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To kick things off I have three does with my 12 ga 870 and one very small
yote with a 20ga 870 SP I got for my brother :D. Ohio is where I roam the deer
woods. How bout yall?
 

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Down here in the south we shoot a lot of deer with shotguns, but we mostly use 00 buck shot. Slugs work well, but you need the help of an open pattern when you kick that buck up out of heavy cover in a cutover, it's usually close, and fast! Hunting from a stand is another story, and slugs will work just fine. As a boy growing up we never bought slugs, they need to be shot at a target to determine point of aim, we just didn't have the money to waste on shooting paper, so we shot nothing but 00 Buck.
 

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I grew up in Western New York which was shotgun only for deer, and since then have lived and hunted in PA, Ohio and now Indiana, and for the past 40 years or so of deer hunting, outside of a few years with "borrowed" rifles in PA, have always used slugs... (and those years in PA, 90% of the time I was in cover that meant RARELY you would get a shot over 90-100yds, the slugs would have been as effective as the rifles.....)

And EVERY deer of the 30 or so I've killed except 2 I got with my flintlock rifle, I've gotten with a 12 guage slug, usually a Remington 1oz slugger.

Longest shot was for my only real "trophy," my "Hoosier Record Buck" 8 pt at 192 yds....(YEAH it was a perfect set up and I do NOT recommend shooting much over 100 with slugs, but I have been shooting my '97 riot gun with slugs since 1994 and know EXACTLY what it can do if I manage to do my part....)

I have also done a lot of experimenting over the years with "tactical" shotguns and loads, slugs, buck, bucknball, buck/birdnball, balls only as well.

Slugs do NOT work well with EVERY shotgun, even some DEDICATED to slug use...and work very well with others, even some never INTENDED to shoot slugs!

You have to try many different makes of shotguns, as well as many DIFFERENT shotguns of the same make that you like, along with many types of slugs through each one, until you find the "tube" that does it the best for you....then play with sights to make the groups shrink even more....

Yeah, along the way your shoulder will HATE you, there is NOTHING pleasant about shooting THAT many slugs FROM A BENCH;):D:p But that is the ONLY way to find your "Sweet Slug Gun....."


And when you DO find that "magic tube," NEVER sell it, trade it, or in any way let it get AWAY....;)
 

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I grew up in Western New York which was shotgun only for deer, and since then have lived and hunted in PA, Ohio and now Indiana, and for the past 40 years or so of deer hunting, outside of a few years with "borrowed" rifles in PA, have always used slugs... (and those years in PA, 90% of the time I was in cover that meant RARELY you would get a shot over 90-100yds, the slugs would have been as effective as the rifles.....)

And EVERY deer of the 30 or so I've killed except 2 I got with my flintlock rifle, I've gotten with a 12 guage slug, usually a Remington 1oz slugger.

Longest shot was for my only real "trophy," my "Hoosier Record Buck" 8 pt at 192 yds....(YEAH it was a perfect set up and I do NOT recommend shooting much over 100 with slugs, but I have been shooting my '97 riot gun with slugs since 1994 and know EXACTLY what it can do if I manage to do my part....)

I have also done a lot of experimenting over the years with "tactical" shotguns and loads, slugs, buck, bucknball, buck/birdnball, balls only as well.

Slugs do NOT work well with EVERY shotgun, even some DEDICATED to slug use...and work very well with others, even some never INTENDED to shoot slugs!

You have to try many different makes of shotguns, as well as many DIFFERENT shotguns of the same make that you like, along with many types of slugs through each one, until you find the "tube" that does it the best for you....then play with sights to make the groups shrink even more....

Yeah, along the way your shoulder will HATE you, there is NOTHING pleasant about shooting THAT many slugs FROM A BENCH;):D:p But that is the ONLY way to find your "Sweet Slug Gun....."


And when you DO find that "magic tube," NEVER sell it, trade it, or in any way let it get AWAY....;)
Well written! When I said hunting cover in cut overs, well, some of those shots are no longer than 10'! You have to walk right up to them before they will break cover, and deer are fast!
 

