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Old June 9, 2010, 05:21 PM   #1
chrisstromberg
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Mossberg 500 Slugster for sport shooting

I just picked up a 500 Slugster with the 24" smoothbore barrel. I know that I can shoot shot shell through it since it's smootbore, but I was wondering two things:

1) How effective will I be shooting skeet through a 24" smoothbore barrel on the slugster? I'm new to skeet, so I'm not looking for anything amazing, just trying to go out and have some fun with friends. Eventually I'll probably pick up a 28" barrel with accu-set chokes, but I'd like to be able to have some fun shooting skeet with the 24" barrel that come on it before I spend more money.

2) Since it has a smoothbore barrel, what makes it a slugster anyways? The rifle sights?

Thanks
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Old June 9, 2010, 10:35 PM   #2
zippy13
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I just picked up a 500 Slugster with the 24" smoothbore barrel.
I take that to mean you have a new gun, so I'm confused... Mossberg lists 9 variations of their M-500 Slugster model and they all have 24" fully rifled barrels. They are designed to shoot sabot-type slugs not bird shot, and are fitted with rifle sights or a canti scope base. Are you sure that yours is a true smooth bore?

For Skeet, you'll be better served saving for that VR barrel with a bead sight. For an edge up, you could have a mid rib target bead added for a few dollars more.
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Old June 10, 2010, 07:27 AM   #3
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I (and this is going back too many years) got a 500 that came with the 28 in barrel (smooth) and the 18.5 inch smooth for slugs. The 18.5 in barrel is worthless. I never could find decent slugs to fire out of that thing. Everything that was good was sabots and the ones I did find sucked. Oh well first shotgun I ever owned.
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Old June 10, 2010, 07:45 AM   #4
chrisstromberg
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Zippy- Yeah I'm 100% sure that the 24" barrel is smooth. I forgot to mention that it was on the "used" rack at the gun store, but it looks like it's in great shape, so it must be only a couple years old, if that. After doing some research online I found that Mossberg used to offer the 500 slugster with either a rifled bore or smooth bore barrel. Also, I removed the barrel and checked it with a flashlight. Definitely smooth.

So back to my original question: 1) How effective will that be at skeet? I'm not looking to win any competition, I just want to have some fun. 2) What makes this a Slugster if it came with a smooth bore barrel?

Thanks
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Old June 10, 2010, 10:06 AM   #5
RoscoeC
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1) How effective will that be at skeet? I'm not looking to win any competition, I just want to have some fun.
You don't mention anything about the choke. Skeet is typically shot with open chokes, and definitely with smooth bores. 24" is a little shorter than one usually sees, but no reason it won't work just fine.

Quote:
2) What makes this a Slugster if it came with a smooth bore barrel?
The name Slugster is mostly marketing Foo-Foo. What makes a "Silver Pigeon" Beretta a "Silver Pigeon"? I'm probably never going to shoot pigeons with it, and they certainly aren't going to be silver. It's a name that makes most folks conjure up an image of a gun that is specifically for slugs, and if you have a rifled barrel that is pretty much so. However, a gun with rifle sights and a smooth bore will still do an admirable job with the proper slug ammo and an operator that knows how to use it.

Take it out to the skeet range. Have fun. If it becomes an obsession as it does for many, then you may want to look at a tool that is more specifically designed for skeet shooting.
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Old June 10, 2010, 10:35 AM   #6
chrisstromberg
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Roscoe- That's what I wanted to hear. There are no threads on the barrel for chokes, so it will be completely open. As my first shotgun, I was basically looking for an inexpensive used gun that would be acceptable for skeet, but that I could still use to mess around with. If I get addicted to skeet, then I will likely pick up a new barrel more suited to that, or a new shotgun altogether.

Thanks
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Old June 10, 2010, 10:53 AM   #7
RoscoeC
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There are no threads on the barrel for chokes, so it will be completely open.
Not necessarily true. Somewhere on that barrel you should see a marking such as IC, MOD, Full, CYL, etc. Barrels are usually made with some constriction (unless it is marked CYL, which stands for cylinder and that would mean that it is completely open). Just because it doesn't have screw in chokes doesn't mean it isn't choked. It just means that the choke is fixed.

