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Old March 9, 2005, 01:14 PM   #1
Join Date: September 4, 2004
Posts: 31
Regular shot through rifled slug barrel?

Two quick questions.

I'm considering getting myself a 20" rifled slug barrel for a remington 870 Express, and am wondering if I will damage the barrel if I shoot regular shotshells through it. As a sidenote, in my country, we are not allowed to use lead shot, so I will have to stick with the non-toxic alternatives. Are any of these safer/better to use with a rifled barrel, or should I avoid regular shot with rifled barrels alltogether?


Will non-rifled slugs shot through a smoothbore barrel with a modified choke damage the choke? Is it okay with some slug's, but not others, or should I get a cyllinder choke if I plan on shooting slugs.

My current 870 Express is the standard vented rib 26" barrel one. How much will I gain in accuracy with slugs with a rifle-sighted 20" barrel, compared to the smoothboore allready on the gun?(Not considering my abillities as a marksman, but the accuracy of the gun in a trained marksman's hands).

So far, I have not shot anything other than clay pigeons with it(but quite a lot of those.)., but the thought of hunting wild boars in the neighbouring countries(Not many boars here) is tempting, and I reccon I'd rather buy a slug barrel than a completely new rifle for that.

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Old March 9, 2005, 02:18 PM   #2
Join Date: March 9, 2005
Posts: 21
I'm not sure that lead or bismuth or polymer shot in a rifled bbl. would be dangerous so much as useless. The rifling will seriously interfere with the shot's trajectory, slowing it down and making it incredibly inaccurate and scattered. Steel or tungsten shot might damage the rifling, too. An unrifled barrel with Remchoke tubes should be easy enough to find.

IMHO if you only have one barrel you're better off sticking with the smoothbore. A rifled slug may not be quite as accurate as a sabot in a rifled barrel, but a 20 ga. smoothbore is more versatile, and a 20 ga. slug might be underpowered for a large thick-hided boar anyway. In many jurisdictions, when after boar you have to use 16 or 12 ga. slugs or shot, or higher (e.g. 10 ga.).
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Old March 9, 2005, 02:32 PM   #3
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I've heard that regular shot through a rifled barrel will produce a 'dohnut' pattern, with a huge ring of shot but nothing in the center.

Slugs need some sort of rifling to have any accuracy, so either get rifled slugs, or use a rifled barrel. But if you get a rifled barrel, there is no point in using slugs, go for sabots. I have seen rifled chokes, but I am not sure about whether they will produce enough of a twist.

I don't know if slugs will damage a modified choke.
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Old March 9, 2005, 02:37 PM   #4
Join Date: September 4, 2004
Posts: 31
I forgot to mention, but my 870 is 12 Gauge. What I meant, is that the extra barrel I consider buying for it is 20 inches long, not a 20 gauge barrel.
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Old March 9, 2005, 04:07 PM   #5
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Shooting shot through a rifled slug barrel will not damage anything, but it WILL lead the barrel very badly.

In addition, the "swirling" imparted by the rifling, in addition to the deformation to the shot, will cause non-existent patterning, often causing a "dough nut hole".

You're better to NOT shoot shot through a rifled barrel.

Shooting rifled slugs through a Modified barrel is quite safe.

You can shoot ANY standard rifled slug through ANY standard shotgun choke from Cylinder to Full.

Where things get chancy is when you go to more than Full specialty chokes.

Most of the people who shoot slugs for longer range accuracy typically do use tighter chokes, so your Modified should work well.
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Old March 10, 2005, 07:47 PM   #6
Join Date: September 4, 2004
Posts: 31
Thanks for clearing that up.

I still consider getting another barrel though, as I wouldn't feel comfortable hunting boar with the 26 inch wented rib barrel, even if slugs through it would work fine, because of the lack of sights.

So, the barrels I'm drawn between is either
this 20" rifled barrel, with rifle sights, or this smoothboore 20" inch barrel with one improved cyllinder choke, and one rifled choke.

The question is: How much accuracy will I give up by choosing the 20" smoothbore barrel(with rifle sights) and a rifled choke, compared to the 20" rifled barrel(also with rifle sights)?

Do rifled chokes really work, and if so, what kind of slugs should I use with them?

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Old March 10, 2005, 08:17 PM   #7
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As far as pure accuracy goes NOTHING is going to match a rifled barrel.

How much accuracy you need depends entirely on how far you want to shoot.

If you're looking at shots over 65 to 75 yards, you'd probably be better off with a rifled barrel, and sabot slugs.

If you're shooting boar at anything under 65 to 75 yards, AND would like a home defense buckshot barrel, you'd do very well with the 20" smoothbore.

In addition, with this barrel, you can buy any type of choke you want and use the barrel for about any shotgun sport or purpose.

As far as the rifled choke goes, I would assume you would use sabot slugs with it.
The rifled slugs are for smoothbore use ONLY.

An additional benefit of the smoothbore is, you can "Dutch Load" the gun for boar hunting.
This is loading the magazine so the first few shots out are slugs, then the next few are heavy buckshot in case things "go South" and the boar decides to go after YOU.

Bottom line is: The rifled barrel will produce by far and away the best accuracy, but you can shoot nothing BUT sabot slugs.

The smoothbore with interchangeable chokes will give acceptable accuracy at reasonable ranges, BUT will be a MUCH more flexible setup and will allow you to shoot ANY standard shotgun shell, from slugs, to buckshot, to birdshot.
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