View Full Version : Mossberg 500 for bear hunting

July 20, 2001, 02:45 PM
Hello. I own a mossberg 500A shotgun and I want to get it ready for bear hunting this September. It has a fixed modified choke barrel, I called mossberg and they said I cannot shoot slugs through that. So I want to purcahse a slug barrel. I hear that rifled slug barrels, although more expensive, are more accurate, correct? Should I get a smooth or rifled slug barrel? What types of sabot/slugs should I use for black bear hunting in northern California? Also, I wanted to get a scope for it, so I am looking for suggesitons on which scopes would work well for me. Please if you have any advice on slug barrels, slugs/sabots or shotgun scopes for bear hunting please let know. Also, I have never hunted black bear before, Where is their vital area? Thanks!!

July 20, 2001, 02:47 PM
Welcome to TFL. :) I am not a shotgun expert like many here so I'll just stick to what I know. If you are getting a barrel just for slug shooting, get a rifled one. Sorry I couldn't help more.

Denny Hansen
July 20, 2001, 03:51 PM
Welcome ILoveguns,
Shotguns are somewhat finicky on what ammo they like and I'm sure other members have had experiences different than mine. I have found, however, that while sabots are accurate in a rifled barrel they produce less than satisfactory results in a smooth bore. Conversly, standard slugs are often not accurate in a rifled barrel but do well in a smooth bore.

You may consider getting a smooth bore barrel and have it fitted with screw-in Accu-Choke tubes. Cylinder bore will work well for slugs and tighter chokes will usually produce tighter pattern with shot loads.

July 20, 2001, 04:54 PM
Welcome to TFL.

At what range do you expect to use your shotgun? I know a lot of people hunt black bear over bait, from a tree stand. Typical shots are about 35 yards.

If that's what you expect, Denny's giving you really good advice. My friend Byron (TFL member Spartacus) put the first two rounds from my 500 into touching holes, offhand, at 25 yards. (This was with a cylinder bore barrel.) Slugs were 3" mag Remingtons.

On the other hand, if you're expecting shots more in the 75 yard range, you may want to consider a dedicated (rifled) slug barrel, with a built-in scope mount. In my opinion, the additional versatility a smoothbore barrel will give you, is well worth the small accuraccy loss you will suffer, as compared to a rifled barrel. Be sure to see what load works best in your barrel, though.


July 20, 2001, 05:53 PM
Hey, Thanks for answearing. I don't know exactly what ranges I will be shooting at since I have never bear hunting before. But I am not going to be using bait or a tree stand. I am going to be stalking. I don't mind buying a barrel that is dedicated to using only slugs/sabots because I have two other barrels already that I use for turkey hunting. Thanks again.

December 1, 2005, 07:06 AM
I use a mossey 500 with a rifled slug barrel and 3 in sabot slugs for deer. I love the setup!

I would be very comfortable using this setup on bear as long as the shot was within 75 yards and it wasn't a 600lb bear.

Good Luck!

m-g willy
December 1, 2005, 07:11 PM
Most rifled barrels shoot sabots better only if the sabot fills the groves in the barrel.
If not then the sabot just slides down the barrel like a smooth bore.
The only way to really tell is get at least two boxes of each brand of sabots and shoot them at 100 yards to see how they group.