12 gauge slug penetration? What?!


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Inebriated
November 11, 2012, 12:37 AM
Well if you're like me, and never had a reason to shoot something with a slug, you probably assume they over-penetrate quite a bit. Right? In every thread where slugs come up, SOMEONE mentions penetration. But in TWO tnoutdoors9 videos, that seems to be... questionable?

The first video is of a Winchester 2-3/4" 1oz slug (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HuVkXLreWE). It makes a MEAN permanent cavity, but it broke up into 3 pieces. One piece made it 12", and the other two made it 10".

The second video is of a Remington 3" 1oz slug (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oDG2i6rwjU&feature=relmfu). This one split into three pieces as well, one going 9", another going 9.5", and the last going 12.5".

Now reference the Remington 2-3/4" 00 Buck (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbFLY9OIqPA&feature=relmfu) video, he got pellets going 14", 15", and 15.5" deep. And just for reference, his 9mm Gold Dot 124gr +P (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdXfDcY-0gU) test sent a 124 grain projectile 13.25" and a test with a .45 ACP 230 grain HST (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWW2Y-IZpyE) put up 13.75" of penetration. Now, obviously this isn't actual game, and there is no bone or skin to affect the performance, but compared to all his other testing videos, 12.5" is actually quite shallow. So what do you guys think? Are these results consistent with those of real-world hunting applications? I'd really like to hear some opinions, especially those from some people who've used these type of slugs for hunting applications, and can comment on the accuracy of these two tests.

Note, I am only asking in regards to the cheaper foster slugs that are shown in the first two videos. Obviously sabot slugs and brenneke-style/hard cast slugs will perform differently.

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leadcounsel
November 11, 2012, 02:56 AM
Seriously... assuming this is a self defense question, and not a hunting/game question, a slug is simply going to destroy any human it meets. It's an oz of fast moving lead a half inch in diameter. It's going to be the equivalent of a death ray. The massive energy transfer, wound cavity and bone breaking power is simply going to turn a person into a pile of dead-ness. It would stretch my imagination to believe that any person - drugged or otherwise - is going to be in the fight after a solid hit from a 12 gauge slug...

If you do your part, and hit center mass or headshot, the game is over for the other guy. Cheap slugs, expensive slugs, whatever.

Google pictures of folks hit by the respectable 12 ga. It ain't pretty.

Inebriated
November 11, 2012, 03:54 AM
The question isn't self-defense related, though I wouldn't mind hearing opinions on it if anyone wants to chime in.

But my biggest question is how effective it will be on deer? Both of those slugs broke up rather early, so how can I expect it to perform when it hits bone? I've just always used a rifle for deer, so I wanted to know how slugs would act from folks who've used them, because I'm itching to use the 870 next week.

leadcounsel
November 11, 2012, 03:59 AM
1 - this should be moved to hunting forum

2 - many places, like parts of Michigan, prohibit rifles for deer hunting and only allow shotguns. A 12 ga. will easily take a deer. My brother (and millions of people in Michigan) hunt with the 12 ga. slug and take deer reliably. Just get a rifled barrel and/or used rifled slugs. A scope also helps.

Ohio Gun Guy
November 11, 2012, 04:09 AM
Here in Ohio, we are required to hunt with shotgun. In my experience, slugs are excellent deer bullets (Would like to use rifle, too). I'm sure you can find a place on a deer where a slug will not kill it, but if you get close to where you are supposed to hit, I've personally never seen one go even 10 yards. Gut shots are the ones that will have you feeling sorry for taking the shot. But that is true of any caliber, IMO. And you will still most likely find the animal 50+/- yards from where it was hit, likely in the deepest briar patch to be found. And from memory there is not typically an exit wound or a large one, from a "Good" shot which hits the ribs, heart area. In cleaning the deer, the slug / pieces are usually found. Growing up, my Dad took a deer with a head shot, 16ga slug, and the deer never knew what hit it.

