I hope all of our Minnesota readers had a successful deer opener this past weekend, and to the rest of our hunters nation-wide I wish you the best of luck as well. In Part 1 of this blog series I resolutely stated that 20 Gauge is better than 12 Gauge for slug hunting. There’s pros and cons to my answer and to anyone who tries to argue me different, but from my personal hunting experiences, years of firearm retail, and research into ballistics, I’m sticking with 20 Gauge.
I collected data from the best brands in the industry which included 69 different flavors of rifled slugs and sabots in 12 Gauge and 20 Gauge of 2 3/4″ and 3″ shotgun shells.
The 20 Gauge shotgun slug data gathered showed very consistent velocities; between 1,600 – 1,800 Feet/Second. This consistency amongst brands will pan out well for consumers when shooting various brands and flavors through a great assortment of shotgun makes and models. The Foot-Lbs. of energy remained fairly consistent across all the 2 3/4″ and 3″ shells allowing the consumer to know that they can expect consistent energies even on further shots. Everyone that shoots these 20 Gauge slugs against comparable 12 Gauge brands will appreciate the less recoil as well.
The velocity, muzzle energy, and energy at 100 Yards are pretty varying for all the 12 Gauge sabots and slugs researched. The velocities can be seen anywhere from 1,300 – 2,000 Feet/Second. This inconsistency can make for a feast-or-famine situation when it comes to finding an accurate load for your shotgun. The grain weights offered for 12 Gauge sabots and slugs is quite a spread as well. Anywhere from 300 – 666 grain weight bullets are used. Although it not talked about much in rifled shotgun barrels, there is a definitive twist rate in the barrel, and just like your .308 Winchester only likes certain grain weight loads so will your shotgun. It’s a minor detail, but is often overlooked when slug hunting.
So let’s review:
20 Gauge – WINNER
-More Venison in your Freezer
12 Gauge – LOSER
-More Knockdown Power
-Better in Heavy Brush
-Overall Less Accurate
We also through evaluating all of these various brands and sized shells have come up with our Ammunition Award Winners!!
***Best Round Award***
Federal Trophy Copper Sabots
Superior Accuracy & Consistent Expansion
***Blunt Force Trauma Award***
Unsurpassed Energy & Massive Grain Weights
***Best Brand Award***
Federal Premium Ammunition
Great Value & Performance for all Sabots & Rifled Slugs
***Round Failure Award***
Cheap Ammo… Cheap Performance
Expensive Ammo… Underperformed
If you ever have a question you want answered feel free to Comment, Share our blog to spread the knowledge, and visit our website for any of your ammunition needs!