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Thread: 12 Ga Slugs for Brown Bear

  1. #1

    Default 12 Ga Slugs for Brown Bear

    I was looking at 12 Ga slugs there is a slug that has very impressive ballistics. Do you think this slug would be adequate for Brown Bear? Does anyone have any experince with Lightfield slugs?

    Lightfield Commander IDS

    3 ˝ in 1-1/16 oz / 465 gr 1900fps 3728 fpe

    DR B

  2. #2


    I've never heard of anyone hunting browns with slugs, but that doesn't mean anything. You hear of DLP's with slugs, and I know most agency-types carry them based upon good results in a long-ago study arms including Forster-style slugs.

    But as to which is best? I don't think there have been enough bears shot with enough different slugs for anyone to say.

    I'll contribute my bit to keyboard ballistics by opining that if the Forster slugs were good back when the study was done, your load will probably be better. Unless bears have evolved to be a lot tougher.

  3. #3


    I am not familiar with this slug but the problem most slugs have with large dangerous game is the lead is to soft resulting in massive expansion but no penetration, and pentration is what you need to stop big animals in less than desirable conditions.
    The reason shotgun slugs are soft is due to liability since the manufacturer can not predict what choke or condition your gun is therefore use something that works in everything and that is soft lead.
    That being said, In most instances a slower projectile moving at lower velocities will have greater penetration than at higher velocities....reason there is less expansion resulting in less resistance
    Brenke slugs have always been noted for great penetration and their advertisement include large pachyderms meaning elephant hippos and the like, they are able to do this since the lead is hard and the slug is slighly undersisized and is held in place by a wad set up that seals the bore and is screwed into the slug thus stabilizing it.

    What I would do is track down the manufacturer and ask for performance tests and comparisons to other slugs otherwise get couple of 5 gallon back to back buckets filled with paper and water and do comparison penetrations with that slug and other brenkes or large caliber rifles...remember speed is fine but penetration is what kills

    Here is the web site for that company and sure as heck they show deer, and state massive expansion and soft lead in the same sentence....Big bear????I don't think so

  4. #4
    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Apr 2006


    I bought some Remington slugs a while back that were solid copper with a really big hollow point. Don't know if they still make them, but copper is harder than most lead slugs.

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Apr 2006


    I have yet to hear of any conclusive data that any 12 ga slug is a good choice against a brown bear. Shotguns are great for ducks, big bore rifles are great for bears.

    The balistics of that slug, I'm assuming a sabot, are pretty impressive, basically a hot 45-70 load, assuming a 45 caliber bullet. That said, deep consistant penetration does require the bullet be spun to be stabalized, and the faster it is spun, the better it stabalizes. I would thus highly recomend against using such a round out of a smoothbore. And if you're going to a rifled barrel, carry a rifle.

  6. #6
    Member whateveri8's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Juneau - Auke Bay

    Smile A 12 bore rifle, maybe

    Dr. B

    12ga slugs in most cases do have great short range knock down power and have been used in 12 bore double rifles in Africa many years ago. The 12 bore cartridges were more like a 72 caliber Monolithic bullet than a modern slug. Most modern shotgun slugs are designed with two primary usages: Hunting and Defense. Hunting applications are geared toward Herbivores in regions where the use of rifles are prohibited due to range and high density populations.
    Defense is just that - short range stopping power. My personal choice for Home Defense is 000-buckshot as a “point-and-shoot” strategy. It is faster than aim and shoot, but that's just me.

    Think in these terms:

    As Alaskans we are BLESSED with:
    A. Big Brown Bears to hunt
    B. Hunting Laws that ALLOW Alaskans to hunt with Big, Powerful rifles.

    Ask most Alaskan Bear Hunters what they hunt with and you will get several calibers, magnums, ultra-magnums, heavy-loaded 30-06, 308 etc, but all will Specify heavy bullets and most will specify Rifles (excluding bow hunters).
    Pistol hunters will again give a similar answers, heavy loads, and heavy bullets

    With that said, Woodleigh makes a bullet in 12 bore and would be ideal for Dangerous game. It is a solid point, FMJ weighing in at 1000gr. Now pushing it 1900fps may be another issue. Starline makes Brass for 12 Bore rifles. Keep in mind, most modern shoguns are not designed to fire the 6 dram load of the 12 bore rifle used in Africa 100 years ago.

    If firing a 45 cal sabot, why not use as 45 cal rifle 45-70, 450 Marlin, 458 Win Mag, 458 Lott in it’s place? After all, there is no need for substations, we’re in Alaska! WE CAN USE THE REAL THING!

