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Deer Hunting

Shooting Sabot Slugs With a Rifled Choke??

Uploaded on October 31, 2009

Greetings,

I've done a fair amount of research on this one, and can still not come up with a definitive answer. I'm a poor college student getting ready for the upcoming deer season. I have an 870 express and I'm debating what to shoot. I do not have the money to go and purchase a rifle or even a slug barrel unfortunately. I was wondering, is it safe/possible to shoot sabot slugs from a smoothbore 870 with an extended rifled choke. From what I can tell I'll be ok, but it never hurts to get an opinion from experienced hunters as yourself. My other option is to shoot regular slugs out from my smoothbore 870 with an IC choke.

Let me know what you think, thanks!

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All Replies
from 4ply87 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

The sabot slug won't hurt the barrel but accuracy should be your only issue here. I think you should get some of both slugs and shoot both of them to see which has the tighter group. I'm not sure if the rifled choke will make a difference or not. If not the sabots are going to fly everywhere. Anyway good luck and good hunting.

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from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Thanks,

Yea, I have purchased both traditional and sabot slugs. I shot about a dozen traditional slugs with reasonable results (4" group at 60 yrds) but as always, I would like more. I just wanted to make sure that I wont damage my gun at all by shooting a sabot slug through a rifled choke tube.
From what I can tell there seem to be two types of sabot slugs. Those that the mfg requires a fully rifled barrel, and those that can be shot through a rifled choke or fully rifled barrel. Obviously the fully rifled barrle is prefered and shold be more accurate.
I'll see what I can do with some sabots.
Thanks again!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dee Earnest wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Buckhammer slugs work well. I use a rifled choke and shoot 4" groups @ 100 yds. Without really trying to hard. Just make sure your ft per second don't over ride the choke's design spec.
God Bless, Big Dee

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from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Thanks Dee, I was planning on trying buckhammer as it was! Thanks!

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from buckshot89 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

my dad has a weatherby armed with a smooth bore and a rifled choke, he shoots rifled federal slugs. it doesnt hurt his gun and it is the most accurate shotgun in camp. i have an 870 with the fully rifled and i like shooting the brennake ko's. they're cheap, shoot well, and pack a punch.

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from bljstn125 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I think u should just stay with smooth bore and shoot slugers witch i have seen takin deer at over a 100 yards with plenty of force to take down the deer. Its a cheep alternitve to buyin a 200 plus barrel. And u can chop down trees with all that lead cant be much more simple

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Well, I did some range testing and I just wanted to report back. After reading some balistics info, I tried both the the Remington Slugger, and the Remington Buckhammer. I found the buckhammer to be more accurate. With 3" Buckhammer's, a 4x scope, and the rifled extended choke; I was able to do accurate 3.5" groups at 100 yrds. I'm pretty happy with this. I went with the Buckhammer over the Slugger because it was slightly more accurate/consistent, the same speed (muzzle V) and alomost 1/2 oz heavier. I was also very happy with how flat the Buckhammers shot (for a slug that is).
With the gun sighted in at 100 yrds, I'm a little less than 2" high at 50 yrds. I'm fairly confident that I could make accurate shots out to at least 120yrds with my current set up.
I cant wait to see how much terminal energy these big slugs can put into a deer at 100 yrds.
Thanks!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

John, sounds like you've set a reasonable range at 125 or so. That's pretty good accuracy from a smoothbore. My browning bps does about the same with sluggers (improved cylinder). I have tried federal, brenneke, and a couple others. I don't think i tried the buckhammers though. I will. Best of luck!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from COL CWW wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

John, I shoot an 20 ga. Rem 870, but with a rifled barrel. Taken approx. 50 deer, up to 115 yds over open ground and in timber. I wouldn't change a lick on your setup if you are getting 3.5" @ 100. Hit a deer anywhere with a 250+ gr. slug, his day is ruined. If you are comfortable and confident with that setup, save the $$ and go with it. COL CWW

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Well, gun deer season is done here in WI, and saddly I was not able to take any deer. I saw a fair number of does, but opted not to take any of them (deer numbers are down as far as we can tell). The only deer I did take a shot at was an 8-pointer that someone in my party wounded. We surrounded and drove out the woods we thought the deer was in. The drive was successful, and the deer headed right at me. I took a 40yrd, quartering shot at the deer as it ran towards me. I did hit the deer, but unfortunately in the rump (my first season hunting... I consider myself fortunate to even hit it really). I would have taken a second shot, but the deer was close to a road, so I decided not to. About 10 min later, we ambushed the deer and were able to finally take it. It was a very resiliant deer.
All in all, I was happy with my setup. My technique and shooting skills still obviously need some work however.
After looking over the wound on the deer's rump, I was suprised it was able to continue running. The huge slug put about a 6in hole into the deers left hip...

