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Smoothbore Shotgun Slugs: Then and Now

Shooting

Smoothbore Shotgun Slugs: Then and Now

Last week coachsjke asked why I never write about slugs. Actually I have written about slugs often in the magazine*, but not so much in this space. So, we’ll discuss fullbore slugs out of smoothbore barrels for now and leave sabots for some other time.

I started out deer hunting as a participant in deer drives with our farmer neighbors in the days before rifled shotguns. We would divide up into drivers and blockers/shooters. Because my gun was one of the few in our group that had sights I was often a designated shooter and would fill my Auto 5 with old-style foster slugs. I took lots of shots at standing, walking and running deer, including shots I would not dream of taking today. I never lost a deer I hit, and a .729” hole in one side and out the other usually leaves a blood trail that is short and very easy to follow. Fullbore slugs back then had their drawbacks (recoil, poor accuracy, looping trajectory), but lethality was not one of them.

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