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 Post subject: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:42 am 
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I am going to purchase a Remington 870 with a 18.5 inch barrel. Do they come in rifled and smooth barrels?

Which would be better for shooting slugs at a shooting range?

Am I correct that a rifles barrel cannot shoot rifled slugs? Does a smooth barrel need rifled slugs?

I am pretty knowledgeable when it come to rifles but I am new to shotguns and would appreciate the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:49 am 
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A rifled barrel uses sabot slugs. A smoothbore barrel uses rifled slugs. You're not the first person who's been confused... :D

A rifled barrel with the appropriate slugs will usually be more accurate than a smoothbore setup, especially as the range increases. The disadvantage of a rifled barrel is that it produces terrible patterns with birdshot or buckshot -- the shot charge spins, creating a doughnut-shaped pattern with a huge central hole.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot46.htm

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot43.htm


Also check the slug shooter's forum here: viewforum.php?f=118


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 Post subject: Re: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:48 am 
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My experience is that at 50 yards or less, both rifled slugs and sabot slugs shoot close enough that its doesn't matter. From 75-100 yards the sabot out shoots the rifled slug all day.

I use an 870 with either a rifled barrel with a red dot or a smooth bore with iron sights. Love them both and often switch back and forth depending on where I am hunting. Both kick like a mule but that only matters on the range, in the field I never notice recoil.

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 Post subject: Re: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:44 pm 
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NHrural wrote:
A rifled barrel uses sabot slugs. A smoothbore barrel uses rifled slugs. You're not the first person who's been confused... :D


Correct and you can also use sabots in a smooth barrel with a rifled choke tube.

I like a fully rifld barrel with sabot slugs the best. My Mossberg 695 shoots both Hornady SST's and Remington Corelokt's well.


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 Post subject: Re: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:54 pm 
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Very helpful info. Thanks

Does the Rem 870 come with a choice between rifled or smooth?


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 Post subject: Re: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:27 pm 
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Here are all the barrel options:
http://www.remington.com/sitecore/conte ... ables.aspx

The shortest rifled barrel is 20". Looking at the Remington website, the only way to buy a gun with that barrel would be to get the combo:
http://www.remington.com/products/firea ... ombos.aspx

Otherwise you'd have to buy the short rifled barrel as an accessory.

Might want to price it both ways -- buying the combo and selling the smoothbore barrel, or cutting it down, could be cheaper than buying a gun and a replacement rifled barrel.


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 Post subject: Re: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:06 pm 
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TroubleT wrote:
I am going to purchase a Remington 870 with a 18.5 inch barrel. Do they come in rifled and smooth barrels?

Which would be better for shooting slugs at a shooting range?

Am I correct that a rifles barrel cannot shoot rifled slugs? Does a smooth barrel need rifled slugs?

I am pretty knowledgeable when it come to rifles but I am new to shotguns and would appreciate the help.



(my experience and opinion)
I have an 870 with a 20" smooth bore barrel, and a 24" scoped rifle barrel. Both barrels shoot about the same out to 100 yards with non-sabot slugs. Although slugs don't generally hold good groups, the shot grouping would be effective on any deer.

You don't need rifled slugs in a smooth bore but they help. Rifled slugs can be shot out of a rifled barrel.

Smooth bore would be good first choice. Buckshot works better out of a smooth bore than it does out of a rifled bore. I doubt a rifled 18.5" barrel (if they make one) would be much more accurate than an 18.5" smooth bore.


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 Post subject: Re: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:42 pm 
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I don't have, nor have I ever seen any other smooth bore hang with with a fully rifled barrled gun as far as accuracy goes. If you want an accurate slug gun, it's more than likely a fully rifled slug barrel with a sabot slug. They also extend the range because of the increased accuracy. A good set up is a true 200 yard killer.


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 Post subject: Re: Rifled or smooth barrel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:27 pm 
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Smooth bores sure can hang with rifled barrels, but I agree most do not.

You can shoot rifled slugs in a rifled barrel, they work great. My gun shots both sabots and rifled slugs to the same point of aim at 50 yards and there is not difference in group size at that range. I use them all the time because they cost less and hammer deer. The new rifled slugs travel 1800 fps, are full bore, weigh more, and expand on impact. The rifled slugs are rifled in a different direction then your barrel so they always fill the lands and grooves for good rotation. You find they work better in a rifled barrel.

The sabot issue is not so clear. Some can be fired through smooth bores and where designed with that in mind. They are hour glass shaped and the front in heavier then the back so the fly much the same as a dart does. You will still double to triple the size of your groups though when they are fire through a smooth bore vs rifled barrel. I've seen some shoot under 5" at 100 yards though. Copper solids and the newer pistol bullet style slugs should not be fired in a smooth bore. The copper solids should never be fired in a choked gun.

A smooth bore gives you the option to use the gun for shot, buck shot, and slugs.


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