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I have single shot new england 20 gauge that has modified choke stamped on it. Can I use this to shoot a slug through it to deer hunt? If so what slug should I shoot through it? I recently picked this gun up and would like to deer hunt. Here in NW ohio a guy has to use a shotgun to deer hunt, no rifle...
 

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I have single shot new england 20 gauge that has modified choke stamped on it. Can I use this to shoot a slug through it to deer hunt? If so what slug should I shoot through it? I recently picked this gun up and would like to deer hunt. Here in NW ohio a guy has to use a shotgun to deer hunt, no rifle...
Modified choke and a good Brenneke slug is perfect. No rifling needed unless you are wanting to use the expensive sabot slugs. Get a few boxes and practice, to see which brands your gun likes and where it shoots at 50 yards and you are good to go.

60 yards with a 20 gauge and an IM choke, no rifling needed. There is no reason your gun can't do as well.
 

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Modified choke and a good Brenneke slug is perfect. No rifling needed unless you are wanting to use the expensive sabot slugs. Get a few boxes and practice, to see which brands your gun likes and where it shoots at 50 yards and you are good to go.

60 yards with a 20 gauge and an IM choke, no rifling needed. There is no reason your gun can't do as well.
I agree with Old Grump. You just have to find where the Foster Type slugs shoot to in your gun. Usually just about any shot gun is good to 50 yards or so, and I have seen them shoot good groups at 100 yards. My trusty old single barreled 12ga shot gun is good for 75 yards.
 

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When my son was 9 I took him hunting with me for squirrel, and when he showed me he could sit still and quiet I told him I would take him deer hunting with me that year IF he could keep slugs inside of a pie plate at 25 yds...

I bought him a used H&R 20 guage modified just like you have, only older before H&R became New England, and cut the stock down with a hacksaw in 2- 1" increments after drilling 1/2" holes horizontally through it, mounted a "slip on" butt pad with duct tape, so the gun fit him, and took him to the range for two weekends with Remington "Sluggers"

I remember him running into the house to show Mom his paper plate with 5 slug holes in it.:D

I built him an 8 foot stand out of 2x4s, put it up with him on a parcel of state land only we knew about and I had killed a few deer on (THEN, now it seems a HUNDRED other hunters have discovered it...)

And two days before the season started I fell off a roof of one of our stores investigating a burglary and ended up in the Hospital....

I got discharged, and hunted on crutches painted in camo just so he could hunt with me!


I had "blazed" trees around his stand with a 'hawk at 25 yds and told him he could shoot if a deer was within the marks...

He saw deer, but NOT within the marks so didn't shoot...

The next year I had permission to hunt private land, and he saw 27 deer the whole season...but NONE within the range I gave him, so no shots.

The NEXT year I put him in his stand, and hunt from mine about 200 yds away...opening day, and I hear a shot....then another, then his whistle, which I gave him to let me know to come now....

I spent a couple of hours of PRIME opening day "Magic Time" tracking his doe, which "Jumped straight up like Grandpa said they ALWAYS do if you hit them in the heart...." (I found the tracks, AND the big gouge in the mud where the slug probably went under her...she JUMPED from the MUD hitting her belly ,LOL....)

In fact, he missed first, and when reloading he dropped the slug which clattered down the steps of the stand and the deer just STOOD there, and his THIRD slug is when he "Swore he hit her!" But no blood, no trail....

The NEXT year my stand was only about 150 yds from his, and I watched the young 6 or 8 pt buck be-bopping up the fence line RIGHT towards his stand, with my front sight on him....and when he was about 20 yds away from my son the buck suddenly turns and bolts back the way he came!

I fired, it was about 100 yds...I think I grazed him because he spun around and ran RIGHT at me...5 shots over his back, he STOPS right under my stand at about 10 yds...and "CLICK"... I am empty....and he bolts away...

We BOTH learned a lesson that day...he, to COCK the darn shotgun when you FIRST see the deer a hundred yards away, NOT when he is UNDER your stand....and ME, aim at his FEET when he is running AT you when you are in a tree stand....(I have missed a LOT of deer like this btw....;))"leading" a deer running AT you is hard to do...you have to have your front sight in the GROUND in front of him!!!....

Anyway, we did not find it or a blood trail, that winter I bought him a .50 Cal CVA Frontier Carbine kit which we put together and he shot all summer and then killed his first buck the next year at 40 yds moving, when he was 13...

BUT that shotgun "grew with him," 1/2 dowel rods in the holes I had drilled in the butt allowed me to put it together in increments so it continued to fit him, and he killed a fair amount of squirrels with it too...

