Winchester developed their PDX1 410 ammo for the Judge. Although TTAG has yet to test the ammo in Taurus’ big ass revolver, we’ve heard nothing but good things about it performance in that application. But we wanted to know how Winchester’s combo of three plated cylinder projectiles and 12 plated BBs would perform in a .410-firing tactical shotgun. Theoretically, PDX1 410 ammo could give new life to the deeply unloved genre; low-recoil and lethality in a shotgun being a good mix for women, teenagers and/or elderly folk. Winchester marketing maven Jason Gilbertson admitted that the company didn’t have a clue how that might—or might not—work. In fact, they didn’t even know there was such a thing as a Mossberg HS 410. There is. We bought one. The guys at Olin kindly shipped us a couple of boxes of PDX1 410. And off to American Firearms School we went. It was a marriage made in whatever place they made my first union.
Note: this was a semi-scientific test at approximately seven yards. But one thing’s for sure: while some of the 12 BBs follow the plated discs where you aim the gun, not all of them do. There were flyers aplenty. And they flew in random patterns: low, high, left, right.
Shame. BBs are an excellent idea in terms of limiting dangerous over-penetration (i.e. hitting someone behind the target)—especially when compared to a handgun or rifle round. But if some of the shot are missing the target completely, that’s not great either.
Usually, but not always, a home defender would aim at center mass. If shot with the PDX1 410′s multiple projectiles, an attacker’s multiple wounds would bring them down faster than if they’d suffered one centralized physical insult. So you want SOME spread. And a combo of big and small metal objects should be inherently effective. But again, out test tell us Winchester ammo’s projectiles are not tightly gathered enough to offer sufficient chance that they’ll all hit the target.
Winchester’s ammo man is calling in ASAP. We’ll either incorporate his comments here or start a new post to reflect any new information. Suffice it to say, Winchester PDX1 410 ammunition was designed specifically for the Taurus Judge, which has a rifled barrel. Shotguns are smooth bore. (We know you knew that.)
Bottom line: I don’t recommend using Winchester’s newfangled shotshell in a 410 shotgun for home defense in the Mossberg HS 410. Although the steel discs may offer some advantages for trauma creation, Winchester 410 buckshot also makes three serious holes, without the flyers. In any case, we look forward to Judging the PDX1 410 shell in Taurus’ product. And I reckon it’s time to look again at a 20 gauge for a smaller person’s home defense shotgun.