336A
November 11, 2012, 05:47 AM
Foster slugs are pretty much made from pure lead which is very soft, which is why they act as they do in ballistic test media. Nominally they will go all the way through a deer without fragmenting but not always. Fedeal tried to tackle this issue with their Deep Penetrating Tru ball slug, they slowed it down added more antimony then copper plated it. Even though they did this it still is no Brenneke slug which I prefer. Up until this year this year I used sabot slugs from my rifled barrel, this is the first year that I've used foster slugs.

I wish that an American company would make a slug similar to the Brenneke type slugs. A friend of mine had great success with Brenneke K.O. slugs on deer. When hit the deer dropped with finiallity and a ever present exit wound, for some reason Brennekr slugs aren't very popular at my current locale as no one carries them.

Jason_W
November 11, 2012, 06:52 AM
Interesting. I love a good terminal performance test.

I have also fired 12 ga foster slugs into gelatin blocks ans while my results for cavitation and penetration were similar to that in the video, my recovered slug was a flattened lead disk. No fragmentation.

The 20 gauge fosters I tested, however, shattered on impact and left a very nasty looking cavity in the gel.

rbernie
November 11, 2012, 07:24 AM
It all depends on slug design - Foster style slugs tend to flatten or shatter while Brenneke classic style slugs penetrate.

redneck2
November 11, 2012, 07:36 AM
Having killed maybe 40 or so deer with slugs, I can tell you that they kill on both ends. Up until last year, I was using an 870 with a rifled barrel. Obviously used sabot slugs. Killed a coyote at a witnessed 140 yards (if your concern is accuracy)

As for penetration, I'd guess the majority of hits are pass thru if it's a moderate sized deer hit from the side. True for fosters or sabots. As for damage, I shot a medium sized buck at about 30 yards almost straight on. Slug hit the right front of the chest, took out about 1/3rd of the right lung, the top off the heart, destroyed the left lung, and exited just ahead of the left rear ham. Deer still ran maybe 80 yards.

I find that any round that flattens out or expands uses a lot of energy for bullet deformation. Also, the energy is expended over a larger area of tissue. You can't have a round that gives a 4" wound channel and has 4' of penetration. Gotta pick one.

FWIW....I saw a test (maybe Box 'O Truth or Sixgunner.com) that showed penetration of non-expanding solid lead slugs from a 45 Long Colt. Something like 48" in wet newspaper.

Jason_W
November 11, 2012, 07:40 AM
Foster style slugs tend to flatten or shatter while Brenneke classic style slugs penetrate.

A lot.

I fired one into a stack of hardwood boards once and the recovered slug, while obviously chewed up, was mostly intact.

rodinal220
November 11, 2012, 08:58 AM
Shooting jello and shooting flesh are two different things.Many ballistic stopping formulas have been created over the decades and most have been way off base. I'm not saying ballistic gel cannot be useful in bullet design,because it has,but it is often used as the gospel and tell all for all things bullet.
I have seen rounds take out 2-4 legged targets that did not meet the latest and greatest FBI protocols.
Too many fall into the magic bullet mentality or the "well this agency/dept uses it",doesn't necessarily mean anything.
My ancient 45-70 with a solid lead non-expanding bullet at a paltry 1200fps will stop and kill anything in North America with proper shot placement.My cap and ball revolvers with a lead round ball kill far outside their paper and jello ballistics. Bird shot at close range/HD scenarios is jolly deadly.:what:

Fred Fuller
November 11, 2012, 09:56 AM
Sounds pretty much like the way soft lead Foster type slugs work to me... if you need serious slug penetration, look to Brenneke or Dixie.

Bushpilot
November 11, 2012, 11:08 AM
how effective it will be on deer?

12 or 20 gauge slugs have far more power than is necessary to take deer. Like Ohio Gun Guy said, there is no question whatsoever about the deer going down with anything that comes close to good shot placement. However, I have personally shot more game with sabot slugs than with fosters. My impression is that sabot slugs penetrate a little deeper and hold together better, not that the extra penetration is needed on deer. I just shoot more sabots because I've found them to be more accurate and shoot a little flatter. However, the foster slugs that I have shot, or have seen the results of, may have been even more devastating than the sabots. I've seen one ounce foster slugs flatten out to the size of a half dollar and do incredible damage.

