Slugs for Bear

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Skyline, May 27, 2009.

  1. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    The topic recently posted about using a slug gun in Africa prompted this post......not wanting to hyjack that thread.

    Some recent regulation changes in an area I guide for black bear in Canada have limited guides to carrying a shotgun for backup. Please do don't ask why......suffice it to say that dealing with government idiots is trying at times, especially when they don't hunt or have any field experience of any kind and are making rules up about things they know nothing about.

    I do not know anyone in Canada that I believe really knows what they are talking about with slugs as the use is relatively uncommon. So what slug would you boys recommend for black bear at close range in heavy, heavy bush? These bears are big and we regularly take bears 400 to 600 pounds.

    Also, we cannot get slugs like those from Tar Hunt due to cross border hastles and regulations by the BATF that prevent many companies from shipping ammunition/bullets etc. north of the 49th. The slug would need to be something from one of the big name ammo companies like Remington, Federal, etc. that would routinely be imported by big hunting/shooting stores in Canada.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ...Kelly that is kind of stupid. Where I live we can only use slugs for Deer hunting. If I want to use a rifle I have to travel 20 miles. I do use slugs though.. but I have only a smooth bore gun & have never shot any of the expensive sabot loads which many hunters use in Wisconsin.
    ,,,,I typically use Winchester or Brenneke slugs in my model 1100. They shoot quite well out of it. At 50 yds I can generally get 3 shot groups just touching each other. I never had much luck with Remington or Federal - although my daughter swears by the Federal in her Browning pump!
    ...........If placed right they do the job very well if you are off a little tracking becomes the game! For self defense & close encounters the slug may be ok but as far as hunting.. I don't think you get the shock factor that kills an animal as quickly as a rifle.. I probably hit a sore spot among a few but I have killed about 35 deer with slugs & 8 with a rifle & the ones with the rifle usually went right down no trailing.. With the shot gun only 4 went right down & 2 of them were shot in the head!!!
  3. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Calhoun........I am only going to be using this shotgun for follow up on wounded bears in very heavy cover. I am not hunting with it, just finishing the job.

    Believe me I have plenty of rifles much more suitable for this, but this is not up to me. It is a law that was passed in a specific area. With no options other than to comply, I will be buying an 870 pump specifically for this....probably a short rifled barrel, iron sights and synthetic stock.

    Was hoping someone on here may have some info that would help. I have used the slugs you talk about in the past with smooth bores, but have ZERO experience with the newest sabotted rounds/wonder rounds etc. Recoil is absolutely not a concern.
  4. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    Skyline,
    Check out the French company Sauvestre, I think I spelled that right. They make a finned sabot slug that looks like a badminton birdie. It hits like a ton of bricks and is very accurate at longer ranges. It might be easier for you to get a hold of a French made round like this. I have shot them out of my rifled Mossberg 695 bolt gun with good results. Here in Germany they are actually harder to get than American slugs, go figure.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  5. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I have observed the use of slugs over the years on a number of animals, and I have shot one deer with a slug, and I have never been the least impressed with the way they kill anything...

    I personally believe a shotgun is excellent on birds as it was intended to be, if I want to protect myself then it will be with a big bore rifle...I also am convienced that buck shot is deadlier than a slug, but again no my choice with my arse is on the line...To each his own on such subjects as these, and we all must live with the decision we make..I would opt for a 375 or 416 Rem. Ruger or Rigby myself or something on that order to stop a big bear.
  6. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    I don't think it is a question of what you like or want. When the government gets stupid with regulations like this, you do what you can. It's a lot like the restriction on side arms for PHs in some countries.

    Skyline:
    You can easily come up with a good gun/slug combo that will rival any rifle used at the ranges you will be working. The Tar Hunt guns and Lightfield Ammo are great, but they are more precise not what I'd call "back up" material. I suggest you go try out a good Bennelli SBE or a tried and true Remington 870, either one in composite will weather the conditions up north. Add a recoil reducer, quality fiber optic open sites, or a red dot. A fully rifled barrel is necessary for modern saboted slugs, not a rifled choke tube and not a smooth bore.

    Feed it good quality saboted slugs in the 275-300gr range. Sauvestres or Winchester Platinums are my recommendation. The Remington Accutips look especially promising. Pick a slug that will get you as close to 2000 fpm as possible and remain supersonic at 50 m. They are all pretty easy to get and the price isn't too bad.

    Read the tar hunt website. The info they have for zeroing and shooting a slug gun is dead on. I spent some time working up an accurate slugger (family is from Ohio, no rifle season), the tips and ranges they talk about are pretty darned close to the gospel. Sight your new slug gun 2 inches high at 50m. Oh yeah, don't forget to buy a shoot pad, zeroing these things will leave you a tattoo on the shooting shoulder. Good luck!
  7. tarawa

    tarawa AH Veteran

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    I would check out Dixie Slugs This company offers a slug called the "Tusker" It is a hardened lead slug. They look interesting.
  8. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Thanks Guys, sorry for the delay, I was in the Northwest Territories for three weeks.

