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Old July 20, 2012, 08:39 AM   #1
Come and take it.
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.308 soft point or 12 guage foster slug

Which is more lethal?
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Old July 20, 2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Dead is dead. Foster slugs are soft and on thin skinned game, people deer, a slug is total devestation. Hard to argue with .73 caliber. A proper shotgun slug, not a foster slug, will easily kill anything on earth, the .308, not so much.
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Old July 20, 2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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Depends on what you are shooting and the manufacturer of the 308 bullet. With the best loads I'd take the 308 every time. Now with some of the better slugs, on really large game I might feel different. While the slugs make a large diameter hole, the old school Foster slugs are soft and don't give very deep penetration.
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Old July 20, 2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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If both rounds are hits in the same place then it's a tossup. However, that hit is a big "if". The .308 significantly increases your ability to put the bullet on target - both in terms of longer distance and in accuracy.
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Old July 20, 2012, 07:52 PM   #5
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Most folks forget that until the latter part of the 19th century, all game was killed with a lead bullet, often a patched lead ball traveling at about 1300 fps. That was state of the art for many centuries. With the invention of the cupronickel jacket at the beginning of the 20th century, we began using jacket bullets. Before then, not so much.

A 12 gauge slug will take any game in the world if you get close enough and put your slug in the correct spot. With the invention of the paradox choke and rifled barrels, the shotgun slug became much more accurate and effective.
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Old July 20, 2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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Under 100 yards and rifled barrel a slug is awesome but close up and with a scoped rifle all the way out to 600 yards can be lethal further if practice. Depends alot on ranges and animals and just shoot in general area or pinpoint accuracy. But both are great.
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Old July 21, 2012, 06:14 AM   #7
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They are different rounds and typically used in different situations. Both have their pros and cons when discussed in relation to each other.

With that said, I'd be hard pressed to say that one is more lethal than the other. With both, shot placement is king. You have to do your job before any bullet can do its job.
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Old August 2, 2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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You can tell most of these post are not from folk who live in a shotgun only state. Shot placement being equal a SP .308 will do far more damage than a FOSTER slug. In reality foster slugs punch a neat round whole and disturb very little of the surrounding tissue. Centerfires on the other, depending on bullet construction of coarse, transmit wholesale shock and damage to anything even close. Every year one or more hunters get shot in the chest with foster slugs while deer hunting here in Iowa. A good percentage of them make it (i.e. most). The results would not be even close if hit with a centerfire rifle using proper bullets.
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Old August 2, 2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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In the area where I bowhunt Roosevelt elk, shotguns are required during modern firearms season. The results are not always pretty. Every one of those hunters would take a 308 over their shotgun if they had a choice. Never the less they do manage to get the job done with shotguns most of the time if the range is short enough.
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Old August 2, 2012, 10:05 PM   #10
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If you use a "real" slug, the .308 is way less gun, way less "lethal." Yes, the foster slugs are soft but a Dixie DGS or Brenneke Black Magic will kill anything on earth, the .308, not so much. The Linebaugh Bone Box testing shows that a hard cast slug will out out-perform a .375 H&H, let alone a .308. Even with a lesser slug, the 385 grain Winchester Gold Partition, you are far beyond any .308:

Technical Information •Gauge/Bore: 12
•Shell Length: 3"
•Slug Type: Partition Gold Sabot
•Slug Weight: 385 Grain

Ballistics Information:
•Muzzle Velocity: 2000 fps
•Muzzle Energy: 3419 ft. lbs
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Old August 2, 2012, 10:57 PM   #11
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They are both equally lethal. Question is, what are you shooting at, how far, and what can happen if you don't hit the vitals?
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Old August 3, 2012, 11:37 AM   #12
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At 100 yards it's a draw, at 300 yards the .308 wins. I likes my shotguns but rifle wins for me because of long range accuracy. Dead is dead with a good hit, with a bad hit maybe give the edge to the slug but that has nothing to do with it's being more lethal.
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Old August 3, 2012, 04:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
a Dixie DGS or Brenneke Black Magic will kill anything on earth, the .308, not so much.
WDM Bell, also known as Kilimanjaro Bell used a 7X57 to literally kill hundreds of elephant. In his later years was known to have said he would have prefered the 308 had it been available in his day.

The 308 is still one of the favortie rifles of elephant poachers in Africa. The FAL's are quite common there and with FMJ military rounds work well enough.
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Old August 3, 2012, 09:02 PM   #14
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Apples and oranges. 308 will be more lethal from 100-300 yards. Slug will get the nod below 100.
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Old August 3, 2012, 11:40 PM   #15
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A brain shot on an elephant is not an indication of how effective a .308 or slug would be against dangerous game. A hard cast slug will blow a hole in an elephant's skull and make a bigger hole, .73" doing it.
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Old August 4, 2012, 08:55 PM   #16
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I submit to you the if you hit the skull of an elephant with a 12ga slug, it will stop. Ol' Karamojo was hitting the eye socket and other various holes in the skull. This is usually the goal even with the big magnums, though they do have the power to penetrate.

