Sabot Slug Bullets Explained
Sabot slugs are the improved and technologically superior brother of rifled slugs in that they simply offer a more accurate and long range slug that you fire from a shotgun, typically with a rifled barrel.
This type of slug is encased or otherwise attached to a wad or bore-sleeve. This material basically grips the rifling in the barrel and gives the projectile inside the spin needed to fly smoothly from the barrel.
If you try to use a sabot slug in a smoothbore you may notice some accuracy issues at very long ranges but not as much as you would with a standard rifled slug. There’s a ton of debate about what works better in your smoothbore shotgun and the answer seems to be elusive. It depends on your firearm and the time you spend trying various brands of slug.
The sabot slug wasn’t designed for a rifled shotgun barrel, in fact it’s moreso that the rifled shotgun barrel was created to help the sabot slug perform better as they were both created around the same time. Most slug shooters will only use slugs in their dedicated slug shooting firearm and not use shot and slugs.
Don’t sound like a new guy, sabot is pronounced “SAY-BO” and not “SA-BOT”.
Sabot Slug Features
Long-Range Accuracy – The main draw of the sabot slug is the phenomenal accuracy when compared to a standard slug fired through a standard shotgun. The sabot can consistently group very well at 200 yards plus (once you’ve got your brand) and this is very necessary for hunting big game. You need to know where your shot is going to go to get that kill shot.
Stopping Power – Where most people will associate a shotgun with that famous spread of pellets for taking down birds, the sabot slug will provide a huge amount of stopping power on medium to large size game. One 12 gauge slug maker claims their slug generates over 3800 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. This puts the 12 gauge Sabot Slug on a par with .338 Winchester Magnum when it comes to muzzle energy.
Variety – The sabot slug comes in quite a variety. There’s plastic or paper sleeves, various other materials and mixtures as well. Each of these will perform a little differently in regards to accuracy and effective range. Half the fun is experimenting to see what brand or type your firearm seems to prefer. A nice selection to start this process can be found here.
Sabot Slug Uses
The sabot slug was created almost exclusively to take down deer and other large game at ranges longer than you’d get with a rifled slug. This carries over to home defense naturally if you have a lot of property to watch and prefer the power of a slug for some reason over the spread of something like 00 buck. It comes down to personal preference either way. Some people grew up using shotguns exclusively so they are more comfortable with them, others prefer rifles. Some people don’t have a large selection of firearms available either and use what they’ve been given or what’s been passed on to them by family.
The sabot slug is a very high-tech ammo type and when it comes to slug shooting and hunting, this is top of the line stuff. The price will usually be more than a box of rifled slugs but keep your eyes open and you’ll find good deals.