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Part of the problem is in the ballistics.I've read that a pattern check on a .410 will sometimes show an otherwise decent pattern with a hole in it large enough for a small bird to fly safely through.On the other hand,I spent all of last season using a .410 Wingmaster.Bagged 8 or 9 pheasant,twice that in quail.Missed one pheasant. We hunt with dogs,so no birds hit were lost.And I should tell you that there are no wild pheasant in southern Indiana,so the pheasant were pen raised and tended to hold tighter.I don't know that I'de use a .410 on wild birds,in terrain where they flush further out.But on closer flushing birds,it tends to leave them in better shape for the table.I know,I could just wait longer before taking the shot.But I hunted for years as a kid with no dog and .410/22mag. over under.If you didn't shoot quickly,you didn't stand a chance.I've since then tried waiting for what to me,seemed like forever before shooting.But with a larger gauge,especially 12,I always wound up with bird soup.Anyway,I guess it's a matter of preference,hunting conditions,etc. I believe that with practice and a good dog,a.410 can be quite effective.By the way,I'm also partial to 7 1/2 shot.It penetrates well and doesn't drag in as much feather.This,also,depends upon conditions. Jim
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