I still have that shotgun, put together all the way with the original buttplate on it...

His daughter is 18 months old...and I am already about to take the sections off the stock so it will fit her...in a couple of years SHE will hunt with me with that shotgun....


Long story short....YES....slugs CAN be shot through ANY shotgun barrel...

However, smoothbore barrels with choke are DESIGNED to shoot SHOT....

SOME barrels, even with extra Full choke will shoot slugs WELL....but some, even cylinder bore barrels DESIGNED for slugs will NOT....

And two IDENTICAL shotguns made one serial number apart will shoot slugs very differently....

Bottom line, ANY smoothbore shotgun barrel of any length with any choke CAN handle slugs. You have to fire many differerent types of slugs through it to find the type it likes, and if it is smoothbore, do NOT waste your money on Brennekes, or any expensive Sabots, etc. Stick with standard Foster type slugs, and try Winchesters, Remington Sluggers, or Federal "Trueballs...."

If you get a decent group, KEEP it. IF not, SELL it and try another, even of the same type!

No matter WHAT make or model, you get a smoothbore that will keep standard Foster slugs inside 4-5 " at 50 yds with just the bead on the end of the barrel, KEEP it. All you need to fiddle with is SIGHTS.

You get one that will keep them within 2" at 50, LOCK THAT ONE UP and decide now who will inherit it when you die....;)



That type of 20 guage you have has killed PLENTY of deer...jut remember...25-50 yds is optimum, but with a 20, your MAXIMUM range is about 80-90 yds....

With a 16, your MAXIMUM range is about 90-100...

With a 12, your MAXIMUM is 100-110...PERIOD.

ALL slugs any guage start with about the same muzzle velocity (fps) Even the .410 slug will do a good job on deer out to about 50-60 yds....

Slugs do NOT fly like rifle rounds, but like badminton "shuttlecocks" (Weight forward)

Range is STRICKLY dependent on the WEIGHT of the "ejecta," or the slug....which is "retained energy...."

Now YEAH I killed my monster buck at 192 yds with a 12 guage 1 oz slugger...

BUT I have been shooting my '97 for 20 years with slugs, AND I had a Williams aperture on it with a Williams ramp front on it, AND I knew it would do 5" at 100 with my slugs from a bench, AND the deer was PERFECTLY situated broadside where I could lean forward on my stand like a bench....but I STILL held about a foot over his back when I touched it off...

AGAIN, long story longer;) Shoot slugs through that shotgun all you want...it will NOT hurt the gun.

Practical accuracy is limited to how far away you are CONFIDENT you can keep 5 of 5 shots in a paper plate off hand...(the kill zone of a deer is just a LITTLE bigger than a paper plate.... about 10"x10")

If it is 25 yds like my 9 year old, so be it....keep your shots within 25 yds....but a NORMAL person offhand should be able with practice to keep ANY shotgun within 8" or so out to 50 yds....and since MOST deer (at least EAST of the Mississippi, are shot at 50 yds or less so you are SET;)
 

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And I KNOW I am stepping on toes here...but Brenneke slugs are a waste of money...you are paying for MYTH and NAME.

I have NEVER found a smoothbore shotgun that will shoot Winchester OR Remington OR Federal WELL that will do better with Brennekes....

On the other hand I have never found a smoothbore shotgun that will NOT shoot standard Foster slugs well that will shoot Brennekes very much better...

Brennekes LOOK cool outside of the shell...AND since they cost so much MORE they must be BETTER, RIGHT????

They are no better than any cheaper Foster type slugs. PERIOD.

Forget the "fins" on ANY "rifled slug." They are NOT meant to spin the slug. They are meant to CRUSH through tight chokes so they don't hurt the barrel.

Slugs sometimes slowly rotate LEFT, sometimes right, sometimes rotate NOT AT ALL...there are high speed PICTURES to prove it...

Slugs from smoothbores fly straight just like a badminton birdie...hollow base-weight FORWARD....PERIOD.

In fact, a lot of guys who really have NOT spent much time shooting slugs from a bench, (it HURTS!) use Brennekes only because they think they are BUYING the accuracy they really needed to PRACTICE for...

And to PRACTICE enough, you need CHEAPER ammo, not more expensive....with Brennekes you will NEVER shoot enough to be SURE it is the best round for your shotgun, sorry....

$11 for a 15 pack of Sluggers at Walmart beats $10/5 Brennekes hands down...tell me WHICH you will shoot more to see EXACTLY where your tube shoots???


