View Full Version : Historical Question: Marlin 512 Slugmaster

November 27, 2012, 08:06 AM
For starters, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the information on this site. I have found thefiringline to be the best source of gun info on the web.

I am wanting to get a wood-stocked slug gun with a rifled barrel. I have been heavily looking at the Deerslayer II from Ithaca, but am reluctant to shell out $899. My search has led to interest in the Marlin 512 Slugmaster (see pic below).

I think the Marlin 512 Slugmasters are absolutely beautiful guns, but they quit making them--I think in 1999. What can you tell me about them? Were they well made? Accurate? Reliable? Why are they sold so cheaply on the used market? How is the recoil relative to other slug guns?

Any info is appreciated.


November 30, 2012, 02:07 AM
The Slugmaster was kind of the "last hurrah" for the venerable ols Mossberg bolt action shotguns. They represent an old design being revived for newly developed markets, i.e. scoped slug shotguns. Bolt action shotguns kind of disappeared in the 1980s, only to reappear in the 1990s as slug guns after Browning 12 gauge A-Bolts and Tar Heel Hunters were marketed and gained a reputation as accurate long-range game getters. I would not count on a Mossberg Slugmaster being accurate or durable, and I am not even sure if they had rifled barrels or not (I believe they were smoothbore). They were a cheap shotgun sold by a company with a reputation for cheap shotguns, and were not modified in the manner common to long-range slug guns. If you want a long-range slug gun, get a Savage 220 or a Browning A-Bolt 12-gauge.

Once upon a time, bolt action shotguns were the economy repeater, not really intended for the "yeoman's duty" of hunting all the time. When I was younger, they were sold as "goose guns", something to be carried along duck hunting just in case a goose passed within shotgun range of the blind. I do not remember dedicated goose hunters when I was young, just opportunistic hunters that would take whatever came within range and the capabilities of their firearms. A separate shotgun loaded with BB shot (instead of the #4 or #5 typically used for ducks) would take care of any opportunities.

November 30, 2012, 08:36 AM
It's TarHunt.

November 30, 2012, 01:58 PM
Bolt action shotguns are the red-headed step children of the industry. Like Rodney Dangerfield " they don't get no respect " nobody loves them , nobody wants them and thats why they sell for such reasonable prices. Which is good for the few of us who appreciate them for what they are. My first gun was a bolt action .410 . My dad's only shotgun was a bolt action 16 ga. We both still use them to this day.


November 30, 2012, 02:13 PM
Thanks for the input guys. I since have read their are some problems with feeding in these guns and that the triggers are relatively poor.

I too have heard awesome things about Savage 212 and 220 models.

I really prefer stuff with wood stocks, so I guess I need to look at wingmasters with slug barrels or a deerslayer from Ithaca.

December 1, 2012, 08:47 PM
First of all i wouldnt discount the slugmaster at all. My brother in law uses one and with hornady sst 2.75 slugs he shoots 1.5 inch groups at 100 yards. the only down fall I see is they are heavy guns. And yes they are rifled. The wood is great on his gun and he has never had a feeding issue. You can get more shells in an 870 or a 37 but thats not a huge deal buy an extra clip ;)