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Question by ocimaroli. Uploaded on August 21, 2012
you will be more accurate with the rifled barrel. however, you will need sabot slugs for this, but they are very expensive. the smooth bore will only be accurate out about 50 or 60 yards, but the rifled slugs are cheaper. if you plan to shoot trap or skeet, definitely get the smooth bore because this is meant for birdshot.
At a very basic level, a smooth barrel is meant for regular shotshells. Hence, the old nickname "scattergun." A rifled barrel introduces "rifling" into a shotgun barrel that will allow you to shoot Sabot type slugs (not rifled slugs). The goal with a rifled barrel is to introduce a twist/spin to a projectile in order to increase accuracy. You're typical accuracy for a regular shotshell can range from 25-50 yards, but with a Sabot-type slug out of a rifled barrel (say, for deer) you accuracy increases to 100-150 yards.
To state the obvious, the difference is pretty clear. The riffled barrel is much more accurate for the saboted slugs.
In my experience sabots aren't that much more expensive than foster style riffled slugs.
As stated by habben97, if you must choose only one barrel get the smooth bore and use foster style slugs come deer season.
If you can swing both, or pick up a riffled barrel later, you'll see improved accuracy and an extension in effective range with the sabots.
The smoothbore may be effective to 60-75 yds at best, the rifled barrel maybe twice that with the right slugs.
my smoothbore groups about 4 inches at 60 yds, so that's my range with it on a broadside deer.
Dont use fosters with a rifle barrel, better out smooth bore, but sabots and a rifled barrel is aaccurate gun, but seen my old man make 125 yard shots with a smooth bore 870, with fosters, and a rifled choke
I actually switched back to a smoothbore slug barrel for my 870. 1) I found all my shots to be 75 yards and in and at 50yards at the range I can often overlap 3 shots. 2) I find that the rifle barrel was extremely finicky about what its fed. After spending a ton just to find what it likes, I figured it was just easier to go back to a smoothbore and Remington sluggers. They are just as deadly, but you have to know your range limitations.
Oh my god, YES!!! Im going to assume you are shooting slugs and the thought to shoot bird shot through your rifled barrel never crossed your mind. That being said, if you shoot rifled slugs through your smooth bore you might be able to get pie plate accuracy from 50-60 yards depending on how good of a shooter you are. With a good scope, rifled barrel and sabot slugs you should be able to reach out and touch deer out to 130 yards or so. Although I wouldn't advise taking a 130 yard shoot with a slug I shot a buck this year from 130 yards with my 870 with a riffled barrel and remington copper plated sabot slugs.
I have the same opinion as everyone else here. And like Moose said, rifled barrels are very finicky. My Mossberg 835 will only shoot the new Hornaday slugs, nothing else will pattern out of it. Once you figure out what it likes, its a great dear gun. I have no problems shooting 125+ yards with it.
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