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expeditionx
August 9, 2005, 04:37 PM
Sales guy at a gun shop said he uses buckshot and sabots out of a smooth bore. I asked him " won't the sabots tumble as they leave the barrel" his responce " at home defense ranges they will stay fairly straight enough".

Has anyone tested this concept? I figured it wouldnt work but i have not even attempted it. If it does work Id like to try some copper solids out to 5 yards out of my 870 smoothbore. I hate cleaning smeared lead so it might be interesting for very close up work.

OneInchGroup
August 9, 2005, 04:55 PM
Like all good guesses, this one's half right. SOME Sabot slugs work well in a smooth bore, others are a waste. Typically the Sabots that have the plastic fall away on exiting the muzzle will not work as well as the ones that have the whole payload rig, plastic and lead, or whatever, stay together until impact with the target. Generally these are good out to about 50-60 yards and will hold tight groups at that distance. Look for high velocity sabot slugs for best results. The low recoil/youth rounds lose velocity, impact force and accuracy much sooner than the fast magnum loads. Foster and similar "rifled" slugs are the more typical, and cheaper, choice for short range work (did you really mean 5 yards?) but they foul the barrel pretty fast even in a smooth bore. (And they don't really spin all that much, anyway)
The only real solution past 60 yards is rifled barrel or rifled choke tube, with a good high velocity, impact discarding sabot. By the way, this is of course an opinion, like you can get anywhere, even from a gunshop salesman. Difference is that in this case we can back it up with a whole lot of competition results. Won't publish them here, to avoid offending all the other folks with other very fixed opinions, but a PM will get you the data.

expeditionx
August 9, 2005, 05:07 PM
Yep, 5 yards. But longer ranges would make it more feasible to buy them.
I may just go ahead and get a rifled barrel anyway. Hastings 870 barrel seems like a fair deal.

OneInchGroup
August 9, 2005, 05:22 PM
The Hastings is among the best retro barrels for slugs, and they also make their own ammunition for them, which is a really effective combo. Of course, for a few more bucks, there are a couple single shot "Ultra Slug" tackdrivers out there, so you could buy the whole gun and keep your birdshooter intact, as long as that followup shot can wait a few seconds..............Our targets don't generally get to running away much, so single shots are OK for competition, maybe not ideal for deer, tho. :D

expeditionx
August 9, 2005, 06:43 PM
Ok, in the 400 dollar range, what is a good tack driving slug gun that is currently in production. I know of of one I liked before but Ithaca has closed up shop. The mossburg one is not made any more as far as I know. The savage one has a plastic stock that is keeping me from pursuing it.
The NEF one seems good but Ive read about them going loose from alot of slugs torquing the barrel. Im open to any options.

OneInchGroup
August 9, 2005, 06:58 PM
Most popular one we've seen is the H&R Ultra Slug Hunter, under $300.00 most places. Next would be Savage Model 210 Slug Warrior, pushing the limit at about $435.00, but it is a bolt action with that nice convenience of a second shot in case you're hunting grouchy deer and your first shot just makes one angry with you............ :D Both are very accurate, and we've heard no big complaints about defectives or wear and tear problems.

mosinjoe
August 9, 2005, 09:11 PM
Ahem, how many home defense situations has this jackass been involved in? :rolleyes:

expeditionx
August 9, 2005, 10:46 PM
Don't know how many he has been in.

OneInchGroup
August 10, 2005, 05:11 PM
Mosinjoe,

Kind of wondering which of the possible choices of jackass you were referring to? Also kind of hoping it wasn't this jackass, but given the reception I get sometimes, there's always the possibility. Sooooo, if you were asking me, the score at my end is breakins-one, bad guy zero, homeowner one, no shots fired, but I think the bad guy may have wet himself on meeting a 12 gauge while carrying only a Stanley pry bar.............. :D

expeditionx
August 10, 2005, 06:42 PM
One inch,

I was assuming he meant the salesguy suggesting sabots.
Because the sales guy mentioned the sabots in terms of home defense ranges. Other than that I don't know.

12-34hom
August 10, 2005, 07:17 PM
I just bought an older Stevens 12 guage - model 67L series e. It's a smooth bore - mounted a truglow red dot 30mm sight, instead of the rifle type sight that it came equipped with.

