Velocity and Accuracy Testing of Select 410 slugs.
Winchester Rifled Slug 3-inch, Barnaul 2.875-inch all-steel case sabot slugs, Brenneke Silver Slug 3-inch and Modified Brenneke Silver Slug* 2.5-inch, Remington Sluggers 2.5-inch, Federal Rifled Slug 2.5-inch and some buckshot for fun.
Testing 410 slugs in the Steven 38B.

The shooting bench (click to enlarge)

The setup: Shotgun, Chronograph, and Target (click to enlarge)
Condition and Equipment Used.

Firearm: Stevens 38B bolt-action shotgun 3-inch and 2.5-inch 410 shotgun with a 24inch full choke barrel.

Range: 25yards to target

Targets: 12-inch diameter (8-ring) Dirty Bird target.

Conditions: Partly sunny early afternoon about 68F gentle breeze.

Chronograph: Alpha Chony with passive sky screen and remote interface

In this second set of slug tests I did not do terminal testing. My goal in this test was to get velocity data for some of the 3-inch slugs that I could not test with my 2.5 inch chambered Winchester 9410. For some comparisons I also re-chrono'ed some of the 2.5 inch slugs to see if the difference between a cylinder bore and a full choke on velocity. Finally I wanted to document group sizes of various slugs when fired through a full choke gun. I am then going to remove the full choke and repeat the test to see if there is an accuracy improvement with a cylinder bore in the same gun.

One thing to note about the shotgun was my sights were less than optimal. I did not want to put a lot of effort into sights before deciding how I am going to remove the full choke. So for sights I used the front bead and a piece of coffee stirrer taped to the receiver to make a rear ghost ring. I have plans for better sights but those will be installed after that choke has been removed. None the less I believed the sights proved sufficient for shooting for groups. The ghost ring formed by the straw was nearly the same diameter as the target at 25 yard in my field of vision so alignment was pretty good. The lack of a rib though meant heat mirage was a serious problem after the first few shots of each group. I was not overly concerned with point of impact.
Winchester Slug
3.0 inches shell

5 shot group at 25 yards (click to enlarge)
Chrono Testing 5 shots

Low Velocity:1653fps
Hight Velocity:1698fps
Average velocity: 1680fps
Extreme Spreed:45.24
Std. Deviation:20.92
Manufacture Spec: 1800fps
Measure Mass: 111.7gr
Manufacture Spec 1/4oz (109.4gr)
Calculated Muzzle Energy: 699.9ft-lbs
Approximate Group Size: 7.3 inch

Notes: Worst group of all the slugs tested. Very disappointed in these slugs, accuracy was poor and the velocity was way off the manufactures specification and it was a three inch shell. I would have expected better from these relatively new Winchester slug.
Barnual 2.875-inch complete steel shell

5 shot group at 25 yards (click to enlarge)
Chrono Testing 5 shots

Low Velocity:1710
Hight Velocity:1786fps
Average velocity: 1746fps
Extreme Spreed:75.95
Std. Deviation:30.26
Manufacture Spec: 1541fps
Measure Mass: 99.1gr
Manufacture Spec 97gr
Calculated Muzzle Energy: 670.7ft-lbs
Approximate Group Size: 3.8 inch

Notes: I like these slugs for plinking. They can be had for almost half the price of the big three manufactures. They were also substantially above the manufactures specified velocity.
Brenneke Silver Slug
3.0 inches shell

5 shot group at 25 yards (click to enlarge)
Chrono Testing 5 shots

Low Velocity:1854fps
Hight Velocity:1880fps
Average velocity: 1866fps
Extreme Spreed:26.21
Std. Deviation:9.64
Manufacture Spec: 1755fps
Measure Mass: 114.9gr
Manufacture Spec (114gr)
Calculated Muzzle Energy: 888.17ft-lbs
Approximate Group Size: 1.9 inch

Notes: Best group out of a full choke barrel. The first three shots were the three nearly touch at the bottom of the group. I had to reload the 3rd magazine to fire the last two and I think it change my sight picture. I was very impressed with these slug and the accuracy from a full choke.
Modified Brenneke Silver Slug*
3.0 inches shells modified down to 2.5 inch shell*

5 shot group at 25 yards (click to enlarge)
Chrono Testing 5 shots

Low Velocity:1762fps
Hight Velocity:1890fps
Average velocity: 1846fps (2043fps 2.5inch chamber/cylinder-bore)
Extreme Spreed:128.7
Std. Deviation:50.78
Manufacture Spec: 1755fps
Measure Mass: 114.9gr
Manufacture Spec (114gr)
Calculated Muzzle Energy: 869.2ft-lbs(1065ft-lbs 2.5inch chamber/cylinder-bore)
Approximate Group Size: 3.6 inch