And DON'T get me started on the $15/5 Sabots....;):D:D:D

You WILL see a difference between the different manufacturers, and your shotgun tube will tell you what slug it likes....funny, every WINCHESTER I have shot loves REMINGTON slugs....while every REMINGTON I have shot seemed to prefer Winchester or Federal slugs....go figure....:)
 

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And I KNOW I am stepping on toes here...but Brenneke slugs are a waste of money...you are paying for MYTH and NAME.

I have NEVER found a smoothbore shotgun that will shoot Winchester OR Remington OR Federal WELL that will do better with Brennekes....
My toes are fine, I wear steel toed boots. So you are saying my target is a fluke and my 100 yard targets with 4"-6" groups from a rest are an accident.

Fosters are more accurate, that is my experience too but if your gun likes them then Brenneke will be good enough and I like the extra thump. Especially since most of my shots are in the 60 yard range. Me thinks you be shooting the wrong gun. These two do just fine. First one with IM and the second one with full choke. Winchester 1200 scoped, the Mossberg with hi viz rifle sights and a 25 yard target.


 

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Now your cooking. That's the only way to do it, every gun is its own little world and everybody shoots their gun a little different than the man next to him. What works for me might not work for you and what works for you might be terrible for my neighbor and his gun.
 

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When my son was 9 I took him hunting with me for squirrel, and when he showed me he could sit still and quiet I told him I would take him deer hunting with me that year IF he could keep slugs inside of a pie plate at 25 yds...

I bought him a used H&R 20 guage modified just like you have, only older before H&R became New England, and cut the stock down with a hacksaw in 2- 1" increments after drilling 1/2" holes horizontally through it, mounted a "slip on" butt pad with duct tape, so the gun fit him, and took him to the range for two weekends with Remington "Sluggers"

I remember him running into the house to show Mom his paper plate with 5 slug holes in it.:D

I built him an 8 foot stand out of 2x4s, put it up with him on a parcel of state land only we knew about and I had killed a few deer on (THEN, now it seems a HUNDRED other hunters have discovered it...)

And two days before the season started I fell off a roof of one of our stores investigating a burglary and ended up in the Hospital....

I got discharged, and hunted on crutches painted in camo just so he could hunt with me!

I had "blazed" trees around his stand with a 'hawk at 25 yds and told him he could shoot if a deer was within the marks...

He saw deer, but NOT within the marks so didn't shoot...

The next year I had permission to hunt private land, and he saw 27 deer the whole season...but NONE within the range I gave him, so no shots.

The NEXT year I put him in his stand, and hunt from mine about 200 yds away...opening day, and I hear a shot....then another, then his whistle, which I gave him to let me know to come now....

I spent a couple of hours of PRIME opening day "Magic Time" tracking his doe, which "Jumped straight up like Grandpa said they ALWAYS do if you hit them in the heart...." (I found the tracks, AND the big gouge in the mud where the slug probably went under her...she JUMPED from the MUD hitting her belly ,LOL....)

In fact, he missed first, and when reloading he dropped the slug which clattered down the steps of the stand and the deer just STOOD there, and his THIRD slug is when he "Swore he hit her!" But no blood, no trail....

The NEXT year my stand was only about 150 yds from his, and I watched the young 6 or 8 pt buck be-bopping up the fence line RIGHT towards his stand, with my front sight on him....and when he was about 20 yds away from my son the buck suddenly turns and bolts back the way he came!

I fired, it was about 100 yds...I think I grazed him because he spun around and ran RIGHT at me...5 shots over his back, he STOPS right under my stand at about 10 yds...and "CLICK"... I am empty....and he bolts away...

We BOTH learned a lesson that day...he, to COCK the darn shotgun when you FIRST see the deer a hundred yards away, NOT when he is UNDER your stand....and ME, aim at his FEET when he is running AT you when you are in a tree stand....(I have missed a LOT of deer like this btw....;))"leading" a deer running AT you is hard to do...you have to have your front sight in the GROUND in front of him!!!....

Anyway, we did not find it or a blood trail, that winter I bought him a .50 Cal CVA Frontier Carbine kit which we put together and he shot all summer and then killed his first buck the next year at 40 yds moving, when he was 13...

BUT that shotgun "grew with him," 1/2 dowel rods in the holes I had drilled in the butt allowed me to put it together in increments so it continued to fit him, and he killed a fair amount of squirrels with it too...

I still have that shotgun, put together all the way with the original buttplate on it...