    Ray,

    I agree completely......I just do not have any say in this, it is a regulation I have to comply with in a specific area.

    Mac B and Tarawa,

    Thanks for the info. I will be going for an 870 as that is what I used when I was in the RCMP and it is second nature for me. As for Dixie Slugs, Tar Hunt items etc. I can't get them in Canada..........hence my original question. I will check on those French slugs and the others mentioned see if they are available here. My main concern is we have BIG black bears here and the big boars are as big as grizzlies, so I want to be sure of deep penetration. Once the leaves are out you can seldom see more than 10 yards in this stuff we have to follow up in.

    I am not happy about this, would rather pack my old .375...............but there are lots of idiots in government positions making decisions and rules about things they know nothing about, and the rest of us have to live with it.

    Thanks again.
  9. bwheasler

    bwheasler New Member

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    You slug gun combo is enough to whack any bear. As with any other gun/ ammo combo, a different variety of loads need to be tried to see your gun likes. As a midwest boy raised with a 12 ga. it was the only choice we had to hunt deer. But guns and slugs have improved so much over the years,that I was able to confidently use it in Africa. From 10 yrds to 170yds the slugs worked as I knew the would. But I am not the norm, I live and breath slug guns. I am using an off the shelf 870, Hastings barrel, Timney trigger, and Remington Accutip slugs. Nothing special, readily available,deadly. Like anything else if your confident with you equipment, hold your nerve, you can kill anything with anything. Just ask a caveman.
  10. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Skyline,

    If I've read your initial post correctly, your (potential) use of slugs for bear is for backup of client hunters. In this case, I imagine that you could possibly be facing these situations:
    1. Close quarter shooting
    2. Rapidly moving targets
    3. Possible need to shoot quickly in case of a charge by a wounded animal

    If any or all of these situations could arise, I have a different set of suggestions for shotgun and slug:
    1. Short-barrel, open choke, smooth bore and bead front sight
    2. Conventional "rifled" slugs

    At close range, the additional accuracy of a rifled barrel with a sabot slug means very little. On the other hand, shotguns with bead sights and short barrels are perfect for quick target acquistion in close quarters. (You probably use them on grouse all the time...)

    Conventional rifled slugs are heavier than their sabot encased counterparts and do deliver a bit more energy. Granted, they will never have the shocking power of an expanding rifle bullet, but I'm guessing you want all of the killing power you can muster for a close encounter head shot.

    My $0.02 worth

    - browningbbr

    Parting note: I grew up hunting white tails in Iowa with slugs. I now often hunt deer in slug-only areas in eastern Wisconsin. I've killed a lot of deer with slugs, but I MUCH PREFER a rifle.
  11. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Brenneke Slugs

    I know all are well intentioned, but hunting deer with slugs is irrelevant to the topic of this thread. To compare hunting deer with a slug as hunting a Black Bear is like" comparing apples to oranges" as they say. Might I point out deer don't have claws and a bone crushing bite.

    Skyline,
    Was wondering if you are able to buy the "Brenneke" brand in your area? I have used that brand of slug in a former life, suffice it to say they are hands down the best for busting through thick stuff. The "Brenneke" slug is very hard (acts like solid) and a 3" with 1 1/4 oz or 1 3/8 oz lead should be good medicine, not to mention the company markets their "Brenneke sl-123bmm Black Magic Mag 12ga 3" 1-3/8oz Slug" as a bear round.

    Of course as you already pointed out a rifle is preferable.

    I have a friend who guides in the Alaska and he told me of a shotgun that a guy built specifically for Grizzly & Polar bear. Not sure why he chooses a shotgun? What I'm told is he loads his own shells, but used "Brenneke" before loading his own. Supposedly the shotgun has been successful in taking a couple of bears. I have no substantive information beyond that, nor on the effectiveness of using a shotgun for taking bear.

    I do have a shotgun I use when hunting hogs in thickets along sloughs & bayous. It is a Win. 1300 12 ga/bore in 3" with a 22 in smooth barrel and open bore. It started off as a 26 in barrel with Imp. Cyl. choke. It also has a three round mag extension. It works very well on taking large hogs, the largest to date was 242 pounds, the slug blew right through at 15 yards using "Brenneke" 1 oz slugs. Obviously not a good comparison, as a hog is certainly not equal to a bear. At least
    not like the ones ya'll grow in your area.

    I will say this you are a brave man, and it is a testament to your metal, being willing to guide in a area that limits your choices. I have had the misfortune to experience two charges involving Black bear, and the fortune that the outcomes left me and the client(s) with hides intact. I've had the required fortitude, but I contribute that to knowing the capabilities of my Win. 1895 in .405 Win. Can't say I would have it behind a shotgun. No discouragement meant just voicing my own reluctance.

