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Fabricated Slug Gun

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by planetmobius, Oct 8, 2015.

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  1. planetmobius

    planetmobius Member

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    I have this JC Higgins bolt action shotgun. As BA shotguns go, this is actually a pretty nice one. It has a tubular mag rather than a detachable magazine and pretty nice wood and finish. If I shortened the barrel to a point before the choke and added rifle sights, would I have an effective smooth bore slug gun or am I forgetting something?
     
  2. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    what is the current choke?
     
  3. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    You would have zero choke, aka Cylinder bore. Whether or not that will work will depend on your gun and the ammo you choose to use. Can always have it threaded for choke tubes.
     
  4. planetmobius

    planetmobius Member

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    Currently modified choke but way too long for the purpose. Probably used for Foster Style slugs.
     
  5. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    Many, many years ago I cut 2" off an Ithaca M37 barrel (back to the first rib mount) and made a dedicated Foster slug barrel. It likes Federal slugs best, shooting 3"-4" at 75 yards. This was before rifled barrels were available.
     
  6. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    i've shortened the barrels on several shotguns and installed adjustable sights on same. Most were good shooters, especially with Brenneke slugs. A friend killed a big buck at 128 yards using a shotgun i shortened.
     
  7. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

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    Can you add rifle sights yourself, or would you have to send it out?

    It probably has a 2 3/4" chamber. Don't know if that's an issue.
     
  8. Handgunr

    Handgunr Member

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    As idiotic as it sounds, once we passed the law up here in good old western NY to hunt with handguns back in the very early 80's, I never carried, or hunted with a slug gun again.

    That was the hunter side of me, but the caster & hand loader side of me still continued on and obsessed over making a great accurate load for a shotgun. Part of the quagmire back then was that rifled barrels for slugs weren't commercially available......it was all smooth bores. I have several smooth bore (Foster type) slug molds and tried just about everything you can think of. I eventually dropped the quest and continued on with other ventures.......
    That was until the advent of rifled barrels.........Not wanting to feel defeated on that quest, I resurrected it and finally found a load using the Lyman 525 gr. Sabot mold with a Winchester AA wad that would shoot & group right along with the best commercial sabots, if not better.

    Btw......I had a JC Higgins back in the day that I did a lot of slug work with (that this post reminded me of). The one thing I found was that if I could get the slug to match the bore as close as possible right up front, it shot the best. Yes, I know the slug obturates on firing, filling the bore, but if I swaged the slugs first, they printed far better........usually the best I ever got in doing so at 100 yds. was about a 4" group with 3 out of 5 printing very close.
    The type of powder made a major difference in many cases...........

    Bob
     
  9. planetmobius

    planetmobius Member

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    OK, now I'm curious to see what I can do with it. You guys talked me into giving it a whirl. Thanks.
     
  10. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    It will probably shoot slugs just fine through whatever choke you have now. Of course if you want a shorter barrel, go for it. I would be willing to bet that way more deer have been shot with slugs shot out of a full choked smooth bore than all of the special smooth bore slug and rifled barrels combined. If you really want to go crazy you could always have it threaded for tubes, and install an extended rifled choke.
     
  11. wolf695

    wolf695 Member

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    Remember a choke is to either expand or tighten a shot patterns. A slug is a solid round! Most full choked barrels were never made to have a slug fired in them. There are many reasons for this; first the barrel isn't thick enough; two as is tappers down the slug is forced to go out a smaller diameter than the slug it's self. That is why many old full choked barrels get whacked down to 18" or more! You can buy soft lead slugs that may shoot out the barrel, but as a general rule "not a good idea"! If it catches in the barrel, the blow back will go either back to the bolt end or blow out the barrel. There are many of gunsmiths who made $ by that mistake.
     
  12. wolf695

    wolf695 Member

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    Yes, to your ?, I have done what you are asking for many yrs now. Make sure the barrel is no less than 18" , you can drill or sweat on new sights,and don't forget to crown the barrel.
     
  13. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Converted many bolt actions to slug guns years ago. Most shot about the same after cutting as before with Foster slugs. Most shot Brennekes a little better. Funny thing, I wound up converting a lot of them back into turkey guns by adding an outside sleeve choke I machined and silver soldered onto the barrel.
    FWIW, the Federal Truball slug shoots great out of cylinder bore guns and isn't half bad out of rifled barrels either. Nobel makes a slug similar to the Brenneke and it shot well out of three rifles barrels I had.
     
  14. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    You are confusing the effect of steel shot, which is dangerous in older barrels, especially if full choke, with the use of slugs, which is safe.

    Steel will not compress enough in older thinner tubes and is know to have caused some to brutally expand, sometimes resulting in serious injury.

    Foster slugs (the common ones, as opposed to sabot slugs, the expensive ones), made for smooth bore barrels, can safely be shot in all regular shotguns (not Damascus steel or such very old not safe to shoot with regular ammo anyway gun), with any choke up to full choke (I am unsure about the more recent extra full turkey chokes and such, but since these chokes fit in threaded tubes, just change for something more opened if in doubt like me).

    Foster slugs feature rifling which will compress as necessary to go through the choke without causing any damage. Lead is softer than steel.
     
  15. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    ^^^+1^^^ Forster style slugs are soft lead and they are hollow. Full choke is no problem, but probably not the most accurate combination.
     
  16. RCL

    RCL Member

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    My Dad, and many of his buddies, killed a lot of venison with their old full choke shotguns and Foster slugs back in the 50's and 60's, and later. My Dad's was a full choke Browning A5 "Sweet Sixteen". Nobody was chopping off the barrel of what was for many of them the only shotgun they owned. When I was old enough to start deer hunting (16) back in 1971 it was with a 20 gauge Savage pump choked modified, 28" barrel. Still have it.
    What I'm getting at I guess, we all shot what we had back then, which was also our fall bird gun.
    Shoot the gun before ya take a saw to it.

    Course now that I'm looking I see you posted this last fall.....got me wondering if ya went through with it or not.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
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