As far as foster slugs penetrating other materials is concerned, I once shot a foster slug squarely at the center trunk of a very large oak tree (if I remember correctly) from close range (much too close). I was surprised to find that it did not penetrate! It also did not ricochet off in the normal sense, It must have "bounced" back??? It "just" blew a 3 inch circle of bark off, left a lead colored smudge and raised a few "fibrous hairs" on the hardwood underneath. The slug must have flattened out and "bounced" back like pistol bullets sometimes do when fired at steel plates. My concerned for where it went in relation to me has prevented me from ever repeating this to see if it was a "fluke." Maybe it shouldn't come as that big of a surprise since I have read accounts of cannon balls bouncing off oaken ship hulls... Whatever the case, I wouldn’t recommend trying it…

leadcounsel
November 11, 2012, 12:34 PM
http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=109958&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45

Good thread about the matter.

MCgunner
November 11, 2012, 12:37 PM
For hunting, slugs have a REALLY crappy sectional density, important in decent penetration. They'll take deer just fine, but for a hiking gun in Alaska, say, against BIG ornery critters, I think I'd prefer a rifle, maybe a .338, maybe a .325 WSM in a fast, handy Browning BLR....maybe. :D So many people think a 12 is the answer for everything, maybe even elephant or something. Not so for big critters IMHO. The SD of a slug is pathetic and the energy levels of a 12 gauge slug only approach 3K ft lbs in the best loads. Against a 1200 lb man eater, I want a lot more'n THAT!

plumberroy
November 11, 2012, 01:09 PM
In reasonable range a foster slug has plenty of energy to take deer type game and most black bears and most hogs . I don't think there is a black bear or hog that will stand a properly placed 12 brenneke short field magum. for stuff that needs more killin' than that dixie slugs are impressive. Or you can roll your own . I do not trust sabots. I have played with pushing pistol bullets at rifle speeds and it isn't hard to blow them up , plus I have personally seen a sabot fail out of a muzzle loader.
I also do not go by ft.lbs. for killing power . If you go by that the 2 center fire rifles I have fired the most are about equal 22-250 and a 45-70 there are things that the 45-70 will kill stone cold dead that the 22-250 will just make mad:cuss: frontal area and bullet construction mean more than ft.lbs. I.M.H.O
Roy

Youngster
November 11, 2012, 02:50 PM
At close range, its easy to drive a Foster slug fast enough that structural integrity goes out the window in a soft target, particularily with Magnum loadings.

I've seen Fosters not only flatten out and underpenetrate many a time, but sometimes they'll even penetrate a very short distance then deflect out of a target sideways like a lead frisbee!

Over a greater distance however, the slug's terrible ballistic coefficient will slow them enough that'll start acting more as you'd expect.

Give me a Brenneke or Gualandi slug for penetration and consistancy any day, though the Fosters seem to have a lot more "slap" and a great as long as the projectile holds up.

MCgunner
November 11, 2012, 04:13 PM
frontal area and bullet construction mean more than ft.lbs. I.M.H.O

Do some research on SECTIONAL DENSITY. Penetration is important on big stuff, what the OP is about. Deer, however, are relatively easy to kill.

Jason_W
November 11, 2012, 05:33 PM
With a Brenneke Classic Magnum (1-1/8 ounce) I got 4-1/4 inches of penetration in hardwood boards. That's nothing to scoff at.

Rail Driver
November 11, 2012, 05:58 PM
Seriously... assuming this is a self defense question, and not a hunting/game question, a slug is simply going to destroy any human it meets. It's an oz of fast moving lead a half inch in diameter. It's going to be the equivalent of a death ray. The massive energy transfer, wound cavity and bone breaking power is simply going to turn a person into a pile of dead-ness. It would stretch my imagination to believe that any person - drugged or otherwise - is going to be in the fight after a solid hit from a 12 gauge slug...

