Slugs and smoothbore...

General Zod

TGT Addict
Sep 29, 2012
2,942
113
Kaufman County
So I've never fired a slug through the shotgun I've had for 25 years (A Rem 870 Express) but with the recent encroachment of feral hogs, I've been considering slugs more and more. Previously, .00 buck was my load of choice but I'm not confident it would take down a pissed-off boar like it does a coyote.

So, the question is have is this: I have only the one barrel for my shotgun - the smoothbore barrel with the (surprisingly tight) factory choke. I've priced slug barrels and they always seem to come with a bunch of accessories that drive the price too high for me. So what ammunition should I choose to put the occasional big-ass chunk of lead down my barrel safely? I've assumed in the past that rifled slugs were for rifled barrels, but I'm not so sure this is the case anymore. And what about sabot slugs?

Anyone? Pros/cons? Should I just stick with buckshot?
 

rsayloriii

TGT Addict
May 11, 2009
3,325
38
H-Town, TX
Rifled slugs are spun/stabilized in the air by the rifling cast into the slug itself, from what I understand. So, no you don't need a rifled barrel unless you're looking for long range (100+). Modified choke and you should be good. I went put several through my 870 at the last Hicksville meet. They leave nice big holes behind. :evil:
 

ROGER4314

Been Called "Flash" Since I Was A Kid!
Jul 11, 2009
10,415
83
East Houston
If I chose only ONE gun, it would be a 12 gauge shotgun with a nice selection of barrels and ammunition. I also loaded 12 gauge 00 Buck and shot cases of it. I have tremendous respect for 00 buck rounds. Slugs, however are in a class by themselves. I'm not a big game hunter but I've fired some big game rifles up to .458 Win Mag. I'd wager that those 12 gauge slugs at 50 yards with one ounce or greater projectile weight, would bring down any mammal on this continent.

The slug still retains a lot of energy at 100 and even at 200 yeards but accuracy falls off quickly with distance. If you could hit something in a vital zone at 200 yards, it would definitely hurt! The accuracy is the problem.

Sabot slugs are high velocity but your whole advantage in shotgun slugs is the weight of the soft one ounce lead projectile. Sabots are lighter in weight so they don't make much sense to me. Others may disagree. I have recovered 12 gauge slugs what were mushroomed to about 1 1/2" diameter. They are ugly!

Barrels? I have my "barrel pile". Each one of those barrels creates a new gun. It's exactly like buying a whole new gun for a fraction of the cost.

OK....what is MY favorite slug gun? Remington 1100 12 gauge with Remington slug sighted barrel and a screw in choke with rifling. Second choice is the 870 pump with the same type of barrel.

Flash
 

General Zod

TGT Addict
Sep 29, 2012
2,942
113
Kaufman County
Rifled slugs are spun/stabilized in the air by the rifling cast into the slug itself, from what I understand. So, no you don't need a rifled barrel unless you're looking for long range (100+). Modified choke and you should be good. I went put several through my 870 at the last Hicksville meet. They leave nice big holes behind. :evil:
Good to know. Yeah, 100 yard shots aren't a likelihood - I'm not sure there's 100 yards of unimpeded sightline on the entire family property...Lord knows I've never taken a shot that long in my life! Certainly wouldn't use a shotgun for it.

Now when you say "modified choke"...would I need to do something to the factory choke? (I honestly know next to nothing about choke except the one that came with my 870 works quite nicely and puts a fist-sized hole in 1/8" plywood at about 20 yards...)
 

rsayloriii

TGT Addict
May 11, 2009
3,325
38
H-Town, TX
I'd wager that those 12 gauge slugs at 50 yards with one ounce or greater projectile weight, would bring down any mammal on this continent.

I heard several times growing up that my great-grandfather would bear hunt with an 8 gauge shotgun. Wish I knew what happened to that gun ...


I agree that if I had to have only one firearm, it'd be a 12 gauge shotgun. Extremely versatile. Only downside is overall range.
 

rsayloriii

TGT Addict
May 11, 2009
3,325
38
H-Town, TX
Good to know. Yeah, 100 yard shots aren't a likelihood - I'm not sure there's 100 yards of unimpeded sightline on the entire family property...Lord knows I've never taken a shot that long in my life! Certainly wouldn't use a shotgun for it.

Now when you say "modified choke"...would I need to do something to the factory choke? (I honestly know next to nothing about choke except the one that came with my 870 works quite nicely and puts a fist-sized hole in 1/8" plywood at about 20 yards...)
Modified is the size of the choke ... how much it "chokes" down the projectile(s) coming out of the barrel. Pull the choke out and it should be printed/embossed on the side of the choke tube itself. If it's the one that came with it, then more than likely, you're good to go, but check to make sure.
 

General Zod

TGT Addict
Sep 29, 2012
2,942
113
Kaufman County
Remington, Winchester, and federal all have good rifled slugs. You might consider a red dot sight if you're shooting slugs.
Nah, can't afford a decent one, and I'd have to have a gunsmith mount it which is even more money. The slugs would be purely for "Oh shit it's a hog!" shots. If I'm actively hunting 'em, I'll have my Mini-14.
 
Top Bottom