I've tested Winchester & Brenn eke slugs Through this shotgun, at 75 yards it will hold a six inch group for 10 shots. Brenneke suggests the optimum range to sight their slugs is 88 yards. [ 2 3/4 inch - 1 ounce projectile].

Mosinjoe, referring to someone as a jackass around here ain't going to score you any points. Please be civil - as this is something the mods insist on while posting on this site.

12-34hom.

grendelbane
August 10, 2005, 07:18 PM
My personal experience with a Benelli with an IC choke tube is that the sabot slugs will group almost twice as large at 50 yards as a Forster type slug.

The oblong holes they made would seem to indicate that they were starting to tip at that time.

I would think that they would be totally adequate at short range from almost any barrel, but I don't see them being an improvement over conventional slugs at that range.

Everyone says they need to be fired from rifled barrels, but when they were first introduced such animals were rare.

mosinjoe
August 10, 2005, 11:58 PM
To clarify my remark: I was refering to the salesperson that infered that he would use sabot loads in a smoothbore for home defense.It has been my experience on several occasions to hear bad advice given across a gun counter regarding shooting and home defense. I personally would NOT use any kind of a slug for home defense with the layout of my house and the close proximity of my neighbors homes which very well could be affected by me using such a load. My remark was calling attention to the cavalier response of the salesperson and not directed to anyone on this thread. :)

OneInchGroup
August 11, 2005, 10:21 AM
Oh, THAT Jackass! Thanks for the clarification. Had me checking my back for a pack saddle for a minute there.
I suppose you could suggest sabots for close quarters combat, if the big concern was getting $10.00 for 5 instead of only $8.00 for a box of 25 #4 shells. Wouldn't expect much utility in the self defense situation specified, though.
At zero to about 10 feet, where this action is likely to take place, a blast of birdshot would likely scare the bad guy at least half to death, and #4 or larger would be an almost 100% likely kill shot.
Actually, just racking the slide on a pump 12 will cause most burglars to make a fast retreat, if police stats can be trusted.
A short barrel cylinder bore 12 firing #4 shot will put enough lead in a pattern the size of a pie plate at up to 20 feet that any shot to center mass should not require a second round to be fired, except in the most extreme speed-freak situation. :)

mosinjoe
August 11, 2005, 10:55 AM
The shot column from fine shot at close range in the shell you mentioned would be a definitive fight stopper. I would also say that when articulating it's use in a courtroom would be much more palatable (I hope!) in front of a judge and jury if such a scenario ever occured. I honestly did not intend to inflame anyone with my remark regarding the salespersons logic, but my hackles raise at such reasoning and feel that such people do more to harm gun ownership than to help it. Assaults and home invasions are somewhat fluid and demand much of the person who has to defend his castle. The notion of fighting fair and not stepping over the line in a situation of grave extremity is most likely what will be addressed in a courtroom. Having said that, I'm in the camp of giving a perp all the violence I can muster if so challenged. But all the time I have to use what is "fair" in the eyes of the law.(That could be a fluid situation as well! Remember the verdict in the O.J. debacle?!!?) It's sad but sometimes the guilty go free and the innocent go to jail. :(

Mannlicher
August 14, 2005, 09:26 PM
If, for the sake of argument, you were faced with a burglary in progress, and all you could put your hands on was your (fill in the blank) smoothbore and a handful of sabot slugs, then by all means, use them.
If, however, you had planned better, then I am sure that you would pick a more effective load for your shottie.
Even more important, most guys at gunshops don't know jack............

chemist308
August 14, 2005, 10:15 PM
What about rifled slugs?

mosinjoe
August 14, 2005, 10:54 PM
Any slug rifled or otherwise would be a formidable close range destructive tool to dispatch the human animal or any other animal for that matter.The discussion in this thread opened with a salesperson stating that sabots could be employed in a home defense situation at close range and there is no doubt that they can be used. Oh well, we got off track a little with my castigating of the salespersons logic in his statement to the original poster and the rest is history. The short answer is that sabots should be used in a RIFLED slug barrel and rifled slugs should be used in a smooth bore, with an improved or modified choke. Now, the question arises if this a viable choice ( use of slugs in ANY form) for home defense. There are, IMHHO, better choices in a defensive scenario. Lots of info in this forum regarding good ammo in this forum and I would suggest doing a search on that issue.

