12 ga slug for smooth bore and rifled barrel? rifled slug or sabot?

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by focusmaniaczx3, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Hickory, NC
    i feel really dumb for asking this but ive never really dabbled with shotguns much except for occasionally going shooting clays, dove hunting, or messing with the judge, which may or may not count as a shotgun depending who you're asking.

    anyhow im planning to go deer hunting this season for the first time with my 12 gauge and ive never really learned what type of slug is to be used with what type of barrel. it would stand to reason with me that a rifled slug would be used on a smooth bore barrel so the slug will get spin and a sabot slug would be used on a rifled barrel but im really not sure. i have a mossberg 500 that i will be using and im thinking about laying my hands on a rifled barrel for it but i would really like to know what slugs are to and not to be used with what barrels before i go any further.

    also how is accuracy between rifled and smooth bore out to say 100 yards tops? im sure i will find out for myself but i always like to have an idea before i go out on my own. how much drop would i need to compensate for at that range? and would it be worth looking into a ultramag 12ga to fire a 3.5 inch slug or is there really no need to go bigger than a 3 inch? as always thanks for any opinions.
  2. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    The old Foster slugs with a smooth bore are good to around 100yds. The sabots will extend that range to 150yds, and I have heard reports that state 200yds with a good scope. I shoot the Fosters in a smooth bore, and I limit my shoots to 75yds. with open sights. That's about the best group I can get with these old eyes. Though I have not shoot, or bought, the sabots, I think part of their accuracy at longer distances is due to weight. I believe they are lighter. I stick to the 2 3/4" slugs only. I can tell you that with 00Buck the 3" shells have way more shot than the 2 3/4", but don't have enough added powder to make that heavy load hold up as well as the 2 3/4" at distance. That heavy recoil of the 3" shells mostly comes from the extra weight of the shot. Some of the guys that shoot both the smoth bores, and rifled slugs will be along shortly to set me straight if I have missed on this one.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011

  3. steve666

    steve666 New Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    Sabot slugs (c) are for rifled barrels. The Foster slug (a), available from most of the ammo manufacturers, is for smooth bore. However, in my opinion, the best choice for smooth bore is the Brenneke slug (b).
  4. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Near Fairbanks
    Steve666 is correct !
    Rifled slugs in smooth bores and sabot slugs in rifled bores.
    The Brenneke 3" KO slug is my choice.
  5. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    NW Louisiana
    Brenneke is about all I shoot ...From what little experience Ive had with shotgun slugs, my smoothbore Mossburg 930 will keep them touching each other at 50 yards...My 870 with rifled barrel is 5-6 inches with the same slug....Going to have to try the sabots in the 870 ..
  6. Boris

    Boris Former Guest

    Oct 1, 2010
    Rifled slugs do not spin when fired from a smooth bore. the 'rifiling' is there so the slug goes through a choke easier. Fosters slugs are stable only because of the extreme weight forward design of the slug.
  7. J.D. Bass

    J.D. Bass New Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    I've taken quite a few deer using a smooth bore and a rifled slug. Boris is correct, the smooth bore of course will not spin a slug simply because it is smooth. Because of this your not likely to get much range with the smooth bore, be happy with 50 yards. The longest shot I took with this combo was 85 yards and I aimed at the little 6 points horns and I hit him in the neck. Sabots will give you really nice accuracy in a rifled barrel. Friends of mine who hunt across crop fields and such can take shots out to 200 yards. I've never gone to this combo because I hunt in thick woods and only need 50 yards on average. The rifled barrels are usually almost the price of the gun, depending on what your shooting. To put a rifled barrel on my 870, it would cost about $200 the last time I checked. Hope this is info you can use.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  8. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Hickory, NC
    extremely useful! it will set me back about $100 for a 26in rifled barrel for my mossberg 500. im thinking really really hard about it but im going to send some slugs down range with the smooth bore first and see how it does for accuracy and decide from there.
  9. joncutt87

    joncutt87 Active Member

    May 24, 2011
    Kannapolis, NC
    I'm in the same boat focus
  10. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    West, TX
    I put a Mossberg rifled slug barrel on my 870 and I LOVE the results. I started off shooting the Remington "Managed-Recoil Buckhammer" 2 3/4, 1 1/8oz slug and put 5 shots inside a tennis ball size circle at 100 yards. The Managed recoil slugs leave the barrel at 1350 fps.
    I decided to make my own slugs, so I bought a Lee 12 ga slug die and started making my own. The molded slugs load into a standard 1 1/8oz windjammer wad, and my accuracy is identical to the buckhammer slugs.
    I have not tried shooting more than 100 yards.

    If you buy the mossberg rifled barrel and decide you don't like it for some reason, then you could turn around and sell it online for almost what you paid for it. Even if you reduced it by $15 or $20 dollars for a quick sale, you still make most of your money back. Look at it as a $15 or $20 rental fee

    If I had to do it all over again, I would make the same decision a second time. I love the rifled barrel.
  11. For what it's worth, I've had two of the same Remington 870's on the same day that shoot completely different with the same load. IMO, every gun shoots differently. I've spent a LOT of money trying to find which slug shoots consistantly well out of a particular gun.

    I stopped long ago shooting a 12 gauge because of the punishing recoil...yea I know, I'm a whimp...and that was a 3"...my nephew laughed at me and said real men shoot 3 1/2" magnums! These were dedicated shorter slug barrels, not a 26".

    I now use a rifled barrel with a cantilever scope mount in 20 gauge. I've found that it shoots Hornady SST's with excellent accuracy...and they are relatively affordable. I can kill a paper plate at 200 yards but I don't know how much energy is left for the actual kill of the game. I have a friend that lobbed a 12 gauge slug out to 175 yards and took a doe...he got lucky, I don't hunt like that. Some manufactures list the drop of the slug at certain distances to aid in your decisions.

    I would ask how far you might be shooting? That might help with your decision of selecting a smooth or rifled bore. As others have stated, smooth bore will only take you out so far.
  12. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Hickory, NC
    I would say my range will be 75-100 yards tops.
  13. Boris

    Boris Former Guest

    Oct 1, 2010
    Even 15 years ago smooth bore shotguns and Foster slugs were good enough for 100 yards. Still are today.

    I pretty much use shotguns (410-12) for all my deer hunting and I have no problems with open sights out to 100. So long as I find what slug the gun likes.

    Sabot slugs are 2-3x the cost of Fosters so I see no reason to change. If I hunt rifle country and the others poke fun I tell them "them deer are 100 yards from somewhere" I tend to find them spots.

    If reaching out past 100 yards out to 200 is your fancy then Sabots are the way to go if you have deep enough pockets to practice for clean kills.......

    Most important is you get and use what you want and dont worry about folks like me :)
  14. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Hickory, NC
    im pretty impressed and i dont think i will be needing to buy a rifled barrel. i bought some rifled winchester 2 3/4 slugs off the shelf at wal-mart to play around with today and they grouped at about 3-4 inches at 75ish yards with just the bead sight. i think i can probably do alot better with a decent scope and maybe a different slug but im pretty sure i wont need a rifled barrel. i just ordered a mount from CTD along with a wide variety of slugs and a few other things ive been wanting so ill test it a bit more in depth this weekend or next week if the stuff doesnt get here in time.
  15. joncutt87

    joncutt87 Active Member

    May 24, 2011
    Kannapolis, NC
    Which mount did you get
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