View Full Version : shooting shot through a rifled barrel?

January 10, 2011, 10:12 PM
my wife recently got a shotgun for hunting. It has a rifled barrel and I know that if I shoot shot through it that it will really mess up the shot pattern but I am wondering if it will mess up the barrel. I want to use it for home defense and the farthest distance of open space in my home is about 25 feet so I am not too worried about the pattern but dont want to damage the rifling. Anybody know if shooting shot through a rifled barrel will ruin the rifling.

January 10, 2011, 10:53 PM
I think the biggest risk is only lead fouling...


January 10, 2011, 11:29 PM
According to Box O'Truth # 43
"If a person asks, "Can I use a rifled barrel to shoot buckshot?", the answer is, "Yes, but it will cause a very large increase in pattern size." And, past 12 yards, you would probably miss with more buckshot than you will hit with. And remember, you are responsible for every round of shot that goes down range".
If you own a shotgun for self-defense, you are far better off with a smooth bore as you could still get decent 100 yard groups with rifled slugs and can use any shot. With a rifled shotgun barrel you are really limited to slugs.

January 10, 2011, 11:41 PM
IME (.22 shot capsule out of a Marlin 15y at a rabbit under 15 feet range), they spread the pattern into a doughnut: you hit everything but what you are aiming at. The danged rabbit froze at the shot, which tore up the cucumber leaves all around him, and hopped away when I cursed at him. I had better luck throwing a pocket knife and hammer...... those resulted in kills, though it took dozens of attempts with the knife. Just lucky with the hammer.

January 11, 2011, 02:09 AM
I've also heard that you get a donut pattern, though at very short range, it may not matter too much. As for damage to the barrel, since buckshot or birdshot is contained in a shot-cup, I think any fouling will be plastic, not lead. It may be messy but wouldn't cause permanent damage.

January 11, 2011, 08:36 AM
What Hogdogs said but I would worry more about plastic off the wad than shot fouling the barrel.

January 11, 2011, 09:41 AM
Home defense? How often do you usually shoot burglars in your house?
Don't sweat it. If you do have to use, just clean well afterwards.
BTW, at in-home ranges your pattern won't be much larger than slug size anyway.

January 11, 2011, 09:12 PM
rifleman. Haven't shot any burglars yet, hopefully I will never have too, but I would rather me shoot them than they shoot me or any of my loved ones.