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Rifled shotgun vs smoothbore? What rifle does a 12 gauge slug compare to?

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by alfred10, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. alfred10


    May 18, 2008
    I am still looking at shotguns for a possinble bear protection gun. What are the pros and cons of using a rifled shotgun over a smooth bore?

    What rifle caliber does a 12 gauge 3 inch magnum slug compare to? How much penetration does a slug get?
  2. Ferdinandd


    Feb 17, 2008
    It's hard to provide a meaningful comparison for shotgun vs rifle, since they are so different. However, if you opt for a 12 gauge shotgun, I'll offer this: The smoothbore barrel is more versatile, since in my experience it provides better patterning with buckshot and other shotgun ammo compared to a rifled slug barrel. As for energy, I think that a 2.75 inch slug delivers around 2400-2500 ft/lbs, so a 3 inch should be even better.

  3. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    If you are shooting the bear as an act of protection then he is close and the smooth bore is not going to loose much at that range. The rifled barrel shoots a sabot slug that is smaller then the rifled slugs you shoot in a smooth bore. The main advantage of the rifle barrel is accuracy at longer distances which is just not an issue for what you are wanting.

    Also, as Ferdinadd said the smooth bore gives you verstility and you can use 000 buck. I do not know as a fact but have been told by clients that use my weapons for bear protection that 000 is a very effective bear stopper. It was explained to me that should a slug not hit the bear center it can glance off a bone and the bear still get on you, he may die but you are FUBAR. I was told 000 creates more wound channels and does more damage as the pellets go in differetn direction as they hit bone and hard grissel. Again, I don't know this for a fact and would be interested in other imput to this thread.

    If the above is true then the smooth bore barrel is the best option. I have about 20 of my weapons being carried in AK by guides, fishermen and others for bear protection and only two guys request fully rilfed barrels.
  4. Syclone538


    Jan 8, 2006
    I'm thinking the closest thing would be the .50 Beowulf, .458 SOCOM, or .450 Bushmaster, but they are such odd balls that probably doesn't tell you much, and they are still very different from a 12 ga.
  5. I can't think of any advantage the rifled barrel would have over the smoothbore given the situation you have described.
  6. I have an 18 1/2" Rem 870 with rifled barrel. I would recommend getting the smoothbore. The rifled barrel does not shoot any type of shot in a usable way. The smoothbore can shoot rifled slugs out to 75 yds, maybe more with decent accuracy and will shoot buckshot or any shot in addition.
    Rifled barrel shotguns only have a slight edge using sabot slugs at over 75 yds but they won't do anything else.
    But, what the heck, if you have $120 and 30 seconds to spare you can switch to the other kind of barrel.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  7. TECH51


    Mar 28, 2010
    .73 caliber rifle :faint:
  8. What kind of bears are you talking about? Black bears? attack somewhat unlikely and any slug/buckshot/rifle would probably work fine. Heck, I read in a hunting magazine that a 44 mag out of a handgun went all the way through a medium sized black bear. Grizzly? In my area grizzlies aren't a problem because they don't let you hunt at the zoo. ha
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  9. just a shooter

    just a shooter

    Feb 7, 2007
    if we are talking stopping "power" and force on target, and at close range (under 50 yards) I would put the 12ga slug at around the same energy as a 300 Winchester magnum.

    obviously these are rough figures and I am only talking about, under 50 yards. after that the SG slug drops of quickly and the 300wm carries the energy a lot farther.

    but still, for a ~$300 gun with that kind of power, it's hard to beat.