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  #1  
Old 06-21-2020, 07:47 PM
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Default Slug recommendations for Smooth bore 12ga

I have a smooth bore 12ga shotgun and am looking for recommendations for a slug for home defense. Understand rifled slugs are most accurate?

Thanks
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:55 PM
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Most all standard Foster type slugs are “rifled”. The effectiveness for this purpose is questionable. It does allow the slugs skirt to conform to bore diameter. In smooth bore guns standard slugs are average 6” at 100 yds.
most slug models will do better than that. 3” at 100yds is not uncommon. Bottom line for HD/ SD purpose plain old Foster slugs will work fine and cost much less than sabots and other fancy ammo for rifled barrel slug guns.
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Old 06-21-2020, 08:00 PM
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Std 1oz. Winchester rifled ("Foster") slugs work best in my smooth bores. I tried Sabots in the past, but was not impressed, not even when I upgraded to a rifled barrel.

AFAIK, all non-Sabot slugs are rifled. At any rate, I have not seen any that weren't.
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Old 06-21-2020, 08:07 PM
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Breneke are very accurate in my smoothbore 870. Far better than anything else.
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Old 06-21-2020, 08:11 PM
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Standard Foster type slugs are widely available and cheaper than other
types and are best for smooth bore barrels as mentioned above. In my
accuracy and chronograph tests Winchester brand gave the best results.
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Old 06-21-2020, 08:52 PM
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You don't mention particulars. Are you looking for accuracy at any particular range? Particular degree of accuracy? There are tactical slug loads at reduced velocity that are at least more pleasant to shoot and possibly more accurate than the standard loads.

Note: you may find one brand of slugs to be more accurate in your particular arm. It pays to experiment and buy (a bunch of) what best meets your requirements. Point of impact with slugs is not necessarily that of shot. Again, experiment.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max503 View Post
Breneke are very accurate in my smoothbore 870. Far better than anything else.
Second the Brennekes. Worked best in the Buck Special barrel of my Auto-5. The Forsters worked well also, but the Brennekes did give better groups.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Protected One View Post
I have a smooth bore 12ga shotgun and am looking for recommendations for a slug for home defense. Understand rifled slugs are most accurate?
Based on my experience, most 12 ga slugs will perforate your home, the next home and potentially the next home. The traditional Foster slug is a serious piece of lead.

Not saying that slugs donít have a purpose in defending the homestead, but understand how the pumpkin balls readily penetrate. I keep a pair of slugs on my 870 but not in the tube, they are available if I need to kill a rampaging elephant.

I also switched to the hard to find low recoil Federals. Stout recoil is reduced and accurate at 50 yards for me.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:46 PM
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Unless you live in a particularly large mansion any slugs will be plenty accurate enough for home defense. For that matter even birdshot won't open up more than 6" in most homes & works fine... & doesn't over penetrate as much.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protected One View Post
I have a smooth bore 12ga shotgun and am looking for recommendations for a slug for home defense. Understand rifled slugs are most accurate?

Thanks
Rifled slugs in common use = Forster slugs. Mostly what I buy are Remington Sluggers. At 100 yds from a ghost ring sighted security shotgun I dare say they're as accurate as most of the old milsurps I have shot.
Super slow motion video of Forster slugs show they actually spin from smoothbores. Whatever, they work.
I love to shoot them at reactive targets because the terminal effects are spectacular but TBH buckshot makes a better HD round, IMO.
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:05 PM
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I had to deer hunt in Ohio with slugs since a kid. We’ve only had rifle last few years. Anyway became involved in the perfect slug gun, building slug guns, shoots, ect. I ended up using Brenneke myself. For serious shooting we are talking under 1” at 100ft. You couldn’t depend on standard slugs to do that. At one time we would use the hottest slug out, 2.75” mags ect.
Rem, Win or Fed. You can dump out a few boxes of standard slugs. Pick up each one and shake it. If it rattles you have a flyer. Brenneke are not Fosters and aren’t necessary for HD. They also have more penetration than standard slugs. I do think #4 buck much better HD load. I’m not much of a what iffer to worry about over penetration but I don’t like to miss.
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:22 PM
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Military loads for infantry are #4, 00 for security and MP's
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:22 PM
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Weíve always used the Federal Hydra-Shok and Truball slugs have done very well while being pretty accurate out of a smoothbore barrel. The Truball were a little more accurate.


