Monthly Archives: August 2015

TarHunt built its first prototype slug gun in 1987 and began the manufacture of our first production model in 1990. Between that time and the present the one factor that has become the most evident is that our guns are not magic for the shooter.

Yes, our slug guns will shoot 1 inch groups, but only if the shooter…

  • Can find a good lot of slug ammunition;
  • Has a good rest to shoot off of and has spent the time necessary to learn how to shoot well off of it;
  • Can find a telescope that will continue to work for more than 100 rounds.  Most slug gun shooters cannot tell when a scope has gone bad;
  • Remembers the fact that riflesare zeroed (sighted-in) at 100 yards and then checked at 200 and 300 yards; while slug gunsare zeroed at 50 yards and then checked at 100 and 150 yards;
  • Remembers to always use a range-finder prior to taking any shot longer than 100 yards;
  • Will spend the time to learn the intricacies of shooting slugs at 100 yards. For example, a 10 mph crosswind moves a slug 5 to 6 inches at 100 yards.  A tail wind causes the impact point of a slug to move up, and a head wind will move the impact point down.  It is evident then that slug movement of 5 to 7 inches at 100 yards is not uncommon. To take this a step further, a 15 to 17 mph cross wind, typical of what one might encounter during a November/December deer hunt, will move a slug 9 to 11 inches at 100 yards and a full 24 inches at 150 yards.

Between hunting seasons and shooting sessions seal your unused slugs in a zip lock bag and pack them in a Styrofoam cooler.  Store the cooler in an area of your home where the humidity is as low as possible and the temperature stays between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.  The more stable you keep the temperature of your slugs, the better they will shoot.  When stored properly, slugs will shoot reliably even after 15 years.

There are a lot of similarities between shooting rifles off the bench and shooting slug guns, however knowing and practicing the differences can equate to putting more meat in your freezer.

When you first arrive at the range be sure to create your shooting setup on a sturdy, fixed base such as a heavy table or bench. Position a solid rest under both the forend and butt portions of your gun’s stock. It is not sufficient to rest only the forend of your gun’s stock or to rest on a non-solid item such as a folded coat. Do not attempt to zero your gun from a non-fixed base like the hood of a truck.

Adjust the position of your gun as it sits in the forend and butt rests so that without having to touch the firearm the sight picture is dead on your target. Slide your body into shooting position without disturbing this sight picture. Begin applying shoulder pressure to the butt of the gun and offset any forward gun movement by pulling straight back with your right hand in trigger squeezing position. With your left hand on the forend of the gun’s stock, pull firmly straight back and down at a 45-degree angle. Hold this pressure on the gun as you concentrate on keeping the cross hairs fixed dead on your target. Squeeze the trigger gently straight back until the gun fires. It is common for a shooter to anticipate the gun blast as well as the recoil, but both should come as a complete surprise when a perfect shot is made.

Consistently integrating the above procedure into your shooting sessions will eventually produce shot groupings you will be proud of. Keep in mind that 60% of your overall group size can be directly attributed to inconsistent left hand pressure. Wind is also a significant negative factor when attempting to shoot small groups. Learn to read the wind!

 

“Problems with Recoil Reducing and Mechanical Rests”

Over the years, there have been hundreds of questions asking about the use of mechanical recoil limiting rests to zero slug guns such as:

“Would it be a wise move to build or use a locking type/heavy rest that would take all human error out of the process of sighting in a slug gun, except knowing when to pull the trigger because of the wind?”

The problem is when you use this type of rest, you artificially make the gun much heavier, more solid, than it is when used in the field.. You will end up sighting the gun in at a heavier artificial weight with a certain amount of muzzle jump. Then when you shoot the gun at game in the field at its normal weight, it WILL SHOOT to a different point of aim because you can no longer limit the muzzle jump to the same position, at the moment the slug leaves the barrel, while hunting, as it did at the range when you were sighting in using a locking/heavy type rest.

This is the same issue with any gun that has significant recoil and muzzle velocities under a 1900-2000fps range. Muzzle loaders/Slug Guns are all in the same boat. The time the bullet spends moving through the barrel (dwell time) during the recoil cycle is the same amount of time that the gun is being pulled off of the target, by recoil, until the bullet exits the barrel.

