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Old October 16, 2000, 08:38 AM   #1
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
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Pop's mutter cut through the wind noise and the sounds of the geese. "Wait until they're in range, then take him", said my father.

I was maybe 13 years old, armed with a H&R 16 ga single, and the old paper cased Western Hi Speeds in #2. When Pop stood up in the blind, and swung his old Savage O/U,so did I with my little 16. When we fired, the Canadas over the decoys,already flaring, erupted into flight, except for a pair heading earthward.

Later that day, as eager as a pointer pup with his first nose full of bird scent,I took a shot at a single coming in. That bird was probably 60 yards off, and a pair of pellets hit the head and took him out. I thought Pop would have been proud of that shot,but he frowned.

"You took a long chance on that one. He was out of range of everything except a luck shot. It would have been better for you to have missed,now you've got an inflated idea of how far you can shoot and how good you are".

Unlike a lot of his advise, that stuck with me.

And now to slugs....

Downstairs in a box are a mix of slugs, 3 Winchester sabots,a couple of 3 inch Rottweil Brennekes, some Remington "Punkin balls",a few Lightfields,the usual detritus of range testing. Sometime I'll give them to someone at a range so they can find what works for them and their shotgun.

Most folks dislike range testing, but it's essential to finding the most accurate slug.
What's shown up in MY testing is that the 3 inch hardly ever equals the same slug in a 2 3/4" load. The little bit of velocity gained is offset by the increased noise and recoil, and the increased cost cuts into our discretionary income a bit.

And, any deer you hit in the right place will not be able to tell if the slug was from a 3 inch mag at 1600 FPS or a dinky 2 3/4" load at 1450 or less.

So, the Magnumistas will come on this thread and sing about flatter trajectory and better terminal performance. Folks, if you need a flat trajectory, get a 25-06. Darn near all deer harvested each year get hit within 65 yards of the hunter, regardless of geography or weapon. All slugs shoot flat enough for that kind of hunting.

And, since flinching is insidious, and creeps up on people, chances are you'll shoot better with a short slug load.

Ever been in a shop and seen a guy buying a 300 Mag because he missed a nice one with his '06 and wants to make sure he get one this year? We all like more than we have,but he would do better learning range estimation and how his '06 shoots at say, 200 yards under hunting conditions and sticking with that.

I recall reading how Lightfield,leaders is slug and slug gun research, won't make a 3 inch slug because it won't shoot any more accurately nor perform better than the short case. Range testing, properly padded and benched, shows me that, in my guns at least, the short slugs do better.

So, somone in the back of the room has their hand up. The question is," What about those
that do use them for whatever reasons"? This is still America(barely), and you can choose to use the 3 inch slugs if you've a mind to. Just don't be under the impression you're more deadly.

If you can take an offhand shot fairly fast at a pie plate at 75 yards, and hit it every time, you're ready to take shots at that distance or closer in the field. Otherwise, limit your range to where you can be effective.

I know people that can fire tiny little groups off a bench, and couldn't hit the right Zip Code when full of adrenaline and in the woods. So, zero at the bench, then practice from any position you may be using in the woods

The first practical shotgun match I shot in, back in the Dark Ages, used paper plates set up at distances up to 100 yards, with that target only counting to break ties. Event was timed,of course,and held to four shots since many folks had not gotten mag extensions yet.
One variant we did for fun was "Follow the Leader". One guy was It,and had to make a shot from a position of his choice. All others had to copy the shot, and the best one was the next It. Few folks who could shoot fine from offhand were good at kneeling, sitting,etc. We also cross handled, all right handed people fired a course from the left shoulder and vice versa.I placed 5th or 6th out of maybe 40,so I was happy.A little bull session afterwards had nobody higher than 10th or so shooting 3 inch mags.

Rant mode off.....
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Old October 16, 2000, 11:34 AM   #2
M1911
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I've got a box of 3" slugs. One season I was running short, and that's all the gun store had.

The standard 2 3/4" shells hurt enough, thank you very much. I'll stand aside to let other folks volunteer for 3" and 10ga. Here in MA, I'll be lucky to get a shot longer than 50 yards. 2 3/4 are just fine at that distance.

M1911
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Old October 16, 2000, 12:42 PM   #3
Ledbetter
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Thanks for keeping your posts coming, Dave. I visit every day, mostly lurking lately.

Regards,

Ledbetter
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Old October 16, 2000, 01:03 PM   #4
Hal
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Dave,
I gotta agree with Ledbetter (hmm, been doin that a lot as of late).When it comes to things shotgun, if Dave says it, thats good enough for me.

BTW, that follow the leader sounds like a great deal of fun.

[This message has been edited by RAE (edited October 16, 2000).]
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Old October 16, 2000, 01:10 PM   #5
Dave McC
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Thanks, guys. After a few decades, a few things have sunk into my thick,peasant skull.
Glad to pass them on.
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Old October 16, 2000, 03:05 PM   #6
Shawn Dodson
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Great huntin' story.

I've never heard of Lightfield slugs. Do they have a web site?

------------------
/s/ Shawn Dodson
Firearms Tactical Institute
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Old October 16, 2000, 03:36 PM   #7
Hal
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Dave,
We are the ones that should be saying thanks.
Believe me, one thing I found out this past weekend is how scarce real life teachers are getting.

M1911 and Ledbetter,
I planned on a weekend of shotgunning, but alas something else came out of the blue. a close friend, who happens to also be my father in law, ended up needing heart surgery.

[This message has been edited by RAE (edited October 16, 2000).]
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Old October 16, 2000, 04:09 PM   #8
Dave McC
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RAE, I''ll add your FIL to the prayer list.

Shawn, I dunno about a website. I first ran across them in the American Slug Shooting Association mag a decade ago.They started the surge in R&D that has led to improved slugs and slug guns.

Guys, I'm glad I can help you. And, when your turn comes,help someone. Pay it forward...
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Old October 16, 2000, 05:01 PM   #9
Shawn Dodson
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Found it!
http://www.lightfield-ammo.com/

------------------
/s/ Shawn Dodson
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Old October 16, 2000, 07:11 PM   #10
M1911
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Rae:

We'll say a prayer for your father-in-law.

M1911
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Old October 17, 2000, 06:37 AM   #11
Dave McC
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I note from the Lightfield site that they carry 3 inch slugs now,and a 3 1/2 inch job suitable,no doubt for armored personnel carriers and Mastodon. I also note that the Tar Hunt 12 and 20 ga bolt action rifles are chambered for 2 3/4" only. The companies have had a good working relationship since day one, and IMO, the 3 inch slugs are marketed because folks want them,while the slug guns cannot take them. There's a lesson there...
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Old October 17, 2000, 08:41 AM   #12
M1911
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3 1/2" slugs? Sure, I'll give them a try. Just as soon as I find a shotgun with wheels and lanyard

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