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Deer gun question?

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Old 11-12-2014, 09:08 AM
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Spike
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Default Deer gun question?

I have been bow hunting for a couple years and a buddy has been trying to convince me to start gun hunting. I have a Mossberg 500 12g that I really don't use. It has a smooth barrel. I do not have a rifled barrel for any of my shot guns. We cant use a rifle in Illinois. Looking for advise on a slug, choke, ect. Any help would be appreciated. I don't think Ill make it this year but maybe next. We do still have over the counter tags in my county though .
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:30 AM
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You want rifled slugs. Lots of companies make them; I'd buy a box each of several different ones and take them to the range to see how they shoot out of your gun.

Brennake says that modified or improved choke is best. Most guys say to stay away from a full choke but the truth is a rifled slug is designed to fit through anything but extra full. It does work better with modified or improved, though -- I find improved is even better than skeet or full bore. It kind of depends on the round and your individual shotgun.

I got a passive fiber optic sight to put next to the post on my Remington smooth barrel. It doesn't shine, but it does help aim a bit better. Other options include getting a barrel with rifle (iron) sights (they make them in both smooth and rifled barrel) or mounting a scope. I don't know about Mossburg, but Remington guns can get a scope mount that fits over the receiver. Use a low power scope that's designed for shotguns or black powder; the recoil will tear up a rimfire scope. (Although some people report using scopes designed for rimfire guns with great accuracy for a long time, so you can try if you want.)

Finally, range your gun. Most rifled slugs "rainbow"; mine shoots dead on at 25yds, 1" high at 50, dead on at 75, and about 1" low at 100.

I've moved to a rifled barrel and like the accuracy much better, but smoothbore is still an option.

ETA: I can shoot Remington Slugger rifled slugs for less than $1/shot, whereas my .270WSM is closer to $3/shot. So getting a box each (five to a box, so about $5 for the cheapest) isn't a bank breaker.

Last edited by Barefoot Friar; 11-12-2014 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojotex View Post
In order to stabilize the slug, it is the air passing over the slug's grooves that causes it to spin. This results in rather rapid energy loss, restricting effective killng distance on white tail sized critters to about 125 yards.
Not quite. Rifled slugs don't spin unless shot from a rifled barrel or smooth barrel with a rifled choke. They're built like shuttlecocks (badminton), with all the weight forward. That's what makes them stable in flight. The rifling on the slug was once thought to cause spin, but it's since been proven otherwise. Still, the rifling does swage down to fit through various chokes, making it possible to shoot them out of full chokes.
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:26 PM
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Just go get some rifled slugs , go shoot a little and you should be good to go out to 50 yards pretty easy. IMP cyl choke if you have one.

I killed deer for years with rifled slugs and a field barrel with nothing but a bead on the end before recently getting a nice rifled slug gun.
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:48 PM
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if it was me i would get a rifled barrel new ones go for about 160 bucks and get some good sabot slugs like remmington copper solids or similar i went thru the same issue back when we couldn't use a rifle in new york state all i had at the time was a browning a-5 smooth bore and had to use those rifled slugs which at the time sucked maybe better now but a rifled barrel and some good sabots are the ticket in my opinion. good luck !!
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:08 PM
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Arrgh ! I was wrong! Again !

Barefoot Friar was on the money. I was under the belief that the slanted rifling imparted spin as the slug flew through the air. Nope !

Bernneke's website has a nice explanation. Like Friar stated, the rifling is there so that the slug can safely pass through a wide range of normal chokes. It is the weight forward design of the slug that enhances the accuracy. I must add that out of my old spump 12 ga, 23" barrel, none of the rifed slugs I tried grouped well at all and the drop was much more than I expected. I did find an Outdoor Life You-Tube that showed a sabot out of a smooth bore ... tumbling along towards a target. Interesting.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:44 PM
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if it was me i would get a rifled barrel new ones go for about 160 bucks and get some good sabot slugs like remmington copper solids or similar i went thru the same issue back when we couldn't use a rifle in new york state all i had at the time was a browning a-5 smooth bore and had to use those rifled slugs which at the time sucked maybe better now but a rifled barrel and some good sabots are the ticket in my opinion. good luck !!
If you are going to stick with that gun then this advice is the best option. A rifled barrel and sabots are a huge improvement over a smooth bore and rifled slugs.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:37 PM
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If you really want to get involved in gun hunting go buy a Savage 220f you won't regret it.

If you just want to hunt a few deer every now and then don't worry about it those rifled slugs will work great out of a smooth bore barrel out to 50-60 yards.

Its not just as simple as going and buying a rifled barrel. They are usually quite picky on ammo and your looking at $3 every time you pull the trigger. A guy can easily spend a small fortune setting up a rifled slug gun.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:11 PM
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Thanks. spending a bunch on a barrel isn't a option this year. I spent a bunch of money on a new Hoyt this spring. The wife would kill me if spent the money on a gun now too. Plus I bought a new duck gun this fall.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by medic242 View Post
Thanks. spending a bunch on a barrel isn't a option this year. I spent a bunch of money on a new Hoyt this spring. The wife would kill me if spent the money on a gun now too. Plus I bought a new duck gun this fall.
No worries that smooth bore will do just fine, just go run some rifled slugs through it and see how far you can shoot and you will be fine.
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