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  1. #1
    Colonel ChrisWNY's Avatar
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    Post Rifled slugs through rifled barrel

    So this past weekend I tried out a number of rifled slugs in my Remington 870 tactical express smooth bore 18" barrel. From this inexpensive setup, I was able to shoot Remington Sluggers right on top of each other in a tight group (with the assistance of a gun vise) from 100 yds away. Other slug brands did not perform well in my particular 870 - this includes Federal Tru-balls, Brenneke KO's, and Winchester hollow-point rifled slugs. They were all over the place at 100 yds, no consistency at all.

    So, I have a fully rifled 24" barrel for my Rem. 870, I have not fired a shot through it yet. I plan on taking it to the range tomorrow to fire a few brands of slugs through it - Brenneke KO's are labeled for use in both smooth bore and rifled barrels, the Sluggers are labeled as optimized for smooth bore (but can be fired through a rifled barrel), and I have a box of Lightfield hybrid EXP expansion sabots that I intend on trying out as well.

    What I'm hoping is that I find that shooting through the rifled barrel is only marginally better, at best, than shooting rifled Sluggers through my stock Rem. 870 18" smooth bore barrel. If that ends up being the case, I'll be returning the rifled barrel.

    My question is: Am I completely wasting ammo by firing rifled slugs through a rifled barrel (even though they're labeled for use in rifled barrels)? OR have others found that rifled slug performance is noticeably improved through a rifled barrel (though I can't imagine an improvement over what I experienced through my smooth bore barrel this past weekend)? Sabots as we all know are much more expensive than rifled slugs, but if I can fire them in a precise grouping at greater distances (beyond 100 yds), it may be worth keeping the rifled barrel especially since Niagara county does not yet allow rifle hunting. Just wanted others' thoughts on this. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Major Noodles's Avatar
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    Actually, my roommate has a fully rifled NEF 12 gauge, and his gun really seems to prefer the Remington Sluggers. Unfortunately, unlike the more expensive (or labor intensive when I'm making him reloads) a lead slug in a rifled shotgun barrel really dirties it up quick.

  3. #3
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    I believe you will find that your rifled barrel will be more then "marginally" more accruate. With a sabot through a rifled barrel you will expect almost touching holes with a good rest at 100yards. I shoot a Benelli with an E.R. Shaw custom slug barral with federal Barnes expanders slugs. Off of the lead sled the three shot groups look like clover leafs. A sabot will be more expensive to shoot, but you will not be disappointed in the increased performance. An 870 with a smooth bore, remington sluggers, and a good rest will still putdown some deer, but you will find after 50 yards they are alot more unreliable to be accurate.

  4. #4
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    If you are already putting the rifled slugs "right on top of each other" then I don't know how much improvement you can get!

    As was pointed out, a rifled barrel with rifled slugs is probably going to get leaded fast. Which definitely can affect accuracy.

    Personally, I was ready to switch back to rifled slugs after using sabots and a rifled barrel for a few years. For the money I didn't see that big of a improvement in group size. Yeah two or three inches difference on paper looks big but compared to the vital area of a deer its not as significant. But now since my county went rifle, I don't have to worry about switching!

  5. #5
    Colonel ChrisWNY's Avatar
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    Good groupings with the rifled barrel today, it did pretty well with all the slugs I shot through it, both rifled slugs and sabots. They all ended up in the same spot, anywhere from 1/2" to 3" apart at most. My scope was a different story, damn thing worked its way loose after the first box of slugs, so the bore sighting that had been done previously went into the trash. Wasn't able to adjust the scope while at the range as a result, settled with just shooting toward the center of the target and having the slugs hit way off to the lower right side. I had to redo the bore sighting and use threadlocker on all the screws after torquing them down as tightly as possible without breaking anything.
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  6. #6
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    Shooting rifled slugs through a rifled barrel will fill the grooves in the rifling with lead killing your barrel and accuracy and once it's seriously gummed up it's almost impossible to get out resulting Ina 250+ bbl purchase

  7. #7
    General Gunner57's Avatar
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    Sniff sniff... I smell a "for sale" listing coming up

  8. #8
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    Glad you had good luck with the rifled slugs throught he rifled barrel.
    I myself have been trying to find some good slugs for my rifled barreled 16ga Ithica 37. It doesn't like the Remington slugs at all, and the Lightfield's are just too hard to find, and too expensive when you do.

  9. #9
    General waldershrek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jma5000 View Post
    If you are already putting the rifled slugs "right on top of each other" then I don't know how much improvement you can get!
    I would say this would be my first answer.

    I have a Mossberg 500 with the rifled slug barrel and then a smooth barrel. I shoot sabots in 4" groups at 100 yards with open sights using the rifled barrel. I have patterned the gun with many different brands of slugs at 100 yards with the smooth barrel and it's all over the paper. I hate wounding deer so to me the extra expense is worth it of knowing my gun will hit where i aim at 100 yards (assuming I don't f it up!)


    I just did the smooth bore vs rifled comparison yesterday with winchesters and remington sabots and rifled slugs and the sabots again came out on top. Thank god I used a lead sled too or it would have been brutal!
    Tact is for people not witty enough to use sarcasm

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