The BRI Sabot Slug is a hourglass shaped sabot slug that aerodynamically self stabilizes. BRI stands for Ballistic Research Industries. These slugs were marketed for civilians and Law Enforcement. Patented in 1973 the design was purchased by Winchester and is currently marketed for use in rifled barrel shotguns.
Winchester’s decision to market these as rifled barrels only is unfortunate. I initially got a box of 12 gauge 3″ BRI slugs as a gift. They were marketed under the Winchester label and I was disappointed to read they were designed for rifled barrels.
I put the slugs in a box and left them there for some time. When I was doing some research I rediscovered the BRI slug. I pulled them out and sure enough they were marked BRI. My research about the old school BRI slugs stated they were optimized for Smooth bores. I figured I’d give the Winchester version I try out of my smoothbore home defense 870.
No exaggeration, these slugs are fantastic. I was hitting 10″ pumpkins offhand at 75 yards. The recoil was comfortable too. At this point I realized something, I had shot 10 of these unique slugs, I only had 5 left. I didn’t know if I could find more of them, I hadn’t seen them in stores.
You get what you pay for.
I ended up heading out to the a local store in an attempt to find more of these slugs. I found them. $14 for a box of five! Oooof! I did purchase more. I had never been previously able to shoot one ounce slugs so well at distance. And these BRI slugs were striking those pumpkins with absolute authority.
The BRI slug benefits from a better ballistic profile than the typical foster slug. The smaller frontal surface area of the BRI slug means less wind resistance. And the hourglass design with a hollow base self stabilizes in flight. This means the BRI slug is a higher energy projectile at range. It’s three times the cost of your typical foster slug, but the performance is impressive.
More tools in the toolbox.
I cant say the BRI slug can absolutely replace the foster slug. Most foster slugs are loaded hotter, and at closer ranges those slugs are probably more devastating. But for those looking for longer range out of a slug these are a good option and my experience is that they work well out of smooth bores.
TAOFLEDERMAUS has a great video on youtube demonstrating these slugs out of different shotguns including smooth bores. Their high speed footage shows good performance out of their smoothbore gun.
The BRI slugs are expensive and stocking a lot of them would be quite costly. However their capabilities are impressive in my view. They add a dimension to the Tactical Shotgun that makes it even more versatile.