If you do your part, and hit center mass or headshot, the game is over for the other guy. Cheap slugs, expensive slugs, whatever.

Google pictures of folks hit by the respectable 12 ga. It ain't pretty.
You're wrong.

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/11/farmington_hills_hunter_surviv.html

Granted it was 400 yards away give or take, but the point is, there is an exception to everything.

plumberroy
November 11, 2012, 07:36 PM
Do some research on SECTIONAL DENSITY. Penetration is important on big stuff, what the OP is about. Deer, however, are relatively easy to kill.

I should have included SECTIONAL DENSITY along with the bullet construction and frontal area the point is ft.lbs of energy can be misleading. A long heavy well constucted 45 cal bullet moving at 1500 f.p.s. will kill anything in north America Where some fast meidium size bullets showing much more ft.lbs. of energy will piss off a big bear
Roy

Sky
November 11, 2012, 08:01 PM
There are some vids on youtube where an old Russian is shooting an older double barrel shotgun at Russian bears. He only needed one shot (assume Russian slug?) and they were DRT. As others have stated a 12g hurts and will stop most things out to 100 yards or so.

Al Thompson
November 11, 2012, 08:02 PM
I "heart" tnoutdoors9, but. He was too close to the media. If he had backed up to 25 or better yet, 50 yards, his milk jugs would have been threatened.

:)

MCgunner
November 12, 2012, 01:43 PM
I should have included SECTIONAL DENSITY along with the bullet construction and frontal area the point is ft.lbs of energy can be misleading. A long heavy well constucted 45 cal bullet moving at 1500 f.p.s. will kill anything in north America Where some fast meidium size bullets showing much more ft.lbs. of energy will piss off a big bear
Roy

Well, without going TOO far off topic (I hope), true enough, but controlled expansion bullets allow for energy to work and will give plenty of penetration, say a 160 grain Nosler Partition at 3100 fps from a 7mm Remington Magnum. That'll take the biggest game in the lower 48 and then some and it does give one a considerably flatter trajectory if you're into 400 yard shots or more. No .45 can match it at any range even if it's packing 400 grains of bullet. And, if that ain't enough for ya, there's always the .375 H&H Magnum.

But, back to slugs, the foster slug is so short and fat and soft as to be a TERRIBLE penetrator vs. rifle bullets. Brennekes are harder, a little longer, still have a poor sectional density. The hour glass shaped sabots from a rifled barrel are probably a bit better, but on a big bear, give me a magnum rifle of .338 caliber persuasion any day over a shotgun.

If we're talking deer/hogs or self defense, yeah, the slug will do the job no question. I just see these Alaska bear threads where everyone thinks a slug will take a charging Tyrannosaurus and blow him in half in the process and I shake my head. I know a lot of folks carry a 12 up there in the frozen north for protection. Beats the handguns folks also carry, I guess, except that the handgun is usually more accessible when you really need it, a trade off there i guess. If I lived up there (and I don't and won't, too cold, nights are too long in winter, and they're no better off than us for Mosquitos) I'd buy me a rifle. Heck, a Marlin Guide Gun would be nice in .450 or .45/70 or maybe even a Rossi stainless (for the bad weather) in .454 Casull. That one's gotta ROMP out of a rifle length barrel.

But, this ain't a bear thread, sorry. Again, deer or human or hog at short range, shotgun is fine, though all I shoot with mine is birds. :D I have rifles and handguns for the other stuff and I load with buckshot for home protection against humans.

Deltaboy
November 12, 2012, 01:51 PM
All the deer I have shot with Remmy 12 gauge slugs have never taken thier next step. I have recoved one whole and the rest left orange size exit holes in the deer.

Jason_W
November 12, 2012, 02:25 PM
I'd venture that there is more to a wound than depth of penetration. I have no way to test my theory, but I'd be willing to bet that it all boils down to the volume of vital tissue destroyed.