Just thought of another possibility, since you bought it used, it could be a cut down job, meaning that a previous owner may have cut down a longer barrel and that usually results in a cylinder bore.

Doesn't change the answers. Skeet can be shot with more choke, it just becomes a bit more challenging.
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Old June 10, 2010, 11:05 AM   #8
natman
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Mossberg has made a smoothbore, rifle sights, 24" barrel for slugs for years and still does, # 90055. It's a cylinder choke. It's for use with Foster slugs, not sabots.

http://www.mossberg.com/products/acc...section=access

It will be a bit "whippy" for skeet, that is it will be hard to hold a steady swing. The rifle sights will be distracting and the cylinder choke a bit more open than ideal. But you can make some noise with it and maybe break a few birds.
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Old June 10, 2010, 11:43 AM   #9
EMN89
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I have an older mossberg 500 slugster it shoots slugs very accurately, but birdshot on the other hand holds a lousy pattern of approximately 1.5' at only 20 paces. I would suggest that you get a longer barrel that will hold a tighter pattern, it will most likely save you some frustration in the long run IMO.
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Old June 10, 2010, 11:55 AM   #10
noyes
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Cylinder choke use the largest shot size that is legal at your club . Be quicker on the draw (so to speak) get them while they are close to you , distance is not your friend with a cylinder choke . Larger shot size will kinda make up for not having a more restricted choke.
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Old June 10, 2010, 01:08 PM   #11
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I would suggest that you get a longer barrel that will hold a tighter pattern
It's an old wives tale that a longer barrel produces a tighter pattern. It is all in the choke (or in this case, the lack of choke).


This slugster barrel was made to do only 2 things well - shoot Foster type slugs, and shoot buckshot at close (self defense) range.
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Old June 10, 2010, 02:01 PM   #12
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Chrisstromberg,

Now that we've established that your barrel is well suited for bird shot, back to your original question. Yes, you gun is entirely capable of shooting Skeet. Let's look at some specific areas...

Barrel length:
When I first shot Skeet 40+ years ago, the tendency was towards short barrels, and O/Us with 26" barrels were the standard. A pump with a 24" barrel has about the same overall length as a classic Skeet O/U. Over the years barrels have lengthened to provide a longer sighting radius and more inertia. The short barrels still crush targets all day long, but they won't be seen at the world championships.

Inertia:
Over the years comp shooters have come to realize that a gun with a greater inertia that absorbs a little more recoil and swings more smoothly gets higher scores than a lighter quicker pointing gun. It's sort of like having shock absorbers on a car.
You can increase inertia by something as simple as keeping a weighted hull, or two, in the front of the mag tube (installation may be more complicated in a M-500 than a R-870). If that makes it too front heavy, then try some weight in the stock bolt's hole. Most folks prefer the smoother swing and reduced kick of a heavier gun.

Sights:
A typical target gun has a front bead and a mid rib target bead. These aren't used for aiming the gun but for verifying that you've mounted the gun correctly. Once mounted correctly, the Skeeter's job it to watch the targets, not the sights. If you're seeing the target correctly, the gun will follow. Your Slugster's sights will be a hindrance to this. Are they screwed or bonded to the receiver and barrel? If screwed, perhaps you could remove them for Skeet and use one of the screws, with a spot of "white-out" for a make-shift front sight. If your sights aren't removable, try to ignore them and see through to the targets. This may sound crazy… but, you might try making a temporary rib from a strip of blackened wood to fill the gap between your sights.

Choke:
Many folks happily shoot Skeet with cylinder-bore guns. Of the shooting sports, the selection of chokes is least important in Skeet because of its close-in targets. Hunters frequently practice Skeet with full and mod chokes.
If in doubt, pattern your gun at 21 yards with a standard skeet load. A piece of cardboard at a Skeet field's center stake will work fine.
As noyes mentioned, you can always use larger shot to compensate. But, before you switch, remember: a 1-1/8 oz load of #9 Skeet shot has about 658 individual pellets compared to a #7-1/2 trap load with 393. That's 265 (or 67%) more pellets. I'll go to larger shot (8 or 8-1/2) for the second shot in the all-doubles event or to buck the wind on really breezy days.

