Choke For Slugs

Choke For Slugs

Shotgun Choke For Slugs

Most of today’s shotgun barrels are threaded. These threads are used for interchangeable chokes and can make the shotgun more versatile. With the wide range of shotgun chokes one question pops up around deer season each year. What shotgun choke should I use for slugs. With the threads at the end of the shotgun barrel a choke should be used at all times to protect the threads. Shooting even lead or steel shot can damage the threads. Below are some recommendations that I found on Bennelli’s website explaining chokes for slugs.


These shotgun chokes are recommended for shooting slugs:

  • 4 notches = Improved Cylinder Choke Tube
  • 5 notches = Cylinder Choke Tube
  • Rifled Choke Tube

A cylinder choke, that is the least restrictive, is recommended for shooting rifled slugs in a smooth-bore barrel. Sabot slugs should only be shot through a rifled slug barrel or a rifled shotgun choke. An improved cylinder choke will also work when shooting slugs through your shotgun. It can be unsafe to shoot them through chokes any tighter than those listed above.

Choke For Slugs
Always use a choke tube when shooting slugs to protect the threads

Sabots And Choke Tubes

A sabot slug pronounced “say-bo” is a lead projectile surrounded by a special plastic that grips the shotgun barrel rifling. The rifling in the shotgun barrel imparts a spin on the sabot slug to stabilize it. This spin and stabilization of the slug improves accuracy in a shotgun slug. While a sabot slug can be shot through a slick barrel it is made to be shot through a rifled barrel or at least with a rifled tube.

Some might argue that a sabot slug is to be shot strictly from a full rifled shotgun barrel. This might be a good rule to follow. However, there is evidence that a sabot slug shot through a rifled choke tube on a slick barrel did do OK in the accuracy department. However, there is more evidence that a rifled choke tube improves the accuracy of a rifled slug when shot through a slick barrel. With sabot slugs being more expensive a rifled slug would probably make more sense when shooting a smooth bore shotgun that accepts choke tubes.

Rifled Slugs And Choke Tubes

Rifled slugs are designed to be shot through a smooth bore shotgun barrel. The grooves in the rifled slug creates spin on the slug and supposedly improves accuracy. I have used both sabot slugs in my 20 gauge slug gun and will say it is very accurate. I’ve also shot rifled slugs through my slick barrel 16 guage and killed an 8 pointer at 80 yards the last time I used it. I must note that I missed the same deer at 30 feet before making the 80 yard poke. I have never really compared rifled slugs through a smooth bore with regular slick slugs I just took their word that their rifled slugs were more accurate.

The video I shared below is an all around presentation of slugs and choke tubes. He also has an excellent video demonstrating the accuracy improvement that a rifled choke tube demonstrated on a rifled slug shot through a smooth bore shotgun. I will say that I was very impressed with the accuracy that my rifled barrel Mossburg slug gun provided and when I don’t grab my Henry .44 magnum Big Boy (see my review here)  for the thick swamp bottom I love to hunt I take my 20 gauge Mossburg. It is a great choice for hunting in thick cover and with the scope I can pick a spot through the cover out to 100 yards or more and I am not afraid to shoot the sabot slugs that far either.

VIDEO: Which Choke Is Best For Slugs?


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About Ken McBroom 307 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.