View Full Version : Shooting slugs

August 18, 2009, 06:55 PM
Im new to the firearms scene and have a rather simple question but just want your info. I bought a new 870 w. a 28".. Its got a "modifies choke" What exactly does that mean, i know the purpose of a choke but whats modified mean from the factory? Also can I shoot slugs threw it?

August 18, 2009, 07:03 PM
Modified is basically a middle range constriction and is one of the better for the rifled slug in most guns with most slug offerings.
Any slug can be fired thru a "regular" full choke. I am not so sure of a XX full or a "turkey" full.


August 18, 2009, 07:05 PM
So my gun is able to fire slugs?

August 18, 2009, 07:27 PM
YES!!! Smoothbore barrel uses the "rifled" slug. A rifled barrel uses the sabot slug which is high dollar.
First to try is cheap and will let you get an idea of aiming and grouping. I suggest the very basic Winchester Super "X" 15 count box from walmart for under or around 10 dollars. I can easily put 5 rounds in a -6 inch spot at 60-65 yards... you may do better right out of the box.
this is a 5 round box but same shell as the value box. 2 3/4 to start and go to 3 inch if you feel the need. Try all you want but this is the bottom dollar round and all I buy.

August 18, 2009, 08:12 PM
So i just need to get a slug labled "rifled" even though its not a rifled barrel? Sorry just clarifying because i don't get the logic to it.

Old Grump
August 18, 2009, 08:46 PM
The box won't say rifled slug it will say slug and in the fine print you will find Brenneke or Foster slug, both work fine. The rifling on the side of the slug is ostensibly for imparting a spin to the slug but its really for reducing the amount of surface tension between the slug and the bore thus reducing friction.

The sabot will be clearly labeled as such and as mentions are pricey. Advantage is more range and accuracy. Its a sub gauge bullet in a plastic sleeve and the sleeve obturates into the rifling and imparts the spin to the bullet. Unless you have a rifled barrel you don't need it.

Rifle sights or a scope on your shotgun helps increase your usable range. I get 4" groups with my 20 gauges with slugs but 12 or 20 I try to keep my shots under 65 yards.

The Brenneke's claim to fame is it is solid and has more penetration, the Foster has a hollow base, is lighter, and being nose heavy stabilizes itself like a badminton bird and is a bit more accurate. I'm not fussy, both work well at shotgun ranges.

August 22, 2009, 08:18 AM
The choke is a constriction at the end of the barrel. It is designed to keep your shot pattern tighter for a greater distance. A modified choke is 20 thousandths constriction. Nominal 12 gauge bore diameter is 0.729" so a a modified choke has a diameter of 0.709" at the muzzle.

You do have to shoot rifled slugs in a choked barrel because the slug needs to be able to 'squash' a bit going through the choke. That's what the rifling on rifled slugs is really for, it doesn't spin the slug like a propeller.

For smoothbore shotgun slugs, I consider 50, maybe 75 yards, about maximum effective range. At that range, pretty much any slug will give similar results. Buy a few boxes and see what your gun likes. I would try Brenneke KO, Remington Slugger and Winchester Super-X. All are economical and reliable.

August 22, 2009, 08:56 AM
I'd add to that list the Federal Tru-ball as another brand to try. You may also want to pick up an improved cylinder choke (a little more open than Modified). Your gun may shoot better with modified or with improved cylinder. Only range time will tell.......

Brian Pfleuger
August 22, 2009, 10:30 AM
So i just need to get a slug labled "rifled" even though its not a rifled barrel? Sorry just clarifying because i don't get the logic to it.

Weird, ain't it? The boxes don't always say "rifled" but that's what you want. Avoid boxes that say "Sabot" because they are non-rifled slugs that ride in a plastic sleeve designed for rifled barrels.... who comes up with this stuff anyway?

There are actually sabot slugs that will probably shoot just fine in a smooth bore. I used to have an 870 that shot Hornady SSTs very accurately. However, there is not much advantage unless they're spinning, they will probably become unstable as they slow down.

I always had good luck with Winchester Super-X in my 870. My dad always preferred Federals. Now, he shoots Brenneke KOs.....

In other words, try a bunch and see what most accurate in your gun.

August 22, 2009, 10:55 AM
Do you remember the old brass nozzles on the garden hose?

Twist it so that you get different patterns of water. The pencil thin pattern of the water is the full choke. When you twist it to a mist, it is cylinder. Over tighten it and the water makes weird patterns.

Same with a shotgun choke. The size of the bore at the end of the barrel makes the shot behave like the water hoze nozzle. A smaller bore at the end of the barrel makes the pencil thin pattern of shot. A larger bore size makes the misty pattern. Too small the hole, the shot behaves similar to overtightening the nozzle.

I hope this helps. I'm not the best at explaining things.

August 22, 2009, 09:57 PM
Iv'e been reading and if I get this right, I can shoot sabot slugs thru my smooth-bore as long as I have a rifled choke installed? If so any suggestion on what type of choke to buy? I hunt in Germany and some of those pigs get real big and mean!!! Would love to be able to place a 100yd shoot and the only problem would be is how to get that big old critter out the woods!! The reason I would like to switch to sabot from rifled is some of my shoot at less than 100yds have not had out-shoots. Making tracking very hard sometimes. My friend says he's had no problems with his Rem 1100 with sabots. Thanks.

August 22, 2009, 10:41 PM
Yes, with a rifled choke you can shoot sabot slugs. Your limiting factor then would be sights as I'm assuming your shotgun simply has a rib and bead? 100 yds. is going to take a lot of practice with that arrangement. You can get clamp on rifle sights that fit your shotgun rib that will help some.

The sabot slugs will penetrate deeper as they retain downrange energy better and do not disperse as much of their energy on expansion as soft lead slugs do.

You could also try a harder lead alloy slug like Brenneke's if you want to stick with a rifled slug option.

Dave McC
August 23, 2009, 01:32 PM
Jager, Sabot slugs will not blow up a smoothbore, they just aren't accurate very often from them.A rifled choke tube may or may not improve things to the point you're seeking.

Otto Brenekke invented his slug specifically for big German boar. First in 16 gauge, then 12.

In your shoes, I'd zero with those and work on -75 yard shots....

August 30, 2009, 02:24 PM
Thanks Guys, I've had mixed reviews on the sabots. Now that I know it won't hurt my weapon off to the range=)