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My hunting spot over the past few years is a great rifle location, but before that I mostly hunted with slugs. My first deer was a running doe at about 15 feet with my Mossberg 500 and a slug. I prefer slug hunting because as polishshooter said, Northeast hunting involves a lot of thick woods, perfect terrain for tough slugs. Plus, my preferred hunting rifle an hierloom in pristine shape, so on bad days my beat up old shotgun gets always gets the call.
 

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I know y'all have got some good hunting up north. We do down here in the south to. I almost always hunt the honeysuckle thickets, and like your first deer, hunting thick cover means really close shots! The longest distance I have ever shot a deer is about 125 yards, and that with a rifle. The closest was about 10', and that with a shotgun.
 

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Not to mention, the knock down power of a slug is immense. My .30-06 always kills them, but I've never literally knocked a deer over with it, they run till they fall (the closer the better of course)! But every deer I've hit with my slug gun has literally been knocked right off of its feet. Can't beat that!
 

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Consider the size of the bullet. A 30.06 will deliver around 2500 fpe at muzzle velocities, while the run of the mill 12 ga slug will give you around 2200 fpe at muzzle velocities. The aerodynamics of the 30.06 bullet will cause it to "slip" thru the traget. If it expands it will only expand to about 1 1/2 times it's original size. I've seen slugs expand to the size of a .50 cent peice. That slug is just a big ole piece of soft lead! Impact from a slug is enormous, it gives up it's energy really fast! 30.06 bullets usually go all the way thru, wasted energy.
 

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Muzzle Velocity and energy of 1 oz slugs at somewhere around 2000 fps or so IS very impressive, but don't get TOO excited....

Energy and velocity drops QUICKLY, and at 100 it's hitting not much more than a 150 gr from a .30-30, and at 125 it's already less, much less than the -10+" drop at 100 as well.

THAT'S why I don't recommend shots over 100....even if you call the drop well, that energy is not there anywhere near it was at the muzzle.


My buck I shot at 192, I had no exit, the slug either deflected off a rib when it entered or else in the tw0 seconds or so the slug took to GET there....(no kidding, BOOM...(pause, pause, pause) THUNK) the deer turned a little towards me, but the entry hole was perpendicular to the shot, but the slug was recovered in the hip joint, virtually intact, NO expansion, and weighed 2 grains less than an unfired slugger.

The buck traveled about 150 yds or so, and was dead when I got to it, but NO blood, all damage was internal, and if he had made it all the way across the cut beanfield into the thick woods he was heading for I might have lost him.

The ONLY reaction when the slug hit was a slight grunt and then he ran away, with his tail DOWN.

YES they can make them go down at close range quickly, but for every one that dropped in his tracks like they got hit with a train I have seen as many, nowhere near as big, solidly hit with multiple slugs in the breadbasket, run off and cover a LOT of ground before recovery. The only REDEEMING value is at 100 or less you USUALLY get a BIG exit hole, and a blood trail that even a novice can track.

My first buck I ever got, a 1 and 1/2 year old spindly 5 point, I hit with one shot through the leg and destroyed the heart at about 20 feet, blood EVERYWHERE but he ran off with his leg spinning in the air, and made it about 75 yds over the ridge....when I got there he was dead and bled out, BUT he covered ground without "knockdown."

SO while slugs CAN be very impressive in performance, they can also be pretty UNIMPRESSIVE as well at times, so you STILL have to practice and make GOOD shot placement just like with any other rifle or pistol.
 

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I shoot Win PDX1 segmented slugs, but only at paper in order to train for the time I may need to use it against a fellow man.
 

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Josh, do you hunt? If so, and the range is short, give a shotgun a chance!
 

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But then again, shooting 1 oz slugs at virtually any range, while I have to figure the DROP, I have never had to figure the WIND, no matter HOW hard it was blowing, LOL.

