The Best .410 Shotguns [Hands-On Tested]

Today I’m going to show you the best .410 shotgun.

In fact:

I’ve hand-tested over 15 guns alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted each shotgun by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best shotgun for .410, you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

The 4 Best .410 Shotguns

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best .410 shotguns:

  1. Henry Repeating Arms Lever Shotgun: Best .410 Shotgun for the Money
  2. Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun: Best .410 For Home Defense
  3. Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I: Best .410 Shotgun for Hunting
  4. TR Imports Silver Eagle XT3 Tactical: Best Semi-Auto .410 Shotgun

1. Henry Repeating Arms Lever Shotgun: Best .410 Shotgun for the Money

The Henry Repeating Arms Lever shotgun is the best .410 shotgun for the money on the market.

Henry’s known for crafting reliable, accurate, high-quality rifles.

But, how does their lever shotgun measure up? And more importantly, is it worth the heavy price tag?

Let’s find out!


This shotgun is incredibly accurate, right out of the box.

It yielded impressive groups from 10, 20, and 30 yards, my average grouping from 30 yards being just 1.5”.

The 20” model features a brass-bead front sight and an adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight with a white diamond insert (the 24” model includes only the front sight).

The sights make it simple to regulate patterns and quickly get on target.

The sights and inherent accuracy of this Henry make it ideal for small game and pest hunting, as well as shooting clays.


The Henry is completely reliable.

I’ve fired over 300 rounds out of it with no mechanical issues and no failures to feed or eject any rounds.

Henry Repeating Arms produces reliable firearms, and this lever shotgun is no exception. The features and controls all operated smoothly throughout all testing performed.

It’s ideal for both hunting and home defense, two situations where reliability is of utmost importance.

You need something you can count on, and this is a gun you can trust 100%.


The stock on the Lever shotgun is made of American walnut, with diamond-patterned checkering on the fore-end and grip. This provides a good gripping surface, and also looks great!

The fore-end is steel-capped, and the solid steel receiver gives it the strength it needs to handle 2.5” .410 ammo.

It shoulders and points easily, and the lever operates smoothly.


The single-action trigger pull is a relatively light 4 lbs with a crisp, clean break, and there’s very little takeup.

The light and clean trigger further enhances the gun’s suitability for hunting, as you don’t have to worry about a heavy trigger or inconsistent pull affecting your accuracy.

Magazine & Reloading

The Lever shotgun features a tubular magazine designed for five 2.5” shells.

You load your shells directly into the tube from the top, the same way as with a Henry rifle.

Just twist the follower and pull it up past the loading port, load your shells, then push the follower down and twist it to secure.

Some people push the capacity up to 6 or 7 shells, but I’d recommend sticking with 5 so you don’t accidentally jam it.

Length & Weight

My Henry is the 20” barrel model, but it also comes in a 24” size.

Overall, my 20” barrel shotgun is 40.5”.

It’s a little hefty at 7.5 lbs (a little less than a gallon of paint) but still maneuverable and light enough to carry through the woods comfortably without a sling.

There are comparable hunting rifles that weigh less, but the Henry’s features make the trade-off worth it.

Recoil Management

.410 shotguns are known for their mild recoil, but the Henry comes standard with a ventilated recoil pad to absorb any that remains.

Even with notoriously heavy 2.5” .410 shells, the recoil is minimal.

If you’re sensitive to recoil, or if you’re looking for something to introduce your youngster to small game hunting or clay shooting, this is a perfect choice.

Ammo Recommendations

Using Hornady Critical Defense .410 Triple Defense, my best grouping was around 1.5”. At $15.99 for a box of 20, it’s not too expensive.

However, if you’re looking for something a little cheaper, I also had great luck with Federal Premium Personal Defense .410 4 Pellets-000 Buck. This one was originally designed for handguns, but also works very well with .410 bore.

Recommended Accessories

The 20” model is drilled and tapped for a scope, and it also features swivel studs for a sling.

I’d recommend installing a Weaver 63B aluminum scope mount and a Vortex Optics Crossfire II scope if you’re looking to shoot from a longer distance.

While the gun is light enough to carry without a sling, it might be more convenient for you to add one if you’ll be walking long distances with it.

I’d recommend a brown leather sling to match the walnut stock.


The Henry Lever shotgun MSRPs for $850, but you can find it at most retailers for around $750.

It’s a little on the pricey side, but it’s absolutely worth the money.

Is the Henry Repeating Arms Lever Shotgun Worth it?

The Henry Lever shotgun is fun and easy to shoot, a great choice for newbies and seasoned shooters alike.

It’s perfect for small game hunting, but also functions well for home defense or clay shooting.

