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Thread: 12 gauge slugs?

  1. #1
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    Default 12 gauge slugs?

    I've never done much with shotguns but got a new Mossberg Marine 12 gauge to keep in the boat, primarily as a bear gun. I've read that Brenneke slugs are about the best but have been unable to find them in Fairbanks. Anyone know where I may get some or can someone suggest an alternative?

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    AkRascal, I can't help you with locations that sell slugs in Fairbanks, but I have hunted deer with a 12 gauge shotgun for 20+ years. In some parts of Wisconsin, we are limited to shotgun only. From my experience, you won't find much difference in accuracy between any of the rifled slugs when shot through a smooth bore shotgun (including Bernnekes). These are the things I have found with rifled slugs: 1oz are more accurate and consistent than 1 1/8 oz, and 2 3/4 inch shells are by far more accurate and consistent than the 3 inch shells. As far as brands, I always used Federal rifled slugs, but Remington makes one and so does Winchester. They all seem to shoot about the same, which isn't great, but good to at least 50 yards. Winchester also makes one called a Rack Master that is based on the Bernneke concept (rear projectile stabilizer), but I have not shot these.

    Since the time I started hunting, shotgun slug barrels and slugs have come along way. I now shoot a fully rifled barrel using Winchester Supreme XP3 Sabots, and have tried most of the other sabots out there. However, these slugs are for rifled barrels or at least rifled chock tubes. There is no advantage to shooting these through a smooth bore. If you're shooting through a smooth bore (which I assume you are by mentioning the Bernneke slugs) you are limited. On the plus side, rifled slugs are cheap.

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    Did you look at Frontier Outfitters? I haven't seen them there, but if anybody has them it'd be them. They have a pretty wide range of shotgun ammo.

    Time-out: I just checked Brenneke's web site store finder and they said to find the slugs here:

    Bear Allen
    8263 Richardson Highway
    99714 Salcha

    Looks like maybe you can get them down in Salcha ...an easy drive from FBX.

    Otherwise, I wouldn't feel bad about using a standard 1-oz 12-ga 3" magnum slug in the mean time. The ballistics between the Brenneke Gold 1-3/8 oz slug (3014 ft-lbs) and the standard Remington (3005 ft-lbs) is not much, and the same applies to the other brands. The advantage of the Brenneke is that the stabilizing fins (which you don't care about at all for bear protection) are attached to the aft end of the a solid slug while a standard Forster has a solid nose and hollow base. They say that the Brenneke solid will penetrate deeper since it doesn't have the hollow base, but all I've ever seen is anecdotal evidence like "the bear was 10 feet away and I blew his head off" and such ...no scientific evidence or controlled studies or experiments to prove that the Brenneke slug penetrates any deeper.

    Think of it this way, where does bullet expansion, damage, and weight loss (material coming off) occur? At the base of the bullet or at the nose? BOTH the Forster and Brenneke type slugs have solid noses ...I'd like to see someone prove the Forster loses mass or in some other way changes in a way that would prevent penetration as deep as the Brenneke. AFAIK for example, neither is hard-cast or have other differences. Remember, the original reason for the Brenneke slug design was to produce accuracy at longer distances (the plastic tailfin) not close-up bear protection.

    You know Joe Nava of Firearm Friday (660 AM) and bear safety course fame here in Fairbanks, right? He's one of the most experienced (real-life experience and thousands of people trained) bear protection guys in Alaska. You know what he says? He says to buy any 2-3/4" shell w/rifled slug shells you want, that all work quite well. The reason for the 2-3/4" shell is because they fit in any 12-gauge shotgun you pick up. He gives no recommendation on slug weight. If Joe knows from experience that a 2-3/4" shell with any kind of slug is always going to work, then anything bigger and badder than that might be more than required. I would think, that given Joe's advice, that any brand of a 1-oz (or bigger) rifled slug in a 12-ga 3" magnum round is going to be more than adequate ...and will have the added advantage of saving a lot of money as compared to buying those Brennekes. But if you are hunting bear with a slug however, i.e. shooting at 50 to 100 yards, then the Brenneke is possibly justifiable due to slightly improved accuracy down range ...but otherwise, I'd use any brand of slug for bear protection and I'll bet dollars to donuts that nobody on God's green earth can show any ballistic or penetration differences between the cheap rounds and the Brennekes at close range.