There is a huge difference in barrel dwell time between 1650-1900fps slug guns and rifles with muzzle velocities above 3000fps, such as varmint/magnum rifles. At above 3000fps guns move about .030ths of an inch and the bullet has already exited the muzzle and the dwell time has only a minor effect on the sighting in process. Physical recoil and noise are the main reasons for developing a flinch with those weapons.

This doesn’t even take into consideration the torque that is applied to the slug gun by a heavy slug  being forced to spinning upwards of 50,000rpm’s instantly as it enters the barrel and all the time the slug is moving toward the muzzle when, using these types of rests..

Putting something on your shoulder, between you and the gun, is the best you can do to help tame the recoil of a slug gun. The muzzle must be left to jump according to how hard you hold your gun at both ends. Artificially adding weight to the gun by using a weighted rest or similar fixed gun rest may only create a missed deer in the fieldYou must hold the slug gun in such a manner, while sighting it in, that you can duplicate it in the field while shooting at game!! That includes the amount of muzzle jump you are allowing during the sight-in and gives “Overall Consistency in how you hold/grit the weapon round to round!!” 

Bottom line, there is no magic fix. You will need to sit down and take somewhat of a thumping while sighting in a slug gun! I know there is a lot of recoil reducing advertisement out there and most of it works OK with rifles. They do reduce recoil with ML/Slug guns but it can have an adverse effect on your true zero!   “Let’s not miss the Buck of a Life Time!”

Slug guns must be zeroed (sighted-in) at a distance where the slug will impact the target while still in the supersonic phase of its flight. Most slugs become subsonic, travelling less than 1220 feet per second, slightly beyond a muzzle distance of 50 yards, thus making 50 yards the ideal zeroing distance. Zeroing at 50 yards also cuts down, by approximately 60%, the chance of adjusting Windage error into your scope setting.

A common shortcut taken by a majority of shooters is the attempt to zero their guns at 100 yards. This is a serious mistake as several significant factors come into play that will prevent an accurate zero at this distance in all cases. When zeroing a slug gun at 100 yards only, you never know how much Windage is turned into your scope setting. Your gun becomes effectively sighted in for that day’s wind only, and your point of zero could be as much as 6 to 20 inches off of where it should be at 100 yards.

Zero your gun at 50 yards, 2-3/4″ high of absolute dead center on your target…no left, no right, simply 2-3/4″ high. You will then be dead-on zeroed at 100 yards because gravity will see to it. Check trajectory data for the brand of ammunition you are shooting and adjust the height of your 2-3/4″ 50 yard true zero as necessary so as to produce a dead-on gravity zero at 100 yards.

Once your gun has been zeroed at 50 yards, you should fire the weapon at a range of 100 and then again at 150 yards so that you can get a feel for how negative factors, such as wind drift, will affect your shot placement. A perfect hold at 100 yards may now produce a target impact as far as 6 to 8 inches off your point of aim, but since your gun has been precisely zeroed at 50 yards, you can be assured that this drift was caused by the effect wind of the day. Wind has more effect than most shooters realize on the flight of a large, relatively slow moving projectile such as a slug. Learning how to compensate for differing wind velocities and angles, especially at extended distances, is a lesson that must be learned if you wish to be consistently successful hunter and shooter with a DSG.

Although any type of DSG with rifled barrels perform similarly to rifles, they are not rifles and cannot be zeroed as if they were. Even the fastest slug is significantly slower than the typical rifle bullet. It is therefore extremely important to apply back-pressure to the forend of the stock with your left hand while you are shooting. Not doing so will result in the barrel of your slug gun jumping into the air off of the front rest, moving your point of aim and ruining your shot alignment before the slug even has a chance to exit the barrel.

Let’s say you have zeroed your gun in this manner at 100 yards, adjusting into your scope setting this muzzle jump as well as Windage error. While in the field you shoot at a deer at 100 yards while holding onto the forend of your gun’s stock. Your shot hits low or, most likely, misses completely. Most would tend to blame the gun or the ammunition, when in reality methodology is the real culprit. Think about it! Learn to properly set up your equipment and you can be confident in your shot when the time comes.