    Happy Hunting!
    God, Guns and Guts is what made America Great

  7. #7


    Don't get me wrong a 12 gauge with slugs can kill a bear, the national park service rangers shoot problem bears all the time and it is generally with a shotgun, but they have back up shooters in the event it does not work immediately. Your best choice would be a rifle in medium to heavy caliber with big premium bullets if you can handle the recoil but very few rifles kick as bad as a 12 slug anyway. Many a bird hunter run a foul with bears and lived to talk about it because of a slug.

  8. #8

    Default BB with a 12 ga slug

    Brown Bear with 12 ga sslug


  9. #9

    Default BB with slug

    Sorry I could not get the Image and the text on the same page
    DR B

    Just a quick letter of appreciation for your RSG-12 rifled slug gun. I've been looking for a gun that would put down an Alaskan brown bear at close range and believe I have found it. I had the opportunity to shoot a brown bear this spring and it did just what you said it would. By that I mean this gun kept the bear down, which in turn kept him from getting back into the brush. The bear squared 9ft 6in and the surrounding alders were thick and twisted and could have presented a problem if we had to try to find him.

    The NP-3 Metal Finish is easy to take care of and as you know we live and hunt in some very severe weather conditions which make it hard to keep a gun from rusting. The NP-3 finish won't rust and it won't wear off.

    The camo stock fits nice to the shoulder and with the muzzle break is a pleasure to shoot and very accurate.

    The Zeiss 1.5-4.5 scope is a good match for this slug gun, the optics are clear and it gathers a lot of light for early morning or late afternoon conditions. And with the variable power can be set to fit the conditions.

    Again, thank you for making a gun that will do what is needed and is a pleasure to shoot.

    Scott Oman
    Juneau, Alaska
    Registered Guide/Outfitter

  10. #10

    Default Thanks

    I have been a member for several years I was retitled on the new format, anyway great forum and although I don't live in AK I have been up there hunting twice over the last 5 years and hoping to go again

    For the member who shot that huge Bear, what was the slug, the range and terminal performance, info like that is a confidence builder should one get into that situation

  11. #11
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Fairbanksan in Aleutian Hell


    We've been pretty happy with the Brenneke slugs for bear use. They tend to act more like a hardcast bullet and punch through unlike Foster type slugs. Two bears. Two pass throughs.

    One of the locals whacked one earlier this spring in a DLP shoot using a regular Remington Slugger Foster slug. We found it under the skin on the off-side while skinning it, flattened out. The range was less than 20 ft.
    Now what ?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    Years ago (about 20), my friend Bob was a FWP trooper (remember the brown shirts?) He spent quite a bit of time in the field and shot problem bears with just about whatever he happened to have handy, including a .38 special! Bob took a half dozen brown bear skulls and set them on stumps and shot them with handguns (.357, .44 mag and .454 Casull), shotguns (slugs and 00 buck) and rifles (30-06, .300 Win mag, .338 and .375 H&H) The only thing that would consistently penetrate the skulls were .300 Win Mags and bigger. Slugs and buckshot ricocheted off as did most of the handgun bullets. Not necessarily scientific, but it left an impression on me. That being said, lots of critters have been done in with small calibers including the legend about eskimos shooting polar bears with .22 Hornets back in the 50's....when my butt's on the line, I carry my .375 H&H. It's fairly light (7 1/2 lbs. with scope & sling), shoots just fine and I don't worry about whatever I hit not dying in short order. Shotguns work well for ducks and handguns are fine for rabbits and grouse. For my money, I carry only large caliber rifles for bears.

  13. #13


    Dr. B,
    The Lightfeld Hybrid Slugs work fine for Blacks. My recomendation would be to go look at: DIXIE SLUGS. I believe they have what you're looking for in Bear Splatters.

  14. #14

    Default Dixie

    I looked up the site for Dixie slugs and this may be the slug to carry, there are penetration test

  15. #15
    Member reuben_j_cogburn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Remington slugs

    Remington makes a 385 grain jacketed "slug" that looks pretty good as a big game round.
    Kinda spendy but I bought some to see how they shoot....
    "Illigitmati non Carborundum"

    I'm 51..... thats 12 in man years.....

  16. #16
    Member FLtoAK05's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Willow,AK / 49AK

    Default "Dixie Slugs"

    "If you prefer the shotgun then I would recommend looking into the "Dixie Slugs" these rounds are strickly for dangerous game. I have shot them and they are brutal but will kill anything walking. Just my opinion."


    I post the above again, the LE agency I work for is doing research on these rounds now, I have many years experience with shotguns and I have never had anything impress me more. Just my opinion.


  17. #17


    Friends All.......I own Dixie Slugs and thank you all for mentioning our slug/bullets. Ole' Dixie web page is in the middle of a major upgrade. We have updated products, will be adding more data ballistic data, and a genersl cleanup.
    There are many other shotgun slugs on the market, none are as hard as Dixie Slugs hard cast heat treated ones......simple fact! I have asked many other companies to send their products out to the John Linebaugh/Todd Corder Seminar in Cody for stress testing in the famous/infamous bone box as we have.......none have done that yet!
    Another major problem in their advertising is the fact they state their velocity from 30" smoothbore pressure test barrels......hardly the velocity that the hunter/shooter gets from the favorite 20" rifled barrels. We post velocity from our 20" test barrels after they have been pressure tested by Ballistic Research.
    The secret of slug/bullets for dangerous and/or heavy game is simple, but hard to get........a slug/bullet that is very hard, but not brittle! It must break large bones and penetrate deep.
    There is one simple fact.....Dixie's Slugs are just a reintroduction of the famous Paradox .730"-730 gr ammo the Brits used in Africa and India. In fact, with the .730"-730 gr Xterminator we exceed the velocity of the original Cordite load by 200'/"! The .730"-600 gr Predator II is also becoming a favorite load. We now have the Dixie Tri-Ball II that has three .600" (over two ounces) hard cast round balls.
    I don't mean to hawk our products, but want only to explain our basic concept. Remember that when you put a rifled barrel on a shotgun, you have a very large bore rifle on a shotgun frame!........Regards, James@Dixie Slugs

  18. #18

    Default 12ga slugs

    Quote Originally Posted by stevelyn View Post
    We've been pretty happy with the Brenneke slugs for bear use. They tend to act more like a hardcast bullet and punch through unlike Foster type slugs. Two bears. Two pass throughs.

    One of the locals whacked one earlier this spring in a DLP shoot using a regular Remington Slugger Foster slug. We found it under the skin on the off-side while skinning it, flattened out. The range was less than 20 ft.
    The Brennekee is almost twice as hard as the foster slug.
    I have been looking at a new slug called the Dixie Terminator.
    They are designed after the British round in the double rifles used in Africa in the early 19th century. I havent tried these yet, but the slug weighs 740gr. It is heat treated for hardness. That makes it harder than Brenneki. It is advertised as one shot, one dead brown bear on the spot.

  19. #19


    Friends All......Let's take a minute and talk about slugs. We have two types of firearms involved, smoothbore and rifled barrel guns. The slug designs are different for the two. The smoothore guns with various chokes must have ammo loaded with a slug soft enough to swage down through the various chokes. This softness of the slug limits it to thinskin game. There are some custom guns bored with true cylinder barrels that can use advanced )and heat treated) hollow base slugs. In this case the hollowbase is not designed to expand to fit the barrel, but rather have weight forward for accuracy. Tat about covers smoothbores.
    The needs for a true large and/or dangerous game slug/bullet in rifled barrels is something else completely! Since we are dealing with big bones and heavy tissue/muscle, the alloy of the slug/bullet is very important! t should compreise of a mixture of pure lead and antimony, but no tin. The addition of tin makes a nice looking slug/bullet and fills the molds out nice......but can be brittle! Then care must be done while heat treating the slug/bullet so it has a consistant hardness throughout. We cook our slug/bullets for one hour at 450 degrees and water quench. This makes for a 30+bhn slug/bulet that is not brittle.
    There are other important factors.....controlibility being a major factor! If you have looked at the tests done in Cody (posted on Dixie Slug's forum), you wil see very little practical difference in a velocity of 1200'/" (Original Terminator) and 1400'/" (Xterminator)......but there is quite a difference in recoil!
    I will not disuss other slug designs, other that to say none were designed from the ground up for dangerous and/or large game.....period! They refuse to have their products tested against Dixie Slugs ammo! All, and I say all, of their slugs are swaged and none are heat treated. Our favorite is the Original Dixie Terminator, which is a direct reintroduction (diameter, weight, and velocity) of the famous African smokeless powder Paradox load.
    Thank you for you interest in Dixie Slugs and Regards, James@Dixie Slugs

  20. #20
    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    Oct 2006

    Thumbs down Why slugs?

    I dont see any practical application for slugs on brown bear,maybe if your doing a follow up on a wounded bear.Other then that i dont think you should use any slugs at all when it comes to bear hunting...

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