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Old 02-25-2008, 07:14 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2007
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Default new slug gun

I'm considering buying a new slug gun for deer hunting,and am interested in what you think is a good setup. For example auto,pump make,etc...
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:06 AM   #2
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Default RE: new slug gun

I have an 1100 slug gun and the auto helps a little with the recoil. But the auto is quite a bit more expensive than the 870 slug gun. both will be very acurate once you find a slug it likes... all guns having a mind of their own. Mine will cut holes at 50yrds and hold 3" or less at 150yrds. Mine is factory bought. Couple buddies went to pawn shop and bought the cheapest 870 they could find then one put rem barrel on his and other used a hastings. Both shoot really well... They came out a little cheaper but they took the time to hunt down a deal on the gun...
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:34 AM   #3
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Default RE: new slug gun

I just did a ton of research myself because I was in the process of buying one myself. I have a Browning BPS fully rifled barrel, and it is not a bad shooter, but not great. I wanted to move into a bolt action to improve my groups, especially out to 100 yards. Some of what I am going to tell you comes from first hand experience, but most of it came as a result of a seminar I attended by Dave Henderson. Dave is described in the industry as a "specialist" in slug hunting having started as a kid and has shot professionally and competitively for the remainder of his life. So, my first suggestion is to buy his book which is available on Amazon.com and is titled Shotgunning For Deer by Dave Henderson $24.95. He will explain in avery easy to read and understand format allyou need to know.

If I may paraphrase some of his points for youit would be as follows. Understand that the barrel makes a difference. While 60% of shooters today are still using smooth bore barrels, rifled barrels are becoming more popular, particularly with new slugs being developed. A smooth bore in general (and I don't mean to imply always) is going to be effective to about 60 yards. A rifled barrel may get you to 100 yards...possibly 125 yards, but at that range it takes an expert shooter and ideal conditions to be proficient. Understand that your slug will not travel like a rifle bullet because it is so much larger and heavier. In a gentle breeze of 10 mph, your slug will drift 6-8 inches at 100 yards. So you can see that getting good groups at 100 yards is difficult outdoors, which is why it is suggested to sight them in at 50 yards an 1 1/2"-2" high. Obviously choosing the correct slugs will be important too and this is Dependant upon the gun you choose. Smooth vs rifled and the rate of twist are important to understand and know what slugs work best for that setup.

Having said all that to get back to your question of what is the best type of gun, Henderson says (and I have heard this to be true most of my life also) that in general (some people will have an exception to this as always) auto loaders are the least accurate slug shooter and this is because of the gun's action. With the bolt moving at discharge, the motion affects the barrel slightly before the slug leaves the gun. Pump guns would be next best in general, but the bolt does not lock like say a bolt action and also the barrel may be subject to minute movement and vibration from the discharge at the point where the barrel slides into the receiver. Henderson recommends having the barrel pinned to the receiver whenever possible. Third, and again, in general, the bolt action has always been considered to be the most accurate, I believe mostly because the bolt is locked in a fixed position and cannot move. Everything is in a straight line and so they are generally considered to be the most accurate slug guns.

During my search for a new slug gun, I was only interested in a bolt action 12 Gage. But please take note that the 20 Gage is becoming very popular and ballistically, it has many advantages over a 12 Gage including a much reduced recoil so you might want to consider a 20 Gage. There are 3-4 slug, bolt actions to consider. At the top of the heap of guns in production is the Tar Hunt. It is the Cadillac and has a price tag to match. A new one will set you back over $2500. I did see a used one go on gunbroker.com for just over $1800 recently though. The Browning A-Bolt shotgun is considered to have been the best mass produced bolt ever built. It was only built for 3 years and because of the high price (over $700 new)and low sales, Browning discontinued production. If you can find a used one you will pay a hefty price, but have a great gun. I have seen new fully rifled versions (don't get a rifled choke tube model) go for over$2000 on the gun auction sites with used ones in good condition go for $1800. The next model is the Savage 210F. Henderson says this is one of the best shooting (in terms of groups) and it is only a fraction of the cost of the others. They are still in production but I believe Savage does not make a whole lot of them each year so you may have to look for them. I just bought a camo version of the Savage 210 myself. It was the last one the dealer had and I paid $470 for it. There is also a Marlin, but I don't think it is still in production. The Marlin 512 I have heard is a good accurate shooter and I see them frequently on the gun auctions for $350-$425.

