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Thread: Stupid question about shotguns and slugs...

  1. #1
    Member whitewolf2025's Avatar
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    Default Stupid question about shotguns and slugs...

    I've been looking at shotguns for a little while and my main priorities are something I can take to the skeet range, bird hunting, and a bear defense gun. I was talking to my husband last night about this and he said that you can't shoot slugs out of regular shotguns, that it could damage the barrel. I've never heard of this - and I went bear hunting with a friend who's the daughter of an NRA rep and she gave me her rem 11-87 with slugs, the same gun she's let me borrow at the skeet range as well. Is there any truth to this? Thanks!

  2. #2

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    11-87 has screw-in changeable chokes. I love my "Youth model" Remington 20 gauge 11-87 that I but a boot on to extend the OAL, I use slugs in it all the time. To answer your question, long, long, long ago before plastic wads and shot cups they used fiber wads and round lead balls, called Pumpkin Balls, which could score or mark the choke of a full choke shotgun. But no one would manufacture slugs even with-in .030 of the full choke diameter today. You can even get a "Rifled" slug screw-in choke. Even 60 years ago slugs were hollow in the back, so they could be compressed to fit the tightest choke.


    Quote Originally Posted by whitewolf2025 View Post
    I've been looking at shotguns for a little while and my main priorities are something I can take to the skeet range, bird hunting, and a bear defense gun. I was talking to my husband last night about this and he said that you can't shoot slugs out of regular shotguns, that it could damage the barrel. I've never heard of this - and I went bear hunting with a friend who's the daughter of an NRA rep and she gave me her rem 11-87 with slugs, the same gun she's let me borrow at the skeet range as well. Is there any truth to this? Thanks!

  3. #3

    Default shotguns & slugs

    Please be advised that I am not an expert just someone that has enough information to be dangerous.

    Some shotgun barrels have a taper at the end (MUZZLE) of the barrels called a choke. This helps keep the shot pattern together for a tighter group when shooting birds and such.
    Chokes come in a couple of different sizes differentiated by how much they squeeze the shot pattern. The greatest amount of 'squeezing' or tightest choke is the full choke. The next level of choke is the modified choke that is a little more 'open' then the full choke. The cylinder choke is essentially a straight bore with no taper at the bore.
    The use of slugs in shotguns with a modified or full choke is not generally recommended but can be done if necessary.
    The cylinder bore shotgun barrel should be the one for slug use and can also be used with shot without an issue.

    There are other chokes used but this is the basics of it. Here is an article that explains it well.
    http://www.wildfowlmag.com/tips_stra...hotgun_062304/

    Then there are the shotguns with adjustable chokes. These are replaceable, screw in units that allow change the choke to fit your needs. These are common in todays repeater shotguns and most likely what you friend was using in their shotgun.
    Here is a pretty good article on the use of slugs in shotguns:
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/shotgun_slugs.htm

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    If it's a barrel without choke tubes you should be fine. If it has choke tubes don't use a tight tube. People in Ohio where I grew up shot slugs out of darn near everything.

    Brett

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    Most bears are bumped into were in thick brush. Here a long barrel is a problem as it tends to hang up on brush. When duck hunting or skeet shooting a long barrel can be a plus as it tends to swing better. So I would recommend looking for a shot gun package that comes with two barrels. Get a short cylinder barrel for slugs and bear and a longer modified or improved barrel for ducks and skeet. Last time I looked the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 could be had in such options.

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    Generaly....shotguns without screw in choke tubes...will shoot any slug (except those hard slugs for rifled barreled guns) with any choke. However it is advised, for best results, to shoot slugs through a shotgun with a cylinder or open choke. This is basically no constriction at all, and is usually only found in shotguns designed for military and police use. The shorter barrels, cylinder choke guns are designed for close quarters use with slugs and heavy buck shot. Shot sizes from #4 Buck to #000 are best used in cylinder bores. You could also get good results with an Improved Cylinder choke but any tighter such as Modified, Improved Modified or Full will destroy accuracy and could be damaged by extened use of slugs. The screw-in-choke tubes can be used for slugs with Cylinder or Improved Cylinder tube installed. Slugs will unscrew the tubes after several shots with some types of slugs.

    With a shotgun, a think slugs would be the only load to use for bear protection but of course a rifle would be better. As has been pointed out the shorter barrels, 18" to 20", with a heavy Brenneke type slug would be best. I have a Benelli 3" 12 gauge and it has five screw in choke tubes, from cylinder to full. I've shots slugs through the cylinder tube but it definately shoots slugs better through the 18" cylinder bore M&P barrel with also comes with sights. Generally a bear shotgun is an M&P style gun which will be a smooth bore, 18" cylinder bore. The Remington 870 or the Mossberg 500 pumps are the most popular and both have cylinder bores.
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    What no-one told you is: look on the side of the barrel, you should see the manufacturer's name, info on the gauge, and the choke of the barrel. It will look like the following:
    Full choke
    Mod. choke
    Imp. cylinder
    Cylinder
    ect.
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  8. #8

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    Also remember this, if you have a Mossberg 835 or 935, you can't shoot slugs as the choke design doesn't work so well with the overbore of the barrel. You'd have to switch barrels.

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    I used to hunt deer in NY for years with shotgun slugs.

    if you're using your 1187 you have a few options depending on what you want to do:

    1) use the imp cyl choke or cyl choke and shoot rifled slugs. These are meant for smooth bore shotguns. accuracy is good out to 50 yards maybe 70 yards. Knock down power is great...on both ends.

    2) buy a rifled choke and shoot sabots, accuracy out to 100-150yards is excellent depending on your shotgun and sabot slug combo

    3) buy a rifled barrel for your 1187 and get better accuracy with sabots slugs.

    If you're strickly talking bear defense, i would just put the imp cyl or cyl choke in and shoot some rifled slugs i.e. breneke k.o. slugs or remington sluggers.

    the 1187 barrel is pretty long for close quarter rapid deployment shooting unless you get it cut or get a short aftermarket barrel. But it will work if you need it to.

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