New Hornady Superformance Slug Ammo and the Tale of Two Savages



Hornady has released their new 20 GA Superformance® Slug 250 gr MonoFlex® loads, item number 86237, with a published muzzle velocity of 1800 fps. The published, static ballistic coefficient is .21, with a sectional density of .175. But, how well does it shoot?

As a generality, 3 inch unfolded length hulls tend to do better with three inch chambers, but that is far from an absolute certainty. To get an idea of how well they grouped, it was off to the range with two Savage 220 twenty gauge slug guns, both that have been shown to be extremely accurate in times past, albeit with different ammunition. One is a blued carbon steel model, the other is stainless steel.

There are enough variables in saboted shotgun slugs to make guessing how one load is going to do in one individual gun unknowable. The best available version of the truth is that you'll have to pull the trigger yourself, and let your gun tell you what it likes to be fed.

Above: the Hornady Superformance fared poorly in a stainless Savage 220, as the target on the left shows. Yet the right target was also shot with a Savage 220, a blued carbon steel model, and grouped instantly and consistently well.

With the blued Savage 220, the Hornady ammo grouped immediately, superbly, and consistently. If you were testing this ammo in just this one blued / black composite Savage 220, you would say it is as good as any factory twenty gauge slug ammo available, for it shot right at an inch more often than not, and refused to produce a poor group.

However, with a different Savage 220, the stainless model, it never did actually produce a good group. With one gun it was roughly an MOA load, but with another gun . . . well, it was a 6 – 7 inch gun, something I'd not bother to hunt with. You might be led to believe that this Hornady load is either the best ever, or one of the worst ever. The more truthful answer is that it is neither, it just all depends on the individual gun you use it in.

I'd take the blued Savage hunting tomorrow with this Hornady load with absolute confidence. Flipside, under no circumstances would I use it with the second, stainless Savage although that gun is just as accurate as the blued model, just not with this loading. Individual saboted slug guns are often extremely ammunition-sensitive: this yet again shows what can be an inherently frustrating experience, or an effortless sighting in routine. It all depends on the individual gun and there is just no getting away from it.

While I'd certainly love to be able to predict whether this load will be accurate in your rifled slug gun, I sure can't. It is well worth a try, though, as the Hornady Monoflex bullet is better flying than many alternatives, and is going to give you two holes in your buck every time.


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