View Full Version : Firing shot through a rifled barrel?

July 29, 2008, 05:28 PM
Hello All,

I have some quality pig hunting areas near my home that require the following: non-lead ammo, shotgun only.

I was going to pickup an inexpensive Mossberg 500 with a rifle barrel in 20 gauge, but I just can't handle the lack of crafstmanship. If I'm going to spend more money on something like a browning BPS 20 gauge with a rifled barrel, it would be great to know I could put some bird shot through it as well. This way, I could use it for pig hunting, as well as bird hunting.

So, will the rifled barrel permit slugs as well as shot?



July 29, 2008, 05:34 PM
Tear the wad up and leave plastic in your bore.
I assume it would be alright...but you would have to clean before using slugs. I dont know honestly. Modern hulls have walls that protect the bore from the shot thus scratching isnt a huge problem.

David the Gnome
July 29, 2008, 06:02 PM
Barrels for the Mossberg 500 are cheap and super easy to swap out. I'd just get a rifled barrel for slugs and a smooth barrel for shot.

July 29, 2008, 06:09 PM
The problem that you are going to run into, in addition to what has been written already, is that you are going to have lousy patterns, if you have any pattern at all beyond a few yards.
The shotshells will function but the rifling will spin the shot charge just like it spins the slugs. Once out of the barrel the shot spins into a donut shape, a torus. There's a BIG hole in the middle and it just gets bigger as the range increases.
Go with the two barrel set.

July 29, 2008, 06:13 PM

Thanks all, I think I understand.

I'd like to figure out an affordable solution to this all non-lead, shotgun only situation, without spending a fortune, and having a gun I enjoy owning.

I know, too much to ask.


July 29, 2008, 09:22 PM
All the above poster have it right, the rifled barrel will not digest buckshot or birdshot well. You will definatly get donut patterns, I know, been, there done it. Mossberg sell replacement barrels very cheaply. In fact, probably the cheapest made.

July 29, 2008, 11:41 PM
Okay, so what I need is a 20 gauge over and under. Top rifled for slugs, bottom for shot. Dream or reality?

I'm hunting in a spot with pigs, deer, and quail.


Bill DeShivs
July 29, 2008, 11:53 PM
Non-lead for deer and pigs?

July 29, 2008, 11:56 PM
Least expensive alternative I can think of is a Mossberg with SMOOTH barrel. Such barrel can fire regular shot shells or slugs. Don't know if the accuracy with slugs will meet your expectations or not.

roy reali
July 30, 2008, 12:10 AM

I have one. Not a bad slug gun for the price.

July 30, 2008, 08:30 AM

I'm in California. The Fort Hunter Liggett area is non-lead. Many of the areas within the base have limitations on the type of arm (archery, shotgun, muzzleloader, etc.).

It's the only game in town, so you gotta play it.


July 30, 2008, 08:56 AM
There are lead free sabot slugs on the market that are great and accurate. One is Remingtons copper solid. Its expensive but worth it.

Magnum Wheel Man
July 30, 2008, 09:00 AM
get a smooth bore with rifled choke tubes... IIRC... the tests that have been done show very little diference in accuracy between fuly rifled barrels & rifled choke tubes

TC Contenders use a rifled barrel in thier 45 colt / .410 barrels, & have a "shot straightening" choke tube in the end... ( like a straight rifled... no twist, insert that screws in as a choke tube would, to keep the pattern from spinning coming out in doughnuts )

I regularly shoot rabbits with mine ( .410 ) at close to 40 yards... however I'm not sure if anyone offers anything similar on the larger gauges ???

July 30, 2008, 10:16 AM
The Mossberg will do you fine - lack of craftsmanship means "ugly" I'm assuming. I got into shooting in IL, no rifle hunting. The 870's obviously pervasive, but a lot of the central-state folks without a lot of money to throw around stick with the old Mossbergs well after they could afford better. While it's "cool" to have a gun that's pretty or from a nicer brand, if I was on a tight budget I'd buy the cheap, functional smoothbore and use rifled slugs or a rifled choke until I could afford a separate rifled barrel.

July 30, 2008, 11:05 AM
Hey BClark1,

In ugly, I just mean the finishing touches. In a beauty contest, the 870 and Mossberg are in a dead heat. When I look closely at the finishing touches, that's where things get "ugly".

I like the idea of choke tubes, as this must be more affordable than barrels.

As I'm shooting a 12 gauge smooth bore now, perhaps a direction would be to find a 20 guage and rifled choke tubes. This would give me a nice/lighter upland gun, and a quality option for slugs.

I'm imagining taking a hike with shot and slugs. Heading out in the morning for pigs/slugs, and returning with quail/shot in mind.

Sounds fun!


July 31, 2008, 12:02 PM
If it's a fitness hike, carry the extra barrel by all means :D
But a rifled choke might be a good idea - a few extra pounds can be quite an annoyance over the miles. Much easier on the wallet, and then you can shoot some slugs, through the smoothbore and with the rifled choke, and then decide if you want to try to squeeze more accuracy out without spending the money first.
Your plans sound like a good time though - give us some pig pictures if it works out!

July 31, 2008, 12:10 PM
I doubt The plastic is a concern since the sabot is plastic... or is it believed the "wings" on a wad will booger up the rifling?

chris in va
July 31, 2008, 12:14 PM
One of the main problems being reported with the Taurus Judge. The shot just spins out like a tornado.

Get a separate smoothbore barrel for shot.

July 31, 2008, 03:31 PM
i suggest getting a remington 870 and then you can get them fancy rifled chokes to put in for slugs. But, if you're dead set on a 500, you won't be let down, although i prefer 870's

July 31, 2008, 04:03 PM
if you fire bbs or large shot through a rifled barrel you will pit the rifling and ruin it, the rifled barrel spiral pattern is there for a reason... spin the bullet with the least amount of resistance as possible, this keeps everything accurate and provides consistency from shot to shot... look for interchangeable barrels...smooth bore with choke for shot - smooth bore for slugs/shot without choke for home defense -rifled for slugs and sabots... you won't be disappointed...

August 1, 2008, 10:10 PM
Sorry Bro. you got it wrong on a couple of points
#1- There is NO way on this earth shooting ANYTHING through a rifled barrel will cause pits.. Where on earth did you get this info?
#2- The rifling is there to PROVIDE risistance therefore causing the slug to follow the grooves and lands and spin. With No resistance, you might as well use a smoothbore.