When it comes to shotguns and .410 bore, it is usually seen as something specialized as it is a caliber instead of a gauge. However, it can be used for hunting, sports, and also for self-defense. When transferred into the realm of gauges, .410 bore is a 67-gauge making for a payload that is not that stout as you might expect from a 12-gauge or such.
Being aware of this limitation is no reason not to use a .410 bore. In fact, it is quite popular and has been used for some of the most sought-after shotguns, like the Remington 870, Mossberg 500, and the Browning Superposed among others. .410 bore has even managed to outlive some gauges, like 10- and 16-gauge.
Looking at revolver shotguns in .410, you get basically two types, handguns and rifle sized shotguns. That is the advantage of a .410. As it is small, it can be shot from small guns. Rifle sized revolver shotguns give you more performance and versatility as they can be used for hunting as well as self-defense. Handguns are more for use at shorter distances and typically in self-defense roles. For that, they shine as they are very maneuverable thanks to their size, and it is at least for some of them not that challenging to conceal them, at least compared to their bigger brothers.
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6. Revolution Armory Rev410
The Revolution Armory .410 is a great option if you want to get into .410 shooting with a revolver shotgun. It comes with 2 removable plugs for the cylinder so you can limit the capacity to 3 shots to comply with legal restrictions for hunting.
The gun is chambered for 3-inch magnum rounds, and you can choose between a barrel length of 20 or 24 inches. They come either with vent rib or rifle sights. The stock is made from Turkish walnut and is checkered.
The sights are fiber optic adjustable. You can also opt for brass bead sights. Being in .410, the recoil is not necessarily too much to take, but still, this gun comes with a rubber recoil pad to reduce it even more.
The receiver is made from 4140 steel as is the barrel. Furthermore, the barre is chrome lined. You get a set of chokes with it to get the right pattern for all situations. The capacity of the cylinder is 5 rounds.
5. Taurus Judge
The Taurus Judge is the first to come up when you think about revolver shotguns or shotgun revolvers. It comes with a rifled barrel to shoot either .45 Long Colt or .410 Shotshells. For the barrel length, you get two options. One is 3 inches and the other one is 6.5 inches.
Another choice is the finish. You can go for matte stainless or for a black finish. Taking the 3-inch matte stainless variant, you get a revolver that weighs 29 ounces and has an overall length of 9.5 inches. That is owed to the fact that this revolver chambers 3-inch .410 shotshells in its cylinder. It has a capacity of 5 rounds, and comes with a single action double action trigger and a transfer bar safety.
The ejector rod is extended, and you aim with a fixed rear and a fiber optic front sight. There are some specially designed loads out there made for the shorter rifled barrel minimizing dispersion. At typical self-defense distances of 2-7 yards, that gets you a good pattern. Beyond that, the pellets spread out quite fast.
While the grips arguably are nothing to brag about, they are neither beautiful nor modern, they do a good job when it comes to mitigating the recoil.
When it comes to self-defense, the Smith & Wesson has an obvious advantage. It is smaller as a full length shotgun, and it comes with 6 rounds in the chamber. Also, it does not only take .410 shotshells and .45 Long Colt revolver rounds, it also shoots .45 ACP without a problem. For the .45 ACP, you need to use moon clips but a couple of them ship with the Governor right from the factory.
With these advantages, you might ask yourself ‘What is the downside?” and there truly is one. For the .410 shotshells, you are limited to a length of 2½ inches. That keeps the power round for round down while you do get one extra round. In the end, it is a question of preferences.
The action is double and single action, giving you the choice between rate of fire and accuracy. The revolver uses a z-frame and has a weight of 30.3 ounces for a barrel length of just 2.75 inches. Overall, it is still 8.5 inches long making it not super concealable, but still concealable with some effort.
The frame is made from a scandium alloy to keep the gun light and make it durable. The rear sights are fixed, and it sports a black ramp front sight. The spur hammer is textured to help with cocking for single action shooting. The grip features finger grooves to help with recoil control. With a short barrel and shooting shotshells, that is something you should not overlook.
You can get the Governor in stainless steel or in black. Also, there is a variant with Crimson Trace laser grips on the market.
The Rossi Circuit Judge is said to give you the best of both worlds. You might think of it as actually 3 worlds, as you get a long rifle platform with a revolver feel that shoots .45 Long Colt and .410 bore shotshells through its rifled barrel. In other words, revolver, rifle, and shotgun, all in one. What can you possibly want more?
The cylinder holds 5 rounds and shields protect you against gasses that escape at the cylinder gap. The chambers take 3-inch shells for payloads that are a little bit bigger. Of course, you can also use shorter shells.
You aim with fiber optic front and rear sights. Also, the Circuit Judge comes with a picatinny rail, so you can mount your preferred optic. The trigger is double action single action allowing for faster follow up shots or more accuracy as required. Also, it features a transfer bar safety.
The polished stainless steel barrel has a length of 18.5 inches, and the overall length of the gun is 35.5 inches. Unloaded, it weighs 85 ounces. There are different stocks available, and the frame is made from stainless steel.
There are some ideas floating around to what “BFR” actually stands for. Some have the idea that it means big friendly revolver or biggest finest revolver. The truth is a lot simpler than that. It just means Big Frame Revolver as this revolver truly comes with a really big frame.
The Magnum Research BFR is an American made rugged heavy-duty revolver that comes in different sizes and chamberings. One of them shoots .410 shotshells as well as .45 Long Colt. The barrel length is either 7 and a half or 10 inches. It is of course touted as the most powerful single-action revolver ever made, but that might be doubtful at least for this chambering as there is a Magnum Research BFR that is also chambered in .45-70 which is safe to assume produces a little bit more power.
To deal with the stress of firing shotshells, the cylinder is not fluted. It has a capacity of 5 rounds and as a true single-action revolver is loaded using a loading gate. The gun comes with a transfer bar safety.
The size and weight help dealing with the recoil. However, at the same time, they preclude any serious attempt of carrying this beast concealed. That is something you have to accept, but for that, you get a power level and accuracy that is unrivaled when it comes to .410 revolvers.
With the smaller version with a 7.5-inch barrel, you get an overall length of 15 inches and a weight of 4.5 pounds. The rubberized grip is a further help for managing the recoil. With this barrel length, this revolver is actually more suited for hunting than for self-defense, but it can be used for home-defense.
There has been quite some debate about the usefulness of .410 loads when shot out of a short-barreled revolver, and the question does deserve some attention. There have been tests that prove actually both sides are right. Some loads are just disappointing while others made short work of the target.
To settle the debate once and for all, we present to you the Taurus Raging Judge. This revolver does shoot .410 shotshells and .45 Long Colt like every other good shotgun revolver. It also shoots the 3-inch .410 shotshells to get you that extra performance. That is already very good. However, to be truly powerful beyond doubt, it also shoots the mighty .454 Casull. This round easily achieves power levels north of 1900 foot pounds of energy. To help deal with this round and its recoil, the gun features a red backstrap with cushioning to reduce the force that reaches your hand. Also, to deal with the forces of this round when shot, it has two release points for the cylinder.
You can choose between a barrel length of 3 inches and 6.5 inches. However, as this gun is clearly nothing you might attempt carrying concealed, it is better to take the 6.5-inch version to allow the rounds and shotshell loads to achieve a better performance.
Be ready for the weight, as already the 3-inch version tips the scale at 61 ounces. However, being in the realm of a rifle with its power, you still have a light gun.
There you have it guys, some really good and quite powerful revolver shotguns. If you are lucky and own one of them, let us know in the comments and tell us about your experience shooting it.