I won't say that a 12ga CAN'T do it, but I don't think so on a regular basis.

Say, just how many elephant was the OP planning on hunting with the 12ga or .308?
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Old August 5, 2012, 08:04 AM   #17
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I live in a state that requires shotgun/pistol/muzzle loader only in some counties for deer hunting during gun season. I also happen to live in one of those counties.

When it comes to hunting deer with a long gun though I'll go for my .308 any day over my shotgun. I do have a rifled barrel for my 12ga. and when I do hunt with the shotgun I use that and saboted brenneke style slugs. With a cantilever mounted scope I am confident of reliably hitting vitals out to 75 yards - that's about a 3" group at 75 yards. Some people will say they can shoot an inch at 100+ yards with their slug gun (my neighbor) but I've yet to see it actually done.

With my .308 (DPMS LR308) I can easily shoot under an inch at 100 yards and even out to 200 yards I can shoot 1" with good ammo. With your average off the shelf commercial BTSP ammo I get about 2" at 200 yards off a bench. Offhand I get about 3" at 200 yards. With MY rifle there's a guy at the range that shoots often who can pick off soda cans at 300 yards. Ok so he can do so with his rifle too but see I can't consistently do that with my rifle while he can. I guess that means I just have to practice and shoot more

Anyway I wouldn't even consider taking a shot at a soda can with a shotgun out past 75 yards.

In regards to hunting medium to large game with a shotgun I'd only do it if I HAD to. Not because it lacks sufficient killing power but because it lacks the range I'd like to have in order to make it a truly versatile gun for hunting. If I have a close shot I'd gladly take it. I want to be able to know though that if I had to take a longer shot I'd be able to take it too.

As to which is most lethal - umm well that'd be hard to decide. Up close the velocity of the .308 in a heavy SP (like a 180 grain) will cause an amazing amount of damage in soft tissue and will also penetrate the skulls of most animals too. It actually causes MORE damage than a 12ga. foster slug because of the sheer velocity and capacity to expand and penetrate at close ranges (out to 100 yards). While the 12ga. slug will penetrate and a foster slug has more of a tendency to expand the slug typically does not actually do more damage than a .308 out to 75 yards... in fact from what I've seen they both do about the same amount of damage at those distances. A brenneke style saboted slug (what I would shoot) doesn't deform very much at all at 75 yards. In fact the last time I shot a deer with my shotgun (about a 50 yard shot) it made a pretty nice clean hole all the way through the deer. It did tumble a bit - it went in with a clean circular hole and came out with a more rectangular exit hole but the exit hole itself was not much larger than the entry hole. The deer ran for about 75 yards and died. I rarely hunt deer with a shotgun but that was only two years ago during the antlerless deer season.

I've also shot more than a few deer at 75 or less yards with a .308. At 50 or so yards I shoot through with a .308 however the exit hole is considerably larger than the entry hole. The bullet had also tumbled and yawed - the entry hole was just above the heart and at a downward angle. The exit wound was just below the shoulder blade on the other side and was about the size of my hand - the bullet had hit a rib and taken a chunk of the rib out with it. This was with a 180 grain soft point. The deer fell where it stood. I shot a deer at 75 yards in the neck and the entry wound was .30 cal but the exit wound was huge - I'd say a couple of inches across. It had hit and in the short distance it traveled managed to take out with it arteries and wind pipe. That deer fell and died where it stood, sending up arterial blood spray for a few seconds after it fell.
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Old August 5, 2012, 09:16 AM   #18
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The answer depends on bullets in the .308 and distance in the 12 gauge. I shoot only standard 12 gauge slugs so my experience with the other slugs is limited to what I read.

Ay 50 yards, I can think of few firearms that are as devastating as the 12 gauge slug. At longer ranges, they get marginal in accuracy. If you can hit the target at 200 yards, it's going to hurt!

At 50 yards, the .308 is just getting warmed up! Having shot them for years at 200 and 600 yards, the accuracy edge is with the .308. I shoot 168 grain Sierra Match Kings which are great for accuracy but terrible for hunting as they aren't designed for expansion. Selection of a proper hunting bullet is essential.

I've been in the "pits" in many matches when those big .30 calibers sail in from 600 yards. They hit the berm behind us with a loud "WHUMP!". There's still a lot of energy in a .308 at 600 yards. With the correct bullet, they are still plenty lethal and very accurate. The .308 definitely has the edge there.