mosinjoe
August 14, 2005, 10:58 PM
Oh yeah, Mannlicher, If all I had was slugs, and I could get the drop on the miscreant who meant to do me harm, than the miscreant would be in a world of hurt. That would happen without any hesitation. :D

cptmclark
September 2, 2005, 11:42 AM
I've had the pleasure of hunting with slugs for many years, with the result of a lot of experience with bullet-on-body results. I'm sure others here have too, but I haven't seen this mentioned, so here goes.
At close range, say inside 50 yards, the far and away, hand's down winner in effectiveness on a 180 pound plus and minus animal is the foster slug.
I now use sabots and rifled barrels because of the much greater accuracy and effective range of those projectiles. They are NOT more effective in terminal ballistics at short range. This includes the newer high-tech bullets.
Sabot slugs have much less velocity for equal mass, and so much less kinetic energy. 1700 fps out of a 2 2/4" 1 ounce slug gives energy well over 3000 fp., and the 3" number is hotter but won't group as well. I just miked three that I recovered from fleshy critters and they are consistent in expansion at about 1.12 inches, with a big hole in the center like a donut. I don't know why they don't tumble, but apparently they don't. One out of six didn't expand.
If you hit your target solidly, these probably will not exit, which is good in your scenario. The rifle bullet type sabot slugs almost always exit.

Fosters slow down a lot faster than the smaller sabot bullets, therefore the superior behavior of sabots beyond my made up limit of 50 yards.

Now somebody has invented the "powerball" type slug this year, which is a foster type with a ball in the cavity to keep it even against the bore. They claim drastic improvements in accuracy in a smoothbore. Should lead less and more evenly too. Perfect for a defense gun that will also be used for buckshot (rifled barrels are terrible with shot). PLEASE somebody give me test results on this one.

Low penetration is best with shot, as has been said. I can't be sure of this 5 yards or less range, so's I prefer to have a lethal option a bit farther out, and that means slug. Shot is much less lethal at more than bedroom ranges, and the pattern up close is so small that your hit probablity is not much better. (Try head shooting a turkey at ten yards when you are excited). Lot's of folks miss. Penetration of the more powerful fosters is much less than the sabot bullets. So called "killing power" is greater too. No contest, unless this ball slug is as good as advertised.

Sorry if I rambled, but this is interesting to me. Now, I wish someone would post some test results from a variety of sabot slugs. Maybe that should be a seperate thread?

OneInchGroup
September 6, 2005, 03:25 PM
Hi CPTM Clark,

From your last post:

Slug Effectiveness

" I've had the pleasure of hunting with slugs for many years, with the result of a lot of experience with bullet-on-body results. I'm sure others here have too, but I haven't seen this mentioned, so here goes.

At close range, say inside 50 yards, the far and away, hand's down winner in effectiveness on a 180 pound plus and minus animal is the foster slug.
This was likely true in cases of Fosters compared to the smaller diameter sabots that were essentially rifle bullets carried in a plastic housing that would fall away at or just past the muzzle. NOT true with impact discarding Sabots that have the same frontal area of the old Fosters.
I now use sabots and rifled barrels because of the much greater accuracy and effective range of those projectiles. They are NOT more effective in terminal ballistics at short range. This includes the newer high-tech bullets.
Sabot slugs have much less velocity for equal mass, and so much less kinetic energy.
Again, this is true only for Gen 1 Sabots that had limited frontal area and muzzle discarding plastic carriers. Modern Sabots (Gen 3 and up)that carry one ounce plus slugs and travel at the same velocity as the Fosters will absolutely have the same impact force on target. Kinetic energy, knockdown power, etc. is just a physics problem. Mass times velocity equals impact force.
1700 fps out of a 2 2/4" 1 ounce slug gives energy well over 3000 fp., and the 3" number is hotter but won't group as well. Hate to be disagreeable, but by and large the 3" magnum loads are MORE accurate out to longer distances than the 2 3/4. If group sizes are opening up on you with the heavier load, its not the shell, its the duck (little pun there....flinching is what's opening your groups)
I just miked three that I recovered from fleshy critters and they are consistent in expansion at about 1.12 inches, with a big hole in the center like a donut.
A slug that forms that donut hole is evidence of a poor selection of material for the velocity. What that is all about is the concave back end of the slug is opening forward on impact, mushrooming from the rear and in effect flowing back away from point of impact. This is usually from too soft lead pushing too fast against a too-hard target. Remember, soft lead will "upset flow" at 9000 psi applied cold.
I don't know why they don't tumble, but apparently they don't.
Ballistic coefficient is the determining factor here. Fosters rely on the "skirt" to impart a bit of ballistic drag, keeping the rear facing to the rear by simple aerodynamics. Most Foster type slugs have a ballistic coefficient of about .030 to .035, almost all New Gen Sabots have a BC of .095 to .110, which simply means they are lots longer, and thus have better response to flying through the air.
One out of six didn't expand. Most likely a materials problem, too hard lead, or way softer target .
If you hit your target solidly, these probably will not exit, which is good in your scenario. The rifle bullet type sabot slugs almost always exit.
Only a good thing if you have enough penetration to down the target before all the force is lost to expansion.

