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How to Sight In Your Slug Shotgun

Shotgun slugs have become faster and more accurate than ever, but they are, nevertheless, big chunks of lead driven at low velocities. In other words, they’re slow, they kick, and they drift in the wind. You need to take all three into account to successfully sight in your shotgun.

[1] Distance: Shoot at 50 yards. Due to their low velocity, slugs drift in the wind more than you may think. Even a 10-mph crosswind can move a slug 5 to 6 inches over 100 yards. If you sight your gun in 2 to 21⁄2 inches high at 50 yards, you’ll be dead on or just a little low at 100, depending on which slug you’re using.

[2] Recoil: Pad up. Heavy projectiles produce heavy recoil. It’s hard to do a good job sighting in when you’re getting hurt. A Lead Sled or other type of weighted rest makes slug shooting practically painless. Or put a sandbag or padded gun case between your shoulder and the butt.

[3] Technique: Hang on. Hold the fore-end tightly with your front hand when you shoot from the bench. Slugs have a long “barrel time” and are still traveling down the barrel as the gun recoils up and (in rifled guns) to the left. If you don’t hang on here, the gun may print as much as 5 to 6 inches high and to the left of where it will shoot when you hold it normally in the field.

Comments (19)

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from al.corlett wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

While Lead Sled and sand bags are great, don't overlook PAST Recoil Shield! A Remington .270 Mountain rifle USED to almost bring tears to my eyes until I bought and used the PAST shield! It is a whole lot cheaper and convient than the Lead Slead, and worn under shirt or jacket, you can let people believe that you are a Real Tough guy!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from IH1 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Step 4: Shoot Off hand. It may well pattern in a different spot. Adjust sights as desired.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan Delp wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I didn't know that about the 3rd thing, even thought I hang on. I just got another slug gun and will use these techniques.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Buck wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

While Bourjaily shoots and knows more. I would carefully check his 2 or 2.5 inch at 50 yards sight-in at longer ranges. He must be thinking of modern Sabot Slug Loads, but he didn't say. There is a lot of difference in some slug loads. Foster Slug Load's are seldom a 100 yard load, and would not shoot the same as much faster more streamlined Sabot Loads.
Buck@score-your-hunting.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JHawes wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Anybody try using holographic sights on a shotgun. Shooting from a bench I shot pretty good groups at 50 yd. but when I shot off hand all the shots were low. Just wondering if anybody had the same problem or any suggestion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from riverrunner wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

JHawes
My guess would be form. Assuming you read point three. Think about how you held the gun both times. I think your rest could also affect it. I think guns can bounce off of hard unforgiving rests.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dgmartin wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

The a good rest is always best....but don't forget breath control and trigger squeeze...shotgun are notoriously sloppy, at least mine is..controlling a long trigger break is a skill most riflemen don't have to learn, but it will make or break the slug shooter....good hunting, and greetings from Kuwait !

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dgmartin wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

Also check your scope's eye relief or you could get scope cuts that will make you look like Dave Petzel....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from squirrelhunter7 wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

I didn't know about number 3. Good advice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fawnBleat wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

wow a .270 almost brought you to tears suck it up i shoot my 30-06 with no recoil mad and a metal but plate and thats nothing and im a small guy

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from K. Oney wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

i agree with fawnBleat. a .270 is nothing. im 15 and ive shot my .270 10 rounds at a time with a thin recoil pad and a t-shirt. and he must be talking about sabot slugs, because id never take a shot past 50 yards with the brenneke rifled slugs that i use. granted, i bagged my first deer with them, but past 65 yards or so, the groups start to open up and the energy drops fast.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dee Earnest wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I got a "Limbsaver" recoil pad. It works great.I use Remmington Buckhammers and shoot 4" patterns without too much trouble. God Bless, Big Dee

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dee Earnest wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I am sorry I left out the distance. I am new at this 4" patterns @ 100 yds. God Bless, Big dee

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Most slugguns will shoot one brand of slugs better than any others so take a variety of slugs to the range. also some slugs kick harder than others. at a recent trip to the range i shot rem corelocked ultra and hornady sst slugs. The remington slugs kicked a lot harder and caused the action on my gun to hang up.I also use a limbsaver slip on recoil pad and it does help. Most shot gun stocks on older guns are too low and you may need to put a cheek pad on it to raise your head to scope level. Also, use a quality shotgun scope, they are made to take heavy recoil and are parallax free at 50 yds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ADKHunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

this is very helpful to me for gun season

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gary_fatherree@... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

A proper cheek weld is imporant for both absorbing recoil and also helps steady the gun for optimum accuracy. I have seen so many guys shooting shotguns and rifles with their face completely off the stock. The recoil of heavy slugs can make the stock slap you in the face, I put a Accu-Riser Cheek pad on my 870 and and it helped my groups greatly and it is more comfortable to shoot. Anyone starting a kid on a slug gun should get a cheek pad for them right off the bat. The Leatherman traditional leather company makes several styles of cheek pads including camo and walnut wood colored up to 1 1/4" heights. They are called Accu-Riser cheek pads. Check them out.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 3030forlife wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I use federal truballs in my single shot with just the front bead and hit the bull at 50 yards. These slugs are a must if you shoot a smoothbore.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from harleychicks wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Has anyone shot the Rem 870 Super Slug and if so what do you think of the gun .
Thanks !
Scutt Dog

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntingwithdaughters wrote 3 years 32 weeks ago

Thanks! You have me lead sled shopping!

