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mamohr686

Questions for starting out with a slug gun

17 posts in this topic

I'm originally from ND and deer hunting with a shotgun is a new concept for me. I have a 20 g 870 wingmaster collecting dust and I was wondering if it's worth it to buy a slug barrel for it. Is a 3" 20g a decent caliber for a slug gun? or is a new 12 the way to go? What kind of barrel would you suggest and what are the differences in the types of slugs? Do you guys sight in your slug gun for 100yrds?

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I am a slug hunter who used to be a rifle hunter. Slug guns are not rifles, but with the new technology available, they are much better than they used to be. If it were me, I would buy a rifled slug barrel with at least a 1 in 28 twist, preferably a 1 in 26 twist. Hard to find, but they are out there. I shoot a 12 guage, but the new high speed sabots for 20 guages are a great option. I also sight my gun at 100 yards and if you use the new generation sabots, you can reach out to 200 yards. I also use a scope. Sabots are not a cheap proposition. You will spend around $15 for a box of five. If you have to hunt in the shotgun zone, the things I have mentioned will make you a much more efficient deer hunter. One warning - they kick like a mule!

Hopefully, my slug gun will make me a very happy man tomorrow morning!

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I shoot a 12 gauge, and have no experience with a 20. But I was speaking to a farmer a couple years ago that swears by his 20 gauge. He's taken many deer with it up to 80 yards, and says his open sites are fine.

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My wife shoots a 20g Remington 870 express. Open sights at 50yds and she put 5 sabots in the target the size of a coffee can. She shoots the 2 3/4. The 3 inchers have a little more kick. I used this gun 2 years ago bear hunting and took down my bear at 30 yds. The gun is really light for when she wants to still hunt.

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I did find that hastings makes a paradox slug barrel for my wingmaster 26" barrel with the 1:26 twist, and an integrated scope mount. Does anyone else use this barrel or is there a better one made for an 870?

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Try Badger barrels. I have been very happy with the performance on mine. I no longer use my Hastings barrel. I think the other name is American Barrel Co. Cabelas might also carry them. I talked to the guy at Bardger and I learned more about sabots in my discussion with him than I had in my whole life.

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I don't know why JDM quit using his Hastings barrel. I have one for my beretta and know of others who have them, they are extremely accurate. I don't know much about Badger but have looked into them. I have heard, (and could be wrong), that it takes awhile to get one from Badger, but I would think that they would have an 870 barrel in 20 gauge. Definitely go rifled.

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My Hastings wouldn't group with the new generation sabots. I had my Badger barrel in under two weeks. I am probably more picky than most on what I consider an acceptable group for a shot gun.

By the way - dead 8 pointer Saturday afternoon at 150 yards. Federal Barnes Expander Tip 2 3/4 inch, 3/4 ounce sabot. It hit right where I aimed and the deer never took another step.

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Someone was telling me that you can't legally have a magnified scope such as a 3-9X variable power scope on a shotgun in the shotgun only zones? I know this is true of muzzle loaders during the muzzle loader only season. I coudn't find anything restrictive on optics on a shotgun in the regs.

JDM- I demand pics of the 8pt!

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You can legally put a scope on a shotgun and hunt deer with it in MN and WI.

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yep walleye Guy is right.

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Sorry, no pics. It was a small 8, not a big one. It will taste good though...

Scopes are OK on shotguns. I use them and they are a in my opinion, are a real asset. With the new 1900 FPS sabot slugs, a shot gun's performance can be compared to some rifles, particularily a 30-30. I can only speak for myself, but I need a scope to get the most performance out of my weapon.

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I hunt with a 12 gauge, rifled barrel using Sabot slugs. Great combo. I put a scope on last year and have had mixed results. For three years in a row I only had long shots at deer and I was not comfortable taking them with peep sights even though I had the range to get there with minimal drop. So I put the scope on and get it sighted in. Last year the first year I had it on murphy's law got me Buck walked by at 20 feet... This year however the scope hindered my efforts. At first light I had a nice buck run past and down into a little ravine next to my stand. I could see him but could not pick him up in my scope... He trotted off before the sun got any higher. Another thing to think about is your mount, on a 20 gauge maybe it isn't as big of a deal but as someone mentioned slugs kick hard and can mess up your scope/mount. Make sure you put one on that is designed to take some abuse.

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I use a Reminton 1100 semi-auto with a Remington barrel and a Simmions scope. Its worked good for me and even after breaking it down every year, it comes back to gather and is pretty on target right away.

I use a Winchester, rifled slug/hollow point, 1 oz slug, 12 gauge and 1600 FPS. I get the best pattern at 75 yards with this round. More so than Fedral (with this set up and gun).

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I started out looking for a rifled barrel for an 870, but quickly settled on buying a dedicated rifled slug gun instead.

Just browsing gun broker.com, you can buy a slug barrel for an 870, for somewhere between 125 and 225, depending on condition, and whether or not its a cantilevered model.

I bought my Marlin 512P slug master for $239.00. The SlugMaster is a 3 shot bolt action slug rifle and is very accurate. It comes with Weaver rings, and all you need is a scope and a sling to make a complete dedicated slug rifle.

Also, you can mount a bipod on the Slugmaster, which is a big positive for me the way I hunt.

I'd at least take a look at them.

Theres one on the auction site right now, for $160.00.

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I personally use a Stoeger M2000 with a cantilever rifled barrel. I use a 1.5X4.5X shotgun scope that's permanently mounted on the barrel, so when I remove the barrel to hunt birds, then put it back in the fall, I'm still zeroed-in (I still test it at the range every year).

I hunted for about 12 years switching between smoothbore and rifled barrel with rifle-sights (with sabots) combinations over the years, and I'll never go back.

The scope not only allows you to be more accurate at distant yardages, for me, it automatically draws my aiming point on the deer exactly behind the shoulder. I don't know what it is, but esp. the reticles with a diamond or circle in the middle; the aiming part just seems to do itself. The downside is low-light conditions and/or running deer through brush.

For deer in brush with a scope, I feel you have to adopt a new way of aiming at these deer. Instead of trying to follow them and pull the trigger when there are no obstructions, I think you need to train your aim on the opening the deer's about to run through, then pull trigger just before vitals are squared in the crosshairs. Esp. with magnification, those small sticks and brush will blur out, causing you to think you've got an open shot when you don't.

For low-light, I crank down the power of my scope as low as it goes to aid in finding the deer in the scope. This is where a variable power really shines. I'm constantly monitoring where I'm dialed-at when in the stand. I usually stay around 2.5X, but can easily "zoom-in" for deer far away. At the same time, if a deer gets in on me quickly, I usually have no problem finding it in the scope at 2.5X.

On a side note, if I know I'll be doing a drive or will likely be shooting at running deer, I'll use the field barrel with your avg. rifled slug. Having that extra field of view is valuable in such situations.

Joel

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If you can, spending more money on quality glass will help to alleviate the low light problem. I do not have that issue with my Leupold VX II. It actually improves what I can see in low light. Another tip is to learn to shoot a scope with both eyes open. It really helps in all situations including running deer.

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