View Full Version : Anyone scope their shotgun?

Snow Man
July 2, 2000, 01:46 PM
My 870 will be my deer "rifle" this year. I have put a x4 compact shotgun scope on it for that purose (deer killin). Tell me (us) about your experiences (good and bad) with shotguns that have been scoped.

Will it stay zeroed in after a barel change? I'll be using either my 18 1/2" smooth barel with rifled slugs or my 20" rifled barel with sabots. Will the "recoil" kill the scope? Documentation did name it as a shotgun scope. Which barel/slug combo would be "best?" Any thoughts on the matter?

Dave McC
July 2, 2000, 05:12 PM
Lots of old threads on this, but let me summarize my experiences.

First, there's no hard rule about what slug will work best with a particular bbl. A very loose rule has sabots working best with full rifling, Brenneke and Forster type slugs with smoothbores and/or choke tubes.

The only way to find out what's best for you and your shotgun is benchtesting.

My deer 870's got a peep sight. Had a 2 1/2X scope on it once. Saddle mounts that I know of will,if you're lucky, hold zero until after the first shot on game. Most will lose zero after a dozen rounds or so.A good peep sight works as well and much faster for me, and the shots I get and take are on the close side. The deer are in the thick stuff and so am I.

The cantilever mounts may be better, tho I know one guy who doesn't like them one little bit.

And, after seeing the results of sabots on the Eastern Shore in Md, they are accurate, but leave longer blood trails than the others. Brennekes and my old "Duty" slug, the Winchester 1oz Forster, leave monstrous wound channels, and short blood trails Ray Charles could follow.

Finally, any barrel change,etc, demands a zero check before the season. Some practice doesn't hurt,either.

July 2, 2000, 10:06 PM
My area is shotgun only for deer so scoped shotguns are pretty common. 4x is the absolute maximum you'll use and I prefer a lower variable 1x-4x or a fixed 2.5x, both Leupolds. I hunted one year with a Bushnell Holosite and there was nothing wrong with it but I prefer using a scope. I've put a fair number of rounds through my scoped guns and never had a failure.

Accuracy varies but in my guns I've found Brenneke slugs to be best with Remington in second place but each gun is different. I prefer smooth bore because I like 000 buckshot if I am dogging in heavy brush but use slugs if I'm on the stand. Zero is an iffy thing because the barrel is not solidly fixed to the receiver in most cases. A common remedy is to drill and tap a set screw into the receiver and barrel to anchor the barrel. This is not something I have done because I am reasonably satisfied with my gun's performance as is. (Incidentally, the most accurate slug gun I've ever seen was a Browning A-Bolt with a rifled barrel that put three Federal sabots into a cloverleaf at 100 yards.) Ballistics with a slug gun are not great. I zero for 75 yards and pass on shots over 100 and won't use buckshot for anything over 25. Once the gun is zeroed I try not to take it apart until the season is over. If I must remove the barrel, it's back to the bench to check zero. When you are shooting slugs from the bench, you try and keep the zeroing to an absolute minimum.

[This message has been edited by PJR (edited July 02, 2000).]

Snow Man
July 6, 2000, 10:34 AM
Thanks. Zero it with chosen barrel and leave that barrel alone till deer is dead. Good idea. At the top I mentioned "killing the scope." When I typed it I was also thinking about weather zeroing it would kill me! Ouch! I needs a GOOD bench rest for this job so I can finish with fewer shots.

So generally the smoothbore with rifled slugs (I have some Federals) or Brenneke might kill the deer quicker. Good idea for the deer's as well as me finding it easier.

Dave McC
July 6, 2000, 07:51 PM
I think I'm as much of a man as the next guy, but I approach benching with slugs with trepidation. Here's what I do....

First, make the gun as heavy as possible. You won't be toting it far,and the weight will help.There's a cavity under the buttstock that can be filled with shot, add a sidesaddle,etc. My HD 870 weighs about 9 1/2 lbs,and shoots softly.The weight can be removed for hunting, you never feel the kick when the adrenaline's pumping.

Next, I use a wearable recoil pad,known as the Wonderbra, and it takes a lot of sting out of the procedure.

Third, take your anti-inflammatory of choice before you shoot.

Finally, take your time and use the best form you can. Use both hands on the weapon, I bench rifles on sandbags but if you hold it in a supported position, it works to soak up some recoil.

These,and other tips others may know of, can help turn the recoil mule into a pony...