12 gauge slug test... ideas?


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Vex
March 23, 2006, 12:54 AM
Here in a few weeks when the temperature is going to be a nice 70 degrees, I'm going to be doing a slug test on my shotgun. This is the first time I've tested ammunition for my own general knowledge, and I'm kinda looking for some advice on how to go about it.

Currently I have the following 2-3/4" 12 gauge slugs for testing:

Remington Slugger Rifled Slug, 7/8 ounce High Velocity
Remington Slugger Rifled Slug, 1 ounce
Federal PowerShok Rifled Slug, 1 ounce
Federal Premium VitalShok Truball Rifled Slug, 1 ounce
Brenneke K.O. Rifled Slug, 1 ounce
Winchester Super X Rifled Slug 1 ounce

So here's what I have planned for the testing. Platform is a Franchi Spas-12. Shots will be loaded one at a time and fired one at a time in semi-auto mode to test function of gas cycling per round. Each round will be tested from approximately 50 yards away. Target will be a plain white piece of paper 20" by 40", with a 5 inch diameter, black filled circle centered on the paper. Sight alignment and point of aim will be the same for all rounds. Weapon will be shot off a bench, situated on sandbags to ensure there is no excess movement by the shooter. Before the testing, the shotgun's functionality will be tested and the bore will be "seasoned" with target rounds. When the testing begins, after every round, the barrel will be allowed at minimum 2 minutes to cool and will be swept with a boresnake after each round.

I want this to be as regulated as possible with very few variables allowed. I don't have access to a chronometer at this range, because the range is a state shooting range and they don't allow obstacles to be placed between the shooter and the target. However, testing will determine if the round will cycle the action, if the round will eject properly from the chamber, and will test the accuracy of the projectile.

Results will be posted here shortly after the testing.

Thoughts? Be as critical as possible, I want to get this right the first time.

1) What other slugs should be tested? Are you curiosu about the claims of any, and feel this testing will shed some light on them? SLugs must be 12 gauge, and muct be 2-3/4". The platform is not chambered for 3".

2) Should I not "season" the barrel before hand, and instead clean the bore to a high shine before the change to a new type of round?

3) Am I completely nuts for wanting to do this?

4) Predictions for which round will perform the best out to 50 yards?

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Fred Fuller
March 23, 2006, 07:52 AM
So here's what I have planned for the testing. Platform is a Franchi Spas-12. Shots will be loaded one at a time and fired one at a time in semi-auto mode to test function of gas cycling per round.

OK, show of hands- how many here own and regularly shoot a SPAS-12? Not exactly common shotguns, I'd think. But that's not terribly relevant, it's your test and you should test whatever you want however you want to test it. The results may have somewhat limited utility however, given the relative rarity of the test platform and, more importantly, the decided individuality of all shotguns/shotgun barrels, regardless of make/model/number sold.

Also, you will definitely want to load the magazine if you really want to test semi-auto function. The cycle includes feeding and chambering as well as firing and ejecting, and if you intend to use the gun as a self-actuated repeater it would be good to know that it will actually work that way. I've seen semiautos that would fire and eject certain loads without actually chambering the next round from the magazine- not something you'd want to learn the hard way.


Thoughts? Be as critical as possible, I want to get this right the first time.

1) What other slugs should be tested? Are you curiosu about the claims of any, and feel this testing will shed some light on them? SLugs must be 12 gauge, and muct be 2-3/4". The platform is not chambered for 3".

2) Should I not "season" the barrel before hand, and instead clean the bore to a high shine before the change to a new type of round?

3) Am I completely nuts for wanting to do this?

4) Predictions for which round will perform the best out to 50 yards?

To me it seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through for results of such relatively narrow applicability. It will indeed tell you a few things you need to know about your particular shotgun, which is always useful information to have- critical information, I would say, if you actually plan to actually use the SPAS for anything other than a collector's piece. And 50 yards is not much of a test for accuracy with slugs IMO, if you have access to a 100 yard range, that is likely to provide more practical data. Shotguns shooting slugs are not sub-minute-of-angle deals, the regimen you are considering for testing (cooling, cleaning) is more suited to load development in precision rifles than to shotguns shooting slugs IMO. Shotguns and slugs are more minute-of-paper-plate propositions in my experience, the folks who get really twisted about slug gun accuracy are mostly shooting bolt action shotguns with scopes and not SPASs with iron sights.

I too test different shotguns and barrels for different reasons- it's a necessity, if you really want to know what a given gun/barrel will do with a given load. My usual point in testing is to discover what particular load or loads will work to my own standards most effectively. That usually includes a price component, I like bang for the buck. Right now my _first_ test load for slugs is the Kent/Brenneke KO, if it works well (and so far it has in every gun I've tried it in) there is no need to test further IMO. If you want to survey the field of available slug loads and have fun doing it, that is a perfectly legitimate endeavor and I wish you much success at it. But I don't think you are going to come up with much data that has broad applicability. That just isn't the nature of shotguns- each one is pretty much a law unto itself, and each shooter needs to test their individual gun and barrel(s) to find out what load each prefers. You will no doubt learn a lot by doing your test, and that is a good thing for you. But most of it won't mean a whole lot to anyone else, in practical terms- interesting perhaps, but of limited utility. No reason you shouldn't do it, and have fun at it (if you think benchresting shotguns is fun, that is) 8^).

lpl/nc

redneck2
March 23, 2006, 08:54 AM
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot16.htm

search thru and you'll find slug and shot load testing

50 Shooter
March 23, 2006, 10:49 AM
I use to own a SPAS-12, if you're planning on doing any serious work with it on semi, plan on buying slug or buck. The SPAS doesn't like any light loads in semi, most won't even cycle the action. If you do decide to use birdshot or low recoil rounds be sure to switch to pump.

I agree with Lee, the SPAS might get you about 2-3" groups at 50 yards. Move the target out to 100 if you can, try the different loads that you have and see which one groups the best. Don't worry about all the cooling and cleaning, just shoot it. If you have the folding stock and plan on shooting it from a bench you might want to bring a towel or something to wrap around it. Prolonged shooting with your face on the SPAS's folding stock is not comfortable.

Now for the best part of the SPAS, it's look! It's just plain bad azz and doesn't get any more intimidating then it. I use to like shooting it one handed with the folding stock down and the carrying handle turned sideways so it would hook onto my forearm. No practical use but it sure was fun.:D

What did I do with my SPAS? Sold it for a Benelli Super90 M3, it will out shoot a SPAS any day of the week. It will also shoot 3" groups at 100 yards with slugs.

Vex
March 24, 2006, 12:48 AM
Excellent advice, thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

Most of this testing will just be for me and my own purpose. I have other shotguns that I have sighted in before, but this time I want to go to the next level of testing. If it gives anyone else a starting point, or perhaps informs someone, "Hey, XX slug performs better in XY slug in 4 different shotguns," then so be it. But for the most part, assume this testing is for my own purpose.

The range I'll be shooting at does have a 100 yard range. I'll definitely be checking that out. Perhaps shooting these 6 rounds at 50 yards, then taking the 3 best to the 100 yards?

One other thing, the weapon has the fixed stock on it... but thanks for the advice for using the folding stock... haha!

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