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Old December 1, 2021, 10:47 AM   #1
Prof Young
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Federal slugs . . .

Okay, so now that I know my Winchester 1300 is functioning properly I have a new query.

With the unrifled slug barrel properly installed, shooting off a sand bag at 50 yards, with scope I could not get the thing to "group" at all. The only thing different this year is the ammo. I used to use Remington sluggers, a one ounce rifled slug. Got a good buy on Federal one ounce rifled slugs so tried them out. Horrible results.

Can ammunition make that big of a difference?

Prof Young
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Old December 1, 2021, 12:39 PM   #2
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back in the old days when i lived in ohio and used sluggers in my remington guns they seemed to shoot remington and winchester slugs better, the remington slugs were the best...and the winchester slugs were the back up

i will say that the slugs leave a lot of lead in the keeping it lead free will make a giant size difference in accuracy,,, good stiff brush and lots of lead soap is your friend....keep it clean and lead free will for sure help with the accuracy

so i would say, YES it can make a difference

if i were you i would try the remington shells again and see if they do in fact shoot better than the federal slugs

also if the scope is not on the barrel that could also be a problem..scope on receiver not as good as scope on a cantilever barrel the scope is on the receiver it can move different from the barrel and that could cause impact shift

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Old December 1, 2021, 04:13 PM   #3
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Coming through a smoothbore barrel, yeah the ammo is going to make a difference and I don't think there is any real science to it: some work in some barrels some don't.

I tried the Federal rifled and Remington Slugger through mine with pretty terrible results (bead sight, offhand at 25 yards, couldn't even keep them all in an A-zone on a silouhette target). Brenneke Classic Magnums however were all within a 2" circle at the same range, also offhand and with the bead. They thumped a bit more though. Little cheaper than Federal when you can find them.
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Old December 5, 2021, 11:29 AM   #4
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I've never had a problem with Fed slugs FWIW
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Old December 6, 2021, 10:13 AM   #5
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Ammo brand / slug type could very well make a difference, guys who shoot a lot of slugs often claim one brand will outshoot another gun to gun.

Also suspect of barrel swapping in the OP's situation. For a slug gun with scope on the receiver, zero the gun and leave the barrel attached. Off/on again may require a re-zero.
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Old December 7, 2021, 11:01 AM   #6
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What group size are you seeing?
I haven’t tested shotgun slugs. As your northern neighbor in Wi, I opted to use handgun or muzzle loader (the Savage ML ii rule-beater!) instead of shotgun. Now we can just use any old rifle. My preference would be “straight wall cartridges only” because I an a cowboy shooter at heart.

I found that the brand of sabot in a rifled muzzle loader made a giant difference at the range. It would not surprise me that you see big differences. I would also be aware that shotgun barrels are not mounted anywhere near as stiff as rifle barrels. As said above, barrel mounted sights might be more reproducible.

My dad passed away 6 weeks ago. He was 85. I remember him questioning my quest for accuracy. “We used to shoot big old pumpkin-balls and never had trouble hitting deer. 35 yards is a long shot in the woods.”
I hunt, shoot bullseye, plink, reload, and tinker with firearms. I have hung out with the Cowboy Action fellas. I have no interest in carrying firearms in urban areas.
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Old December 7, 2021, 04:01 PM   #7
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I have tested a lot of slugs, mostly for 3Gun shooting, but some for hunting and some for LEAs as a consultant. In my notebook, I have over 50 kinds of 12g slugs fired from 20 some different shotguns. Add in the choke factor and that is a lot of data. I can tell you that data won't give anyone a warm feeling to help them pick the right slug for their shotgun. I have had sister guns not shoot the same slug to the same POA/POI and vary group size by as much as 100%. Usually, with fiddling with the chokes, you can find one that will make a combination passable. A shooting buddy picked up a case of a certain slug from me a few months ago, one that runs really nice with small groups in my M2. In his M2, they were awful. So, he gave me back what he had left and tried something else and viola, good to go. What his M2 liked, mine does not like.

Slugs spend enough time in a, relatively, flimsy long barrel that a lot of things can affect the accuracy, POA/POI. In most cases, "benched", "supported" and "offhand" will change the POA/POI of slugs. Due to the shooters hold and recoil, what groups and hits POA well for one shooter might not be the same for another shooter of a different stature or with a different grip on the gun. 35 yards, not that big of a deal, 100 yards, we can be talking a foot of change and even more. Another factor is vent ribs. Some have taken to slicing sections out the vent rib to get a significant increase in accuracy.

BTW, 20g is easier than 12g and lightweight slugs are affected less by the issues that affect shotgun slug accuracy. I was pretty sad when Remington discontinued the frangibles that were 5/8 ounce at 1650 fps. Those were lasers in almost every shotgun I tested them in.

Shorter barrels, no vent ribs, IC chokes, lighter slugs are all attributes that tend to produce smaller groups and have better POA/POI correlation. Measurable by several inches at 100 yards.

So yes, Prof Young, they can make a big difference. But, I'd not say it is a brand/load issue as it is an issue with smoothbore shotguns shooting slugs in general.
Good Shooting, MarkCO

Last edited by MarkCO; December 7, 2021 at 04:08 PM.
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