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Old November 24, 2009, 06:08 PM   #1
smith357
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Ohio Deer Gun - Smooth vs Rifled

In Ohio we can only hunt deer with a shotgun or handgun, no centerfire rifles allowed for deer. I'm in the market for an inexpensive dedicated deer gun, and had some questions about smooth vs rifled barrels. Since the dense woods here in southern Ohio will rarely let me take more than a 75 yard shot, and most will be under 50 yards, is it worth the extra costs involved to go with a rifled barrel?

I was thinking about either picking up an old bolt action goose gun on the cheap and cutting the barrel down to 22 inches and mounting some sights or getting a break open with a rifled barrel. I'm trying to keep total cost as low as possible. Part of me would really enjoy building the custom gun over buying one out of the box, and the old bolt action guns are often under $100

So, I guess my question is for shots under 100 yards do the rifled barrels give significantly better accuracy at shorter ranges?
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Old November 24, 2009, 06:28 PM   #2
Doyle
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If I am not mistaken, you are also allowed to use a muzzleloader. Between Shotgun (rifled or smooth), handgun ammo, or ML, I'd take the muzzleloader hands down. If limited to shotgun or handgun ammo, I'd pick up a lever action .44 mag and use Hornady LeverEvolution ammo.

As to your technical question, yes rifled barrels tend to give better accuracy than smooth barrels.
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Old November 24, 2009, 06:48 PM   #3
smith357
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Muzzle loading season is very short, only 4 days, shotgun season is three weeks. Again no centerfire rifles are permitted, so the lever action rifle is a no no.
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Old November 24, 2009, 07:55 PM   #4
Doyle
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Didn't they recently change the law to allow straight-walled handgun calibers in a rifle (or am I thinking about Illinois)?
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Old November 24, 2009, 07:57 PM   #5
buymore
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shotgun in Ohio is Nov 30- Dec 6 (7 days), the Dec 19 + Dec 20 (2 days)

Not sure where the three weeks is coming from. I've lived here all my life and hunt deer every year. I've never seen a 3 week deer gun season.

I own both smoothbores and rifled barrels. I have an Encore with a rifled slug barrel for stand hunting and I have a couple of Remington Semi auto smooth bores for driving and heavy cover hunting. I really like the smoothbore semi's for two reasons......reduced recoil and cheap slugs! I know lots of guys that shoot rifled slugs in their rifled barrels with no ill effects. My ten yr old shoots rifled slugs in his 20 g. Mossberg 500 rifled barrel and they group ok and don't even lead up the barrel.

Do you have a Dicks Sports store? they usually have those Mossberg combos on sale at this time of the year with a 28: VR field barrel ported and with three chokes tubes + a rifled ported cantilever barrel with a 2.5 power scope for around $270 with a $20 or 425 rebate. they have them in 12 g and 20 g. Then you have a field gun too. Good luck......it starts next monday!

Doyle:

No centerfire rifles at all yet.....hoping we get pistol caliber rifles soon! they changed the wording for handguns from just "straight walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger" to read: "These handguns must (a) have a barrel length of not less than 5 inches, (b)use straight-walled cartridges (no shoulder/neck: straight tapered wall is acceptible) and (c) be .357 caliber or larger." that took care of making my Encore pistol barrel in .45-70 legal since the wall is slightly tapered but straight. I'm not sure if there are any other straight walls that are tapered? .45-70 is a fairly stout handgun, but scoped 2-6x 32 and using Lever-Evolutions makes it a very long range pistol!!!

Last edited by buymore; November 24, 2009 at 08:06 PM.
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Old November 24, 2009, 08:49 PM   #6
smith357
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Your right buymore, I think my head was thinking it was from Nov 30 to Dec 20 I know its only a week, maybe I was just typing my hopes and desires rather than facts. I hate it when my brain fails to engage.

As stated before I'm trying to do this as cheap as possible, I'm married with children in a low paying job and don't have a lot of extra money to buy a new gun, what ever I get will be used and total cost including scope mounts or sights will be under $200, that's all I have so it's going to have to do.

I do have a few .357s but I'm not going to bugger up a collectible S&W Pre-27 or nickel M19 with a scope.
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Old November 24, 2009, 08:55 PM   #7
jheitertusa
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Doyle may have been thinking about Indiana, they started allowing pistol caliber rifles (of certain calibers) here a couple years ago.

