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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

So as the subject says, I just picked up a H&R deluxe topper model 98 20 gauge shotgun. It has a single front bead sight. I am used to rifles but am deer hunting a town this year where I got a doe permit that is shotgun only. I got permission on a few different parcels of land about 450 or so acres between the 3. I have a few questions about this gun. I have shot skeet in the past and have been pretty good, but that was skeet.

1) I wanted to throw slugs out of this. What slugs work best? (it is smooth bore)

2) How do you aim a 1 bead sight? how much of the bead should you see looking down the barrel?

3) Can you attach sights? It doesn't have a vent rib, but I was wondering what kind of sights I could add, the firearm season opener is in 1 week so I would need it done soon.

4) I got my permit for a region that does allow buckshot so I can use that. Any recommendations for buckshot through these?

I have never shot a single bead shotgun before, but loved the idea of a break action single shot. I have shot 12 gauge pumps before but read that h&r 20g are less common so when I found one for under 180 bucks I jumped on it.

Any help would be appreciated. I have a couple of days off before the season opener so I am hoping to get this gun understood before that.
 

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deerhunter8 said:
Hey everyone,

So as the subject says, I just picked up a H&R deluxe topper model 98 20 gauge shotgun. It has a single front bead sight. I am used to rifles but am deer hunting a town this year where I got a doe permit that is shotgun only. I got permission on a few different parcels of land about 450 or so acres between the 3. I have a few questions about this gun. I have shot skeet in the past and have been pretty good, but that was skeet.

1) I wanted to throw slugs out of this. What slugs work best? (it is smooth bore)

2) How do you aim a 1 bead sight? how much of the bead should you see looking down the barrel?

3) Can you attach sights? It doesn't have a vent rib, but I was wondering what kind of sights I could add, the firearm season opener is in 1 week so I would need it done soon.

4) I got my permit for a region that does allow buckshot so I can use that. Any recommendations for buckshot through these?

I have never shot a single bead shotgun before, but loved the idea of a break action single shot. I have shot 12 gauge pumps before but read that h&r 20g are less common so when I found one for under 180 bucks I jumped on it.

Any help would be appreciated. I have a couple of days off before the season opener so I am hoping to get this gun understood before that.
Those H&Rs are great little guns, but not necessarily the best option for what you are thinking of doing. Without a rib, they aren't easy to add sights to. You can get a clamp-on fiber optic front (like the one from Hi-Viz that includes extra Light Pipes), but you'd have to drill & tap the barrel for a rear sight, or maybe use the ******* method of Locktite/JB Weld to add something - I read about someone installing a simple washer or nut as a temporary rear 'peep sight' on guns like this. You could see if someone could install an optics base, but again, you'd have to have the barrel d&t'd for that.
I've been thinking lately that maybe one could take one of those Hi-Viz sights, remove the element, leaving a small circular opening, position it back far enough on a barrel, and use it as a rear sight of sorts... :idea: :?: Dunno if it would work, but it's a thought...

You might be able to find a spare barrel out there that has either iron sights or a vent rib, but you'd likely want to have a gunsmith install it/check headspace, etc. and for the cost of said barrel & that, you could probably buy another gun entirely.

Some friends, my father and I have all shot slugs out of H&Rs over the years, and for the most part, they were all accurate enough 'up close' (sub-twenty five yards) for defense or a potential 'deer of opportunity'. I always tried to get my face as low as I could on the stock, and used the top of the front bead as an aiming point, all while keeping everything lined up, with the bead as low as possible relative to the back of the barrel/receiver...
I've also shot some buckshot out of a few, and my buddy's 20 gauge especially throws a pretty tight close range pattern (almost too tight). I used it & a load of Federal 3" #2 Buck to dispatch a large porcupine - I also used one of his Stoeger Coach Guns and Federal 2.75" #3 Buck to deal with a forty pound beaver. In both cases, one shot of each was decisive, though I gave the beaver an extra round to be safe. For varmints, 20 gauge buckshot is very capable, but I'm not sure how I'd trust most of it on deer; I don't know about where you are, but only OO Buck or bigger is legal for deer here, and I don't think there are 20 gauge factory loads in that size....

Regarding slugs, there are quite a few out there to try, but for deer, I'd probably look into the Federal and Brenneke 3" offerings first to see if they were accurate enough in whatever gun I was planning on using. There are plenty of 2.75" offerings too (including some interesting imported variants like those from DDupleks). Here is a look at what is generally available: https://www.midwayusa.com/s?targetLocat ... uge%2Bslug They carry a decent selection of buckshot as well...
We've shot a fair number of Remington Sluggers in both 12 and 20 gauge over the years, and they have seemed to shoot well at the ranges we've shot them.

The only way to know if your H&R will shoot well enough for what you'd like to do, and how far you and it will be effective, is to go out and run stuff through it. Hopefully, some of what I mentioned will be of help to you - sorry I couldn't offer more {hs#
These aren't the easiest guns to upgrade like you were talking about, but there may be an option or two out there that might work for you. You didn't state what choke your gun was, but I would assume Modified - if it is choked any tighter, you may have trouble getting slugs to shoot well, but there again, you won't know till you try.

Kind Regards,

~ SH ~

P.S. If you're curious about the DDupleks: https://www.google.com/#q=ddupleks+slugs
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't really need to upgrade. My shots will most likely be at a max of 40 to 50 yards. My biggest concerns are knowing how to aim the single bead sight. I practice where I hunt and want to get as much input as possible before the season opener (3 days), but 6 days before i can hunt. Just knowing what these guns typically shoot best would be a benefit before I go out and buy an arrange of brands to test.
 

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deerhunter8 said:
I don't really need to upgrade. My shots will most likely be at a max of 40 to 50 yards. My biggest concerns are knowing how to aim the single bead sight. I practice where I hunt and want to get as much input as possible before the season opener (3 days), but 6 days before i can hunt. Just knowing what these guns typically shoot best would be a benefit before I go out and buy an arrange of brands to test.
I gave you about as good a baseline as possible, information-wise....

It might take more work than you'd like to find a good-shooting slug for your gun - there is no gun-to-gun guarantee on how well a certain slug will perform. You haven't left yourself a ton of time to work with either; my advice is to try whatever you can get a hold of for ammo and see how they (and you) do at the ranges you are planning to shoot at.

In addition to what I mentioned trying above, plenty of guys claim the Winchester Super-X slugs tend to be accurate performers in various guns, but I haven't any experience with them. Of what we've shot, most of the 20 gauge slugs that have passed through H&Rs have been the 2.75" Remington Sluggers, and they've functioned fine & seem to have decent accuracy potential.
Regarding sight alignment, I find it easier to use/line up the clamp-on fiber optic sights vs. the stock beads on plain barrel shotguns.

Good luck with your gun & slug work... {hs#

Kind Regards,

~ SH ~
 
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