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View Full Version : 12 vs. 20 gauge slug gun as a deer gun


Mr Kris
August 9, 2006, 01:45 PM
Hi all,

I live in a shotgun/muzzleloader only area of the country for deer hunting, and am trying to decide between a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun with a rifled barrel as a deer gun.

My first instinct is the 12 gauge simply due to the commonality and availability of ammunition and accessories, however I considered the possibility that in the field a 20 gauge would perhaps be more useful due to different ballistics and perhaps a slightly lower weight firearm.

Also, with the premium saboted rounds in either caliber, does anyone have any experience or other anecdotes regarding accuracy in 12g vs. 20g? I don't expect to be making any long range shots, however a little more accuracy can't hurt anything.

Any thoughts on 12 vs 20 for deer? Any input would be appreciated; thanks!

Dirty_Harry
August 9, 2006, 03:58 PM
I have always used a 20 gauge, dropped as well as any 12 gauge that I have ever seen. Recoils less, and you can get better follow up shots.

8milimeter
August 10, 2006, 09:39 AM
I agree with Dirty Harry, less recoil gives an edge with slug guns.
Accuracy and shot placement is what kills deer.

Mr Kris
August 10, 2006, 10:09 AM
Harry/8,

Out of curiousity, what 20 gauge guns do you use? I've been looking at TC Encore / Pro-hunter single shots, they look very nice.

8milimeter
August 10, 2006, 11:05 AM
Cheap Mossberg,

Scorch
August 10, 2006, 07:00 PM
FWIW, 20 ga slug gun will have about 1/2 the energy of a 12 ga slug. While you think about that, remember that many people are using slugs at 50-100 yds, and even a 20 ga slug with 1/2 the energy still has enough to do the job. Shoot what you think will do the job.

101guns
August 10, 2006, 09:24 PM
I use the Marlin Slugmaster, rifled-barrel and bolt action. 1.5-4 power shotgun scope with diamond recticle. I shoot the Hornady Ballistic-tip slugs in 300 grain. Knocks a hole in whatever you shoot. If you have to trail it, and I say if, there will be a pour trail (not a drop here and there)....Only downside is the recoil. That gun kills at both ends....It is 1.5 low at 150 yards.

101guns
August 10, 2006, 09:25 PM
Oops....12 gauge, if you didn't guess.

Mr Kris
August 11, 2006, 09:29 AM
Glad you mentioned the Hornady slugs; I came across them the other day and was curious if anyone had experience with them. Thanks for the input all!

Dirty_Harry
August 11, 2006, 04:08 PM
I use a Remington 870, with a fully rifled barrel. I will not use anything but a Remington shotgun. Oh....and my old marlin single shot.:D

It is a very nice gun though, accurate, completely reliable, and cool looking. I have a nice TRUGLO red dot on it. I would give you a pic if my buddy would give it back.

davlandrum
August 13, 2006, 11:25 AM
For the brief time (3 years) I was forced to use a shotgun due to regs, I just used my nasty, beat-up mossberg 12 ga. pump, but did buy a rifled barrel for it. If I was forced to purchase one for the long haul, I would seriously look at a 12 ga semi with a good recoil pad. 12 ga slugs in pumps are just to much fun on the shooter sighting in. Or if I was limiting myself to a pump, then I would seriously consider a 20 ga.

whiskey
August 13, 2006, 03:50 PM
I bought a Mossberg 500 pump, the camo turkey special at walmart and then bought a slug barrel to fit it. Now I have two specialty shotguns for less than 400 bucks. You can buy the combo guns at Wally World for less than 300.00 is wood/blue.

azzhandler
August 14, 2006, 05:18 PM
i use either a browning a-bolt with hornady sst slugs or a browning auto-5 with a hastings barrel and the sst slugs both have 2x8 power scopes if your shooting at longer ranges the sst slugs are the cats a** for closer range shots i perfer a good foster slug in either a 12 or a 20 makes no difference the deer wont beable too tell

USNairman
August 15, 2006, 06:54 AM
I use a Rem 870 12ga magnum and shoot Winchester platinum slugs. It is drilled and tapped and has a 1-4x32 banner scope on it. It is a great deer gun and has killed some bruisers. I will never give it up since dad bought it for me years ago. I wish dad had bought me a 20ga though because the 20 will still do everything the 12 will do but be a little easier on the shoulder.
In the heat of the moment of shooting a deer you can't tell if your shooting a BB gun or a 12ga mag but when your sighting it in, you feel like your shooting a canon.

USNairman
August 15, 2006, 06:56 AM
OH! I would also like to give the Horandy slugs a try. Would be interested in hearing more about them.

bigbucks2006
August 17, 2006, 12:34 AM
We used to hunt a shotgun only zone in upstate ny, that they just switched to allow rifles. In the past, the only gun's you would see were 12 gauge semi autos with a bead sight. In close quarters,(shotgun range) a scope will only slow u down. plus due to the bullet size, the shock of a 12 gauge slug hitting a deer will generally drop it no matter where u hit him, at least temporarily.

USNairman
August 17, 2006, 10:23 AM
posted by bigbucks2006:
Shot placement not a factor with a 12 gauge under 50 yards
We used to hunt a shotgun only zone in upstate ny, that they just switched to allow rifles. In the past, the only gun's you would see were 12 gauge semi autos with a bead sight. In close quarters,(shotgun range) a scope will only slow u down. plus due to the bullet size, the shock of a 12 gauge slug hitting a deer will generally drop it no matter where u hit him, at least temporarily.



I disagree!!! Shot placement is ALWAYS a factor when hunting. There is no need in making an animal suffer any more than it needs too.

jroth
August 18, 2006, 09:46 PM
decide if you are using the rifled barrel or the smoothbore.
The rifled barrels will allow use of the sabotted rounds THAT appear to give a reasonable increase in range and accuracy.
Smoothbore will require the use of the Brenneke and foster style slug that can get to 100 yds and give good accuracy.
HOWEVER, the key for both if PRACTICE and that means starting NOW, not the week prior the opener.
I have used both 12 and 20, I prefer the 12 using the BRenneke as I am a Middle age man, when older I will switch to the 20 for less recoil.
I use Win97, Moss500 * IthacaM37 with an Weaver 1.5x scope.