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slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

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slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

Old 09-23-2002, 08:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: st cloud mn USA
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Default slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

I was wondering how much a shooter really gains by using a rifled slug barrel shooting sabots, some guys say that it increases your range up to 125- 150 yards.

as far as smooth bores with rifled slugs 100yrds maybe?

im not sure what to get should i spend the extra $$ on a rifled barrel or stick with a smooth bore barrel with rifle sights

im shooting a 870 express 20 ga.

does anyone have any experiance on shooting both these barrels.
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Old 09-23-2002, 10:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Central IN
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Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

The difference from one gun to the next, and one shooter to the next will vary of course. Aside from that, my opinion is yes you will gain a lot from a rifled barrel. I have shot both, and killed deer with both. I've seen incredible accuracy out to 150 yards with a rifled barrel, not only out of my gun, but also out of friends guns that they use for deer hunting. I killed my first few deer with a smoothbore 20ga with no problems. Those distances ranged from 15 yards to 65 yards. I felt comfortable shooting 75 yards with that gun, but I never had to. The gun I use now is a 12ga with a rifled barrel, and it will easily go 100 (without a scope). I would guess that if I scoped it, it would do even better. I've never had to take a deer further than the shot I took with my smoothbore 20 though. The biggest difference I've found is not with the distance (because it isn't a factor for me), but the accuracy. Comparing the two at any given distance, there is no comparison from my experience. I can get good groups out to 75 yards with a smoothbore, but I can get incredible groups with a rifled barrel out to 75 yards, and beyond if I set up for it. If the majority of your shots are 50 yards and less, then it may not be worth the money. If you have areas that can produce shots of 75 yards or more, then it will probably pay off for you. But yes, in my opinion you will gain a lot from a rifled barrel shooting sabots. I base that on my own personal experience. By the way, i've never shot a 20ga with a rifled barrel, but from what i've heard/read they are flat out deadly. Sorry for turning this into a novel.

--Man who fish in other man's well often catch crabs--
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Old 09-24-2002, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: dedham massachusetts USA
Posts: 1,361
Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?


i own both a rifled barrel and smooth bores. i used the rifled barrel once and really never used it again. just because my shots are under 75yds and lead slugs are good out of my smooth bores at those distances.
one other reason is the price of ammo for the rifled barrel.

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Old 09-24-2002, 06:54 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Texas - BUT NOW in Madison County, NY
Posts: 6,270
Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

With a load like the Winchester Partition Gold, the rifled barrel gun is so much superior to a smoothbore there is no comparison. The new loads make your gun into a large bore rifle at least equal to a hot-loaded .45/70, and this includes the 20-ga., as well as the 12!!

Keep yore powder dry!!
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Old 09-24-2002, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: North Chili NY USA
Posts: 96
Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

I just bought a new Mossberg 695 (bolt action, rifled, ported, etc.) and here was my thinking in no particular order: A) By all accounts, the bolt action, the rifling, the sabots, etc. are much more accurate and at significantly longer ranges; B) I hunt deer enough that I felt that purchasing a gun JUST for deer was justified; C) A second barrel for your bird gun will NOT be as accurate as a fixed barrel; D)the price of the Mossberg ($219) was LESS than the price of an additional barrel for my Ithaca (and most aftermarket barrels for most guns); E) I had an itch to buy a new gun and there is only one way to scratch that itch; F) Buying a new gun is more fun than buying a barrel for an old gun.

I haven't shot the thing yet, but search and read some of the posts on the 695 (on shooters.com) and I think there is a pretty good track record for the gun. Savage and Marlin also make affordable bolts and Browning makes an $800 slug gun. I picked Mossberg because it was the least expensive and its accuracy exceeded or matched the others.
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Old 09-25-2002, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: romulus ny USA
Posts: 108
Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

Go test that gun quick, I had a Marlin slugmaster bolt action 12 gauge for 5 years. The magazine would hold two extra shells. The brass part of the shell would dig in to the metal of the magazine and they jammed everytime. They sort of pinched themselves in there. The company sent me five new magazines to try and they all did it. I could only use the gun as a single shot. One slug in the magazine would feed ok about 50% of the time. I finally sent the gun back to Marlin and received the full price back for it after 5 years. I was impressed with customer service. I have looked at the other brands bolt actions and they all seem to use the same style of mags, I won't try them again. The gun was extremely accurate though. I took the money from the marlin and bought a mossburg 500 slugster with synthetic stocks, ported rifled barrel, cantiler scope mount, the dull black finish and a scope for $299. It shoots nearly as accurate as the marlin and is very reliable and I don't care if it gets scratched up for the money I paid.
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Old 01-17-2003, 05:24 PM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Townsend, DE US
Posts: 6,429
Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

I have a smoothbore and hate to spend the extra $219. for the barrel and then pay more for the slugs. I find the smoothbore accurate enough out to 90-100 yards. I might try a smoothbore barrel in a new 870 20 ga. I just bought, that old 63 year old shoulder is getting a little tired of being beat on each fall.
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Old 01-21-2003, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Fayetteville NC USA
Posts: 79
Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

Check the accuracy of your smooth bore first and then decide if you really need a rifled barrel. I put fiber optic sights on my 870 12 gauge smooth bore and get 2 to 3 in groups at 100 yards using Federal rifled slugs. All of my hunting shots are under 100 yards so the 870 is perfect the way it is.
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Old 01-21-2003, 09:33 AM
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Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

Hey, if you have a smoothbore with rifle sites, 50 yards is your limit. Unless you like possible wounding animals. 5" groups will be the norm. I don't care what anybody says. If you use a smoothbore with a bead, 30 yards is it. If you take hunting serious, and plan on hunting in states with slug laws, think of the future, and buy you a decent rifled barrel. Its not that much money. If you are really serious, and want to move your range to possible 125-150 yards shot, get a cantilever barrel and mount a scope.
Old 01-21-2003, 11:59 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Gleason, TN
Posts: 1,327
Default RE: slug barrels, rifled or smooth?

My 12ga. smoothbore will do great with rifled slugs and the mossberg double bead sight out to 75 yards. At 100 yards the gun can make tennis ball sized groups. It's the gun that decides how accurate it's going to be. I would say shoot your smoothbore and if it gives you good groups at the ranges you want, then use it. The rifled barrels are better as far as down range accuracy goes, and sabot slugs are better as far as performance goes, but that doesn't mean that rifled slugs and smooth barrel won't do the job. It's all in what you want and what your gun can do.

"Hey ya'll, watch this"
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