20 gauge slug vs 30/30


June 1, 2009, 05:31 PM
i didnt realize the lil 20 gauge was a thumper,i bought a mess of 3"winchester super x 280 grain 3/4 oz slugs 1800 fps and muzzle energy of 2359 lbs now the 30/30 150 grain powerpoint shows 2390 on velocity and 1902 of energy at the muzzle,the 20 gauge throws twice the weight and still retains 1800 lbs at 25 yards-1208 lbs of energy at 50 yards,i know its a lot shorter ranged then the rifle round.i was told a 20 gauge slug is like a .444 marlin up close.impressive for the lowly shotgun round.im gonna make my pardner into a tracker and cut the barrell and add some better sights.

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June 1, 2009, 06:41 PM
Accuracy and penetration are other considerations when comaring these two. At 25 yards, I would say that the 30-30 would be more accurate. But other than that, at the distances you are talking about, the 20gauge slug is definately a force.

Hungry Seagull
June 1, 2009, 11:08 PM
A shotgun is a one hell of a horseshoe that weights as much as a mid size car under 50 yards coming at ya.

Impressive eh?

What is really impressive are some of the rifles coming at you from 400 yards (Or greater) carrying the same energy to deliver into the target.

Shotgunners like me think small, carry big clubs. But riflemen probably has to really think large and throw a dart very fast.


Remember accuracy becomes less of a priority at close range. Now if you are in a public place carrying concealed with a coffee shop beyond the bad guy advancing on you... you are going to have to do something to move the sitaution around into your favor.

June 1, 2009, 11:19 PM
At 25 yards, I would say that the 30-30 would be more accurate.

Yep. Of the two, I'd take the 30-30 for 25+ yards, and the 20ga with any heavy load, including slug, for the more-or-less 25 foot distances.


June 2, 2009, 10:16 AM
I shoot a 20 ga NEFtracker 1 smooth bore with a slug barrel.It will shoot cloverleaf groups at 50 yds and is plenty accurate enough to take deer out to 100.

June 2, 2009, 10:18 AM
a 30-30 is the way to go!!!!

June 2, 2009, 10:26 AM
flnt4ever,i love the way those tracker 1"s look my pardner shoots pizzaplate size groups at 40-50 yards with a 27-28 inch barrell,anyone know what it would cost to lop the barrell to 20" or 22" and install some rifle sights ,just wondering a tracker 2 rifled barrell shotgun is 240.00 to 250.00 these parts.id l9ike a little shorter barrell and a better sight then the bead.

Hungry Seagull
June 2, 2009, 10:43 AM
Chopping a barrel length. That will turn that pizza sized pattern into a ... man high gong pattern.

Adding sights to a shorter barrel. You might just get back down to pizza sized groups again.

Or perhaps actually have time to use both of those sights to drop a home intruder in low light while rubbing sleep out of your eyes at 4 am.

What are we trying to do here?

Long barrel. Good accuracy. Short barrel... combat accuracy up close where it matters.

June 2, 2009, 10:52 AM
cutting back the barrel has been done by quite a few people with good results. Foster type slugs shoot best thru cylinder and improved cylinder barrels. Go to the Gray beard outdoors website and scroll down to the NEF forums for all the information about NEF firearms you will ever need.

June 2, 2009, 11:18 AM
I have a little Spartan coach gun that's pretty accurate at 50 yards with foster slugs. I haven't tried those slammers you speak of, though, just Remington 2 3/4" "sluggers". It's enough for anything I'll come across to that range and slugs make the gun a pretty decent combo gun in heavy brush, one barrel with a slug, one with a shot load for small game. It's light weight, comes apart and stores in my back pack. Pretty handy. An NEF set up as a trail gun would be handy, too, and a cheap versatile gun to have around camp. The little coach gun is very handy and I like the screw in chokes, more versatile. I shoot the cylinder choke when I wanna shoot slugs, but choke it down for hunting birds and small game. You could probably have Briley tap it for chokes, but it'd probably cost as much as the gun to get done. I don't know what they charge for that now days.

Pizza plate groups? Off a bench, the little Spartan will put 'em into about 3-4" and that's without sights, just rib and bead. Take the choke off that NEF and it should be a lot better than pizza plate.

June 2, 2009, 01:17 PM
i dont get to hunt much anymore"disabled" my friends put me in a stand for deer or hog,usually hunt with a mosin nagant,its broke,havnt figured it out yet ,denting shells bad enough to uncrimp"bend the bullet to the side and wont eject and quit firing,broke my firepin,i guess. thinking about using my 20 gauge,if i get asked to go this year,looked at new-used rifles and shotguns,to much money for my blood right now,me and wife had/wanted to buy daughter a rig for her16th birthday.ouch..can i have my shotgun cut and rifle sights for 75.00 or less.

