View Full Version : What makes a slug gun?

Tropical Z
July 31, 2001, 01:23 PM
I've always assumed the slug gun had a rifled barrel and your run of the mill shotgun had a smooth barrel.Is there more to it, and can i shoot slugs out of my Mossberg 500? Thanx:)

July 31, 2001, 02:26 PM
You bet!
A slug barrel usually has some type of rifle sight-- peep "ghost ring", scope, or electronic.
Many people hunt deer in the midwest with unsighted shotguns.
Of course, better results are had with good sights.
A slug-only gun would probably be best with a rifled barrel.
Putting sights or a sighted barrel on your Mossy will give you good results too.

For best results, try a number of type and brand slugs, to find the one that shoots best in your gun.

Dave R
July 31, 2001, 02:41 PM
Generally, rifled slugs (like Brenneke's) can be shot with a smoothbore. The rifling is on the slug, not the barrel. If you are lucky, the slugs will shoot to point-of-aim with your standard bead sight. Not likely, but it happens. As indicated, different brands may have different points of impact.

Saboted slugs require a rifled barrel.

I have seen rifled chokes, which would presumably let you shoot saboted slugs through your smoothbore, with the rifled choke in place. Looks to me like they cost about 60-70% of the cost of a rifled barrel. Anyone have any experience with these?

July 31, 2001, 03:37 PM
Don't forget, many police departments ahve been alternating 00 buck, slug, 00 buck, slug, 00buck, slug in the same shotgun for many many years now.

July 31, 2001, 05:53 PM
Been hunting with slug guns in Indiana for 30+ years. In my limited experience.....some smoothbores shoot slugs really well, some pretty well, and some won't hit a bucket at 20 yards. I've had all three. I had a bolt action 16 gauge smoothbore Marlin that would drill pop cans at 40 yards. Had an 1100 Remington that couldn't hit anything.

My current slug gun is an 870 with a rifled barrel. Last season I hit a moving coyote at 110 yards. Had a room-mate that had a rifled barrel Winchester 1300 that was deadly at 125+ yards. He used Hi-Impacts.

In general, I think the sabots move a LOT faster and shoot a lot flatter. The Remington copper solids don't shoot for crap from most shotguns but are super in mine. Won't use anything else (but the 3" REALLY kick).

That all said, if had to try just one brand in a smoothbore, I'd use a bore choke or as close to it as I could get and try Federals first and Remington Sluggers second. Nice thing about slugs is the box of 5 so they're not expensive.

Art Eatman
July 31, 2001, 06:36 PM
Gonna move this to the smoothbore forum...

:), Art

Dave McC
August 1, 2001, 05:48 AM
There's tons of old threads on this in the Archives. A brief reprise....

All 12 ga slugs are highly effective on deer sized game if inserted correctly.NO slug can be expected to perform if not, and the big difference is oft pilot error. The ONLY way someone can determine which one to use is by benchtesting. As a very loose rule, sabots work best in rifled bbls, Forsters and Brennekes in smoothbores and those with rifled tubes.

Buyamessa those 5 packs. Go to the range and shoot groups until one slug is clearly shown to group better than the rest. Buy a coupla hundred rounds of that,all from the same lot, if possible. Put 5 rounds in your pocket and go hunting.

Note, all the 3" Magnum loads will do is go through your money faster. 2 3/4" slugs do not exactly bounce off deer.

Also, here in Md, a typical shot is within 50 yards. Zero there, but check POI at 100 yards for the rare but crucial shot at a cripple.