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My indoor range will allow shotguns but only if slugs are used. What is a shotgun slug? Is it the same as a regular shotgun shell? Are there different slugs for 410, 20, 12 gauge?

I know you can buy shotgun shells with various sized shot (balls) but that is all that I know.

Thanks in advance for your help!!
 
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Shotgun slugs are a 1 piece projectile, usually with rifling on them to induce spin and stability for accurate fire. They are usually quite heavy and can punch through car doors, wood and sometimes metal residential doors, and just about anything organic they hit. They can be used for deer hunting, etc, where allowed by law. Each gauge has their own size slug.
 

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A shotgun slug load typically features a single "slug" of bore diameter instead of a charge of pellets of various sizes. In 12-gauge the slug may weight about an ounce to 1.25 oz. and be about .700" diameter (70 caliber or so), and will typically have an effective range of about 100 yards in which that massive chunk of lead will cause serious damage to any critter.

In smaller gauges the slugs will be of smaller diameters and lesser weight. Slug loads for the .410 shotgun are typically about 1/2 oz ( roughly 220 grains) and about .410" diameter.

Slugs are useful for large or dangerous game animals at moderate ranges. Some shotguns are specifically made for shooting slugs, with barrels that are partially or fully rifled to fully stabilize the slug in a manner similar to rifle bullets.

The term "gauge" is used to describe shotguns of differing bore diameters (originally referred to as "bore" size). What this refers to is the number of round balls of bore size that can be made from a pound of lead; 12-gauge equals 12 balls per pound, 16-gauge equals 16 balls, 20-gauge equals 20 balls, etc. Shotguns were frequently used with a single ball of bore size, similar to smoothbore muskets, back in the days prior to cartridge loaded guns, and these were considered to be a most effective defensive load for modest ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone! My friend has a shotgun and he is not familiar so I am trying to help him. NavCop, you say each gauge has their own slug size. When I go to the gun store would I buy a 20 gauge slug, etc.?
 

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Retired Badge 1 thanks for the great information. You said "Some shotguns are specifically made for shooting slugs". Can any shotgun shoot slugs? Will a slug damage a shotgun barrel?
 
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12 gauge slugs go in 12 gauge shotguns
20 gauge slugs go in 20 gauge shotguns
410 gauge slugs for 410 gauge shotguns

They used to say, "Different strokes for different folks." BTW slugs are generally the most brutal, recoil-wise, of any loads for a particular shotgun.
 

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Retired Badge 1 thanks for the great information. You said "Some shotguns are specifically made for shooting slugs". Can any shotgun shoot slugs? Will a slug damage a shotgun barrel?
Generally cylinder or improved cylinder bores are recommended for slugs.
 

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Thanks everyone! My friend has a shotgun and he is not familiar so I am trying to help him. NavCop, you say each gauge has their own slug size. When I go to the gun store would I buy a 20 gauge slug, etc.?
The slug loads come as regular shotgun shells, only with a slug in the shell instead of shot. You can see the slug's end looking at the discharge end of the shell. Yes, buy the shell/slug for the gauge of the gun to be used.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Henry9008 said If you have any choke other than cylinder or improved cylinder, it is not recommended that you shoot slugs. msgt/ret said Generally cylinder or improved cylinder bores are recommended for slugs.

How do I know if a particular shotgun has the proper cylinder, etc. so it won't be damaged by shooting slugs?
 
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The bore of the barrel, cylinder or improved cylinder, or other, will be stamped somewhere on the barrel.
 

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Look on the barrel this is what your looking for ,
this is a cylinder bore ,
334356
 

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Now the big question, do you have a screwed in choke, i.e. The choke can be removed with a tool from the end of the barrel and replaced with a different one ...
 

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Depending on the type of choke that is installed, the choke itself will normally be worked by small notches on the upper end of the choke. There will also be usually larger notches that are used to tighten the choke with a choke wrench.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks very much for everyone's great help and information. When I was kid my Mossberg 410 had a choke that screwed on.
Thanks again!
 
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Henry9008 said If you have any choke other than cylinder or improved cylinder, it is not recommended that you shoot slugs. msgt/ret said Generally cylinder or improved cylinder bores are recommended for slugs.

How do I know if a particular shotgun has the proper cylinder, etc. so it won't be damaged by shooting slugs?
The type of choke should be stamped on the barrel close to the receiver. There are a variety of abbreviations, such as CYL for CYLINDER BORE (NO CHOKE) IMP for Improved Cylinder, a slight choke, MOD for Modified choke, which is tighter than a IMP but not as tight as FULL or FC. (Full choke). I'm sure there are others, but those are the main ones. Typically, home defense and riot guns are CYL.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
To make this easier (maybe) I asked my friend what kind of a shotgun he has - sorry I didn't think to ask him before. He has a Remington 870. Does this shotgun have the type of barrel that you can shoot slugs with?
 
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