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Old June 16, 2005, 01:23 PM   #1
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lethal distance

what would most consider a higher then average (not extreme) range of lethality for a pump shotgun with a 18.5" barrel? what commercial offerings are there for reaching this distance with say a mossberg 500?

with ghost ring sights on a humanoid target?
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Old June 16, 2005, 01:48 PM   #2
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I think your best bet for range would be with the new Remington Core-lokt bonded sabot slugs in a rifled barrel. They are basically a .50caliber, 385gr spitzer style jacketed bullet, shot out of a 12 gauge at 1900fps - I'd guess this would be fine out to at least 200 yards. It's roughly the equivalent of the .45-70 rifle!
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Old June 16, 2005, 02:12 PM   #3
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I've made accurate headshots on pumpkins @ 115 yards with my ghost ring equipped M1 super 90 shooting slugs.
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Old June 16, 2005, 09:01 PM   #4
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What was already posted about slugs I agree. With standard 2 3/4 buckshot you can get lethal hits at 40 to 50 yards but beyond that it is possible to completely miss a man size target. The shot spreads out as it travels. Adding that the ball is a poor ballistic shape and loses velocity quickly at ranges of 60 to 100 yards all you might do is give the target a flesh wound. At close ranges of 40 yards and below, shot becomes very lethal as the pattern stays tight creating a huge rat hole in the target. This is why a lot of people use 6 to 9 shot indoors. Ranges of 20 feet and under you get the same rathole effect without the heavy recoil and overpenetration which come with slugs and buck shot. This is being based on a fixed cylinder choke with a 18 to 20 inch barrel which is what most HD shotguns are set up with. I have a Mossberg 500 by the way- an excellent shotgun.
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Old June 16, 2005, 09:22 PM   #5
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Out to 200 yards with good slug rounds.

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Old June 17, 2005, 12:07 AM   #6
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Just remember that when using Forster-type slugs at distances under about 75 yards, and saboted slugs under about 100 yards, you will get over penetration that could endanger non-combatants.
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Old June 17, 2005, 06:12 AM   #7
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With a rifled barrel,scope, and sabot slugs 200 yards is possible but how accurate is another question. Since we're only talking lethal range the rule of thumb is 500 yards as the danger area for slugs. Has anyone tried or considered flechettes?
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Old June 17, 2005, 07:57 AM   #8
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NOT being one to believe what a bbl, choke, box of ammo, mfg., or 'Net "says"....

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Old June 17, 2005, 02:30 PM   #9
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You need to experiment with ammo and chokes to determine what you could do. With an turkey choke your lethal range would be much farther than with a cylinder choke.
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Old June 17, 2005, 04:54 PM   #10
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I only did tests with 18.5 cylinder choke barrel in a remote field as this is the most common choice for selfdefense. We tried some exotic loads but they turned out to be expensive junk. An old Chevy Implala was also used as a target. You'd be amazed at what buckshot will not penetrate.
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Old June 17, 2005, 08:17 PM   #11
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I have one gun and load that is effective at 100 yards with buckshot (3" mag premium loads with 000 buck out of an 18" barrel). Any number of guns are effective at that range and further with slugs, some will indeed reach 200 yards. I have several guns with 18" and 20" barrels that will regularly produce 6" or better buckshot patterns at 25 yards, and effective patterns further out than that. There are some new buck and slug loads available that promise a lot of potential for smoothbores to perform at longer ranges than has been generally accepted.

Problem with buckshot is that it looses oomph pretty fast, and penetration falls off at extended range (round balls have poor ballistic coefficients). Slugs do better but are not the equivalent of a high velocity centerfire rifle by any means.

Lots depends on the gun/barrel, the load(s) and the shooter. There are lots of variables involved and not a lot of predictability from gun to gun and load to load. A good deal of experimentation is generally called for to plumb the limits of a given combination of gun/barrel/load/shooter/target. Good sights on a gun can help if point targets at extended ranges are the intended goal.

Depends on your wallet, your abilities and what you want to accomplish. My gunsmith has a favorite saying: Any project is feasible if properly funded...

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Old June 17, 2005, 08:17 PM   #12
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From my 18.5 in cyl bore, buckshot is consistently effective (most buckshot on target) to about 18 yds with Low recoil LE Tactical ammo. Standard buckshot, at higher velocity not near that far. Federal's new Tactical 00 buck with FliteControl wad produces 9" patterns at 30 yds! 12 inches at 35.

With standard Tactical Slugs such as Winchester Ranger and Fed LE 127RS, hits are possible at 100 yds and beyond. If you want an accurate slug in a smoothbore, try Federal's new Truball. They cut standard slug group sizes in half in my limited testing--they also come in standard and low recoil versions. I tried the low recoil version at advertised 1300fps. Zeroed for 50 yds, a slug will be about 5" low at 100yds.

If you aren't testing the accuracy of your slugs with some semblance of a bench rest, then you're waisting your time and your slugs. Also, start patterning your buckshot on paper at different ranges, such as 5, 10, 15, and 20 yds and beyond. Nobody claims that buckshot is effective against car bodies. Just BG's at close range.

Check out the phone book--Fed. Tac slug at 25 yds. Rather devestating.

Note Federal's new LE 132 00 buck with FliteControl wad. Distance is in Yards.
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Old March 28, 2010, 02:13 AM   #13
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Well, obviously I need to work on my pic posting. The phone book file was another occasion when I tested a Federal Tac 1oz. slug thru a phone book. Also, the thread is an old one, but hopefully the info might prove useful to latecomers.
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