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Muzzle Blasts Online
Muzzle Blasts Online Cover
September 1996 Volume 1, Number 3

Showing Off the Slug Gun

During the NMLRA National Fall Shoot at the Walter M. Cline National Range in Friendship, Indiana, the NMLRA Museum will exhibit slug guns. These firearms can be viewed up close and personal, even if not touched, at the museum between 1:00-3:00 p.m. for one week, from September 14-21.

Webb Terry Slug Gun All of us who enjoy shooting muzzleoading rifles find our special niche in the sport sooner or later. For me, well, I'm at home when I'm shooting on the Slug Gun Range. Please let me tell you some things about slug guns that I hope will add to your enjoyment of the exhibit.

Slug guns have been shot in competition since the mid-eighteen hundreds. Scoring not 10s but Xs was the name of the slug-gun game, and that is certainly true today. To the best of my knowledge, nowadays there are only around 120 to 150 people across the country who shoot slug guns.

Ken Bresien Slug GunSlug guns are shot from a bench rest and most record targets are 10 shots for score. At the NMLRA National Shoots, competitors are given two 45-minute relays to shoot 10 record shots, and the relays don't have to be together. One relay today and the second relay two days later is quite all right; it's the shooter's choice.

At Friendship, we shoot targets at distances of 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards. Slug guns have been shot at even longer ranges, but for years the norm for competition was 200 yards or 40 rods (220 yards).

Swage Block and Bullet MoldWhen I started to shoot slug guns, I was told by a shooting friend to take all my knowledge about shooting bench guns and use that as a starting point for learning how to shoot a slug gun. Scopes are allowed and used with slug guns, but let me assure you that scopes only enable you to see better. They don't make the guns shoot any better.

Swage Block and Bullet MoldA slug gun may shoot very well if each shot is loaded exactly the same way, if the gun is cleaned exactly the same way between each shot, if the wind is steady and/or readable, if light and humidity remain consistent, and if the shooter has the same hold and sight picture for each shot. Then again, even with all that effort sometimes the silly gun just can't shoot might as well set that gun in a corner, let it know you will be back when it wants to shoot better, walk away, and have some rest and relaxation with your friends. Be sure to come back and try again to get that slug gun to shoot, because I can tell you that when a slug gun is shooting, the fun is just beginning.

Anyone who wants to know a little something about slug guns, do come to the exhibit. If you are still interested, take a walk down to the Slug Gun Range and see some of these guns in action.

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