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Hastings Paradox slug barrels - rifle-like accuracy from shotguns.

Hastings Paradox Slug Barrels -- Rifle-Like Accuracy From Shotguns

In most recent years there has been a decided growing interest among the big-game hunting fraternity toward the rifled slug-loaded shotgun and for a number of reasons. Foremost, open public hunting lands continue to dwindle as a result of the bulldozer and associated creation of housing developments, shopping centers and super highways.

With precious hunting lands disappearing at an alarming rate the day of the super accurate long-range hunting rifle may just become another endangered species, especially in proximity to large urban areas. For this reason fish and wildlife agencies in densely populated states are turning more and more to the shotgun loaded with buckshot or rifled slugs as opposed to the rifle purely as a safety factor for big-game hunting.

Why in recent years the use of the high-powered rifle was banned in portions of the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania, one of the foremost whitetailed deer hunting states where the rifle has remained the symbol of deer hunting for generations. Maryland as well as Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts and others have bans on the use of rifles for big-game hunting as well and again, perhaps somewhere in the not too distant future more areas in other states will actually be forced to turn to the shotgun for big-game hunting as concrete and steel take over our forests and woodlands.

In bygone years both buckshot and rifled slugs were not commonplace in big-game country not only because of traditional dictates but because both buckshot and slugs were far from efficient tools for the humane dispatch of big-game the size of deer. But it is quite another story today.

In past decades buckshot, as loaded then by all major manufacturers, was erratic. Indeed, one could conceivably shoot at a standing deer not 40 yards away and miss the animal completely with yesteryear's buckshot. Yet, with the introduction of poly shot/wad columns, poly dust to cushion the big pellets as they leave the scattergun's forcing cone, etc., the effectiveness of buckshot has been dramatically improved and the heavy buck loads manufactured today are most assuredly exemplary.

But the rifled slug has seen even greater developments in recent years, particularly barrels designed purely for the big rifled slugs which has literally revolutionized rifled slug accuracy over normal hunting ranges. We're talking about rifled slug barrels boasting rifling like the conventional rifle.

Now the concept of a rifled shotgun barrel is far from a new innovation. The English employed various rifled barrels as early as the late-1800s in their effort to develop a reasonably accurate scattergun capable of tossing a large projectile at dangerous African game at close range.

Today we continue to see major arms combines announcing new rifled slug scatterguns and specially designed slug barrels capable of good accuracy at all normal hunting yardages and we guarantee we'll be seeing more such arms manufactured in the future.

But without question one of the most amazingly accurate rifled slug barrels currently for use with modern slug loadings is the PARADOX rifled barrels as created by the Hastings combine of Clay Center, Kansas.

The Hastings rifled barrel for shotguns has actually been developed along the same principles as the English paradox rifled bores of yesteryear and that's one of the reasons Hastings personnel call its barrels "Paradox" as did the English of bygone generations. Remember, Hastings Paradox slug barrels are truly rifled -- unlike the English version which featured rifling only several inches from the muzzle.

The Hastings combine now offers replacement Paradox rifled barrels for a number of modern scatterguns and all are available to sporting goods retailers at wholesale prices. Such Hastings replacement barrels are further available for scope mounting or for standard iron sight mounting and for an English style two-position sight.

There is no question Hastings Paradox barrels have revolutionized rifled slug shooting in the game fields since their performance and accuracy are without peer. "By installing a Paradox barrel and using select ammunition, hunters can obtain greatly improved accuracy. The bore is slightly smaller than normal to obtain a good gas seal, and the 1:34 righthand twist stabilizes the projectile. Best performance is obtained with the use of BRI Sabot slugs, but all rifled slugs will perform better when pushed through a Paradox barrel," said Phil Frigon of Hastings.

The bore diameter of the 12-gauge Paradox rifled barrel is .716 inches and its groove diameter, .727 inches. Despite its oversize (over .50 caliber, that is) the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has ruled it is "not a destructive device" and can be possessed by sportsmen where local regulations permit.

With a modern scattergun fitted with a Hastings Paradox rifled tube and with BRI Sabot slugs in 12 gauge, the rifled-slug loaded shotgun is a deer hunting arm truly to be reckoned with.

