What Is An Effective Range For Shotgun Slugs?

Discussion in 'Guns' started by branchd77, Oct 8, 2017.

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  1. branchd77

    branchd77 Administrator Staff Member Gold Supporter
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    I was considering buying a new shotgun and loading up on some ammo. I know most 12 gauge ammo is only good for short range, but I was wondering about everyone's experience with slugs and range. Maybe a particular brand or even a specific shotgun I should try to get. Any thoughts?
     
  2. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I like the Mossberg 500 or the Remington 870 pump shotguns because they are absolutely dependable and there are all sorts of barrels, stocks and accessories you can get for them. I have three Mossberg 500s and about 6 barrels for them. I would like to add one more. For slugs I have a smooth bore 22" with open rifle sights and would like to add a rifled barrel but don't really need that here.

    With a smooth bore and regular slugs you need to try and keep it under 75 yards because they are not at all aerodynamic and lose velocity fast. At that range you don't really need a scope and the advantage of the smooth bore is that it shoots buckshot as well. NOW, they make saboted slugs that make it a totally different ball game and with those you will want a rifled barrel with a scope. They will have good accuracy and lethal levels of power out to 200 yards. I live in a very wooded area and most shots would be under a hundred yards so I really don't need a rifled barrel or scope...but I want one!

    Buckshot is for under 50 yards. Something that you need to understand about shotguns is the FACTS concerning magnums and such. Generally speaking the only difference between a magnum shell and a non-magnum shell is the weight of the load. A magnum only has more reach because it is throwing more shot. The 3 1/2" magnums are for steel shot and their reach is not as good as the same size lead shot.

    The problem is that a round ball has a pretty crappy ballistic coefficient and looses speed fast and the faster it starts out the faster it loses speed so that by the time your shot is 40 yards out, even if it started out faster, a magnum load is moving no faster than a standard load. After trying that the various manufacturers stopped trying to pump up the speed and stopped beating shotguns to pieces for no real gain.

    My next go to shotgun is a double barrel. I have hunted with them for most of my life and have three. They are simple machines, easy to repair if they break which they almost never do and a pleasure to carry. They also have a rather large intimidation factor when you point one at someone or even several someones. They aren't great for slugs but will throw them out there.
     
  3. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    Just out to the range like 3 weeks / month ago to address this very issue. The rifled barrel on my slug pump 20 ga. made not just a "big" difference, it was a "this works" solution. I sh##est thou not, I shot a 2" group at 100 yards with a right eye that has had a cataract removed. Used Federal $expensive$ brass saboted 250 grain brass slugs out a 870 Remington rifled barrel w/iron sights. A fellow sat behind me watching me do this.

    Target is behind me in my home's office, it shows shots stringing vertically. Took me a bit to figure out height adjustment vertically -- still, it shot pretty dang flat at short range, 100 yrd. Light pump 20 ga = real recoil; narrow stock stings. Federal bills this as 250 grainer @ 1800 ft/sec. These puppies are too expensive, yet I was transformed into a little boy again. I have me a "big bore" .60+ caliber rifle. In some earlier post I mentioned that I viewed videos of these 20 ga slugs killing white tail deer where they stood.

    In my Mossberg, Brenneke slugs went all over God's creation out a smooth-bore open cylinder. Just did, truth. Let me say that inside a house, intruder better be right by his Maker.

    Side point: Mossberg forends rattle. Remington 870 pumps rattle FAR less than do Mossberg 500 shotguns. Just 5yr back, bought me some early version of one of Browning's earlier designs and I love it so! Cheap little 20, but it is slick and fits me like Mommy Nature built it for me. Got it soooooo cheap, praised by God! No finish on it what to speak of ... so what! Him so loves it!
     
  4. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I am seriously thinking about getting another 20 gauge pump. They are so nice to shoot and the 20 gauge recoil is totally easy on old arthritic shoulders. I've never been very bothered by recoil but now days because of arthritis I can go out and shoot a couple boxes of 12 gauge shells and will FEEL it for a couple of days.
     
  5. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    Those slugs I was talking about were Hornady, not Federal. My old brain is getting crispy.