Anyways, if none of your shots will be over 75 yards, a smoothbore with an improved cylinder choke and rifle sights will be fine. Try some different slugs like the Remington Sluggers and the Brenneke KO's and find one your gun likes. Then you also have a HD shotgun that can fire buckshot.

The sabot rounds are expensive, and at ranges of 75 yards or less, I prefer the simplicity and versatility of a smoothbore and plain cheap slugs.

You can shoot plain lead Foster style slugs out of a rifled barrel. I used to do it often, but expect some extra cleaning time. Also, if you buy the rifled barrel, I bet you end up spending the money on the top-of-the-line sabot slugs anyways.

Here's what I use:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/95565

After posting I saw the $200 limit. I would look for a used Mossberg or even a single-shot break action by NEF, H&R, or Rossi. The Rossi's have fiber optic rifle sights and a scope rail. So you wouldn't have to buy a scope. They can be had for $150-$175 new. I know someone who has one and it shoots fine.

Last edited by jheitertusa; November 24, 2009 at 09:31 PM. Reason: New info
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Old November 24, 2009, 10:20 PM   #8
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check gun shops and pawn shops for a Mossberg 500 with a slug bbl. You shoul find a decent used one for less than $150. I know what a budget means and the Mossy 500's fit that bill well and will work!
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Old November 24, 2009, 10:35 PM   #9
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Smith357,Where abouts are you in Southern Ohio? Also, you ARE allowed to use a muzzleloader of .38 caliber or larger during deer gun season. Page 8 in the Ohio hunting law booklet. As Doyle stated, you may want to get a m/l so you can hunt both seasons with same gun. As far as using rifled vs. smoothbore shotgun, the range you stated (usually same as mine) I`ve never seen the need for a rifled slug barrel. P.S.You ought to check with halun. He has a thread on here about an Ithaca M66 Super Single 12GA. you can probably get very reasonable. He doesn`t want it. Think he lives in Michigan.

Last edited by shortwave; November 24, 2009 at 10:44 PM.
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Old November 25, 2009, 07:24 AM   #10
smith357
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Doh!

I am such an idiot, My apologies to Doyle, Who must be starting to think I'm a bonafied loon. He had the answer in his first post and I refused to hear him. And big thanks to shortwave for making me go back a reread the laws.

After rereading the Ohio hunting laws a muzzle loader is the perfect choice. I already have most the BP gear left over from a crappy flintlock pistol. And it gives me that 100 yard reach if I need it. There was an inline stainless and plastc rifle at my local club for $100. I would prefer a traditional Hawken but I think those may be out of my price range.

There is a big show in town this weekend and I will see what I can come up with. Who knows I might get lucky.

For those who may wonder why an old gun guy does not know the deer hunting laws in his own state, I have never liked hunting on public land, too many bubba's for my taste. I just last week got permission to hunt on 5000 acres of private land near Logan Ohio after reconnecting with an old highschool friend. Hence the rush, the low budget, and the ignorance of the specific deer laws.
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Old November 25, 2009, 10:34 AM   #11
jrothWA
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Uhio M/L

Do you live around the Lodi, Ohio area? There's a shop there that might help you out. "The Log Cabin shop"

Any reasonable shotgun will suffice for Ohio, I used to live in the Cleveland area and hunted the Ohio Power area. Any current made shotgun will take extra barrels.

12ga & brennekes worked great (when the nut holding the stock was tight)!

Good Luck!
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:05 AM   #12
Doyle
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Glad you found an answer that will work for you. Too bad you don't live closer. I'd help you get started with an inline ML. I can get mine (with a scope) to shoot fist sized groups at 200+ yds.
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Old November 25, 2009, 02:20 PM   #13
buymore
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If you have any pawn shops, I'd try them for a ML also. Just try to get one with a removable breechplug and make sure you check out the bore very closely before buying. So many times they don't get cleaned and stored properly, then you end up buying a junk rifle. How far away from you is the Cabelas Store in Wheeling? They have a CVA inline for around $100 that is an awesome deal. It's what I got my son for his first ML. Working great so far! If you can buy NEW for around $100, it would have to be heck of a deal for me to buy used!
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Old November 25, 2009, 05:34 PM   #14
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Smith357, if you live in or close to the Logan area you live very close to me. I`d be glad to help you out any way I can. Since shotgun opens this Monday I doubt we can get much done before then but maybe before b/p season. Also don`t forget the two days(Dec.19,20) we get to gun hunt also. PM me if you need a hand. Also, are you talking about the gun show by Sugar Grove on rt. 33 at the flea market spot?
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Old November 25, 2009, 05:49 PM   #15
Willie Lowman
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I saw a Mossberg 500 at the Rockbridge flea market last weekend for $250. It looked pretty good.

