Federal Premium .410 Handgun Ammunition

Federal 410 load judgeFederal introduced .410 ammunition designed for the Taurus Judge revolver.  In two formulations, 000 and #4 shot, these loadings are designed for two different desires.

Federal states the 000 contains four pellets that penetrate to a depth of up to 15″ in bare gelatin.  The #4 pellets (approximately 10) penetrate to a depth of up to 6″.

The Federal rep on scene was not able to provide any additional information regarding velocities, shipping dates, or prices.

Updated Information

The 000 load has four pellets with a muzzle velocity of 850 fps.  The #4 shot load uses 7/16 of an ounce of shot and has a muzzle velocity of 950 fps.  Both of these loads would ruin someone’s day.  Both loads use 2 1/2″ shells and should work in all Taurus Judge Revolvers.

Information on Two New Loads

Since Federal announced the above loads at the 2009 SHOT Show, the company released two additional .410 loads designed for the Judge revolvers.  These new loads use 3″ shells.

The first new load uses five (5) 000-buck pellets and is rated at 775 fps.  The second load uses nine (9) pellets of #4 buck (not #4 shot like the above mentioned load).  This load is rated at 950 fps.

Out of all the loads, my first choice would be the newer #4 buck load.  Nine pellets at 950 fps would be devastating, and the pellets are heavy enough to provide good penetration.

Defensive Revolver Fundamentals

grant cunningham bookIf you carry a revolver for self defense, you must read this book.  World-renowned revolver gunsmith and firearms trainer Grant Cunningham teaches you life-saving information on using the wheelgun in a violent encounter.

This hard hitting, no punches pulled book can literally mean the difference between a cold grave and going home to your family.
About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.


  1. Way to go guys! For such a long time I had owned a .410 side by side pistol with a four inch barrels. It was worthless with traditional shotgun ammunition. My first experiment with it, I took a full piece of half inch plywood, leaned it against a fence and from a mere fifteen feet away shot it. All of the #4 shot bounced off the plywood and pelted me. Luckily none hit my eyes or any sensitive areas and I was able to immediately laugh about the lack of power that my new .410 pistol had.
    I gave the pistol to my brother who cherished it as the useless novelty that it was.
    I called him a few minutes ago with the great news of your newest ammo for the .410 handgun. He now owns a useful .410 handgun. Once again, way to go guys!!!

  2. The current #4 shot packs a good punch point blank at a little over 700 fps from the 3inch judge. These new shells should be a great choice for an up close defensive round.

  3. With 10 pellets, could this be #4 buck? That would be fantastic in the judge!

  4. C STEELE says:

    LENGTH OF AMMO 2.5″ OR 3.0″

  5. Joseph Johnston says:

    There has been a lot of confusion on the web about this new Federal product, made for the Taurus Judge. Many people on the Web claim it is 4B in other words #4 Buck shot which would have 8-12 pellets. (In fairness Federal doesn’t claim anything, but they are are silent). The package only says “4 shot”. I just received mine from Cabela’s and just opened a shell up. The pellets are brass and there are 60 in the 2.5 inch shell. In a Winchester .410 #4 shot I have (bird shot or maybe rabbit shot) there were 68 lead pellets. SO DON’T BE FOOLED INTO THINKING THIS IS 4B BUCK SHOT BECAUSE I HAVE DONE THE TEST.

    • Joseph,

      Thanks for posting your experience. Your description sounds correct (bird not buck for the #4). My article was written on what the Federal reps were telling people at the 2009 SHOT Show, which was not a whole lot. They stated 10 pellets, indicating buck, but you are clearly describing bird. Thanks again.


  6. Tom Smith says:

    I just purchased a 3 inch chamber judge with 3 inch barrel.

    I saw your federal 2.5 inch # 4 box in the store, but I want the extra power of 3 inch.

    I purchased 3 inch # 4 H&H.

    I want an effective gun for self defense and snakes for my wife to use.

    I have not fired it yet, but put 3 410 shells and 2 45 long colts in the gun.

    The long colts are expensive, so I will likely only shoot 410 shells out of the gun.

    Federal, please provide detailed balistic for 410 shot that all in the industry can challenge.

    Your a good company and should have good products, so let the industry put you to the test.

    I spent $525.00 on the 3 inch chamber Judge, I hope I didn’t waste my money.

    What 410 round, preferably in 3 inch shells should I use so my wife can have a personal defense gun in the house and I can defend against snake in our yard?