To recap, here are some of the Henry’s best features:

  • Accurate
  • Completely reliable
  • Very little recoil

Although this is a pricier firearm, it is worth every penny for an all-purpose shotgun.

2. Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun: Best .410 For Home Defense

Let’s paint a picture to set the stage. You are planning for a scenario in your home, in defense of your family, that will probably be incredibly stressful. Let’s be clear on that last bit…you will be freaking out and your fight or flight responses will be pinging off the charts.

So you need a weapon that will function without fail, provide generosity in target acquisition and won’t blow a hole through every bedroom wall behind the bad guy.

Enter: the Mossberg 500 Pump-Action .410 Shotgun.

With the functionality of a .410 and the ten million-strong resume of the Mossberg M-500, there is no question that this weapon is exactly what every homeowner needs for those worst-case scenarios.

Planning and information is key to true safety, so let’s take a deeper look into why this shotgun is the best choice for you and your family.


When it comes to the possibility of only having one chance to stop an intruder, the accuracy of the M-400 won’t let you down.

I modified my QCB course a bit for this one to simulate home defense use and to test the accuracy and range from 10 – 50 yards. On the longest end of things, my shot groupings were very effective at 40 yards.

The sweet spot of 15-25 was where she really shined. Exactly what I was looking for with this defender.

The short range of stopping power may sound less than ideal, but consider the intended use and size of your home.

A local lumberyard owner I know loves the M-500 for the short range in stopping power. He can shoot the pigeons inside his lumber sheds, without worrying that he’ll blow a hole in the roof.


With millions of Mossberg shotguns in production, the tried and true reliability of the M-500 is beyond reproach.

The solid bolt-barrel-connection has a good feel to it, without rattles or jiggles. You can’t get a cleaner working mechanism than the constancy of the pump-action. There are dual action bars for reliable ejection and easy to break down parts for simple cleaning.

If you have ever been intimidated by the need to break down a weapon for cleaning, I can tell you that there is no reason to worry about this one.

I can fully strip this .410 and reassemble again faster than I should be brushing my teeth.


The synthetic stock and forearm give the M500 a good feel with classic style.

The moulded forearm makes it easy to get a good solid grip for firing and rack. The shiny smooth wood seen on other shotguns may look pretty, but tend to be slick to touch. No such troubles here.

Mossberg has provided the tactile support of synthetics to ensure you’re hands-on and ready.


The Mossberg 500 has a single stage 5 pound trigger.

With the tang manual safety being completely ambidextrous, there is no need to worry about adapting for the lefties.

It was nice to have that trigger on the lighter side of things. When I use this shotgun to learn some young’uns, it helps their weaker hands with trigger control.

Magazine & Reloading

There is such a sweet simplicity in the pump-action of the 500.

Loading and downloading are effortless.

The mechanical function of the pump-action is just as reassuringly reliable as other mechanical actioned weapons, such as bolt-action or lever-action rifles, however, the benefit to the Mossberg .410 is the 5 + 1 capacity.

Stopping or worrying about the need to reload is obviously less than ideal in any home defense scenario, so the six shot load is an ease on my mind.

Length & Weight

The Mossberg 500 is a light shotgun, which makes it an easy long gun for grab-and-go scenarios.

Some of the smallest models weigh just over 6 lbs, and my 12 gauge comes in at 8. The lightweight aluminium receiver and clean utilitarian design can be appreciated with the slight effort required to heft this shotgun.

My Mossberg came with two barrel options, each 28” in length, a smoothbore with a vent ribbed barrel as well as a full rifled barrel. Since mine lives under my bed, the dust bunnies are better deterred with the smoothbore.

Recoil Management

A big part of why the Mossberg is perfect for your defense is incredible low recoil.

Generally speaking, this is the shotgun that most kids start with to get a feel for this style of weapon without the worry that it will knock them down, to never be touched again.

With a squishy 1” recoil pad, Mossberg has upped the comfort and ease of use even further.

With the right ammo, that recoil can be reduced even further. On the course, with my top picks for ammo, the barely-there recoil made for some fun shooting.

Ammo Recommendations

For home defense, there are two different types of ammo that I would prefer to use to keep my family safe.

The tried and true Winchester AA .410 Shotshells will give you a 9 shot pattern, with 1200 ft/sec velocity, at an incredibly affordable price. These shells are a target load shell, but don’t let that fool you.

For the most reliable option, this is my pick. It’s also a great round to get out and just have fun with. The all-around nature of this ammo is ideal.

A true defender round, the Winchester PDX1 .410 Defender will give you a 12 pellet and 3 defense disc combo shell with 750 ft/sec velocity.

