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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.

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  1. I would like to see how well this ammor performs in the "Circut Judge" a revolver carbine with a 16" barrel with rifling in the barrel.

    Best wishes


  2. Too bad, I had hopes for this as the perfect combination of an easy to use shotgun with decent ammo that is hard to come by in a 410.

    By the way, I have been looking at the HS 410 for awhile, nowhere to try it, and have trying to decide if it would be a decent HD SG for my wife, who wont shoot a 12G (and not looking forward to trying a 20G).

    I noticed there was no review on the gun itself, other than the fact you are now giving it away. Do you have any opinions on the gun? Or should I read between the lines?

    • Ok I have a Springfield 76E and I tried out this shell at 10 feet to target with different results my bb’s were not hitting in random places and the accuracy was on target, I shot a ballistic jell target and got better penetration than buckshot or a slug, when I went further out to target at 20 and 25 feet the accuracy was pretty much the same but the bb’s were flying a bit random then but nothing like what I saw in the video above.
      The only conclusion I can come up with is the barrel on the shotgun used in your test is different in some way at the exit than mine making the rounds expand sooner rather than they would from a judge or an older shotgun such as mine.

  3. 2 quick comments: 1st for home defense my wife (and I as well) loves her 20 guage. She's 105lbs, petite and had 2 previous back surgeries but has no issues with the 20g. #3 or 4 buck give a nice spread and lethality w/out ending up in the neighbors' house 3 doors down.

    2nd enjoy my Judge public defender, but haven't tried this winchester ammo yet due to it always selling out. I currently load 3 shells of 4 000 buck and 2 double tap 45s…figure if the first 3 shotshells don't end it, I'll have hopefully scambled away and need a better placed full power 45…my 2 cents

  4. "Shotguns are smooth bore. (We know you knew that.)"

    Correction: Most shotguns have a smooth bore.

  5. I think that the Mossberg 410 HS has what they call a spreader on it, maybe that’s why the shot in your test wasn’t consistent. Maybe you could try it in something with a cylinder choke.

  6. In the video you’ll see that the reason the ammo is acting the way it is,is because of the “Spreader Choke” on the muzzle of the 500 HS.

    If you would like to see the true potential of the ammo and weapon combonation try using a stocked Mossberg model 50455 the open choke should show you the error of the vid makers ways by keeping the pattern tighter.

  7. This ammo is absolutely lethal in the Taurus Public Defender. I love it. I have a polymer version and it is quite the load. This will be all I carry in this revolver. Wal-Mart carries it…CHEAP…and readily available.

  8. I have gone through several boxes of the .410 Winchester PDX1, fired in my Judge and for the most part I am satisfied with the potential in regards to close range survival. The one thing that really concerns me is that about one shell in every box, fails to discharge. This could be a real disaster in a combat situation. I’ve confirmed that it is not the same cylinder that this is happening in and I have gone through many boxes of .45 ammo and never had a misfire. Has there been any other reports of misfires with the .410 Winchesters? Also, is there any dangers in using .410 PDX1 in a .410 Snake Charmer II?

    • I have the “standard” Judge loaded with 2-1/2 inch Winchester PDX1 . Went to the range to get a feel for it and two out of the five did not fire. Not a good situation if you need to use it. Trying to get some feed back from Winchester on it. Anyone with a similar experience?

      • I had similar results out of a single shot 410 with the defense loads. Almost 1/3 of them would not fire. Sad for a defender load. I bought 3inch loads of a different brand never a misfire.

  9. I recently brought a box of 410 PDX1 ammo. went to the range with a H&R 410 full choke single shot shotgun. Shooting at 7 yards I was able to keep the three disk inside a 2 inch circle two of the disk were touching the thrid a 1/2 inch apart. The BBs kept a tight group most in a single ragged hole with a few flyers in the group. I believe I could keep a 6-8 inch circle at 20 yards. I will try it next outing. I was really impressed with the PDX1 Load.

    • I just bought a New England Arms single shot 410 shotgun. It’s full choke and I was told not to use slugs. I asked about the PDX and he thought that it might be a problem because the discs are similar to slugs and would not fire safely through the full choke. I also wonder if 410 buck will fire safely through the full choke? The buck looks about the same size as the discs. Bill above said he shot PDX, in 2012 in a full choke ?

      • My single shot 410 is full choke and when they do decide to fire they are fine no issues. Not my choice for home defense they have too many misfires bought and tried several boxes. They suck.

  10. I have a 410 Saiga with 15/30 round magazines that require 3″ Shells so I don’t have a lot of choices but I think I will still buy The PDX 1 . It looked to me that the BB’s where simply following the trajectory just wider. When you shot down they went below the larger projectiles and to the right when you shot to the right and to the left of the larger projectiles when you shot to the left. So if you where to shoot straight they may spread out but till go straight. Plus the larger projectiles are larger and flatter than buck shot for more stopping power! They maybe right about the choke on the shotgun as well. I am not knowledgeable about that but it sounds right.

  11. Duh! Even the guy behind the sporting goods counter at Wal Mart knows the PDX1 only works effectively in a handgun. What will you test next? A .45LC in the 1911 then complain because the round doesn’t fit in the magazine properly?

  12. I have seen some tests on these, youtube videos, etc, they sounded great. All I can say is the ballistic gel must have been fake, etc…… These are total crap! There is a rubber back stop at our range. The rubber can be penetrated with subsonic 22, etc. Nether the BBS or the plates penetrated, most bounced off, etc. I think if an attacker wore a denim jacket they would get some bruises, with a leather coat they might think a bug hit them. This was out of a Taurus judge. I know the tests and stats look great, but I can assure you the real world was quite different.

    • I cannot speak to the subject of the tests you’ve seen–but I must agree that the .410 shotgun cartridge has very little to recommend it as a weapon for hunting squirrels or rabbits–much less for fighting for one’s life against a 300 pound biker amped up on meth.

      A great deal of research has gone into trying to make a silk purse out of this particular sow’s ear, but at the end of the day I am left with the impression that if you want a shotgun in this role, you probably shouldn’t go lower than 20 gauge. And if we are talking about a defensive weapon for a small person who is sensitive to recoil and lacking in upper body strength, an AR15 or pistol caliber carbine is going to kick less than most any shotgun, at least in a serious caliber (20 gauge and up).

      This is just one guy’s opinion and worth what you paid for it, of course, but if I have to arm Grandma to fight for her life, she’s getting an AR or a Mini-14, not a shotgun.

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