Not like a 50 gr .224 Vmax, anyway;):D:D


But then I remember at least TWO spectacular misses caused by deflections off brush or branches, so I don't necessarily buy the "brush bucking" capability of slugs or any other round for that matter, either, they will deflect as much ( maybe MORE?) than any other bullet that touches anything in the path....
 

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I shoot Win PDX1 segmented slugs, but only at paper in order to train for the time I may need to use it against a fellow man.
HIGH dollar slugs, huh Josh?;)

I have no experience with them or any of the high dollar sabot "slugs" since 5" groups from a bench at 100 from my '97 Riot with the cheapest 2 3/4" 1 oz sluggers is more than I ever expected to shoot with slugs from ANY shotgun, but I do not think(?) I would see ANY benefit shooting them from a true smoothbore tube...

MAYBE rifled slug barrels, but I still wonder if they might not be an answer to a question nobody asked? (My '97 outshoots one of my Buddy's Remington 1100 WITH his rifled Hastings barrel, no matter WHAT slug he uses....)

I mean, are you better off spending $12-14/5 or more and MAYBE testing them enough to be comfortable, or spending $3-4/5 for standard Foster type slugs and shooting at least twice, maybe three times or more as much through your shotgun for the same price or even LESS and saving a few for the season, and be SURE what they will do for you, or more importantly, what YOU can do with THEM....

....I vote for shooting MORE at the range and shooting LESS during the season on your kills...and saving money in the process....


Which opinion I have held even BEFORE all these new high dollar Sabot or whatever slugs hit the market...

When I was a kid, and to this DAY, MANY shotguns shooters that supposedly knew anything about deer hunting with slugs advocated spending twice as much for BRENNEKE slugs...

If your tube shoots Brennekes well, God bless you....I will not argue with you.

BUT I have NEVER shot ANY shotgun since I started hunting that shot Brennekes APPRECIABLY better than Remington, Winchester, or Federal standard Foster Slugs to justify the extra expense.....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My smoothbore 12ga 870 prints one large, 5 shot
hole at 50yds approx 1-1 1/2in. At 75yrds it opens up
closer around 2 1/2-3 1/4in. In my book thats sub moa:D
My ol man has an 870 from 1993 that he got as a combo for $190 ( those
were the days ) with close to 20 deer under its belt. Right now its sporting a
Mossberg rifled barrel that loves the cheap federal sabots. I get them from
my local mejiers for $6.99 a box.
 

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polishshooter, I agree with you all the way. All they had when I was a boy was Foster type slugs, (also still called pumpkin balls here in the south, even though they are not) so that's all I've ever bought, and shot. OK, I bought a couple of boxes of the Winchester PDX1's, I haven't shot them, but they were bought to go in my home defense gun, not for hunting. I used to own a '97 myself, and like a fool, I sold it when needing some money, and I don't even remember what I spent it own! I started out with a "Long Tom", single shot 32" full choke barrel. Slugs were only good out to about 40-50 yards, but 00 Buck was good out a little further. Killed a lot of game with old gun! Traded it for the '97.
 

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Polish,

Your post got me thinking and I had plenty of time so i did some research. I hope you dont' mind:)

"Muzzle Velocity and energy of 1 oz slugs at somewhere around 2000 fps or so IS very impressive, but don't get TOO excited...."

The mV of a 12 gage 1 once slug is 1550 fps, nowhere near 2000.

"Energy and velocity drops QUICKLY, and at 100 it's hitting not much more than a 150 gr from a .30-30, and at 125 it's already less"

A 1 once slug has 926 footpounds of energy at 100 yards, and a 30-30 has 1357 footpounds at 100 yards. At the muzle, the 30-30 has 2360 and the 12 gage has 1903. A 12 gage slug never has more energy, either at the muzle or at 100 yards.

"much less than the -10+" drop at 100 as well"

A 1 once slug sighted in at 50 yards hits 4.8" low at 100.

