View Full Version : When is the Shotgun useless?

February 21, 2008, 12:27 PM
At what size of game does hunting with a 12 gauge shotgun with slugs becomes useless? Specificaly here in north america, but also for the rest of the world? Assume shots are fired less than 25 yards away from game.

Shotgun vs grizzly, polar bear, crocodiles, elk, moose, lion, tigers, elephants, waterbuffalo, hipppos, horny silverback gorrilas, and last but not least the Yeti.

February 21, 2008, 12:41 PM
Shotgun vs grizzly, polar bear, crocodiles, elk, moose, lion, tigers, elephants, waterbuffalo, hipppos, horny silverback gorrilas, and last but not least the Yeti.

At close range it would probably work well on all except the elephant,hippo and if by waterbuffalo you mean the 'cape buffalo'. It will also take out any Abominable Snowman I've ever seen.

Then again...

February 21, 2008, 12:53 PM
So even the dreaded "horny silver back gorilla" would be no match for a 12 gauge slug at less than 25 yards.

Head shot, neck shot or heart shot. What would be the safest to go for?

February 21, 2008, 01:00 PM
Head shot, neck shot or heart shot. What would be the safest to go for?

I'd pump some in the center of its chest and if it got close the head.

Art Eatman
February 21, 2008, 01:18 PM
The medical folks say that primates and people die faster from heart shots than do most other animals.

February 21, 2008, 01:25 PM
So all the game I listed above would be ethical to kill with a shotgun, except the elephant and hippo?

Do you think you could drop the polar bear or yeti with the shotgun before they ripped you to pieces?

February 21, 2008, 01:44 PM
I am not sure about ethical - I think the Yeti is an endangered species.:p

25 yds from any of those would not be my idea of a really fun time...especially if they were intent on turning you into compost

February 21, 2008, 02:42 PM
In Africa, natives and settlers used Paradox guns (12 gauge with rifled barrels) to shoot everything and anything for many years. Probably one reason why there weren't very many second-time elephant hunters among the natives.

Be careful of the Yeti, I have heard they carry throwing stars to use against hunters armed with shotguns. And I won't even go into what the silverback gorillas use . . .

February 21, 2008, 03:07 PM
Going stricly by perceptions, I would think a 12g slug from a 3 inch mag going through a long enough barrel would compare fairly favorably with some big/dangerous game rifle rounds at shorter ranges. Longer ranges it for sure the rifles hands down.

But then, perceptions aren't saying much and I wouldn't bet my life on it. I do know the 12g slugs are pretty mean though.

February 21, 2008, 04:32 PM
When is the Shotgun useless?
When your out of ammo and the animal is still coming at you!:D

roy reali
February 21, 2008, 05:47 PM
When you have a BG in your home and you only have fifty rounds of slugs avalable.

February 21, 2008, 07:06 PM
I saw a show on TV the other night about the Polar Bear patrol up in Manatobia. Thier weapon of choice was the 12ga with slugs. About the only time I can think of where it would be useless is.....eh...er...uh...maybe if you are out of shells but then it would be a better club than a handgun. :)

February 21, 2008, 08:55 PM
If you're unsure about the 12 gauge you could always find a punt gun and mount it on your 4 by 4.


roy reali
February 21, 2008, 09:43 PM
That punt gun sure is impressive. But remember, there are some really tough BG's around. What if you needed a second shot?

February 21, 2008, 10:25 PM
A sabot slug in a 3 1/2 inch shell is gonna be well more than a peashooter.... Within' accepted range it will drop any the above plenty well... But I ain't no pro hunter. I did however stay in my bed with my bride of 19+ years and 2 dogs last night...

February 21, 2008, 11:47 PM
Of the moose I've killed one was taken with a 20 ga slug and one with a 12 ga slug one shot each .