336A
November 12, 2012, 04:28 PM
But, back to slugs, the foster slug is so short and fat and soft as to be a TERRIBLE penetrator vs. rifle bullets. Brennekes are harder, a little longer, still have a poor sectional density.

There is a point where mass becomes important in the penetration equation as well. I tried to find some ballistic testing info on the 160gr 7mm bullet you referenced but came up short on that. However I did find a 150gr Nosler Accubond test fired from a .300 WSM. Granted a 150gr .30 cal bullet dosen't have the SD of a 7mm 160gr pill, but it is much higher than a slug or even a Brenneke.

Here is the link to the .300 WSM data http://www.brassfetcher.com/300%20Winchester%20Short%20Magnum/300%20WSM%20Nosler%20AccuBond%20150gr%20bare%20gelatin.pdf

For comparison here is a link with Brenneke info. Scroll down to the bottom of pg 10 and you can read how much it penetrated, so much for SD:rolleyes:
http://www.brennekeusa.com/cms/fileadmin/BrennekeUSA/Law_enforcement/user_upload/Dokumente/Classic_Magnum_LE.pdf


Then there is this monster:what:
http://www.brennekeusa.com/cms/fileadmin/BrennekeUSA/Law_enforcement/user_upload/Dokumente/Brenneke_Maximum_Barrier_Penetration_Slug_Information.pdf

Then there are these for those really special moments when you care to give the best:D http://www.dixieslugs.com/products.html

While SD is important it's far from being the end all be all where penetration is concerned.

leadcounsel
November 12, 2012, 04:38 PM
Granted it was 400 yards away give or take, but the point is, there is an exception to everything.

What does a 400 yard shot have to do with anything? First, it's beyond the maximum effective range. Secondly, nobody would hunt at 400 yards with a 12 ga, and lastly 400 yards is not self-defense range for civilians, either.

So it's completely irrelevant. That's like saying hand grenades are ineffective because people outside the blast radius survived...

Yes, anectdotally, people CAN survive from certain death (shark attacks, falls from tall buildings, electric shock, drowning, lost at sea, lost in the wilderness, plane crashes). But the 12 ga. is a very reliable man stopper and deer stopper if YOU do your part.

MCgunner
November 12, 2012, 05:08 PM
Simple synopsis of my opinion, the slug under-performs in jello tests due to lack of sectional density vs the handgun.

plumberroy
November 12, 2012, 07:44 PM
Actually, for around here my serious slugs are are .625 hard cast round balls at 1275 fps . I fire them out of H&R rifled 20 ga . I have reach yonder guns and practice with them . But since I'm not going hungry if I come home empty handed , my prefered hunting style is up close and personal :D
And if I really need the meat I know for a fact that a deer isn't safe from my 45/70 inside 250 yards I have shot it at 300 yard targets, I have Ideas for a big bear stopper but that is another thread

Sheepdog1968
November 12, 2012, 08:00 PM
I wouldn't want to be shot with any 12 gauge slugs, soft or not soft lead.

MCgunner
November 12, 2012, 08:22 PM
Actually, for around here my serious slugs are are .625 hard cast round balls at 1275 fps .

Similar to Dixie tri ball or whatever it's called, two RBs 12 gauge bore was what I was looking at? Supposed to be designed for hog hunters and I was hunting a buckshot only WMA. EMed TP&W to ask if this stuff was considered buckshot, the answer was no. Oh well, sounded like some good stuff for the purpose, anyway. :D Slug would be better I'd think, but I don't know. They show a pattern sorta rifle like for the tri ball, but three hits at 50 yards about 2" apart IIRC. Impressive if true. :D

http://www.dixieslugs.com/products.html

plumberroy
November 12, 2012, 08:37 PM
Similar to Dixie tri ball or whatever it's called, two RBs 12 gauge bore was what I was looking at? Supposed to be designed for hog hunters and I was hunting a buckshot only WMA. EMed TP&W to ask if this stuff was considered buckshot, the answer was no. Oh well, sounded like some good stuff for the purpose, anyway. Slug would be better I'd think, but I don't know. They show a pattern sorta rifle like for the tri ball, but three hits at 50 yards about 2" apart IIRC. Impressive if true.

