Caribou Gear Tarp

Shotguns, barrels and slugs

mtmuley

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Ok, I only shoot my shotguns at waterfowl. That's as far as my experience goes. But, I have discovered that using one for big game will extend my season a bit. I have 4 or 5 12 guage shotguns laying around. The 2 most suited are probably my Mossberg 500 and Remington 870. So, can I shoot slugs in the smooth barrels? What kind of range can I expect? Accuracy expectations? Sabots in a smooth barrel? Should I buy a slug barrel instead? Rifled slug barrel? My thoughts are to be able to take deer and elk up to 100 yards maybe. Lots of questions, but I know you guys can help. Thanks, mtmuley
 

Trigger50

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I'm comfortable to 75 yds w my Rem 870 smoothbore w cheap rifled slugs & factory bead sights. Mine shoots alittle right & low. I only need to compensate allitle past 50 yds. You can buy a rifled choke tube for ur 870. This will help accuracy, but u MUST shoot the more exspensive saboted or jacketed slugs. They are pretty expensive. Next step up is a fully rifled barrel w a cantelever scope mount. If u shop around U can get one for about $200. Finally.....the best u can do is a fully-rifled bolt action slug gun. I love my Marlin 512. I've pimped it out quite a bit, w a trigger job, high end scope etc. I'm comfortable to 200 yds. Have fun !
 

Rooster52

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Smooth bore with Foster type slugs max range is about 75-85 yards but the rifled slug barrels with a sbot slug can be accurate at 200 yards .
 

Rooster52

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I tried a 410 slug a few years ago,but I can throw rocks as straight as that thing of mine would shoot slugs.
 

birddog32

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Dec 8, 2010
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wisconsin
Have shot Winchester 1300 for years with first smooth barrel (rifled slugs), and rifled barrel (sabots) . 75 yards max. Plan on switching to a Savage 220 in the very near future. Bolt, with rifled barrel. All kinds of slugs out there and barrels can be picky about what they like.
 

LCH

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Dec 9, 2013
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Southern Indiana
I have a H&R rifled slug gun. It's a killer out to 200. Wouldn't be much more expensive to pick up one of those instead of a new barrel for your pump.

Like others have said though, cost you over $2 each time you pull the trigger..
 

Mudranger1

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Jun 30, 2010
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Hastings rifled barrel on my browning can tack drive to 200 with hornady sst's. That is if you can handle the recoil
 

VAspeedgoat

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Timberville, VA
If accuracy and range is your objective, then get a rifled slug barrel with cantilever mount. If price is your objective then stick with the smooth bore with a imp. cylinder choke. Full or modified will work though. As mentioned do that with foster type slugs for best results and keep under 100 yards. A rifled barrel will get you to 200. In talking with friends a rifles choke may get you to 100 a little better than a smooth bore but not too much more. Stick with 12 ga over 20. My buddies that slug hunt say that a 20 just doesn't have the knockdown of a 12 despite what some claim. I don't have personal experience with it but thats what they say.
 

zadvorney

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Oct 30, 2009
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Buffalo New York
$2 a shot is a lot like rifle rounds. Not a bad price to pay to put a 1/2" hole in something. I use a Mossberg 500 and have both open sight and cantilevered scoped barrels. Fully rifled. Very accurate.
 

Rooster52

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I have a Hastings barrel for my 870 but the recoil is brutal with 3 inch slugs. Accurate though.
 

mtmuley

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So Foster type slugs will work best in a smooth barrel? I'm not opposed to buying a new barrel, but if the Fosters shoot with what I have now out to 50 yards or so, that will work. Thanks a bunch for the info so far guys. mtmuley
 

Gellar

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Jan 31, 2014
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The Driftless Area
I won a 870 20 gauge at a pheasants forever banquet when I was 8. My dad got a smooth bore slug barrel for it when I was old enough to deer hunt. After a couple years of open sights I put a b_squared scope mount and 4 power weaver on it. I shoot 3/4 oz 2 3/4" rifled slugs and will not hesitate to shoot 150 yards. We hardly ever get a shot that far though. Rifled slugs through a smooth bore and sabots through a rifled barrel. At the very least use rifle sights instead of the bead.
 

TRS_Montana

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Nov 19, 2014
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Helena
I have been really happy with my Mossberg 500 with a rifled barrel. The rifled barrel was a must for me since I can't afford to shoot sabots on a regular basis. I am really confident with it at 50 yards and have killed an elk at 120 yards. Another thing I would suggest is lowering the trigger pull on the Mossberg 500 if that's the route you go.

I also put a Vortex Sparc II on it, which has been really fun. Difficult to pick things up in the scope if you're rushed, though.
 

Dave N

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So Foster type slugs will work best in a smooth barrel? I'm not opposed to buying a new barrel, but if the Fosters shoot with what I have now out to 50 yards or so, that will work. Thanks a bunch for the info so far guys. mtmuley

Yes. At that range you should kill anything even with open sights. Shoot a bit to get used to where it hits. Speaking from experience, stick to 2 3/4 inch rounds. 3 inch is NOT needed and will kill your shoulder! Plain old green box Remington Sluggers will do the trick.
 

Jwill

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Nov 7, 2011
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Virginia
I put a cheap red dot on and got a rifled choke tube for my 870, it's good out to about 100 with that setup.
 

Trigger50

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Dont shoot 3" slugs....the little bit of extra velocity isnt worth the HUGE increase in recoil !
 

Rat Fink

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Aug 17, 2010
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Helena, MT
If you are serious about making the most of hunting a weapons restricted area, invest in a Savage 220 and 2 3/4 in Remington Accutips. I took all of my whitetails this year with mine including a nice buck, last year I also shot my buck with this combo. Some of my friends do the same. It opens up a LOT of overlooked opportunity.
 

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Gut Shot

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Mar 19, 2015
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Banks of the Big Muddy
Elk out to 100yds? I'd stay away from Fosters for something as big as an adult elk. If you are going to shoot a smoothbore go with Brenneke's, they hold together better. I would strongly suggest a rifled barrel and Sabots. The Mossberg and Remington will work OK but the pump action guns can rattle and aren't the best choice for sneaking through the woods. As others have stated stay away from the 3" stuff your ears and shoulder will thank you.
 

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