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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. New here and got a question. I'm going to be deer hunting in a state that requires you to use blackpowder or shotgun w/slug. My question is do I need a "slug" shotgun or can I use a new model 12 ga. auto. The reason i ask is that I will need to buy either gun, but would prefer to get a shotgun I can turkey and dove hunt with too. Any pros or cons on this subject are apreciated.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If you're going to be shooting slugs from a smoothbore shotgun, you'll need to use Foster or Brenneke style rifled slugs with a choke constriction less than Modified (IC is a good choice), good to a max of about 100yds. If you have a fully rifled barrel, you can use sabot type slugs to very good effect and add 50yds+ to your max range. A crossbreed arrangement is a sabot slug w/ smoothbore & a rifled choke tube, max range somewhere in between. As always, pattern your particular gun/ammo/choke arrangement in advance to see how it works for you.
 

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I would be looking at the combo packages that come with 2 barrels (slug and shot shell) or if you buy a used gun make sure you can get accessory barrels for it. The other route you could take is to buy a scope mount and use your shot barrel with IC choke tube. There's too many options for a short reply, but I've seen new synthetic stock 1100s sell for a little over $400 and you can get about any add-on you want for them.
 

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Or you can do like I did with my 20gauge win. 1300. Just use a cylinder or an improved cylinder choke with rifled slugs and look in your bass-pro or Cabelas catalog and order you a Tru-glo or a Hi-viz open sight that hooks to the vent rib or your shotgun. It allows windage and elevation adjustments for sighting in slugs.

The truglo sight is better in my opinion, just be sure to get the one with windage and elevation adjustments.

Hi-Viz Turkey/Slug sight ($24.99) at cabelas part #xp222921

Tru-glo Magnum Gobble-Dot pro seris ($44.99) cabelas part #xp223314

Also, my shotgun gets 3 shots in about a 3" circle at 50 yards with Federal Classic Rifled slugs.

Just try those sights or a scope and your gun should do good out to 100 yards. Sounds like your going to Illinois where you can only use a bow or shotgun.
 

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Here is what I ended up doing. I was looking for a SxS or O/U to do mostly upland and maybe some slug. What I ended up doing was buying a Browning Gold Semi-Auto and an H&R Ultra Slug Hunter.

The 20gauge Browning has turned out to be a killer both in the field and on clays.

The 12gauge Ultra is an absolute monster for Deer. I shoot Remington and Winchester top of the line slugs @ 1900 FPS and would not hesitate to take a 150 yard shot with this gun.

Oh by the way I paid less for these two guns than I would have 1 good sxs or o/u.

http://www.hr1871.com/firearms/index.ph ... &subcat=17
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1st I'd like to say how great this site is. Kinda stumbled on it and glad I did. Looks like there's a lot of knowledgeable shotgunners here, and I can surely use all your advice.

My 1st post was quite short, hope you guys don't mind reading my full story, It's kinda long, but here goes.........

I'm from Tx, and normally stay here in the state to hunt. 2 yrs. ago I inherited 120 acres in southern Illinois. My land hasn't been farmed in 100 yrs. (been in the family for over 160 yrs!) Huge trees, 2 ponds, nice creek, very rolling hills with nice clearings here and there. 80 acres of Nat'l Forest butts up on one side, 80 acres on another side is private owned, with no farming/ranching activity, an inactive cattle farm of 180 acres on another side and 100 acres of hay pasture on the last side. Needless to say, prime deer country.

I've been up there 4 times camping for a week at a time and just freaked out at the amount, size, and quality of the deer there. I've walked and scoped out the whole property for the best place to hunt from, ( it's a creek crossing with lots of cover for me , but clean openings on either side.) Because of the cover, and abundance of overgrowth on the property, the longest shot I'll be taking is about 75 yards. Now my questions...

Illinois only allows black powder or slug shotgun for gun deer season. I'm going to go the shotgun route. But I don't own a shotgun, (we use center fire cartridges here in TX.)
Hence, I need a shotgun..But I also want to turkey and quail hunt by shotgun. If we're talking 75 yard shots or closer, do you think I need to get a rifled barrel shotgun, or can I use a standard auto shotgun? If I can use (with accuracy) a regular shotgun, can you use a full choke bore? (I've read elsewhere it's not a good Idea to use anything under a mod. choke) The reason i ask is that I don't want a mod or I.C. choke for regular shotgun shell use.

