Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mossberg Cruiser .410 Gauge

My last posting was a favorable review of the Rossi Rio Grande lever action .410 shotgun.  It reminded me that I have a .410 Mossberg Cruiser I have never written about because, although it is close at hand, it is kind of out of sight, out of mind.  I selected the .410 Cruiser for four reasons:

  • Value
  • Maneuverability: the pistol grip stock gives the Cruiser an overall length of 29.5 inches making it easier to maneuver through the house should something go  "bump" in the night.
  • After shoulder surgery a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with a degenerative problem in my shoulders and knees and a .410 is all the shotgun I can shoot without doing further damage to my shoulder.
  • A nominal distances the .410 is still very effective.
So let's take a look at what you get with the Cruiser.  Well, it's a .410 with a significantly smaller bore than the 12 gauge which is probably the caliber most people think of when defensive shotguns are discussed.  

The Cruiser will handle both 2.5 and 3 inch shells as opposed to the Rossi Rio Grande which only takes 2.5 inch shells.  I think the 3 inch shells do provide a slight advantage due to the increased number of pellets they hold. 

The Cruiser will hold 6 rounds underneath its 18.5 inch cylinder bore choked barrel.  Up front the barrel is topped off with a very easy to see brass bead front sight.

Lastly, the safety is mounted on the heel of the receiver where I prefer it to be placed.

I like it on the heel of the receiver (as opposed to a cross bolt safety in front of the trigger guard) because it is visible and can easily be manipulated by my thumb making it faster to engage or disengage.  

In terms of the Cruiser's operation, I have put a couple of hundred shells through it and the slide action is smooth with no feeding or extraction problems.

So let's talk about how she shoots.  The first load I used was the Winchester PDX1 which contains 3 plated discs backed up 12 plated BBs.
Here's the 21 foot target
As you can see the three discs impacted at the point of aim and five of the BBs did not make the 8.5 X 11 inch paper unless they went through the gap created by the discs.

At 35 feet the discs and BBs landed up and to the right.

At 59 feet I switched to a silhouette target which shows that the PDX1 is viable at that range.

At 75 feet all projectiles still hit the silhouette but this is really a stretch for this round.

The second round I used was the Federal Premium shell holding 5 "00" pellets.
At 21 feet the buckshot would be pretty devastating.

At 35 feet the 5 pellets grouped nicely but, just like the PDX1, went a little up and to the right.

At 50 feet the group is still pretty good.

And at 75 feet the shot would still be effective.

The Federal ammo are the shells that I keep in the Cruiser.

So, what is the purpose for this shotgun?  In my estimation it is short distance defense out to 50 feet. This is a good defensive implement for those who live in urban or suburban environments where you're mission is to protect the interior of your domicile.  If you live in an urban environment where you need to protect your property perimeter from predators out to kill and eat your horses, cows, llamas, chickens, etc. this is not the best choice for you.

Now some may say that they would not go for a .410 since it does not look menacing enough.  My response to this is that in reduced lighting situations the assailant may not be able to tell the difference between a .410 and a 12 gauge especially since the distinctive sound made by racking a round into the chamber is the same for both gauges.  

In comparing the Cruiser and the Rio Grande the difference is obvious.  The Rio Grande is a fun shotgun that can be used for pest control, recreational shooting, and home defense.  The Cruiser's primary purpose is home defense and I think it performs that duty very well.

1 comment:

rjf415 said...

JOE -- I recently got a Mossberg HS410 (410 18.5 SPREADER). After talking to an older friend who is in his 70"s and realizing that I'm getting older too, I decided to switch from a 12 gauge to the 410. These 410's are fun to shot (you can send multiple shots down-range in a hurry), but more than that it is a very easy gauge for my wife to shoot effectively. Some may wonder about the choice, but I don't feel under-gunned, especially since the development of the shot shells that you have reviewed.