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Thread: Want to try lead slugs Rem 870 with rifled choke tube

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Want to try lead slugs Rem 870 with rifled choke tube

    I've been wanting to try making my own slugs, or possibly buying some to reload in my 12ga. Rem 870 rifle sight barrel with rifled choke tube.
    I never experimented with the choke tube as far as removing and putting in an improved cylinder or something. This is how I bought barrel and just leave it alone. Chamber is 2 3/4", it was my dads gun late 60's vintage, only shotgun he ever owned in my life and I still remember him saying "I must be crazy for spending $90.00 on a new shotgun". Dad was not a deer hunter but used this gun for countless small game. After dad died, I decided to get into deer hunting and since I am in Illinois, at the time, bow or slug only option. So I bought the barrel I forget if 18 or 20 in. with rifle sight and a rifled choke. I experimented a bit with Brenneke, and Win/Fed/Rem foster type slugs at 50 yds. Never shot saboted slugs in it. I've taken a few deer with it, but now in Illinois I can use a handgun or muzzle loader or crossbow, so last ten years or more have been playing with those.
    A couple of my present tree stands are in fairly thick stuff where 50 yds would be a long shot. Thinking of getting Dads 870 out there again with iron sights would be just the ticket.
    Looking for advice on whether I should buy a LEE mold, or try some of the "pre-made" slugs out there.
    As I said this would be for shots 50 yds or less, I would use my scoped muzzle loader or handgun for the edge of treeline stands for 100yd shots.
    I try to keep it simple, and maybe overthinking this but thought I'd ask some advice from you guys that have been down this road already.
    What slug, case, wad, powder do you like? Roll crimp or fold?
    Thanks for the info.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    CastingFool's Avatar
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    I use an 870, smooth bore, IC choke, eith rifle sights, and would get 2-3/4" groups at 50 yds all day long, as long as I did my part, using winchester or remington foster slugs. You can buy those on sale, quite often just before deer season. Reloading slugs can be a daunting task, especially, if you have never reloaded before.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Loaded all kinds but finally got good groups (3"@ 100 yds). Killed a lot of pigs with this.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-Pork-shortage
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I cast 12 gage slugs that are loaded in a wad with a MP mold , and would be more than happy to send you a few to try if you like . I have no experience with this slug in a rifled choke , or smooth bore , but reasonable loads at 50 yards out of a rifled barrel is easy enough .

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I tried rifled tube on 870 with factory Fosters, Brenneke and cast Pellet contour type slug. The slug barrel outshot it by a mile. I was one of the chain of guys who tried this barrel and nobody was pleased with it. I have buddies who are Rem nuts and they don’t favor any of the screw in choke barrels. My 870 a 1966 model has 3x scope and off bags will do 3” at 100yds with Brenneke slugs and about 6” with Fosters.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by CastingFool View Post
    I use an 870, smooth bore, IC choke, eith rifle sights, and would get 2-3/4" groups at 50 yds all day long, as long as I did my part, using winchester or remington foster slugs. You can buy those on sale, quite often just before deer season. Reloading slugs can be a daunting task, especially, if you have never reloaded before.
    There's a lot of truth in this reply. I'm not going to try to steer you off of "rolling your own", it can b a fun and rewarding pursuit as it was for me! But, be prepared to put in some time. You may hit the magic load with little effort, but then, maybe not. I would encourage you to try it, you might be surprised!

    A little advice: As you have stated your use would be inside 50 yards, try loading Round Balls first. You can use (in 12 gauge) 0.662", 0.678" or 0.690" in plastic wads such as Federal 12S3 or Winchester AA's. Try your rifled tube but also try an IC tube. You can also use the 0.730-0.735" balls w/o a wad or simply cut off the petals and use the gas seal and crush section. If you choose to NOT use a plastic wad with the 0.735" RB you'll need to build a wad column from cork, felt and/or nitro cards. Confused yet? Good! I found success using a RB in a wad, you can too!

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ntershot+sabot
    "We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone......"

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the info, I appreciate all thoughts.
    I know I can buy the sluggers for a few bucks a box and have enough for years. But I've always enjoyed the reloading experimenting aspect of shooting.
    I enjoy taking game with my home brewed shells.
    I never even thought of round balls, that sounds like it may be fun.
    Who makes the moulds for those? Thinking cast them fairly soft? What do they weigh?
    Thanks again guys.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Something like a .680" ball is about right in a lead shot wad. Lead alloy doesn't matter. I never got them to shoot all that fantastic, 5"-6" at 50 yards with a smooth bore. I think they weigh around 450 grains. I've had much better luck with a .735" ball. Both molds from JT ball molds, they cut any size CAVITY you want. I recommend buying .003" larger than the size you want to drop. Buy a .738" to drop about a .735" ball. These weigh about 600 grains. Accuracy is very typically 4" at 50 yards from a smooth bore, some loads creeping up to 3". From a rifled barrel, 1 1/2" is very typical.

    Recoil with bluedot can be a bit much, although accurate. I've found 18 grains Unique to be a phenomenal load at 1000 fps, with mild recoil. for wads, you could get away with something as simple as a lead wad with the petals cut off, and some cream of wheat as a spacer under the ball. I much prefer to use a gas seal (X12X), and a stack of 1/8" nitro cards.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 1100 Rem with the rifled choke tube. My results have been quite dismal overall. With full bore slugs, the choke tube leads up quite easily. The rifling is so shallow. I considered trying an aftermarket, rifled tube that was much longer, hoping it would grip the slugs better. The only factory sabot slug that performed decently, accuracy wise for me, was the old Winchester BRI slugs. They chronographed at only 1050 fps from my Remington, and hits on deer were like pencil stabs. After that experience, I put in the I/C tube, and used Rem sluggers. 2-3 inch groups at 50 yards were good enough for woods shooting of that era. I have since graduated to a rifled NEF Slug Hunter, using a .737 RB, with a healthy charge of Blue Dot, and haven't looked back.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    If your only shooting 50yards I'd go with the smoothbore barrel with IC or even a mod. and use Remington or Winchester foster style slugs. They should do very well in the Remington smoothbore barrels at that range and are very cheap.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I wouldn't call $1 per shot cheap, but I suppose it's better than some slugs at up to $4 per shot.


    A .735" round ball is around 8-8.5 cents each if you buy lead at $1 a pound. With powder, primer and wads brings you up to about 22 cents per shell. 14 cents if your lead is free.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Wanting to reload slugs when I first got my 870 back in '79, was what got me into reloading and casting. First shotshells, then tried casting and reloading slugs, eventually started reloading rifle ammo, and then pistol ammo. I still have my lyman foster slug mold

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for all the thoughts. Playing with a round ball sounds like it might be fun for me, as I said, I enjoy experimenting and load development. I try different things and shoot a helluva lot more than if I were to buy some off the shelf slugs, sight in, and wait for deer season.

  14. #14
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    There are is many things you can try loading slugs it is mind boggling.

    I have Round Balls, Lyman Pellet Slugs, Lee Slugs, Russian Slugs, BPI Italian Thug Slugs, AQ Slugs, DG Slugs, Thunderbolt Slugs, Brenneke Slugs, Lightfield Slugs, Federal Low Recoil Slugs, Federal High Recoil Slugs, and my own Non Toxic Slugs.

    Some work great in smoothbore barrels, some suck. Some work really well in One Fully Rifled Barrel, but suck out of the other one.

    You just have to try things until you get something that does what you want.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Well, I saw Midway had LEE molds on sale with free shipping, so ordered a 7/8oz slug and .690 round ball.
    I figure these will give me plenty of experimenting till deer season.
    Does load data come with LEE slug? Where else can one find slug powder charges?
    I suppose you can extrapolate weight of shot charge to same weight of slug/ball?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Lee slugs come with data, but is all full power stuff. You may also use 7/8 oz lead shot data without problem. A .690" ball you can use 1 1/8 oz data.

  17. #17
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    BPI Load books have data for Lee slugs. also the Lyman Shotshell Manual has data for similar slugs that is close enough for Lee Slugs and round balls. My round ball loads are just my Trap Loads with a .662 ball on a 1/4" felt wad substituted for the shot.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check