future—you own one and so do all of your hunting buddies. But owning a .410 pump has its virtues, too. You just have to use it for the proper pursuits. Killing turkeys at close and moderate ranges with No. 9 TSS loads is a perfect use for a .410 pump shotgun. But they are also well equipped to take on small game and game birds at close ranges. We put the guns in this review through a day of field testing on a pheasant preserve and they worked wonderfully on the close-flushing birds. But would we recommend shooting them on hearty, wild pheasants that are notoriously tough to kill cleanly? Certainly not. Ultimately, it comes down to matching your gear to the pursuit, and the .410 does have its limits.

Modern Loads for the Best .410 Pump Shotguns

The real reawakening for the .410, though, is the growing popularity of high-density shot materials like TSS and bismuth. While duck hunting Mississippi’s legendary Beaver Dam Lake, I got a lesson in what today’s .410 TSS ammunition can accomplish. Jared Lewis of Apex Ammunition was carrying a .410, and as the ducks decoyed in through the cypress trees, Lewis put on a shooting clinic. Mallards where falling to the .410 at 30 and 40 yards, hitting the water stone-dead. Secretly, I had imagined the .410 would cripple more birds than it killed, but that wasn’t the case.

Premium .410 Game Loads

Why Trust Outdoor Life?

Since 1898, OL has been a leading authority in testing and reviewing hunting gear, fishing tackle, guns and shooting equipment, and much more. We have more than a century-long history of evaluating products, and we’re now bringing that expertise to online reviews. Our editors are experienced outdoorsmen and women, and most importantly, we’re trained journalists. We prioritize field testing and objective data when reviewing products. We conduct interviews with gear manufacturers and engineers as well as outdoor experts so that our readers have an understanding of how and why a product works—or doesn’t.

Advertising does not influence our gear reviews and it never will. While we always focus our coverage on standout products—because we want our readers to be aware of the latest and greatest gear—we also cover the flaws and quirks of any given product.

Final Thoughts on the Best .410 Pump Shotguns

From turkeys to squirrels a .410 shotgun is capable hunting gun with the right load. The best .410 pump shotguns are light, reliable, and affordable. When I was a growing up, a .410 was for kids, but not anymore. When I see a hunter carrying a .410, I recognize an experienced hand who understands that the best shooters don’t need magnum 12-gauge loads so long as they pick their shots and possess the skill needed to make a .410 payload accurate on game. If you’re ready to take on the challenge of shooting and hunting with a .410, you can’t go wrong with the above options.

Outdoor Life is dedicated to covering safe and responsible gun ownership for hunting, recreation, and personal protection. We participate in affiliate advertising programs only with trusted online retailers in the firearms space. If you purchase a firearm using the links in this story, we may earn commission.

Share

WHY YOU CAN TRUST OUTDOOR LIFE