April 6th, 2007 11:56 PM
I have the opportunity to go Black Bear Hunting with a Handgun this year and need some advice. This is sort of Combat/Defense related, so please bear with me.
It has been "suggested" to me that even though I am hunting with a Handgun, I should keep a shotgun with me in the stand in case of a bear attack. The problem is I only have an 18" Riot Gun and it has a non-rifled barrel. Is there some sort of slug that will work in a non-rifled barrel?
I have only shot 00 and #4's for defensive purposes and have no idea about slugs.
Thanks in advance, Biker
April 7th, 2007 12:01 AM
Yes, most slugs will work in a non-rifled barrel PROVIDED that you have a cylinder/open or skeet choke. And if you don't have a cylinder/open choke, you will after you put a couple slugs through it.
They also make "rifled slugs" where the slug actually has grooves in it to induce a spin. you can also probably get away with a sabot if you have a light modified choke (plastic is compressible). Hope that helps.
April 9th, 2007 02:34 AM
OK, another dumb question.
What the heck is a SABOT Slug and why would I want to use one?
Also, do they work in non-rifled barrels? Sorry for the dumb questions, but shotguns aren't my thing. I load 71/2's for birds and #4 or 00 for defense and that's it.
April 9th, 2007 04:19 AM
I actually load slugs in my truck gun and practice with slugs almost exclusively. I just treat the shotgun as a big pump action rifle.
An 18" "Riot Gun" probably has a cylinder barrel. Get some 1oz rifled slugs from any of the major manufacturers... or even the minor ones... and you'll be fine. Rifled slugs are meant for smoothbores... the grooves on the slug give it the spin it needs to be stable in flight absent rifling in the barrel.
I'd practice a bit with them, slugs can be a wakeup, but I really enjoy shooting them now that I've gotten used to it. Even with a bead sight you should be able to put the rounds on a man-size target out to 50yds or so... much farther than you'll be shooting a bear in the situation you describe. You will want to note where the slugs tend to hit with your gun... some can be a bit low sometimes. If you have time, buy 5 rounds from a few diffeent manufacturers and see how they work in your gun. I actually like Wolf slugs, and the Brenneke KO slugs are cheap and seem to work well. Lawman slugs have a good reputation as well, tho I haven't shot them myself.
Might want to invest in a "Limbsaver" or similar recoil reduction pad. They just slip on over the butt.
SABOT slugs, just like a SABOT tank round, are subcaliber rounds that give a higher velocity and longer range at the expense of weight... but with a slug I suppose the weight lost doesn't matter much. I've heard that they don't work well in smoothbores because there is no rifling to give them spin, and I don't think they have fins like a tank SABOT round, so they are unstable.
Originally Posted by BikerRN
I'd stick with regular 1oz rifled slugs for your purposes. There are also reduced-recoil slug rounds which are supposed to hit almost as hard and be easier to shoot. I've seen them but not shot them, and they are slightly more expensive. Some manufacturers make their slugs 7/8oz... I don't think the loss of 1/8oz makes much difference, tho it may reduce the recoil a bit.
Aguila makes some "minishells" and "minislugs". You can fit about twice as many in your gun as regular 2 3/4" shells. The slugs have about the same energy as a good .44mag load. They are fun and the recoil is fairly light felt thru a longgun. Problem: Many shotguns have problems feeding them, even pumps. I've shot 20 or so thru my Winchester pump and while they were fun, I had two missfeeds... which would be a disaster in your situation.
Originally Posted by BikerRN
I mention them only because you might see them in a gunstore or a salesman might try to suggest them to you if you explain your situation. I would stay away from them as a defensive load.
Last edited by tanksoldier; April 9th, 2007 at 04:45 AM.
"I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.
April 9th, 2007 10:35 AM
Sabot is the French word for wooden shoes. My earliest dealing with SABOT rounds was when I was in the Army. The M60 tank had a 105mm main gun and one of the rounds for it was a SABOT round. The projectile was IIRC about 90mm in diameter and made of depleted uranium. Four wooden blocks went around the base of the projectile and the casing was crimped around that. The SABOT sealed the gases behind the projectile and also caused it to spin. When the round exited the barrel the SABOT fell away. This particular round was not authorized for use in the US because of its range. There were no tank ranges in the US long enough to fire it. All practice with these rounds was done at the tank practice range in Grafenwoehr, Germany.
In testing this round could penetrate the thickest armor used on any tank in the world. In fact it would actually penetrate the battle plate on an Iowa class battleship with no difficulty. The M60 weighed in at 53 tons, but if it had had battle plate like the battleships instead of homogeneous steel armor it would have weighed over 200 tons. Battle plate is tough. I never got to fire a SABOT round, but I did get to see a piece of 8 inch thick battle plate that was hit at a distance of 1000 meters. There was a hole about 3.5" in diameter in the front and about 6" out the back.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein
April 17th, 2007 09:56 PM
If you are limited to a "riot gun", I'd suggest taking a look at Federal's Truball slugs. Works great in any choke or barrel, no rifling required. A plastic ball in the base of an otherwise plain lead slug makes a better gas seal in any barrel. Works great in everything I shot it in. I use the low recoil load myself, you may want the full power one for your application.
April 18th, 2007 12:44 AM
April 18th, 2007 01:33 PM
Whatever kind of bear, I wouldn't trust buckshot to penetrate, and would stay with slugs. I'm not taking any chances of being the poor boob who happens to run into the world's largest black bear.
I'd go with Brenneke slugs. They almost always penetrate more than other non-sabot slugs. A sabot might penetrate more, but sabots are usually for rifled barrels only (the spin helps seperate the sabot evenly).
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