A slug refers to a single, large projectile being fired from a shotgun, rather than shot, which consists of several projectiles loaded into a cartridge. They can be made out of various metals, including copper and lead.
The first successful shotgun slugs were invented by German inventor Wilhelm Brenneke in 1898.
Shotgun slugs are used to give a shotgun more rifle-like performance. Hunters often use slugs to take down large game like bears or deer, when shot or rifle rounds won't penetrate deeply enough to humanely kill the animal. They are sometimes used by police and military forces for greater accuracy, as well as breaching and vehicle interdiction.
- Shotgun slugs are banned in many countries around the world, mainly because of their large diameter.
- 12 gauge slugs have considerably more penetrative power on some flesh than most rifle rounds, mostly due to their weight.