Rifled Slugs


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Old 10-12-2009, 09:32 PM   #1
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Default Rifled Slugs

So I always thought the purpose of the "rifling" on a rifled slug was to impart a slight spin on the slug as it traveled through the barrel. After doing a little research I've found a good chunk of people think the rifling does nothing more than act as a swaging buffer so the slug fits the barrel as well as it can.

I'm starting to lean more towards the swaging idea. Does the fact that the slug is heavy in front and light in the back give it its balance (much like a shuttlecock for example)? If the rifling is there for swaging why is it almost always twisted or angled?

Thank you for your input.



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Old 10-13-2009, 01:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by OlPainless View Post
So I always thought the purpose of the "rifling" on a rifled slug was to impart a slight spin on the slug as it traveled through the barrel. After doing a little research I've found a good chunk of people think the rifling does nothing more than act as a swaging buffer so the slug fits the barrel as well as it can.

I'm starting to lean more towards the swaging idea. Does the fact that the slug is heavy in front and light in the back give it its balance (much like a shuttlecock for example)? If the rifling is there for swaging why is it almost always twisted or angled?

Thank you for your input.
The fins on the slug don't really cause any spin. They are cut to reduce the friction between the slug and barrel. One type of slug that is hollow in the rear is thought that when the nose starts to dive, the drag on the tail will push the nose back up and stabilize the slug.

That's how it was explained to me. Maybe someone else can add something.


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Old 10-13-2009, 01:39 AM   #3
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The real stability is from the "weight forward" nature of a slug- think of a pool ball in a sock- swing it, throw it, and it will travel ball first. And yes, the "rifling" is to permit the slug to pass thru a choke. Know of no real reason for the twist, other than a partial gas check.

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Old 10-14-2009, 09:50 PM   #4
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:29 PM   #5
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This brings up a question: Can you use any barrel to shoot slugs, or do you need a slug barrel that has rifling. What I've read, indicated you can use either, but if you want better accuracy and distance (up to 50 yrds) to use a rifled slug barrel.

Any thoughts on this?

Never mind, I found my answer here:

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f26/smoothbore-slug-accuracy-18872/

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Old 10-18-2009, 08:01 PM   #6
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Hi OlPainless ...................... OldYeager here

Interesting topic here. I have wondered about that question too, for a long time. I always assumed the slanted 'ribs' on the slug was to impart a spin on the slug once it left the barrel. Air striking the slanted 'Fins' would seem to caust the slug to start a spin. I could be wrong. Never have seen any data on such. Maybe the stability is a combination of all the mentioned factors. You know, weight forward-hollow rear, 'Fins' etc.

Had a smoothbore Mossberg 500 with Slugster barrel once for home defence. Slugs and Buckshot, it was a shoulder stomper. Gave it to my son in Iowa. He decided to use it for his annual deer hunt in Iowa and went to the range for some practice. He came back from the range, put the Slug gun back into his gun cabinet. He said his shoulder and upper arm turned purple with bruises. Said no thanks, but he would continue to deer hunt with his Remington 700 in 308 cal.

As a young man I grew up using a 410 SS. My cousin and I would take it down into the cane breaks and log jams near the Mississippi river. We 'hunted' Cottonmouth snakes with #6 birdshot, but we used rifled slugs for the long shots on big loggerhead turtles Sunning on logs sticking out of the bayous. We discovered that the slugs went pretty straight, but did have a pronounced drop that required 'hold-over'. After a few rounds downrange you could easily calculate the holdover required and bust those big turtles.

But I guess these days, busting snakes and turtles wouldn't be PC. I got a daughter-in-law that has forbidden me to tell my grandsons these stories of old where we actually Killed things.



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