This was a serious performer on the course, and will definitely do some damage. Closer than 20 yards, you will decimate anything in its path.

Recommended Accessories

For home defense, the number one accessory that EVERY gun owner should have is a way to keep this weapon secure.

Depending on where you are keeping it, this could be a safe, a cabinet or even a simple gun lock. Here are my recommendations for some great products to keep you and your family safe:

  1. Sports Afield 30 Gun Fire Rated Safe
  2. Master Lock Trigger Lock

Many police agencies around the country also distribute free trigger-style gun locks to anyone who asks for one. Check with your local agency for details.


The Mossberg 500 is a very affordable shotgun.

With a $400 price tag for the weapon, extremely affordable ammo options, and potentially free storage accessories to keep curious younguns safe, you can be ready to protect your family for less than most gaming consoles.

Xbox? Home defense? You decide.

Is the Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun worth it?


One of the fastest ways to make an intruder think twice is that magic sound of the shotgun rack. The reliability, ease of use and dirt cheap price tag for a quality weapon make this an easy verdict.

That said, let me be clear on something:

If you fire a weapon within a residence, there is a high probability of damage to persons or property that was unintentional. Deadly consequences should be in the forefront of your mind in any scenario within close quarters.

So be safe, be ready and be secure in the knowledge that with this shotgun you can protect your family without fail.

3. Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I: Best .410 Shotgun for Hunting

The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I is the best .410 hunting shotgun on the market today.

Beretta is a tried-and-true manufacturer known for producing durable, reliable, and accurate machines.

How does the 686 Silver Pigeon I measure up? And more importantly, is it worth the investment?

Let’s find out.


You’ll have no problems hitting your target with the Silver Pigeon I; even hitting moving targets from long distances is a breeze!

It features a very acceptable single-bead sight, and the design of the 686 keeps the plane of your shooting hand very close to your eye. These features combined make positive target acquisition very simple.

This gun is intended first and foremost for small bird hunting. It’s important to be able to shoot accurately from long distances to achieve this, and that’s very possible with the Silver Pigeon.


You can expect complete reliability with every shot you take using the Silver Pigeon I. It’s solid, well-balanced, and well-put-together.

Like LWRC, Beretta is a tried and true manufacturer that has proven its reliability over the years, using sturdy materials to craft durable firearms.

The 686 Silver Pigeon is no exception.

You can expect this shotgun to last generations with continuous durability and reliability.


The Silver Pigeon I features an open-radius pistol grip and a walnut stock with fine top-rib checkering, which contrasts well with the satin-nickel receiver.

It’s perfectly balanced, fast-handling, and both the stock radius and the grip are very comfortable.

The Monte Carlo cheek-piece slopes slightly upwards toward the receiver, which stimulates a “heads-up” position. This allows the shooter to get a better look at the target, improving target acquisition.


The single-selective trigger pull measures around 4 lbs 11 oz.

It’s a bit heavy for this type of shotgun, but gives a crisp snap with little to no takeup.

For aesthetic purposes, the trigger is gold-plated. This contrasts nicely with the walnut stock and nickel receiver, giving it a polished look.

Overall, the Silver Pigeon I provides a very acceptable trigger. It’s light enough for quick shooting and there’s no overtravel to speak of.

Magazine & Reloading

The 686 has a capacity of just two rounds.

As with all break-action shotguns, you load shells directly into the barrel of the Silver Pigeon I.

Just break open the action, drop any spent casings out, reload your shells, and swing the action back together.

The lightness of the gun allows the action to swing open and eject spent casings easily for fast and simple reloading.

The ability to load and unload quickly is essential with a hunting rifle, as you don’t want to waste any time in-between follow-up shots. Loading and unloading the 686 is as simple as could be.

Length & Weight

The Silver Pigeon I comes in barrel lengths of 26”, 28”, and 30”.

I have the 26” barrel, and the shotgun is 43.75” long overall.

Empty, it weighs around 6.8 lbs. This is just about the same weight as a normal red brick.

It’s a very lightweight, easy to carry shotgun.

The lightness is part of what makes the Silver Pigeon I the perfect hunting gun for people of all ages and skill levels.

Recoil Management

The 686 has several features to help mitigate recoil, the first of which being its low-slung receiver.

Typically, vertical over/under shotguns will snap up under recoil, causing the stock to hit the shooter’s cheek.

The 686 remedies this by shortening the profile.

Beretta has pivoted the barrels around the trunnions on the receiver walls, eliminating the need for underhooks to form the hinge.

This arrangement makes the firearm more compact and lowers the impact point from the cheek to the shoulder and torso, letting the user feel less intense recoil.

