Please help with knowledge of Slugs


July 5, 2005, 06:14 PM
My shotgun slug knowledge is almost void! could anyone take a moment and help me out?

I know that slugs come as just that a slug, they also come as (I think) .50 cal sabot loads, so what?

When do I need a rifled bbl? Why?

How long of a bbl and what choke if any.

Which load is the best for deer hunting and which is best for defense?

This is getting ugly, I am really dumb on this topic!

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Pietro Beretta
July 5, 2005, 06:24 PM
If you want to see what a slug from a 12g can do.... check this site out...

Look at what it does to a pad-lock that others dont
Look at what it does to bullet proof glass that others dont...
Look what it does to walls (like the ones in your house)

I love that web page.

I know I didnt answer any of your questions, but if you havnt seen that site, check it out!

Fred Fuller
July 5, 2005, 07:15 PM
'Rifled slugs' come in two flavors, Foster type and Brenneke. Foster slugs are loaded by most US ammo companies and are hollow based and usually soft lead. Brennekes are solid hard lead alloy with a screwed- on felt wad (original Brenneke) or have a plastic wad that is crimped into a recess in the base (Kent KO). Both have 'rifling' on the slug body that serves more to allow the slug to be fired thru a choke than to spin stabilize it, both depend on weight- forward balance to stabilize them in flight.

Rifled slugs are best fired thru smoothbore barrels, some choke (IC or Mod) is usually OK and in fact often helpful. Don't want to use Full in a fixed choke too much tho, or crank down a Polychoke tight or use a tight tube in a Cutts Compensator or equivalent. Sights help IMO. No substitute for testing and zeroing any given gun with different brands to see what it likes. Zeroing/bench testing with slugs is punishing, cheat as much as possible to help on recoil and keep sessions short. Whatever slug your gun shoots best and is zeroed for is the one you should use for all purposes, hunting and defense.

Sabot slugs work better in rifled barrels. Some use scopes and/or iron sights. Barrel lengths (either rifled or smoothbore) aren't terribly critical, 18-20" is enough for a full powder burn. Shoot whatever brand of sabot works best in your rifled barrel gun, note that sabots are generally a good bit more expensive than rifled slugs. Rifled barrels on shotguns play heck with buckshot patterns, you won't want a rifled barrel on a defensive gun if you want to shoot buckshot.

There is no "best" slug load, different guns shoot better with different loads. Find what your gun likes and buy a bunch of it. I have had good luck with the 2 3/4" Kent KO/Brenneke slugs in my smoothbores, I like 'em a lot and several of my guns do too. The fact that they are often on sale cheep!!! helps a lot too. Brennekes have a harder alloy of lead than most slugs, a sharp shoulder and penetrate deeply while cutting full diameter holes. Nothing not to like, long as you are careful where you unleash them so you are sure where they will stop. No need to buy the hype re. 3" magnum slugs, the short ones are OK.


lpl/nc (us old folks gotta stick together)

July 5, 2005, 07:55 PM
do a search for a thread entitled "slugs 101", lots of great info.

July 6, 2005, 12:19 PM
Thank you both, these replies generated lots of thought:

One massively sore shoulder when I start benchin the 870 and feeding it lots of different slugs to find the one that works best.

Maybe l'll just stick to my two buddies: model 70 (pre-62) 30-06, one scoped one with Iron!

Again thanks.

Fred Fuller
July 6, 2005, 01:11 PM
Note that there are 'reduced recoil' loads of both slugs and buckshot available for defensive use these days. I can assure you there is a noticeable difference in felt recoil with these new offerings. Several manufacturers offer them, they are worth looking into.

Here's Remington's product description:
Reduced Recoil Rifled Slugs
Our 12-ga. Reduced Recoil Rifled Slug is specifically engineered to improve officers' capabilities with a shotgun. It generates 45% less recoil than a standard 1 oz. rifled slug loading for enhanced target recovery in tactical situations, and for less punishment to shooters during training and qualification. At a velocity of 1200 FPS, point of impact is identical to a standard 1 oz. slug out to 50 yds., and only 1" lower at 100 yds. The high- density polymer alignment disk under the base of the slug enhances accuracy, with groups averaging 2" at 45 yds. And for maximum reliability, primers are waterproofed with a special lacquer sealant.


July 6, 2005, 01:17 PM
the boxoftruth is very neat.
one of the joys of slugs is that they do kick like heck. I try not to shoot them from the bench.

July 6, 2005, 01:17 PM
Ole Sailor,
I found that hunching over a bench puts you in an unnatural position that you are not likely to find yourself in while hunting. When I started testing slugs from either a standing position with the front rested, or a seated position I was much more comfortable. My groups even improved from the stading position.
Keeping your back straight(-er) allows for a little more flexibility when shooting heavy recoiling firearms.

July 6, 2005, 01:19 PM
Once you figure out what slug works best you should only have to make one shot :p

I'll stick with the 3 1/2" Magnum slugs. They work great on Illinois deer.

July 6, 2005, 03:25 PM
All I know about Slugs is that I Like 'em (see post below 870 Slug and Buckshot loads) I'm amazed how accurately a smooth bore can throw a point heavy object that big.

July 6, 2005, 11:08 PM
I love rifled slugs through my smoothbore, lets you know that you're alive when it bucks. Still waiting to shoot off a box of 3" magnums but I've done the 2-3/4" rifled slugs with no issues. Rumor mill has it that Wolf rifled slugs are made in Germany and based off Brennke. They're dirt cheap compared to others and make good practice ammo.

20+ boxes of Wolf rifled 1ozers and Remington sluggers in one sitting and no sore shoulder. Did double and triple taps with no problems. Gotta love gas piston semi-auto shotguns :D It wasn't quite as pleasing through my friend's 870!

July 7, 2005, 01:34 AM
That was a good piece by Lee L. If I were to add anything, I'd suggest trying Federal's new Truball. They can be had in regular or low recoil, and the polymer ball that fills up the base of the slug, and expands it tighter in the bore, works in my gun. Reduced group size by half. :)

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