February 23, 2008, 01:21 PM
i'd skip sabot slugs all together, you have the power of a shotgun and then throw out a low velocity smallish rifle bullet. full bore slugs all the way. also note that most all slugs w/ the exception of dixie slugs and brenekke slugs, are soft lead and are known to break up upon hitting bone. dixie slugs are the hardest available with brenekke next up at bat. i'd grab either of those two when going after the biggest animals.

roy reali
February 23, 2008, 01:35 PM
Sometimes the expertise displayed here amazes me !:eek:

February 23, 2008, 04:51 PM
I hunt with an 870, and I'm very new to the sport so I'll gladly defer to the experts here. But this is my experience with uselessness and shotguns; when I've got bird shot loaded I see deer and when I've got slugs or buckshot loaded I see birds. I guess I should think about a double-barrelled gun.

February 23, 2008, 08:03 PM
just don't get caught in NJ with buckshot/slugs and birdshot together. mainah. shotgun with slugs for deer and black bear. maybe some moose and grizzly. i wouldn't trust it for the others like the buffalo. they can get pretty mad if you only tickle them with a shot.

February 23, 2008, 10:29 PM
...And if I try to swap bird shot to whack a buck or vice versa I git busted by quarry who seconds before were flicking cigarette butts at me.. It is as if they helped load the wrong ammo while we sat together on the grassy knoll:rolleyes:
I swear it is a dern conspiracy to keep a white guy hungry!:D

February 23, 2008, 11:26 PM
Yetti? Horny Silver Backed Gorilla? Doesn't anyone recognize a Bumble when you see one? Don't you ever watch Rudolf and the Island of Misfit Toys?:D
You can't shoot Bumbles.

February 24, 2008, 02:16 AM
just don't get caught in NJ with buckshot/slugs and birdshot together.

Really? If I wanted to load up a HD/SD shotgun with a birdshot shell, followed by a buckshot shell, followed by a slug shell,...I would be breaking a NJ law?

February 24, 2008, 03:49 AM
i am sorry for not being clearer about the buckshot/slug and birdshaot together. as far as i know you can have buck, slug and bird ammo in your HD shotgun.

what i didn't type earlier i apologize for any misunderstanding and confusion, was that the NJ fish and game regs. state that you can't carry ammo like that. heres an example if i were out hunting deer and small game was or wasn't in seaon. like rabbits or squirrels i can't have buckshot and or slugs in my gun or on my person and also have even 1 round of birdshot too. you can only carry ammo specifically for what you are hunting. meaning deer buckshot #4-000 and slugs only and if you are out waterfowl hunting no larger than T size steel shot , so you don't want to get caught with even 1 lead shot shotshell. its a 20.00 fine per shell for that. also meaning that i can't carry buckshot for deer and a few rounds of steel shot if i should come across a lake that maybe has a few geese or ducks within range or not.

February 24, 2008, 03:59 AM
When you have a BG in your home and you only have fifty rounds of slugs avalable.

If your house is made out of brick or concrete, I don't think a shotgun with slugs would be anywhere near useless in that situation, assuming all safety rules about backstops were kept in mind. In fact it may be as good as it gets.

roy reali
February 24, 2008, 08:41 AM
Awhile back I was waitng for a doctors appointment. Luckily I found a relatively current hunting magazine in the waiting room. When I remember the publication I'll try to get a link to this article.

This article had to do with areas that require shotguns only for big game hunting. A bunch guys got together a did an experiment. They even had some army ballistic guys with fancy electronic gadgets. They then fired a .30-06, a 12 gauge slug, and a muzzle loader. They used their computers and tracking equipment to track how far these different projectile traveled. here are the results.

Rifle-2.5 miles

Shotgun-2.0 miles

Blackpowder-1.75 miles.

They concluded that even though the rifle bullet does travel further, the whole safety arguement isn't that valid.

February 25, 2008, 11:46 PM
The shotgun is only useless when the person who is in charge of it does not know what he or she is doing.

February 26, 2008, 01:18 AM
A shotgun, like any firearm, is nearly useless when it is empty. Nearly useless as it may still be used for horizontal and vertical butt strokes or as a club. It is completely useless when destroyed. A shotgun that is poorly cared for an inoperable due to rust or damage might also be considered useless.