Fosters slow down a lot faster than the smaller sabot bullets, therefore the superior behavior of sabots beyond my made up limit of 50 yards.
Again, the rate of velocity loss is a matter of frontal area (wind resistance) weight of the shot ( Mass/Inertia) and the velocity achieved at the exit from the muzzle. Most Fosters die out at around 50 yards because they are actually beginning to flare even before they hit anything, effectively applying their own air brakes.They have all the aerodynamic efficiency of a trash can tossed off the truck.

Now somebody has invented the "powerball" type slug this year, which is a foster type with a ball in the cavity to keep it even against the bore. The Powerball is not new by any stretch, just a repetition of a design offered over ten years ago. The original of this design was the BuckBuster Bullet offered by a fellow named Tony Nobles in the 1990's, with a modification of it introduced a little later and still offered today by Polywad Company. The original BuckBuster type slug can still be had as a reloadable component from Ballistics Products YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY THESE FROM FEDERAL. They have not invented anything, they are just doing a better selling job than any of the actual inventors have done. They claim drastic improvements in accuracy in a smoothbore.
2 to 3 inch groups at 50 to 75 yards is about the norm for these. This is the high water mark for a design that dates back nearly a century. Should lead less and more evenly too.
Leading in the barrel is again a function of materials, not the modification to the Foster that "powerball "design has to offer

Perfect for a defense gun that will also be used for buckshot (rifled barrels are terrible with shot). PLEASE somebody give me test results on this one.

Low penetration is best with shot, as has been said. I can't be sure of this 5 yards or less range, so's I prefer to have a lethal option a bit farther out, and that means slug. Shot is much less lethal at more than bedroom ranges, and the pattern up close is so small that your hit probablity is not much better. (Try head shooting a turkey at ten yards when you are excited). Lot's of folks miss.
There is an industry accepted standard formula for calculating the energy per pellet on target for any and all shotshells, which was developed by a gent named L.P. Brezney a few years back. Everyone in the Industry knows the formula, and the answers, but most have elected NOT to tell the rest of us about it. Too many facts ruin the marketing, don't cha know.

Penetration of the more powerful fosters is much less than the sabot bullets. So called "killing power" is greater too. No contest, unless this ball slug is as good as advertised.
I'm gonna belabor the point, some. Killing power is a function of slug weight, frontal area, velocity, and shot placement. An equal weight sabot with a .75 inch diameter hammerhead configuration will exactly match a Foster at the same speed, with or without the powerball feature. All the rest is mythical, or advertising hype.Only thing is the sabot will still have a chance of being on target at ranges way, way past where the Fosters have dropped into the dirt.

Sorry if I rambled, but this is interesting to me. Now, I wish someone would post some test results from a variety of sabot slugs. Maybe that should be a seperate thread?

Yup, its gonna be a separate thread, alright. PM us and we can point out where the answers are, but we can't post information from some of our sources in a public forum whout someone having a major hissy fit. :)

cptmclark
September 6, 2005, 05:08 PM
Thanks for that comprehensive reply. Some was new info, some clarification, :cool: and some I will take good natured exception to.

I'm not familiar with the sabot projectiles you refer to that have frontal area the same as fosters (full bore). By definition as I understand it, the sabot, or "shoe" is a surrounding sleeve that seperates the bullet from the bore. So, if there is nothing between the bullet and bore, I'm not seeing how it can be a sabot. Always eager to learn of course. Please give me some examples of these to try.