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Old August 9, 2012, 10:04 AM   #19
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Firing a slug is a bit like firing a mortar round. Tremendous energy and limited distance. If you have fired very many, you will actually be able to see the slug travel to the target at 100 yds.
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Old August 9, 2012, 10:56 PM   #20
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Anything the 12ga slug in ANY form can do, the .308 can do better.

Foot pounds of energy? Check.
Trajectory? Check.
Range? Check.
Actual tissue damage? Check.
Penetration? Check.
Accuracy? Check

RECOIL? ....
RECOIL? ....
RECOIL? ....

Okay, the 12ga DOES have more of something: RECOIL!
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Old August 10, 2012, 01:05 PM   #21
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"Anything the 12ga slug in ANY form can do, the .308 can do better.
Foot pounds of energy? Check. (Way Wrong)
Trajectory? Check. (Right)
Range? Check. (Right)
Actual tissue damage? Check. (Way Wrong)
Penetration? Check. (Way Wrong)
Accuracy? Check" (Right)

The Winchester Partition Slug I referenced is over 3,400 foot pounds. No .308even comes close. The Brenneke Magnum Crush goes over 3,800 ft lbs. So no, wrong.

As for "penetration" and "actual tissue damage" aka "tissue damage" the best testing, in my opinion, and in many others, are the Linebaugh Seminars and the "Bone Box." The 9.3 x 62 with a 250 grain Nosler at 2,725 fps (way more gun than a .308) goes 17 inches in the box without any bone. The following from a thread from Shotgun World site 4-28-04:

"Terminator "Wound Channels"
The 730 grain hard cast .73 caliber Terminator moving out at 1268 FPS, penetrated 29 inches into the wet pack. This round blasted a 4 inch wide tapering tunnel for the biggest "wound channel" of the seminar!

The slightly deformed nose of the Terminator on the left above occured when one round was fired too close th to top of the paper. It exited the paper stack near the end of its travel and slammed into the heavy pine support board.

For comparison, a Federal .416 Rigby round with a 400 grain Partition, penetrated 30 inches with a considerably smaller displacement of the test medium."

The current Dixie DGS ("Dangerous Game Slug") is even "more gun." It shoots a .730 caliber 870 grain hard cast slug 1,200 fps. I'm not a big fan of the Taylor K.O. Value, except as it gives an indication as to potential performance on dangerous game, lion, tiger, big bears, Cape buffaLo, and the Dixie DGS get a 109 on the Taylor K.O. scale and the most "powerful" .308 I could find was the 178 grain Hornady Superformance at a 21 Taylor K.O. value. So no, you are wrong, on the most important points.
.308 has its place, but it is not in the world of total destruction at ranges under 100 yards and over 100 yards, it is best suited to medium size game up and not dangerous game at any range.
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Old August 10, 2012, 06:27 PM   #22
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I was involved with culling water buffalo from the top end of Australia in the early 1980's & used .308's & 12G with rifled slugs for this purpose.
Up close, there is no disputing the power of a 12G slug. I once shot 4 water buffalo in under 10 seconds using a Browning A5 semi auto 12G shotgun firing Brenekke rifled slugs at a distance of around 30 yards. I found the maximum usable distance for slugs for me was around 75 yards.
While the .308 was not as devastating on water buffalo up close as the 12G slugs, I could still drop water buffalo at 200 yards with the .308 if I landed the shots where I wanted.
For my purpose of culling water buffalo I preferred the .308 because of the superior accuracy & range offered when compared to a 12G slug.
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Old August 11, 2012, 12:25 AM   #23
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Truth is there both equally lethal, there isn't a land animal that walks the earth that can't be killed by either. The only advantage is the .308 is more versatile than a shotgun as long as we are only talking about shooting slugs. The only time I'd ever choose a shotgun with slugs over a .308 is for the sheer stopping power if something big and nasty was trying to end my life close up and personal.
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Old August 12, 2012, 04:09 PM   #24
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Mr. Mortimer, that is a very well thought out and clearly worded rebuttal...

...which has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the original poster's question.

He did not ask for a comparison of the .308 to Brenneke's latest super slug, nor the .50 BMG, nor a charging Buick.

He asked about Foster Slugs. Foster Slugs: Those hollow lead cups they tip upside-down in a shotshell and hurl at the vicinity of the target.

I would MUCH prefer a 12ga Foster Slug to properly selected .308 ammo if...
if...
if... You know what? No. I wouldn't. Pretty much ever, unless required by law.
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Old August 12, 2012, 04:19 PM   #25
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^ The "redcued recoil" Foster slugs perform much better the the "full recoil" Foster slugs. The whole big slow soft bullet/slug thing - and you are right.
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