Ohio Valley has a few good used shotguns as well. I haven't been in Down's or Jerry's to see what they have for some time.

I used to hunt with a H&R rifled 20 gauge. It shot very accurately with Federal 3" sabot slugs. Lately I use a 870 with a smooth slug barrel. It works.

I am sure there are places around Hocking county where a guy could get a 100+ yard shot but not where I hunt.
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Old November 25, 2009, 07:42 PM   #16
shortwave
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Willie, I think that was the gun show I was referring to. I said "Sugar Grove" but your right its Rock Bridge. Also if show was last week I`m reeealy screwed up.
Quote:
I am sure there are places around Hocking County where a guy could get 100+ yd. shot but not where I hunt.
Not where I hunt either.

Last edited by shortwave; November 25, 2009 at 07:48 PM.
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Old November 25, 2009, 09:55 PM   #17
Waterengineer
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Ohio is over run with deer. It needs a three day, multiple tag season.

Regarding the OP and the inexpensive gun, I use an old smooth bore Ithaca 12-gauge that has hung on the wall of the summer kitchen for four generations. It works just fine. I don't think I ever killed a deer more than 50-yards from the muzzle - I never needed to and I'm closing in on 35 years.
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Old November 26, 2009, 06:45 AM   #18
shortwave
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Quote:
Ohio is over run with deer. It needs a three day, multiple tag season.
With the rapid increase in b/p hunting in Ohio, how bout an extension on the late b/p season. Jan.9 - Jan.12 just isn`t long enough.
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Old November 26, 2009, 08:31 AM   #19
smith357
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I stopped at Dick's to check on various new pricing, New Mossbergs and Remingtons were in the 230-250 range, also the inline camo covered BP rifles were in the $250 range. There is the big Pro/C&E Show in Columbus this weekend about 8 miles from me so I will make a stop there and see what they have, but I don't hold much hope for that particular show. The Pro/C&E Shows tend to be filled with superfluous crap like t-shirts and toys. If the in town show is a bust then I'll be heading down to Lancaster to see what Charlie Barnes and Ohio Vally Trading has laying around. Then it's down to the farm with the topo map to recon the property where I'll be hunting.

As a side note Dicks had Federal 714 .22lr ammunition in stock (My Kimber shoots bug holes at 50 yards with the stuff) I just used up my last box over the summer and have been looking for over a year to replenish my stock. I picked up the last 6 bricks and should be set for another couple of years. Now at least I'll have some accurate ammo to put in the Kimber for my recon/squirrel hunting trip down to the farm.
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Old November 26, 2009, 08:46 AM   #20
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At 75-100 yards, its hard to beat the smoothbore, just more affordable all the way around. With any gun, you gotta find what ammo it likes. I have an H&R bolt action 12ga for $100 and I'm in Ohio too.
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Old November 26, 2009, 10:46 AM   #21
Willie Lowman
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Shortwave, there is a flea market there by Rockbridge just about every weekend. People sell guns all the time. If they were having a gun show there than I am the one who is out of touch because I live in Rockbridge.
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Old November 26, 2009, 10:51 AM   #22
shortwave
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Also as Willie Lowman suggested stop by Down`s Bait. If on the way to your hunting spot in Logan you pass rt.664 exit,your about two minutes from Down`s. Exit off 33, right onto 664, go maybe 1/8 mi to 1st rd. on right(can`t remember name, maybe Lake Logan Rd). Downs is up on rt. at sharp left hand curve. John(the owner) is a very staight up/knowledgable guy that runs his small business off his trustworthy reputation. May be worth your stop as he usually has many used firearms.
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Old November 26, 2009, 03:08 PM   #23
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A good used 12 guage can be had at most gun shops now..especially during these hard times when people are pawning them off for quick cash.

I would go with a good O'l regular smooth bore..plenty of deer thru the years have been taken with this barrel. Also, you will be able to use 'shot' shells with the smooth bore for birds such as Turkey or pheasant when you want to go this route.
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