Next senerio...I get a rifled barrel gun just for deer hunting...Would a single shot shotgun be fine, or do you think there are merits to getting a pump or auto? The reason i ask is that I don't want to spend too much for a slug only gun. (I'll still need a reg. auto for the other hunts I described, so need to save the money). I've heard that a slug brings down a deer pretty much wherever you hit them, do I need the capcity of a quick reload? Or a scope for that matter. I know a friend of mine up there (my next door neighbor with the 80 acres) uses a scope, but he's got big clearings and hunts out of a stand, I'll be on the ground. He thinks I'd be well suited to have a rig like his, but, come on, ground shot..less than 75 yards..Brush close to trails...I've always found scopes tough to use in brush. And, I'n not bragging, but I'm pretty good with open sights. are slugs that unreliable on accuracy at this range to warrant a scope? or multi-shot ability?

Lastly, I think I know the answer to this question, but would like all your opinions...
I have a Winchester model 1887 pump 12 ga. passed down to me that was bought new in 1903 by my grangfather. It's in mint condition, loveingly taken care of over all these years. I know my grandpa hunted our land over his years...I thought it would be great to kill a deer with my grandad's gun on grandad's property on the guns 100th anaversary. (he's still out there, we got a family cemetery there, I'll be there some day....) My question is this, gotta use slugs, are new powders/shells too powerful for old shotguns? ( I'm thinkin' so..) But man, that would cap off a great 1st hunt for me there. I was gonna take it to a gunsmith to check it out, but would like you all's opinion.

Here's hoping you all have a safe, memoralble season coming up! I'll look forward to your advice and stories of the coming season.
Thanks Guys;
Tex.
 

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Jed,
What part of Texas? I'm in the Dallas area and would be more than happy to meet you at one of the ranges and show you the H&R and why I use it for deer (in TX). The gun was $165 and can shoot 3" groups at 150 yards. This was cheaper than me buying a barrel for my Browing Gold 20 or either of my Remingtons.

Another option is to buy whatever gun you like and then find an extended rifled choke tube. This will only extend your range out to about 80 yards but bead sighting a smooth bore of any sort with a slug is dicey past 50 yards. You'll spend a ton of time at the range trying to dial it in.

I have shot deer with both smooth and rifled bores and find that for me I'd rather have the extended range and accuracy of the rifled bore and scope.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks jlp, but I'm down in the Houston area. Is your H&R a single shot? If so, do you find it enough? ( I sure shouldn't need, or deserve a 2nd shot! ha!) Also, do you think I would need a scope at the distances I described above (75 yrds or less.)? Are the open sights on the H&R adiquate?
 

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I bought a New England Firearms 20 ga single shot from wal-mart for about $80, I got an order form from H&R's website (Harrington and Richardson makes NEF)
and mailed my gun in to be fitted with a .50cal muzzle loader barrel and forearm ($77) and a 20 gauge rifled barrel ($58)

I don't see the need for a pump or auto, just make that first shot count. I would also go with a 20gauge with a rifled barrel if you get a single shot. My 20 gauge single shot with 3" turkey shells kicks worse than my 12 gauge pump with 3" slugs. So I couldn't imagine a 12 ga single shot and slugs.

Also, I can't shoot that well with my iron sights past 75 yards, so if you want to go for 150 then you need a scope.

Here is what you should do, Get you a New England Firearms or an H&R single shot with a fully rifled barrel and iron sights or scope mount in a 20 gauge and get you some Federal Barnes Expander, winchester Patition Gold or Remington Copper Solid slugs. (buy some top of the line slugs and you will have 200 yard stopping power)

If you want a pump then Mossberg makes a good inexpensive pump with rifled barrels in 12 and 20 gauge.
 

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Jed,
I think I'm a pretty good shot with open sights. Grew up in Oregon shooting open sights on 30-30 and 30-06 and killed a lot of big game with them but for me the scope makes all of the difference in the world. I'd even prefer a red dot on a 75yard shot to iron sights. You can pick up some great deals on ebay, gunbroker and cabelas/basspro websites for scopes.

One shot is enough when you practice. I'd buy Remington Corelokt, Winchester Supreme or Lightfield Sabot Slugs for hunting then practice, practice, practice with cheaper ammo. I make it a habit to shoot at least a couple of groups from sitting, kneeling, offhand positions. I dial the gun in with my good ammo and practice with the cheaper sabot slugs. Just worry about your groupings and not where they are grouped. Just be sure you're back to zero with the hunting ammo before you hit the stand.