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Old 06-21-2020, 11:29 PM
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Any rifled slug will do in a smooth bore. But for in house I'd be using 00 buck. And rifles slugs are rifled to impart or minimize tumbling in the air during flight for better accuracy at slug distances, there's no spin in the barrel as far as I know. If I'm wrong feel free to correct me.
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:34 PM
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Default Tru Ball

Federal Tru Ball, Brenneke TKO are cheap and work well. I wouldnít used slugs in the house
Slugs would not be my first choice. But if so it would be low recoil variations. Longest distance in my house is under 45 feet.

Last edited by rich5674; 06-22-2020 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:49 PM
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Iíve been using Brenneke reduced recoil slugs in my 870 tactical. They shoot inside 3in or less at 50yds off hand. I donít think that a deer or bad guy will notice the reduced velocity. Just my 2cents.
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:51 PM
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All the above info is very good on slugs. However if you are looking for home defense, you would be better served with standard trap or skeet loads,( 7.5-9 size shot). Plenty of knockdown power and very limited penetration. Slugs penetrate way too much.
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:58 PM
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If the potential engagement distance is not over, say, 50 feet, it will not matter as long as you are not trying to shoot sabots out of a smooth bore gun. Buy some kind of low-recoil slug loads,
Shoot a few at varying distances to verify points of impact, and donít worry about it. Minute-of-angle accuracy is not needed here. The ability to hit an 8 inch plate consistently is good enough.
I personally would prefer some sort of buckshot for short range use myself, but thatís me.
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Old 06-22-2020, 12:04 AM
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A Foster slug flies true because weight is forward , the rifling veins allow the skirt to expand to fill the bore. Cut a foster slug out of a shell. It will drop through any choke without touching. For run of the mill gun with standard Foster slugs there is no point going beyond that for HD use. The make wouldn’t make any difference either.
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Old 06-22-2020, 12:45 AM
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Skip slugs. They convert your shotgun into an unwieldy, heavy, hard to operate, low capacity, hard kicking rifle.

If you want to use a shotgun, feed it buckshot. That's what a shotgun is for.

If you want to shoot bullets, get an M4 or pistol caliber carbine.
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chino74 View Post
And rifles slugs are rifled to impart or minimize tumbling in the air during flight for better accuracy at slug distances, there's no spin in the barrel as far as I know. If I'm wrong feel free to correct me.
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Old 06-22-2020, 08:40 AM
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On YouTube, check out the ballistics test from tnoutdoors9 using foster slug. Was an eye opener!
I use 00buck myself, but would be fine with slugs. Don’t really recommend birdshot as I have seen it penetrate less than 25 acp in gel.
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:00 AM
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What WR Moore said!!! he nailed it. I have shot a lot of deer with rifled slugs and sabots going 1600+ - 2000+ FPS, even at 50-70 yards I get a complete pass through. With that said, for home defense I would recommend G2 R.I.P 303 grain 1430 FPS. And on the less expensive side Fiocchi Low recoil @
1150 FPS.
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:11 AM
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Those Breneke's are so accurate out of my 870 that I've never felt the need for a rifled barrel.
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:11 AM
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Several others have stated in regards to a home defense round accuracy at long range is not important, what you want is great terminal performance and any sluggish should do the job. My preference in my HD shotgun is staggered #4 then slug and repeat for my 5 rounds using 3" magnum for all defense loads.

