Q: I have heard people say it’s fine to shoot slugs out of a shotgun with a full choke. I have never done this, and never will. I’ve seen old shotguns with bulges in the muzzle and I figure that that’s probably what caused it. I was curious though since you’re a professional, what is your stance on it? What sort of chokes are safe for slugs? What sort of chokes do you use personally for slug shooting?
One other thing, I remember you did a video where you were shooting steel DDupleks slugs out of a Mossberg auto-loader I believe, what sort of choke were you using for those, since steel won’t conform as much as lead?
Also, I never liked the idea of shooting buckshot out of a full choke either, what is your opinion on that? What sort of chokes do you typically use for buckshot? Sorry to bother you, this is just something I’ve been thinking about off and on over the years.
Oh and by the by, I was already thinking about it, but your newest video has really gotten me into thinking about buying a .35 Whelen in the future, the numbers are quite impressive.
A: Hi Joseph,
Chokes and slugs are highly variable. Traditional slugs were made undersized under the assumption that some folks would shoot them through full chokes. That’s why they were so inaccurate. Sabot slugs today are more accurate because the nylon skirts flared to better fit the bores, then squeeze down through tight chokes. Still, many shotgun makers recommend shooting slugs through cylinder and IC chokes only. I agree.
As for buckshot, yes, those big pellets have a harder time squeezing through tighter chokes than do smaller pellets. It’s like two people trying to squeeze through a door shoulder to shoulder. Best to use big buckshot in more open chokes, too. Barrels have been documented bulging behind the chokes when shooting heavy loads of large pellets.
The steel slugs in those DDupleks are undersized, the nylon carriers larger to seal the bore. Otherwise, you’d have some serious pressure issues! Steel is not going to squeeze down to sneak through a too-small bore!
What’s your stance on shooting slugs? — Ron Spomer Outdoors is written by Ron Spomer for www.ronspomeroutdoors.com