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Shotgun Criteria

Old 06-28-2012, 10:59 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Shotgun Criteria

I'm new to deer hunting in general and never thought to use a shotgun to hunt deer. I own a shotgun and used it for quail hunting. I did some research and when I discovered some hunters use 20 gauge shotguns for deer hunting I became interested in trying it. My shotgun is a simple Remington 870 Express 20 gauge. Nothing fancy on it. I wanted to know what sort of ammo I should use, if i could leave the gun as is to hunt deer, and any sort of tips anyone might have for deer hunting with a shotgun.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:59 AM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
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the 20ga. is perfect for deer and deer size game, heck I even use it on black bears. Your gun is fine as is, but shotguns are very iffy on the type of ammo you use, some may work better then other, you have to try different brands. I would stick with 3" slugs (make sure your gun can handle up to 3") for better performance I would invest in a rifled/cantilever barrel with a scope in the 3-9x40 range. With this your shooting will improve plus you will reach out further then you would with your current barrel
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:07 AM
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Spike
 
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I agree. A good slug barrel will certainly help. You can get good accuracy from a smooth ore too just be sure to use a rifled slug. Rifled barrels are still best though. The 20 is a great round though and many of the new loads are better ballistics then a 12ga. If you get a rifled barrel the Hornady sabot slugs work great otherwise the Remington and brenneke rifled slugs shoot good in the smoothbore
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:49 AM
  #4  
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How far would your expected shots at deer be? If you hunt in a place that you won't shoot beyond 75 yards, a smoothbore is fine. You can get a smoothbore barrel with rifle sights and shoot rifled slugs or hybrid style slugs (like Remington Buckhammer, Brenneke KO, etc.). Or, you can get some pretty good sights that will install on your existing barrel if it has a vent rib. Either option will work just fine out to 75 yards, and the slugs are much less expensive than sabot slugs.

If you expect shots out to 100, or even 150, I'd definitely get a rifled barrel with cantilever scope mount. With a rifled barrel, you need to shoot sabot slugs to get the best accuracy. These can cost over $3 per slug but this is not really a gun to shoot for fun anyway.
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:38 PM
  #5  
Spike
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So using rifled slugs wont damage a smooth bore barrel? Im kind of short on money so I cant really invest too much in fancier optics and nice barrels but if the opportunity were to arise, what would be your preferred brand of barrel? As far as optics go I know leupold is a great brand, what are some other really good brands? The gun does have a vent rib so if I choose a different site that isnt a scope what would be a good site? I plan on shooting within 75 yards. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful advice.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:29 PM
  #6  
Giant Nontypical
 
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If you have a vent rib on your barrel all you'll need to do is go to a good sports shop and ask them to put a set of fiber optic sights on it. They clamp right on the rib just like a scope mount grips a rail on a rifle and you can adjust them for windage and elevation. You may need to try several different types of rifled slugs, but that's what you want to use in a smooth barrel as the rifling that imparts the spin on the slug is on it instead of the barrel like on a rifle or slug gun with a rifled barrel. The fiber optic sights won't set you back much money and you can take them right off when you want to wing shoot with the gun.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:28 AM
  #7  
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Rifled slugs are made specifically for use in smooth bore ... and will safely pass through any standard choke diameter up to and including Full.

As previously mentioned by others, in general the smooth bore-rifled slug combo is not as "good" a set up as a typical rifled barrel and a slug made for rifled barrels. This is because it takes a bit after the slug exits the muzzle for the "rifling" to produce the stabilizing spin and the energy lost in the friction between the air moving over the bullet's "rifling" reduces the down-range foward energy of the bullet significanly. In addition, the rather blunt shape of the bullet, plus the heaft of the bullet and the moderate muzzle velocity all combine to produce a rather dramatic arc. You can get a feel for all of this at the range.


The effective range of the rifled slug will be about 75 yards. Sure, folks have killed deer out farther with a 20 ga. smooth bore and rifled slugs .... but 75 yards is a good max limit to think about. If you could pony up for a rifled barrel, you can just about double that effective range. And inmy view, if your eyesight is good and you are competent with open sights ... say to 125-150 yards, I'd spend the $$$ on a rifled barrel and buy the scope set-up down the road. But by all means, if you decide to go the scope route, don't scrimp! Buy the best that you can afford. It'll be $$$ well spent.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:51 AM
  #8  
Nontypical Buck
 
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I see no reason not to go with a barrel of the same brand as the gun, especially if you're talking smooth bore.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:52 PM
  #9  
Spike
 
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I have killed deer up to 200+ with my 20ga 500
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:06 PM
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deer toe stated: "I have killed deer up to 200+ with my 20ga 500"


I wouldn't be bragging about doing that because you must be lobbing them in and hitting them in the head with that chunk of lead if it was actually that far, LOL! What is the ft/lbs. of energy left for that slug at 200 yards?
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