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If I was to put a rifled barrel on my shotty - 870 - what would be the effect, if any, on using buckshot?
 

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I think the shot will damage the rifling, however, I myself have not tested that theory..
 

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It is very likely going to open up your pattern considerably. The shot column will be spun by the riflings and this will cause the pattern to open up sometimes even forming a doughnut shaped pattern. At HD ranges probably not an issue but at longer ranges it will definitely be noticeable

Another possible problem will be leading in the barrel. Depending on the manufacture some buckshot pellets might contact the barrel. Most quality buckshot is completely inside the wad and never touches the barrel but this is not always the case. The lead buckshot pellets if the do contact the barrel will likely cause some leading. Not a big issue, it will just require more elbow grease to clean.

mcb

ETA: is will not damage the rifling or barrel. Remember the barrel is steel, the buckshot is lead. You shoot lead bullets in steel barrel and never cause damage. It will possible lead up the rifling if the pellets contact the barrel and be a pain to clean but will not damage the barrel.
 

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It is very likely going to open up your pattern considerably. The shot column will be spun by the riflings and this will cause the pattern to open up sometimes even forming a doughnut shaped pattern. At HD ranges probably not an issue but at longer ranges it will definitely be noticeable

Another possible problem will be leading in the barrel. Depending on the manufacture some buckshot pellets might contact the barrel. Most quality buckshot is completely inside the wad and never touches the barrel but this is not always the case. The lead buckshot pellets if the do contact the barrel will likely cause some leading. Not a big issue, it will just require more elbow grease to clean.

mcb

ETA: is will not damage the rifling or barrel. Remember the barrel is steel, the buckshot is lead. You shoot lead bullets in steel barrel and never cause damage. It will possible lead up the rifling if the pellets contact the barrel and be a pain to clean but will not damage the barrel.
A friend regularly shoots foster style slugs through a hastings barreled 11-87 after 10-12 rounds you cant see the rifling at all. So basicly he has a smooth bore. Soft lead or copper coated buck will as stated probably damage the barrel.
 

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How does soft lead damage steel?
Might a standard slug fill in the rifling....sure it could. But the lead came be removed and the rifling will still be there.

I'm not saying one will have great buckshot patterns shot from a rifled barrel.....never tried it myself. But I am curious to know how lead balls are going to damage the rifling.
 

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MCB is correct, the chances of the shot itself contacting the rifling would be slim, but the effects of the hard plastic wading might effect the rifling. I would be concerned about the plastic build up before shooting slugs.
 

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Its going to give you horrible patterns and very irregular. It will open up the pattern very quickly but wont hurt the rifling, other than to fowl it.

Your talking about spinning 9 lead balls at once through it rather than one solid slug. As stated, you really shouldnt get much lead contact anyways with it being contained in the shot cup.
 

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Those are fairly accurate in my 18.5" Mossberg,
out to about 50 yards.
+1. I shoot rifled slugs out of a smooth-bore 870 with an 18" barrel. With Brenneke Black Magic and Federal Vital-Shok rifled slugs, my 870 will shoot 3" groups out to 50 yards and just under 4" out to 75. I wouldn't trust them past that, but that accuracy is good enough for deer/brush-gun use out that far.
 
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