Revolvers like this .410 bore polymer-framed Taurus Judge can place a lot of lead in the air in short order while offering the versatility to fire .45 Colt ammo as well. Photo Courtesy Taurus
It seems that the desire for an individual to launch multiple projectiles at once from a firearm has been with us since the days of the earliest hand-cannons. Instead of bigger and badder, however, the preference has been towards smaller, handier, and very effective at close range. From pirates with deck-clearing musketoons, to Pinkertons with coach guns, to “Mad Max” with his sawed off side-by-side 12 gauge with pistol grip, a clear preference has emerged.
Multiple projectiles are what made shotguns have so popular in America, and not just as a hunting arm. Compact shotguns have served in the military and law enforcement and continue to fill a necessary role. Meanwhile the shotgun’s reputation as a home defense tool is also without equal because of its ability to put a lot of lead in the air very quickly.
Restrictions being what they are, it is often not an easy thing for the average person to legally possess a short-barreled shotgun. The easiest solution for those seeking the benefits of a shotgun out of a small gun was to make handguns that fired shotshells (with a legal requirement that they have rifling in the barrel). However, no one who is familiar with the somewhat aggressive recoil of 12 or even 20 gauge shotshells has much of a desire to fire them out of a small, lightweight pistol. Fortunately the .410 bore shotshell, which is a measure of the diameter in inches and not gauges like other shotshells, came about around the turn of the last century.