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Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

Old 12-05-2008, 02:55 PM
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Default Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

Hi guys... usually watch the crossbow section but I have a question.... I keep hearing companies talk about 200 yard performance out of their slug guns. When Remington first came out with copper solids ('92?) , I went out and bought an 11-87 rifled slug barrel. It was deadly accurate... opening morning I had a nice 8 point and doe standing out in the middle of a field, feeling real safe. The where out there for 1/2 hour and would not budge... I guessed the range at 150 yards (I shot a lot of wood chucks and knew my yardages pretty close - stepped it off at 151 long steps afterwards) I took a deep breathe and let one fly. (aimed 12" above deers back) Buck humped his back and took off... I didn't think I hit it. It ran into the woods and I followed about 5 mins later... there is was standing there with it's mouth wide open trying to catch his breath. I sat down and waited him out... after 20 minsI gave him a finishing shotas he was about to jumpinto a deep, cold creek. Upon gutting him, I found the copper solid hit him in the arm pit just behind the heart. (I consider myself a very good shot, but I must admit it wasa prettylucky shot) The pedals did not open up or break off... the slug looked brand new like it was pulled out of the shell. It went into the first lung and did notget into the2nd lung.If I wouldn't have given him that 2nd shot, who knows how long he would have lived like that? How can these slug companies tell us with confidence theserifled barrelguns and slugs are 200 yard performers? Interested in hearing your thoughts. Jeff in Ohio
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:23 PM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

Some guys will tell you they regularly are getting out there 150-200yds kills on deerand getting 1.5" @100yds groups but that has not been my experience. I could never get better than 3-4" groups, at best, from several guns and sabots . IMO SG sabots are just too thick to shed consistently, for any type of real accuracy and the velocities claims are down right lies. I cronied SSTs and win partion gold a couple years ago from a USH and a deerslayerII and the SSTs didnt do better than 1700fps ,not 2000fps. Maybe in the companies 30" test barrels, but not a 20-24" barrel. At 15$ a box of 5, there hardly econmical to practice w/ either and my shoulder agrees.

IMO a shotgun is 100-125yd max tool. For longer range hunting in rifle restricted areas I use my muzzleloader.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:21 PM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

I feel that if the bullet doesn't dispatch or perform as it should then someone might want to think twice about shooting distances of 200 yards. We don't need wounded deer running around. I personally would consider about a 125 yard shot the farthest I would take with my 20 gauge USHD. I am going to try a few other brands this spring/summer coming up to see what happens compared to what I'm using now. I might consider something a little slower in speed if it's a little more accurate than what I've used this season. We'll see.

I've heard of some bad instances of deer being shot around 200 yards and nothing good from it. I'm sure it can be done, but I feel that 200 yards fits the capability of a rifle rather than a shotgun.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:03 PM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

I've seen it done before, but I would think 200 yards is just about the max and pushing what a shotgun to do to the limits. The shotgun is probably the most versatile gun out there but everything has it's limitations and it's just not a great platform for anything really long range as of yet. Rest assured that there are ammo specialists out there working on that everyday.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:15 PM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

While I respect your extensive ballistic knowledge,practice,and setups,and I would fight to defend however anybody likes to hunt(as long as ethnical),I can't agree with you for 2 reasons on your particular style of "hunting". #1 is the fact that you are shooting-mere test of being able to hit the deer-however much you put into it,to ME,it's NOT hunting-just shooting. That don't mean you shouldn't have the right to hunt in your particular style,BUT there's too much of a chance of that deer moving slightly in that 1/2 second (rough guesstimate) or so it takes that bullet to get there. The other reason is that even tho YOU spend all year practicing,honing yopur long range skill and fine tuning setup,while it's not a question for YOU,what you're doing is exposing all the young,impressionable nimrods to extreme long range shooting and encouraging them to do same,even tho they don't invest for success like you do. Yes,you a hellova great shot,and I admire you for your commitment,NO,you don't hunt-just shoot long range. Sorry if that offends you but that's MY thoughts in a nutshell.

ORIGINAL: Ridge Runner
most will say no, but I say go for it, course I get flamed pretty often here wait till you read my post on the deer I shot today.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:18 PM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

It depends on the exactslug being usedand the person pulling the trigger. There are some slugs made today that, assuming they are accurate enough in a particular gun, will have more than enough energy and penetration at 200 yards. The problem may be getting itwhere it is suppose to go.

A few examples are......
Winchester Partition gold. A 385 grain, 45 caliberNosler partition at aprox 2000 fps.
Winchester XP3 slug. A 300 grain, 45 caliber XP3 bullet at aprox 2100 fps.
Remington new accutip slug. 385 grain polimer tipped slug at aprox 1900 fps.
Remongton core lokt ultra. 385 grain bonded bullet at aprox 1900 fps.
Hornady SST slugs. 300 grain SST bullet at aprox 2000 fps.
Federal Barnes tipped expander. A tipped Barnes bullet at aprox 1900 fps.