    Just my 2-bits. I buy Remington 2-3/4" managed recoil rounds by the case and the 3" magnum 1-oz rounds for the field ...well, for my wife that is. She practices with the light loads and carries the heavy loads in the field. She's the one that carries the 12-gauge all the time. I carry a 500 and we both carry pepper spray in a holster, as does my teenager son, and we all practice (shooting) a lot. It's fun

    Brian

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    Default Thanks Brian

    Good info there.

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    Thumbs up Dixie

    Im not sure you can get them in Fairbanks but ive heard great things about Dixie slugs. Hillbilly

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    I would definately expect and great difference in penetration between different types of slugs.

    I doubt accuracy is going to matter at 30 feet or less so I will leave that out.

    The Brenekkes are famous for extreme penetration due to the hardcast solid design. Some of the cheap slugs are soft lead with a hollow base and limited penetration and with reports of looking like a fifty cent piece when recovered from a broadside shot on deer. Which kind of penetration do you want for a bear?

    I would look into different kinds of slugs before I just went out and bought the cheapies.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Default 12 ga slugs

    The Brenekkes slugs have been used sucessfully in Africa and Inda on dangerous game for quite a number of years. The Foster slug was developed in the 30s in the US for deer and other light skinned American game. When you examine both slugs it is pretty apparent why the Brenekkes are recommended for heavy game- they are basically a solid slug of lead with a sharp point while the Foster type are like a pellet for a pellet gun - a soft nose with a thin cylindrical skirt.

    The US Forestry Service uses the Brenekke slugs according to the ranger I talked to several years ago down at the Russian River. He seemed to be fairly knowledable about the subject. I don't know what the BLM uses but i'll find out and post the answer later.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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  8. #8

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    Walmart here in Wasilla carries the Black Magic slugs. Personally I'll only carry those or the Dixie's.

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    Default Cracker shells?

    For what it's worth: a friend on a float fishing trip last year demonstrated "cracker shells" - 12 ga rounds that shot out about 70 yards before detonating a loud but harmless charge. He told me they'd been effective for the common scenario where a bear is approaching your camp and you have time to discourage him. Sounded handy to have a few in camp.

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    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default brenneke's are very hot-

    I also grew up in the midwest where I was limited to slugs and muzzleloaders and I ran some brenekes through my 870, and they were prematurely breaking open the action. I certianly didnt want to hurt the gun, and the 2 3/4" 1oz federals were more accurate anyways so i switched back.

  11. #11
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    what ever kind you get, you want a hollow base, so that it is front end heavy.
    I load the lee 1 OZ. for my NEF pardner. It will do about 3" at 60 yards. off hand of corse.
    BIC/Daniel/BS Jr.

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    Default Rifled slug design

    The Brenekke slug uses a wood screw to attach a felt wad to the base of their slugs to give it a "weight forward". That design allows them to use a solid lead slug instead of a hollow base.

    I have a Lyman slug mold that uses a plug to give the hollow base. I'm going to try a shorter plug to give a heavier slug with a stronger front end on the slug. Accuracy isn't an issue for slugs for bear defense at close range so i don't care how they group at 50 yds. - I just want to hammer the bear with as hard a blow as possible if it gets close enoght to be a danger to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by bullshop junior View Post
    what ever kind you get, you want a hollow base, so that it is front end heavy.
    I load the lee 1 OZ. for my NEF pardner. It will do about 3" at 60 yards. off hand of corse.
    BIC/Daniel/BS Jr.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    I would definately expect and great difference in penetration between different types of slugs.

    I doubt accuracy is going to matter at 30 feet or less so I will leave that out.

    The Brenekkes are famous for extreme penetration due to the hardcast solid design. Some of the cheap slugs are soft lead with a hollow base and limited penetration and with reports of looking like a fifty cent piece when recovered from a broadside shot on deer. Which kind of penetration do you want for a bear?

    I would look into different kinds of slugs before I just went out and bought the cheapies.
    Brennekes are hard cast? That's good to know and that makes a difference to me. Good info. I'll look into the Dixies and Black Magic slugs as well. I didn't know there was any difference in the lead everyone was using. Oh boy! More shooting related homework! (It's all good...)

