View Full Version : shotgun slugs

January 29, 2008, 05:15 PM
What is the difference between rifled slugs and rifle slugs?

Which type of slug should be used in a smooth bore and which in a rifled bore?

January 29, 2008, 05:43 PM
sure you typed that right?

without knowing will just simply say the difference is one has "d" behind it making it past tense.

rifled slugs are meant for smooth bores though some can be fired in rifled barrels but they will lead the barrel fast.

January 29, 2008, 05:47 PM
The difference is in the construction of the projectiles. A "rifled slug" generally means a Foster type hollow base pure soft lead slug of 1 or 1 1/4 oz weight. These are meant to be fired in any shotgun barrel without damage to the firearm, regardless of choke or rifling. A "rifle" slug is usually a sabot enclosed projectile of different materials though they can be lead also. These are meant to be fired in a rifled improved cylinder choke barrel or cylinder choke smoothbore barrel. These run the gamut from $3-5 or more in price depending on mfg. and type of projecta. Foster style slugs are generally short (under 100 yards) range loads although some more accurate loads and guns can extend that to about 150 in the right hands. The sabot type are for longer ranges with greater accuracy although the trajectory is like a rainbow after 150 or so with both types.

February 1, 2008, 10:22 PM
Rifled slugs (or Foster-type slugs) are for smooth-bore (normal) shotgun barrels. The "rifling" on the slug is meant to impart some spin to the slug, thus making it more likely to go where you're aiming at.

Sabot slugs are for rifled barrels. The rifled barrel spins the wad and the bullet enclosed in it. The wad then falls away, leaving just the bullet heading towards the target (essentially making your shotgun into a .50 cal rifle) These are more accurate than smooth-bore slugs, and generally have greater usable range.

Though you can shoot either in any gun, it is better to fire sabot slugs out of rifled barrels only and Foster/Breneke type slugs out of a smooth-bore. Sabot wads will not separate when fired from a smooth barrel, greatly reducing accuracy, and lead slugs will foul a rifled barrel very quickly.

Hope that helps,


February 3, 2008, 10:22 PM
The construction of the Foster slug is weight forward with a hollow base of soft lead that expands so the slug doesn't rattle down the bore.

The fluted "rifling" on the slug, IMO, serves little purpose other than as a marketing tool. The weight forward design is what keeps the Foster going straight.

Brennekes are very hard lead for excellent penetration. Some have a felt wad attached with a wood screw (really) to act as a seal and maybe provide some aerodynamic stability. Some Brennekes have a plastic attachment at the rear instead.

Sabots are designed for rifled bores, and don't always release the slug when fired in smoothbores or (as already mentioned) provided much in the way of accuracy when they do.

February 4, 2008, 12:56 AM
On topic, the cheapest 12 guage slug rounds I've found for target practice are the wolf rifled found here:


Brenneke usually are the cheapest, but they are out of stock everywhere. Maybe they discontinued the KO line. I don't know.

Oh, and the rifled(foster) slugs work on smooth bore better. The sabot rounds work in rifled barrels better. Don't use sabot in a smooth bore. I hear it could be bad. The brenneke and other rifled on the slug varieties work best as a slug in smooth bore as compared to a solid ball. I notice that the recoil is lessened with rifled/ribbed slug rounds.