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Rifled vs. Smooth Bore

Discussion in 'Guns and Ammo' started by kernal83, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. I am looking to buy a new slug gun, and I have been debating on which is better, smooth bore or rifled barrels. I have never shot a rifled barrel, so I guess my question is "how good are they?" Is it worth it considering sabots are at least $9.00 per box?
  2. Walleye 3

    Walleye 3 Mongo

    This in my opinion is a personal preference. I have an 870 express with a smooth bore and an 870 wingmaster which is also a smooth bore and shooting out to 100 yards is no problem. I have killed deer out to 130 yards with no problem. I do have two real good guns. The 870 express will shoot 1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards and the other 870 will shoot 1 inch groups. They are both old guns and I do think that the older ones are better. One thing that I can tell you is you need to experiment with ammo brands. Both of mine will only shot remington slugs well. All the other brands shoot poor groups for me. My best friend also still shoots a smooth bore and his remington will only shoy winchester slugs. I also like the way the old slugs flatten and drop deer. I have never had one run more than 50 yards using this type of slug. I have had friends who use rifled guns and they have had problems with the slugs opening up, only putting a small hole in the deer. I do think that they have come a long way with the rifled slugs now. I will stay with the 2.00 dollar a box slugs, they have worked for me. If you want a gun that is real accurate and will shoot 200 yards, I would go with one of the new inline muzzle loaders. The guns are cheeper and the ammo is also cheeper. Also which ever type you choose, if you are going to put a scope on it buy a good one. It will make the gun more accurate. I am using four power Nikon Monarks. I have them on all of my rifles too and they are great. Hope this helps a little.

  3. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

    i have a H&R singleshot rifled that i shoot copper sabots with... lemme tell ya this thing ROCKS... 1" groups out to 140yds... bout as nice as a rifle except for the kick!
  4. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    I have a rifled nova slug barrel. Haven't grouped it yet this year. Matching it to a Leupold 2x9 shotgun scope. Should be a quite deadly combo. Wasn't getting good groupings with the smooth bore and rifled slugs at all.
  5. bronzebackyac

    bronzebackyac Crick Smallie Fisherman

    can't wait to try out my Marlin Slugster this fall. bolt action three shots rifled barrell. I'll keep ya posted
  6. I have a remington 870 also. Last year I switched from the smoothbore to a rifled barrel. With the smoothbore I was comfortable with a shot of up to 75 yards with Brenneke KO rifled slugs. I will admit that I never even tried shooting that setup farther than 100 yards and that I was using open sights.

    After switching to the rifled barrel with a scope I killed a deer last year at 130 yards. I am going to see how it performs at 150 yards this year before gun season.

    The reason I never tried shooting farther than 100 yards with the smoothbore was that I had douts as to the energy the bullet would carry that far. With the rifled barrel I don't have that concern.

    The most important thing is to look at the potential shots you will have. Last year I started hunting a new area that I thought would give me a chance at longer shots. I was right :)
  7. ShoreBoundOne

    ShoreBoundOne lengthy Member

    Go with the rifled barrel you wont be disapointed. Shooting further than 75 yards with a smooth bore/rifled slugs is just asking for a wounded deer or a miss.
    Hate to say it but got to hoist the bs flag on that. I have been a SAI for 18 years and worked with 870's much of that time.

  8. 'Rude Dog

    'Rude Dog 'Tusc River Rat

    Just purchased an ithaca 37 deerslayer/turkeyslayer storm combo, with the rifled barrel- the gunsmith told me that it was ok to shoot the old style foster type slugs( " rifled slugs ") in it, to help sight it in- he said to use the rifled slugs to get it close , on paper, then finish sighting it in with the sabots- he said that after about 25 shots, you would need to scrub the barrel with a bore brush, to remove lead that would start to accumulate.
  9. BigChessie

    BigChessie BIG PIMPIN' "GIGELO"

    Just pick up my Knight Bighorn I have for sale, comes with Deerhunter scope and hard case. Drop anything you can see at 150 yards. lol
  10. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    Smoothbore Remington 870 for me. I have shot and killed many deer 75 yards + with it. My gun shoots best with Federal slugs, but also shoots Remington and Winchester slugs effectively, in a pinch.

    It pretty much depends on what your average length shot is for the area you hunt. If your average shot is 90 yards or more, I'd opt for the rifled barrel. If your average shot is under 90 yards, you're wasting good money on really expensive ammo.
  11. smooth bore 870 here. my brother has an 870 with riffled barrel and both shoot lights out but why pay extra money for the sabots.

  12. I tried shooting many different slugs when sighting in my rifled barrel and scope. The gun shot best with (of course) the most expensive sabot I tried. In reality the money difference is (at most) $21 a year which is 3 boxes @ $7/box difference. That assumes it takes me 10 rounds to re-zero which I don't anticipate. I would be very surprised if I use more than 5 shells hunting each year.
  13. ShoreBoundOne

    ShoreBoundOne lengthy Member

    I use Lightfield hybreds....only cost about 3 or 4 dollars more per box. I sight in using rifled slugs to get in the ball park and then fine tune with sabots...if it more than 5 rounds to cut 3 holes touching at 100 yards....its my fault. After that i only need one box of five for the season. Cost is not a issue for peace of mind at 150 yards;)

  14. Walleye 3

    Walleye 3 Mongo

    I just wanted to say that it isn't bs that I can shoot 1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards. I have played with these guns for many years and when I found what worked best I stuck with it. When I got my 870 wingmaster it shot 2 to 2 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards for me. One year I ran out of slugs and bought some more rem sluggers and the darn thing shot even tighter. There is one lot number that for some reason must fit my guns tighter and they shoot the best. When I found them I bought everyone I could of that lot number. You are right it only takes a few to see if the gun is sighted in and only three during the season. I have enough of the good ones left for a few years and when they are gone I will use my remington inline which also shoots great.
  15. Onion. Shoot What You Shoot The Best It Not Going To Break The Bank If You Shoot The More Expensive Slugs.
  16. jeffmo

    jeffmo officially unofficial!!!!

    either one will do the just need to determine what kind of distances you'll be shooting.the rifled barrel will give you better accuracy at the longer distances but if that's not needed the smooth bore will be cheaper both in the cost of the barrel and the ammo.
    one thing i'd strongly urge you to steer clear of is a screw in rifled choke tube.i had one of those blow out the end of a barrel on my 870.scared the bejesus out of me.
    there were alot of problems with them several years back.
  17. Thanks for all of the advice. I think I am heading to cabelas in WV tomm. Probably going to buy the stoeger model 2000 combo with rifled barrel for $500. CAnt wait to see how it shoots.