    My Rem 870 pump is light in weight, therefore with these .45 cal., 250 gr brass slugs at 1800 ft/sec, it recoils royally. The stock is rather narrow, also. I did go through a bunch of buckshot, including 3" mag and regular Brenneke slugs, true; but still, firing those Hornady brass saboted slugs caused that little pump to say "Hello!" to my shoulder.

    I've never fired a 20 gauge out of a semi-auto. That could be much less punishing and there are some really fine-looking shotguns out there in 2o config. I like a sleek profile on a shotgun; pretty pretty pretty. The men in my family had a thing for pretty women and fancy firearms. As a boy, I remember all these guys with nickel-plated revolvers in their back pockets and waistlines. Pap carried his, cross-draw.
     
  6. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I like to hunt with a pretty little 20 ga double barrel. I started out with a Savage 20 ga single then moved to a 20 ga pump. Then went 12 ga auto for ducks and a double for quail then eventually Mossbergs for defense and slugs. My smooth bore slug barrel actually throws a better group off a bench than I can shoot off hand in the field so out to nearly a hundred yards I can place a slug in the kill zone on a deer.

    Cross draw holsters is what got me seriously into leather work. I had made a few belts and a couple of rather primitive knife sheaths but nothing very challenging. I was carrying a gun a lot back then and when you were in a car you had to wear a high rise cop holster. It was a beast to try and draw while sitting so I wanted a cross draw holster. Lordy those things were expensive and I had a lot more time than I did money so I decided to make my own.

    Cross draw was just massively more comfortable and easy to get into action from a sitting position and actually more concealed when up with a coat on. A standard draw is close to vertical while a cross draw is twisted at about a 45 degree angle so it is riding higher without the grip being higher. I ended up making quite a few for friends and people that notice them as the gun ranges. They were simple thumb break holsters that were molded to you specific gun. Not fancy but tough and functional as hell. I still carry my Ruger 357 mag cross draw. In the woods I carried my Blackhawk in a flap topped cross draw old military style holster that I made.
     
  7. Bishop

    Bishop Expert Member
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    A family friend killed his grand dad with one number one buck shot pellet a tep hundred eighty feet in a hunting accident a good bolt action slug gun will hold a tight group out to 150 yards
     
  8. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    For me, cross-draw matches how God made me -- and yes, at 45 degrees. Too, it is more difficult for someone to come up from behind you and steal your weapon if you are carrying cross-draw.
     
  9. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I have only used an old single barrel 12 gauge with slugs & found it accurate out to 50 paces. Using round ball in my flintlock 20 gauge is about the same, 50 paces. Quite far enough. My hunting distance is usually anywhere from point blank to 25 paces at most.
    Keith.
     
  10. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Smooth boar with round pumkin ball 50-60yards with sabath slug 70-75 rifled barrel with round ball 80yards sabath slug 125-150 yards with ammo youget what you pay for i use federal prem in all my guns i watch for sales buy in bulk 1000 rounds at a time federal ammo works fantastic is cleaner burning than imported ammo made overseas reloading is the same buy good compoments and find what works best
     
  11. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Another plus to cross draw holsters is that they are not bothered by seat belts. Also when someone looks in the car or truck they can't see your gun. In general I just prefer that form of carry for several reasons. Part of it may be that though I generally prefer to shoot right handed, I am nonetheless left handed and not averse to drawing a cross draw with my left hand. Another thing is that because the gun is at an angle it actually seems to me to fit my body shape better when I am sitting or squatting.

    I often prefer to carry my pistol gripped pump shotgun cross draw as well over my left shoulder barrel down unless I already have a handgun on that hip. I have a stock with a pistol grip on it. I'm not especially fond of just a pistol grip except for in my truck so I can swing it. For that kind of thing you don't need a stock because you are probably trying to shoot something that is real close and maybe trying to get in the truck with you.

    I have several stocks for my mossberg 500s. That will allow me to adapt my weapon to different situations. I am currently trying to figure out how to add a bayonet to it. Shotguns are at their best in up close use. If something gets too close I can envision a bayonet being handy. If nothing else it should add to the intimidation factor. I like sharp pointy things anyway and if it makes me feel happy then it is a good thing! LOL...
     
