Monday, April 02, 2007

Episode #26 Outdoor News, Turkey Tips, and More!

Joe has a busy week! The HSUS is at it again in Michigan, and turkey season is just around the corner. This weeks Tip of the Day will get you ready!
Click Here to Listen!

This weeks links:
Shotgun vs Rifle in the deer woods.
Michigan battle part two! turkey calls.


Tim4Trout said...


The shotgun / rifle thing is either BS, improperly calculated arithmetic, or likely IMO both.

On your broadcast you read the claim that a shotgun slug shot level from 3 ft. above the ground would travel .99 miles. ( Yeah I know )

Here is why IMO I believe it is BS

1 mile = 1760 yards.

If a slug, shot level, drops 2 inches at 100 yards and 2 inches for each 100 yards distance traveled, when it has traveled 1700 yards it will have dropped 34 inches. In this case it would travel appx. one mile before striking the ground.

Only one problem. As distance increases the rate of drop increases. Thus a slug that might drop 2 inches in the first 100 yards may drop as much as 7 inches at 200 yards and at 300 yards that rate would be increased even greater. Thus the laws of physics would dictate that there is no way a shotgun slug shot level from 3 ft can reach a distance of 1 mile.

Anonymous said...

It was nice to hear something from Pennsylvania this week!! Haha. I think that there wouldn't be as much of a problem if people would learn how to handle rifles responsibly...geez.

Joe Duckworth said...

Lets try the math.... you may be right.
The amount of time it takes for gravity to pull "down" a slug can be determined by simply dropping it from 3 feet. There is no difference between a moving object or stationary object. The rate of drop only increases at a distance because the amount of time gravity is effecting the slug has increased, accelerating the fall.
Anyway, this gives us the amount of time it can stay airborne on a flat earth.
Now, some of the slugs have an advertised muzzle velocity of over 2500 feet per second. Maybe we say 1700 to be on the safe side.
A mile is 5280 feet. That means it would have to stay airborne 3.07 seconds, and have no air friction slowing it, and again on a flat earth. We give the slug an extra 8" benefit of the doubt for curvature of the earth in one mile.

There is no way a 12 ga slug can travel one mile when fired level at anything less than about 15 feet in the air.
Good call as usual, Tim.

Joe Duckworth said...

Here is a clarification from the author of the story that describes this report:


First of all, let me say that I enjoy your show. I listen to the podcast now and then while I am commuting, and it makes the time fly! Keep up the good work.

Secondly, let me say that I believe there is a great deal of confusion out there about exactly what this report says and what it doesn’t say. I really suggest you get a copy of the full report and look it over before you make any judgments. You can find an electronic copy of the report by visiting the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee Web site at Once you get to the home page, click on “What’s New?” and you will see the link for a PDF version of the report.

Specifically, in reference to the scenario you mention in your e-mail, the report does NOT claim that a shotgun slug could travel more than a mile before striking the earth when fired at a zero degree elevation three feet off the ground. In fact, if you look at the report on page 38, it says that the slug will travel just 840 feet before hitting the ground. The .30-06 rifle bullet, meanwhile, would travel a longer distance under the same circumstances, going 1,408 feet before hitting the ground. Page 39 of the report has a graphic illustrating this point.

However, according to the report, the TOTAL DISTANCE, INCLUDING RICOCHETS, traveled by the slug could be 5,205 feet for the slug and 4,835 feet for the rifle bullet. So, when you factor in the ricochet potential of the two projectiles, and then add the original distance from muzzle to first impact with the earth, it is possible that a shotgun slug could travel farther than a rifle bullet – IN A GIVEN SITUATION.

Now, that does not mean a slug has a longer maximum range than a rifle bullet, nor does it mean that shotgun slugs are inherently LESS SAFE than rifle bullets. The report doesn’t claim that either. It merely says that, UNDER TYPICAL HUNTING SCENARIOS, a shotgun slug may not be any safer than a rifle bullet. And, if regulation makers are basing their assumptions solely on the maximum range of the projectiles, without factoring in their ballistic tendencies regarding ricochets, then people may be fooling themselves into thinking they are addressing a safety issue when in fact there may be no substantive increase in overall public safety. Interestingly, the report did conclude that a muzzleloader bullet will travel less distance than either a shotgun slug or rifle bullet under all the scenarios tested, and, as such, may be a safer weapon than both of them.

Now, admittedly, I am not a ballistics expert. However, I would encourage you to read the full report and perhaps give a copy to a bona fide ballistics expert for analysis before you discuss it with you listeners.

Also, I would be more than happy to join you as a guest on your show, along with the author of this report, if you can get him, to discuss the issue. Thanks so much for your interest, and I hope this message has helped to clarify some things.


Christian Berg

Outdoor Writer

The Morning Call

So I guess we were wrong about this, in so far as we missed the ricochet part!

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