John Peddie
June 2, 2009, 01:37 PM
Think of it as a .62 calibre weapon throwing a 330 grain chunk of lead.

Knocks 'em flat at short ranges.

June 2, 2009, 02:08 PM
Or, just compare it to a 50 cal black powder rifle tossing a heavy Minie ball. :D Well, it's closer to a .58 I guess.

June 2, 2009, 02:24 PM
im pretty sure this lil 20"ll get the job done,larry even has black bear going through his back creek regurely,wonder if a good slug would slap a black bear down if hit in the boiler room,im gonna do a lil research..i love bear meat and venison.

June 2, 2009, 07:26 PM
Just thinkin', but you can get a 20 gauge H&R fitted at the factory for a rifle barrel, might be pretty cheap, too. I can get a 12 gauge rifled slug barrel for my 10 gauge for 85 bucks. Gotta send the receiver in to have it fitted. Just a thought.

Hungry Seagull
June 2, 2009, 07:39 PM
Broken... I would probably reach for the Brenneke Black Magic, Remington Triple Aught or the Winchester's Super X Magnum for Bears.

And that is with 12 gauge. Almost like a .74 caliber round yea big or a bunch of handgun bullets in a shell as it were.

But Bears? Whew. Need a little confidence in the ammuntion if I get caught in range of one. If ever that day comes, you would know it as I stay off line and puke in forest for a week with the shakes. It aint the shoot, it's the post shoot chemical dump into the blood that messes me up.

Dave McCracken
June 2, 2009, 11:30 PM
The Rottweil Brenekke in 20 gauge works very well. I've used it on some MD whitetails with good results and short blood trails.

June 4, 2009, 01:09 PM
Hungry Seagull.... Barrel length in smooth shotguns with rifled slugs has LITTLE to do with their accuracy....

Do you know how a rifled slug works? Tell me why it needs more time in the barrel?

My 19" 12ga shoot rifled slugs into 6" patterns at 75 yards. CYLINDER BORE too. I just picked up a 20ga. I'll tell you how its 18.1" barrel does.

Also, my 19" 12ga w/5" rifled choke will shoot Sabot slugs into clover-leafs at 25yards.... (Haven't shot them at the 75 yet so I'm not going to assume)

You don't need a 28" barrel to shoot a rifled slug. . . . AND velocity doesn't decrease as drastically with a shorter shotgun barrel as it does with Rifle barrels.... while a rifle may lose 50fps per inch of barrel, the shotgun loses 150fps between 30" and 18" when shooting slugs.... Check Out Jeff Zimba from Small Arms Review, he tested 12ga from 7" to 30" barrels. With 2 3/4" Remington Sluggers, 22"-30" barrels were getting 1575ish FPS. The 18" barrel got 1425ish FPS....

Extra length in a shotgun does TWO things. Longer Sight radius, and extra weight. A properly choked 18" barrel will do the same as a properly choked 30" barrel.

Hungry Seagull
June 4, 2009, 02:21 PM
Here is a 20 gauge smooth bore mossberg shoot against a paper coyote at 7 yards with a 22" barrel and a I/C choke over iron sights with Brenneke SFM rounds.


Usually one round vanishes out of the 5 I shoot in the box. A mystery to me.

I avoid longer barrels because of the weight. Eventually I might get a few rifled barrels but it will be a while.

June 4, 2009, 02:39 PM
i also read where remington tested their rifle slugs for spin out of smoothebores and their findings were "no.they dont spin,anyway the next time this big coyote runs buddy my aust. shep. pup on the porch ,im gonna blast em with a super x slug or a heavy 20 gauge goose-pheasant load i have a few of.he just stands 20 yards away and stares me down"big in too.

Hungry Seagull
June 7, 2009, 10:58 PM
For bears I would probably reach for very heavy slug with extreme velocity. I know not what I can handle much beyond 1800 feet per second. But I dont know of any animal that can take that hit and still function.

June 8, 2009, 10:20 AM
does anybody ever see any buckshot at walmart,all my regular haunts only have slugs.id rather not order over the internet.but i might have too.im gonna try the new outdoor america thats opened too,its 60-70 miles away though..

June 8, 2009, 11:14 AM
broken, I really like those slugs too. Thats what I hunt with using a 20ga 870 with a rifled slug barrel. I've got good accuracy with those slugs, sighted in at one hundred yards but I hear they are good for small groups at 150yds. At fifteen dollars a box I've never shot it for groups just a zero.:D

June 8, 2009, 11:21 AM
i used to have a slew of old 20 gauge slugs,then went to 12 gauge now back to 20,i sold 12 boxes of asstd slugs for 2.00 a box of 5 a few years back,i only gave 3.00 each,now 1.00 to 2.00 per each slug"ouch.rediculous.i want some smoothbore brennekes too to try.