Remember, not too many years ago with antiquated rifled slug loads and smoothbore barrels one would have extreme difficulty printing five-shot groups under 6-8 inches at 50 yards. Such is not the case with the Hastings Paradox barrel and BRI Slug combination. Would you believe consistent five-shot groups at two inches at 50 yards and four inches at 100 yards as an average? Well, it is most assuredly quite possible with this barrel/slug combination.

Add a scope to this very same shotgun and the rifled slug loaded shotgun is far from a second rate deer-taker. "Perhaps no shooting innovation has excited the hunting world as much as the 12-gauge rifled slug barrel," said Hastings spokesman. "As more and more states legislate the use of shotgun slugs for big-game, serious hunters insist on the accuracy only available with a rifled bore--and remember, the Hastings Paradox is the only off-the-shelf rifled shotgun replacement barrel available for several models of today's shotguns.

"Designed to be an exact replacement barrel for the specific shotgun involved, each barrel is cold formed by swaging on a special mandrel, producing a barrel with a high finish and exacting tolerances, while final external contours and finish are produced by `centerless' grinding to precise contours," he continued.

"Each of our Paradox models are available with either rifle sights or special scope mounts installed. The rifle sights consist of an all steel ramp front sight with brass bead, and a steel U-blade rear sight, adjustable for both windage and elevation. Our scope mount models have two steel mounting blocks brazed to the barrel which accept Weaver type rings. An extended eye relief scope is necessary with these," he added.

Hastings Paradox rifled barrels are currently available for all configurations of Remington's Model 870 shotgun as well as Remington's Model 11-87, Model 11, Model 58 and its Model 1100 (in all configurations). In addition, such barrels are also available for the Ithaca Model 37 and Browning's A-5 and A-5 3-inch Magnum plus the Winchester Model 12.

"With slight modifications by a competent gunsmith our barrels can be fitted to most early Remington and Savage model shotguns," interjected Phil Frigon. "Also, depending on the shotgun make and model, Paradox barrels are available in either 20-inch or 24-inch lengths for 12 gauge only. Finally, for the ultimate in slug precision, today we can custom fit Paradox barrel blanks to other shotgun makes and models, or serve as the basis for a slug bench gun for those involved in competition shooting. We also can supply these blanks for installation by competent gunsmiths."

Frigon pointed out, however, "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has determined that a rifled 12 gauge remains a shotgun as long as a shotgun action and conventional shotgun ammunition is used. At the state level, this generally means the Paradox rifled barrel is legal if the state regulations state "shotgun." However, if the regulations state: "smoothbore" than the Paradox barrel is not a legal sporting arm in that particular state.

"Some states which have `shotgun' in its regulations have issued specific advisories against the use of a rifled shotgun.

So it is wise to check local authorities before using a Paradox rifled slug barrel for hunting in individual states," Frigon concluded.

Nevertheless, there is every indication the Hastings Paradox rifled barrel is here to stay and there is no question it has spectacularly improved rifled slug accuracy for those deer hunters who prefer to use or due to state regulations are required to use shotguns for big-game hunting.

Extensive field testing with the Hastings Paradox barrel has revealed that time and again, with the BRI Sabot slug, groups have been produced averaging under one-inch at 100 yards, although the average 100 yard group is about two-four inches -- and from anyone's viewpoint such accuracy is amazing thanks to the development of the Hastings rifled barrel. Incidentally, the BRI Sabot slug is not the only slug recommended for Hastings barrels. Actually, all of today's rifled slug loads will perform with optimum results at all average hunting ranges when used in combination with a Paradox barrel.

Unfortunately, at the present time the space-age Hastings rifled barrels are only manufactured for 12-gauge shotguns. Yet there is every indication that in the not too distant future, we'll be seeing a new 20-gauge Hastings rifled tube as well.

Also, keep in mind, Hastings invites and welcomes dealer inquiries.

PHOTO : Hastings Paradox Slug Barrels are available to sporting goods retailers at wholesale prices.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Publishers' Development Corporation
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Brant, Howard
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jun 1, 1989
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