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Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel #8480613 12/19/21 08:19 PM
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I bought a used but clean Mossberg 500 rifled barrel with Williams rifle sights for my Maverick 88. I haven’t been able to find slugs and wound up with two boxes of the 300 grain Hornady SST’s. I have a trip to the LBJ grasslands this week and just today got to (attempt) to sight it in. At first I was about 8” high at 50 yards. I brought the rear sight to lowest setting it for a couple of shots the elevation seemed ok. After that is stayed on paper but was throwing them everywhere. I stopped after 8 shots, leaves me two to hunt with and apparently a self imposed limit of about 40-50 yards to even consider a shot.

Is this a common experience? I have not shot slugs before- I know all rifles will like certain ammo but this is a bit much especially when Hornady claims 2”@100.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8480670 12/19/21 09:27 PM
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Should be doing better than that, but maybe that's why the barrel was for sale? I would also say that slug barrels are especially picky when it comes to finding slugs that shoot well. What works in one barrel usually doesn't work in another.


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Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8480687 12/19/21 09:38 PM
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Maybe. The rear sight had to come down an awful lot and the barrel looked pristine on the inside. Unfortunately I looked for months and couldn’t find a new barrel in stock

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8480689 12/19/21 09:38 PM
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Growing up in Kentucky I’ve sent lots of solid lead down a shotgun barrel. Our neighboring states (Ohio & Indiana) were shotgun only for deer until just a few years ago.

If your barrel is fully rifled, the SST, or any sabboted slug is the loading you’ll want to use. I’ve shot lots of the 300gr. Hornady rounds and playing card size groups from a scoped slug gun were certainly achievable but claims of rifle-like accuracy might be exaggerated. I think Hornady claims accuracy “out to 200 yards” but sub-5 inch groups were about the best I could ever turn in at 200.

The only time I’ve seen sabots group as poorly as you describe is when they are shot thru a smooth bore. Smooth bores need brenneke slugs or even the old “rifled” pumpkin balls to even achieve minute of pie plate past 40-50 yards.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8480741 12/19/21 10:21 PM
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I had a Mossberg 535 with the cantilever rifled barrel. Added a scope and shot really good groups (3” or so) at 150. That’s about all I ever needed when pig hunting at Richland Creek WMA. Never had the issue you’re describing. Doubt it’s the ammo.

Best of luck

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8480787 12/19/21 11:22 PM
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Had a 12 gauge Mossberg 500 Slugster that shot Hornady SST sabot slugs great (well under 2” at 100). That being said, shotguns are no different than rifles. What works great in one may be horrible in another. Outside something being loose or damaged in your current setup, you may need to try some different ammo to find one that works. I know that is easier said than done with the current state of ammo availability.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8480836 12/20/21 12:04 AM
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Thanks typically I get at least hree brands of the same grain and shoot enough to get familiar with the weapon and find what it likes. I struggled to find anything much less the barrel. No choice at this point but to go and hope for a close shot or just put my field barrel on and load up buckshot.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481096 12/20/21 03:41 AM
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question for the slug hunters:


How well does a rifled slug work when it hits a deer?


I would think it would pack a real wallop but the shows i've seen on tv, the deer didn't react at all like I thought they would


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: txtrophy85] #8481244 12/20/21 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
question for the slug hunters:


How well does a rifled slug work when it hits a deer?


I would think it would pack a real wallop but the shows i've seen on tv, the deer didn't react at all like I thought they would

Hunting predominately military installations over the years, I've killed more than a few deer with shotgun slugs. I've had everything from 10 yards and a pile-up to running hundreds of yards on three legs (destroyed offside shoulder) and finding rib bone in the blood trail. But overall, I've been unimpressed with slug "knock-down power."


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Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481323 12/20/21 01:16 PM
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Ranch Dog found a lot more success (on his own loads) with a smooth bore barrel after months of testing. I will try to find the original topic where he ended up settling on a certain OEM ammo for a scheduled hunt but here is the topic about the ammo he made and how much better it was with a smooth bore barrel ---> LEE Loader Forum.

The ammo was an STD hammerhead saboted slug but I cannot find reference online where to buy some.


Pass the gravy.


Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481362 12/20/21 01:43 PM
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lf the saying "Liar, Liar your pants on fire" were true
Mainstream news might be fun to watch
Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481425 12/20/21 02:33 PM
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We used them few years ago in Illinois...Shot Winchester 1 Oz rifled slugs.out of my 835 Mossberg with cantilever scope mount and rifled barrel. We all three killed nice bucks with no problems. Jdh78 I will look when I get home and if I can find .a box you are welcome to them if you want to try them. No charge

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481535 12/20/21 04:13 PM
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Make sure you aren't flinching- the slugs create a pretty good recoil- like everyone else I get 2" to 3" groups at 100 yards- have the cantilever style with a scope.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481561 12/20/21 04:27 PM
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Excellent point David! Punishing recoil. Eventually your mind takes over and tells you to take action. Aka flinch. That might explain “ all over the place” after a bunch of shots. In my experience anything past 4-5 at the range would not produce the best shots/groups.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481654 12/20/21 05:59 PM
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Sent you a pm

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481734 12/20/21 07:00 PM
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You’re just not gonna have lights out accuracy with a mossberg pump and rifled barrel no matter what. If you have about 5” group at 100 that’s good and it will probably kill deer to 125-150. With a smooth bore barrel and 3” rifled slugs I get a single ragged fist sized hole for 5 at 50 but at 100 it goes to crap completely, I would say 8-10”group.

So you are still ahead with a rifled barrel.

Sighting in slugs from the bench sure can make you flinch. Get shooting sticks or tripod and stand, much easier to handle.


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Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8481736 12/20/21 07:01 PM
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Thanks everyone. As far as flinching, I didn’t think so but possibly. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought but it did kick. The front sight also had the sun glinting off it and it was cold. Poor form may have factored. Unfortunately limited ammo availability and time to make a follow up range trip is a disappointment- I will be better prepared next season.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8484742 12/23/21 02:45 PM
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I have the cantilever rifled slug barrel for a 500 Mossberg pump Try a few different brands of sabots but I get around 2 1/2" to 3 " groups at 100 yards. When you put a scope on the gun you have to lift your head off the stock to look through the scope and then the gun comes back in recoil and belts you in the jaw. I electric taped a sponge on the stock for a cheek piece and another over the butt plate- huge help. If you have a buddy have him hand you the gun - not knowing if you do or don't have a live round in the chamber- any flinch will be very apparent. .

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8484902 12/23/21 04:58 PM
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So I took a look at the sight and noticed it had walked itself back up to about the original setting but was super tight. After I had lowered the sight when shooting I had tightened the set screw as tight as I could without stripping it. After each shot I tugged on it to make sure it was still tight and seemed to be solid each time. Removing the sight from the ramp after the fact it is apparent that the set screw dug into the side of the ramp from the lowest setting up to where it ended. I can only guess recoil from shooting off the bench did it.

Makes me feel a bit better I guess that it seems I have found the issue. Might be a good opportunity to look into a rear sight upgrade.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8485202 12/23/21 11:12 PM
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Yup, that kind of recoil plays heck on sights, scopes and mounts.


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Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8485317 12/24/21 01:04 AM
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I've only taken one with a 20ga Hornady sabot out of an 870 w/ rifle sights, about 40-50 yards.
Accurate enough. Slug passed through. Took out, not off, front leg and a lung.
He moved off slowly but made it about 30-40 yards before laying down.
Not a big blood trail to start off.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8488623 12/28/21 02:44 PM
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Folks lap rings to get a good grip on scopes. You can also use acragel and release agent.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8488967 12/28/21 10:19 PM
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I shoot the Hornady 2000 fps 300gr SST's in my Rem 870, with a Hastings Paradox barrel and Leupold 4X scope. It will shoot less than 1.5" all day, and occasionally less than 1". The only problem is a crappy shotgun trigger, that takes getting used to. That might be [part of you problem. Also, make sure the barrel is installed and really tightened up so there is no movement.

Here in SE Idaho our WMA's required short-range weapons, even tho it is wide-open sagebrush, and shots can be long. I have killed a bunch of deer, and a couple elk with it, and I shoot coyotes out to 200 yards with no problem. It typically blows a huge hole right thru them!!

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Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8489386 12/29/21 04:36 AM
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That’s what I’m talking about! Lots of pigs in North Texas have had large holes put in them at WMAs where it was a shortened shotgun season.

Thanks for sharing. Assuming that deer has made the cooking section at some point as well? Mr. Blank can cook.

Re: Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel [Re: jdh78] #8489400 12/29/21 05:32 AM
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Yes, these are alfalfa fed WT's that go out and live in the desert. Boy they're good eating!!!

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