View Full Version : 12 gauge slug question??

March 30, 2005, 10:37 PM
Sorry this may seen like a dumb question (sorry) but I was going to buy some slugs for my Rem 870 Express Mag. I have a 28" barrell with the rem chokes. Right now I have the Mod and Full choke. I do not have a slug barrell. What kind of slugs do I want to use? And also what choke do I want to use for the slugs? I see there are different kinds, rifled slugs, sabot slugs, and just plain slugs? What is the difference? :confused:

Thanks DH17

45 Fu
March 30, 2005, 11:17 PM
I am not a shotgun expert by any means, so take what I write with a grain of salt and verify it.

Rifled slug: usually about 1 oz. of lead. The "rifled" part means that the slug has (this is over-simplified) cuts in it that will help to impart spin, therefore stabilizing it. Since the shotgun barrel is smooth, this helps accuracy.

Sabot: a slug encased in some form of ploymer shell. When fired the shell is discarded (same principle as the Army's discarding sabot rounds) leaving a smaller but faster projectile than a regular rifled slug. These should be fired from dedicated rifled slug barrels. You can shoot them from smooth bores, but accuracy would stink and they cost too much to waste.

Regular old slug: a lead ball, roughly .72 caliber in a 12 ga. Usually fired from smooth bores for short distances, not known for accuracy but will do the job in close.

As for what chokes you should use, I have no idea. The only shotgun I own is an 18" Charles Daly pump for home defense. It has a cylnder bore barrel and is loaded with 3" magnum 00 buck. I have some rifled slugs, but if I need to get past 35 yards I need a rifle.

Without a slug barrel I would use the rifled slug. Consult your owners manual about the chokes, or you could probably e-mail Remington and find out.

Again, I'm going from memory. If anyone sees something that needs correcting, by all means, correct it.

novus collectus
March 30, 2005, 11:29 PM
I have an 870 too and I;ve heard (and I emphasise "heard" so please don't take just my word for it) that you can use the rifled slug in all but the narrowest choke in the rem. 870. I was told that since the slug is hollw through most of it, it will constrict without harm. I have fired mine in different chokes and, although I can't tell you about how accurate it was at the time, I can say that I perceived a greater recoil for some reason when shooting through narrower chokes. Pretty sure 45 FU is right and remington can tell you the proper use.

March 30, 2005, 11:48 PM
How are those air rifle pellet shaped slugs in smoothbores?


March 31, 2005, 01:04 AM
The folks at Gunsite Training Center, and they aren't alone, say that a combination of screw-in chokes and slugs usually results (at some point) in the choke going down range with the slug. Better check it out.

A big slug can't constrict enough to work in a tighter choked barrel and will deform and be inaccurate. With the screw-in choke system, the threads are going to take a beating until they tear loose, as mentioned above. Open chokes make the best slug barrels. See what Remington has to say. :)

novus collectus
March 31, 2005, 11:58 AM
Hasn't happened yet but you make me rethink doing it again. Thanks for the warning.

March 31, 2005, 01:30 PM
humm that makes me worry what i'm wondering is will a cylender screw in choke be fine for slugs?? i sure dont want to fire my shotgun without the choke in.. i dont want to see what will happen if a slug where to hit thouse threads..

i have also been wondering about this and i read somewhere that its ok to use upto a Mod choke with slugs but not over...

deffently something thats been making me think i have the excat same shotgun.

March 31, 2005, 02:25 PM
Here is Dave's thread on slugs from THR. He really knows his stuff when it comes to Shotguns. Hope this helps.


April 1, 2005, 05:54 AM
For smooth bore shotguns, the most popular style of slug is the "Fosters" which is basically a .729 caliber lead dome or cup with a hollow base and rifling cut into the widest portion of the slug. The combination of these two features means that the slug can expand slightly and allow the rifling to impart a spin on the slug, which, as mentioned, increases accuracy.

The sabot slugs use a sub-caliber slug, usually much like a muzzleloader sabot in that it is essentially a .45 to .50 caliber pistol bullet in a plastic sleeve. For what it is worth I believe the word "sabot" is Dutch for "shoe." You can log that in the useless information sector of your brain and file it away for situations like these when you want to sound smarter than you actually are. Anyways, this is done to increase velocity with the benefit of a flatter trajectory and longer effective range. Upon exiting the barrel, the plastic sleeve is immediately discarded and the bullet continues onwards. However, because neither the projectile nor its plastic sleeve has rifling to impart a spin, sabot slugs require a rifled barrel to stabalize the projectile or it will quickly lose accuracy.

In my limited experience, the Modified choke is fine for limited amounts. My friend has put about 20 rounds of 3 inch magnum slugs through a modified choke in his Remington M870 Express. If I was going to use a steady diet of them, I would get a Improved Cylinder or Cylinder bore choke for slugs and use the modified or full chokes for everything else. I use my Improved Cylinder choke exclussively for slugs and have put a couple boxes through them in the name of curiosity. The 3 inch magnum Fosters slugs will get your attention and mixing them at random through the tube for a friend makes for some neat reactions :eek: Their affects on water jugs and cinder blocks is impressive but as I mostly use my shotgun for skeet and small game, I have no real need for a steady diet of them.

novus collectus
April 1, 2005, 07:06 AM
I mostly use my shotgun for skeet and small game, I have no real need for a steady diet of them.
With slugs? :eek: :D ;)

April 1, 2005, 10:29 AM
Gee, I shoot skeet with slugs. It's really not that hard.

Just wait till they're on the ground and sneak up on the little buggers!

