Review: Lightfield Slugs


Most folks using slugs in the shotgun do so because centerfire rifles are not allowed in a certain region or hunting area. Others do so because they understand how hard a shotgun hits at close range and find the slug a great deer and boar stopper. I have experimented with slugs for over 30 years because I wanted to improve the performance of the police-style riot gun. These slugs are powerful, they pound the shoulder, and they get the job done. (Pounding is less with self-loading actions and shotguns heavier than riot guns.) None are more effective than the respected Lightfield slugs.

Lightfield Bucks, Boars & Bears shotgun shell box
The Buck Boar and Bear load is among the most versatile slug loads.

I have listened to those with experience in the hunting field, and the results are impressive. Lightfield offers slugs that run a wide gamut of performance. You may choose slugs that kick but little, or all of the way up to slugs that are guaranteed to produce the most energy and knockdown power.

Lightfield offers a Lite load that will jolt a 1 ¼-ounce slug to 1300 fps versus the usual 1600 fps. This is a good load for those using lighter shotguns and for personal defense. While buckshot is still a great personal defense load at modest range those with experience in these things regard the slug as the more reliable stopper. I could not agree more. My Benelli tactical pump is often loaded with the 2 ¾-inch Hybred EXP. With a good recoil pad and modest recoil the Benelli performs well with this slug.

Moving up in power, the 1 ¼-ounce Hybred slug exits a 20-inch barrel at an impressive 1450 fps. Lightfield tells us that at a long 125 yards, this slug retains 1200 foot-pounds of energy. That is impressive! There is also a 3-inch shell available with the Hybred slug. This one breaks about 1700 fps from the TriStar Tec12 self-loader I tested this load in.

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Exit hole left by a 12 gauge slug shot through a textbook
The exit hole in the textbook—and plenty of energy left.

While the autoloading action makes for a lighter kick than the pump, this is still an awesome loading at both ends. I am unaware of a load with greater punch than this Lightfield Hybred. This is similar to hitting a game animal with an elephant rifle. The big slug simply does the business. If you have a shotgun with a rifled barrel, and can hold this tight, the Hybred slugs are accurate well past 100 yards—perhaps 150 yards with the proper equipment.

To test accuracy thoroughly requires a serious dedication to the grip, solid bench rest, and good recoil pad. Any miss and deviation from the zero inside of 100 yards is related to shooter error more than the accuracy of the slug or the shotgun. Keep the shotgun steady, lean into the butt, and keep the support hand pressing the shotgun to the rear. Remember, you do not need a rifled slug bore shotgun to use the Lightfield slugs well.

The sabot-type slug combination actually expands in the bore because of backpressure on firing. The sabot slug locked to the barrel and gives good accuracy. A rifled slug barrel will give the finest accuracy but an open-cylinder barrel will give excellent results to 50 yards and a bit beyond, making the Lightfield slug an excellent option for hunting in dense cover.

I have tested these loads extensively. I fired some in my son’s rifled barrel Winchester 1200 with excellent results. It wasn’t difficult to produce a 2-inch group at 50 yards, when taking care to aim properly and keep the piece steady. Yet, this isn’t the finest of shotguns for long-range accuracy. Just the same, for deer or boar this is impressive.

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Bob Campbell shooting the Mossberg 930 shotgun with slugs
Even the heaviest Lightfield loads are controllable in the easy shooting Mossberg 930. While a purpose designed slug gun would give better accuracy the Mossberg is an excellent choice for close range defense use.

The Tec12 with its ghost ring sights and recoil absorbing action did nearly was well. Among my favorite defensive shotguns is the Mossberg 930 Tactical. This shotgun features a well-designed recoil pad. The self-loading action soaks up recoil, and overall this is among the most comfortable defensive shoguns to fire and use. With a 7-shell capacity this is a formidable shotgun for home defense or defense against dangerous animals.

I loaded seven of the Lightfield 2 ¾-inch Hybrid shells in the 930 and took aim at a silhouette target at 10 yards. The 930 has only a bead front sight and is brilliantly fast on target. I held the bead on target and delivered seven slugs into one ragged hole. There were no malfunctions and the slugs delivered outstanding accuracy.

The Lightfield slug is capable of much more and of long-range accuracy but for my needs this is a formidable performance. Check the performance of the many variations on the 12 gauge slug and you will agree Lightfield is first in its class.

Do you have firsthand experience with Lightfield slugs? What’s your favorite shotgun slug? Share you answers in the comment section.


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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>