  12. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    Bayonet lug for securing M7 & M9 Bayonets:
    https://www.ncstar.com/optics-acc/mounts/shotgun-mounts/mshbaymos-bayonet-mount-for-mossberg-500

    I think the above requires the pump to have already had installed an extended magazine tube.

    https://www.combathunting.com/Mossb...al_Rails_And_Sling_Stud_Fits_1_Mag_Tubes.html

    For the 590
    https://www.northwestfirearms.com/threads/a-fun-mossberg-500-modification.198813/
     
  13. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    THAT is exactly what I was looking for!! My Mossberg Defender comes with the long tube and a 20" barrel to accommodate the increased shell capacity!! THANKS!!
     
  14. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Have you seen the silenced mossberg 500, my gun dealer is trying to sell me the 3 shell 12gauge version.
     
  15. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    How big is that thing!! I know that current technology is shrinking them but a 12 ga would have to be a big silencer!! Would you also have to go to a slightly lighter loads to get subsonic? Shotguns are right at the edge of the speed of sound 1125 FPS and lots of shotgun shells are around 1400 FPS.

    I'm not big on silencers. In a combat situation I think that the sound is unnerving to an inexperienced person. Besides all else it is too late to save my hearing and besides I'm like a kid and like the bang.
     
  16. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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  17. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    TexDanm, this gun has a big fat barrel on it but it seems to be light enough, even if it is far from silent (only moderated) but you can use subsonic rounds with it to make it quieter still. This isn't such a big deal as most people think, most shotgun shells don't achieve much more then 1200fps at best (most of them much less but I'm guessing the ones that you mention at 1400fps are 3") while the subsonic shells produce speeds of just under 1050fps. Not a massive difference but it takes some getting used to.
    Noise is a bigger consideration in the UK, there are simply too many people, even in my area which is the least populated county in Wales. Since I do most of my shooting around dawn I have to try to be considerate to all the lazy folks who are still in their beds. I'm not thinking of buying this as a weapon, more for pest control. It can't be used as a sporting gun either, they're two shots maximum over here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  18. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I think I understand better now why you might want one. We just live in such a different environment that things that we each take as sort of common knowledge just isn't. Where I live the sound of gunfire is just sort of like traffic sounds and usually hardly is noticed. I live in the country and here shooting, just for fun, is common. Then, especially this time of the year, you have the people sighting in their deer rifles and also the sound of hunters shooting. Using a suppressor so it wouldn't bother neighbors is just not a consideration because for us the sound of gunfire isn't disturbing and notable when you do hear it.

    Shotguns, even when loaded hot to around 14oofps probably drop to subsonic almost as soon as they leave the barrel. A lot is going to be lost as the wad peels off and the shot starts to spread. Like you say though, dropping the muzzle velocity to the area of 1050 would make absolutely no difference 30 or 40 yards down range. Round projectiles are not very aerodynamic and the pressure of the air resistance increases in a geometric way such that faster loads slow down faster than loads that started out slower.

    People usually think that 3" magnum loads means that they are moving at a higher velocity and will have more reach. The truth is that there is no advantage at all of loads that have a muzzle velocity over about 13oo fps and so the "magnum" part of longer shells is simply that it is throwing more shot. If you want or need a little more reach then go up a shot size but even that is mostly only a very minor advantage if any.

    When I used to hunt ducks I used #6 shot regardless of the distance. At a distance a clean drop usually came from a hit in the head or upper neck and more pellets gave you a better chance of this sort of hit and usually didn't cause the duck much trouble if he got peppered in the body. I wasn't big on long distance pass shooting. I didn't have a dog so finding a downed bird out in the tall grass or in the water was just more trouble than I wanted to go to for a duck and I just HATE to kill or injure an animal and not find it or eat it.
     
  19. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    In house shooting is going to be up close feet away not yards so use lighter loads hard hitting turkey loads in 2 3/4 or 3 in shells with 4-6 size pellets threw a full choke will put down any man hard. For hunting small game i use 2 3/4 in 7 1/2 shot size threw improved cylinder choke ducks geese i use 3 1/2 in steel shot in t size shot trukey i use 3 1/2in 6 shot threw extra full choke deer and larger i use a rifle
     
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