The upward-sloped Monte Carlo cheek-piece also helps reduce felt recoil, and the shotgun features a thick rubber butt-pad to absorb any that remains.

Over/under shotguns have some inherent issues when it comes to felt recoil, and Beretta has taken some preventative steps with the Silver Pigeon I to reduce these problems.

Ammo Recommendations

I achieved great results using Winchester Super-X 3” High Brass, #4.

They’re not too expensive at $14.99 for a box of 25, but another great option at a lower price is Remington American Clay & Field Sport. This one will run you around $10.99 for a box of 25.

Both options produce consistent tight patterns, whether you’re hunting small birds or just shooting clays.

Recommended Accessories

The 686 is a pretty decent shotgun all on its own.

However, interchanging the choke tubes may give you better accuracy and let you shoot even further. These Mobilchoke Flush .410 choke tubes from Beretta are a great choice.


Depending on the model, Silver Pigeons range in price from $1,700-$2,800.

Over/unders don’t come cheap, but this Beretta has proven its longevity and performance over the years. It’s a great value for the money you’ll spend.

Some may even consider this an investment purchase, as these guns are known to hold their value over many years.

Is the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I Worth it?

Once you’ve decided to go with a shotgun, consider trying an over/under. The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I is the blueprint for a perfect over/under shotgun.

It looks good, handles well, and functions flawlessly.

To recap, here are its best features:

  • Time-tested reliability
  • Impeccable accuracy
  • Great investment purchase

It’s the ideal hunting shotgun, but also great for sporting and perfect for newbie shooters or youngsters learning about everything over/under shotguns have to offer.

4. TR Imports Silver Eagle XT3 Tactical: Best Semi-Auto .410 Shotgun

I’ve wanted a nice semi-auto .410 to take to the range, but I didn’t realize how much utility there was in the .410 until I started using the XT3.

The XT3 can be extremely valuable in a home defense situation or for hunting with a simple magazine change.

In fact, the XT3 wears many hats and pulls them all off.

Here’s why the XT3 is the best .410 semi-auto shotgun…


I mostly used the XT3 to shoot cans off of fence posts, but the accuracy is certainly not lacking.

There wasn’t any crazy pellet spread going on and when I lined a target up in my sights, I was able to hit it every time.

The precision-machined design was probably the biggest factor in making sure I was on target when I was shooting. Even when rapid firing, the XT3 Tactical kept its cool, and kept me on target.

There’s usually not much to say in regard to accuracy for shotguns besides that it hit the general direction I was in.

You might not win a marksmanship competition, but you surely won’t be whiffing shots left and right.


I ran through an almost embarrassing amount of ammo in a very short time. I was having a blast dumping mag after mag.

This gun might almost be too reliable! You’ll be burning through all your ammo without even realizing it. I had only a couple of malfunctions during my time with it and that was me pushing the TR Imports Silver Eagle XT3 Tactical as hard as I was physically able to on the trigger side of things.

That being said, I typically like to rely on my Mossberg 590 for home defense, but the XT3 is no slouch for reliability.

The solid construction and machining are the biggest contributors to reliability for this bangstick.

You can be sound of mind when using this shotgun for self(or home) defense.


The handling of this weapon is pretty much just ok. There’s nothing of note to point out in terms of specific comfort features.

The pistol grip is rubberized and has finger grooves for added stability, although I typically go for straight grips.

As for the foregrip, I very highly recommend purchasing some rail covers as the picatinny rails can be rather abrasive and uncomfortable. Having relatively sharp edges slamming into your skin is not a fun experience.

If you get your hands on some rail covers, this will be a perfectly serviceable weapon in the handling department.


Throughout my time with firearms, a basic shotgun trigger always outpaced basic pistol and rifle triggers.

The XT3 is no exception. The trigger isn’t incredible, but it has a crisp break and a smooth action.

I’d even go as far as to say I wouldn’t even really consider a trigger swap. It functions like a champ and hasn’t done me wrong yet, so I’m sticking with it.

A decent trigger means that a shooter doesn’t need to fight with his weapon to land solid hits. Having that control can really take a person’s shooting up a notch.

Magazine and Reloading

The XT3 Tactical includes two magazines with a capacity of five rounds.

This is a little less than the average home defense shotgun but with two mags, I’m thinking it’ll get the job done. Just make sure you’re practicing changing mags and operating the weapon.

The magazine release is a button so most shooters should be very familiar with the operation of the reloading mechanism.

One of the biggest reasons to purchase a magazine-fed shotgun is for the ease of use when reloading quickly in high-stress situations, so simplicity is king when producing and designing magazine systems.