 

Here is what it takes with a DSG to shoot the “allusive 1 inch group at 100 yards”, but only if the shooter…

  • Can find a lot of sabot ammunition that matches your barrel;
  • Has a good rest to shoot off of and has spent the time necessary to learn how to shoot well off of it;
  • Can find a telescope that will continue to work for more than 100 rounds.  Most slug gun shooters cannot tell when a scope has gone bad;
  • Remembers that riflesare zeroed (sighted-in) at 100 yards and then checked at 200 and 300 yards while DSG’sare zeroed at 50 yards and then checked at 100 and 150 yards;
  • Remembers to always use a range-finderprior to taking any shot longer than 100 yards;
  • Will spend the time to learn the intricacies of shooting slugs at 100 yards.  for example, a 10 mph crosswind moves a slug 5 to 6 inches at 100 yards.  A tail wind causes the impact point of a slug to move up, and a head wind will move the impactpoint down.  It is evident that the slug movement of 6 to 20 inches at 100 yards is common.  To take this a step further, a 15 to 17 mph cross wind, typical of what one might encounter during a November/December deer hunt, will move a slug 9 to 12 inches at 100 yards and a full 24 inches at 150 yards.

After switching to the 3 inch sabot round, the impact shifted abort 3” to the left and about 4 inches high at 50 yds. My question is, is this something to be expected with having one slug having much higher velocities? Thanks and love your guys products, have taken numerous deer with the 2 3/4 well out to 130yds. 

What you are seeing is a normal with a higher velocity, heavier weight, higher torqueing slug. The higher impact comes from the more violent recoil because caused by the same weight slug at a 280ft/sec faster than a 2 3/4″ round. (Simply put the muzzle jumps higher in the air from the increased recoil.)
The slug impacting to the left of the group is caused by the increased torque generated by the higher velocity slug being forced to spin clockwise from an at rest (ZERO) rpm’s to 50,000 rpm’s after traveling down the rifled barrel a distance of only ½ inch of the rifling.
For every action there is a reaction. All of this means the muzzle of the gun jumps higher from added recoil and the muzzle twisted toward  the left. The opposite direction of a right hand twist barrel.
All at once you have a shot 2 3/4″ out of the group impacting about at the 10:00 o’clock position from the rest of the group.
Any time you even let up on your grip with your left hand, even slightly, you will get the same reaction. That’s why your left hand controls better than 60% of your group size with a slug gun. That’s why it is sure disaster to zero a slug gun off of a rest not holding the forearm and then hold on to it in the field while hunting. The two points of impact will be dramatic!

The only way to counter act this problem to hold on to the gun much harder, but more consistence, when shooting hard recoiling rounds.

If you are making use  of Lightfields “SameSite Accuracy System”, you must grip both ends of the gun the same all the time, as if they were all magnums rounds!

Is it true that tarhunt made the barrel for the savage 210? How good is that gun? What are the realistic distances it can shoot? Do the slugs drop less with this gun than say a Remington 1100 slug barrel?

TarHunt does not make the barrels for either the Savage 20 & 12 gauge bolt action slug guns, although like everyone else in the industry, they did copy our 1-28 rate of twist for their 12 gauge guns.
The Savage 210 12 gauge gun has been plagued with ejection issues from the day they went into production. The verdict is still out on the new 20 gauge model, it is to new yet, only time will tell.

The writers and the hunting industry together decided years ago that 1000ft/lbs. of energy is what is required to cleanly harvest a whitetail deer on the spot with less than a desirable hit on a whitetail deer, whatever that means?

The type or make of slug gun you use while hunting has no effect on the effective on the range of sabot slug except for better accuracy. You still need the energy for a CLEAN kill when the slug get there!!!  Or you can a chase a wounded mature buck for hours, sometime days.

