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Old December 20, 2009, 09:23 AM   #1
kx592
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Slug Gun Advice

Next year I'm going to finally get my hunting license. I currently have an 870 field gun and want to keep my guns separated so I'm on the market to get a deer gun, either 20/12 gauge. I see a lot of guys using 20gauge slugs on deer and it seems like a good move over the 12gauge. Now my options are either a single shot or get another 870 with slug barrel and scope. I don't know any brands that make single shots but I like the idea of the single shot and think it would be more fun. What would you guys recommend? What gauge is more practical for deer?
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:25 AM   #2
N.H. Yankee
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I use a 20ga, with modern sabot's it duplicates most 50cal muzzle loader loads. I love it when people say the 20ga isn't enough but rave about how their 50cal drops them like a ton of bricks. I like a semi or pump, because if for any reason you need a quick follow-up its there. I hate the thought of a deer getting away wounded. While we all want the perfect shot with the perfect results, no matter how well we shoot it doesn't always happen that way.

I also prefer a gun that has a rifled barrel with cantilever scope mounts. This way I can change out barrels without loss of zero. I also feel this mounting system is the most stable.
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:37 AM   #3
zippy13
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N. H. Yankee offers a wise opinion.

I'm not sure what you mean by, "I currently have an 870 field gun and want to keep my guns separated so I'm on the market to get a deer gun, either 20/12 gauge." Separated from what?

The logical path for you would seem to be simply getting a slug barrel and scope for your existing 870. Keep your eyes open, there are often good prices on package deals.
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:38 AM   #4
Lee Lapin
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Swapping barrels on an 870 is no big deal. Thousands of people do it pretty regularly with no ill effects. Why not just get a slug barrel you like, to fit the gun you already have? Unless you just want a new/different gun in a different gauge, that is...

lpl (own more than one 870? me? 8^)
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Old December 20, 2009, 01:15 PM   #5
kx592
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I would like to get another gun so I can just grab it and go. I like having a gun for each purpose is what I meant by separate. I also plan on getting the rifled barrel for sabots. Question is 20 or 12 gauge and what brand.
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Old December 20, 2009, 08:10 PM   #6
jchesser
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kx i had a new england fire arms single shot with iron sights and a rifled barrel. it was inexpensive and a good shooter. it wasnt drilled and tapped for a scope mount, but thats a easy fix. im also a fan of 12 gauge over 20 but only because bigger is better lol
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Old December 20, 2009, 08:26 PM   #7
troy_mclure
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ive killed tons of deer with my mossy 500 12ga. started with the smooth bore slugger barrel, then went with a rifled barrel. never needed a scope for shotguns.

the 12ga has a bit more effective range than the 20ga.

i started deer hunting with a new england single shot 20ga smooth bore. it too killed many deer.

i would go 12 just for the much wider variety of shells and slugs.

either is plenty for deer.
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Old December 20, 2009, 10:32 PM   #8
JackSparrow
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you could just use rifled slugs in your 870. No changing of barrels, no buying a new gun, no hassle.

12ga is great for deer, but so is 20ga. I'm a fan of 12ga, but that's because it's what I've always used. A 20ga will still kill a deer
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Old December 21, 2009, 11:36 AM   #9
kx592
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Well I guess Ill just go with the 12..Ive put rifled slugs through my smooth bore but i dont like the grouping even at 50yards. How much would an 870 with the rifled barrel be roughly? Whats the best barrel length for slugs?
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Old December 21, 2009, 12:43 PM   #10
JackSparrow
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short barrels are best for slugs. 18-20" is best. After that point, the slug has reached it's maximum speed, and now it's just slowing down in the barrel due to friction.

An 870 with a rifled barrel shouldn't be more than like $400. My brother-in-law picked up an 870 with both barrels for just over $400 if I remember right.

here's a pretty good article on slugs and slug guns:
http://www.gameandfishmag.com/huntin.../gf_aa106503a/
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