Rifled Slug: Rifled Slug Bullets Explained
Shotgun slugs add an entire new dimension and level of capability to the already impressive list of uses for a shotgun. While a shotgun with a traditional shotshell may be the best for upland game hunting, a #6 shot would hardly be effective for hunting feral hogs. So with the extended range and incredible power, the shotgun slug provides its user with the ability to hunt medium and large game with ranges in excess of 100 yards out of a smoothbore barrel.
The two slugs you’ll hear about are sabot and rifled. Sabot slugs come in a packing, wad or case made of paper, plastic or other materials to help give the slug spin. A rifled slug, however, looks more like a regular shotgun shell. The slug itself has spiraled grooves (the rifling) that enable the slug to spin as it exits the barrel.
Rifled Slug Features
- Variety: Rifled slugs come in a huge variety for every gauge shotgun available, from 10 gauge to .410 Bore. There are different lengths, materials and individual slug features – giving you a nice range of options. While some are specially designed for long range, others have a shorter range with a more devastating effect on impact.
- Power: With the average .410 bore slug coming in at about 700 foot-pounds of energy, it exceeds most .45 ACP loads on the market today. If you need real knockdown power, there are 12 gauge slugs with over 2,300-foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. This puts the 12 gauge slug into .30-06 energy levels!
Rifled Slug Uses
There is pretty much one real use for rifled slugs – hunting. Slugs were designed to take down deer, bears, hogs and other large or thick-skinned creatures at closer-than-rifle range. You might question accuracy when shooting something like this out of a shotgun, but with some practice and testing of different brands, you can find something that gets consistent grouping at up to 200 yards or more.
One thing most slug shooters agree on is that no one slug works well in all shotguns. Believe it or not, shotguns prefer certain brands over others. With sabot and rifled slugs both, you should start off with three to six boxes of different slugs to simply test with.
Shooting slugs with a shotgun is a completely different experience, and you’ll either love it or hate it right away. Most people with firearm experience enjoy having this hunting alternative, and they are also great fun for backyard shooting. It’s quite a blast – literally – shooting slugs into targets or melons on your property.