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Old May 24, 2010, 07:01 PM   #1
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Sabot slugs out of a smoothbore?

What happens if you shoot sabot slug ammunition out of a smooth bored barrel? Is it dangerous to do so, or are you losing out on the advantages of the sabot round?
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Old May 24, 2010, 07:31 PM   #2
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The latter. Box O' Truth took this one on a while ago, and sabots really aren't accurate out of a smoothbore.
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Old May 24, 2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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wasting alot of money is all, to my understanding
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Old May 25, 2010, 12:43 AM   #4
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With Dixie Slugs and Brenneke Slugs there is no need to ever consider using a sabot or any other round intended for a rifled barrel. You are good out to 100 yards with either the Dixie or Brenneke and either one will smoke anything on planet earth.
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Old May 25, 2010, 01:47 AM   #5
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The OP asked: What happens if you shoot sabot slug ammunition out of a smooth bored barrel?
You spend more for less performance.

Sabots are designed for fully rifled barrels. Sometimes the ammo boxes aren't very clear about this. The sabot manufactures don't lose much sleep knowing that folks are fooled into thinking that premium prices for sabot shells will bring premium performance in smooth bore barrels.

Of course, if in a defensive situation, and all you have are sabots and a smooth bore, then it's time for any port in a storm.
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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The sabot around the bullet is there to engage the rifling in the bore, then it spins, and the bullet is stabilized in flight like a rifle bullet.

If there is no rifling then the projectile does not spin, and is unstable in flight because the bullet is made to be stable in a ballistic spin like a foot ball.

"Normal" or "rifled slugs", which are Foster slugs because they are not rifled for anything, are designed weighted toward the front like a birdy in badminton so the forward weight keeps it flying straight.

That is why you shoot them from a smooth bore, so their forward weight is able to give them some sort of direction.

The "rifled" slug does not spin.

You would be spending $3 a round, just to send wild ass shots down range that will not hit what you are aiming at.

Here is a visual aid to show you what happens.
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Old May 25, 2010, 12:36 PM   #7
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Three years ago I worked with a bullet maker on solid copper saboted slugs of 436.5 grs HP variety. We ran the developed components thru a Remington 870 using a smooth bore barrel and a rifled barrel. We also had a Leathwood shotgun scope mounted on each barrel. As far as The Box of Crap testimony, we didn't find the accuracy to be bad at all. It all depends on the firearm, the condition of the firearm, shooters ability to absorb 12 ga ammo from a benchrest,and the expectations. If a 2.5" group at 100 yds is your idea of accuracy, that's what we got out of it with both barrels. That was much better than I ever thought a shotgun could be.The major difference was in the velocity. There was also a major difference in felt recoil. If I were to use a saboted slug for my personal use, I would run it out of a rifled barrel. But if all you have is a smooth bore, the only area you have any concern for is penetration on hard animals like a big hog. A shoulder shot will most likely go thru the shield but it's not going to deform the bullet enough for a much larger wound channel and there won't be a pass thru.
If you just want to try them in your shotgun, Remington loads a saboted solid but around here they run about $2.50 a pop.
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Old May 25, 2010, 01:04 PM   #8
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I've encountered keyholing at 50 yards with SOME (not all) saboted loads through smoothbores. Some will fly straight & fairly accurately without rifling, some won't.
Even when the bullets keyholed, they were still accurate enough at 50 to get the job done, although not making the most efficient use of the projectile's design.

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Old May 25, 2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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Back in the early 1980s "dark ages," S&W (I think) designed a saboted .50 cal slug that was designed to be fired from smooth bore shotguns. It was a very hard slug, designed to be shot through car bodies or barriers. So, saboted slugs were not "designed" to be shot through a rifled barrel-the rifled barrels were "designed" around the saboted slug.
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