Allof the slugs I listed will have energy and penetration to spare at 200 yards.

However, I believe that those Barnes hollow pointslugsmight have a problem not opening up. This certainly isn't the first reportI have heard of this happening with Barnes slugs. A co-worker of mine had nearly the exact same experience as you did with the Barnesslugs.

Hewent to illinois last year on a slug hunt. He also used the Barnes slugs but from from Federal instead of Remington. He managed to take about a 3 year old 10 point. He brought back a nearly perfectly intact slug that he removed from the deer. The only thing wrong with this slug was oneside of the hollow pointwas bent inward thus making a smaller hollow point. No expansion what so ever.... in fact just the opposite. The nose of the bullet got smaller. I think that these bullets just might be a little too tough to reliably expand on animals. I think thatI would rather use a lead core slug instead of the Barnes slugs at these velocities.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:39 AM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

First to keep from further hi-jacking of the thread, I will say my personal opinion you should try to keep the slugs inside 150 yds for accuracy considerations more so than power or expansion. As deerbearhog said, Ive personally never fired a slug gun with accuracy capabilities that extended past the aforementioned range, and most probably should have been kept to 25 or 50 less than that. Just my crappy .02

On the last few posts....I think this discussion, and why Ridge seems to catch so much flak here, is the paradigm difference between when a shooter chooses to hunt and when a hunter is forced to become a shooter to accomplish his task. The level of dedication by each to their chosen tenant is obvious when you hear either one speak on the subject. I know guys who spend more time in the off season in the woods than I do in season, and their kill ratio and trophy wall reflect such. At the same time, I spend more time and ammo in 2 range sessions than they will spend in 10 yrs checking their sight in, which is the extent of their "practice" each year. And our respective shooting capabilities reflect such. One should not be so centristic or egotistical of his prefered art as to look down his nose at the anothers simply because he doesn't understand it or abide by it. They both have their place.

-Note... God help when you have a man lucky enough to have to the time to combine the two above mentioned philosophies, he will truly be a force to be reckoned with in the woods.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

i shot 2 deer with the barnes. both were at 80-100 yards. i had pass throughs with good blood. they didnt go more than 50 yards with the federal barnes. i use the 2 3/4 12 guage. the hornady sst-s grouped the same but kicked harder.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:12 AM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

.25MOA - that was probably the best explanation of the difference between the two styles of hunting I have ever heard, and I couldn't agree more! I will be the first to admit that while I like to think of myself as a pretty good deer hunter i'm just an adequate marksman. Although every year i vow to spend more time in the off season shooting it seems like there is never enough hours in the day. As a result I find myself doing the same thing I do every year, spending a day or two the week before gun season putting a box of rounds through my deer rifle to make sure everything is still zeroed and calling it good enough. I'll be the first to admit this isn't the ideal way to prepare for the season but unfortunately I think its the reality for a large percentage of hunters. On the other hand I am an avid bowhunter and hunt primarily one piece of land that my family has hunted for years. As a result I have never shot a deer in my home state of NY at more then 100 yards. Due to the terrain the idea of a 700-900 yard shot is a moot point, you never see one.

But I know there are shooters who have abilities that far exceed mine, who can hit bulls-eyes at 700 yards with the same frequency as me shooting at 100 yards. So it would seem arbitrary to say that "its only ethical/sporting to shoot deer at under 300 yards." the true measure should be the ability of the guy pulling the trigger and his equipment, and although for most people 300 yards might be the maximum for someone else it might be several times that. Where some guys might get a thrill at getting as close as possible, another might get a thrill at making a great shot from super long range. I find it more then a little narcissistic to impose personal values about what is ethical and sporting upon someone when their own personal values and ethics are just as deeply held.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:20 AM
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Default RE: Are 200 yd slug guns ethical to dispatch a deer?

Oh and to answer the original question of the thread - I think 200 yards is pushing the envelope of the majority of slug guns. A slug is ballistically disadvantaged in several ways (the large weight, not aerodynamic, relatively low velocity). Additionally, most slug guns are not specifically designed for shooting single projectiles. Instead most of them are guns built to shot small, fast targets at close range with a pattern of lead/steel. On top of that most high quality slugs are prohibitively expensive making long range sessions unpractical. Not to mention slugs are usually punishing on the shoulder which further inhibits quality practice time. But even with special purpose shotguns built from the ground up for slugs, super expensive long range slugs, and a well practiced shooter, 200 yards is still on the very fringe of the effective range IMO.
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