A final note I would make would be about recoil and the trigger on a slug gun. First the recoil can be almost horrendous at timesif you're shooting a couple of boxes at the range. Last year after 12 shots out of my Browning BPS, I had a very badly bruised shoulder for 2 weeks. Adding weight and a good recoil pad can help you out there. Secondly, the triggers on these slug shotguns are the same ones used for the bird shot. There is a ton of creep and the pull is sometimes close to 8-10 pounds. Consider having a trigger job done to make the trigger crisp and a pull of maybe 5 pounds to preferably 3.5 pounds. Good luck with your search.

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:21 AM   #4
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Default RE: new slug gun

I find that for myself I like the pump. I've had auto's in the past and it might just be me, but I didn't take the time on the first shot, always rushed it, knowing I had four more shots at the pull of the trigger. With a pump or single shot I take more time on that first shot. That said, get what ever your comfortable with. I don't think anyone can say one is better than the other.
Mathews Legacey #70
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
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Default RE: new slug gun

Two schools of thought, first is this a gun to be use for slugs and with another barrel for upland game or ducks. If so what range do you need to shot slugs to? If say 125 yards a cannalevered scope mount and rifled choke berenkie slugs works great. If over 125 say 175 or so fully rifled and sabots like winchesters partition loads.

And the other is a soley dedicated slug gun. Like a bolt, single shot, or pump with a fully rifledbarrel pinned to the receiver.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:08 PM   #6
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Default RE: new slug gun

I have a few slug guns.....pumps, semis, and single shot, in both 12ga & 20ga. Out of them all I love my H&R Ultra Deluexe single shot in 20ga
Mathews Z2, Quad Ultra HD Rest, HHA OL-5519 Sight,
Carbon Express Maxima Hunters 250 Arrows, G5 Striker 100gr. Broadheads,
T/C Triumph, Leupold VX-II 3-9X40,
Savage 220f 20ga., Leupold VX-II 3-9X40, Remington Accu-Tips
Remington 1187 Super Magnum
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:21 PM   #7
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Default RE: new slug gun

A slug gun? Can you use rifle and just want to try a slug? If so id stick to a rifle, however if youre a slug only state, I think benelli 20ga.....would be awesome. think its the m1 or something.

12ga? maybe a rem 1100, or benelli would be the 2 id consider.

24" rifled barrel. though I read somewhere that slug barrels only need to be 21"
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:10 AM   #8
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Default RE: new slug gun

Thanks everyone for all the great input. I got some valuable info to think about -thanks again!
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:41 AM   #9
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Default RE: new slug gun

Hi redline,
I own and have shot the Savage 210F and make no mistake it is a good shooter with any of the Winchester Premium slugs but the thing is like hanging on to a Brahma bull when it goes off,it is brutal. I now own the Thompson Encore Pro Hunter with a 28" ss slug barrel and it shoots great plus the trigger can be adjusted to 2.5 or 3 lbs and very crisp. All the ones the fellow mentioned will do a great job but the real advantage to owning the TC Encore is you only have to buy barrels, so when talking to your significant other she will love hearing how much money you are saving only having to buy a barrel. (It did work for me for a short while)
good luck
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:30 PM   #10
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Default RE: new slug gun


My short answer is I use all of them. I usually have at least 3 shotguns with me during deer season. If I'm in my ground blind, I have a fully rifled, scoped, Ithaca Deerslayer II. It is a dedicated slug gun with great accuracy out to 150 yds. If you ever find one of these used, it is a great gun. If I'm walking or pushing a woodlot, I'm carrying an Ithaca deerslayer 12 gauge smoothbore. It is super light to carry, but the recoil is harsh.These can be found used at very reasonable prices.If people are pushing deer to me, I'm sitting with an open sight remington 1100 smoothbore 12 gauge. It is awesome at reducing the recoil and is quite accurate. The gun is just too heavy to carry around. Used remington 1100's are fairly inexpensive and you can readily buy replacement barrels including bird barrels and rifled slug barrels. If you can find a remington 1100 magnum in a 12 gauge it is even more versatile. For years I used a cheap winchester model 120 pump. Very accurate gun, but was always replacing broken parts. So, if you are hunting out of treestands or in wooded lots, any smoothbore in any configuration will do the trick, and can be bought pretty cheap. Regular shots of 80-130 yds, one really needs a rifled slug gun and preferably a scope. Remington 870's never fit me right, but are well regarded. If you've got $1200 to burn, I'd look into the new Ithaca Deerslayer II coming out of Ohio. Check out their website if you get a chance.

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