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Old October 3, 2019, 03:23 PM   #1
The Verminator
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Using Shotshells in Rifled Barrel Shotgun

Can you shoot regular lead shot in shotguns with rifled barrels?

Some say it will permanently foul the rifling and ruin the barrel for sabots.

So.......what's the full story on this?
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Old October 3, 2019, 03:56 PM   #2
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It will not permanently foul the rifling in any shotgun I know of. Barrels are made out of steel and shot is made out of lead. It is a pretty easy fix.

Pattern will be terrible. The rifling really opens up the pattern to uselessness at ranges outside of a small room.
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Old October 3, 2019, 04:34 PM   #3
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Thanks.

That's kinda what I was thinking.

Your pattern would be thin at the center.......just where you don't want it to be thin.
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Old October 3, 2019, 06:31 PM   #4
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Yes but No

Quote:
Can you shoot regular lead shot in shotguns with rifled barrels?
Yes you can but I have to ask, why would you want to. I'm not try to be sarcastic and let me explain why I ask. I know a number of folks that do just that. They keep their "short" slug barrel on and load it with shot-shell during the off season, for home protection. ……

Quote:
Some say it will permanently foul the rifling and ruin the barrel for sabots.
Not so but no need to do it for prolong time. Just not very efficient. ….


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Old October 3, 2019, 06:37 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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Rifled barrels are fairly common in France where woodcock are hunted at VERY short range in close cover. The rifling scatters the shot to give a better chance on birds before they get away and to not blow them to smithereens.
If the French hunter doesn't want such a specialized gun, he can get cube or disk shot to spread.
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Old October 3, 2019, 07:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Barrels are made out of steel and shot is made out of lead. It is a pretty easy fix.
While its true, the "fouling" you get, if you get any, won't be lead, it will be plastic. With modern shotshells, and their plastic shot cups and wad columns, the lead shot never touches the barrel. Nor does the "steel" shot if you are using that. (there is an issue with "Steel" shot and older guns with tight chokes, but that's a different thing.

Plastic can build up in the bore, if the rifling is actually digging into the wad column (sometimes it barely does, tolerances vary, you'll need to see what your gun and the shells you use, do. Removing the plastic isn't complicated but it can be a chore as its not "lifted" by the usual solvents.

Next point is the patterns. Rifling causes the shot column to spin and that spin spreads the shot pattern, and often to the point of significant size holes with no shot in them. Again, its something you have to test with your gun, your ammo and at different ranges. The "dreaded donut" is well known to those who shoot shot from pistols (with rifled barrels) and the "hole" isn't always dead center. Once you know how your gun behaves at what range, its not difficult to adjust your aim so that the "hole" misses and the shot hits.

It can be very different at different ranges, though generally the further away, the bigger the hole(s) in the pattern. And different size shot will be a bit different, and its not impossible different brand shotshells will produce differing results.

Test what you've got, and make adjustments, accordingly.
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Old October 3, 2019, 07:23 PM   #7
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The plastic thing is true for certain. I no longer shoot shot through rifled barrels but when I did I noticed the build up. After a few dozens shells and allowing the gun to cool I was actually able to peel some of the plastic out. It will come right out with a brass brush.

The donut thing may be somewhat of a myth depending upon your gun. With my 11/87 I just get a huge pattern at 15' that sprays everything with about an 8' circle. At 25' it so big I consider it unsafe to shoot at some public ranges. But still no donut. This is also of limited usefulness.

Testing is the only way to know for sure.
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Old October 3, 2019, 10:27 PM   #8
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It will NOT ruin your barrel; it WILL give you the worst possible patterns and make you wish you used the proper equipment
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Old October 20, 2019, 08:33 PM   #9
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Great post and it has been my experience that plastic Wad following is not easily removable with a wire brush or cleaning solvents to be clear!

The only way I was successful in removing the plastic wad fouling was to attach the wire brush to part of the cleaning rod then attach that inside a power drill. Running the power drill at high speed with the wire brush on the end and moving it up-and-down inside the barrel, grinded out the plastic wad very quickly.

I have to say that the barrel looked like shiny glass inside once I was finished. Also, I should note that the fouling didn’t seem to go any further than the first 3 inches inside the chamber down into the barrel.
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Old October 21, 2019, 06:22 PM   #10
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Tornado - Jag

Quote:
The only way I was successful in removing the plastic wad fouling was to attach the wire brush to part of the cleaning rod then attach that inside a power drill.
You can also use a 12GA. "Tornado" Jag, scraper … Whatever. ???

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Old November 12, 2019, 11:44 PM   #11
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video

There is a video on youtube, done by the Demolition Ranch people (I think), entitled "how far will a shotgun kill" or some similar title, where a load of birdshot is run down a rifled tube , the pattern is huge and center very sparse.
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Old November 13, 2019, 07:14 PM   #12
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Removing plastic wad fouling from the barrel which seems to only go approximately 3 inches into the barrel from the chamber, was not an easy task. I tried everything and nothing worked until I discovered this.....I attach the cleaning brush to the cleaning rod and inserted that into the chuck of a power drill. Turning the drill on at high speed and pushing in and out of the barrel was the only successful way for me to remove all the plastic fouling and leave the barrel looking like shiny glass.

That method actually grinded out all the plastic wad into a little pile of dust.

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Old November 14, 2019, 09:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
y the Demolition Ranch people (I think), entitled "how far will a shotgun kill" or some similar title, where a load of birdshot is run down a rifled tube , the pattern is huge and center very sparse
Yep. It is called a torus. The common doughnut is a torus.
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Old November 14, 2019, 05:31 PM   #14
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https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box...hotgun-barrel/

May I refer you to TheBoxOTruth. Endless hours of fun shooting experiments with 'Ol Painless. His buddy Tman has passed away but I imagine they had lots of fun together. I think he may have been the original internet gun test guy before Youtube took off.
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Old November 17, 2019, 03:57 PM   #15
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Yes, you can....

Consider that John Phillip Sousa [aka: the March King} was an avid trap shooter in the early 20th century.
He advocated a lightly spiraling treatment to the shotguns of that time to give a more common density effect of the pattern.

As the plastic shotguns came around that had the same effect.

As long as you use a good solvventr and brush, you should not have further problems.
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Old November 20, 2019, 12:15 PM   #16
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“A lightly spiraling pattern”....with all due respect to the March King...
A spiraling pattern of any kind subjects the pellets in the shot cone to centrifugal force. That force operates to move the pellets away from a common center. The developing shape is a torus.
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