View Full Version : Which slugs are the best for deer hunting?

August 14, 2006, 05:38 PM
As u all know deer hunting season is soon well for me it is. I am currently using a rem 1100 12 gauge slug gun with a leuopold scope that will only shoot 2 3/4 slugs. Yesterday i picked two boxes of lightfield slugs to see how they shoot i havent shot any yet and were wondering which slugs would be the best. Im lookin for deep penitration, good accuracy and recoil dosent matter to me ill handle it the lightfields are 1 1/4 ounce. Would those be the best or would federals or some rems be better. :confused:

August 14, 2006, 05:45 PM
deep penitration, good accuracy and recoil dosent matterDeep penetration with a 12 ga slug?

You're hunting deer, not buffalo. Any 12 guage slug has way more than adequate power. As to which is more accurate, none of us can tell you. You'll have to try them and see which works best in your shotgun, because what works best in mine may not work best in yours. There's no substitute for range time.

charlie in md
August 14, 2006, 06:04 PM
M1911 is correct. Pretty much any slug will do the job inside 100 yards. Is your barrel a smoothbore or rifled? If rifled, you'll get better accuracy with one of the sabot type slugs. Otherwise, shoot what your gun is most accurate with.

August 14, 2006, 07:06 PM
I also hunt deer with an 1100 12 ga. It's got a rifled barrel and I can group better with the cheap Winchester rifled slugs than the sabots, touching at 100 yrds. Most people will tell you not to shoot rifled slugs out of a rifled barrel. But, If you think about it, how's soft lead going to ruin steel. I would recomend trying a couple different kinds just as the others suggested, and try a box of the 3 dollar rifled slugs also. They're not going to ruin your barrel.

August 14, 2006, 07:22 PM
+1 on cheap rifled slugs in a rifled barrel. As long as my gun shoots the cheap slugs well I am not going to fork out the money for the sabot slugs.

August 14, 2006, 08:00 PM
I havn't used them personally but my buddy has had good luck with his smoothbore Mossberg with the new trueball slugs from federal.

August 25, 2006, 01:06 PM
I LOVE Hastings Laser Accurate Slugs! 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards!

August 25, 2006, 01:17 PM
One of the gun mags did a test just a few months ago to find the best slug for rifled barrels and for smoothbores. But they came up with the same answer- Federal TruBall slugs. Not as flat shooting as some of the sabot slugs out of a rifled barrel, but more accurate. Not as heavy as some other rifled slugs, but more accurate. Not as fast as some others, just more accurate. If you can't hit what you are shooting at, velocity doesn't matter.

Tom Matiska
August 26, 2006, 01:07 AM
minus one on the cheap slugs IF you're going to stretch the range of your slug gun. Federal's site gives some good info on slugs in x-wind. The difference between the truball and the barnes sabots is small potatoes at 50, but something to think about at 100. If you're type of hunting has the possibility of shots past 50 on a windy day against moving targets (and second shots are often against fast movers) I'd go for the sabots.


August 26, 2006, 08:10 AM
I have been using the new Hornady SST slugs----the plastic tipped ones that look like ballistic tipped rifle cartridges. I think they are about 300 grains. They are the most accurate ones I have found for my Slugmaster.

September 4, 2006, 11:42 AM
I appreciate the notes about experience with slugs. I have found very little real test information on shotgun slugs. I suspect that the substantial recoil prevents many from wanting to do it, and lately the "gun writers" only do infomercials, but I'm disappointed that I have to do the testing myself, at two bucks a pop. I hope some of you will help with some test info if you have it, or put me onto a real source of objective test data for these big slow projectiles.

Here's my two cents worth from my testing. In the Mossberg built Rem 870 barrel I used for a few seasons the best accuracy I found for that old 870 was with Federal Barnes Expander 1 oz. That accuracy was sub inch at 50 and about 2 1/2 at 100. Not impressed with the terminal ballistics, but they do OK. 50 yard sprint with lung shots is normal. I wanted the 3/4 oz load to be best, but it didn't like any of the faster slugs. Win was worst and Federal Barnes 3/4 oz was best of the faster ones, but none as good as the 1 oz Barnes. This year there are new slugs to go broke testing.

Now that gun wears an old 20" smoothbore deer barrel, and I've been amazed by the Federal Truball. Seriously folks, 1/1/2" groups consistently at 50 yards, and about 5 or so inches at 100. Set 2 inches high at 50 it's right on at 100. (This is using a Pro-point mini red dot sight on a saddle mount). Energy is pitiful beyond 50 though, and if you look at Federal's website you'll see it's much worse even than their regular Foster slug. I don't know why. That gun will keep the short barrel for defense and very short range hunting.

