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deer hunting with shotguns

6110 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  hitit
My 14 year old son hunts squirrel. He has a New England Firearms 410. He wants a deer rifle. We live in the mountains of Tennessee with very little chance for a long shot. He is looking to get a 12 ga. shotgun. What would be the best shotgun for hunting squirrels and shooting slugs. What barrel type. I like the safety features of the New England Firearm shotguns.

Any help you can give me would be appreciated

T. Prince

Shotgunworld Ambassador
Posts: 31
(11/11/02 2:48:25 am)
Reply Re: deer hunting with shotguns
for a good starting gun I think the Mossberg 500 combos the best value. I just bought one for my wife and she loves it. It comes with a 26" VR ported barrel and 3screw in chokes. the combo also comes with a ported rifled slug barrel. I picked it up for $259 at a local Wal-mart. Just a mossberg 500 is 189 or 199. for his first Shotgun it would be the best. even if he does not continue the money lost is min.

hope it helps,

Frequent SW Visitor
Posts: 10
(11/12/02 11:21:01 am)
Reply deer hunting with shotguns
I agree with Mr John Here. Though not knowing your son, and how much you have to spend the Mossberg 500 is a good way to go. You can even find some used 500's at a much lower price. I shot deer for years in Ohio with just smoothbore and a bead sight and brought home 2-5 a year that way. Just keep your shots 50-75 yard range. Also, Mossberg sells rifled choke tubes ($1 for the 500 so you will not have to buy the Rifled barrel if you do not want to. (You can put True glow sites on the smoothbore. $30) Athough the rifled barrel gives you better accuracy. The saftey on the tang of the mossbergs is another plus in IMHO. It will keep an inexperienced hunter from having to hunt for the saftey in the trigger housing with thick gloves on, is sometimes very frustrating. Especialy when you get buck fever!! I lost a turkey that way one time, having to move my head to look for it, and that sharp eyed turkey was GONE! Use 2/ 3/4 shells somewhat less kick than the larger shells, don't know how well your son takes the recoil.
If you have some $ to spend just go ahead and get him an rem 11-87 combo. Fine/smooth shooting shotgun. You can get all the accesseies you will ever need for the 11-87 real easy and cheap. The 11-87's come in many different configurations from 2 3/4- 3"-3 1/2. Plus it will last him a lifetime, and can go through all the different hunting seasons with this one gun. Try finding parts and accessories for other (foreign) shotguns.
Last, I started with a single shot brake open shotgun as a kid. You can get these for $90 at wally world. Cheaper used. I still used it to this day! I hope this helps. John

Shotgun Expert
Posts: 366
(11/13/02 12:19:14 am)
Re: deer hunting with shotguns
IF the single shots are still made as they were several years ago I think they could be a very dangerous shotgun in young hands....there is no safety, just the hammer. If the hammer is dropped with a finger in the trigger guard it could get real bad real quick as those hammers have a stiff spring.

As mentioned the Mossberg500 has a lot of options for not a lot of money, as would a Rem 870 youth model, it is a 20 gauge, but I can garuantee that a 20gauge slug is fully capable of taking deer and hogs.

It was mentioned in one of the sporting clays mags about cutting the stock down and either buying a full size stock to replace it when the youngster grows into it or hang on to the peices to add back as he grows.
There is a fine line between a hobby and insanity.

Forum Owner
Posts: 1014
(11/13/02 2:52:50 am)
Re: deer hunting with shotguns
We're never going to agree on this point are we Rick?
"IF the single shots are still made as they were several years ago I think they could be a very dangerous shotgun in young hands....there is no safety, just the hammer. If the hammer is dropped with a finger in the trigger guard it could get real bad real quick as those hammers have a stiff spring."

I say it's the difficulty in dropping the hammers that make it safer than a standard 'push button' type safety. Plus, it's much easier to look over at the gun and see if it's 'live'.
Jay G.

Shotgunworld Ambassador
Posts: 76
(11/19/02 11:03:25 am)
Re: deer hunting with shotguns
The first gun I shot was a 12 gauge single shot with the exposed hammer. The gun was never unsafe, because I was never unsafe. That is the key, nobody's finger should be in the trigger guard untill you aim. Learn safe, Practice safe, Hunt safe and shoot safe. An exposed hammer is perfectly safe if you are safe.


Let the dog hunt the birds,
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I agree with the Mossberg 500 theory. Mine is a M550ABD which is made by Mossberg for Montgomery Ward. It is a Westernfield but if you did not read the engraving you would swear it was a Mossberg. It is one of the best shooting shotguns I have had the pleasure of shooting and I have shot quite a few different makes and models. Mine is .12 ga full choke, 30 in barrell and it throws a fine pattern. I have the slug barrell and I killed my first deer with it at Fort Knox, an 11 pointer. It's not too heavy to tote all day. I bought it new in 1971 for a whopping price of $77.00. It still looks like new and I love shooting it. Last time I went to a turkey shoot, I came in 2d every order. ( I think that judge was jealous and lied to me.) Some of them was almost too close to call even with the measuring devices. Kick ain't too bad and it has good range. If you can get one for under $200 at today's prices, go for it. It is a fine shotgun.
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Although I agree with the Mossberg fans, may I suggest Harrington and Richardsons single shot 20 ***** ultra slug hunter.

I have the 12 ***** version and shooting hot load it's accuracy and balistics are better than such venerable deer RIFLES as the 30-30 and 45/70. 20 ***** loads from Remington will shoot some great groups with a 260 grain slug that have 1500+ ft/lbs of energy left at 100 yards.

Since he's already used to the hammer style single shot from his NEF he'll be ready for this gun. It has a nice feature in that if the trigger is not held rearward the gun will not fire, making it a little safer than older hammer actions.

Also this gun can have a second smooth barrel purchased with it for very little money.

Only real problem is that his smooth bore will have a monte carlo style stock.

Worth the look
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How about the possibility of purchasing an 870 Express in 12 gauge and a youth stock /fore end set. T.Price did say that he is looking to stay in twelve *****, correct? With the 870 you could even purchase it in a 24" barrel as to not be very barrel heavy on a youth stock. And with the 870 you get the availability of rem chokes. Many diffenent constriction patterns available for any type of shooting, from skeet all the way to extended length rifled. I have one of the extended rifle chokes and it made my gun (26" smooth barrel) keep 3" fostner slugs in a group of less than 9" edge to edge, out to just under 75 yards.

Like em or not you've got to admit a few things about an 870. Very reliable, in-expensive, hold up well over time, simple to strip, clean and reassemble, and you can purchase accessories for them just about anywhere. That's my $.02 worth!
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