Dumb Girl Question Probably

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by Shoeless, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Shoeless

    Shoeless Gun Totin' Girl

    Hey everyone! I haven't been here in months, but I have a question about one of my guns and when I have a question about a gun, where ELSE would I go but Glocktalk, right?? :)

    Ok, so I bought myself a Mossberg 500 Bantam 20 gauge shotgun. (I'm petite, hence the Bantam). That's not the dumb part.

    The dumb part is my question, which is this... If I want to take it to the range to practice with it, but the range won't let us shoot shot, only slugs, then how do I know what kind of slug to shoot in it?

    It came with three choke tubes: Full, Improved Cylinder and Modified.

    What the hell does all that mean? Is it a smooth bore or a rifled bore?

    Heck, I thought shotguns were easy to understand. Figured they all had a smooth bore and you could just shoot either shot or slug no problem.

    Then I learn that some shotguns have a rifled bore (wouldn't that be a rifle then??) and others have a smooth bore.

    I also learned that there are "rifled" slugs and "sabot" slugs and you have to know which one your gun takes before shooting them out of it.

    So between the smooth vs rifled bore and the different choke tubes (which I thought were just for shot) AND the two different kind of slugs, I'm so confused. :shocked:

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Shoeless :embarassed:

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
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  3. WayaX

    Lifetime Member

    It's not a dumb girl question at all. I actually find the entire realm of shotguns a bit confusing as well. Your Mossberg 500 most likely has a smooth bore. You should be able to tell this just by looking at it. As far as slugs go, you want to use the most open choke you have (i.e. not the full). Choke tubes are only for shot. If you have a smooth bore, you want rifled slugs (doesn't make sense, does it?). If you have a rifled bore, you want the sabot slugs.

  4. WellArmedSheep

    WellArmedSheep NRA Member

    The Improved Cylinder choke is the least constrictive of the ones you have, and the Full is the most constrictive. Since your shotgun is threaded for chokes it's most likely smooth bore. Get rifled slugs. I'd probably use the Improved Cylinder choke for shooting slugs, but it more than likely won't damage anything to use the others. Changing chokes will, however, probably change the point of impact, so decide which one you want to continue to use for slugs and stick with it.

    Hope that helps.
  5. GreyEclipse

    GreyEclipse TheGreyEclipse

    Dang, thought this was gonna be a blonde joke.

    You need a barrel that is approved for slugs.
    Yours most likely isn't but maybe you should call Mossberg and ask.
  6. The modified tube is the best for slugs as it stabelizes the slug better then the other chokes. Use it for accuracy.
  7. Unless your instruction manual specifically states otherwise, you can shoot any slug or sabot you want through any of your three chokes.

    The sabots will do no damage, the only real concern is that they may or may not stabilize and may keyhole on a target.
    There's no real advantage to shooting a sabot through a smoothbore for most uses, especially if the gun only has a bead sight, but you can do it.
    Sabots were designed for greater accuracy in rifled bores, but won't hurt a non-rifled barrel.

    If it has chokes, it has no rifling.

  8. Nonsense. Any modern shotgun barrel (and by modern I mean made in the last 100 years) is 'approved' for slugs. They're just big chunks of lead, not nuclear warheads.

    Here's a good primer on shotguns and chokes and slugs... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun
  9. GreyEclipse

    GreyEclipse TheGreyEclipse

    Yeah, I must be misinformed. I've never been interested in shooting slugs.
    Sorry for the crap info.
  10. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Hi Monica!!!!!!

    Before you go to the range, make sure that the barrel is clean and free of any of the 'factory' preservative/lube.
    (Also, make sure to put some 'anti-seize' on the threads of the choketube, and make sure it is snug in the barrel!)

    Now, your Mossberg is absolutely capable of shooting 'slugs'.
    I'd suggest using either the Improved Cylinder (I/C) or the Modified (M or Mod) choketube.
    Either way, you will most likely have a lot of lead removal ahead, from the barrel and choketube.

    Now, because a shotgun barrel, such as a fully rifled barrel 'is' rifled, that doesn't make it a rifle.
    Also, you CAN use 'sabot' rounds in your smoothbore barrel, but, you won't get the accuracy that you would with a fully rifled barrel.

    (With a sabot slug, the sabot will separate from the slug, about 10 to 15 feet from the muzzle, and the slug will continue downrange and continue to spin due to the rifling.)

