Tell me about shotgun slugs


January 30, 2012, 09:19 PM
Can they be shot out of any barrel?Chokes stay in? Which ones should be used?When are rifled slugs used?What are sabots used for?I have a New Benelli M2 and want to know what works.I also saw a shell that had two large balls for a payload can I shoot this as well?

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January 30, 2012, 10:05 PM
There are two large subtypes of slugs to start, sabot slugs, for rifled slug barrels, and Foster/Rifles slugs, which are for normal smoothbores.

I'm going to guess your Benelli is a smoothbore. If it is a short barrel CYL choke "tactical" gun it will shoot Foster/Rifled Slugs (same thing) very well. It will not shoot Sabot Slugs. But you could try, I guess.

If it is a field barrel (~28" Vent Rib with chokes), it will also shoot Foster/Rifled Slugs just fine. Some will say that any choke tighter than IMP CYL will kill accuracy and wear/mutilate out the choke. As for that, I don't know for sure, but I don't shoot slugs out of my Full Choke H&R Pump.

If it is a rifled slug barrel, it is pretty much stuck with with Sabot Slugs, often a roughly .50 cal bullet in a plastic sleeve. These outperform the Foster/Rifled Slugs. Any shot loads (Buck or Bird) will be spun by the rifling, forming a hideous circular shot pattern that is mostly useless at anything beyond Home Defense ranges.

I have a Mossberg with an 18.5" BBL and Rifle Sights with a smoothbore barrel that shoots slugs very well. As I said, I stick to shot in my choked H&R.

I don't shoot slugs out of my fixed choke H&R Single Shots, because they have fixed chokes, and I like keeping my shoulder in ts socket.

A two ball load would be pretty pointless, better off with a slug or Buckshot. Kind of the worst of both worlds.

January 30, 2012, 10:11 PM
In order:

Yes. Never fire any shell without a choke tube in place. The threads are very fine and you'll booger them up if you do.

You can fire rifled slugs through any choke up to and including 'full'. Don't fire rifled slugs through any 'extra full' turkey choke or any choke marketed for 'increased range'.

Rifled slugs can be used anytime, but generally are reserved for game animals in the deer class or larger. They are very popular in places where unexpected encounters with bears are a possibility.

Sabots are usually used in shotguns with fully rifled barrels for a slight increase in accuracy. I've had good luck with them in my Benelli using a rifled choke tube.

I've never shot the two ball load. The manufacturer will have a recommendation as to the choke to be used.

b money
January 30, 2012, 10:17 PM
I'm assuming your M2 has a smoothbore screw in choke barrel? If so you can shoot any lead slug out of any size choke although I probably wouldnt shoot a slug out of a screw in full choke. Sabot slugs are designed for rifled barrels so I would avoid shooting those just because of the price, although I have shot sabots in smoothbores without any side effects. As far as chokes go most people say stick with mod chokes for slugs, but all shotguns are different and yours could be more accurate with a different choke.

January 30, 2012, 10:18 PM
Let me tell you about shotgun slugs.... If your shotgun is not very heavy they kick a lot, even more so since you're likely to be aiming them instead of shooting them.

I've never shot sabot slugs, so I don't know how they feel.

I'd recommend the I/C choke tube. My Remington I/C choked, rifle sighted, slug barrel puts the old foster "rifled" slugs into a pie plate at 100 yards (my eyes are bad so I'm happy with that).

I put a scope on a Mossberg 500 - ouch. Watch eye relief and don't go too cheap, my scope lost the reticle in under 50 rounds.

January 30, 2012, 10:27 PM
I agree with the advise Noah has given and doubly so on firing slugs out of a single shot lightweight H&R/N.E.F. shotgun....Truely a PAINFUL ordeal.

January 30, 2012, 11:43 PM
in my experience the foster slugs out of a smoothbore are alot more accurate than people think alot of the "bad accuracy" comes from poor sights on shotguns and flinch

January 31, 2012, 04:39 PM
Shotgun slugs from my smooth bore have been 2-4" at 50yrds. That's my experiance with 3 smoothbores. 1 20ga 2 12ga...due to a few factors. Shooting shotgun slugs makes me flinch, I've always used a bead sights and they cover a lot of the target and aren't exactly precise...just don't use the sabot loads they need spun to work regular slugs fly straight because the weight is up front and there is a hollow cavity in the back.

January 31, 2012, 04:43 PM
Nothing feels like a slug from a 12 g. I would prefer shooting one than a buckshot.In fact the first two shells are brenneke slugs followed by three 00 bks in my Remington HD .

Dave McCracken
January 31, 2012, 05:49 PM
Slugs 101 in the stickies should help you.....

January 31, 2012, 05:58 PM
If you have a particular application for slug-shooting, it might be better that you just ask THAT question.

If you want to know about shotgun slugs generally, see:

What I know about shotgun slugs is that for places that are so flat that you are disallowed the use of an ordinary rifle for hunting, an inexpensive shotgun with slugs is as good as a rifle at 50 yards.

January 31, 2012, 07:31 PM
Thanks for all the info guys!All of it was what I wanted to know since I am new to the shotgun world!Now i just need to get some and shoot some!

January 31, 2012, 07:33 PM
slugs 101 is in shotguns 101:p

Fred Fuller
January 31, 2012, 08:20 PM
Yep - right here -

February 1, 2012, 08:07 AM
Some slugs of a hard lead alloy or non-lead metal should not be fired through tighter chokes. Also, if your barrel is overbore (as is the case with the 835 turkey model), don't fire slugs through it.

If the M2 barrel is at all like the barrel on my Nova tactical, start with Brenneke KOs or classic magnums. So far my Benelli shoots very well with Brenekke slugs.

February 1, 2012, 10:04 AM

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