Another thing, I completely agree with 20gauge#1 on the gun selection. The 20gauge version of the Ultra Slug Hunter is more than enough to kill whitetails. It still has better ballistics than 30-30 or 45/70 deer rifles. My 12 gauge 10lb Ultra kicks like a pissed off mule but I've installed a Limbsaver for this season so should be better but wish everytime I'm at the range that I would have gotten the 20gauge.
 

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First... I wouldn't shoot slugs in that great old Winchester. The 1887 isn't up to modern rifled slug loads - it's not a Damascus barrel, but I've never seen an 1887 with a smokeless proof mark. If you "roll your own" with a low pressure load, it would be okay.

Now for that shotgun... If you want the ultimate in a slug gun, get a shotgun where you can get a fully rifled barrel with a cantilevered scope mount (the scope mounts on the barrel, not the reciever) and a vent-rib barrel with interchangeable choke tubes. The fully rifled barrel will shoot sabots, which perform darn near like a rifle in terms of accuracy and range - works great with a 1.5-4.5X variable scope, or a fixed 2.5X.

For an auto, the Remington 1100 or 11-87 fills the bill nicely.
 

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jedsshed:

Sounds like your down around Trail of Tears area or BoldKnob Cross.Hunting in that area is definatly great.I'm not sure why you wouldn't want a Modified or improved Cyclinder tube,they work on everything fom clays to geese and give you good patterns,but hey that's your choice.The H&R ultra slug hunter is a great gun and will give you more than enough to cleanly havest a deer.My 4x4 took at 85yards dressed out at 165lbs. so they do work.Accuracy in the brush and vines and saplings matters a great deal,slugs will deflect too, so your gun needs to be accurate.If your hunting area is where I said then you do have some pretty good hills and valleys around,and down in those hollers it's still pretty dark at legal shooting time,so I would definatly scope it.Using a single shot you will learn to become more patient and carefull with your shot.You can reload and fire fairly fast but if you place your shot right the deer will drop fairly close to where you shot it.Just because of the slugs size isn't a reason for sloppy shooting.You'll see and hear enough of that while your down there hunting. If you don't want the single shot and want a fixed choked gun,to use on other game as well,try stopping by Hicks Trading Post in Pinkneyville,they have always had a good selection on shotguns and their prices aren't to bad.Prior to getting my Ultra I used a SKB o/u 500 that would print a 2" group at 75 yards with Winchester slugs out of my Modified bore and about 3" out of the full.I had the chambers reamed out to IM and skeet and shot Brenneke slugs a few times in it.They wern't as accurate but it was a heck of a good bird gun.

Good Luck

Mac
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Once again, thanks guys. Mac, My property is about 1 1/2 miles from Garden of the God outside Karber's Ridge Il. Very hilly and lots of cover. Now about using a scope, let me explain how I'll be hunting and you guys can tell me the merits (or detriments) of a scope..

I'll be hunting all 120 acres and it will be all on the ground (no stands). Visibility on almost any section is about 75 yrds, tops. The particular spot I plan on spending most of my time is at a creek crossing. Cover, trees, and stepness of this creek allows for only a few easy crossings for even a deer. The crossing I'm hunting has a grassy field on both sides of the creek with visability of about 50-60 yrds on either side. I'll be able to sit about 12 ft. from this crossing on the creek.

Mac, my concerns about scoping are exactly as you state, low light. Is it just me? I find scopes dificult under low light. (like squirrel hunt with a scope). I'm sure not opposed to scopes ( I actually prefer them for the accuracy). I'm just not sure if ground hunting, low light, and fairly close distance shots that I'll benifit from a scope. Let me know what you guys think..

As far as my choke preference goes, I'm used to hunting geese and turkey. I've always used full chokes for those because of the usual distance I'm shooting from. I was always under the impession that mod. or i.c. chokes don't hold their pattern as well.

With the advice I've gotten here :D (and there), I'm gonna check out the interchangeable barrel guns, but I'm leaning towards getting a dedicated slug gun and an auto for everything else with interchangeable chokes. (Do they make auto's with interchangeable barrels? i.e. rifled?)

As far as Grandpa's gun goes, it stays home this trip, but i will be taking it to a reputable gunsmith to check it out for lite bird loads for future use. Once again, thanks guys for the advice.
 

