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Old March 1, 2020, 09:11 PM   #1
Doug Lee
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Using slugs in fixed choke shotguns

What kind of results can be expected when using a slug in a fixed choke shotgun with open sights, as far as grouping and accuracy are concerned?
Thanks . . .
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Old March 1, 2020, 10:19 PM   #2
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Granted my experience is limited. But I have a cylinder choked rifle sighted barrel for my 870. I've been able to shoot 4-6" groups with it at 100 yards off a bench. With just a bead sight and a modified choke 3-4" at 50 yards.

It isn't rifle type precision, but I feel that I could hit most big game or human threats out to 50 yards or more
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Old March 2, 2020, 12:21 AM   #3
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Many shotgun manufacturers do not consider it wise to shoot most slugs through a modified choke. But, it’s your shotgun.
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Old March 2, 2020, 06:00 AM   #4
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For your time

Thanks for your input fellows!
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Old March 2, 2020, 10:28 AM   #5
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You didn't mention what the constriction of your barrel is. That probably matters more than whether it is fixed or not.

However, if you're talking about Foster slugs or most Brenneke slugs, you can safely shoot them through chokes as tight as FULL.

I did see TX Nimrod's link to the Benelli page saying not to go any tighter than improved cylinder, but I feel like that's more a case of the company covering their own behind.

*I have a Beretta handgun. After reading in the manual about all all the things I should NOT do with the gun, I was almost ready for them to tell me "Never fire your firearm." I think it's the result of the lawsuit-happy society we live in.

Also, there are many new kinds of slugs out there, and some of them can't compress/squeeze through a choke like the Fosters/Brennekes. Rather than a gun company making a long list of what chokes can work with with slugs and trusting the consumer to understand it, it's safer and easier to err on the side of extra conservative.

Likewise, it's hard to get a clear recommendations from ammo manufacturers--probably for the same reasons. Many make different types of slugs--some of which can be shot through tighter chokes; some of which can't. So a consumer reads than he can shoot Federal Y though a full choke, then goes out and buys Federal Z, shoots it though a full choke and messes up his gun. Then he proceeds to spread the word that Federal ammo is junk and ruined his gun.

I remember several years ago when Dixie Slugs discontinued one of their slug offerings, because despite stating very clearly that it was not to be used with choked barrel, people kept doing it anyway and then getting upset with the company.

Brenneke is among the few companies I know of that gives a clear answer as to the use of slugs through various chokes, but they also repeat in many places that this is NOT true for some of their slugs.

From the Brenneke website...

"The purpose of the ribs on the outside diameter of the slug (with the exception of the 3- inch Gold Magnum/Magnum Crush and the all brass Super Sabot which are designed for rifle barrel shotguns only) allows them, unlike most competitors slugs, to be used with any choke. As the slug passes through the three constricted areas, inside of the barrel, the Forcing Cone, Inside Bore, and then the Choke, the excess lead is squeezed into the gaps between the ribs with no damage to the barrel. Somewhat better accuracy may be noted when using the more open choke - Improved Cylinder."
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Old March 2, 2020, 02:20 PM   #6
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Old March 2, 2020, 02:23 PM   #7
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A lot depends on what choke and sights you have. As with any factory ammo, you need to try a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo your shotgun shoots best. The price of it means nothing. A simple bead isn't a great sight. It'll do, but it's not very accurate.
"...4-6" groups..." While that's definitely 'minute of deer', try another brand. It's not unusual for a cylinder choked, rifle sighted barrel to shoot 2 or 3 inches at 100.
"...manufacturers do not consider it wise..." That'd be Benelli's MBAs following Rule Number 3. "Thou shalt CYA." Just like other companies void their warrantee if you use reloads.
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Old March 2, 2020, 07:22 PM   #8
Doug Lee
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My shotgun

I've been thinking about using slugs in a model 870 Remington Express, full choke, it has a vent rib and standard brass bead front sight, again, just wondering what type of grouping and accuracy to expect at say 70 yards.
Thanks . . .
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Last edited by Doug Lee; March 2, 2020 at 07:26 PM. Reason: forgot to add specs on choke
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Old March 2, 2020, 10:34 PM   #9
idek
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It's hard to predict what groups you can get with a certain barrel/ammo combination.

Here are a couple links to videos of people trying Remington Sluggers at 90 yards with different chokes.

One uses a Beretta with a scope and got a 4" group w/ FULL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1OkpM97rcQ

The other used a Mossberg 500 with just a bead and got a 9.5" group w/ FULL (I suspect the lack of precision sight were a big factor here)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8gmsmNs1Ik

They each shot just one 3-shot group, which is hardly conclusive, but it maybe gives a ballpark idea of what to expect.
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Old March 3, 2020, 02:08 AM   #10
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I have a 1100 and a 870... Both have factory slug barrels...the 1100 will clover leaf at 50 yards with sluggers....the 870 is almost that good...not quite.....

When I lived in Ohio...that was the deer gun....no rifles then

If you use the slugger ...super x..or any of the non sabo slugs....the trick is to keep the lead out....once they start leading....accuracy is over and the slop is steep..it goes away quick

I think those slug barrels are cylinder....maybe a loose improved cylinder

I would not recommend using a full choke.... And maybe not a modified... But my ex brother in-law had a Mossberg 500 with a modified barrel the shot sluggers really well

My experience... And I have killed a lot of deer with a shot gun and slugs

My .02

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Old March 3, 2020, 06:31 AM   #11
Doug Lee
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Your input

Thanks to all who offered their opinions.
My results using rifled slugs have been that the first shot from a clean barrel is usually 6-10 inches above point of aim, then shots 2,3 are not on a 30 inch by 48 inch cardboard target at 70 yards. Sounds like it might be a combination of full choke and lead?
Thanks
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Last edited by Doug Lee; March 3, 2020 at 06:38 AM. Reason: correction
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Old March 3, 2020, 09:22 PM   #12
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What type slug are you using??

