deer hunting with 12 ga. slugs?


October 11, 2006, 03:25 PM

This deer season I will be hunting in Illinois using 12 ga. slugs. My shotgun only has a bead front sight. So how much of a dis-advantage is it to use this gun with slugs? Is it serious enough to use a different shotgun which has front and rear sights? How much drop can I expect from a slug at 100yds?

Beertracker :)

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October 11, 2006, 03:43 PM
I have put a couple of Bambis in the freezer with my plain beaded smooth {cylinder-bored, NOT rifled} barrel.

Couple of tips...

Buy a small box of as many different brand "rifled slugs" as you can find locally. My Maverick 88 prefers the PMC brand, followed by the Brenneke KO's, and then all the others are about as useful as a handful of thrown rocks.

YOUR shotgun/slug combo will be a law unto itself. Yours might prefer the Rem "Sluggers", or maybe the Winchester brand.

I would expect about a 6" to 9" drop again, VERY shotgun dependant. Start at say 50Yds, and see where the slugs hit.

Good luck this season.

October 11, 2006, 04:09 PM
I have also put many a Bambi in the freezer with a rib and bead.

100 yards is a long shot on a deer in the Midwest. Most the deer I have taken were at the most 35 yards away, most being under 20 yards.

Like what was mentioned, try a plethora of different slugs through your shotgun at different yards. I use a 10" paper plate as my deer target to make sure I know where I am shooting.

You shoulder is going to hate you after 25 or so slugs through your shotgun.

Good Luck Hunting!


October 11, 2006, 09:35 PM
I shot a deer in West Central Illinois last November with a one ounce rifled slug through a Browning Citori.

The slugs I shoot claim a 10.5" drop at 100 yards. I put a dozen or so slugs on paper at the range before hunting. The gun shot about 2.5-3" high at 25 yards. This gun has a center and rear bead on a rib. I don't believe it matters if your gun has one bead or two.

I believe the only way to know is to take it to the range an practice. I know that the dozen shots I took last fall were not enough. I will shoot at least double that in the next three weeks before heading back NE of Quincy.

Let me know how you do. Pictures would be nice.

Thin Black Line
October 11, 2006, 11:51 PM
Put in some time at the range and make sure you use the same slugs
while hunting.

October 12, 2006, 12:29 AM
If your shotgun has a rib, there are rifle sights available that clamp to the rib.

There are also special mounts made to allow attaching a telescope or electronic sight to shotguns.
These wrap around the receiver and attach with screws that replace the trigger guard screws.
Brownell's sell them:


October 12, 2006, 10:31 AM
beertracker; Welcome to slug hunting.
dfariswheel mentioned attachable sights, a good option if you would like fiber optics. Remember if you do this to get the right pair for the width of the vent. You can get them almost anywhere, shops, on-line. Cabelas, wing-supply, midway, etc. You might want to consider a recoil pad for sighting in. A few boxes of slugs later and you'll know what I mean.
50 yards is a good sight in range, the longest slug shot I took on a deer was about 80 yards, like most they have been closer to 20. Paper plates make a good 'boiler-room' btw. It's good your concerned about the drop, nobody wants to make a bad shot and loose a deer. It will depend on the match you make with what slugs you try and your gun. If you find yourself in an area making consistant 100 yard shots you might want to consider the sabot slugs. But that, requires a rifled barrel or rifled choke and they are on the average 2x the $ of fosters/smooth-bore slugs.

October 12, 2006, 11:19 AM
You will find your shotgun fires high when using a single bead sight. You will need to hold under the target quite a bit.

A smoothbore barrel is (in itself) accurate enough, but that low bead sight is a real handicap.

100 yards is really beyond the effective range of a bead sight smoothbore shotgun.

A barrel with a rear sight and a taller front sight is best. That being said, plenty of deer have been taken by hunters who went to the range and sighted in their smoothbores before the season began.

October 12, 2006, 11:38 AM
You did not mention what type of shotgun you are using. If you have a pump or semi auto, there are after market replacement barrels available. I put a factory 20 inch rifle sight barrel on my Wingmaster, and it sure made a difference in how it handled slugs. The choke is open cylinder, but with the adjustable rifle sights, I was able to fine tune the accuracy. There are barrels also that accomodate scopes.

October 12, 2006, 12:18 PM
Thanks to all who replied. This is really good info. I plan on taking my shotgun to the range and do some testing to determine slug drop. I suppose a 60 yd shot would be max for where I am hunting in Illinois.

Mswestfall and I will be hunting the same area of Illinois. He mentioned Quincy, Il. and I will be hunting west of Quincy near Camp Point, Il. Hopefully I will get a deer and I will be sure to post pics.

My gun is a Western Field 12 ga. pump with a C-lect adjustable choke and no vent rib. It was made by Mossberg and looks like a Mossberg 500.

Thanks to all who replied and good luck this deer season.

Beertracker :)
Houston, TX.

October 12, 2006, 01:58 PM

Since you have the Mossberg C-Lect choke system, try either Cylinder or Improved Cylinder settings first. One of those will probably give you the best accuracy with slugs....Maybe modified choke, but I strongly recommend NOT going any tighter choke than modified.

Maybe a call/e-mail to Mossberg is in order. The Mossberg 500 barrels SHOULD fit your shotgun, and you could get a cylinder-bored short barrel (18-1/2"), or the smoothbore with rifle sights, smooth bore with a set of swappable choke tubes, or even the rifled barrel. One caveat...the rifled barrels are ONLY for the 'sabot' slugs, and they don't throw a shot pattern worth a hoot. From $74 to $148, direct from Mossberg.

And as danurve mentioned, sabot slugs average 2x-3x the price of say Rem Sluggers or Winchester plain rifled slugs.

1-(800) 363-3555

October 19, 2006, 10:29 PM
If you get serious with slugs, get the riffled barrel and move up to sabots. I hardly hunt with a rifle anymore, not by choice either. I have several stands and shoot to 125 yards at standing deer with a red dot scope.

Here is one extreme for ammo, I picked up a box to try, about $2.25 a shot.


October 20, 2006, 10:06 PM
bull honkey.

A cyl. bore and a front bead sight are fine out to 50 yards.

No reason for $3 per round sabots; unless your looking for a hard-kicking, low capacity, 2 MOA, rifle that shoots expensive ammo and is only good out to 200 yards.

I live in a shotgun only state. I use a fiber-optic bead with "pumpkin balls".

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