Slugs/sabots - barrel twist sensitivity

Discussion in 'Long Range Shotgun Slug Hunting' started by Muddyboots, Mar 4, 2019.


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  1. Muddyboots

    Muddyboots Well-Known Member

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    Been reading some of the threads and thought I put this out there for some to think about. Slugs and sabots are incredibly sensitive to barrel twist. I've been shooting slugs for 50 years, have loaded my own for past 20 years or so since I could not get the consistent accuracy from shot to shot box to box that I wanted.

    The overall mass of the slug with velocity pretty much determines the twist needed to stabilize it along with velocity as an additional consideration. Slugs/sabots do not behave nicely like CF rifles respect to twist rates. I liken it to match the hatch perspective. Basically you need to consider to match the type of slug/sabot to the barrel twist: Simplistically, the faster the slug/sabot, the faster the rifling twist you may need to stabilize it depending upon the mass. Slugs/sabots in the 1200- to 1500-fps range seem to work best from a slower twist rate such as 1:34. Faster 1900- to 2000-fps slugs/sabots seem to perform better through a 1:28 or faster.

    I shoot a handloaded 1 1/8 oz slug at 1450 fps thru my 870 (I also installed a Timney trigger conversion years ago which made huge difference) Hastings bull barrel that is 1:34. It shoots sabots poorly but full body slugs extremely well pretty much 1 hole at 50 yards. I've killed a lot of deer with this rig knowing its limitations for distance. It will easily shoot 1.5" at 100 yds if I do certain things right for the shot. I also feel comfortable out to 150 yds but feel this is my max for this setup. You can tell how stable you setup is but how crisp the holes are in the target even at distance. One of the best ways to improve accuracy is to understand bench work is different with a slug gun including recoil which can be quite delightful.;)

    You also need to lightly hold the fore end down just enough to control the barrel jump to some degree. There is a defined accuracy difference if you do not do this. Much has been written on this especially by Tar Hunt in this regard. Wind is also a factor for consideration on sight in days. Slugs/sabots are clearly affected more that you think due to their overall mass.

    My thoughts for this is if you are getting poor accuracy from your slug gun it may be just a simple swap over to a slug/sabot that is better suited for your specific barrel twist based upon both its mass and velocity. Changing a slug/sabot that weighs the same but slower can mean all the difference in the accuracy that you hope to get.

    FYI - The slug I have been reloading for long time is made by Rich Knoster at Sabot technologies:
    http://www.slugsrus.com/
    It hits like a freight train and extremely accurate with right twist and velocity.

    Muddy
     
    one3 and JMyrkle like this.
  2. one3

    one3 Active Member

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    Sep 15, 2015
    I, have a 220 Savage slug gun. It has a 1:24 twist. If I under stand you right I should be shooting 1900 and up fps. I have been trying to find some thing that shoots well, I have tryed all brands. At about 20.00 per 5 shots, that takes a lot out of a budget. Right now I have a Simmons scope on it. Going replace the scope to see if that makes a differnce. The shots are hitting all over the paper( 11x 8). It makes me think the scpoe cross hairs are not holding.
     
  3. Muddyboots

    Muddyboots Well-Known Member

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  4. one3

    one3 Active Member

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    Thank You I will try that