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Old December 14, 2008, 11:24 PM   #1
bottom rung
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Slug Gun Questions

It looks as though, I might be able to purchase a new shotgun for Christmas. I wanted to get out hunting this year, but I do not have a slug gun. In CT you can only hunt deer on state land with slugs. No buckshot, no centerfire rifles, I think you can use a muzzleloader, but that isn't important. I would like to get a Mossberg 500 Slugster. I heard that you cannot shoot rifled slugs down a rifled barrel. Is this true? My second question has to do with ballistics. I am a small guy and not too fond of recoil. If I went with a 20 gauge could I expect a flatter trajectory due to the smaller cross section of the 20 gauge projectile as compared to the 12 gauge? Also is it safe to say that the 20 gauge is just as effective as a 12 gauge? In short if there are any major drawbacks to a 20 gauge when compared with 12 gauge I would like to hear them. I shoot rifles a lot, but I have not spent too much time with shotguns except with a 590 at close range. Whatever I get will end up with a Pachmeyr or LimbSaver recoil pad. Any scope suggestions would appreciated also. Thanks, Steve
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Old December 14, 2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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For a slug gun.

the smoothbore barrels are best with either the Foster or Brenneke style of slugs. They can be used in rifled barrels but the accuracy is not good.

The rifled barrel best uses the saboted slug, in which the plastic sabot takes the rifling and imparts spin to the entire unit (sabot & slug) once past the muzzle the sabot flies apart from the slug which is still spinning.

Best accuracy for both barrels is with a scope 1-1/2X minumum.

You can also buy a field gun with "Choke tubes" for small game hunting and purchase a seperate "Rifled choke tube". Might be something to consider.
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Old December 14, 2008, 11:47 PM   #3
PAcountryboy
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you are correct, you shouldnt use rifled slugs in a rifled barrel. rifled slugs are for smooth bore barrels. i have a mossberg 500 with a slug barrel. in my opinion, it is one of the best shotguns you can get for the money. mine is a 12 gauge, but it depends what you want to do with it to determine between 12 and 20. 20 is fine, but it doesnt have the power of a 12 gauge. if your really that worried about recoil, dont get a 12 gauge if you plan on using slugs. it will put a beatin on you after a while. like i said, it all depends on what you wanna hunt with it. my cousin just dropped a 7 point buck at about 15 yards this year with a 20 gauge rifled slug when he shot it in the top of the neck. but the only thing i didnt like about it after disecting it was that is where it stopped. it hit the spine and just stopped. where-as if i would have taken the same shot with my 500 12 gauge, im pretty confident it would have blew through the spine and came out the other side.
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Old December 15, 2008, 12:27 AM   #4
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now I'm confused

Don't use a rifled slug in a rifled barrel?
Is the Foster type of slug the rifled slug or is the Sabot the rifled slug?
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Old December 15, 2008, 12:33 AM   #5
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jrothWA, I have an old 500 from the 70's or so. It has the single bar instead of the double. It has a 28" barrel with an adjustable choke and the old 24" smoothbore Slugster barrel. The gun belongs to my brother. I have tried to use the smoothbore barrel, but accuracy is disgustingly terrible. I noticed Mossberg makes a 21" barrel with Accu-Choke setup. I also found that Cabela's has rifled chokes available. I thought this would make a great all around gun. With four chokes, I could hunt anything, which I find appealing. Do you have any experience with rifled chokes? Are they worth it?