David Bershtein
www.huntingwithdaughters.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from IH1 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Step 4: Shoot Off hand. It may well pattern in a different spot. Adjust sights as desired.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from al.corlett wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

While Lead Sled and sand bags are great, don't overlook PAST Recoil Shield! A Remington .270 Mountain rifle USED to almost bring tears to my eyes until I bought and used the PAST shield! It is a whole lot cheaper and convient than the Lead Slead, and worn under shirt or jacket, you can let people believe that you are a Real Tough guy!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dgmartin wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

The a good rest is always best....but don't forget breath control and trigger squeeze...shotgun are notoriously sloppy, at least mine is..controlling a long trigger break is a skill most riflemen don't have to learn, but it will make or break the slug shooter....good hunting, and greetings from Kuwait !

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dgmartin wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

Also check your scope's eye relief or you could get scope cuts that will make you look like Dave Petzel....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ADKHunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

this is very helpful to me for gun season

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gary_fatherree@... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

A proper cheek weld is imporant for both absorbing recoil and also helps steady the gun for optimum accuracy. I have seen so many guys shooting shotguns and rifles with their face completely off the stock. The recoil of heavy slugs can make the stock slap you in the face, I put a Accu-Riser Cheek pad on my 870 and and it helped my groups greatly and it is more comfortable to shoot. Anyone starting a kid on a slug gun should get a cheek pad for them right off the bat. The Leatherman traditional leather company makes several styles of cheek pads including camo and walnut wood colored up to 1 1/4" heights. They are called Accu-Riser cheek pads. Check them out.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan Delp wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I didn't know that about the 3rd thing, even thought I hang on. I just got another slug gun and will use these techniques.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Buck wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

While Bourjaily shoots and knows more. I would carefully check his 2 or 2.5 inch at 50 yards sight-in at longer ranges. He must be thinking of modern Sabot Slug Loads, but he didn't say. There is a lot of difference in some slug loads. Foster Slug Load's are seldom a 100 yard load, and would not shoot the same as much faster more streamlined Sabot Loads.
Buck@score-your-hunting.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JHawes wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Anybody try using holographic sights on a shotgun. Shooting from a bench I shot pretty good groups at 50 yd. but when I shot off hand all the shots were low. Just wondering if anybody had the same problem or any suggestion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from riverrunner wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

JHawes
My guess would be form. Assuming you read point three. Think about how you held the gun both times. I think your rest could also affect it. I think guns can bounce off of hard unforgiving rests.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from squirrelhunter7 wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

I didn't know about number 3. Good advice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fawnBleat wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

wow a .270 almost brought you to tears suck it up i shoot my 30-06 with no recoil mad and a metal but plate and thats nothing and im a small guy

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from K. Oney wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

i agree with fawnBleat. a .270 is nothing. im 15 and ive shot my .270 10 rounds at a time with a thin recoil pad and a t-shirt. and he must be talking about sabot slugs, because id never take a shot past 50 yards with the brenneke rifled slugs that i use. granted, i bagged my first deer with them, but past 65 yards or so, the groups start to open up and the energy drops fast.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dee Earnest wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I got a "Limbsaver" recoil pad. It works great.I use Remmington Buckhammers and shoot 4" patterns without too much trouble. God Bless, Big Dee

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dee Earnest wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I am sorry I left out the distance. I am new at this 4" patterns @ 100 yds. God Bless, Big dee

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Most slugguns will shoot one brand of slugs better than any others so take a variety of slugs to the range. also some slugs kick harder than others. at a recent trip to the range i shot rem corelocked ultra and hornady sst slugs. The remington slugs kicked a lot harder and caused the action on my gun to hang up.I also use a limbsaver slip on recoil pad and it does help. Most shot gun stocks on older guns are too low and you may need to put a cheek pad on it to raise your head to scope level. Also, use a quality shotgun scope, they are made to take heavy recoil and are parallax free at 50 yds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 3030forlife wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I use federal truballs in my single shot with just the front bead and hit the bull at 50 yards. These slugs are a must if you shoot a smoothbore.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from harleychicks wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Has anyone shot the Rem 870 Super Slug and if so what do you think of the gun .
Thanks !
Scutt Dog

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntingwithdaughters wrote 3 years 32 weeks ago

Thanks! You have me lead sled shopping!

David Bershtein
www.huntingwithdaughters.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment