View Full Version : Beads and slugs...

Dave McC
September 4, 2002, 06:32 AM
Did a touch of bench work at AGC last Monday Morn. It was time to check the zero on my ML, and some recent posts here about using slugs in bead sighted shotguns had me realizing I didn't have much current info. So,Frankenstein and a handful of slugs went with me.

Frankenstein, my overpublicized parts 870, has had very few slugs through it. After all, I've two much better slug guns in the two "Serious" 870s with their peeps and mods. But, I tried a pair of three shot groups just to see what could be done with my old eyes, a bead, and some slugs NOT selected by extensive testing at the bench. Distance was 50 yards.Choke was a Skeet tube.

So,after shooting my ML,I turned to Frankenstein, dropped in a KO Brenneke, rested my elbows on the bench and squeezed it off. Taking my time but not cooling the bbl completely between shots, I shot two more KOs, then after a short break, 3 Winchester 1 oz Forster style HP slugs.Both give very good results on deer, IME, but there's no ineffective 12 gauge slugs.

I used the rested elbows position instead of a more rigid bench style because I wanted to mimic field conditions. I take most of my deer these days from a ground blind,shooting seated.

The KOS are the most accurate in my slug shooters. Not in Frank, they grouped inside 6 inches, tho the first shot was low. The other two rounds were inside 3".

The Winchesters came in at around 3 1/4". These are edge to edge measurements. And two were almost overlapped. With more work and testing, doubtless a slug could be found to reduce those groups further.

While all shots hit to the left, they would have stayed on a deer shoulder at that range and taken out the vitals for a quick and humane death.

IMO, beads can be used for slugging at up to 50 yards, IF the shooter practices first and uses a slug of known POI.


September 4, 2002, 11:17 AM
Dave, does Frank have a single bead or double? If single, do you think the double beads have the potential for a little more accuracy? I shot my 21" barrelled 870 with double beads at 100 yards recently, with the skeet tube all 5 shots were on an IPSC (torso) target, with the light modified tube, I hit only two. Could just be me. Those were the only two times I have shot slugs at that distance. I haven't been real excited about trying it again until I get some lighter loads.

Dave McC
September 4, 2002, 03:09 PM
Two beads will give a better alignment,Twix.

It's up to the shooter to develop skills and use them consistently. A "Figure 8" sight pic will probably be the best method

Bench conditions are not field conditions, groups will open up mightily.

Obviously, the Skeet tube is the one to use in THIS case. Others will vary...

September 4, 2002, 04:11 PM
I don't like slugs. That is why I own a rifle. :p (Ain't much to hunt in Utah with slugs).

But since I've started shooting 3 gun, I've been forced to learn how to use slugs. The thing is I always use a bead sighted 870. It has worked really well for me shooting buckshot.

However I will admit that I suck with slugs.

The funny thing is, if I just point the shotgun (like I would with shot), as opposed to aiming, (like a rifle) the slugs hit drastically high out to about 25 yards.

In my last match I had to dispatch 3 targets at about 20 yards with a slug each. I was using a Remington reduced recoil slug that I had not previously tried. I aimed COM and rapidly went through the 3. 2 perfect head shots. 1 -1 point down neck shot.

Everybody thought I was rocking on that stage. I didn't tell them I was aiming at the COM! :p

September 4, 2002, 06:22 PM
I've had very good results with Rem Sluggers through my 1187 double bead. I can usually get groups in 2-3" @ 50 yds. Have you tried the Sluggers?

September 4, 2002, 09:55 PM
"Yeah, those torso shots at 20 yards are too easy..." Are you lining up the beads in a figure 8 like Dave Mc recomends? I think I have been putting the little bead in the middle of the big one. I'll experiment a little when I get some lighter loads. Is that Rem Slugger stuff lighter recoiling?

September 4, 2002, 10:38 PM
My riot barrel only has a single bead. My 30 inch barrel had a rib and dual beads, but I ain't going to be shooting many slugs through it, what with the extra full choke and all. :p I'm afraid I'm just going to have to practice more. (or just point lower on the target!)

Andrew Wyatt
September 5, 2002, 12:36 AM
I should take my dad's 870 and/or his 1300 out and shoot them with slugs and see how far i can hit stuff with them

I got 50 rounds of the kent KO slugs today. I'll have to rezero my shotgun with them. (it was zeroed for remington slugs because they're green and not red like my federal low recoil buck is.)

do longbarrelled bead sighted shotguns have better or worse accuracy with slugs? with conventional sights, the sight radius would play a part, but i don't know if it works the same way with a bead.

Dave McC
September 5, 2002, 05:37 AM
A coupla things...

Shotguns hardly ever deliver slugs to the center of a shot pattern. Some plain bbled w/ bead 870s shoot very high with slugs, to the point where at 25 yards, to hit the COM on a B-24 target requires aiming as if to uh, Circumsize the felon.

We HAVE to determine slug POI by actual shooting.

Andrew, the two best slug groups I've seen shot were done with a plain, 28" long bbl on a 16 gauge Model 97. This was an exception.

Here's the deal on longer slug bbls. Shotguns bbls are much thinner than rifle bbls,the vibrational nodes tend to move much more than on rifles.This means less accuracy. The benchrest crowd found out a few decades ago that shorter bbls on bench rifles gave better groups because the nodes(Those points that vibrate more or less than the rest)shift less when the bbl's heated or cooled.

Despite that, there's so much variation in performance that I must cave in and tell you to try and see.

IMO, an experienced hand can be dangerous to adversaries out to 100 yards or more with a bead sight and slugs, IF he/she has worked with that shotgun and found the best slug through bench testing. A peep sight would be better, but this CAN work...

September 5, 2002, 02:41 PM


Perhaps point shooting isn't the correct SG terminology. But it is true, when I shoot a rifle I focus on the front sight, I consider that "aiming". With a shotgun my focus is always on the target, and I just "point" the shotgun. This works really well for me. Except for with slugs. Last match I ran 5 eight inch steel plates in 2.5 seconds with shot.

And as for the title, lets see, where did I leave my fluffy pink tutu?

September 6, 2002, 07:25 PM
Cor: I was at a rifle match with a guy who works in corrections, but we were talking about pistol shooting. He told me a friend from the same department used to go around saying, "Go for the goads..." (gonads) when discussing aiming points for serious social occasions.

If you are shooting that high with slugs at 20 yards in matches, it sounds like that aiming point might work for you too. :D