June 8, 2009, 01:08 PM
well the ozark armoury only has 20 gauge winchester super x 3" for 5.79 a box on slugs"nuthin else..,i dont remember any slugs either at w/mart ,ill check again,king ghidora, makes me chuckle because my 3 yr old son is carrying my godzilla vhs"s around,everyday, looking at the front covers and yelling "t rex daddy,got a few ghidora ones,kong vs godzilla,mechagodzilla,godzilla on monster island,ill never outgrow em.nor my son..takreazy.oh yeah shotgun shells seem to be higher in nw arkansas.?shotshells are 10.00 a box unless you can find a valuepack at walmart.

Hungry Seagull
June 8, 2009, 05:25 PM
Are we talking about shows where Ultraman has to be called out after the staff's hand weapons fail to stop the opponet on the old 60-70's shows?

(Yeesh, ancient aint I? Some of you young folks need to google that a bit)

Always something going on trashing a major city in Japan or some place with thousands fleeing, but nary a care as long as bad monster is brought down.

June 8, 2009, 11:12 PM
man you guys are killin me"laughing". i remember ultraman, and i coulnt wait to get out of school in the 70"s and watch the giant golden robot with hair and his whole robot family lived in a volcano,they fought monsters,i forgot their name,i found them on youtube,what a riot.

April 27, 2010, 10:36 AM
"Check Out Jeff Zimba from Small Arms Review, he tested 12ga from 7" to 30" barrels. With 2 3/4" Remington Sluggers, 22"-30" barrels were getting 1575ish FPS. The 18" barrel got 1425ish FPS....

Extra length in a shotgun does TWO things. Longer Sight radius, and extra weight. A properly choked 18" barrel will do the same as a properly choked 30" barrel. "

I tried in vain to find this article online. I don't doubt the results, however the 3" rnd adds a little extra that produces quite the fireball from a 18.5" brl.

I think a closer example, to the 20ga, would be the 44 magnum in a lever.

Resting between the 1/2oz hi-vel slugger & the 5/8oz regular slugger the 240gn pistola cartridge 44 shares a blunt profile even if the 20ga is right at 1.5X diameter.

Interesting is Chuck Hawks' take on the lowly 20.


"Conventional Foster type rifled slugs generally weigh 1 ounce in 12 gauge, 4/5 ounce in 16 gauge, 5/8 ounce in 20 gauge, and 1/5 ounce (or 87 grains) in .410 gauge.

The 12 gauge slug has an advertised muzzle velocity (MV) of 1560 fps from a 2 3/4" high-brass shell, 1680 fps from a 2 3/4" Magnum shell, or 1760 fps from a 3" Magnum shell. These are Remington figures from their 2004 catalog. The MV's of the other gauges are similar.

The catalog energy figures for the common high-brass ("maximum") 12 gauge slug load are an impressive 2361 ft. lbs. at the muzzle, but only 926 ft. lbs. at 100 yards. This is due to the very poor BC of the slug.

Sighted to hit dead on at 50 yards, that slug is 4.8" low at 100 yards. The more powerful 12 gauge slugs are only marginally better, and kick noticeably harder. No matter what, rifled slugs remain a short range proposition.

Stick with 12 gauge Foster type slugs for deer hunting as the smaller gauges pack much less punch. The 20 gauge slug develops only 648 ft. lbs. of energy at 100 yards, which given its low SD is not encouraging.

I have done some testing with .410 rifled slugs and they are definitely not adequate deer loads. The less said about these small bore rifled slugs the better."

"The less said about these small bore rifled slugs the better."

A 61 caliber, 273gn chunk of lead chugging along over 1000'ps shouldn't have a problem penetrating a thin skinned critter.

"...only 648 ft. lbs..."

Sounds like your run of the mill 4" brl ME of a hot .357 magnum knocking on the door of a warm 10mm load.

This doesn't jive w/me & I can't call the logic kosher.

A lot of deer harvested aren't any or much larger than a brush goat. How much overkill is required?

I don't think the biggest, 'baddest' deer in the lower 48 could withstand a direct hit from the 20ga foster slug at 100 yards.

The gist of the problem appears to lay in hitting the sweet spot from that distance w/smooth bore.

Granted, this wouldn't be my rnd of choice for bear defense unless I was totin' a semi-auto w/15 rnd banana mag.

The soft lead wouldn't penetrate to vitals, yet I think I could turn 'em & take the wind outa their sail.

I wonder if any 20 gauge sabot loads are closer to the maximum 12,000 psi, SAAMI specification.

I take note that the Hi-Vel, 1/2oz, 20 gauge Slugger is rated a 1050 bar.