THe Forster slug, is a nose-heavy hollow-base projectile, [like a "badmition shutle cock] and were the standard for going thru any choke, Best choke was a Imp. Cyl. but get squuzed down going thru a full. Forster's max range is 75 80 yards, maximum range.

The "Brenneke" are simliar but nose heavy slug with a wad screwed onto the
butt of the slug, [which is like a shuttle-cok BUT longer].

again gets squeezed passing thru any choke. Brenneke's arecapable of holding zero's at 100 yds.

GRowing up in Ohio, I used the Breneke's thrucylinder bore barrels and quite daatisfied with there accuracy.

REcommend you consider mounting a scope for maximum effect.

there are many side-mount for mating with most shoutguns.

Hope this helps. GoodLuck
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Old March 4, 2020, 06:30 AM   #13
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your input

Thanks for the input.
I am using Winchester Super X Rifled slugs in this gun.
I guess this might be considered old school type ammo considering all the different types of ammo available for shot gun use?
Thanks . . .
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Old March 5, 2020, 03:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
My results using rifled slugs have been that the first shot from a clean barrel is usually 6-10 inches above point of aim, then shots 2,3 are not on a 30 inch by 48 inch cardboard target at 70 yards
70 yards? That is a looong way for regular slugs and shotguns.

Old school, grew up where the entire southern zone of the state was shotgun only for deer. "Slug guns" were fairly rare at the time, and were smooth bore, cylinder bore with rifle type sights. Rifled barrels for slugs came along later...

The standard Forster type "rifled slug" (so named because the ribs on the slug LOOK like rifling - they do not act like rifling) are made to squeeze through any choke SAFELY. Accuracy is usually best in cylinder bores but there are exceptions. Standard shotgun bead sight, minute of deer at 40-50yds USUALLY. Rifle sights, add another 10-20 yards, MAYBE.

I say "usually" and "maybe" because there is only one way to be sure, and that is it shoot the slugs from your gun. Some guns that "shouldn't" shoot well do, and some that "should", don't.

70 yards is way too far to expect usable HUMANE accuracy shooting slugs from a smooth bore gun. MAYBE YOUR gun will put them all on a paper plate at that range (and if it does its a jem, don't sell it) but dang few will, and many won't keep them all on a 4x8 sheet of plywood.

Keep the range short, 40-50 yards or less, and do some test shooting at those ranges, to be sure.
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Old March 5, 2020, 06:06 AM   #15
Doug Lee
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Your input

Thanks for the input.
See #11 above for my test results with Winchester Super X rifled slugs, shot from a Remington Model 870 Express, full choke gun.
Here in S.E. Virginia shot guns are used quite often on deer, mostly with buck shot, and I have heard plenty of water fountain stories during my working career, I always wondered why not slugs? Figured I ask and check it out for myself.
Thanks . . .
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Old March 5, 2020, 02:52 PM   #16
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Here in S.E. Virginia shot guns are used quite often on deer, mostly with buck shot,
It is interesting, what regional preferences and Game Laws create. Your area buckshot is common, slugs not so much. In NY state (in the 70s when I lived there) about half the state was shotgun only, for big game, 20ga or larger, and in the 70s, it was slugs only, for DEER.

previously, either slugs or buckshot had been allowed, but they changed the game laws and banned buckshot for DEER. Buckshot was still allowed for hunting black bear!!!

Always remember that game laws are about SPORT hunting, and what the people making the regulations believe is best for the sport, NOT about what are the best or usable tools.
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Old March 7, 2020, 05:28 AM   #17
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Your input

Thanks to all!
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Old March 7, 2020, 04:01 PM   #18
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For Foster/Rifled slugs, have you guys noticed any difference between CYL vs Improved CYL? Does the slight constriction offered by IC choke help center the slug just before it leaves the muzzle improving accuracy but without retarding it's passage?
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Old March 8, 2020, 01:28 AM   #19
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Its something that varies with individual guns. Cylinder bore (no constriction) is recommended as best, overall, but individual guns MAY shoot differently. A particular IC gun might shoot as well, or even better than a cylinder bore gun, or it may not shoot as well.

Only testing your gun will tell you. Also they can be ammo specific. Your gun may shoot well with brand A and like crap with the "exact" same load from Brand B. Again, only shooting will tell you IF this applies to YOUR gun.
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Old March 8, 2020, 10:56 AM   #20
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I took a deer with my Ithaca M37 this past season with a Federal tru-ball slug out of its fixed modified choke. Slug went where I aimed with the bead at 20 yards off-hand.

I also think the barrel attachment method and probably tighter bores of vintage guns help. The Ithaca has the interrupted thread barrel attachment system which is much tighter and repeatable compared to the slip fit barrels of modern pumps.
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Old March 17, 2020, 07:54 PM   #21
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Since the OP's shotgun is a 870 Remington Express, why is the use of rifled slugs through full choke constriction of such import? Remchoke tubes, OEM or aftermarket, are available in virtually any exit diameter. That is unless a pre-1987 fixed full choke 870 barrel has been installed.
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