Good luck and have some fun!
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Old June 10, 2010, 05:38 PM   #13
EMN89
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Doyle
You are correct i should have been more specific in what i was trying to say, what i meant was that the OP should get a barrel that was better suited to the application that was referred to not necessarily a longer barrel but one with a choke of some sort so that it would hold a pattern at longer range.
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Old June 10, 2010, 05:53 PM   #14
hogdogs
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If it has rifle sights, that is what made it a "slugster" a regular bead sight equipped barrel is called a "regular shotgun barrel"
Brent
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Old June 11, 2010, 02:08 AM   #15
natman
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Larger shot size will kinda make up for not having a more restricted choke.
Quote:
As noyes mentioned, you can always use larger shot to compensate. But, before you switch, remember: a 1-1/8 oz load of #9 Skeet shot has about 658 individual pellets compared to a #7-1/2 trap load with 393. That's 265 (or 67%) more pellets. I'll go to larger shot (8 or 8-1/2) for the second shot in the all-doubles event or to buck the wind on really breezy days.
I don't understand this. If he uses larger shot, there will be fewer of them, which will make his open pattern problem worse, not better.
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Old June 11, 2010, 04:20 AM   #16
zippy13
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Originally Posted by natman
Quote:
Larger shot size will kinda make up for not having a more restricted choke.
Quote:
As noyes mentioned, you can always use larger shot to compensate. But, before you switch, remember: a 1-1/8 oz load of #9 Skeet shot has about 658 individual pellets compared to a #7-1/2 trap load with 393. That's 265 (or 67%) more pellets. I'll go to larger shot (8 or 8-1/2) for the second shot in the all-doubles event or to buck the wind on really breezy days.
I don't understand this. If he uses larger shot, there will be fewer of them, which will make his open pattern problem worse, not better.
You understand correctly. The bigger shot may make a slightly tighter pattern, but with more space between the individual pellets. Which do you think breaks more targets at Skeet distances? That's why I presented the numbers -- those really interested would figure it out as you did.

For a given barrel and choke, shot patterns can be affected by the load (velocity), pellet size, pellet density, pellet hardness, and wad type. Generally, the smaller pellets (because of their reduced inertial) will give more spread. Some claim the difference is only a few percent. The differences in pattern size, from shot size, are less apparent at Skeet distances. At my T & S club, the best Skeet shooter, with a cyl. bore "riot" gun, uses #9 shot exclusively.

You'll find that Skeet shooters don't get as concerned about every little detail of their ammo as those shooting the sports that involve considerably longer shots. With two different loads, it may mean the difference between a solid break and an ink ball in Skeet, but with a distant SC presentation, or 27+ trap shot it may mean the difference between a hit and a miss.

It's been my experience, at Skeet target distances, the biggest variant in shell performance is related to velocity. There is a difference in pattern behavior between the standard 1150 and 1200 fps loads. The higher velocity loads spread a pinch more. So, for a new shooter, the bigger pattern from a 3 dram (1200 fps) load may mean an occasional extra broken target. For the experienced shooter, if he's going to miss it will probably be by a mile. So he doesn't want a bigger pattern, he uses a 2-3/4 dram (1150 fps) load to get denser patterns, harder hits and less recoil. Since the effects of kick are cumulative, the lighter loads used during the Saturday morning event may mean higher scores on final event on Sunday afternoon.

Much of Skeet, and the other shooting sports, has nothing to do with the gun and ammo, it's what's between your ears. If you've really convinced yourself that a certain load will out perform another, it probably will.

Last edited by zippy13; June 11, 2010 at 06:13 PM. Reason: typo
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Old June 11, 2010, 10:19 AM   #17
noyes
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I don't understand this. If he uses larger shot, there will be fewer of them, which will make his open pattern problem worse, not better.

You could call it , how to get the most out of a shotgun that is not really ment for that type of shooting (manipulation). Experimentation that's what makes shotgunning so addictive i.m.o. Zillions of different sizes of shot and loads to play with.

Try different shot sizes you'll see how to get the most out of Your shotgun whether it be short or long barrel with choke or no choke.
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