When you’re looking at the effective range of a sabot shotgun ammo you need ONLY to look at what range that slug can deliver that 1000ft/lbs. of energy.
That pretty much answers the question what is the effective range of that round. Yes, I will agree that deer can be killed with a lot less energy. An example would be a 22RF Long Rifle in the head at most any range under 175 yards. I am sure you get the idea. There is a question of hunting ethics when you try to extend the range 98% of all slugs out there past 170 yards.

Lightfield has three 12 gauge sabots that can deliver 1000ft/lbs of energy at 200 yards and past.  The Hybred-Elite is for deer, hogs and game of that weight. The two 12 gauge Commander IDS PLUS “Heavy Game” rounds from Lightfield can deliver 1000ft/lbs. of energy at 225 & 250 yards.

I know there is a lot of full page ad’s out there telling you different but before arguing with me, fire 5-8 rounds of their sabot ammo across a chronograph.
Now rerun your ballistic programs using the velocities you achieve from a real world hunting barrel.

The TKO Factor provides an easy way to compare the real stopping power of different munitions. The TKO Factor is found by multiplying the projectiles weight (in grains) by its velocity and its diameter. Then dividing that results by7000,  The higher the number, the more stopping powder it has. A 460 Weatherby Mag has a TKO of 82.
With that kind of POWER it is easy to understand why it is one of the cartages that is used in Africa.

With a flight weight of 518 grains, the Lightfield Elite, a slug at .625 caliber and a muzzle velocity of 1730ft/sec., that gives the Hybred  Elite a (TKO factor of 80). That’s just 2 points lower than a 460 Weatherby Mag rifle at a TKO Factor of(82). The Elite can deliver an honest 1000ft/lbs. of energy on game at 200 yards. That’s why the Hybred Elite deliver such “Devastating Deer Performance” at normal slug gun ranges!

Randy with all issues about lead slugs, and now they’re going to be banned here in California, and it’s heading that way across the country. There has always been rumors about you guys putting out a copper slug. Just wondering how far away is that from really happening? 

The 20ga Schrifle series slugs are a reality. There is a 20ga Schrifle: Raptor Alv allow slug @1975fps.in 270gr. and the 20ga Schrifle: NeoTec Copper 365gr slug @1800fps.

 

update:
Since then TarHunt has been working a total new slug concept. Patent and trade marked as the  20ga “Schrifle”

It is a bore size non sabot slug round.  This is a full bore size .620ths. diameter 20 gauge (NON SABOT) slug weighing 270 grain.
This event will be even more interesting than it was in 1992; when I introduced the 12 rifle TarHunt Custom Rifle slug gun to the market!
This news should be interesting when it hits the forums…

See the TarHunt web site, home page, for pages of info on the 20ga Schrifle series of 20ga slugs!!

Randy, I have a 12 ga Mossberg 835 with a fully rifled cantilever barrel that I can’t get sighted in as well as I would like. I know this won’t be the most accurate set up, but I should be doing better than 4-5″ at 50 yrds. So far I’ve tried 3″ Commanders. Which slug do you think may suite me best? I’m not sure of the twist rate of the rifling. I saw the part of the FAQ about using 3 1/2″ shells in a 3 1/2″ chamber. Do you feel that is most of my problem? With shots typically less than 75 yrds I’d rather not have to deal with the added recoil but will if the accuracy improves. Thanks for your help. Joe

With the Mossberg 835 having a 3 1/2″ chamber length, the best choice for accuracy would be either a 3″ or a 3 1/2″ length hull. Only the shorter 2 3/4″ round, when used in a 3 1/2″ chamber, could give you accuracy problems. I would recommend the Lightfield Hybred-Elite (orange box) for deer size and smaller size game. The Commanred IDS PLUS “Heavy Game” sabot is a (600 grain 1 3/8oz. deep penatration) sabot slug intended for use on game weighing 300 pound and up. The Hybred-Elite should produce groups under 2″ at 50 yards if all is well with the gun and the shooter.  

Randy, I thank you for the information you sent me back on 10/04/09, but I had ask the wrong question and I apologize for that. My problem/question: I have a Mossberg 835 with a 24 in rifled bore. A new ( and my problem) Bushnell Red Dot (Trophy) scope. I love the scope but the centerline of the scope and the centerline of the bore is 3 ½ inches. With the scope that high over the bore I think this is my problem. To get on paper I started at 25 yds. I had a dead center hit. Moved to 50 yds and was 6 ½ inches high. I understand that at 25 yds the barrel has to tilted up to make up for the height of the scope, my question is if I leave the gun zeroed at 50 yds, what will be in impact at other ranges. Am I 6 ½ low at 25 yds? What about out at 75 or 100? Thank you so much and keep making Lighfields Alan

That height above the bore is over 2X the normal mounting distance.
I have no experence with that type of mounting height but I think your assumption is correct about the height being the issue.

If that high of a scope mount is necessary for some reason you will need to have a set of scope bases machined to bring the scope alignment closer to the bore when the cross hairs are set in the middle of their adjusting range.

Can you use the same “sight in” at 50 yards with a 20 gauge slug gun that is used for the 12 gauge slug gun,or should you use a different “sight in”?

The proper sightin for the Lightfield Hybred-Exp 2 3/4″ sabot is 2 1/2″ to 2 3/4″ inches high at 50 yards for a 100 yard zero. This is not a absolute figure but it will work with 90% of all slug guns. The higth that the scope is mounted above the bore is the variable.

Lightfield released a 1700ft/sec 20 gauge 3″ magnum in 2010. This 3″ “Hybred Mag 20″, which when used in conjuction with the Hybred-Exp
2 3/4” , will complete the “SameSite Accurcy” system for the 20 gauge Hybred series.

Dear Randy, What makes lightfield ammo, specifically the 3″ commander IDS and the Commander IDS Plus 3.5″ cartridges with so much more velocity than other major magnum brand slugs? How is the extreme velocity accomplished? Please specify. Thank You, Robert Santini robertsantini@att.net

Because slugs are all we make. We have had our own powders formulated for the weight slug we use and how fast we want it to go.

The same holds true with the TarHunt slug guns. “It cost less to buy the best”. We are serious about sabot slugs and slug guns. Not just loading slugs and making guns as one of 1000 different types of products.

I have a remington 1187 with cantilever scope mount with red dot scope that i use only for shooting hornady sst…i see you do conversions for the 870…do you guys do your barrell conversions for that gun?

TarHunt only converts the 870 Rem. pump guns. I cannot convert any of the auto loaders because the owner must be able to remove the barrel to service the gas ports from time to time.

We are now pinning the barrels on these gas guns.
7/28/10

Aside from any obvious things, how can one tell when a scope has gone bad?

If you shoot a number of rounds without changing the adjusters or the point of aim, a bad scope will start to show two or three separate groups, sometimes in a triangular shape. Each impact point will form a group, if enough rounds are fired. But the slug impact will move from one to the other group in between shots. Shots that continually go against the wind is another good indication…

Randy,I am thinking about sending you my 870 wingmaster for your DSG conversion. Problem is is that it is a 2 3/4. I would like to make it 3″ if possible. Can you do this along with the rest of the conversion? Thanks

Although it is possable to change a 2 3/4″ 870 Wingmaster to handle the 3″ rounds, it is not cost effecent. It requires replacing the ejector and this part is securely ribbed to the inter wall of the action. The heads of the ribbits must be ground off on the outside of the action, a new 3″ ejector ribbed in place, the action smooth off and repolished and then the entire gun must be reblued. The cost is within a few dollors of buying a new 3″ Express magnum. The chambered length must always match the model of the receiver. 2 3/4″ for the Wingmaster 3″ for the Wimgmaster Mag. 3″ for all Express mag.

I currently have a Remington 870 Express 12GA shotgun that I would like to convert to a Designated Slug Gun. Your site lists an 870 customer conversion (right-hand) for $525, plus shipping. It also list a DSG Express Standard (right-hand) for a significantly higher price ($830). Does my gun qualify for the 870 customer conversion price or because it’s an 870 express does that mean I have to pay the higher price to convert it to a DSG? Sorry for the confusion. Mike

Mike, The $525.00 price is the cost for the basic DSG12 conversion to your 870. The $995.00 price is for the basic standard DSG12 conversion done on a new Express that we provide, with NO upgrades included in that price.