Length and Weight

The XT3 has an overall length of 40.5 inches. In my personal opinion, I think that the overall length is just a little too long for my tastes. If TR Imports has cut the barrel just a tiny bit smaller, I would have been happy, but as it stands, it’s too long and unwieldy for me.

The weight on the other hand isn’t so bad at 7 and a half pounds. It’s very average, but I’m not going to hold that against the XT3 since it’s not actively cumbersome to carry around.

For shooters, it feels like every Mossberg 590 or Remington 870 you’ve held before. If you’re not a shooter yet, this is lighter than cradling a baby.

Recoil Management

I’m happy to report that the recoil isn’t bad at all!

With a smaller caliber, this semi-auto probably has less kick than you’re expecting. It is almost trivial to mitigate kick on this shotgun.

You’ll definitely feel the difference if you’re switching from a 12 gauge to .410. In relative terms, you’re not going to have more than a light push on your shoulder.

I am sure the stock played a pretty important role in softening recoil. The XT3 is equipped with a thick rubber recoil pad that takes the sting out of the kick.

A low recoil gun is an accurate gun. Less kick means easy sight alignment and faster follow-up shots. You can do quite a bit of damage with consistent fire on a single target. Don’t let the small caliber fool you, the .410 is still deadly and can help you survive a home defense situation.

Ammo Recommendations

I essentially ran whatever I could get my hands on since I was going through shells so quickly.

The cheapest box store brand shells still did fine, but I’d go with well known and reputable brands like Winchester PDX-1 Defender for home defense.

As for hunting, I’d recommend the Federal Premium .410 TSS.

Recommended Accessories

The XT3 comes kitted with quad picatinny rails.

You don’t need to do much to this firearm in terms of attachments, but there could be some improvements made with just a couple additions.

Here are the best attachments for the XT3:


The TR Imports Silver Eagle XT3 Tactical is going to run you a little less than $500 at $480.

Is the TR Imports Silver Eagle XT3 Tactical worth it?

If you want a decently priced, semi-auto, mag-fed, 410 shotgun, then this is the gun for you!

Here’s why:

  • It’s wallet friendly
  • The look is sleek and modern
  • There’s less recoil from a .410
  • The XT3 is versatile (great for hunting and home defense)
  • The magazine and reloading systems make it simple and familiar to maneuver

The XT3 is great in so many ways. It’s easy on the wallet and great in your hands. It’s hard to lose with a combination like that.

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best .410 Shotgun guide.

So as a recap:

If you are on a budget, I’d recommend getting the Henry Repeating Arms Lever Shotgun. It’s reliable, accurate and high-quality.

Looking for a home defense shotgun? Get the Mossberg 500 Pump-Action.

How about a shotgun for hunting? Then opt-in for the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I.

Lastly, if you’re looking for the best semi-auto 410 shotgun, then the TR Imports Silver Eagle XT3 Tactical is what you are looking for.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which shotgun will you pick for your 410?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

8 thoughts on “The Best .410 Shotguns [Hands-On Tested]”

  1. the TR import would be great if you could get magazines for it, especially more than 5rd mags, sad because i would own one if you could.

  2. Good morning.

    Perhaps you can help me. I just purchased a 410 side by side break action with hammers. One the right side it says MACHINE MADE and the left has the manufacturer’s name. I can only make out a few of the letters.

    It appears to be J _ _ Rri _ _ _ Bros.

    The J and the Ri are clear as is the Bros. but the others are hard to decipher. I assume the shotgun is at least 50 or 60 years old.

    Between the two barrels, 6730 is stamped towards the end.

    The barrel is 26″.

    There is a small (3/4″) brass plate on the bottom of the pistol grip but has not letters on it.

    Would you know the make and perhaps a little of the history of the company that made it?

    Many thanks.

  3. Great review, sadly though, the prices have gone up, in some cases a LOT since your review! It happens….especially with incompetents in Congress and at 1600 Penn Ave.

    I’m hoping that you will do a FOLLOW UP review(s) for each type of .410 firearm you’ve reviewed: ie, Hunting Category, Tactical Category, In Between Category, and yet a whole other review of Single Shot Affordables for Noobs and Younger People.

    I’m interested in the Tactical side, Home Defense and Truck Gun (slugs), with the TR3 XT Tactical in mind: are there NOW, any larger capacity mags available?, can the AR style Handle and/or the Front Post be removed?, are there M-LOK adapters for mounting Laser/Flashlight on the Foregrip?, etc.

    I want to mount a Green Dot Sight on one for quick and easy Home Defense and Varmint uses……

    Anywho, thank you again for a great review!

    Cheers from the Oil Patch in Central WY


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