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Old February 17, 2008, 01:18 PM   #1
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Slugs - rifled or saboted

I'm interested in hunting with a shotgun for deer in vaious states that have shotgun seasons. Which is better, rifled or saboted?

It's my understanding that with saboted slugs you need to shoot them out of a rifled slug barrel, and rifled slugs need to be shot from a smooth bore barrel. Is this the case?

With shooting slugs, which is preferred, shooting slugs from semi-auto shotguns, pump action, or single shot?

I currently have 12 gauge pump, semi-auto, and single shot shotguns, but do not any with a rifled barrel. Is it possible to get a rifled slug barrel for a Browning 3 1/2" Gold Hunter?

Thanks for your input. Keep huntin!
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Old February 17, 2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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brownells and should have barrels. pump or auto should be fine. as far as single. i don't know if anyone has barrels that you can use for slugs. they did make single shot slug guns back years ago.

most sabot slugs can be used in a smoothbore barrel as long as you have a rifled choke tube in it. they do better in a fully rifled barrel though. as far as rifled slugs through a smoothbore barrel. yes you are right. you can also use buckshot if you are allowed too where you hunt. with the smoothbore barrel that is. about what range do you think most of your shots will be at. less than 50 yards or more than 50 yards?
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Old February 18, 2008, 09:39 AM   #3
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NEF has a very light weight single shot that has a fully rifled barrel...

I asked this same question a few weeks ago, as I have one of the lever action shotguns, & ( I only shot one slug through it the last time I was at the range ), but was able to hit a milk jug at 60' with my 1st shot...

I think I remember the rifled slugs working better in the smooth bores ( which mine was ), & the saboted slugs working better in rifled barrels... also thought I remembered reading that there was very little difference in accuracy between a rifled barrel, & a smooth bore with rifled choke tube...
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Old February 18, 2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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That light weight NEF 12 gauge is gonna kick like a frickin mule!
Juniors 20 gauge nef single kicks worse with a field load than a highbrass in his maverick 88!
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Old February 18, 2008, 10:23 AM   #5
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That light weight NEF 12 gauge is gonna kick like a frickin mule!
I was going to add that...

my buddy ( a small guy about 5'4" ) bought one, & having not shot alot slugs, he bought a box of 3" magnums... he'd spent the last 1/2 hour sighting in a 45-70, then switched to the NEF... he pulled the trigger, & took about 2 steps backwards, about knocked his hat off... he was shooting 3" magnum slugs...

I handed him a box of 2 3/4" & he really didn't even want to shoot it ( he was ready to trade it in right then & there )... but after he tried the 2 3/4" he was sure he could hunt with that load anyway... said he was going to save the rest of the 3" for people he didn't like... tolet thm try it...
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Old February 18, 2008, 10:33 AM   #6
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Some years ago I did a extensive testing with my two guns. A 1187 with a rifled barrel and a 870 with a smooth barrel with IC choke. Both had scopes. What I found was that while the rifled barrel with some sabots would shoot nice little groups at 100yds the regular old foster rifled slugs and the Brennekes really weren’t that far behind. At least not enough to justify the more then double the price of the ammo. Plus with both the fosters and Brennekes I got a full 12 gauge diameter bullet. Brennke makes a slug that can be fired though a rifled barrel but is really a waste because it is not as stable when it hits and tends to tumble. It is much better from a smooth bore. Unfortunately the 12 bore rifle was much better a 100 years ago. I say forget the rifled barrel get a scope and an IC choke tube. Take some Brennkes and several brands of Foster slugs and see what works best.
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Old February 18, 2008, 10:35 AM   #7
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Ditto on the kick. I have one.
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Old February 18, 2008, 11:19 AM   #8
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IMO, the only reason to mess with saboted slugs and rifled barrels is if you are in a jurisdiction where rifles themselves are illegal for hunting. You'll get some increased range out of rifled barrels and saboted slugs over the smoothbore barrel and rifled slugs, but if you aren't going to be shooting over 75 yds or so I'd stick with the smoothbore.

If I need a rifled barrel where I hunt it'll be a .30cal barrel .
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Old February 18, 2008, 12:32 PM   #9
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If I was going to go slug gun exclusively, I would probably go with a semi to try and reduce the recoil. I had a rifled barrel on a Mossberg pump that was decent on accuracy, but would beat me to death at the range sighting it in.
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