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Old November 2, 2008, 01:10 PM   #1
kymasabe
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Slug confusion - can someone please explain them to me!

I recently bought a used 12-gauge Mossberg 500A shotgun with the 18" home defense barrel and standard 5-round tube. I found a 28" vent rib ported barrel with removable choke at a pawn shop and bought that too.
So, I have my home barrel, my trap/hunting barrel and I was thinking of getting a slug barrel and realized I know very little about slugs and barrels.

Should I shoot sabot's or "regular" slugs.
Do I need a smoothbore slug barrel or a rifled barrel?
Which is more accurate?
Which slug is more economical?
Is there such a thing as a rifled choke to replace the choke in my existing 28" barrel? And if so, what slugs would I use?
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Old November 2, 2008, 01:28 PM   #2
zinj
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Quote:
Do I need a smoothbore slug barrel or a rifled barrel?
"Rifled Slugs" (Foster and Brenneke Types) are generally shot from smoothbore barrels. They can be shot from rifled barrels also, but generally there is no benefit (and they tend to lead the barrel badly).

Sabot slugs should only be shot from rifled barrels.

Quote:
Which is more accurate?
All other things being equal, a sabot slug from a rifled barrel should be most accurate.

Quote:
Which slug is more economical?
The various rifled slugs, by far. They tend to be half to a third of the price of sabots.

Quote:
Is there such a thing as a rifled choke to replace the choke in my existing 28" barrel?
And if so, what slugs would I use?
Yes, there are rifled choke tubes. I've never used one, and most of the reports I have found say that they are mostly a gimmick. They are meant to be used with sabots.

As a general rule of thumb, a smoothbore gun with open sights shooting rifled slugs is good out to 50-75 yards, varying with the hunter's skill. A rifled slug gun shooting sabots is useful from 100-150 yards - again dependant on the shooter's skill.
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Old November 2, 2008, 02:29 PM   #3
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zinj is right on, however, you don't need a specialized barrel for slugs. For accuracy, Mossberg would love you to buy one their special rifled barrels with integral scope base. If you don't want a scope, they have rifle sight barrels, too.

There's no one magic answer about slugs, the ones that shoot best in your gun are the most accurate. The cheapest slugs, by far, are ones that you cast at home; but, I don't think you find many casual slugsters casting.

If you really want to go for flexibility, Mossberg also makes a muzzle loading conversion for your gun. It features a .50 Cal rifled barrel.
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Old November 2, 2008, 07:13 PM   #4
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Stick with a smoothbore. Those dang sabots cost way way too much. Foster slugs are good out to 100 yards and unless you have a scope thats about a far as you're gonna be able to hit something. I have hit deer out beyond 125 yards though.

BTW, my experience is foster's are just as accurate as sabots.

LK
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Old November 2, 2008, 07:32 PM   #5
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I think your 18" barrel & rifled slugs will work fine for home defense or even hunting if the expected range is not long.

If you want to use it for deer or other big game hunting and expect the ranges to stretch then a rifled barrel & sabot slugs might be worthwhile.
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Old November 3, 2008, 03:46 PM   #6
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The difference between the foster ("rifled") slugs, and the new Sabot slugs is accuracy and range potential.

I would like to see someone shoot any kinda of groupings at 100 yards with foster "rifled" slugs. I am not saying it isn't possible, but it would be an uncertain shot with the grouping pattern spread out so much.

However shooting sabot slugs from a rifled barrel you can get amazing groupings at 100yrds (I know of .5" groupings) and only a few inches higher aiming at 200yards (personally getting 8"-12" groupings at 200).

The only draw back is price of ammo at first, it can get expensive because you need to test what ammo works in yours, but after you sight in your sabot gun you only need a few boxes for hunting.

If you are just going to do the hillbilly run and gun through the woods foster slugs would be fine, cheaper will make you feel better about spraying lead on wood. Since generally in woods you shoot at short ranges.

Even still though the last shot I took with my sabotgun was in the woods at 75 yards, one shot placement, one shot kill. I chose where that bullet went, I didn't have aim for the widest area to ensure a hit.
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Old November 3, 2008, 05:21 PM   #7
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After trying both - rifled slugs in a mod choked barrel and sabots in a rifled barrel, in the same 12 gauge out to 100 yards, the difference in accuracy and grouping seemed to be due more to the sights on the rifled barrel than anything else.
Once the hold over for the smooth bore was discovered, they both shot about the same.
Past 100 yards it probably would be a different story. For the longer shots, I would choose a rifle. Far more accurate and cheaper to shoot than sabots. Less painful, too.
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Old November 3, 2008, 06:13 PM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
After trying both - rifled slugs in a mod choked barrel and sabots in a rifled barrel, in the same 12 gauge out to 100 yards, the difference in accuracy and grouping seemed to be due more to the sights on the rifled barrel than anything else.

Wow, you have either an exceptionally poor shooting rifled barrel or an exceptionally good smooth bore. The difference in accuracy in my experience with several brands of guns and ammunition is dramatic.

Most smooth bore guns I've seen do not group well enough beyond 75 yards for me to consider them ethical for hunting and when they do the ballistics are so terrible that I still would not make the shot unless I had a laser verified range.
On the opposite side is the impressive accuracy I have seen from fully rifled guns. With the exception of Winchester XP3's, the guns and ammo I have seen have all grouped well (sometimes not all ammo in every gun) and most have been more than acceptable for me to use for laser verified shots at 200 yards. (Meaning I would be willing to take the shot, not that I have)
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; November 3, 2008 at 08:41 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old November 3, 2008, 08:34 PM   #9
T.A.Sharps
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I agree with peetzakilla,

g.willikers
I'm curious as to what you have for a smooth bore shotgun, and what you have for a rifled barrel sabotgun?

