View Full Version : slug through a smooth bore?
03-01-2008, 08:40 PM
can you shoot a slug with a smooth bore shotgun barrel?
03-01-2008, 11:24 PM
Yes, they have made rifled slugs for smoothbore barrels much longer than I've been alive (27 years old). I have some in my ammo closet that are even paper hulled shells.
However sabots will not shoot well in smoothbores as they don't have any rifling. It won't hurt anythig but won't shoot worth a hoot.
Before I had a Hastings rifled barrel for my 870 Wingmaster I used a smoothbore slug barel with rifle sights and could shoot it well out to 80 yards with a good rest position, better suited for 50 yards out of most of my deerstands at the time. With the rifled barrel I have a Simmons Aetec scope mounted up top and it will shoot a 2"-3" group at 125 on a good rest.
03-02-2008, 07:35 AM
just wondering. you just have to make sure that there are no choke restrictions, right.
03-02-2008, 07:43 AM
Years ago my grandfather shot a few deer with a 20 gauge full choke using slugs,but usually it was close range.
03-03-2008, 08:34 PM
The general rule is, the more open the choke the more accurate the gun will shoot slugs bit that is not a hard and fast one. I've shot many slugs out of chokes up to full with acceptable accuracy. My first deer gun was a 20 ga with a fixed full choke and it easily shot well enough for deer under 80 yards. You will not find the gun to be as accurate using Foster or Brenneke style slugs as a rifled barrel using sabots but the smoothbore barrel and slug combination has been killing deer since long before shot and powder were kept in the same container. After all, the early smoothbore muskets were nothing other than a shotgun and slug loaded from the front.
03-04-2008, 09:05 AM
Maybe I am wrong, but I will not shoot slugs through full chokes, seems like you would stretch the choke out it would no longer be a full choke. A modified choke maybe, full choke nope. Does anyone w=know the diameter of a full choke designation, compared to the diameter of a 12ga foster slug. I would also steer clear of things like brownings back bored barrels for slugs. i also assume your gun has a fixed choke and not interchangable choke tubes. If you have interchangable choke tubes, try to find a rifled choke tube or an open choke tube.
03-04-2008, 02:27 PM
that is what i was thinking, that shooting a slug through a smooth bore may cause some damage to the gun.
03-04-2008, 05:29 PM
A slug is made of lead which is much less "strong" than steel so it would not be able to "stretch" out the choke. An obstruction in the choke area is the common fear but between slugs being made under bore diameter for decades and the mostly hollow core of Foster style slugs, there is little to be worried about. A standard full choke is roughly .030" less than bore diameter, in a 12 ga that is nominally .729" unless an older Browning or Beretta where it is not uncommon to have a .725" bore diameter. This would make the bore diameter of a full choke roughly .699"-.695" and would still be more than enough to pass a Foster or Brenneke style slug. The Foster has been around for a about a century and through the lead shot era from the early 1900s to the start of the choke tube era, full was common choke configuration for which the Foster style slugs were designed to pass through. I have not measured any is quite a while but at one time the typical Foster slug was running in the .675"-.685" diameter. In the shotgun bowling pin matches of about 30 years ago, it was common to measure the diameter of the slug in order to find the one with the largest diameter which would typically be the most accurate out of the gun. This would be due to the slug careening down the barrel a bit less when using the larger diameter slug.
With today's litigious society, I would have little worry using Foster slugs out of any standard shotgun choke, the only concerns I would have would be with the "turkey" chokes as they are much more constrictive than what Foster slugs were designed for. Even then, I would expect the damage to be to the choke and threads and not the barrel itself. The only slugs I can think of that would be a problem would be the "Dixie" brand slugs as they were designed specifically for open choked slug guns. Their packaging also states this very boldly.
The problem with using overbored or backbored barrels is that they are of a larger than nominal diameter and there may be some gas sealing problems depending on the style of over powder wad used. The added bore diameter would also lead to even greater "sloppiness" of passage for the slug and potentially lead to accuracy problems in addition to the gas sealing ones.
03-04-2008, 06:32 PM
Slugs through a smooth bore are no problem. I harvested a 300+ lb wild boar in Guam about 10 years ago using the Mossberg listed below. I was using Foster style rifles slugs... Remington Sluggers if I remember correctly. It was about a 50 yard shot and I dropped him where he stood.
From my understanding when shooting a Foster style rifled slug from a smooth bore, you should use an open choke...i.e., Improved Cylinder for the best accuracy. That's the choke I use If shooting slugs through my smooth bore.
03-05-2008, 10:52 AM
Thanks for the numbers citori!
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