BTW, you are probably so used to your' shotgun you did not think about it, but for fun I ran the shot you made on that grate buck and the chart show the slug droped 31 inches at 190 yards. You made a hell of a good shot! And I apreciate you always telling people not to try it and that you did it cause of you'r experiance and skill and even then you we're stretching it.
 

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HIGH dollar slugs, huh Josh?;)

I have no experience with them or any of the high dollar sabot "slugs" since 5" groups from a bench at 100 from my '97 Riot with the cheapest 2 3/4" 1 oz sluggers is more than I ever expected to shoot with slugs from ANY shotgun, but I do not think(?) I would see ANY benefit shooting them from a true smoothbore tube...

MAYBE rifled slug barrels, but I still wonder if they might not be an answer to a question nobody asked? (My '97 outshoots one of my Buddy's Remington 1100 WITH his rifled Hastings barrel, no matter WHAT slug he uses....)

I mean, are you better off spending $12-14/5 or more and MAYBE testing them enough to be comfortable, or spending $3-4/5 for standard Foster type slugs and shooting at least twice, maybe three times or more as much through your shotgun for the same price or even LESS and saving a few for the season, and be SURE what they will do for you, or more importantly, what YOU can do with THEM....

....I vote for shooting MORE at the range and shooting LESS during the season on your kills...and saving money in the process....


Which opinion I have held even BEFORE all these new high dollar Sabot or whatever slugs hit the market...

When I was a kid, and to this DAY, MANY shotguns shooters that supposedly knew anything about deer hunting with slugs advocated spending twice as much for BRENNEKE slugs...

If your tube shoots Brennekes well, God bless you....I will not argue with you.

BUT I have NEVER shot ANY shotgun since I started hunting that shot Brennekes APPRECIABLY better than Remington, Winchester, or Federal standard Foster Slugs to justify the extra expense.....
They are about a buck50 a shot. My 870 is equipped like a patrol shotgun. Ghost ring nite sites, LED flashlight, side saddle, mag tube extension, and MagPul SGA stock set. It is Minute of badguy at 50 yds with the PDX1 defenders. From the bench they'll hit exactly POA in about a 2" group. Fantastic for a 18.5" smoothbore with sloppy rifle sights.

Truth be told tho I much prefer buckshot. The flashlight I have mounted on it VIA a mount I devised myself has a beam focus and a strobe function. And as a matter of pure coincidence the focused beam centers the Ghost ring sight picture. meaning what my light touches gets stitched.. And that was a matter of pure luck, as I hadn't intended it when I mounted it. Im not a fan of laser sights, but a bright ass strobing beam of light that not only blinds and confuses the badguy, but also serves as a means of positive target ID as well as an impact reference for me is fanfreakintastic.
 

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Slugs get maligned about their total performance. But at close range, 100 yards and under they are very deadly and sometimes extremely accurate. A twelve gauge slug comes out of a hole almost 3/4" in diamater, a sixteen gauge close to 11/16", and a twenty gauge pushing 5/8". Holes this size leak a lot of body fluids/blood real fast, and cause a rapid loss of blood pressure, which makes for a quick kill. Slugs can also be very accurate from the right gun. There was, and may still be an organization called the Diana Society, they were/are a shooting organization that practices bench rest shooting/competition with slug guns. The groups from some of these guns rival many bench rest rifles.
 

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Slugs get maligned about their total performance. But at close range, 100 yards and under they are very deadly and sometimes extremely accurate. A twelve gauge slug comes out of a hole almost 3/4" in diamater, a sixteen gauge close to 11/16", and a twenty gauge pushing 5/8". Holes this size leak a lot of body fluids/blood real fast, and cause a rapid loss of blood pressure, which makes for a quick kill. Slugs can also be very accurate from the right gun. There was, and may still be an organization called the Diana Society, they were/are a shooting organization that practices bench rest shooting/competition with slug guns. The groups from some of these guns rival many bench rest rifles.
The Savage 220 Slug Gun is capable of Sub-MOA groups @ 100 yds
 
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