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Reaching out with 12-gauge rifled slugs

This is a discussion on Reaching out with 12-gauge rifled slugs within the Shotgun Range Reports forums, part of the Shotgun Forum Discussions category; I’ve spent range time this past summer challenging myself to extend the distance I could put a 1-oz rifle slug on target. I use my ...



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Old 10-14-2014, 09:04 PM   #1
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Reaching out with 12-gauge rifled slugs

I’ve spent range time this past summer challenging myself to extend the distance I could put a 1-oz rifle slug on target. I use my Benelli 12-guage Nova Tactical Pump with a smooth bore 18 ½” barrel; ammo was Remington 2 ¾” Slugger 1-oz rifled slugs. These slugs are rated at 1560 fps (muzzle), and with a trajectory of -4.8” at 100 yards. There were a couple of things which motivated me to try this.

First, I saw a 1/23/11 youtube video by Hickok45. On his range, he stood up a scrap kitchen countertop on end – size approximately 2’ wide by 5’ high (my guess). He shot, offhand, a Benelli 12ga smooth bore auto using 1-oz rifle slugs. The distance is what surprised me. He hit (I counted) 15 out of 20 shots at 230 yards. Here is the video link for anyone interested:

Hickok45 – “Shotgun slugs at 230 yards” – 1/23/11

That type of shooting – offhand and rifle slugs – is what I enjoy, and also how I deer hunt. I’ve read that a smooth bore is rated less accurate than a shotgun with good chokes, but that’s the shotgun I own. So the second motivation was to challenge myself to extend my range with the goal of hitting a target beyond Hickok’s 230 yards.

As I continued shooting over the summer, I moved from a starting point of 40 yards to 55 yards to 62 yards. I can fairly consistently, at 50-55 yards, place at least 9 out of 10 on a 12” by 12” steel target. Then one day at my son’s-in-law outdoor range we shot at 70-yard range (paper bulls-eye). I did fairly well for a rookie shotgunner, I thought. My 5-shot groups were all in target about 6 inches, while his were 4 inches and less. He is a former Marine sniper, and is an excellent, experienced marksman. We weren’t in competition, but he always challenges me to go further and do more than I think I can.

He had watched the Hickok video also. So he challenged us. He pulled out one of his 12” by 12” steel targets mounted on a 4X4 post, and set it downrange for us. When he got back to our firing line, he said it was placed at the 200-yard mark! I could barely see that black 12” steel target against the grass/dirt!! I was shooting with ghost-ring sights on my Benelli, as he was…..no optics. For a group of 5 rounds each, he said we should try it off his shooting table with a long gun rest, and trust to Kentucky windage. So he shot first, and we saw the slugs make pretty deep cuts in the ground very near the target, but no “clang” came back our way. I took my first two rounds and also missed them and furrowed the ground. Let the third round go, and when the “clang” sounded, we looked at each other with much surprise! After I finished my 5-round group, I ended with that one hit out of five --- almost hard to believe, and it was a lot of fun. Planning to be back at his range this fall before deer season starts. Some of that target practice is a must-do again!

As I continue to shoot and learn more, I read a lot, too. Recently read an article in Outdoor Life magazine titled “Shooting Off-Hand,” and the writer was Jim Carmichel. First time I’ve read of an achievement level or standard for testing oneself when shooting off-hand:

“The gold standard of unsupported, off-hand shooting with a hunting rifle is hitting a target the size of a dinner plate (roughly comparable to a whitetail's vitals) three times in a row in less than a minute from 100 yards.”

I wonder what the standard is for a 12-gauge smooth bore shotgun? Does anyone know that? Also, does anyone else shoot long-range slugs? I’d be interested in hearing what’s happening on your range.

Well, that’s my summer range story. I’m not at +230 yards yet, but close, and will surpass the 230-yard mark someday. BTW, did anyone notice that my target at 200 yards was much smaller than Hickok’s at 230 yards? Maybe I have the edge already!

Hope others have had as much fun on the range as I did this year.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:52 PM   #2
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Very nice!

We have a couple of customers who shoot slug only competitions, and claim they can consistently hit water bottles at 200. We don't shoot slugs past 100 in most 3-Gun matches, I haven't done anything past that, may have to now.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:41 AM   #3
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Hargh!
PumpTimes7, I compliment you on your initiative and accept the challenge. I have always believed these bad boys are a lot more accurate than stereo-typed.
Non rifled 12 ga sabot slug at 100 yards against a 12 inch pie-plate. No rear sights. Standing position.
This will be interesting!


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Old 10-15-2014, 08:11 PM   #4
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LoFlyer,

Agreed. After working with my Nova, I do think shotguns are pretty accurate, too.

Sounds like you have a good mix set up for your own challenge. Let us know what happens to the pie-plate, and if you even stretch farther out than 100.

Have fun!
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:20 PM   #5
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toothandnail,

Thanks! Slug-only competitions. I'll have to check that out... BTW, what shotgun are you using?

The only 3-gun shotgun component I've done is going through a wooden door, then moving to "attack" two different sets of ground targets, each at different distance, and different angles. The last time I ran that course the timer also video-taped us doing the run. Neat to watch myself move around through the course.

I'd vote "go for it," to set those slug targets at +100. Like I said to myself, I'm going to best that 230 yards....maybe even with a little added on!
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:23 PM   #6
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I've just been challenged to busting clay birds at 50yds with my 18in cylinder bore mossy 500. I've done it at 100 using the 28" ic barrel and rifled slugs, but this time it will be my homemade lee key drives. We will see in a couple of weeks. I think slugs are about the most fun you can have at the range.
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:03 PM   #7
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1-oz rifled slugs. These slugs are rated at 1560 fps
That's 30 ft-lbs of free recoil
All I can say is OUCH!

That is getting way up compared to rifles
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lchaim View Post
I think slugs are about the most fun you can have at the range.
This is what it's all about - having fun. Our shotguns sports are too expensive to not enjoy them. Be safe and have a ball!
Welcome to the forum and keep up with your inputs. Glad to see new folks showing up.
Bill
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lchaim View Post
I've just been challenged to busting clay birds at 50yds with my 18in cylinder bore mossy 500. I've done it at 100 using the 28" ic barrel and rifled slugs, but this time it will be my homemade lee key drives. We will see in a couple of weeks. I think slugs are about the most fun you can have at the range.
I second RKB's statement. Have FUN! Be SAFE!

Rock-on!

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Old 07-27-2015, 07:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by oneounceload View Post
That's 30 ft-lbs of free recoil
All I can say is OUCH!

That is getting way up compared to rifles
You don't have to load them that hot. I think if you keep the muzzle velocity below 1100 fps, you will experience less wind drift. That's why .22 rim fire target ammo is standard velocity instead of high velocity, the wind blows them around less at long range targets.



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