Brenneke Shotgun Slugs

Hunting pigs with shotgun solid slugs

Brenneke Shotgun Slugs

Most of my pig shooting is done in areas where there are thick patches of Sifton bush or scrub where ranges are short Рfrom 10 to 20 metres. I don’t have a short rifle like a lever-action carbine, but I do own a pump-action shotgun which I’ve been using with buckshot with reasonable success. A lot of the time the big shot are deflected by foliage let alone brush so that only one or two pellets hit the pig Рif I’m lucky. So I’ve decided to give rifled slugs a go in the hope they will buck brush better. I’d like your opinion about how far they’ll shoot and any other information you can give me about shotgun slugs? Will they work all right and not damage my gun’s full-choke barrel?
– Jack Charles

A few years ago I tinkered with these large globules of lead and just for the hell of it, I fired a series of shots at 50 and 100 yards. The shotgun was a Mossberg pumpgun with modified barrel 7111mm in length with a raised vent rib but no rear sight to which I attached a low-range variable power scope. Once I got the gun sighted in I found I could keep all my shots inside a bullseye the size of a tea cup at 50 yards. You may think it would be stretching things to shoot any farther, but even at 100 metres the slug shot groups the size of a dinner plate and did not tumble. It cannot, since all the weight is upfront hence the light tail cannot get ahead of the heavier nose. However, this doesn’t mean a lot of wobble doesn’t take place. It does. And the ragged holes in the target attest to this fact. However, it sounds as if you have no sound reason to shoot at pigs beyond 50 metres. Within this range you can be sure of hitting the vital area of a pig almost every shot. It is usually said that slugs ought to be fired out of a an improved-cylinder barrel which in a 12ga has only .003” of choke. This is supposed to be necessary so the big hunk of soft lead won’t be cramped when it passes through the choke. But I have measured a good many slugs and the average diameter is .676”. The 12ga full cylinder is .729” so anyone who worries about a tight fit are wasting their time. I have shot slugs in every choke and have never been able to find one that is better than the Brenneke. The best accuracy with slugs is gained with shotguns which engage the slug with a rifled portion about 178mm back from the muzzle with shallow lands which gives the slug a slight spin. Even a slug will be deflected if it hits the thick branch of a bush, but it will plough through foliage that would stop buckshot.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.