Notes: There is seven hits on the target but only 5 were picked up by the Chrono. The far right hit was throw out of group size measurement since it tumbled for some reason and I know it was one of the two that missed the second gate of the chrono.
Remington Sluggers

5 shot group at 25 yards (click to enlarge)
Chrono Testing 5 shots

Low Velocity:1625fps
Hight Velocity:1716fps
Average velocity: 1660fps (1817fps 2.5inch chamber/cylinder-bore)
Extreme Spreed:90.35
Std. Deviation:35.18
Manufacture Spec: 1830fps
Measure Mass: 96.1gr
Manufacture Spec 1/5oz (87.5gr)
Calculated Muzzle Energy: 587.9ft-lbs (704.3ft-lbs 2.5inch chamber/cylinder-bore)
Approximate Group Size: 4.4 inch

Notes: Approximately 157fps (116ft-lbs) lost from testing in 2.5 inch chamber.
Federal Rifled Slug
2.5 inch shell

5 shot group at 25 yards (click to enlarge)
Chrono Testing 5 shots

Low Velocity:1654fps
Hight Velocity:1719fps
Average velocity: 1684fps (1728fps 2.5inch chamber/cylinder-bore)
Extreme Spreed:64.89
Std. Deviation:25.00
Manufacture Spec: 1775fps
Measure Mass: 109.0gr
Manufacture Spec 1/4oz (109.4gr)
Calculated Muzzle Energy: 686.2ft-lbs (722.5ft-lbs 2.5inch chamber/cylinder-bore)
Approximate Group Size: 3.3 inch

Notes: Hole on left edge of target is impact from one piece plastic wad/gas seal. These shot surprisingly well given how bad they shoot in my Winchester 9410 and being a 2.5 inch slug in a three inch chamber.
#000 and #4

7rds of 000 and #4 buckshot at 25 yards (click to enlarge)
Chrono Testing 3 shots
Sellier and Bellot 000 buchshot 3-pellet 2.5in shell
Low Velocity:1135fps
Hight Velocity:1157fps
Average velocity: 1148fps
Extreme Spreed:21.71
Std. Deviation:11.35
Manufacture Spec: 1255fps

Chrono Testing 4 shots
Barnaul #4 buchshot 5-pellet 2.875in shell
Low Velocity:1165fps
Hight Velocity:1197fps
Average velocity: 1174fps
Extreme Spreed:32.63
Std. Deviation:15.36
Manufacture Spec: N/A

Notes: Not really slugs but I had some with me so I sent some through the chronograph. The Seller and Bellot group horribly out of the full choke. The Barnaul stuff worked surprisingly well
Barnual Buck Shot
Shell opened up

Exploded view (click to enlarge)
Notes: I figured the #4 buck was just loose in the shell and figured it would patterned very badly. It turns out the five #4 pellets are lined up in a special thick walled wad. The was acts very much like a sabot and the pellet don't pattern to badly.
Conclusions: Well... as expected the full choke did not shoot very good groups. My Winchester 9410 with a cylinder bore produced 2 inch groups at 50 yards and only one slug tested manage that at 25 yards.

Substantial velocity was lost in all of the 2.5 inch slug tested compared to the velocity measured in my Winchester 9410. Now the question is was that velocity lost due to the full choke (both barrel where 24 inches long) or from gases escaping around the slug as it left the mouth of the shell and before it entered the forcing cone. I suspect it is the long chamber. If you look at the data for the Federal slug it lost very little velocity and I think this is because by using the long one piece gas seal-wad less pressure is lost since the slug is nearly in the bore before the gas seal has left the shell. With the Remington Slugger that uses what appears to be shot-buffer to fill the shell and a simple cardboard over powder wad I suspect that buffer just gets blow past the slug in the chamber resulting in significant velocity lost. Even the mighty modified Brenneke* fell victim to the velocity lost in the longer chamber.

As expected the Brenneke slug continues to perform the best both in energy and accuracy. For being a hard slug fired from a full choke barrel the accuracy was impressive. They are consistently the highest energy slug available. They are my overwhelming favorite for deer hunting with a 410 at this point.

The Barnaul slugs are a pleasant surprise they shot OK groups and I think in a cylinder bore accuracy will improve and they are cheap at present.

Another surprise was the Federal Slugs. In my Winchester 9410 the grouped the worst. In the Stevens they were the second best grouping slug. They also maintained their velocity the best of the 2.5 inch slugs tested in the 3 inch chamber.

*Details on modified Brenneke Slugs for use in Winchester 9410.
Click here to return to index