View Full Version : Slugs - rifled vs. cylinder bore?

October 10, 2001, 07:34 PM
Say, would you guys help me out? I've got a horrible old Mossberg 500 with an 18" cylinder bore. Say I want to shoot slugs out of it. Maybe at whitetail deer.

I remember reading that there's really no significant improvement in accuracy between a cyl bore and a rifled bbl. Is this correct?

I know that putting the rifle sights on top of the bbl has to help. Is it worth the money it will cost me to rebarrel the gun - assuming this is a one-time deal (I have rifles to use on the deer out here in the West), and assuming that I'll be shooting at under 100 yds?

If so, where's a good place to buy inexpensive Mossberg rifled bbls with rifle sights?

Thanks for your trouble.

October 10, 2001, 09:30 PM
I got a rifled barrel for my Mossy 500 back in 1989 when they first came out. Accuracy was dramatically improved over cylinder bore. 2.5"-3" five shot groups at 100 yds with a 1x dot sight. The new barrel was around $100 then, check eBay, used they run around $75 but it's getting close to the season so prices might be up. Rifled barrels work best with sabot slugs but they also improve conventional slug accuracy. -- Kernel

Dave McC
October 11, 2001, 06:54 AM
Lots of options, here is a few of the more realistic ones...


Learn to shoot slugs with the bead. Most Eastern deer are taken within 50 yards of the hunter, so work on it until 50 yard shots are easy, then set up so you're closer. Test different slugs at the bench to see which one your Mossy "Likes". Old threads here can illuminate the methods and procedures for best results.


Spring for a new bbl with sights or a scope mount.Then test slugs as in A.


Keep that Mozzy as is, and get/build a dedicated slug gun. Most of these with smoothbore bbls make great "Serious" shotguns also.


If that Mozzy is threaded for choke tubes, get an aftermarket rifled tube and repeat A.

As for accuracy, most rifled bores are more accurate than smoothbores, all else equal. But, at typical ranges, the difference is not crucial. Best guess, the average deer east of Texas is taken at 50 yards or less, often much less.

Whatever your choice, your ethical range(as opposed to theoretical) is whatever range you cvan cleanly and humanely take deer. As a test, the distance you can shoot at an 8 inch paper plate from hunting positions, including offhand, and get 100% hits is your range.


If you look at a deer and wonder if it's too far away, it's too far away. But if you look at a deer and know that it's dead if you want it dead, it's in range. If there's doubt, don't take the shot. Unfilled tags are forgotten sooner than long, ugly blood trails and unrecovered deer...