SxS Shotgun with slugs vs small caliber Double Rifle

Sid Post

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
246
Location
Texas, USA
I have been looking for a "30-30" class Double Rifle without a lot of success in today's market from common sources. A thread I read on a forum in the UK suggested "pumpkin loads" in a 28 gauge shotgun being a really effective option for some hunters over there.

That got me thinking about a SxS shotgun and its effectiveness inside 200 yards. 28 gauge buckshot and slug loads seem to be unavailable in the retail market but, I could always load my own if I had to.

That got me to the Winchester PDX load in 20 gauge with its 1oz slug and 3 buckshot balls (#4's I think) and Barnes copper options. The other extreme would be a .410 shotgun.

First, with a smooth-bore, what is the realistic range and accuracy of 20 gauge or .410 with slugs? Would I really need to think about moving away from the SxS and going to a pump or autoloader with a rifled barrel?

With a Double Rifle in a 7x57R or similar small-bore caliber starting at about $5K, $1K~$2K for a shotgun is a whole lot easier to purchase. I suspect ~200 yards with slugs would involve a lot of "mortaring" them in but, realistically that is a rare shot distance and the outer limit of where I would be with a shotgun or light double rifle. 50~100 yards is a lot more likely so, that should take a good deal of elevation out of the trajectory.

Am I totally out in left field thinking a SxS shotgun with slugs might be a replacement for a light double rifle? And even crazier for not looking more seriously for a pump or autoloader with a rifle barrel? Would copper buckshot kill a rifle barrel, assuming lead buckshot is a don't care option in terms of barrel damage?

TIA,
Sid
 

sedancowboy

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
711
Location
Wilsall, MT
What are you trying to accomplish with this firearm? What is its purpose? Just something you want to do or are you trying to meet some obscure regulation? A 200 yd shot with a double of any kind would be a long poke. We can help you better if we have more information.
 

Coldfinger

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
817
Location
NY
Let me just say I grew up carrying a Stevens SXS 20 gauge model311. I got a few deer at 50 yards or so and never understood why I couldn’t hit perfect 100 yard broadside shots. Don’t laugh I was a teenager hunting was far better than what a bunch of my friends were doing! I’m pretty sure them slugs were crossing one another en-route to deer beyond 50 yards! A shotgun slug out of my smooth bore 1100 was deadly to 100 yards and some surprising ranges beyond. Don’t count on foster style slugs to expand much at the 100 yard mark at least out of a 20 gauge they’re almost reloadable if they don’t hit bone. There is just no comparison between a shotgun and rifle cartridge. But if given a choice tracking a wounded bear in brush gimme a semi auto short barreled shotgun with solid copper slugs!
 

Ckgworks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
716
Location
Washington
I have 16 and 20 Guage smooth bore bolt actions with which I feel confident with out to about 120 yards.....never tried them further than that. Both have rifle sights which make all the difference in the world.
I have, and still am playing with the idea of a 12 gauge double "rifle". The problem is regulating the barrels so that the slugs don't cross paths, but instead run in a straight flight path. This can moderately be done with reloading.....Think the longer the slug is in the barrel the more the barrel will recoil to the side because it is not in a straight line like a rifle or pump shotgun. Useing this method I was able to get one SxS hitting both barrels minute of deer at about 60 yards before they crossed. I have since decided that if I'm going to do this I'm going to do it right and actually regulate the barrels to hit to a load. This requires a soft solder barrel, jigs, etc......I have the guns now, but no time! There's a book out there called

Building Double Rifles on Shotgun Actions: Gunsmithing Projects of Ellis Brown

Well worth the read! But in short I think you will find there's a reason double rifles are so expensive, and you will be doing alot of tinkering to get what you want from a factory SxS- (If you actually can!)
Like Coldfinger said, don't discount smooth bore forster slugs.....they can be surprisingly accurate. Good luck in your quest!
 

OldTimeHunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
120
Location
Colorado
Here you go.

 

Sid Post

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
246
Location
Texas, USA
Feral hog and deer are the primary goals and to develop better skills for a heavy double rifle hunt on my 'bucket list'.
 

JimFromTN

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
198
Location
TN
I hunted for many years with a shotgun. I have an 870 12ga with a hastings rifled barrel pinned to the action and the scope mounted to the receiver. I consider it a 120yd max setup maybe a touch further. If you want to hit anything with a slug at 200 yds, you need a dedicated slug gun with a rifled barrel. The barrel should be fixed the action. Best choices would be 20ga or 16ga but because of the lack of options with 16ga slugs, 20ga is your best bet. I think lightfield is the only one that makes a quality 16ga slug. I don't feel comfortable shooting 200yds at game with any slug regardless. I would need to put allot of slugs down range before it would ever be a consideration. For me, shooting a slug at 200yds is like shooting a rifle at 400yds. You need lots of practice before ethically hunting at those ranges. A slug drops allot faster than a centerfire rifle and the wind plays a much bigger role.

To me, a smoothbore 20ga double barrel with a bead for a site is good out to 50 yds, maybe. A smoothbore 12ga pump with a modified choke and a bead site isn't a whole lot further but I always associate that with cheap slugs like rem sluggers. There are some rifled slugs that are more expensive that are more accurate but I don't know that it would get you out to 100yds ethically which you might not care about with hogs. It would definitely be a hail mary. Fiocchi aero slugs are pretty accurate.
 
Last edited:

Sid Post

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
246
Location
Texas, USA
Thanks Jim!

I am all for ethical hunting but, feral hogs and I well past ethical concerns. For feral hogs, at this point in my life, I don't care much about the means of death as long as they die!

Feral hogs kill people every month with auto-related fatalities and their rutting has lead to horses being euthanized after breaking legs in their pastures in hog rutting areas.

50 yards with slugs is a bit low on the reliable range side so, it sounds like I may be best looking for a double rifle at much greater expense. With lever actions running ~$1k and up I guess a $4K~$7K double rifle isn't as far out as it used to be.
 

Dr. Vette

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,585
Location
Holland, MI
EAA/Baikal made a double rifle in .45-70, if you can find one. They were not expensive, but they also didn't make many of them.

You could probably have a custom double-barreled shotgun made with rifled barrels, but by then its cheaper to buy a double rifle.
 

JimFromTN

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
198
Location
TN
You are going to have a hard time finding anything for much less than $1000 these days unless you are willing to go with a economical bolt action
 

Sid Post

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
246
Location
Texas, USA
EAA/Baikal made a double rifle in .45-70, if you can find one. They were not expensive, but they also didn't make many of them.

You could probably have a custom double-barreled shotgun made with rifled barrels, but by then its cheaper to buy a double rifle.

Yes, I have a candidate SxS German shotgun that would be reasonable for a rifle conversion but, today that would cost more than just buying the rifle in the first place. In today's market slowdown, getting one made in a non-European caliber like 30-30 is a lot easier though they still want you to get one of those hard to source calibers popular in Europe.
 

Sid Post

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
246
Location
Texas, USA
You are going to have a hard time finding anything for much less than $1000 these days unless you are willing to go with a economical bolt
Absolutely!

Try finding a 30-30 lever action for reasonable money these days.

Whether it is Covid, riots, looting, Biden/Beto/etc. or, some other concerns, normal firearms, and ammunition for them are super expensive in historic terms.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 

Recent Posts

Top