    Be safe and best regards.
  12. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS AH Senior Member

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    I completely understand your frustration deal with bureaucrats, especially with gun laws. That being said, since you are there to back up your client, and not to take the original shot; it seems to me what you need is a heavy hitting gun for close range work. While a shotgun wouldnt be my first choice, I think it is do-able.

    At what kind of ranges are you anticipating needing to fire, Im guessing surely under 50m??? At that point a smoothbore is fine as wiser folks have stated. Im a big fan of big hunks of lead in this situation; so sabots would be out of the question, and Id even think about 10ga. Federal makes a 3 1/2inch 10 gauge slug that shoots a 1 3/4oz slug. Its hard to imagine that not changing a Bruin's mind, especially after your client already hit him and may be next to you firing as well.

    There are several options for 10ga guns (assuming they are available to you) including auto loaders, and pumps; but if it were me and the range was under 50m, Id find a SxS and have the barrels shortened to 24 inches. Id add a large white bead and shoot it enough to get comfortable with it. Will it be "regulated"-NO; but it will hit a big Brown or even Black Bear at 50m and under, at least mine will.
  13. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    This is kind of an old thread. What did you end up choosing Skyline?

    I know my reccomendation would have been forget the slugs and go with a 12ga defender and heavy buckshot (SSGs). I have used this combo successfully on a couple occasions in that overgrown crap that is so thick vivibilty is limited to little more than the end of your barrel and you spend as much time walking on deadfall as the ground. That much lead is pretty formidable at close range and if you have to give him a one hander as you balance on deadfall you are covered. A buddy actually had to do that at 5'!
  14. paparock

    paparock New Member

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    Bear Slugs in 12Ga.

    I would suggest two slugs for you to consider.

    1. One is the Lightfield Commander IDS Plus 3" 12 ga. Saboted Shotgun Slugs.

    The Lightfield Commander IDS Plus was designed as a high velocity, extremely stable, extended range Sabot Slug for use in modern rifled barrel shotguns. The patented design incorporates an impact-discarding Sabot that aids stability in the wind and produces a controlled expansion slug for deeper penetration.


    2, The second is Dixie Slugs:

    You have two choices:

    166_Pic1.jpg

    First- The Original Dixie Terminator12 is a reintroduction of the famous British Paradox Load. Like the original Paradox load, it has a .730"-730 gr hard cast heat treated bullet. Unlike the original, it is loaded today in a modern 3" 12 ga. Mag. hull with modern components. The original Paradox was loaded to two velocity levels...black powder at 1000'/" and Cordite at 1200'/".

    The Original Dixie Terminator 12 is loaded to 1250/1275'/" from a Hasting 20" rifled barrel. Longer barrels will produce about 25'/" per extra inch.


    144_DixieIXL-DGS.jpg

    Second- The Dixie IXL-DGS is .730" and weighs 870 grs. It is designed for rifled barrels and .729"/.730" bore smoothbore with cylinder chokes. The velocity in the loaded rounds is 1200'/" from 20" 12 gauge 3" Hastings rifled barrels. Dixie designed his slug as requested by experienced shooters in Alaska. It is a true Dangerous Game slug/bullet that will stand up against the most severe tests! It is cast from our standard bullet alloy and heat-treated.There are other offerings that call themselves DGS (Dangerous Game Slugs) that are nothing more than swaged lead.

    DixieSlugs Products

    TarHunt Custom Hunting Rifled Barrel Rifle Slug Guns : Products
  15. MediumMadness

    MediumMadness New Member

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    Check out a new slug from brenneke, the Magnum Crush, 1.5 oz (666 gr) at 1600 fps at the muzzle. NEW! Magnum Crush

    I don't know about a pump vs sxs vs auto for that kind of work, way out of my league. But if you're not comfortably fast with a shotgun, take up trap shooting, and you won't have any trouble with a quick kill shot on a messed up boar. Myself I'd probably go with a SBE semiauto with a short barrel. If something happened where you couldn't pump, the SBE will go bang, being recoil vs gas operated, very simple and reliable. You might also short shuck a pump in an emergency, hence the semi-auto.

    I like this slug also because it cuts a clean sharp hole, without much deformation, a penetrator, though I can't speak to that point directly from personal experience.
  16. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    A good slug is absolutely devastating...don't feel under gunned at close quarters! I've used a 'penetrator' slug from PMP SA - I think! to finish off a wounded Buff. At 15 m, the slug penetrated through to the skin on the far side smashing two sets of ribs and leaving a window of a hole!
    Whatever you do....do not use pelleted shot! The individual balls lack the weight for good penetration.

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