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Old 06-22-2020, 10:32 AM
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Default Birdshot ineffective

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Originally Posted by ruger 22 View Post
All the above info is very good on slugs. However if you are looking for home defense, you would be better served with standard trap or skeet loads,( 7.5-9 size shot). Plenty of knockdown power and very limited penetration. Slugs penetrate way too much.
Taken from shotgun and personal defense sites. Birdshot thought to not be as effective as buckshot. Penetration or lack of is a problem. Always better than nothing. The military uses #4 buck, and OO for guard duty. I keep #4 or #1 for the house.
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:46 AM
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Default Brennekes👍🏻

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Originally Posted by max503 View Post
Those Breneke's are so accurate out of my 870 that I've never felt the need for a rifled barrel.
The TKO were cheap and accurate to 75 yds ( my personal max)
Tru Ball work equally well.
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:51 AM
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Home Defense?

I would prefer #4 Buckshot over slugs.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:11 AM
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Have to agree with the 'something other than slugs' camp. I've been using regular old 1 oz. Foster's on deer for 30 years and even at 60 yards have seen broadside pass-throughs. Much too much juice for inside a house.

Last edited by dmn57; 06-22-2020 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:42 AM
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the rifling on foster + Brenneke slugs do not promote any spin to the projectile at all - heavy nose + hollow base or wad is what stabilizes slug in flight - for home defense large birdshot or small buckshot are a better safer choice - at most home distances the shot will be acting like a single projectile anyway -
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Old 06-22-2020, 12:36 PM
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Default Home Defense?

The OP said he needs a slug for a smooth-bore shotgun for home defense. Unless he lives in a convention center, most any Foster type slug will do just fine.

I will say that in my deer hunting days, one of the major companies made their Foster slugs a few thousandths wider than the competition and these tended to be more accurate. Sorry, I don't remember exactly which slug that was but somebody here might.
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Old 06-22-2020, 12:58 PM
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the hollow base on the foster slugs expands with propellent detonation to fit bore + allows it to constrict to clear tight chokes -
a few thousands in diameter will make little difference in accuracy - velocity +| aerodynamics have more effect then size - -
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:16 PM
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I dearly hate slugs. Coming from a slug only state when I got to hunt with a rifle it was never the same again. From then on it was looking for ways to hunch on Ohio regs. I didn’t get sucked in on rifled barrels and sabots. Many of them will shoot like a rifle with right combination. My smooth bores will all do 3” at 100yds. No need for anything better. I got a couple hundred 410, 20 and 12g slugs left. Unless rioters come to town won’t be using them any more.
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:21 AM
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Federal, Winchester and Remington Forster style Slugs have always worked just fine in any gun I've shot them from.

IMHO the OP would be much better served with #1 or #4 Buckshot within the confines of a home. Up close, Buckshot is devastating and will penetrate far less than a Slug will. When in a home environment that is very important and a miss or even a poor hit with a Slug could be dangerous to innocent people. Just my opinion of course.....

My personal fav for HD is #1 Buck Winchester 2 3/4" shells and has 16 .30 caliber balls inside. That should do the trick.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:37 AM
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The Foster type slugs have always impressed me, way more accurate out of a smoothbore than you'd think. And I've shot maybe a dozen deer with Brenekkes, puts them down like a .45/70.
But no way would I consider slugs for home defense. Too much penetration and recoil.

I bought a case (250 rounds) of PMC #4 Buck from SG Ammo.
A bit less penetration than OO Buck ( that's a good thing for use inside the home) but you have 28 pellets that are 24 caliber.
My quail/SD model 1100 holds 8 shots, so if I empty it that's 224 projectiles going downrange.

Pic below is modified choke on the left, Skeet #1 on the right, both at 25 yards.

The 1100 has a +3 extension, 21 inch barrel length, and a Meprolight tritium white bead.
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:52 AM
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Depending on your firearm, look at some of the min-slugs. Lower recoil and 7/8 oz. (382 grains) of lead at 1250 will pack a wallop.
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:56 AM
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And the arguments go on and on. Accuracy (grouping) performance means nothing inside a house. Larger shot sizes, #2 or #4 (not Buck) game loads will be more than adequate for up-close defense and will not create much of an overpenetration problem, e.g., shooting through walls, ceilings, or floors. I would not recommend anything smaller than #4 shot. A load of #2 or #4 to the chest from 10-15 feet will stop anyone instantly and permanently. My personal choice is #4 Buck. I would never use rifled slugs of any kind for inside-home defense.

