View Full Version : Ithaca Deerslayer III

November 20, 2001, 06:12 PM
Does anyone here have experience with the Ithaca Deerslayer III shotgun? While I don't need another shotgun, this one seems intriguing. I have planned to buy a fully-rifled barrel for shooting sabot slugs. It's heavy (11 pounds), but that should help with taming the recoil. No iron sights, but I am sure that Leupold sells a suitable scope. See: http://www.ithacagun.com/news/pressroom/htm/ds3.html

Dave McC
November 21, 2001, 08:03 AM
The Ithaca's a very good shotgun, but most folks do not use 11 lb shotguns much when one has to carry the thing hither and yon. And it must be extremely muzzle heavy, good for recoil control but hard to handle fast and well simultaneously.

11 lbs without a scope is about 12 1/2 with. That's about the same as a Counter-Sniper rifle, and we don't see many of those at the check in station.

OTOH, adding a slug bbl and a decent scope, like the Leopold 1-4X,to your 870 will end up with a 8 1/2 lb pkg, enough weight to smooth the kick, and still portable.

Shaun Frame
November 21, 2001, 01:23 PM
Lunde, I just got one last week. An amazing piece of ordnance to say the least. I now have three dedicated slug guns; an 870 SP fully rifled, a Deerslayer II, and the behemoth DSIII, all scoped.

The workmanship and quality of the DSIII is in a class by itself. Hand fitted and polished internal parts, a trigger that breaks crisp, clean, and creep free at 3lbs, beautiful laminated stock with the grain completely filled and raised comb for scope use, and all metal surfaces evenly finished in black matt.

With a Leuopold VX-II 3X9 mounted in Burris Z rings the whole rig weighs 11lbs 110z. about like some of my heavy varmint rifles. The excellent balance really makes the weight seem a lot less, cuts perceived recoil in half, and it makes a very steady platform for offhand shots.

It is a specialized slug shooting machine, and as Dave says, not the best thing for still hunting, or jump shooting in places where the shots come fast and close.

I hunt in a “shotgun only” area, and most of the terrain is flat, cultivated, farmland. Relatively long shots are common. I wanted a slug gun capable of a level of accuracy that will allow me to cleanly take deer at ranges up to 200 yards using the current “high tech” sabot slugs, and after 4 years, I have finally found one that will. The DSIII.

None of the more conventional rifled slug guns I have tried over the years would consistently shoot 3 MOA at distances exceeding 100 yards.

The DSIII averaged under 2.5MOA for three-shot groups with the three different brands of slugs I’ve tried so far, 3” Lightfield Commanders, Rem. Copper solids” (both 23/4”and 3”), and Winchester “Supreme Partition Gold”.

I sighted in with the Winchester SPG’s at 150 yards. Three shot groups averaged just over 3” at this range, which works out to about 2MOA. With a 150 yard zero this slug strikes 2.1” high at 50 yards, +3” @100, -3” @175, and -7” @200. The remaining velocity and energy at 200 yards is 1,307fps, and 1,460ft/lbs. Awesome performance from a shotgun.

The extra weight does reduce recoil quite a bit, but after firing 45 rounds from the bench Saturday, I STILL felt like Rodney King. In spite of that, I still managed to hit 3 water filled gallon milk jugs at a measured 200 with my last 4 shots.

The deer are in deep Kim-Chee in my neck of the woods come next Monday!

One thing I haven’t decided about though, is when I make a kill, whether or not I’d be better off to carry the deer, and drag the gun? ;)

Good hunting fellas................................S.Frame

Dave McC
November 21, 2001, 02:55 PM
Thnaks, Shaun, a good T&E. You may want to consider wheels on that thing(G).

It does sounds like a good stand gun for longer opps, and not so good for still hunting or drives.

It's amazing how much difference a good trigger makes.

And, felt recoil should be around 243 Win levels with all that weight.

November 21, 2001, 02:59 PM
Thanks, Shaun, for the useful information!

Shaun Frame
November 21, 2001, 03:46 PM
Dave, you said:
"felt recoil should be around 243 Win levels with all that weight."

Well, not exactly. More like 3.5 .243's at once?

The recoil energy of this particular slug in a 12 lb. firearm is STILL 26.1 ft lbs and 11.8fps

In my 8lb DSII the same load generates 39.2 ft lbs/17.7 fps!

Now that will kick you right out from under your hat, AND loosen fillings!

A 7lb .243 is a mere kiss on the cheek at 7.5 ft/lbs. ;)

Dave McC
November 21, 2001, 05:16 PM
Felt recoil is felt recoil, Shaun. I meant it not literally, but as a mere caress instead of the punch associated with heavy loads in light guns.

I'll trust you on the numbers, too much figuring makes my head hurt(G)...

Hardest kicker here at the moment is Frankenstein with a 1 7/8 oz turkey nuke. Frank's about 7 lbs, and I keep my patterning tests short.

Shaun Frame
November 21, 2001, 06:32 PM
Dave, you are right of course. All things in life really ARE relative, recoil included.
When I ran those numbers, I was surprised; my impression was that the recoil of the DSIII is much less than it actually is. More a function of fit than physics, no doubt.

Figuring such things as recoil impulse ballistics makes my head hurt too, and besides, I'm not that smart. I use a software program to make up for my mental deficiencies, and when I run your turkey load through it, ZOWIE, my shoulder throbs in sympathy!

In a 7lb gun that load ought to generate 54.8ft lbs of free recoil!

Damn, no more whining from me about slug loads buddy!

Dave McC
November 21, 2001, 09:26 PM
54 lbs, huh? About that of a 9 lb 375 H&H, I believe. Thanks for the info,it's quite interesting...

November 23, 2001, 11:53 AM
Shaun, be sure to let us all know how well your first hunting experience with your new Deerslayer III went. The more details the better.

Shaun Frame
November 23, 2001, 01:24 PM
Sure thing Doc.

In case you are curious:



November 23, 2001, 06:39 PM
Nice photos! Thanks for sharing them. It looks like you have the black-laminate stock and forend.

Al Thompson
November 23, 2001, 07:06 PM
Ye Gods!

Next time a T-72 or BMP wander around the front yard, I'll know what to order!