PA, I am not that sensitive to recoil. I have shot more 12 than 20. I don't have any experience with 20 gauge slugs, that is why I was asking. I think I will go for the 12 gauge. With slugs, I am looking to go after deer and the occasional coyote if the chance comes about. Thanks for the help so far. Steve
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Old December 15, 2008, 12:35 AM   #6
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the sabot DOES NOT have riflling on it, so it is to be used in a RIFLED barrel. the rifled slugs have the rifling on them, so they are to be used in a smooth bore barrel

if you are going for deer, yes i would suggest the 12ga
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Old December 15, 2008, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
It looks as though, I might be able to purchase a new shotgun for Christmas. I wanted to get out hunting this year, but I do not have a slug gun. In CT you can only hunt deer on state land with slugs. No buckshot, no centerfire rifles, I think you can use a muzzleloader, but that isn't important. I would like to get a Mossberg 500 Slugster. I heard that you cannot shoot rifled slugs down a rifled barrel. Is this true? My second question has to do with ballistics. I am a small guy and not too fond of recoil. If I went with a 20 gauge could I expect a flatter trajectory due to the smaller cross section of the 20 gauge projectile as compared to the 12 gauge? Also is it safe to say that the 20 gauge is just as effective as a 12 gauge? In short if there are any major drawbacks to a 20 gauge when compared with 12 gauge I would like to hear them. I shoot rifles a lot, but I have not spent too much time with shotguns except with a 590 at close range. Whatever I get will end up with a Pachmeyr or LimbSaver recoil pad. Any scope suggestions would appreciated also. Thanks, Steve
Unless you are going to hunt A LOT OF GEESE I sincerely feel you will be best served by getting a 20ga. The guns are usually lighter, the ammo is lighter, & the recoil is less. You would be well served by getting a Deer & Field combo. That is you'd get a 26" field barrel w/ choke tubes for general hunting; and a 22"-24" rifle sighted deer barrel. (The deer barrel may or may not be rifled.) You will have to decide which you prefer. Both will give you 100yd accuracy with plenty of wallup to kill the biggest deer that ever lived.

A rifled barrel will require use of sabot slugs that cost $9.99-$13.99 for five shells. A smooth bore barrel will use Foster (Rifled) slugs like Federal® Power Shok®, Remington® Slugger™, or my personal favorite: Brenneke®. Brenneke®'s, Federal®, & Winchester® have 20ga Foster slugs in both 2¾" and 3"; Remington® only offers 2¾" Foster slugs AFAIK.

If it were me I would get a 20ga Mossberg® Mdl 500C™ and a "Smooth Bore" Slug barrel.
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Old December 15, 2008, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katrina Guy
now I'm confused
Don't use a rifled slug in a rifled barrel?
Is the Foster type of slug the rifled slug or is the Sabot the rifled slug?
Here's an easy way to remember: Just one rifling: the barrel OR the slug.
Foster (and Brenneke) types have sprial fins.
Sabots are smooth sided.
However, it's not always easy to identify the slug type in a loaded round out of it's OE box. There's no major problem if you get them mixed up except reduced performance and/or lead fouling and, in the case of sabots in a smooth bore, wasted money.
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Old December 15, 2008, 09:39 PM   #9
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I shot my first and only deer with a TC encore with a 20ga slug barrel. Didnt hit it with a great shot either, but it went clean through the deer, leaving a baseball sized hole on exit and intestines partially hanging out. For deer, 20ga should be just fine. The ammo these days is so good that even with a half decent shot, the deer will fall. With that said i have a 12ga 870 with a rifled slug barrel but I dont mind the recoil. Ammo is REALLY expensive though. Remington accutips go for 20 bucks a box of 5!
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Old December 15, 2008, 10:51 PM   #10
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Big + to all fans of the 20 for deer.

Using a rifled barrel and sabot slugs(i like the remington copper solids-260gr @2000fps) you can get rifle like accuracy out to 100 yards and beyond. They will take a deer down as fast as anything and with a good supercell or similar recoil pad you'll hardly suffer the recoil.

I'm using a 12 now but will pick up an 870, rifled, in 20 ga. soon. I've got a bushnell 3x9x40 firefly on my slug gun now and can state that it can both handle the recoil and add minutes to your first and last shooting light. It's a good deer scope i could recommend...J.R.
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Old December 16, 2008, 03:35 AM   #11
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I'm another 20 GA fan.
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Old December 16, 2008, 09:35 AM   #12
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Go with a 12 gauge. They can kick like a mule, but have more takedown power. If you buy an autoloader the recoil is reduced alot, but the price goes up.