Last edited by DWalt; 06-23-2020 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 06-23-2020, 02:43 PM
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For the house gun.....The first round in my M1Super 90 slug gun is a 3 dram 1 1/8 ounce of 8s...all the rest are 2 3/4 inch Rem #4 buck. The first one??? If they can't see ya they can't hurt ya. Cold thought, I know. Even a hit anywhere on the body inside the house is going to be VERY painful. The following 8 #4 buck if needed will probably be fatal. One story.... BTW. I have shot an awful lot of slugs and deer. Foster slugs work ok out of some guns clear to a hundred yards. Sabot slugs in a scope sighted IC/Skeet smooth bore are good for 150 yds if you get 'em sighted right. Rifled bore w/sabots finding the right one for your gun/bbl; are seriously good up to 200 yds. It does take serious testing to find the right combo. Slugs are clearly the wrong ammo for a house gun
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:29 PM
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Back to the OP, I'm confused. Aren't all shotguns smooth bore? Do you mean cyl. bore? No choke?
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:53 AM
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I took the OP's question to mean he has a barrel that isn't a rifled slug barrel.

As to choke, we've always been told to use an open choke like cylinder bore for slugs or 00 buck. But I've found the smaller buckshot like #4 responds well to some choke, I got better (denser) patterns with #4 buck when using modified than when I used Skeet #1, which is almost as open as a cylinder bore choke.
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:51 PM
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Due to the methods used to produce the newer shotgun barrels on assembly line repeaters the modified choke will many times shoot a tighter pattern than a full choke. The bigger the shot the more noticeable it is. I don’t know if this is true with screw in chokes. The little experience I’ve had with screw ins has been with super full type turkey chokes for shot. They don’t work well for Buck.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:29 PM
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You know, Every gun is different. Usually an open choke shoots slugs best. But I have had a couple full chokes that shot them really well. But the extra length didn't work well for quick shooting in the thick stuff...and at those ranges it really didn't matter anyway. My cousin had a Model 12 full choke we put a scope on for his sitting in a stand gun. It was easily a 125 yard shooter with foster slugs. So just saying check what you have and how it shoots. Buckshot is in another world of it' own. My Benelli is a slug gun and it shoots #4 buck pretty darn well out to about 40 yds then quickly opens up. I use it for a house gun and for yotes around the house. I've never used it with larger buck as I really have no need. Longer than 50 yds I'll use a rifle. I used an 11-87 with Briley screw chokes...and yes it was a factory bbl..and with an Imp Mod choke it shot lead BBs T and #4 buck really great. . On my better days shooting geese 90 yds or a little better was doable. I had a friend who was/is a GREAT field shot that killed passing geese with my Ithaca Mag 10 at 100 yds with great regularity. So every gun is a bit different. Slugs still are not a great load for a house gun. esp in a pump gun. The Benelli will shoot em all in about 6-7seconds...but it is hard on your shoulder...and you really have to hold it. That is one quick semi auto
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:41 AM
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I have never seen the inside of a house where slugs were used in HD mode In 60s I was in a house that owner awoke to burglars. This old dude had a 401 Win deer rifle. I think it only holds 5 but he made a mess out of his house. It was unbelievable and burglars got away. A 401 does a job when it goes through a wall then into kitchen cabinets full of dishes.
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:14 PM
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Slugs have a lot of penetration for HD!
Putting it another way, I hope my next door neighbor isn’t using them.
I live in a Patio Home which Is pretty close to the next one.
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Old 06-26-2020, 04:44 PM
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Our bear control officers in AK (US Fish and Wildlife) use Brenneke slugs.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:33 PM
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My one experience with a slug fired off inside a house was a suicide. 12 gauge Mossberg Cruiser under the chin, Remington Wal Mart variety slug, spectacular results. The slug went through one head, one ceiling panel and some insulation, and stopped before exiting the roof. It did make a lump I could see from the outside. The suicide was not in question so we just left the slug in place. No sense adding a leaky roof to their woes.
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