Successful Hunter|March - April 2020
Most bird hunters are more than content with one shotgun, usually a 12 or 20 gauge. If there never was another option, those of us who like “fowling” and are fond of fooling waterfowl or flushing wild prairie birds, from sage grouse on down to the small yet beautiful desert Mearns’ (Montezuma) quail, would be quite satisfied.
Fortunately, other gauges serve to keep things interesting, including the big 10, the 16 gauge and the fine 28. Over the years, I have shot birds on the wing using all of these with little trouble, but when it comes to the .410 (actually a bore designation), even the lowest-flying dove can keep a person humble.
Few hunters who leave shotgunning to the fall months are masters of its typical ¾- or 11⁄16-ounce charge of lead shot. Regardless, a .410 is fun and challenging to shoot well and allows a hunter to tote around a comparatively lightweight field gun, which draws some upland game enthusiasts to the use of the skinny barreled shotguns. Dedicated fans can thank the firm of Eley Brothers (London) for introducing it as a multi-purpose pest or “garden” cartridge in the mid-1870s. A .410 is also enjoyable to use for informal clay bird shooting or hunting rabbits.
One of newest .410s available is the Pointer Arista over/under (O/U) made in Turkey and imported by Legacy Sports International in Reno, Nevada, the same company that imports Howa 1500 rifles. While there are several Pointer models to include the MXL Synthetic Black and MXL Camo in 20 and 12 gauge, a Basic Over Under Clay model and a Basic Trap version (single barrel), the Arista is pure field gun with a suggested retail price of less than $600.
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March - April 2020