Im a small guy too, I shoot a pump 12ga. Rem. 870. I bought a Lead Sled though for sighting in so the kick isnt an issue.

If you have ever deer hunted, you know that the recoil is the last thing you think about when you have one in the crosshairs. I admit I get the flinches sometimes at the range, but when Im in the woods shootin a deer, the gun doesnt kick and its not loud either, its amazing.

I recommend a rifled barrel and sabot slugs. They cost more but the accuracy is better. If youre gun shoots the hornady SST slugs well, I recommend them. They are accurate up to 200 yds.
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Old December 16, 2008, 09:39 AM   #13
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I'm going to buck the trend here. If the state allows you to use a muzzleloader, use that. It is accurate out to more than double the range of any slug gun and the cost per shot is WAY less.
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Old December 16, 2008, 11:21 AM   #14
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Doyle
Do you have any experience with the Mossy muzzle loading set up? If it works, at $113.56 (MSRP) it's way cheaper than their rifled slug barrel.
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Old December 16, 2008, 02:51 PM   #15
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I've seen the Mossberg 500 ML combo advertised but I've never seen one in usage. I can't say I'd want to try it though. You can buy a perfectly good muzzleloader very cheaply. Wait until after hunting season is over and there will be lots for sale - both new and used. I paid right at $100 for a great condition CVA Hunter Magbolt with a no-name scope. It shoots as accurately as any muzzleloader I've ever seen. I wouldn't mind upgrading it to something a little more modern but I'm in no hurry.
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Old December 16, 2008, 05:20 PM   #16
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abother slug question,

how much of a difference is there betweena 2.75" shell and 3" shell as far as hitting the target is concerned?
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Old December 16, 2008, 06:43 PM   #17
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I get it now, makes sense (one's explained)

Thanks
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Old December 16, 2008, 07:48 PM   #18
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Here's my take on slugs. The term "rifled slug" (aka Foster/Brenneke) is a misnomer. The "riflings" on the slug itself are merely compression lands that allow the slug to be shot through various diameter barrels (chokes). They do not impart any spin on the slug, in or out of the barrel. The slugs fly straight because they are shaped like a badminton birdy (nose heavy).

The only practical reason to NOT shoot them through a rifled barrel is they are made from soft lead. Be prepared to spend a lot of time brushing the lead deposits out of a rifled barrel. Other than that it's my GUESS that Foster/Brenneke slugs are probably more, OR at least equally, as accurate when fired through a rifled vs. smoothbore barrel. The usual caveat that "some guns like one slug better than another" also applies.

My problem with sabots, aside from the outrageous prices, is that to get the same impact performance as a full bore "rifled slug" you have to depend on bullet expansion. Expecting a 45-50 cal sabot slug to expand to the 70 plus cal of a Foster type slug is optimistic IMO. Of course 50 cal is plenty to kill a deer and sabots have an accuracy and range advantage. So if you regularly shoot deer beyond 80 yards or so sabots are probably the way to go.

........Mike
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Old December 16, 2008, 07:56 PM   #19
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My problem with sabots, aside from the outrageous prices, is that to get the same impact performance as a full bore "rifled slug" you have to depend on bullet expansion.
I'd say you were right if shooting a whitetail deer was pushing the limits of shotgun power. In truth, I have shot many deer with both Winchester and Federal rifled slugs, as well as Remington Core-Lokt Ultra Sabots. The difference in killing power, if there is an advantage for either, is slanted in favor of the Core-Lokts.
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Old December 17, 2008, 10:27 PM   #20
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I appreciate all the advice and information. Doyle, a muzzleloader is on the list of things to buy, I just have not bought one yet. I want the shotgun because I will ultimately buy more barrels for it. I am going to buy a bird barrel with the Accu-Set chokes, an 18" barrel for the home, and a slug barrel of some sort. The immediate desire is for a slug barrel. The other barrels I will acquire later. Although Mossberg does not advertise a smooth bore slug barrel on their guns, they do offer them for sale under the accessories page on the web site. I am leaning toward the smooth bore. I am willing to accept less accuracy for cheaper ammunition and increased versatility. I probably won't be sure until I am actually at the counter picking it out.
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Old December 17, 2008, 10:36 PM   #21
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Although my experience is limited, i'd like to mention that the 3 deer i've killed with foster type slugs resulted in 2 50 yard dashes in 2 cases and a 300yd run in the 3rd. In one case the doe had 4 shots fired into her, one being terminal(1st), The buck that ran 300 yards had a terminal wound to the chest and one to the midsection. A 3rd. shot took off his front right leg. A final doe ran 50 yards and dropped but needed a follow up shot.

The 5 deer i've taken with the remington copper sabot had resulted in 5 one shot kills, the farthest run being a 30 foot double leap. 3 fell over with barely a kick. VERY impressive.

Could have all been circumstance but personally i think the sabots out of a rifled barrel are the way to go...J.R.
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Old December 18, 2008, 02:22 PM   #22
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You CAN shoot rifled Foster style slugs out of a rifled barrel. It will not damage your barrel, as the rifled slugs are made of very soft lead. They have shot very well out of guns I have used, at least as well as through a smoothbore if not better. The rotation imparted by the rifling still gives the slug added stability.

The main problem is that after a box or two they start leading up the barrel and accuracy starts to go. Some good scrubbing with a bronze bore brush cleans it up easily, just like with any revolver using lead bullets.

You will get better range and accuracy using sabots, of course.

If you intend to shoot a lot of the cheaper rifled Foster slugs, it would still be better to go with a smoothbore for cleaning and consistency.

I just find it odd that so many people seem to think shooting plain lead slugs through a rifled barrel is somehow taboo.
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Old December 18, 2008, 02:57 PM   #23
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I just find it odd that so many people seem to think shooting plain lead slugs through a rifled barrel is somehow taboo.

because...


Quote:
after a box or two they start leading up the barrel and accuracy starts to go.

Your definition of "cleans up easy" must be different than mine. One afternoon of shooting that way cured me forever.
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Old December 18, 2008, 04:46 PM   #24
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Your definition of "cleans up easy" must be different than mine. One afternoon of shooting that way cured me forever.
An afternoon of shooting is something most people can't afford to do with sabots at $10 (at least) for a box of 5 anyway, so I'd say the point is moot.

"Cleans up easy" for me is a few minutes of vigorous scrubbing with a bronze bore brush after about 15 shots of practice or sighting in, then putting it away for the day after swabbing it out. It's always worked for me.

Not saying sabots aren't better in a rifled barrel, they are. But unless you are shooting lots of slugs (most people don't) it's not a big deal to shoot rifled Fosters in a rifled barrel.
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Old December 18, 2008, 04:54 PM   #25
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If recoil is an issue, then Federal TruBall makes their slugs in standard and low recoil. You can get them thru Cabelas. TruBalls will cut groups in half over standard slugs.

Federal low recoil Tactical buck isn't bad to shoot at all if you can find it. Ammoman has it ordered--you might check.. In fact, all the LE ammo is low recoil--except some standard pressure specific for semi-autos.


For a leaded bore, I've found that plenty of solvent on one of those copper (or silver) mesh like scouring pads found in any supermarket, do a great job. You probably won't be doing that much sighting in anyway. Just don't let it build up.

I've found the Rottweil Brenneke slugs to be midway between low recoil LE and full power slugs where velocity and recoil are concerned. Not bad to shoot, unlike Federal Classics that thump me good. Brennekes are hard, and shouldn't lead things up too bad.

Last edited by Nnobby45; December 18, 2008 at 05:08 PM.
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