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from 4ply87 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

The sabot slug won't hurt the barrel but accuracy should be your only issue here. I think you should get some of both slugs and shoot both of them to see which has the tighter group. I'm not sure if the rifled choke will make a difference or not. If not the sabots are going to fly everywhere. Anyway good luck and good hunting.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Thanks,

Yea, I have purchased both traditional and sabot slugs. I shot about a dozen traditional slugs with reasonable results (4" group at 60 yrds) but as always, I would like more. I just wanted to make sure that I wont damage my gun at all by shooting a sabot slug through a rifled choke tube.
From what I can tell there seem to be two types of sabot slugs. Those that the mfg requires a fully rifled barrel, and those that can be shot through a rifled choke or fully rifled barrel. Obviously the fully rifled barrle is prefered and shold be more accurate.
I'll see what I can do with some sabots.
Thanks again!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Thanks Dee, I was planning on trying buckhammer as it was! Thanks!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Well, I did some range testing and I just wanted to report back. After reading some balistics info, I tried both the the Remington Slugger, and the Remington Buckhammer. I found the buckhammer to be more accurate. With 3" Buckhammer's, a 4x scope, and the rifled extended choke; I was able to do accurate 3.5" groups at 100 yrds. I'm pretty happy with this. I went with the Buckhammer over the Slugger because it was slightly more accurate/consistent, the same speed (muzzle V) and alomost 1/2 oz heavier. I was also very happy with how flat the Buckhammers shot (for a slug that is).
With the gun sighted in at 100 yrds, I'm a little less than 2" high at 50 yrds. I'm fairly confident that I could make accurate shots out to at least 120yrds with my current set up.
I cant wait to see how much terminal energy these big slugs can put into a deer at 100 yrds.
Thanks!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from COL CWW wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

John, I shoot an 20 ga. Rem 870, but with a rifled barrel. Taken approx. 50 deer, up to 115 yds over open ground and in timber. I wouldn't change a lick on your setup if you are getting 3.5" @ 100. Hit a deer anywhere with a 250+ gr. slug, his day is ruined. If you are comfortable and confident with that setup, save the $$ and go with it. COL CWW

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dee Earnest wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Buckhammer slugs work well. I use a rifled choke and shoot 4" groups @ 100 yds. Without really trying to hard. Just make sure your ft per second don't over ride the choke's design spec.
God Bless, Big Dee

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckshot89 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

my dad has a weatherby armed with a smooth bore and a rifled choke, he shoots rifled federal slugs. it doesnt hurt his gun and it is the most accurate shotgun in camp. i have an 870 with the fully rifled and i like shooting the brennake ko's. they're cheap, shoot well, and pack a punch.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bljstn125 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

I think u should just stay with smooth bore and shoot slugers witch i have seen takin deer at over a 100 yards with plenty of force to take down the deer. Its a cheep alternitve to buyin a 200 plus barrel. And u can chop down trees with all that lead cant be much more simple

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

John, sounds like you've set a reasonable range at 125 or so. That's pretty good accuracy from a smoothbore. My browning bps does about the same with sluggers (improved cylinder). I have tried federal, brenneke, and a couple others. I don't think i tried the buckhammers though. I will. Best of luck!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Well, gun deer season is done here in WI, and saddly I was not able to take any deer. I saw a fair number of does, but opted not to take any of them (deer numbers are down as far as we can tell). The only deer I did take a shot at was an 8-pointer that someone in my party wounded. We surrounded and drove out the woods we thought the deer was in. The drive was successful, and the deer headed right at me. I took a 40yrd, quartering shot at the deer as it ran towards me. I did hit the deer, but unfortunately in the rump (my first season hunting... I consider myself fortunate to even hit it really). I would have taken a second shot, but the deer was close to a road, so I decided not to. About 10 min later, we ambushed the deer and were able to finally take it. It was a very resiliant deer.
All in all, I was happy with my setup. My technique and shooting skills still obviously need some work however.
After looking over the wound on the deer's rump, I was suprised it was able to continue running. The huge slug put about a 6in hole into the deers left hip...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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