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A few months ago I decided to get a dedicated slug gun for hunting close to home so that after work or if I didn't want to travel 20 miles or so I could still hunt as the area I live in is a "Firearm Restricted Zone". That means no centerfire rifles but does allow for slug guns, muzzleloaders, handguns and bows to be used.

The quarry I pursue the most is Black Bear as here in Washinton state the season for bear runs for 3 and a half months unlike deer which is a 2 week season at best for modern firearms. Washington is not a shotgun only state so I usually use a rifle for sitting over clear cuts and mountain or desert hunting where ranges can easily be 100 to 500 yards but the areas close to home are heavily forested with thick brush and overgrown logging roads and shots on game are normally 50 yards or less with a LONG shot at maybe 70 yards.

I looked close at Rem 870's with cantilever rifled barrels, Nef USH's, .44 mag and .45 Colt Ruger handguns and a muzzleloader. I like things that go boom so a bow was not an issue. Didn't want one for calling bears with predator calls as they can get aggressive when they think your dinner!

A smoothbore pump shotgun was the ideal choice for me as my .357 is a marginal bear gun and a bigger handgun wasn't a real versatile choice, a muzzleloader does not lend itself to quick follow up shots and the cost of sabot slugs is a ripoff as I couldn't use the slightly better accuracy and ballistics at the ranges I'd be shooting at so the 870 was out. When the bear, not to mention the cougars, your hunting weigh as much or more than you do and have big sharp teeth and claws and your pretending to be dinner a powerful repeating gun is in order!

The smoothbore pump gives me reliability, fast followup shots, good knockdown power and accuracy with the Brenneke Heavy Field Short Magnums is 3 and a half inch groups at 70 yards or better! Thats out of the Mossberg 500 18.5 in barreled smoothbore with a red dot sight on it, total cost under 300 bucks.

Obsolete...Hardly...It's the absolute BEST choice I could have made! and inexpensive to shoot on top of that!

To be fair if I lived in a shotgun only state I could see the utility of trying to stretch the capability of a shotgun but if I want to "ETHICALLY" harvest game past 100 yards I use a high powered rifle as it is a MUCH better tool for the job than ANY shotgun!

I can't see spending 4 bucks a shot for any gun except maybe a classic african heavy rifle caliber.

Since the same bullets from Barnes, Remington, Hornady and others cost a dollar or less if I buy them for a muzzle loader why do the same bullets cost 3-5 bucks a shot out of a shotgun? Wads, hulls, powder and primers are cheap. How come sabot slugs cost so much for a shotgun? Marketing! and the fact that the ammo producers have you poor folks in shotgun only states by the balls! Want pseudo short range rifle performance? Get out your checkbook! It'll cost ya! I feel for you poor folks... :(

For certain situations like mine a smoothbore slug gun is the only sensible choice IMHO.

Just my two cents worth...
 
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