Now I have this nice new 870 synthetic with cantilevered rifled bbl. It's shot OK but I'm having serious accuracy problems. I changed the scope, checked mount security, and tried several loads. Sent it back to Reminton and they returned it with a new barrel. No better. Goups are stringing with the Federal 1oz Barnes, which I consider the control load. 50 yard accuracy is about 1 3/4" and at 100 it's a 5 1/4" vertical string with the Barnes and a nice round 4 3/4" with the new Hornady SST. More recoil and flash with the Hornady, in case that's interesting to anybody. These are repeated 5 shot groups. One more thing I'll try is changing to another brand of scope, although I doubt that the Bushnell Legend shotgun scopes are the source of the problem. I put a Leupold shotgun (parallax set at 75 yards) scope on it and will give it one more try. HELP!

By far the best bag accuracy I can get with the 870s is with my hand between the bag and forearm. It costs me maybe 1/2 moa in holding ability, but groups better that the vilolent bounce from the gun on the bag. Also, it groups to offhand point of aim, while off the bag is much different.

That's about all I have to offer. I'd be grateful to read any test experience or insights you guy have to share. Twist rates, best accuracy loads for certain guns, terminal ballistics results, most accurate gun, and the like.

September 10, 2006, 12:09 AM
I have been using the new Hornady SST slugs----the plastic tipped ones that look like ballistic tipped rifle cartridges. I think they are about 300 grains. They are the most accurate ones I have found for my Slugmaster.

What gun and barrel do you shoot with these? I've always shot and killed with my 12 ga 870's & Remington sluggers but I"m going to set up a 20 ga for my wife. I heard that Hornady makes a 50 cal. SST for the 20 ga. Any advice or links would be appreciated. In Illinois 50 cal is or was the minimum bullet size allowed.

September 10, 2006, 09:11 AM
I use a Remington 1100 12 gauge that only excepts 23/4 slugs. It also has a leuopold scope on it also.

September 10, 2006, 08:56 PM
my heavy barreled H+R loves the lightfields,tried hornady heavy mag 2k's,:barf: I was thinking about the new sst's in 12 gauge.My mossberg with a smoothy barrel loves the truballs but groups open up at about 80 yards.

September 11, 2006, 11:17 AM
I'll also put a vote in for the Hornady SST sabot slugs...especially for range, last year I rebuilt an old 870 with an new Hasting rifled barrel and Choat Furniture......you have to hold about 6" high but can take a deer at 200 yards with that load.....which is saying something with any shotgun. I live in MD and except for the eastern shore and a few counties out past WV the whole state is shotgun only, no rifle.

September 11, 2006, 01:23 PM
I've seen several folks write that they use Hastings barrels on the 870s. Are they more accurate than the Remington rifled barrels?

September 11, 2006, 07:54 PM
That was my understanding.........I think I had read an article somewhere about Tar-hunt, an outfit in PA, that did some special accuraizing on 870s....they talked about useing Hasting barrels (which have a good rep) and pinning them in place for rigidity. I was browsing around Sportsmansguide last summer not long after that and saw where they had a sale on 18" rifled 12 ga barrels with built-in scope mount for about $140 or so.....and I had an 870 that I had gotten cheap used at a local gun shop....it had a lot of rust on the receiver.....so I stripped it down, painted the receiver flat black with Gunkote, put the Hasting barrel on there with a $100 3-9X40mm Nikon scope I got off gunbroker, plus a $50 pistol grip synthetic stock ........wha la......for less than $400 I had a slug gun that had 200 yard potential.....I ratcheted down the retaining screw with a padded set of vice grips and the accuracy I was getting was good enough that I didn't bother pinning the barrel......my understanding was that the Hasting barrel had a better rep than Remington.....the price on the Hastings barrels was what got me started on the project in the first place....but I never owned both and shot them side by side......

September 11, 2006, 09:22 PM
Hey spur0701,If they keep developing Md,even here on the eastern shore,we'll all be using dart guns or sling shots even worse hunting,will be only allowed on state parks or public lands :mad: .I know many farmers that have been unwillingly forced to sell thier farms not because they have to,they have sold because they can't compete with the power of the almighty dollar.It is a sad world when people have to give up thier lively hood because the cost of living by far overshadows the profit farmers make doing something they love :( .Sorry guys I know I'm way off topic,but I needed to vent.By the way I found out that lightfield exp's have a slight accuracy advantage over the other type they have.

September 13, 2006, 10:10 AM
I know buddy, there's a bunch of areas in my hunting club that are already "bow only" areas already. ...and this summer when I went to check on some stands I had put up last year in this one area there was a clear cut where they're building a new road that cut right accross the route I normally ed used to get to them....so I had to go in a back way...I jsut pulled the stand that were in there. Having said that, I've been doing a lot of "back yard surburban" hunting that's been working for me.....I got a nice 8 point last year that scored 125 in a small wood lot behind a friends house, and that's a pretty good deer for around here.

September 13, 2006, 02:51 PM
Dunno....about anyone elses experinces. But with a smoothbore, I've always gotten the best results with Brenneke Slugs. Been using them for 35 years, now.

September 13, 2006, 09:30 PM
in my rifled slug barrel i had the best luck with lightfields and in my smoothbore i have the best luck with brenneke k.o.s

September 20, 2006, 02:38 PM
Here in SE Michigan we have found the Lightfields to be very accurate.