View Full Version : Can all shotguns shoot slugs?

October 19, 2001, 01:58 PM
Just wondering, if there needs to be a certain rating or criteria needed for a shotgun to be able to shoot slugs vs shells?


October 19, 2001, 02:10 PM
Yes, all shotguns can shoot slugs within gauge (don't shoot 20's in a 12!).

The only caveat to this is that Sabot slugs should not be fired through a tight choke (imp mod, full, X Full)

October 19, 2001, 02:30 PM
I'd change that to "Slugs should not be fired through any shotgun with a choke tighter than Modified". When you shoot a slug through a choked bore, something has to give somewhere, whether in the slug or in the barrel, and I'd prefer it not to be in my barrel.

Dave McC
October 19, 2001, 03:13 PM
I'd stick to modern shotguns and open chokes for slugs, J.

A fine French SXS I had was marked, "Non Pour le Balle" for a good reason. Thin bbls and tight chokes were not the best for dealing with solid hunks of lead, and certainly not for plastic sabots that do not swage down much.

But, take this one step at a time. Get the shotgun, get used to it with light loads, and then, once somewhat proficient with good from and used to the kick, THEN go to the heavy stuff.

October 19, 2001, 03:23 PM

I am looking at either the Remi 870 HD gun or the Norinco #98. Both have cylinder bores, so correct me if I am wrong - do not have chokes.

My problem is that the range by me allows shotguns but only if you use slugs. So I need to practice with those and then tone down with buck\bird shot. :(

October 19, 2001, 03:53 PM
Yes, cylinder choke (or bore) = no choke.



October 19, 2001, 09:54 PM
Don't limit yourself to the 870 HD.

The HD is just an 870 Express set up a certain way. This is called 'marketing,' or 'how to soak the buyer.' There are lots of Expresses out there that could meet your criteria that are not labeled 'HD.'

Any short-bbled Express with a cylinder bore will work just fine. How short? Look at and handle the shotgun...if it seems short and handy, it will work. At the ranges we're discussing, length of barrel will not matter much. Type of choke won't matter too much either for shot, but if you want to shoot slugs, stick to mod or cyl (this will be stamped on the barrel. If its not, ask).

If you can find a used Wingmaster for a good price, consider it. Its the same gun, just prettier. the Express is the 'economy' model, but the difference is in appearance, not anything that matters. And frankly, the matte finish of the Express is (IMO) easier to maintain and far more practical. Its also way cheaper.


PS Express vs Express Magnum: most of the ones you'll find are actually Express Magnums. This just means its set up for 3" shells. Non-magnums are limited to 2 3/4" If you get a good deal on a plain express, don't pass it up. 2 3/4" will kill things dead. The added flexibility of the 3" chamber is nice (thats why the vast majority are Express Magnums), but not absolutely required.

October 22, 2001, 01:23 PM
Coronach makes a good point so what are you using the gun for? For hunting I would not "limit" myself with 870HD. Even for HD I would go buy an 870 express, mag extension, and smoothbore slug barrel for HD. Just swap barrels when you go hunting.


October 27, 2001, 01:34 AM
Keep in mind that some shotgun barrels are rifled, and some are not. Same with slugs. So, use non-rifled slugs in rifled barrels, rifled slugs in non-rifled barrels.

Snow Man
October 27, 2001, 10:28 PM
So Sigmund, will it hurt to use rifled slugs in a rifled barrel? That's what I presently have on hand and was going to hunt deer this year that way. I checked, the rifling in the slugs matches the direction of the barrel rifling. Accuracy hurt with this combination?

Al Thompson
October 28, 2001, 07:48 AM
Snow Man, the rifled barrels were designed for sabot slugs. It's my understanding that rifled slugs will not shoot well in a rifled barrel.


November 1, 2001, 05:00 PM
Doesn't matter if the rifling match you'll get poor accuracty shooting rifled slugs in rifled barrel. In addition it would lead up quick and not shoot sabots accurately either.


November 2, 2001, 07:19 PM
I have a mossberg with a fully rifled barrel that I have shot 1 1/4oz 2 3/4" mag Rifled Slugs out of. At 50yards I could get one ragged hole with 50 shots, while point shooting. Just make sure you snap it up into your shoulder before touching those rounds off, or you will know you did something wrong (ouch)...

November 3, 2001, 09:19 AM
Will shooting buckshot - 00, field loads, etc. screw up a rifled barrel?
I have an 870 combo in layaway - the price was too good - but I couldn't get a smoothbore. I'd sure like to use some shot shells in that shorter, rifled barrel for guarding the home front.

Isn't shot enclosed in a cup?

Dave McC
November 3, 2001, 09:45 AM
Patterns with any type of shot from a fully rifled bbl tend to the horrible. Sorry....