Category Archives: RSG Bolt Action Guns

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;
  • It is an excepted practice that rifles are zeroed (sighted-in) at 100 yards and then checked at 200 and 300 yards ONLY because of their higher velocity.  However, Slug/guns (under 1800fps) need to be zeroed at 50 yards to remove all but a 2% chance of having any left or right turned into the scope. Then check your point of impact at 100 and 150 yards if you must, but if you then turn the adjusters again, all you are doing in turning in the wind for the day. As slug accuracy moves us ever closer to 200yd hunting accuracy, it becomes more important than ever to have the gun zeroed LEFT & RIGHT. If you try and use a 100 yard zero; your actual zero could be off as much as 1-foot at 100yds and over 2-feet at 200yds during the fall winds of hunting season;
  • The amount of drop is constant on this planet so you drop can be easily be calculated how high above your aiming point that the group needs to form at 50 yards for whatever yardage you wish to zero the gun at, without a false reading from the wind;
  • Will spend the time to learn the intricacies of shooting slugs at 100 yards. For example, AT 100 YARDS, 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 so it looks like it is shooting flatter then it really is, a head wind will move the impact point down more then what the drop is supposed to be.  It is evident then, that slug movement of 5 to 7 inches at 100 yards is not uncommon. To take this even 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, near 24 inches at 150 yards, an even 30 inches at 200 yards;
  • Remembers to always use a range-finder prior to taking any shot longer than 125 yards;


Between hunting seasons and shooting sessions seal your unused slugs in a zip lock bag and pack them in a sealed ammo box.  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.

After the season any ammo that was exposed to above normal dampness— Remove the ammo from the boxes. Let the ammo and the box exposed to the warm dry air in your home during the months of Jan & Feb. The low humidity present in most homes over those two months will remove all the moisture that was absorbed, by the powder, while hunting. Remember slugs are open ended, they are not sealed like the rounds used to hunt waterfowl, turkeys, etc.

Place the ammo back into the box, place the box in a zip-lock bag (the smaller the bag the better). Now placed the sealed bags in a seal able type ammo storage box, Styrofoam cooler, and keep the box where it is cool and dry.

Unless you open the plastic bag, the ammo will last 10 to 15 years. Next year if you use them, do not open the bag unless you are going to fire them. The extra rounds you carry hunting can just as easy stay in the bag, in your pocket as not. This drying out procedure can be done more that once

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!”

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.

What is the twist rate of the Shaw barrels that you put on your guns?

20 gauge barrels are 1-23 twist
16 gauge barrels are 1-30 twist
12 gauge barrels are 1-28 twist

TarHunt pioneered these twist rates back in 1992-1994.
Since all the other companies didn’t care about slug hunters at that time they just copied TarHunt findings as they were published because we were getting all of the publicity.

Our RSG-12 bolt action was introduced in 1992. That’s what generated all the interest in sabot ammo 1992-1997. Do you think any advancement would have been made without the introduction of the TarHunt Professional RSG-12 back in 1992, I think NOT?