April 1, 2005, 10:55 AM
Remington makes a rifled screw in choke tube for the 870. Personally, I have never tried it but I would imagine that it would be used with a sabot slug, since the sabot casing may constrict easier than solid lead slug and be more forgiving on the threaded choke tube and threads. I really don't know what affect, if any, such a short area of rifling will have on the slug, probably very little, other than to give it a little "kick spin" out of the barrel. Who knows?
Just thinking out loud here guy's.

April 1, 2005, 10:22 PM
I have an 870 Rem. 12 ga. with a rifled slug barrell. My question is, can I shoot rifled slugs out of my rifled slug barrell? Will I do the barrell any harm?

novus collectus
April 2, 2005, 01:21 AM
And I was wondering what happens if you shoot a rifled slug with an opposite twist that the barrel? Like if you shot a rifled slug in one of those rifled barrel .410 pistols and the twists were opposing?

Dave McC
April 2, 2005, 08:25 AM
No harm but maybe not the best accuracy. Rifled barrels,with very few exceptions works best with the sabot loads.

Novus, the soft lead flanges will just swage down. As said, might not be accurate but you won't know until it's tried.

April 2, 2005, 08:56 AM
I'm surprised that no one has asked what are you going to be using the slugs for?

If you are going hunting, I suggest you try out the rifled slugs at the range first. You don't won't to injure the animal and let it suffer. If you don't get the accuracy you wan't whay not buy a rifled barrel just for slugs.

If you are using slugs for home defense, I would ask you to seriously reconsider. That kind of penetration is ridiculous. If you can't hit your target with 00 Buck or 000 Buck, go with a handgun or rifle.

One other thing is if you do get a rifled slug barrel, I've heard that the Remington solid copper slugs are pretty devastating.


April 2, 2005, 12:02 PM
Thank's for the help guys. I just want to shoot them off at the range. My friend gave me about 20 boxes, and I was not sure if I could shoot the rifled slug out of a rifled barrell.
What about the twist? Is it possible that the twist on the barrell is opposite the twist on the slug? If so, then what?

April 2, 2005, 10:06 PM
The rifled barrel was made for slugs--even rifled slugs. The rifled barrel will also produce very good accuracy with Sabot slugs, and the smoothbore won't. To be honest, the accuracy achieved with slugs like the Brenneke or Foster type are achieved because they're nose heavy and cylindrical. They'll spin just fine in your rifling and be more accurate.

Buckshot is what will cause problems in the rifled barrel. The rifling causes it to spin, of course, and the pattern is blown all over and is ineffective.

April 3, 2005, 01:38 AM
I think most people would recommend the improved cylinder choke for shooting rifled slugs with a smoothbore barrel. While I have obtained satisfactory results out to 50 yards with a fixed modified barrel, the barrel can accumulate excessive leading depending on the brand of slug and number of shots fired. While I certainly wouldn't recommend a fixed modified choke for optimum accuracy, it can be adequate for short range deer hunting if the chosen slug has been well tested.

April 3, 2005, 09:47 AM
Living in NY almost the entire States mandates shotgun and slugs. I have owned several Ithaca Deerslayers (original smooth and Deerslayer II w/fixed barrel) along with Remingtons with smooth, rifled bores and rifled choke tubes. I will offer my opinion and research on the subject and hope not to step on any toes.
I have ( painfully) shot every brand of slug on the market, off a bench and chronographed them too along with accuracy tests at 100 yards.
The most accurate ones are the Sabot type shot through a rifled barrel followed by rifled choke tubes and then smooth bores.
You will find that various manufacturers slugs will shoot differently just like a rifle will react differently to various brands of ammo. In my Remington 870 the most accurate were Remington Copper Solids followed by Hornady then Winchester Sabot slugs. The Ithaca Deerslayer II loved the Federal the Barnes expander and the Lightfield brand. It also did well with the Brenneke's too. In both guns I have had groups measuring right around 2 inches up to almost 6 inches, depending on the brand.
I fired several of the Foster type (no sabot) and found that they are too soft and always left lead deposits in the bore.
I have also tried using a Lee slug that that you reload and fits into a standard shot cup . I found that they are actually very accurate ( 1 oz slugs, 7/8 oz weren't as accurate). I was amazed and pleased with the results.
The sabot types are much faster than the Foster type, a couple of them approaching the 2000 fps mark (ie. Hornady H2K slugs).
As far as shooting the Sabot slugs in an unrifled bore, save your money. I have had some keyhole at 100 yards and the overall accuracy was no better than the Foster type (if as good).
For Remington 870 owners, Mossberg makes a rifled barrel that sells for just over a $100.00 (at least it was 3 years ago) I used one on my 870 for these tests and found it quite accurate.
As far as chokes are concerned, the factories say that you can shoot Fosters in any choking but that no choke or IC is best ( I assume they mean "fixed" chokes. I have shot slugs through a Barreta 390 with no problem, but I never went past modified and the IC was more accurate.
Well, I don't want to monopolize this thread, but if anyone has specific questions on what I have related I would be most happy to share additional information.

April 3, 2005, 03:42 PM
Ruger thank you so much for sharing that will be very helpful..

i was thinking about picking up a Rifle barrel and now that you mentioned that they can be had for little over 100 that will deffently happen.. i just couldent bring myself to pay remingtons 250+ for one..

i am going to start doing some more research on slugs now..

April 3, 2005, 07:23 PM
Anarx,,, I think the best price I have seen the Mossberg rifled slug barrels was at Wally World, I know it was a $100 plus,, maybe $115, Sorry, I can't remember any more, but, no matter what they sell for now it will be cheaper than Remingtons or Hastings. Good Luck and better get a Sissy Bag if you are going to shoot a lot of slugs, gets painful after a bit..