His daughter is 18 months old...and I am already about to take the sections off the stock so it will fit her...in a couple of years SHE will hunt with me with that shotgun....

Long story short....YES....slugs CAN be shot through ANY shotgun barrel...

However, smoothbore barrels with choke are DESIGNED to shoot SHOT....

SOME barrels, even with extra Full choke will shoot slugs WELL....but some, even cylinder bore barrels DESIGNED for slugs will NOT....

And two IDENTICAL shotguns made one serial number apart will shoot slugs very differently....

Bottom line, ANY smoothbore shotgun barrel of any length with any choke CAN handle slugs. You have to fire many differerent types of slugs through it to find the type it likes, and if it is smoothbore, do NOT waste your money on Brennekes, or any expensive Sabots, etc. Stick with standard Foster type slugs, and try Winchesters, Remington Sluggers, or Federal "Trueballs...."

If you get a decent group, KEEP it. IF not, SELL it and try another, even of the same type!

No matter WHAT make or model, you get a smoothbore that will keep standard Foster slugs inside 4-5 " at 50 yds with just the bead on the end of the barrel, KEEP it. All you need to fiddle with is SIGHTS.

You get one that will keep them within 2" at 50, LOCK THAT ONE UP and decide now who will inherit it when you die....;)

That type of 20 guage you have has killed PLENTY of deer...jut remember...25-50 yds is optimum, but with a 20, your MAXIMUM range is about 80-90 yds....

With a 16, your MAXIMUM range is about 90-100...

With a 12, your MAXIMUM is 100-110...PERIOD.

ALL slugs any guage start with about the same muzzle velocity (fps) Even the .410 slug will do a good job on deer out to about 50-60 yds....

Slugs do NOT fly like rifle rounds, but like badminton "shuttlecocks" (Weight forward)

Range is STRICKLY dependent on the WEIGHT of the "ejecta," or the slug....which is "retained energy...."

Now YEAH I killed my monster buck at 192 yds with a 12 guage 1 oz slugger...

BUT I have been shooting my '97 for 20 years with slugs, AND I had a Williams aperture on it with a Williams ramp front on it, AND I knew it would do 5" at 100 with my slugs from a bench, AND the deer was PERFECTLY situated broadside where I could lean forward on my stand like a bench....but I STILL held about a foot over his back when I touched it off...

AGAIN, long story longer;) Shoot slugs through that shotgun all you want...it will NOT hurt the gun.

Practical accuracy is limited to how far away you are CONFIDENT you can keep 5 of 5 shots in a paper plate off hand...(the kill zone of a deer is just a LITTLE bigger than a paper plate.... about 10"x10")

If it is 25 yds like my 9 year old, so be it....keep your shots within 25 yds....but a NORMAL person offhand should be able with practice to keep ANY shotgun within 8" or so out to 50 yds....and since MOST deer (at least EAST of the Mississippi, are shot at 50 yds or less so you are SET;)
NICE STORY!!
 

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I once bought one of those really light, really short single shot 12s with rifle sights thinking it would be good for the times I liked to sneak up to turkeys spotted in a clearing. Problem was it was so light that it kicked like a mule with anything over field loads or simple high brass loads. You wouldn't believe how it felt with a 3 1/2" turkey load. Hilarious to watch.

You might want to try yours first to see. Being a 20 you may be ok. Too light and they kick, especially with slugs. My Dad cut down a Winchester 37 20 single shot for me back in the 1950s, both the stock and the barrel. That thing was no fun to shoot even though I loved to hunt with it.

Try yours first before you invest in a bunch of shells. If all you have is a bead out on the end of the barrel you may struggle with any kind of repeatable accuracy if you can't find a repeatable way to aim those slugs. Even double beads on a ribbed barrel leave alot to be desired.

Set up targets at 25, 50 and 75 yards once you find a shotgun you like or even the one you have and see how much the point of impact changes at each range.

You may discover that you need either adjustable iron sights or something with a low 2 power magnification scope installed to achieve the repeatable accuracy you need to actually hit the deer especially when you are all excited over seeing one.

Your modified choke is fine for those Foster slugs. I had an old Ithaca pump with a mod choke, vent rib and some clamp on the rib iron sights. Our club put on a slug shoot and I won the prize money beating out more than a few custom shotguns with scopes that day shooting at steel plates at 25, 50 and 75 yards from the standing position.

Ideally, if you are hunting from a stand or a blind, a little bit of weight will help steady your aim and also absorb recoil. I've also found that many new hunters seem to do better with a low power scope than they do with a light shotgun with iron sights - even though many have done just fine that way.
 