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The Brenekke slug uses a wood screw to attach a felt wad to the base of their slugs to give it a "weight forward". That design allows them to use a solid lead slug instead of a hollow base.

    I have a Lyman slug mold that uses a plug to give the hollow base. I'm going to try a shorter plug to give a heavier slug with a stronger front end on the slug. Accuracy isn't an issue for slugs for bear defense at close range so i don't care how they group at 50 yds. - I just want to hammer the bear with as hard a blow as possible if it gets close enoght to be a danger to me.
    My Lyman books basically say "don't bother" when it comes to loading slugs since the factory loads always out-perform hand loads for accuracy ...but they don't say how bad is bad. Sooo.... how bad IS bad? How well do your hand loads group at say 50 yards?

    Brian

  15. #15

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    Here in Iowa we are a shotgun state. I have found that the cheap winchester will shoot as good as anything out of a cylinder bore. However as RMiller stated they are too soft for big bears. I have a coffee can full slugs that I've recovered from deer that I've butchered for the boys. The cheap Feds, Remmy's and Chesters are all real soft!

    My smooth bore 37 Ithaca will shoot just under 4" @ 50 yds with the Brennekes and 3" @ 100yds with the cheap winchesters. If I were facing down a bear I'd still opt for the Brenneke slug! I doubt that even the most proficient with any hand cannon will shoot under 4" @ 50yds in a bear protection situation.

  16. #16
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    Default Cracker rounds for bear hazing...

    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    For what it's worth: a friend on a float fishing trip last year demonstrated "cracker shells" - 12 ga rounds that shot out about 70 yards before detonating a loud but harmless charge. He told me they'd been effective for the common scenario where a bear is approaching your camp and you have time to discourage him. Sounded handy to have a few in camp.
    Crackers are a deterrent only and should always be backed up with the immediate ability to employ lethal force (preferably a second shooter with bead on target). They should be used when you are still at a distance and want to "persuade" a curious animal from coming any closer to check you or your camp out. You'll be lucky to get 30-40 yards of range on most crackers. The timing of the "bang" is variable and they've been known to go off within only a few yards of exiting the barrel. Other times I've seen them sit on the ground for quite a long time before getting a delayed detonation (at which point the bear could have walked by the cracker, and you now drive him toward you). The reliability is less than perfect with brand new shells and it deteriorates with age, so pay attention to the expiration date on the box, it really does mean that they expire. Use up expired stock at the range for training purposes. Note they leave a highly corrosive residue in the barrel. You should fire a couple rounds of real ammo (e.g. birdshot field loads) when you're done shooting crackers (to "flush" the barrel) and then clean the gun as soon as possible.

    Oh yeah, and you're supposed to get a permit from fish-n-feathers before you do any animal hazing activities using methods such as crackers, rubber pellets, or bean bags.
    Winter is Coming...

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    I highly recommend the Brenneke 3" 1 3/8 oz black gold slugs. They performed great on my 280lb. cinnamon black bear in Saskatchewan last spring. It was a severe quartering away shot (it went in just in front of the left rear leg and broke the right front shoulder before stopping just underneath the skin).

    I just thought you might want to see what kind of expansion it had after 3' of penetration.

    Can't seem to figure out how to add pictures. (Sorry)
    Last edited by Deathray7; 04-21-2008 at 06:41. Reason: Pictures didn't attach

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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Brenneke Slugs

    Trust my life with them.......12ga 1 1/8 oz Brenneke Slugs out of a Ithaca 37.

    Do not suggest sabots or cheaper deer slugs for bear protection in Alaska.
    Alaska

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    Frontier had em when they were down stairs....

  20. #20

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    The Dixie Terminator Slug is the most devestating slug that I have ever seen. Check out the damage to this beef that was shot at the Linebaugh Seminar in Jackson, Miss. Last May.





    The Terminator Penetrated 29" in Wet News print and blew a 4" hole. My 416 RIGBY with 400 Grain Partition pentrated 30".
    The Terminator Slug rocked the test bos harder than any other round fired...

    http://www.dixieslugs.com/

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