The Evolution of the Deer Slug
There are more whitetail deer, and more deer hunters than ever in North America. With the increased populations, there has been an increase in hunting opportunities, and a number of different weapon specific seasons in many states and provinces.
Some of the best deer hunting in the US (especially considering trophy potential) is in the Midwest. States like Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa regularly produce a high number of giant bucks, and they have another thing in common; they are slug states. By “slug state” I mean that these states, and at least parts of other states, do not allow centerfire rifle hunting for deer.
If hunters want to use modern firearms, they must use shotguns shooting slugs. This once was a very limiting factor when slug gun hunters only had smoothbore shotguns and solid lead slugs to use. Accuracy was dismal, and effective range was very short.
In recent times hunters have demanded more performance from their equipment, and slug guns and ammunition were high on the list. There are now a plethora of specialized slug guns with rifled barrels and specialty rifled chokes as well as fiber optic sights and scopes calibrated especially for slugs. Ammunition too has made huge strides.
One of the biggest innovations in slugs was in 2009 when Winchester released their Dual Bond line. First this slug has a sabot with a steel area multiplier that provides consistent sabot separation for improved accuracy. The days of old were gone, and these slugs can easily be shot past 150 yards.
The Dual Bond’s performance once it hits its target is incredible. This slug is actually a “bullet within a bullet” and has a 12-segment design with two times the expansion for maximizing stopping power. This is further aided by its massive hollow-point design, and penetration and weight retention are both incredible due to proprietary bonding process that bonds the “two bullets” together. These slugs are bad medicine for anything from whitetails to big Alaskan brown bears!
The Dual Bond revolutionized slug gun ammunition, and I personally didn’t see how it could get any better. For all game, there still may not be a better slug, but the new Rack Master slugs that were specifically engineered for whitetail hunting are simply stellar in the deer woods.
The new Rack Master slug ammunition is accurate out past 200 yards thanks to its WinGlide wad stabilizer, that also allows it to be used in smooth bores or shotguns with rifled chokes or barrels. Like its predecessor, Rack Master really shines once it hits a deer.
The hollow point full bore rifled slug travels up to 1700 fps, and delivers incredible trauma on impact. This is very important when hunting the bruiser bucks of the Midwest that can weigh in at up to 300 pounds. The more knockdown power and immediate trauma you can deliver, the higher the chances for an immediate kill and no tracking job. That is what the Rack Master was engineered to do, and as usual, Winchester has succeeded.
This deer season when you head to the woods with your favorite slug gun in hand, you should feel the confidence that comes with knowing if that buck of a lifetime presents an opportunity, you will make your shot count and your ammunition will perform flawlessly. Winchester has seen to the technology, now you just have to provide the steady aim.