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Sabot Slugs vs Nilgai

jt13

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I am headed to Texas in January on a 3-day nilgai and hog hunt on a national wildlife refuge. Rules are shotgun slug and muzzleloader only. I'm flying in, so that crosses the muzzleloader off the list.

Firearm:
Beretta ES100- 12 ga- 24" rifled barrel. Vortex Crossfire II, 2-7x32.

I had a bunch of hand-me-down light recoil slugs I used to get on target then got the following results:

WinLite - 400 gr, 2.75"
FPS: 1399, 1375, 1382
Used for zeroing

Hornady SST- 300 gr, 2.75"
FPS: 1809, 1782, 1788, 1828
1.75" @ 75 yds
5 for 5- no flyers

Federal Trophy Copper- 300 gr, 3"
FPS: 1902, 1859, 1932
2.25" group @ 75 yds
4 for 5 - 1 flyer, 3" high

Remington Accutip- 385 gr, 2.75"
FPS: 1548, 1594, 1608, 1591
2" group @ 75 yds
4 for 5 - 1 flyer, 3.5" left

In my opinion, they all shot passably well. The Hornady SST edged out the competition in both accuracy and consistency. Though, given that nilgai are pretty hearty critters, I'm leaning towards sacrificing a little accuracy for the extra velocity and solid bullet construction of the Federal Trophy Copper. I shot piles of whitetails with rifled slugs but it's my first foray into sabot slugs.

Any input?
 
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I've shot all but that WinLite and been pleased with accuracy overall. That said, having never shot a nilgai, I'd lean towards the more solid bullet construction as well. I've been very happy with both the Federal Trophy Copper and the Remington coppers for both accuracy and construction. So for my two barely-informed cents, I'd go with the copper slug and not think twice.
 
@jt13 Wishing you well on your hunt. Having owned a muzzleloader for only a few months, I hadn't thought about flying and powder/primer prohibitions.

For what its worth, I like and use the all copper Federal in my 20 gauge slug gun. Complete pass through on whitetails.
 
Have you ever shot rifled slugs through a smooth bore cylinder choke ? If yes, how did they perform ?
Rifled slugs are for smooth bore. Sabots for rifled barrel. My experience with rifled slugs in smooth bore is acceptable hunting accuracy out to 70ish yards knowing the drop and holding accordingly.

To the OP my experience is SST's always accurate out of any gun I've tried them but terminal performance lacking. My experience is only with 250 gr 20 gauge in whitetails. Just through and through, not a lot of damage or blood.

My preferred slug was Remington Copper solid but I'm not sure those are made anymore.
 
Have you ever shot rifled slugs through a smooth bore cylinder choke ? If yes, how did they perform ?
Performance depends on your gun, barrel, slug, sights, etc. However for reference I regularly am able to get consistent flight out to 100 yards. 4-6" groups at 50 yards open up to 10-12" groups at 100 yards. That's usually fired prone with front/rear iron sights, I'd imagine an optic would tighten it up.

I've fired them as far as 300 yards messing around, between 150-200 they start to do some crazy curving or veering off course.
 
To the OP my experience is SST's always accurate out of any gun I've tried them but terminal performance lacking. My experience is only with 250 gr 20 gauge in whitetails. Just through and through, not a lot of damage or blood.

My preferred slug was Remington Copper solid but I'm not sure those are made anymore.
I shot another box each of the Remington Accutups and the Federal Trophy Copper today.

The Remington shot exactly the same, nice tight group then one crazy flyer. The Federal shot a 4-5" group, really lack luster. As much as I tried to find an alternative, I'll be using the SSTs. I went and bought 12 boxes last night for practice and hunting.
 
Good lord, you're paying airline fees to do THAT hunt? Good luck. Bring snake chaps and a thermacell, and spray EVERY item of clothing down with Permethrin before you hunt. No clue on the slugs.
Not worth a $297 rountrip flight to hunt nilgai for a few days?
 
Will still be a couple thousand cheaper then paying a guide. Pretty special opportunity as I know of no other way to do a DIY public land nilgai hunt in tge US.
The whole trip including flights, 6 nights lodging, rental truck, permits, and licenses is about $1100.

My wife and I were talking about a fishing charter when we're on vacation in Florida next year, we decided to forego that charter and do the nilgai hunt instead as the cost was about the same. A few days of nilgai in south Texas trumps one 8 hour day of fishing in my book.
 
Any input?
Have you tried to find a place to buy black powder (or whatever you normally use) close to where you're hunting? That's what I'd be trying to do if I were you. Good muzzleloader is so much nicer than a slug gun.
 
Have you tried to find a place to buy black powder (or whatever you normally use) close to where you're hunting? That's what I'd be trying to do if I were you. Good muzzleloader is so much nicer than a slug gun.
The problem with buying some there is what to do with it when you go home.
 
The problem with buying some there is what to do with it when you go home.
Hand it to a dude wearing camo or orange at the wildlife refuge, or pour it out in a long thin line and light it up. Personally, having used slug guns and muzzleloaders more than any other type of weapon for hunting, I'll go to a fair bit of trouble to use a good muzzleloader rather than a slug gun, if possible.
 
I’ve shot Nilgai with rifled slugs, Remington cheapo 12g 2.75” rifled slugs. Your gun being semi auto is the best part of the combo. Any of those the slugs you listed will kill them dead as a hammer. Good luck , I hope you shoot a freezer full.
 
I have a savage 220 and shoot the Barnes expander slugs. The damage they do is pretty crazy compared to any of the rifles I have shot up to ‘06. My savage is unbelievably accurate at 100 yards. I can rarely see more than 70 where I hunt but I would have no problem reaching out to 150 with them. Make your life easy and go with the shotgun.
 
The whole trip including flights, 6 nights lodging, rental truck, permits, and licenses is about $1100.

My wife and I were talking about a fishing charter when we're on vacation in Florida next year, we decided to forego that charter and do the nilgai hunt instead as the cost was about the same. A few days of nilgai in south Texas trumps one 8 hour day of fishing in my book.
You made the right choice OP! You can still get a fishing charter down there when you’re done with the refuge! If I remember correctly that permit says “any exotic” not just Nilgai, my father in law shot a random oryx on laguna, there’s also a small group of fallow deer running around.
 
You made the right choice OP! You can still get a fishing charter down there when you’re done with the refuge! If I remember correctly that permit says “any exotic” not just Nilgai, my father in law shot a random oryx on laguna, there’s also a small group of fallow deer running around.
Man, didn't know that was in the cards! I'll keep my head on a swivel. Any advice on where to find the Nilgai and how to hunt them? Sitting vs still hunting? Brush vs open country?
 
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