View Full Version : Shotgun sufficient, or do I need a rifle?

January 6, 2001, 11:17 AM
I need to get a gun before the next hunting season, my friends want to take me to Oregon and do some Deer hunting. I was going to get a 20 gauge shotgun because I've always wanted shotguns...

My question is, is a 20 gauge shotgun shooting slugs sufficient for taking down a deer, or do I really have to get a say .308 or 30-06 rifle to get the job done?

The wallet is very thin after xmas damage, and so I'm trying to scrape by with what will suffice...



January 6, 2001, 01:59 PM
A 20 gauge shotgun with slugs is sufficient providing the ranges are kept short. The maximum range I feel comfortable using slugs is around 75 yards although some shooters feel 100 yards is reasonable. I hunt with a 12 gauge and only use the shotgun because it is mandated by law. If you are shooting in a shotgun-only area then you have no choice but given a choice I would prefer a rifle.

Dave McC
January 6, 2001, 02:59 PM
I've gotten a couple deer with a 20 and slugs and it will do the job at up to say, 100 yards,ALTHOUGH most tyro shooters aren't up to 100 yard field shots. Here in Md my average distance runs less than 50 yds. Find the distance you can keep slugs in a 3-4" circle from field shooting positions and stay within that for sure,humane kills.

Remington makes their Youth Express 20 ga with a two bbl combo, a 21" bird bbl and a 20" rifle sighted IC bbl suitable for slugs. I think it runs less than $300, and right now may be on sale.

Plenty of old threads about slug guns and hunting, a bit of research can give much input...

January 6, 2001, 04:45 PM
Albert, I'm not going to twist your arm! It already sounds like you've decided on a scatter gun (20 ga. at that). Tht will serve you well on deer up to 75 maybe 100yds.

You should ask your friends what range they usually take their deer in the area you will be hunting. Divide that distance by two (because they'll exagerate) and you will know if your 20 ga. will do the job! ;-)

You didn't say where in Oregon you will be hunting. In the rain forests, a slug gun will do the trick. If you are going to be hunting in the east, you'll need a rifle.

My recommendation would be an NEF Handi in .243, .270, .280, .308, .30-06 or the like ($225). You can have the trigger worked on and add a shotgun barrel for $35.00 + S&H. Throw on a cheap red dot (6MOA dot or less) and you'll have one heck of a hunting machine!

Regards! DaMan

January 7, 2001, 12:23 AM
Actually, gonna get a Browning BPS 20 gauge. Should I get a 26" or a 28"?

Yeah, I wasn't really as concerned about the stopping power as about the range...

Too bad the Browning BPR 30-06 is so expensive...

Thanks guys.

Art Eatman
January 7, 2001, 01:01 AM
Barrel length is a function of the type of bird hunting you'll do. The shorter barrels will give you a faster swing. Quail and particularly woodcock, for instance. The longer barrels will give a bit smoother, more deliberate swing for dove, and might serve you better if you shoot an occasional round of skeet--although I'm no expert on skeet.

To a certain extent, since it's not life/death critical, I'd venture to say you might just go with what feels best as to balance and handling.

Anyway, the length of pull and general fit of the buttstock is far more important.

If the fit is right, you can mount the gun to your shoulder with your eyes closed. When you open your eyes, your master eye should be looking right down the rib, and be just above it. If your eye-line is too high, you'll shoot high.

If a stock is too short, you'll shoot high. Too long, low.

Hope this helps,