They say the 3" 20 killed the 16, so did the rifled slug brl, coupled w/sabot rnd, kill any notion of a 3.5" 20 gauge?

April 27, 2010, 10:45 AM
Don't get carried away. The sectional density of a 20 gauge is pathetic. Oh, I think it'll kill most any hog within 50 yards that I'll wanna kill, but it ain't close to a .45/70 unless you're talking black powder loads at 50 yards and even then, the .45/70 has far superior sectional density for much better penetration. I'd rather use my 12" .30-30 contender on a 100 yard hog than the 20 gauge OR the 12, personally. People think a shotgun slug is analogous to a big rifle, but it's a bit, short lump of lead poking along. The energy figures for the thing are deceptive. Medium sized game, sure, it'll work. But, I'd rather be hunting brown bear (some people think the 12 gauge slug is optimum) with a .338 Win Mag myself. I hit him with a couple of slugs and piss him off, he might just stuff that shotgun where the sun don't shine. :rolleyes:

All moot as I'll probably never see Alaska let alone ever hunt there. That's rich man's stuff.

April 27, 2010, 11:43 AM
I don't propose the shotgun launching a slug is close to a rifle, hence my comparison to a pistol cartridge out of a carbine as opposed
to a 30 caliber that was hot stuff towards the end of the 19th century.

A wooden spear w/flint tip lashed to the end penetrated & provided venison before the bow and I'm quite sure that nowhere
near 600+ foot-pounds of energy was required for either.

Obviously I'm a cheerleader for the 20 gauge.

The whole notion of a slug, especially a sabot & rifled brl, muddies the spirit of the scattergun somewhat.

The everything gun to every man that's affordable is compromised in some of its single projectile capabilities.

Plowing through leaf, brush, grass and branch in the scatters ain't one of them though.

Of course there are large caliber rifles that have the same brush gun qualities, yet they don't convert well to shooting multiple pellets.

The shotgun is a versatile tool that w/slug fills a niche quite well reinforcing its multipurpose platform.

It can no more compete, in the same class, w/large caliber rifles than they can attempt the same based on the scattergun's strength.

However, the smooth bore scores more points masquerading as a rifle than vice-versa...

April 27, 2010, 01:58 PM
I concur with nicksterdemus: A good slug gun should be smooth-bore. Then in a pinch, shotshells can be used.

April 27, 2010, 03:51 PM
Massad Ayoob wrote a wonderful article in Backwoods Home Magazine about the 20 gauge shotgun. It is better than just about any handgun. I would sleep fine at night if this was I owned to defend myself with 00 buck or slugs depending on your living conditions. The MOST important thing is your ability to be able to use it. You need to take several good shotgun classes and practice with it. Yes, each class will run the cost of a new firearm but it is the best money you can spend. If you have good skill at arms understressful situations you will be effective. It's the mettle and trainng of the man that matters; not the instrument. All this my opinion.

April 27, 2010, 05:49 PM
Neat thing about slugs, when I dove hunt, I carry a few on me. If I hear hogs or see one approaching, a quick ammo swap gives me the tool. Mine's a SxS double, so changing ammo is quick and relatively silent. It make for a great outback gun with slugs. They have a lot of uses even if I don't use one for hunting. I only keep foster slugs around, work great in a smooth bore.

April 27, 2010, 05:55 PM
Medium sized game, sure, it'll work. But, I'd rather be hunting brown bear (some people think the 12 gauge slug is optimum) with a .338 Win Mag myself. I hit him with a couple of slugs and piss him off, he might just stuff that shotgun where the sun don't shine.

I don't know. I wouldn't feel undergunned with a mag full of these


I have a box of the 570 grainers sitting on my workbench. I need to start working up a load for them. I can't wait to try the heavier versions.

April 28, 2010, 11:13 AM
That's the nice thing about doubles, besides having two quick shots, they're easy to load/unload.

However, I have a cheap, brand spankin' new, semi-20 that's itchin' for a niche.

Dang Jason, I'm not sure I could handle the receiving end on that 3" 20ga.

I'm thinking the Turkish Terror might need a lighter diet to cycle.

I'm afraid the time is upon us where the 18.5-21" rifled shotgun brl will be touted as the dual purpose/combo platter.

Rifling for shots in the 90-120 yd range and short brl for home defense w/doughnut pattern actually becoming a selling point.

Then the ammo manufacturers will come out w/buck n ball placing the larger shot in the center to run true to course w/smaller on the outside as the catch-all spread.

This is a point where the larger diameter bore would be more beneficial.

Maybe even a reduced recoil 10 leading up to a race for the double 8 in the HD feeding frenzy.

So deadly; you'll only need two rounds, but comes w/ejectors, just in case...

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