What groupings are you getting with your smooth bore?

How many different types of ammo have you tried through your rifled barrel sabot gun? This can be very important, my first experience with a rifled barreled sabot gun was horrible, due only to me not testing different ammo to find the right one.

Beyond that, I would have to assume you have something wrong with your gun, or something is not secured right. Or your sight system is flawed in some way. Loose scope rings maybe? The recoil of a shotgun is enough to jolt a scope.

The difference is not between the type of sights.

I can get .43" groups at 100 yards with my unmodified 45/70 Marlin lever action, with commercial ammo, and only iron sights.

A gun will group the same no matter what sight is on it, if someone can't hold a gun steady while pulling the trigger with one sight system, another won't do anything for them either. Too many people will assume it is the gun's fault.
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Last edited by T.A.Sharps; November 3, 2008 at 10:58 PM.
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Old November 3, 2008, 11:48 PM   #10
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im going to go ahead and say that neither i nor anyone i know of has ever had good luck with the mossi 500 rifled slug barrels. i can only group about 5in. at 50yards and ive seen other guys do alot worse with them. if you are looking for an accurate hunting slug gun you shud def. go with remington
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Old November 4, 2008, 12:20 AM   #11
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I shoot a Mossy 500 with their cantilever scope mount rifled barrel. I've got a Nikon 3-9 sitting on top. I bought this as a patch for a niche hog hunt I was doing on Ft Sill in SW OK.

Using the 400 gr Winchester platinum sabots, I routinely got 2.5" groups at 50 yards. Considering the sloppy trigger, I was happy with that.

Now, some things I would/am/already did consider with this setup are an improved recoil pad. The stock one is passable for shot shells, but not really up to the task of taming even the sabot slugs. After 4 boxes, my shoulder was done. Also, for the hunting aspect, get the Uncle Mikes sling studs and put a sling on it. Nikon now has the slughunter scope with a bullet drop compensator designed for sabots. I'm considering it next.

But, now I have moved to a new state which is shotgun only for deer:barf:. I am considering relegating the mossy to backup and investing in a dedicated slug slayer.
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Old November 4, 2008, 07:22 AM   #12
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Slugs

I tried a rifled choke tube and some Hydra Shok sabot slugs and got pretty poor performance compared to a friend with a rifled barrel. I agree they are no substitute for a rifled barrel. I also fired a batch of Federal Tru Ball slugs and it was certainly reliable enough to hit a man sized target (we were using cardboard covered with a t shirt) at 100 yards. Needed a bit of hold over, though. The groups were definately limited by the sights.
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Old November 4, 2008, 12:42 PM   #13
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This weekend I tried one of my 3" Rifled brenneke slugs out of my remington 870 with a 18" smoothbore barrel with a imp cyl choke. now i only took one shot at 25 yards but, It was dead center, 2" high. The back of the box says it should be about that at 25 yards. That is with a bead sight not to mention. Now I know that is only 25 yards, but I will do more testing this weekend from a further distance.
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Old November 4, 2008, 12:47 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Now I know that is only 25 yards, but I will do more testing this weekend from a further distance.
I'd love to see some group data from a good rest at like 50, 75, 100 yards. Brenneke in particular have a reputation for being "accurate" (at least with the people I know that shoot them). Although I consider the term "accurate rifled slug" to be an oxymoron.
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Old November 4, 2008, 04:31 PM   #15
T.A.Sharps
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I'd like to see some good grouping data from that too.

As far as "rifled" slugs go I always thought that a Brenneke might actually have a good amount of spin since the slug has such huge fins on it, not just grooves recessed into the lead of a foster.
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Old November 7, 2008, 07:04 PM   #16
guitarguy
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Question about rifled barrels

A bit off topic, but is it ok to shoot buckshot (00 HD stuff) out of a rifled barrel?
thanks in advance
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Old November 7, 2008, 07:09 PM   #17
hogdogs
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You wouldn't want to risk lead fouling the rifle grooves... Smoothbore for rifled slugs and rifled barrel for sabot... if you wish to vary from that you gotta do it on your own...
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Old November 7, 2008, 07:38 PM   #18
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From my understanding, even if you don't mind cleaning out the lead fouling, shot won't pattern well from a rifled barrel. The spin imparted to the shot load makes it spread into a ring with a big gap in the center of the pattern, meaning you'd hit everything but what you're shooting at
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Old November 7, 2008, 08:20 PM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
A bit off topic, but is it ok to shoot buckshot (00 HD stuff) out of a rifled barrel?


Ok? Yes. The round is essentially a sabot just like the slugs.


Effective? Um, no. As noted the spin will give you a WIDE pattern. Try it out and see what it looks like. (start close)
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Old November 7, 2008, 08:55 PM   #20
guitarguy
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Gotcha

That is pretty much what I figured (it would work but would be very inaccurate and probably damage the rifling inside the barrel)

I'm working on a trade right now to get a Winchester 1300 it is synthetic stock and I believe it has a 22inch rifled barrel (definitely rifled - waiting on a reply on the length)

Best bet is to try to find a 18in barrel and sell the rifled barrel. I'm not a hunter and can't think of any other reason to keep it.

Thanks for the replies.
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