What Is Shotgun Slugs And When Is It Better To Use A Slug?

To first understand the basics of shotgun slugs, you must understand what exactly a slug is and how a shotgun works.

How a shotgun works

A shotgun is a firearm that shoots shells rather than the traditional rifle cartridge.

So what's the shotgun shells?

  • Shotgun shells are generally plastic and are filled with their intended projectiles
  • Shotgun shells are commonly filled with smaller projectiles, called shot, but can also have one singular piece of metal, called a slug
shotgun slug

Shotgun Slug

The traditional rifle cartridge is generally some type of a metal filled with a propellant and the projectile on top of the cartridge. Both are fired by a firing pin striking a primer.

After the shotgun is fired, many shotguns are pump action. When the pump is pushed rearward, it ejects the spent shell, and loads in the next shell.

What exactly is a slug

As previously mentioned, a slug is one solid projectile, rather than smaller projectiles, such as birdshot or buckshot.

When a slug is fired from a shotgun, one larger solid projectile is fired, making it similar to a rifle firing a bullet. A shotgun firing a slug can be viewed as a simple rifle.

Pros and cons of using a slug

Strength of Slug

When compared to a similar hunting rifle, a shotgun slug is much heavier. source

Generally speaking, a rifle slug is at least twice as heavy as a comparable rifle bullet. I have a article to compare shotgun with rifle, you can read it in here.

While an advanced rifle fires its projectile nearly twice as fast, the sheer weight of a shotgun slug makes it extremely deadly. 

The cons of Slug​

However, the range of a shotgun with a slug is much less than that of a rifle.

A general rule of thumb is that slugs work within 100 yards. Modern advanced rifles can accurately shoot out to at least three times that far.

Another con of using a slug is that they cost slightly more than rifle ammunition.

Man is holding his Shotgun

Man is holding his Shotgun

When is it better to use a slug?

There are multiple situations in which using a shotgun firing slugs would be better than using a rifle. This is some situations:

  • Legal issue: In some states and areas, you aren’t able to hunt using a rifle. In an area like this, using a shotgun shooting slugs will allow you to continue hunting legally
  • About weight: If you are hunting large game, due to the weight of the shotgun slug, you will have a deadlier shot. While there are also bigger rifle cartridges, these come with larger weapons. Shotguns are generally easier to carry around than a much larger comparable rifle
  • About performance: In heavily wooded areas, using a slug may also be preferential. As a result of the added weight and size, a slug will be able to penetrate through brush easier. Similarly, in any situation in which your expected shot is within 100 yards, a slug will be better than most rifle cartridges, because it is more deadly.

Conclusion

Shotguns are an extremely versatile weapon. Slugs are just another facet of their versatility.

Shooting slugs from a shotgun give you a basic rifle. While the range is greatly decreased, it fires a much larger and heavier projectile than most rifles, making it a much deadlier projectile. (You should choose the best scope for ar15 rifle to make a perfect shot)

While the slug is by no means a one size fits all answer, there are definitely specific circumstances in which shooting a slug is more than likely better than most rifles.

While it will ultimately come down to personal preference, a shotgun shooting slugs is a formidable weapon for hunting.

Harvey Specter
 

"Sometimes hunting is the only thing that makes sense"

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments