Category Archives: Handloading Questions

20ga Schrifle non-sabot slug

“Schrifle” info updated- 6/ 6/ 2017.


Ballistic data is now showing a 270gr Raptor HP @ 2100fps. At this point in time, it appears to be the heaviest weight slug useable in the 2100fps range. This slug is 30gr heavier than the first released 240gr Schrifle, but at about the same velocity. Schrifle slugs  weighting in the 300-350 grains are being reviewed.


Thanks for your interest in the  20ga.”Schrifle”  non-sabot slug round. All orders until further notice will be shipped directly from TarHunt. The webmaster has installed a normal on line ordering format on the TarHunt home page. Look for a “buy now” tab on the opening home page. Please note the H&R 960 has a 1-35 twist rate. See the special alert posted near the end of this page and in the check out area.  

Don’t be lured into thinking the 20ga Schrifle round is any where near as Consistence as a center rifle with a velocity of 2400+fps at 200 yards. This round is very accurate and you can learn to shoot it a longer distances, but as velocity fades away, wind drift that ONCE was measured in inches can easily become a foot or even feet, past 150 yards! The Schrifle round typically produces 12% less serious flyers than any other current sabot-discarding production round.

So far the feed back from 20ga Schrifle customers has been very positive. Most shooters that have provided TarHunt with feed back are saying the 20ga Schrifle round is the most accurate slug they have ever fired. Some of the groups I have fired using the TarHunt Mountaineer RSG-20ga have been well under 1 inch at 100 yards. A fair number of 220 Savage shooters are touching holes at both 50 & 100 yards with very little change in impact. I have received feed back from 3 different Savage 220 owners who have fired, a few 3 shot groups, under 2″ at 150 yards!

After talking to over 300 Savage 220 owners since November 1st 2016; it has become obvious that NOT all of the Savage barrels are truly SAAMI quality barrels. Some barrels are producing average slug gun groups, including the 4-8 inch flyers, with any make of sabot ammo. For this reason, if there is enough interest; TarHunt is considering offering a (button rifled) SAAMI spec factory replacement barrels for the Savage 220 bolt action slug gun.

Calculated trajectory:  Current indications show that this 270gr Raptor HP  @ 2100fps may be the heaviest weight slug useable in the 2100fps range. The 270gr  shoots flatter, has both more recoil & energy than the 260gr..

Range-yards Velocity-fps Energy-ft/lbs Trajectory-inches
0 2100 2644 -1.45
50 1874 2045 +1.86
100 1618 1569 +2.57
125 1511 1369  +1.77
150 1412 1196     0.0
175 1323 1050  -2.90
 200 1242  925   -7.01


 Calculated trajectory: 260gr Raptor HP @2025fps is a lighter recoil slug..

Range-yards Velocity-fps Energy-ft/lbs Trajectory-inches
0 2025 2367 -1.45
50 1784 1838 +2.13
100 1547 1379 +2.89
125 1437 1192  +1.99
150 1330 1035     0.0
175 1251 910  -3.17
 200 1175 800   -7.78


“All 20ga “Schrifle™” rounds will come packed in a 10 rounds reusable snap lock clear plastic box. Priced at $45.00 for 10 rounds of the same lot number, finally in the same box”


TarHunt can be reached at: 570-784-6368 (9am-4pm) or

Schrifle Frequently Asked Questions

The 20ga Schrifle is a 62cal Raptor HP,  non-sabot full bore size slug for rifled barrels.The Schrifle round typically produces 12% less serious flyers than any other current sabot-discarding production round.

The 20ga Schrifle round is the 3rd generation of a hunting slug design and is the ongoing result of over 5 years of research & development. The out of the box thinking that culminated into this unique design and was only made possible by the advancements in precision machining, plastic development and new molding techniques.  Most importantly, the quality control and consistency of the new gun powders over the last decade has vastly improved.

The 1st generation of sabot slug was the BRI sabot slug developed in the early 1980’s for police use. In the late 1980’s it was slightly redesigned and introduced for big game hunting with rifled barrels on shot guns.

Over the next four years, 1993 thru 1996, the 2nd generation of sabot slugs for hunting were developed by the industry in an effort to catch up with the accuracy of the TarHunt RSG-12 slug gun design.  The RSG-12ga would later on would be picked by Field & Stream Magazine (2009) as one of the 50 best guns ever designed, even when compared to the world’s best rifle designs. Even now, after 30 years THCR still remains the “World’s Leader in Slug Guns Accuracy”(1987-2917)”.

The 2nd generation sabot type (current production) slug round just doesn’t work for the kind of accuracy expected from rifles. The sabot slug round is a placebo at best and is the industry way to give you the illusion that rifle like accuracy is available from slug guns using sabot ammo.

Ten years ago TH started thinking about all the issues with current sabot type slug ammo the conclusion was that the industry had already exhausted all concepts of using sabot technology developed from the early 1980’s thru 2015. The Lightfield Hybred series using a sabot that is keyed fast to the projectile, still remains the best and most accurate of the sabot designs.

The “Schrifle” design slug is the 3rd generation utilizing a bore size, NON-SABOT hunting slug.  This new slug concept uses out of the box thinking to correct a number of problems that plagued the first two generations of sabot slugs

It was decided that the 20 gauge would be best gauge choice for this “out of the box thinking” attempt to correct the issues with sabot ammo. After 4 years of ongoing research the non-sabot generation, 20ga “Schrifle”, round was released in any attempt to make an “accurate” short range rifle out of a shot gun. It will take a little time for the 20ga “Schrifle” round to be tried in the wide variety of 20ga rifled barrels configurations that were produced over the last 25+ years. Although, it can be fired in any of the pre-2000 20ga RIFLED BARRELS, accuracy may vary greatly!



Because prior to 2000 there were a number of custom gun makers, as well as manufacturers, that made rifled slug gun barrels of all different diameters; I am going to error on the side of caution with this first loading and offer a round that is not as aggressive as it could be.

NOTE:   The introductory round was a (239gr) slug and was not truly stable past 130 yards. The current production slug has been updated to a shorter/heavier 260gr or 270gr configuration. Both weight slugs will be stable when fired thru a 1-23 or 1-24 twist rate  even out to 200yards and beyond. The 270gr slugs are now showing reasonable accuracy when fired thru a 1-26 & 1-28tr out thru 140 yds. Only testing your barrel can tell for sure.

WIND DRIFT ISSUES*:  Slug deflection, from your aiming point, is caused by the wind putting pressure on the projectile while in flight. It pertains to all rifles, slug gun, muzzle loaders and anything that moves thru the air. The effect is more dramatic on slow moving projectiles under 2000fps!It amounts to the -“TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME and the DIRECTION –the wind has to push on the slug!”

A head, tail, or cross wind, will affect any posted wind drift figures. Any combination thereof can even move a slug in a diagonal or vertical direction. Head wind or tail wind also has a dramatic effect on the amount of drop seen when firing on an open firing range verses that of actual hunting conditions. With all of these wind drift variables it is obvious that ANY built in flyers (up as high as 12%) cannot be tolerated!

As you can see it ONLY takes a 10MPH cross wind to pretty much double the amount of win drift   for each   additional 50yds down range with guns 2000fps. That’s why slug guns and most muzzle loaders CANNOT truly be compared to a rifle.   Just by adding 800fps to a rifle round (@2800fps) you will have Aproxamently 75% less drift than a slug gun. That means the rifle will have  Aproxamently 4” of drift instead of 16” of drift, at 200yds, like the slug gun.

DRIFT   @   50yds     +.08”        DRIFT   @  100yds    +3.6″                                           DRIFT   @  150yds    +8.4″        DRIFT   @  200yds   +15.8″                

(*These wind drift figures are based on a steady 10mph cross wind).

The average wind speed during Nov-Jan (the normal deer hunting season) is 17 to 23 MPH; guess what the wind drift is at that wind speed?      “Considering all of these wind issues; less built in flyers in the ammo is the key to achieving the best down range accuracy when shooting a slug gun”.  “First eliminate the cause of most of the flyers, (the sabot). Then use a slug that actually fits the bore diameter of a 20 gauge rifled barrel”.   

“Then and only then can you learn how to shoot a slug gun, at long ranges, in the wind”.

If you are unsure of your twist rate have it check by a gun smith or try and check it yourself


You need a cleaning rod long enough to go thru the entire length of the barrel. Insert the cleaning rod thru the barrel from the chamber end of the barrel. NOW screw on a 20ga brush on the end of the rod. Pull the brush into the muzzle of the barrel until it starts to turn/rotate the rod. Put a piece of masking tape on the rod flush with the chamber end of the barrel. Mark the exact point where the rod comes out of the chamber end by using a black dot. Pull the rod/brush thru the barrel only until the dot you placed of the tape makes ONE COMPLETE revolution, STOP!  Measure the distance from the mark you put on the tape, to the point against the chamber end of the barrel. The distance between the mark and the barrel, in inches, should be very close to the twist rate of your barrel.


If the barrel cannot be removed from the receiver, insert the rod thru from the muzzle end. Screw the brush onto the rod thru the open breach/action area. Pull the brush into the chamber end of the barrel until the rod starts to turn/rotate. Put a piece of masking tape on the rod flush with the muzzle end of the barrel using a black dot on the tape, where the rod sticks out of the muzzle end of the barrel. Pull the rod/brush thru the barrel only until the mark you placed of the tape makes ONE COMPLETE revolution, STOP!   Measure the distance from the mark you put on the tape, to the point against the muzzle end of the barrel.  The distance between the mark and the muzzle end, in inches, should be very close to the twist rate of your barrel.

 Over the years common twist rates for 20ga rifled barrels, (Pre 2000 barrels) were 1-26, 1-28, 1-34, 1-35. And a number of those barrels appear to have usually big bores to preform well with the SAAMI diameter 20ga “Schrifle” slug.  Examples are early Rem 870 & 11-87, Ithaca, some Hastings and Mossberg 20ga rifled barrels are listed as a 1-35 twist and were designed for the old Foster/Rifled Lead Slug.  An attempt will be made at a later date to produce a separate 20ga “Schrifle” round  for the guns having the SLOWER twist rates. But the 20ga”Schrifle” still may be to small in diameter to shoot well from some of these older barrels!

Current Guns with proper twist rate are:

The TarHunt 20ga Mountaineer,  Savage 220 bolt action, The new Ithaca 20ga DeerSlayer II & III, T/C Encore-20ga barrel, Winchester 20ga SX-3, Browning 20ga Silver- Model. Currently the Bennelli M2 20ga has a 1-28 twist rate. The last catalogs that last Hastings produced had there 20ga rifled barrels listed as a 1-24tr but I don’t think any of those twist rates barrels ever made it to market. All the Hasting replacement barrels are most likely 1-26tr. The 1-26tr & 1-28tr are worth testing for accuracy with the 270gr 20ga Schrifle thru 140 yards. As far as I can find out, Mossberg has only ever made 1-35tr rifled 20ga barrel

Remington Slug guns:

Because Remington’s 20 gauge slug gun production was produced in various twist rates over time, I strongly suggest that you have a gunsmith check to determine your barrels twist rate before purchasing the 20ga Schrifle round. Even after the SAAMI standardization of slug gun barrel specifications in 2000; I am not sure what twist rate they are using in the current 20 gauge Rem 11-87 & Rem 870 slug guns. “I have attempted to contact Remington a number of times just about their post 2000 slug guns with no response what so ever”. Some of the Remington barrels with a twist of 1-26, may be even 1-28, twist rate should shoot out thru 140 yds. .

Bad News for H&R 960 owners

I have clarified, from the guns designer, that (H&R 960 20ga) were indeed a 1-35 twist and the barrel size are very large. The bore is .618ths and the grove is .625ths. A true victim of (PRE-SAAMI standardization).

SAAMI specifications for 20ga rifled barrels has a .609ths bore (top of the rifling) and a .618ths grove (bottom of the rifling). 

That means the H&R barrel with a .618ths bore (top of the rifling) is a full .009ths bigger diameter (top of the rifling) than it should be.  That means the Schrifle slug at only .619ths in diameter is only .001ths bigger and is sure to slip causing a total loss of accuracy. That means a 20ga Schrifle round, at the proper diameter for the H&R barrel, would certainly cause high pressure problems if it ever found its way into a SAAMI barrel. TarHunt WOULD NEVER  release a slug bigger in diameter than SAAMI specifications. The only solution for the H&R owners is to have a new SAAMI specification barrel installed.

Look at this youtube video of a 8 inch square, 18 inch long, 21 pound gelatin block, (normally used to test rifle bullets). It was hit with the new, reduced load, 20ga Schrifle slug. The slug is a full bore size 62cal, 240gr. slug fired from a full 40 yards away using a 1-23tr. The lower your twist rate number (1-23tr) the more RPM”S the slug has to aid in cutting a bigger wound channel.

The gel block reacts to the impact of the 20ga “Schrifle” by producing 9-10 different severe shock  waves patterns as the slug moves thru the 17 inches of the gel block! If you look closely you can see the Raptor HP design  separating into 3 peddles, about 120 degrees apart. The peddles then penetrated out ward for Aproxamently 7 inches.  At the end of the video the 21 pound block is stood up on end and is flipped off the table. The multi-shock waves, seen here in this video, of a 20ga “Schrifle”  moving thru this gel block is a good representation of the wound channel trauma produced by a 20ga “Schrifle” slug going thru a 16″ thick Deer size animal!


Hi Randy…

I have a Lee Loader II and have been reloading 2 3/4 Rem shells with Clays and 7 1/2 oz shot. I just bought two packages of Lightfield Commander IDS 1 1/16 oz Sabot slugs. My question is can I reload these slugs with my shells and equipment? I’m firing them through a brand new Mossberg 500 24″ rifled barrel! Oh…I’m using Rem primers too. Thanks Chris.

Loading slugs with a shot shell loader is do-a-able. The powder charged used must be reduced at least 10%, from the amount used for loading with the roll crimp process, while setting up the shot shell press for slug loading.

It may have to stay that low all of the time. I cannot explain, in this format, the crude ways you have at home to guess at what pressures you are developing using this reloading method. A real pressure gun is the only way that you are ever sure about how much pressure you are developing. That’s why every loading manual is so adamant about not ever changing ANY THING in a recipe for loading shot shells at home.

The real trick is come up with a final OAL shell that is fully crimped, generating the proper pressure on the nose of the slug, but not enough pressure that you start to collapse the pressure wad at a usable pressure at the velocity desired.

: Hand loading slugs.  Reloading Equipment.

This is an outline of the normal tooling used in the roll crimping process for sabot slug rounds.

Loading slugs, sabot or not, is no harder then loading metallic
rounds but it does require different loading tools.

If you are loading new 12 ga. shells all you need is:

1) A small table mounted drill press. Around 75.00 from
Sears or some such company.
2) A shot shell roll crimper to roll crimp close the end of the
shell over the slug. Starting from 30.00 (at Ballistic Products) up to near 200.00 for any industrial grade roll crimper for factory looking crimps.
3) Powder scale.
4) Shot Shell hull vice to hold the shell from rotating while you
roll the crimp the mouth of the hull shut with the drill press.
Cost $40.00

Most of these tool are a onetime purchase.

Check out the Ballistic Products web page for most
of these tools. TarHunt web site does sell the Lightfield Commander IDS sabot slugs in both a ten pack or by bulk.
Hope this helps,

Hello Randy, I have some Commander IDS 465 gr Slugs for hand loading.

Do you have an other powder recommendation since they have discontinued Solo 1250?

You can use Green Dot powder (Blue Dot is to slow), to load the 465 grain Commander in a 2 3/4″ Cheddite and Fiocchi hull.  Start at 24.0 grains and go NO MORE than 27.0 grains, that IS A MAX LOAD for a velocity of1400-1550ft/sec. at an OAL of aproxamently 2.425 inches.
In the pressure gun 27.0 gr. generated 1510ft/sec. at 10,900psi. and at 70 degrees temperature. It is also a good cold weather load.

Roll crimp the OAL of the case down until the slug itself cannot rattle if you shake it really hard but don’t overdo it and compress the pressure wad. Just so it cannot rattle when shaken hard.