  7. Christian says:

    I bought the Public Defender 2.5″ chamber 3″ barrel smaller frame than the Judge…for my wife today and they had four boxes of Federal Premium .410 Handgun shotshells so I bought them
    thinking it was the four 000 buckshot load (Thank you Federal for that improved load 3 vs 4 balls of 000 in a 2.5″ shell)
    Anyway if your not 100% sure what ammo you have simply cut one open and if you bought the “4 shot” muzzle Velocity 1200fps shells you’ll find #63 or 64 pellets (copper slightly smaller than your Red Ryder BBs)
    They have their uses but now you and I need to buy some 000 Federal 2.5″ real shells and some Corbon 45 Long Colt :)
    This gun has a lot going for it. Taurus makes terrific guns now (as compared to their S&W clones 25 years ago which were pretty good also)
    Hope this helps somebody and don’t forget to Vote next fall we need to get this %#@! straightened out ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Mark Reinhardt says:

    Having recently purchased a 2.5″ Judge, my gun dealer threw in these federal rounds. I require a serpent gun…with moccasins, copperheads, and rattlers on my property. The #4 round “killed” my creek nicely…. wanting to see the shotpattern….I aimed into my creek…and from about 20 ft away….got a uniformly distributed circle about 10 feet wide…snakes beware! This round is perfect for my needs…Come to think of it…as a self defense round…..I think it would rock….just point it in the general direction of the intruder and you’d put a huge…tho non lethal hurt on said poor SOB who’d be at the wrong place at the wrong time…a nice round if you can find it.

  9. Ed Pritchard says:

    I bought a box of these Federal .410 000 buck shells. I don’t have one of the “Defender” pistols, but I have an older (1970s’) .22/.410 over unders. Does anyone know for sure if these are safe to fire in a longarm such as this? Thanks in advance for any info.

    Semper Fi, Ed

  10. For the Record says:

    OMG, a lot of dis-information out there concerning the new Federal 410 Handgun 4-pellet 000 buck ammo. LOOK ON THE BOX; 410 Handgun, 4-pellet, 000 buck, 2 1/2″ WILL ALL BE IN BOLD LETTERS. At 20′ this ammo goes through solid 1″ wood with a 5-6″ pattern. There are 4 pellets (.36 cal) traveling at 1200 fps. The birdshot claim is bullshit, unless you’re shooting at ostriches or emu’s.

  11. I have heard that rifling is just enough to pass for a pistol on the Judge. The 45 Colt is suppossed to be very inaccurate as a result. That is ok buy slugs, but rifled or sabot? With shot are you suppopse to wait for the armed guy to get in range before you fire?
    Don’t misunderstand me I like the Judge but I asked myslf these questions and have keep me from getting one so far.

    I used to own a Thompson 45/410 with a choke and a 10 inch barell. It would shoot 10 or 15 yards accuratley but you did feel the recoil.

    Just my thoughts

  12. Cap van Balgooy says:

    Stick to the Federal ammo with OOO (4) Buck.
    I wish I had this ammo 50 years ago. From a 410 (Savage 242) it delivers quit a punch. Four pellets in an 10 x 10 in target at 20 yards and goes clean through 1/2 in plywood.

  13. Has anyone had a problem with the 2 1/2″ 000 .410 shotshell, in “The Judge”
    After loading my Taurus with 5 of these shells it is very hard to snap the cylinder shut.
    The 45LC ammo ( jhp & LEVERevolution )is real easy to load, but the Federal (for Taurus Judge) almost will not allow me to close the cylinder…

  14. Mack Boswell says:

    Have the Judge……….using .410 2-1/2″ Buckshot. I understand made for the Handgun. Just got it, so I have not had any experience to share

  15. I have the public defender.

    Fed 410 Shot patterns great for snakes.

    Fed 410 Handgun 000 buck seems to show 3 shots on target at 5 yards (hand gun range), so at least one is going into the hole of another one.

    At 7 yards (21 feet) all are in the ring size of a head or chest shot. After 15 of these (3 rounds of 5) the entire center ring of the target fell out.

    Using 45LC at the target at 7 yards I could keep all within the size of a chest or head shot.

    At 10 yards 45LC stayed in the ring, 000 shot would get most in the ring.

    I found out it was better for me to shot this gun double action. When I fired it single action, all shot or 45LC was up and to the left. Could be I was anticipating the recoil.

  16. The only reason I bought the taurus judge is for shooting snakes and the birdshot works fine because you arent going to shoot a snake along ways away. But, im sure birdshot could take somebody down.

  17. John Hayes says:

    Question??? Anyone know of a 410 round that has a wadding only and NOT a plastic wadding cup that encompasses the shot. Using the Taurus Judge as a snake gun, I would prefer a tight shot pattern. Because of the combination of pistol rifling and the shot cup the pattern opens to quickly with a wide shot spread. Also, has anyone removed the rifling and shot a smooth bore?

  18. I just purchased a judge stainless steel 2.5″ chamber and 3″ barrel and have had no problems with it. So far I have fired num. six bird shot, 45acp and the new federal 000. The federal .410 000 buck has become my self defense round as it has about a 3 inch pattern at about 15 feet. The judge performs very well and is very versitile with the various ammo it can fire. My personal opinion is that it does what it is intended to do.

  19. Can these shells be used in a .410 shotgunwith a smooth bore, 3″ chamber?

    • Hi Robert,

      I don’t see why they cannot. The only question is patterns. I’d suggest running a few shells and seing how they pattern before depending on them.


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