Mossberg 500 rifled 20ga. for deer hunting

Discussion in 'Firearms News, Reviews, and Featured Articles' started by Maritime Bob, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Maritime Bob

    Maritime Bob Well-Known Member

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    I hunt in Broome County NY. Until last year, it was a shotgun-only county, and for that reason I adopted a Mossberg 500 pump 20gauge which I had fitted with a 24" Hastings rifled-barrel and Weaver Classic V700 variable scope. The terrain is mostly heavily-wooded oak forest with light brush. Most shots are in the 55-70 yard range. I spent many hours brand-testing varying 20 gauge slugs and eventually settled on 2-3/4" Lightfield 20 gauge sabot slugs. I actually exhaustively bench-tested every major brand sabot and found I consistently achieved fractionally-variable 1" groups in the 55 -60 yard range, and nearly the same out to 70 yards. Last year, I killed a buck at 80 yards holding the crosshairs for a behind-the-eye brain shot. The slug hit right where I aimed and dropped the deer in its tracks. Upon the advice of a local gunsmith, I purchased several boxes of the same-lot slugs and expect
    many c
    onsistent seasons. I highly recommend a rifled 20 gauge for this type of hunting and of course, recommend that serious consideration be given to bench-testing every slug load to see which works best for you. I'll stick with my combination.
     
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  2. shootbrownelk

    shootbrownelk Well-Known Member

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    I used to have to hunt with shotguns & slugs way back in the prehistoric days in Wisconsin. They work OK. But now I hear they changed it to rifles in most of the state (excluding Milwaukee). If I still lived there I'd use the shotgun for bird hunting and grab my rifle ASAP. I could have shot a monster whitetail back there, he was in a small clearing at about 250 yds. There I sat with a shotgun. This was 35 years ago before rifled barrels and sabot slugs.
     
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  3. Robert Cowles

    Robert Cowles Well-Known Member

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    The Mossberg 500 in 20ga with rifled slugs is a popular "hog gun" in the dense wetlands/swamps along rivers here in Eastern North Carolina.
     
  4. Arteest

    Arteest Well-Known Member

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    Great combo. Is the 24” barrel a problem in heavy brush? I switched to .50cal ml with sabots from 12ga shoulder dislocator.
     
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  5. Maritime Bob

    Maritime Bob Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had any problems with the 24" barrel in heavy brush, I can't comment on how it would handle where you hunt, but the accuracy and knockdown potential overrides a slight loss because of an extra 3-4 inches. In excessively heavy brush I suppose a shorter barrel might be more easy to point, and I don't suppose a shorter barrel in very heavy brush would degrade accuracy or velocity very much. The Lightfield sabot delivers over 1500 ft/lbs at the muzzle - and about 900 ft/lbs at 100 yards. I just returned from a hunt in NY State - I was in pretty heavy brush and managed to drop a nice buck at 70 paces behind a screen of brush - very little or no bullet deflection. There are a lot of choices but I'll stick with mine.
     
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  6. Arteest

    Arteest Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on your hunt. I like your reasons. I don’t think the barrel would too much either.
     
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  7. shootbrownelk

    shootbrownelk Well-Known Member

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    Especially in a tree stand. That extra 4" of barrel wouldn't bother me.
     
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  8. LetMGrow

    LetMGrow Active Member

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    I used to hunt in the 'Southern Tier' of NY State which at that time was shotgun only. I used my Remington 1100 12 ga. with a Hastings LER scope. Like you I ran different brand slugs through my gun and the Litefield Saboted Slugs performed the best. I was never a fan of the LER scope set up and eventually bought a Remington rifled barrel for my 1100. Again I ran several brands of Sabot slugs through the 1100 and found the BRI slugs worked best so I bought several boxes similar to what you did. I was glad I did as shortly afterward Winchester bought out BRI.
    I haven't hunted with a shotgun for deer since we lost the lease on the farm we were hunting on in Steuben County around 2000. The farmer retired and sold the majority of the farm's real estate.
    I sold most of the Litefield and BRI slugs to friends who still hunted in the southern tier. Meanwhile I bought land behind me, next to me and across the road from me from a farmer who sold out. I don't have to travel far to have better hunting than we had down south.
     
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  9. LetMGrow

    LetMGrow Active Member

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    Please don't take my post as I'm thinking my 1100 is better than a Mossberg 500 for hunting deer. I have 2 500's and they both shoot very well even with smooth bore slug barrels and cheap pumpkin ball slugs. I'd hunt with either one at any time.
    Lynn
     
  10. morganc

    morganc New Member

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    Where I can buy the same Mossberg?
     
  11. Joe Dobrodey

    Joe Dobrodey Member

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    Shooting at the head is a bold choice, when you have the body mass to aim at.
    I have some accurate slug guns but never const head shot.