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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There have been a couple people on this forum asking as of late whether they can used sabot slugs in smooth bores. The answer is of course --- yah, but they will tumble and be inaccurate. Now, in general I agree. However, I remember from my youth when I first started hunting as a teenager that my dad bought BRI black box slugs for the pump action home-defense sawed off smooth bore and then took me out to the range and had me shoot some targets at 50 yards and then sent me down into the woods below our house (shotgun only hunting) after deer with those same slugs. They were sabot slugs and I keenly remember nice round holes in the targets from the range. In addition I took two deer with those slugs in my youth. I found one of those old empty boxes in my dad's hunting stuff (he is a pack-rat saves everything) and it clearly talkes about choke sizes on the back and that best accuracy is out of improved cylinder chokes, the less choke the better, etc. clearly indicating that the slugs were designed for use in smooth bores. In addition the cut away diagram on the back of the box says that the slugs are "aerodynamically stablized".

So are the current production Winchester BRI slugs the same design and they will work out of a smooth bore? Just exploring an angle as far as a possible direction to send those guys who want to use sabot slugs in there smooth bore guns.

From what I've read off of web sites selling them they are "best when used in a fully rifled barrel". So okay does that mean that just like the old ones they will work correctly in smooth bores, too?
 

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Yes they are basically the same slug as the old BRI.
I shot some BRI, years ago, from my smoothie Remington and got keyholes. Those that hit the target keyholed/tumbled.
I suspect they will still keyhole from a smoothie.
Best thing you could do is try a box of 5 at 25 yards from a smoothie and let us know.
My money is on keyhole.
 

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You also have to take into consideration that rifled barrels weren't generally available when the BRI's first came on the market. I remember my dad buying a Mossy 500 combo in the mid 80's with an ad in it pushing the use BRI's in smoothbore guns. IIRC when the BRI's first came out they were pushed for law enforcement use for punching holes through barriers.

BTW I have a black & gold box of BRI's with a K-mart sticker pricing them as $6.97.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Seaark1660 said:
. . . . BTW I have a black & gold box of BRI's with a K-mart sticker pricing them as $6.97.
So what does your box say on the back? Any mention of prefered choke sizes to indicate they are intended for smooth bores? Just wondering, there may have been more then one version of the BRI slugs packaged in the black box.
 

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A guy I hunted with in the eighties used the BRI's in a 870 smooth bore slug gun and could hit a paper plate standing at 100yds. every time. Nice little .50cal holes and he shot some nice bucks out to a 100yd. I have also used them all these years but out of a rifled barrel- dead accurate out to 100yd. I got an 8pt. this last season with them, 4.99 a box when I bought them. On the back of the box it says- Sabot slugs are intended for cylinder and improved cylinder bore shotguns. No ware on the box does it say anthing about rifled barrels. The Win. are the same design but are not quite the same. Win.=437gr.hollow point -original BRI's 445gr. shock point. I read that BRI and Hastings worked together to make a more accurate shotgun slug and they did. I only have four boxes of the original BRI's left, but the Win. shoot just about as good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
jeager106 said:
. . . . Best thing you could do is try a box of 5 at 25 yards from a smoothie and let us know. . . .
Well I may not be the fastest at getting around to my verious projects but I do get around to finishing them. I did not try to make this test one of scientifically precedural comparative accuracy using a bench rest shooting style with chrony and the whole works. I would call this test more of a practical hunting situation test. It has always been my policy to recommend to new slug hunters who just want to put slugs in their existing gun and go after deer that it is best if they take the sawed off home-defense gun out into the field rather then their bird gun. In my experience tactical shotguns are second only to dedicated slug guns when it comes to hunting with slugs. First they have a true cylinder bore (sawed-off) which is best for smooth bore slugs and secondly the stock geometry is usually more suitable for accurate shooting on the level rather then skyward. So I followed my own advice and dusted off the my home defense gun which had been leaning like forever in the corner of the bedroom next to the bed and took it out to the outdoor 25/50yr pistol range and first racked off five rounds of Cheap Walmart special Fed. rifled slugs at a target and then followed with ten rounds of the Win BRI sabot slugs at a second target at the same range of 50 yards.

