What Are Shotgun Slugs? – Precise Answers For You

For anyone who has a passion for hunting, the name of shotgun slugs must appear somewhere. If you are asking yourself, “What are shotgun slugs?” and want to know their use, this writing will give you a quick view of these materials. Scroll down to discover now!

What Are Shotgun Slugs?

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For your information, shotgun slugs are heavy projectiles that are made from copper, lead, and other materials. People usually use slugs for self-defense, hunting game, and other purposes. The first effective slug in 1898 was a Wilhelm Brenneke intervention that remains in use today.

Most shotgun slugs run by the fire from a cylinder bore or a cylinder choke, fully rifled bores, or rifled choke tubes. Different from the round lead projectiles, slugs are considered quite stabilized.

In the early stages of firearms development, smooth barrels were not distinguished by firing on multiple or single projectiles. In fact, single projectiles were mostly found in the larger game, even though the shot could also work for birds or small games. 

When the firearms got differentiated and specialized, people still could use shotguns to fire round balls, yet the rifled muskets were considered more effective and accurate. However, modern slugs were developed as a technique to enhance the accuracy of round balls.

Initially, slugs had a heavier front than its rear, similar to a Minié ball, to make sure of aerodynamic stabilization. Later versions had rifled barrels and choke tubes to help stabilize the gyroscopic spin and aerodynamics. Because of numerous damages caused by sub-caliber rounds, they are later greatly improved in the performance of external ballistics. 

Are Shotgun Slugs Legal In Some Countries?

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Due to the fact that regulations on shotgun slugs vary from country to country, you should study carefully before transporting them from one location to another. Here are some unique countries’ rules for your reference. 

The Netherlands

If you travel to this nation, you can only use large caliber rifles for large game hunting, such as deer or wild boar. Shotguns slugs are only legal for medium and small-sized games like geese and foxes hunting. 

A shotgun that comes with a rifled barrel is called a rifle. This rifle, however, is legal for roe deer hunting with the caliber of at least 5.56 mm and 980 joules for 100 meters. For wild boar and deer, the minimum caliber is 6.5 mm and 2200 joules for 100 meters.


In Sweden, slugs fired with single shotgun barrels are only used for wild boar, mouflon, and deer hunting, even though wounded hunting games are not restricted. The acceptable shot distance is less than 40 meters, and the hunter must also have the firearms certificate for such a game.

United Kingdom

In the UK, standard ammunition must have no less than five projectiles. None of them has a diameter bigger than 0.36 inches (equal to 9 mm), permitted under section 2 of the Certificate for a shotgun.

Slugs with a single projectile larger than 0.36 inches in diameter are restricted by the Firearms Act, and users will be requested to possess a firearms certificate, which is strictly enforced.

The United States

As a matter of fact, shotguns with rifled barrels have been made illegal in the US. Any firearm used to fire a single projectile at a diameter greater than .50 caliber or any firearm with rifled barrels used to fire single projectiles is classified as a destructive weapon and thus, is severely restricted. 

That being said, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has stipulated that guns designed to fire shot or modified to fire single projectiles with a rifled barrel are not considered destructive weapons.

In some locations, rifles are prohibited from animals hunting due to their safety issues. Compared to the rifle cartridges, the maximum range of shotgun slugs is way shorter and thus safer for use in areas of dense population.

Some areas also have special deer shotgun seasons, which include modern slug shotguns with rifled barrels and effective sabot slugs. Like rifles, they can deliver such impressive power and high accuracy levels at about 150 yards (equal to 140m).

The Bottom Lines

That should include our article about “What are shotgun slugs?“. Hopefully, you might now grab all the information needed before deciding to own shotgun slugs, whether for hunting or self-defense.

Thank you for reading, and don’t hesitate to share this post with those who have the same curiosity as you.

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