Not really,it is a single ball
ballistic pruducts 3" multi hull
Bluedot , plastic gas seal 2- 1/2 hard fiber wads and a nitro wad 1/4" felt wad under the the 356 gr.ball roll crimped with my poor eyes and the factory iron sights I group 4 1/2" @ 100 yards 2 1/2" @ 50 and good enough to head shoot small game under 35 :D Poor mans express rifle
I think I could shoot 2" groups with a scoped gun with this load .. Couple rounds will cut a 4x4 in half
Roy

d2wing
November 12, 2012, 11:09 PM
I live in a state that has zones for shotgun slugs and rifle. I've shot dozens of deer. Rifles are nearly always more effective and cause more tissue damage and quicker kills than either foster or sabot slugs. I like sabots better but not by a lot. Other hunters that use both that I have discussed it with say the same thing. A bigger hole isn't all it's cracked up to be. Folks that brag up shotguns don't know any better.

opto_isolator
November 12, 2012, 11:31 PM
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot6_3.htm

This always is telling as well...

1911 guy
November 12, 2012, 11:57 PM
I've killed several deer with shotgun slugs, both rifled and sabot. My preference is rifled, due to less than stellar performance by the Lightfields I used. Even with those, deer never went more than a few steps. Most are DRT, those that aren't are immobile and require a follow up to a "non-eating" area, usually the head.

My gripe with the sabots wasn't accuracy or lack of a dead deer, it was SERIOUS overpenetration and not enough expansion to make a clean kill, even with the first round going right through the boiler room. Deer dropped like a sack of hammers, but lay there kicking until I finished it. All but one deer shot with "old fashioned" rifled slugs have died quickly with one shot to the vital zone. Those that haven't have been traced to a poor shot on my part.

VAPOPO
November 13, 2012, 03:53 AM
All the deer I have shot with Remmy 12 gauge slugs have never taken thier next step. I have recoved one whole and the rest left orange size exit holes in the deer.
My experience also.

d2wing
November 13, 2012, 02:13 PM
Slugs do make nice big holes and penetrate well enough for deer. They don't destroy the volume of tissue a centerfire rifle will do from the cavitation. A nice hole through the lungs is good. Both lungs turned to jelly is better. Slugs actually destroy less meat, much less is bloodshot. Millions of deer are killed either way so it is not a huge deal. Rifles give you way more range with better accuracy, less recoil and more effective bullets. typical slug guns are good out to 75 to 125 yards max and that may be a stretch. Highly specialised rigs can go to 200 in the right hands and conditions. The range varies more on rifles from 125 up to 400 yards for a typical high power outfit can also can be higher in the right hands. Your experience can be different but I have been hunting for 50 years and shot dozens of deer and have been in hunting parties where many deer are shot both with shotgun and rifles. If you have a lucky shot once or twice more power to you. I believe what I have seen, not what some unknown guy on the internet says. Yeah, I know, I am just another internet unknown too. A pic of me and my best deer are in a brochure for Hunters Specialties a couple years back and I have posted pics here. Enjoy your hunt and be safe whatever you shoot, it is all good.

Zombiphobia
November 13, 2012, 05:02 PM
Speaking of 12ga slugs, in hunting situations, I've only used one. Neck shot at about 15 yrds and it went through with instant death.

Haven't used them again because I was aiming for the front shoulder.

336A
November 13, 2012, 05:47 PM
Maybe your gun just didn't like that particualr slug. Shotguns are no different than rifles in that they certainly show a preference for a particular brand of ammo, just like rifles do. I had no issues this morning with my newly ordered 20" vent rib barrel on my Mossberg 500 12ga. A foolish small spike horn stepped in front of me looking directly at me about 50 yards away. I lined up the beads directly on the center of his chest and squeezed, sending a Brenneke K.O. dwon range. The slug went exactly where I intended, upon impact the little buck did a back flip that was it.

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