View Full Version : 870 smoothbore slug options

November 9, 2012, 12:03 PM
have an 870 that I would like to use for short range deer and pig hunting
- 100 yards and less.

I would like to use slugs

The barrel is 26 inches and is smoothbore with a full choke

I would ask for your input on

1) getting a modified choke tube.......

What accuracy can I expect at 100 yards?

What are the best slugs for those who have tried this?

Would an improved choke be better?

2) should I get a rifled scope tube?

What sort of accuracy would I get at 100 yards?

What is the best slug to buy for this setup?

I realize that a rifled barrel would be the best choice, but my other rifle purchases recently have limited the fun funds.

Please let me know and thanks in advance

Also..... Let me know which choke vendor you like the best as well

November 9, 2012, 12:06 PM
If you want to use slugs the best smoothbore slug barrel will be an 18.5 inch fixed cylinder choke.

November 9, 2012, 12:37 PM
At this point, I am " stuck" with the barrel that I have

November 9, 2012, 12:48 PM
Brenneke Black Magic

November 9, 2012, 12:56 PM
Spare barrels shouldn't cost too much.

November 9, 2012, 01:06 PM
Try Winchester, Remington and Federal rifled slugs and see which one your gun likes. I've always had great luck with Winchester 1oz rifled slugs. My kids Mossy 20 gauge with modified choke shoots Remington slugs like a rifle at 50 yds. Quick story on that one. My son's 20 gauge 26 inch mod barrel with bead sight will put every slug in the black at 50 yds with cheapo Rem rifled slugs. I bought him a smooth bore rifled sight barrel, 22inch and tru ball slugs and this setup doesn't group as well as the bird shot barrel!

November 9, 2012, 04:28 PM
Some ammo manufacturers recommend using an IC choke when shooting slugs through a smooth bore barrel, but MOD should work too.

I've bought Carlson's and Trulock chokes in the past and don't find one to be better than the other. Carlson's are less expensive though.

Carlson's (http://www.choketube.com/choke-tube-product-details.php?Remington-Choke-Tubes&mf=16) also offers a rifled choke tube (sort of a poor man's alternative to a rifled barrel). I've heard it doesn't work well for fast sabot slugs, but that it can stabilize Winchester BRI sabots and some of the slower Lightfield offerings. Also, Remington's Buckhammer slugs are specifically labelled as being intended for "rifled barrels or rifled chokes." And Brenneke claims that their rifled slugs are often a little more accurate through a rifled choke than through a regular choke.

As other have recommended, try a few different brands of ammo and see what works best.

If you really want to stretch the distance toward 100 yards, I'd look into some of Brenneke's offerings, such as their Green Lightning load.

November 9, 2012, 05:24 PM
If you want 100 yards out of a 12 gauge your talking rifled bore and sabot slugs unless you have a unusual smoothbore. The best I think you'll get is maybe 75 yards and thats maybe if you had rifle sights and a slug that your gun likes.

Major Dave (retired)
November 10, 2012, 01:39 AM
will shoot Fed Truball slugs, and Win PDX1 slugs into 3 inch groups at 50 yards, but has a 9 inch vertical dispersion with both brands at 100 yards.

I am shooting a Cylinder choke smooth bore barrel. (Actually no choke at all, to be quite technical).

As for choke, conventional wisdom is that Cyl, Imp Cyl, and/or mod are best for Foster design rifled slugs. Full choke is not only frowned upon, but also may be dangerous in some barrels.

As for which slugs are best for smooth bore barrels, every barrel is different. However, the Foster design slug is best for smooth bores, and sabot design slugs are best for rifled barrels, and rifled choke tubes in smooth bore barrels. As mentioned by other posters, you will just have to shoot several brands of Foster style rifled slugs to see what your 26 inch smooth bore barrel does best with. Same thing with trying to answer the question about what kind of accuracy will you get at 100 yards, i.e., shoot several brands of slugs and see what you get. In other words, no one can tell you what kind of accuracy to expect with what brand of slug at 100 yards, or even at 50 yards.

So, the bad news is that you are going to have to do a lot of shooting. The good news is that Foster style slugs cost only about $1 a shot, vs. Sabot slugs which cost $4 or $5 a shot!

One study I saw published in a magazine indicated that a rifled choke tube needed at least 5 inches of rifling to effectively spin a sabot slug enough to stabilize it. I have never fired such a combo in my 870, so I can't speak from personal experience.

As for which choke tube vendor to use, I would say start with Remington, for your 870. Their IC and Mod choke tubes are on the shelf at any Cabelas, Gander Mountain, Academy, and most LGS's. For a 5 inch rifled choke tube, I can't say. I don't think Rem Chokes are that long.

Remember, if you buy a rifled choke tube, you have to shoot the expensive Sabot style slugs thru it to get the most accuracy potential. And you have to try several brands of Sabot style slugs to determine which is most accurate in YOUR barrel. Nobody can tell you which Sabot slug brand will be most accurate.

November 10, 2012, 10:31 AM
The foster slugs are soft and can fragment. Stick with the Brenneke slugs and you will be very happy with the terminal ballistics and the accuracy.

Major Dave (retired)
November 10, 2012, 03:28 PM
Winchester says that's a good thing!

I bought a box of 10 rounds of Winchester PDX1 Defender slugs, which are Foster style "segmented" rifled slugs.

The advertising hype printed on the box states:
"Programmed notching on inside/outside of slug ensures positive expansion and segmenting at short and long range

Slug breaks into three segments upon impact - compensates for aim error and provides critical penetration"

These are marketed for personal defense, with "Stop The Threat" a registered trademark printed on the box.

I am considering using them on deer. Should I?

What is your opinion?