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Hi Jed,

OK, here's my 2 cents. I just couldn't resist. NJ is a shotgun/muzzle loader state. We aren't restricted to slugs, we can also use buck shot.

I would stay away from rifled choke tubes. I'm not saying this from experience, just opinion. I would think that a fully rifled barrel will get the right spin on a good sabot slug.

If your shots are going to be under 100 yards, go with the rifle sights. I was a little sceptible at first but I was with a friend this past week when he sighted in his Mossberg pump. He just bought a new barrel with rifle sights and you would not believe how tight that sucker grouped at 50 yards. I'm talking bullseyes. Lightfield slugs for some reason shot way off to the right, so bad that he couldn't adjust for it. Remington copper solids shot dead on. Most importantly, get a good sample of slugs, take them to the range and pick the one that shoots out of your new gun.

Buy 2 shotguns. One for deer (slug barrel), and one for turkey, quail, whatever. If one gun goes belly up temporarily, you have a backup until it's fixed.

Get a portable tree stand for those Illinois deer! Those cold weather deer have this talent for coming from where they shouldn't. Especially after the leaves turn color and drop from the trees.

You're a lucky guy. You got a new place to hunt, with BIG deer. You're gonna buy a new gun or 2. Maybe even a portable tree stand (you should).

SWEET! :D 8)
 

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If you want an autoloader, I'd look pretty hard at a Remington 1100 or 11-87; there are smoothbore slug barrels with rifle sights, and rifled barrels with either a cantilevered scope mount or rifle sights available for both. Then, with a vent rib shot barrel with choke tubes, you've got a versatile shotgun - you're decision then is the length...I believe you can get 26", 28", or 30" barrels.

As far as the low-light problem with a 'scope, just look at one with lower magnification and a larger objective lens - both will tend to give a brighter picture. I hunt with a .44 mag carbine; not much different than sabots, and I have a Bushnell 1.5-4.5X with a 32mm objective, and it works great.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey wwb, thanks for the advice. i really didn't think of trying a low mag/wide angle scope. A lot of you guys, this may seem like a no brainer, but My rifles are set up for long range hi mag. ( Desert Big Horn, Muley,) I know they're a b*tch in low light/close target....

I'm still leaning towards a dedicated slug gun. This is the 1st, of many more trips I plan on hunting this property. Hell, I'd like to retire there some day.. Imagine...deer, turkey, rabbit, quial, dove, 2 ponds for ducks, lots of preditors too..coyote, bobcat..
Man! I just gotta convince the ol' lady! Ha! Actually, she's all for it. She told me, "As long as there's a Wal-Mart within 30 mins. I'll be happy.." ..And there is one in Harrisburg..exactly 30 mins away..I got her! ha!..
 

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jedsshed:

The 2 best simi-automatic shotguns that I have ever used were a Browning Gold Hunter and a Winchester X2 .I stongly urge you to try both of these out and compair them to all the rest.They are expensive,but well worth every penny.I would tell you to get a fully rifled barrel with a cantilever scope on it,to get the absolute best accuracy from any of them.The Winchester has tru-glow adjustable sites along with a cantilever base on it.I would suggest a Leopuld Vari X 1 2x7x33 scope in Luepold QWR rings so that you could utilize the scope and if need be remove it for the sites.It would be the best of both worlds.The scope will handle any slug you put thru your gun,and it has the best lifetime replacement of any out there.Get a extra barrel for it as well to handle all your other hunting needs.

Mac
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Jed, I grew up hunting deer in Southern Illinois a bit north of where your land is located. I have used a Winchester Model 1300 pump for several yrs now. It is a "combo" model with a vent rib barrel for upland game and a slug barrel for deer. I generally use Winchester or Federal slugs. I have a shotgun scope that I've found to be very handy, even in the relatively short ranges that you will probably be shooting from. It is a different experience than you are used to if you're used to Texas deer hunting. As I said, I grew up in So. Illinois but moved to Texas as soon as I could, I've been able to enjoy both types of deer hunting and they both have their merits. Good luck, safe hunting!
 

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Shotgun with a smoothbore barrel with and IC Choke, recomended because is non constictive ( with a rifled choke you are risking barrel damage). This alternative is good since you will have one allrounder shotgun.

The other alternative would be a Slug Gun with a 22" rifled barrel with a nice scope and a second shotgun for Turkey and Doves.

The only difference between a kid and an adult is the price of the toys.
 
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