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I once bought one of those really light, really short single shot 12s with rifle sights thinking it would be good for the times I liked to sneak up to turkeys spotted in a clearing. Problem was it was so light that it kicked like a mule with anything over field loads or simple high brass loads. You wouldn't believe how it felt with a 3 1/2" turkey load. Hilarious to watch.

You might want to try yours first to see. Being a 20 you may be ok. Too light and they kick, especially with slugs. My Dad cut down a Winchester 37 20 single shot for me back in the 1950s, both the stock and the barrel. That thing was no fun to shoot even though I loved to hunt with it.

Try yours first before you invest in a bunch of shells. If all you have is a bead out on the end of the barrel you may struggle with any kind of repeatable accuracy if you can't find a repeatable way to aim those slugs. Even double beads on a ribbed barrel leave alot to be desired.

Set up targets at 25, 50 and 75 yards once you find a shotgun you like or even the one you have and see how much the point of impact changes at each range.

You may discover that you need either adjustable iron sights or something with a low 2 power magnification scope installed to achieve the repeatable accuracy you need to actually hit the deer especially when you are all excited over seeing one.

Your modified choke is fine for those Foster slugs. I had an old Ithaca pump with a mod choke, vent rib and some clamp on the rib iron sights. Our club put on a slug shoot and I won the prize money beating out more than a few custom shotguns with scopes that day shooting at steel plates at 25, 50 and 75 yards from the standing position.
;)
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As for Brenekke slugs, I would only use them when I wanted deeper penetration for large bears. The softer Foster type slugs will flatten out some and give you a larger wound channel. But in reality, a huge hole from either should work just fine.
 

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What’s funny is at the time my son was 9 I read a story that the BEST shotgun for a little kid was a 20 gauge semi auto, that “Dad” cut the stock down just like I did on the H&R, and plugged to make it a single shot. And at the same time “Dad” should buy a replacement buttstock for it and put it away…

The idea was when the kid looked up to “Dad” and actually listened to him, is when he would actually learn to be safe, and using it like a single would get him used to the safety, how to work the slide, to load and unload PLUS the semi would “kick” a heckuva lot less than a fixed breech…

And when the “kid” turns 16 or so, when most teenagers STOP listening to “Dad,” (amazing how teenagers think their “Dad” is the stupidest person on earth until about the time they turn 21 and can’t believe their “Dad” got so smart over the last few years😉)…you put the “new” stock on the gun, maybe touch up the blueing and pull the plug and he now has a “new” gun, that he “knows” like the back of his hand😉

The only problem was at the time my son was 9 (he’s now 39 with a wife and 3 kids😳) 20 semi 1100 or 1400 went for $300…🤨

Mom liked the idea but not the price😳

Which is why I went with the $90 used H&R. Cutting it down to “fit” the kid goes a LONG way, but keep in mind a 20 gauge slug from a fixed breech gun “kicks” as much as a .30-06…if the gun DOESN’T fit him he will flinch and hate it.

(My Dad taught my Brother and I to shoot starting with slugs from a 12 ga Savage 220 single…we HATED it. 🤨. God bless Dad, but “getting used to recoil” is maybe how they used to do it in the Army in WWII, but not with 9-10 year old kids…. While Dad hunted with an 11-48 16 gauge🤨)(I still have “a” Savage 220 but not “the…” but even it does a good job with 1oz Remington sluggers…)

…a 12 gauge fixed kicks that much harder, which is why even hardened adult shooters do not shoot enough slugs “from a bench” ( it hurts a heckuva lot MORE than off hand, trust me😉) to truly know what accuracy their “slug gun” is really capable of hitting.

But the advice is still good, you live in a shotgun only State, and have a baby, boy OR girl, buy a semi 20 for them NOW..they won’t get any cheaper…😉

Btw, I’m in the market for a replacement stock for the H&R…😉
 

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I don't know if any company still does this, but you could buy a pump or semi with both a youth stock and a full size for when they grow up. They say the youth stocks don't kick and slap the face as bad as a shortened stock that Dad sets up.

I had an older Wingmaster that I put a heavier trap stock and forearm on with a bit of a taller comb for a scope. That added some weight along with an older rifled Mossberg 24" barrel I picked up in the clearance isle at a Wal Mart I stopped in after a hunting weekend. Their barrel adds weight also which is great on the bench sighting in and also steadies the shotgun when hunting. I used that for years in Illinois until I switched to a scoped inline.
 
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