I've been invited on an Iowa deer hunt in December. Where I live I've never had a use for a slug. I have a Remington 870 pump gun that I will use. My dilemma is that I don't want to spend a ton of money for a one time hunt. I would like to know the results you slug hunters get when using a rifled choke tube. ALso, what kind of slugs are you using in a choke tube? I would like to be able to shoot at least 125 yards with enough accuracy to take a mature buck. Will the choke tube suffice or do I need to bite the bullet and invest in a new barrel? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!
Shooting a slug 125 yards with only a rifle choke will be nearly impossible under any conditions. I know of people who have done it, but doing it consistently is quite a challenge. Get yourself a rifle barrel for $200 and shoot sabot slugs with confidence. If you get within range of a big buck, you'll thank yourself.
I hunt with a smoothbore 870 shooting slugs, but I can only hit a pie plate out to about 75 yards. Fortunately that's all I need in my shotgun hunting spots, but Iowa is a bit different.
I would like to be able to shoot at least 125 yards with enough accuracy to take a mature buck
Well, I have seen people do it with a rifled choke tube with great accuacy. the problem is not the barrel, but more the sights. If you can mount a scope on the reciever, you can get away with the choke tube only. If you can't the bead usually takes up the whole side of a deer at 35 yards. And you really don't know where you are hitting.
Unless you have a barrel with rifled sights like a turkey barrel.
For once in a life hunt, I would almost loan you a 870 rifled barrel with rifled sights.
Thanks for posting this question. I have often wondered the same thing. I have never lived anywhere that required the use of shotguns for deer so I have not used them much. I do like to carry a shotgun while camping in bear country and such.
I have a Winchester Model 12 in 16g. built in 1947, so obviously, it's a smooth bore. As a teen, I practiced at 50 and 100 yards with slugs on milk jugs. I scored a doe at 75 yards. It dropped, got up and ran about 40 yards, and dropped again for good.
BTW, the barrel is full choke, and it has a bead sight.
I'm sorry that I failed to mention I will be mounting a Nikon Monarch UCC 3-9X40 on the shotgun. I have looked on ebay and gunsamerica for a used cantilever rifled barrel to no avail. I've also done some research and Lightfield suggests using Lightfield Lites in a rifled choke tube. If I can't find a used barrel for a decent price I will use the choke tube and the Lites. Thanks guys for all of the quick replies.
Since you asked for advice, I'd say go with a lower cost scope, and get a fully rifled barrel. I shoot a slug gun with a Bushnell Banner Dusk to Dawn 1.5-4.5 that cost $75. Works great.
I do think you can get by with just a tube if you want. You may have to try a few brands of sabot slugs until you get one that is accurate out to 125. I find I usually shoot my deer at less than half that range.
Do your target work with various brands at 50. Take the one that groups the best to do your final sight in, for say 75 or 100 yds, and then see how much drop you get out to your max. comfortable range.