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Old November 26, 2013, 10:17 PM   #1
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rifled barrel for slugs?

hi guys, i own a good bit of firearms and cast and reload my own ammo. i have just never gotten around to getting a shotgun even though i do thoughouly enjoy them. but since i cast my own ammo i figure i'll be wanting a slug gun. my question is, is a rifled barrel the same as a slug barrel? or is a slug barrel just a shorter rifled barrell, or are they rifled at all? and do i need a rifled barrel to shoot slugs?
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Old November 26, 2013, 10:39 PM   #2
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"slug" barrels have rifle sights. They are normally shorter than a normal shotgun barrel - typically 20" or so. They can be either rifled (for shooting sabot slugs) or smooth bore (for shooting rifled slugs). All rifled barrels are slug barrels but not all slug barrels are rifled.
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Old November 26, 2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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okay, thank you for clearing that up. for someone who wants to cast slugs, i would then assume i would want a rifled barrell. i would rather not have to cast rifled slugs if that's even possible.
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Old November 27, 2013, 07:18 AM   #4
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Theres many a company that make rifled slugs. they kinda have little "fins" almost, around the edge to imitate rifling. those should be used in a non rifled barrel
Springfield XDM9C
Savage Mark II F .22
H&R ultra slug hunter 20 ga
1942 Mosin Nagant "Natalia"
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Old November 27, 2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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Lyman has a mold for a slug designed to be used with a standard shot cup. And is shot out of a rifled barrel.

All of the ammunition companies load shells designed for rifled barrels, sabots.
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Old November 27, 2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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I really dislike the term "rifled slug" It's very misleading. Those grooves on the slug are not rifling, they do not serve the purpose that rifling in firearms generally serves, which is to spin the bullet.

Those fins are simply there to allow the slug to squeeze down to a smaller caliber when firing through a choke without creating unsafe pressures. They do not impart any spin on the slug. Rifled slugs were created back during the depression, the fins were to let people shoot slugs out of their regular bird gun (since back then you could hardly afford to buy a dedicated slug gun). Those old shotguns typically had fixed chokes that you couldn't remove for shooting slugs. So the fins were added to let the slug pass through a choke.

Essentially you use "rifled" slugs in a smooth bore barrel and sabot slugs in rifled barrels.
Using rifled slugs in rifled barrels is possible, but the fins create too little contact area between the slug and barrel for the barrel's rifling to have any real effect. And generally causes leading in the barrel.
Using sabot slugs in a smooth bore is just a waste. They're expensive and without a rifled barrel to give them a spin, you may as well be shooting the much cheaper lead slugs.
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