Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

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Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby surprise_i'm_armed » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:41 pm

Recently I read where Alaskans who travel in bear country prefer to carry 12 gauge shotguns,
loaded with slugs. Granted, this could be just 1 person's opinion on a carry weapon in such
territory.

But it got me to wondering: It seems to me a rifle with regular bullets would be the equivalent
of a 12 gauge that used slugs, but a rifle (depending on brand/model) would seem to have the
edge due to increased round count.

Would a shotgun using slugs have much higher fps (feet per second) velocity, than, say an AR-15?
Is that why a shotgun might be preferable? What about a .270/.30.06, other calibers than .223?

What's the pros and cons of these 2 firearms with regard to stopping a bear, or a human threat?

I haven't been on the board much at all lately, but I will strive to check in on this thread, since I
started it. :-)

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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby SRO1911 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:03 pm

While a 223/5.56 will run laps around a slug on pure velocity - energy is what gets the job done. energy is a combination of mass and velocity (velocity squared times bullet weight in grains divided by 450,240 = ft lbs energy)

For large animals such as bears, it takes significant mass to penetrate hide, flesh and bone to a sufficient depth to actually stop the animal. A 556 will quickly shed velocity and not reach a vital (without exceptional shot placement - im sure it can be done) area. A slug, by its greater mass, will maintain momentum and be more likely to anchor the animal.

Large bore revolvers, lever action 45/70's and similar were fairly popular several years ago when I was up there. I felt perfectly comfortable with a double stack 10mm and hardcast bullets. The local I was staying with, and hunting with, carried a 41 magnum although he said wolves trying to swipe game were more of a threat than bears.
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby jason812 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:12 pm

A slug equals 1oz or 437.5 grains and out of a 12ga is close to 3/4in diameter before expansion. Not many if any rifles you would want to carry around will pack that kind of punch. Out of a defensive type shotgun, 6 or 7 rounds will be common with an 18in barrel. Against an angry bear, I would take a SLP with slugs over any rifle I could carry.

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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby Pawpaw » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:27 pm

From what I've read, written by people who frequent Alaska bear country, the weapon of choice is indeed a 12 gauge loaded with Brenneke slugs.

A 3" 1-3/8 oz hardened lead slug, moving at 1500fps is going to plow straight thru almost anything it hits and leave a big hole behind.
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby puma guy » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:53 pm

Pawpaw wrote:From what I've read, written by people who frequent Alaska bear country, the weapon of choice is indeed a 12 gauge loaded with Brenneke slugs.

A 3" 1-3/8 oz hardened lead slug, moving at 1500fps is going to plow straight thru almost anything it hits and leave a big hole behind.

:iagree: Never been to Alaska and probably never will be, but a short barreled 12ga SG with 00 Buck followed by Brenneke slugs would be hard to beat in my opinion. My logic is a first shot might be hurried and buck shot could narrow the margin of error. Nothing wrong with carrying a big bore pistol as well.
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby Jusme » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:02 pm

:iagree:

Slugs or #1 buck flight control will put much more energy into a big angry animal than even a 45-70 or smaller rifle cartridge will. The only drawback is distance. If you are hunting bear, and making longer distance shots, then I would opt for the rifle, but, if it is strictly a self preservation situation, at distances under 100 yards, then I'll take the shotgun. JMHO
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby WTR » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:38 pm

I have two friends who went to Alaska on guided hunts. The " latrine" and " camp" gun of choice was a 12 ga loaded with a round of buckshot followed by slugs.


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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby rotor » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:33 pm

Pawpaw wrote:From what I've read, written by people who frequent Alaska bear country, the weapon of choice is indeed a 12 gauge loaded with Brenneke slugs.

A 3" 1-3/8 oz hardened lead slug, moving at 1500fps is going to plow straight thru almost anything it hits and leave a big hole behind.

Interesting that you mention Brenneke slugs as the latest issue of GunTests (08/2017) confirms the Brenneke as their pick for dangerous game. Hope I never have to use one. 602 gr. Must kick like the dickens.

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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby Beiruty » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:53 am

The only downside of slugs, is its limited range less than 50 yards otherwise, you lose accuracy
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby Liberty » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:44 am

Beiruty wrote:The only downside of slugs, is its limited range less than 50 yards otherwise, you lose accuracy

Shooting a bear at more than 50yds isn't likely to be an acceptable excuse to a game warden. Those bears though can be a pretty big target. There are places in New England that restrict deer hunting to shotguns. 75 to 100yd kills aren't uncommon.
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby Pawpaw » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:14 am

Liberty wrote:
Beiruty wrote:The only downside of slugs, is its limited range less than 50 yards otherwise, you lose accuracy

Shooting a bear at more than 50yds isn't likely to be an acceptable excuse to a game warden. Those bears though can be a pretty big target. There are places in New England that restrict deer hunting to shotguns. 75 to 100yd kills aren't uncommon.

:iagree:

I think most of us are talking about protection against an attacking bear. Hunting is an entirely different issue.
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby Beiruty » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:42 am

My statement was a general observation of shotgun accuracy at distance.
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby parabelum » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:00 am

Slugs are also significantly larger in caliber, 12 gauge is .72 caliber equivalent. Obviously AR-15 in .223 is a .22 caliber. So you are looking at .22 cal vs. .72 cal, a big difference in the size. If facing an angry bear, especially in the 50 yards or less distance, I'd take a 3" 12 gauge slug. They pack a whallop.
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby RPBrown » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:28 am

I have a .340 Weatherby Magnum as my big game rifle. Dad left this one to me. I also have a S&W .500 that would be carried as well. I dont want a bear within 50 yards as the reaction time is very short, around 3 seconds. See the paper on the link below.

https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/sp ... unters.pdf
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Re: Pros & cons comparing rifles w/ shotguns using slugs?

Postby AndyC » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:30 am

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