Rifled slugs are often used by police equipped with riot shotguns. Even out of a smoothbore barrel, the slugs will provide accuracy sufficient for antipersonnel use out to ranges about 100 yards (90 meters). This allows the officer the ability to use the shotgun as a reasonable substitute for a rifle at medium ranges.
The Brenneke slug was developed by the famous German gun and ammunition designer Wilhelm Brenneke (1865–1951) in 1898. The original Brenneke slug is a solid lead slug with fins cast onto the outside, much like a rifled Foster slug. There is a plastic, felt or cellulose fiber wad attached to the base that remains attached after firing. This wad serves both as a gas seal and as a form of drag stabilization, much like the mass-forward design of the Foster slug. The "fins" impart little or no spin to the projectile; their purpose is to decrease the bearing surface of the slug to the barrel and therefore reduce friction and increase velocity.
Since the Brenneke slug is solid, rather than hollow like the Foster slug, the Brenneke will generally deform less on impact and provide deeper penetration (see terminal ballistics). The sharp shoulder and flat front of the Brenneke mean that its external ballistics restrict it to short range use, as it does not hold velocity well. The Brenneke slug in 12 gauge is well suited for large and dangerous game at close ranges, and deer sized game or antipersonnel use out to about 100 yards (90 meters). Brenneke slugs are somewhat more accurate than the Foster slugs, but are usually more expensive. With some new types of saboted Brenneke slugs, the range expands to 120-180 meters.
Brenneke slugs are loaded by a number of different makers (BRENNEKEUSA, FOB, ETC). Recently the Brenneke company, of Hanover, Germany, started marketing loaded ammunition, with Brenneke type slugs, saboted slugs, and buckshot.
The defining characteristic of the Foster slug is the deep hollow in the rear, which places the center of mass very near the tip of the slug, much like a shuttlecock. If the slug begins to tumble in flight, drag will tend to push the slug back into straight flight. This gives the Foster slug stability and allows for accurate shooting out to ranges of about 75 yards (about 70 meters). Most Foster slugs also have "rifling", which consists of thin fins on the outside of the slug. Contrary to popular belief, these fins actually impart no spin onto the slug as it travels through the air. Since the slug is fired at a supersonic velocity, the nose of the slug pushing a shockwave creates a vacuum on the side of the slug, where the fins are located. The actual purpose of the fins is to allow the slug to safely be swaged down when fired through a choke, although accuracy will suffer when such a slug is fired through tighter chokes.
It is also possible to fire Foster slugs through rifled slug barrels, though lead fouling (build-up in the rifle grooves) can be a problem.
Many repeating shotguns have barrels that can easily be removed and replaced in under a minute with no tools, so many hunters will choose to purchase an additional barrel for shooting slugs. Slug barrels will generally be somewhat shorter, have rifle type sights or a base for a telescopic sight, and may be rifled or smoothbore. Smoothbore slug barrels are quite a bit less expensive than rifled barrels, though they do limit the ammunition that can be used.
The recent improvements in slug performance have also led to some very specialized slug guns. The H&R Ultra Slug Hunter, for example, uses a heavy rifled barrel (see accurize) to obtain the most possible accuracy from slugs.
In some areas, rifles are prohibited for hunting animals such as deer. This is generally due to range concerns--shotgun slugs have a far shorter maximum range than most rifle cartridges, and are safer for use near populated areas. In other areas, there are special shotgun only seasons for deer. A modern slug shotgun, with rifled barrel and high performance saboted slugs, is the top choice for hunters who must hunt with a shotgun, as it provides rifle-like power and accuracy at ranges up to 125 yards (110 meters). This advantage also provides an interesting challenge for local governments who attempt to limit shooting in densely populated areas as the power and accuracy of shotguns with rifled barrels (or rifled slugs in smoothbore barrels) give slugs the power to cut through brush and tree limbs where smaller caliber rifle ammunition would typically ricochet or stop. Slugs for smoothbores, with their larger diameter and lower accuracy, are still suitable for wooded areas too. Their maximum effective range is about 75 yards (70 m).
SHOTGUN SLUG FIRED THROUGH KITCHEN WALL MAN HUNTING NEAR THE BURKE HOME SAYS HE LOST HIS FOOTING WHEN FIRINIG AT A DEER.(LOCAL)
Nov 26, 2009; Byline: SANDY CULLEN email@example.com 608-252-6137 A deer hunter who was under the influence of alcohol fired a shotgun slug...