I know of no 1 oz sabot slugs that travel at the same velocity as the fosters, as we both discussed a nominal 1700fps (more realisticily 1600). I'm talking 2 3/4 inchers here. If you go to three inchers, which you said you prefer, the velocity of the fosters go up too.

The only slugs I have found (at great cost of ammo for testing) that will group in the better than four moa range (some as good as 2 moa) are the sabots. What I call sabots are the ones so marked that have the bullet around 50 cal inside a plastic wad and sleeve, not unlike a shot cup. I find three general kinds. The first popular ones I know of were hourglass shaped and slow. Then they speeded them up. Later came the jacketed bullets in the plastic sleeves, which is as far as I know the state of the art at the moment. These bullets, or slugs are typically at about 1450 fps (1oz) and the Federal Barnes Expander have tested the most accurately for me (about 3.5 moa), with a trajectory similar to a 22 standard vel. rifle. Recently, I've been using the lighter 3/4 oz slug at an advertised 1900 fps, with slightly less accuracy (4 to 5 moa) but much flatter trajectory. I have tried with great disappointment a Winchester version at 2000 fps, but accuracy was disappointing from my guns.

Regarding the donut hole expansion of the Winchester fosters and poor selection of test material, the material I used was the elusive whitetail deer.

Let me know the specifics of these 73 caliber sabot slugs, cause I want to try them. You call them the "hammerhead" I think. I've seen one ounce and larger slugs at the higher velocities, but they ain't sabots and don't come close in accuracy to the bullet in plastic numbers I'm talking about.

Again, my goals are 1; an improvement on 3 moa accuracy in the rifled gun, with a trajectory flatter than the 1oz 50 cal bullet at 1450 fps. and 2; better than 6 moa from my smoothbore deer gun. I think you confirmed the advertisements for the "powerball" type slugs.

OneInchGroup
September 6, 2005, 06:58 PM
Of course the OD is going to be a bit under full bore since you need to crimp the shell, but otherwise the hammerhead is basically the same frontal area as the Foster excpt higher velocity. Here's a picture of one of the little puppies:

[/URL]Hammerhead Slug Before and After (http://www.slugsrus.com/images/wadslugline_Qweb.jpg)[/URL]

tanksoldier
September 11, 2005, 03:31 PM
I'm new to using slugs. I own a Winchester 120 that I had cut down by a gunsmith to 18" when I bought it, so it has a "cylinder" barrel, no choke at all. I practice occasionally with 00 buck and birdshot, which I figure is good enough for indoor defense.

However, recent events have got me thinking that someday I might need more range. What sort of range and acuracy can I expect with rifled slugs out of my 18" cylinder barrel?

If I was to purchase another shotgun, what sort of choke would be a good compromise allowing me to shoot both shot and slugs?

cptmclark
September 11, 2005, 03:51 PM
In my experience, improved cylinder is probably best for slugs from a smoothbore. I say that never having used a cylinder bore, as I don't see that much. My best experience has been with the cheapo Winchester 1oz slug in the 2 3/4 inch version. Now this Federal "truball" is said to be more accurate for the same energy, more or less, but I haven't tried it yet.
Good smoothbore accuracy, again in my experience, is always inside five inch groups at 50 yards. That's about all the range they are worth, but that is plenty. I'm told three inches is attainable but I ain't seen it. Maybe when I try the 'trueball".

My defense gun / smoothbore deer gun is a REm 870 with the 20 inch IC barrel. I have one of those tiny pro-point 2000 red dot sights on it, which is snazzy, but requires a saddle mount and spoils the slim lines of the gun a bit. The iron sights are probably best for serious defense, I think. Pick up guns from the various makers and see which feels the most natural for you. The 870 feels natural to me.

Good luck, and let's hear.... I mean read.... how it works for you. Other opinions will probably be forthcoming too.

I'm told three inches is attainable but I ain't seen it. Maybe when I try the 'trueball". Last week I was reminded, after wasting several buckniks worth of sabot ammo in my deer gun, that best accuracy from the bench is attained (for me) putting my hand between the front bag and the forearm. Must be the bounce from the recoil, which is substantial off a firm bag. If anybody else has experience with bench technique for slug guns, I'd like to read about it. I get bad vertical stringing with the forarm lying on the bag. I could use some education on this.