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12 gauge slug penetration? What?!

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Inebriated, Nov 11, 2012.

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  1. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    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. 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. 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 video, he got pellets going 14", 15", and 15.5" deep. And just for reference, his 9mm Gold Dot 124gr +P test sent a 124 grain projectile 13.25" and a test with a .45 ACP 230 grain HST 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.
     
  2. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  3. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    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.
     
  4. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    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.
     
  5. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Member

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    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.
     
  6. 336A

    336A Member

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    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.
     
  7. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  8. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    It all depends on slug design - Foster style slugs tend to flatten or shatter while Brenneke classic style slugs penetrate.
     
  9. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    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.
     
  10. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    A lot.

    I fired one into a stack of hardwood boards once and the recovered slug, while obviously chewed up, was mostly intact.
     
  11. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    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:
     
  12. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  13. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    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…
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  14. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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!
     
  16. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    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
     
  17. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    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.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  20. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    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.
     
  21. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    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
     
  22. Sky

    Sky Member

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    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.
     
  23. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

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    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.

    :)
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  25. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

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    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.
     
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