A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Something Exciting for 2017. Hunting with a .410 Shotgun by Henry Repeating Arms!

The Henry H018-410 Lever Action 410 shotgun

As you may know I've been hunting squirrels with a .22 since I was a teenager. There have been rare occasions over the past ten years that I have used a shotgun. That mostly happens while I'm pheasant hunting and I happen to come across a shot that I just can't pass up. But a shotgun is never my first choice for a couple of reasons. I feel that there's a lot more sport in bagging a squirrel with a shot to the head with a .22, and my 20 gauge always does too much damage to the meat. The thought of a smaller 410 shotgun never crossed my mind until Henry Repeating Arms came out with this beauty; a lever action shotgun! This seems to be the best of best worlds. I'll be able to get precision shots on squirrels, while giving me the ability to knock down a pheasant at close range. One dilemma I deal with every year is whether to carry a shotgun or a rifle. It seems that when I'm carrying a .22, I'm tripping over pheasants, and when I have my shotgun there are squirrel shots everywhere. This shotgun may very well be the answer. 

Besides being practical, can you imagine the questions I'm going to get in the field? Who has a shotgun that looks like a rifle? Everyone will be asking me if I'm deer hunting, which is illegal on state land with a rifle in Connecticut. When I tell them it's a 410 I can guarantee everyone will light up with interest. This gun is just freak'n cool with its beautiful curved lever design, quality steel receiver construction and beautifully checkered stock. It's even set up so I can easily attach a sling. Did you ever see someone able to carry their shotgun with the help of a sling?

This shotgun comes in both 20" and 24" barrel lengths. The 20" comes with a fixed cylinder bore, while the 24" inch is equipped with a full choke, which can be changed out as needed. The 20" has iron sights like a rifle and the 24" a ball up in front like most shotguns. I first thought I'd go with the 20" because its shorter length would be easier to carry though the brush, but I soon came to the conclusion that the longer 24" would better serve my needs. It's longer barrel and full choke would make it function more like a rifle when  going after those typical Fall shots where the squirrel is feeding at the top of a tall tree, covered with leaves and a lot of focused energy is required to reach them. It would also give me a harder hit on a pheasant should I flush one along the way. Only having a front sight will make the gun faster to get on target for older guys like me who have some trouble looking through standard iron sights while wearing bifocals. And after all, this is a shotgun so I don't think the accuracy of an adjustable rear sight would be required unless I was shooting a slug. In that case, a 410 is too small a caliber to legally hunt deer with in this state anyway.

The gun carries 5 shells and is tube fed. 2.5" shells only. Both models appear to have the receivers drilled out for a optics, and I'll definitely consider mounting a red dot.

I was somewhat concerned about the need for a plug, since everyone I know has one which restricts their shotgun to carrying only 3 shells. I did a bit of research online and I found the following:

Regarding the need of a plug...

Restrictions on Shotguns...

"...In addition, it is illegal to use shotguns that hold more than 3 shells to hunt waterfowl, other migratory birds (except crows), deer, and turkey." 

Small game and pheasant is not mentioned.

From the 2017 CT Hunting and Trapping Guide...
"In addition, it is illegal to use shotguns that hold more than 3 shells to hunt waterfowl, other migratory birds (except crows), deer, and turkey." (again, nothing said about small game or pheasant).

"Shotguns must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells (2 in the magazine, 1 in the chamber) when hunting waterfowl, other migratory birds (except crows), deer on state lands, and turkey. The exception is that unplugged shotguns are legal to use during the September Canada goose season. The use of shotguns to hunt deer or turkey is subject to additional restrictions (see Deer Hunting and Turkey Hunting). " (once again, crickets regarding squirrel and pheasant).

Yesterday I emailed the CT DEEP to verify that this information is correct. I'll post their response once received. 5 shots would be beautiful!

Once the shotgun arrives I'll begin posting photos and video. This is going to be one heck of an exciting fall hunting season if the squirrel and pheasant show up to play. Check back soon! 

UPDATE: I called the DEEP and spoke to the office of the DEEP biologist. I was informed that a plug is NOT required for squirrel and pheasant. It seems to be a law for waterfowl and not small game. That's excellent because the 5 round tube can be fully loaded.


Anonymous said...

I've considered hunting with a 410 but the caliber seems a little small. I'm looking forward to see how you do with it. It'll help me to decide. The gun is beautiful. Take some good photos and thanks for the blog!

Bob Rich said...

I noticed in the latest Henry catalog that both models of the 410 are drilled and tapped for optics. I wrote my contact at Henry about it and received the following response...

The carbine version is drilled and tapped for a Weaver 63B, but the full length 24" is not (despite the picture of the prototype on our website). The is the same mount that we use for our .45-70's. Scope mounts and rings can be purchased from our online store directly, or from another supplier. https://henrypride.com/collections/rifle-parts