    As for a 'rifled slug', that's actually a misnomer. The 'rifling' on the slug doesn't actually cause the slug to spin, according to most current tests.
    These slugs are normally hollow on the back, sort of like a Badminton 'shuttlecock', and when fired, they 'open up' or expand (at the back) to fill the bore of the shotgun.
    Plus, being made this way, makes them 'front-heavy', to help stabilize.

    The "Brenneke" slugs are really good slugs, for use in HD and for dangerous game. They produce a big, gaping hole.

    FWIW, I've gotten some good groups with a 'standard' rifled slug.

    With slugs, be prepared for some substantial recoil, compared to either 'target' or 'game' loads.
    That Mossberg is kinda light, and you'll feel it in your shoulder.
    (Keep your face/cheek down on that stock, and keep it pulled tight into your shoulder!)

    Lastly, it's good to see you, back on GT!!!!!!!
    #9 byf43, Mar 1, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  11. Shoeless

    Shoeless Gun Totin' Girl

    Why oh WHY do I stay away from here so long???? :iloveyou:

    You guys totally rule! I swear, I will try to spend more time here.

    Thank you for the information. My manual says not to shoot slug without a choke tube properly installed, so I guess the Improved is the one I should go with and I can use a regular "rifled" slug in it.

    There are still a few questions I have... for example I don't really get how the choke tube does anything when it's only like 1.5 inches long. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but I just don't see how that works or what the point of it is. I know it says it changes the shot pattern, which seems amazing to me, but how does it work with slug?

    Thanks again!
  12. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Well, from 'days gone by', the choke was only at the last couple of inches in a fixed choke barrel, and it helped to squeeze a shot charge into a 'given bundle'.

    The choketube will do the same thing. It's putting some constriction in the slug's path, so that it will help to impart some accuracy.

    Some barrels are 'back bored' (more than a factory tube) and as such, are like a lonnnnnnnnng funnel, going down to the choke.
    There is a forcing cone, just ahead of the chamber, anyway, and 'back boring' extends that forcing cone, farther down the tube. (That is an exxageration, but, I hope you get the idea.)

    I've shot and I've seen others' groups fired with rifled slugs, that are nothing less than very impressive.

    I'm not sure about Mossberg, but, Remington markets/sells a 'fully rifled choketube' that will spin those sabot slugs.

    Again, be forewarned, that (depending on which slug you're using), you'll have a real cleaning chore after your shooting session.
    Rifled slugs are typically very soft slugs.
    #11 byf43, Mar 1, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  13. Think of the choke as a funnel. It constricts the shot slightly for a tighter pattern.
    It doesn't. It may help a bit with the accuracy, as aippi pointed out, as it again provides a slight restriction. I don't like them on a defensive gun, but since yours already has them no real need to change things up.
    #12 David Armstrong, Mar 1, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  14. Hi, Monica!
    Just remember...the only "dumb" questions......
    Are the ones we don't ASK!!:wavey:
    Welcome Back!!!!!!!!
  15. The only reason your manual says not to shoot slugs without the choke tube is so you don't damage the threads, not because of anything the choke itself does.
  16. Eagles1181

    Eagles1181 Flying High

    The reason that the manual says to not fire without a choke tube has nothing to do with how the choke affects the slug. Instead it has to do with tearing up the threading on the barrel.

    Eagle :eagle:
  17. figment

    figment Texas Stranger

    also consider reduced recoil slugs if you can find them.

  18. Wrong!

    You can't use them in the Mossberg 835 and 935 because they use an overbored barrel

    From the Mossberg website:

    Can I fire slugs through my 935™ or 835® vent rib, Accu-Mag® choke tube barrel?

    No, 935™ and 835® field barrels (those with a ventilated rib) are "overbored," and the extra inside diameter may cause the projectile to "wobble" producing unreliable accuracy. A projectile may wedge inside the barrel causing an obstruction. Obstructions of any kind can cause damage to the firearm resulting in damage to the barrel and/or personal injury to you or those around you. Dedicated fully rifled slug barrels are available for the 935™ and 835® models. Other 935™ and 835® Accu-Mag® choke tube notes: Buckshot and steel-shot loads are not recommended for use with an extra full turkey tube installed.

  19. As I said- unless your manual says otherwise, slugs & sabots are fine to shoot in a smoothbore. :)
  20. OK, yeah, I forgot about the over bored Mossberg barrels. I should have said, 'the vast majority' of modern shotgun barrels.

  21. Like DPris said it's always good to check your manual, or check with the manufacturer, especially when it comes to guns and ammo.

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