Here is the gun in question, A Winchester Model-1200 in Tactical Configuration with folding stock, high-capcity mag, figer optic front sight only, etc. :





Next up is a picture of the range with the target out there at the 50yard mark (slightly above and to the left of the steel flippers at the 25yard mark) and then a close up of the target out at the 50 yard mark. The target was a cardboard box with some white paper stabled to the front and a cross hairs drawn on it with black permanent marker:





So first off I fired off five Cheap Walmart Fed Slugs to have something to compare my later test of the Win BRI slugs too. I did have three much less promenant holes punched through the target in addition to the five holes from the slugs. I found two plastic wads of definent Federal design in the snow bank directly behind the target and it appears that three of the wads hit the target as well. Pictures below:







And Finally, I fired off two boxes of the Win BRI Sabot Slugs through my smooth bore gun at the target box placed at 50 yards with a fresh peice of paper stapled too it. Here are the results:





Looks to me like they will do plenty fine for deer hunting out of a smooth bore gun. I'm not sure if those two flyers where my falt or a problem with the slugs.

I would also like to say that the groups from both types of slugs at this range were well --- lets just kindly say --- less then optimum ???? I've done a lot better then that :oops: :( :oops: :cry: But then again I was shooting off hand with a gun only equiped with a front sight so I guess that's my excuse and I'm sticking too it !!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, yes, and I should mention those two oblonged holes marked "2" in the lower portion of the oval shaped group are indeed two slug holes right next to each other and not a keyhole hit. At first I too thought they were keyhole hits but upon examining the cardboard of the box from the back side I could tell that two holes had been puched through right next to each other. So I put ten slugs down range and got ten round holes in the target. Looks like we do have a direction to point those guys who want to shoot sabots from their smooth bore. I'm not saying it will work with any smooth bore but it did work with mine.
 

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The use of BRI's in a smoothbore is a non issue. That is what they were ORIGINALLY DESIGNED FOR a (smoothbore 870 ) that Police carried in their cruisers. This is long before rifled bores and the use of a long range accurate slug out of a rifled barrel.
(Thought you would like a bit of history to put this test into perspective.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, neophyte, I am well aware of the fact that the original BRI sabot slugs were designed for use out of smoothbores as the original post in this thread indicates. However, the current BRI being produced by Win. is not an identical design, there are significant differences especially in the nose design of the current production slug. What I was trying to figure out is if the new BRI slugs would still work correctly in smooth bore guns just like the originals or if the recent changes in the design reflect the present availability of rifled barrel slug guns and they had been re-designed to work with the newer barrels and thus would no longer work in smooth bores.

Personally I have little interest in factory slugs (I roll my own) or in smooth barrel slug guns (I own like several rifled barrel slug guns). The main thing I was trying to figure out is if I could point those guys who show up on this forum wanting to shoot sabots through their smoothie towards the present production Win. BRI slugs as something that will work for what they are trying to do. As far as I know it is the only sabot slug that will work out of a smoothie. Please tell me about any other possibilities as far as "Sabot Slugs that will work out of a Smooth Bore Shotgun" such a topic should be made a sticky topic considering the number of newbie questions we have on the subject. The thread should go something like this: "Most sabot slugs currently on the market will not work correctly out of a smooth bore slug gun due to the fact that they will not be stable in flight without a gyrational spin imparted by rifling and will tumble in flight and thus be inaccurate and key-hole at the target. There are, however, exceptions to this rule including ---- (list of sabot slugs that work out of smooth bores with pictures follows).
 

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In reality there are several changes from the original. The cosmetic "dimple" (HP) being the most obvious and least influencial.(Marketing at its' best). The lead composition has become a bit more malleable so as not to separate in two during its' pass down the bore under pressure. The original was so hard it would make wheel weights seem like putty (Police version). The sabot however is now softer as well with a reduction in velocity of about 100 fps. Originally available in reloader packs with Red straight walled hulls (cheddite ?) and white sabots they never shot as well as the factory ones. The version marketed by S&W had a modified hard alloy, no dimple with a BLACK sabot, again cosmetics. Finally a plastic plug replaced the original wood dowel plug in the original. They found that the wood did not hold up under firing pressure and the plastic popped out easier after leaving the barrel. Even with all that said I do not think these are really that great of an expansive slug. They will however leave a neat .45 cal + hole in both sides of a deer. Aerodynamically you can see where LYMAN got some of their design ideas along with airgun pellets. It will also tell you why proportionately the 20 ga. flies truer at longer ranges than the 12ga.
 
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