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12 gauage shotgun decision help

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by sx460, Sep 21, 2006.

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  1. sx460

    sx460 Member

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    I'm either going to buy the Benelli Nova 12 gauge shotgun or the Remington 870. I want ultimate versitility at a reasonable price which is why I'm looking at Pumps and not semiautomatics (3 1/2" semiautos are out of price range). I don't hunt deer... yet... but if/when I do I want the option to easily change the barrel to a deer barrel. Questions:

    1) If hunting deer with slugs, is it necessary to use a rifled barrel? Or can I essentially achieve the same accuracy with a smooth barrel?
    2) If I do need a rifled barrel, how much are they and how much do they go for?
    3) If hunting for deer, is it necessary to use 3.5" slugs or will 3" slugs do just fine?

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  2. bad LT

    bad LT Member

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    1) There are two types of shotgun slugs; a "standard" slug and a saboted slug. A standard slug is a big hunk of lead, many of which have groves to induce some degree of rotation when fired through a smooth bore. Saboted slugs contain a smaller projectile which are wraped by plastic in order to cause the diameter of the projectile to be the same as the bore. If you are going to shoot saboted slugs, you should have a rifled barrel. It will increase the effective range of the shotgun.

    2) You can get a remington rifled shotgun barrel from cabelas for $170 (or $250 if want to use a scope).

    3) You don't need a 3.5" slug for grizzly bear, let alone deer.
     
  3. sx460

    sx460 Member

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  4. sx460

    sx460 Member

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    Would you say that 3 1/2 is overkill for all but the most extreme cases? I mean, in other words, should I pay extra for a gun that allows for 3 1/2" shells?
     
  5. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Would you say that 3 1/2 is overkill for all but the most extreme cases?

    Yes. If you really NEED 3.5" 12 gauge payloads, you need to be launching them out of a 10 gauge.
    ====================
    I mean, in other words, should I pay extra for a gun that allows for 3 1/2" shells?

    No. A 3" 12 gauge is gracious plenty for any application the gauge is suited for. If you need more shot than a 3" 12 gauge can handle, you need a bigger gauge with a bore better suited to larger payloads.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    A rifled barrel is likely going to be more accurate with sabt slugs, if all you want to do with that barrel is hund big game with slugs. A rifled barrel will throw donut shaped patterns with shot and open up patterns pretty quickly. But a smoothbore with rifle sights is a more versatile barrel- it can (with the usual bit of luck) shoot rifled slugs with acceptable accuracy, and will give decent patterns with buckshot for defensive work as well. And 2 3/4" one ounce slugs are plenty, no need to go for more with the 3".

    The 870 with wood furniture is a lot easier to adjust to fit you, if adjustments are needed. The Nova is a pain if you need to shorten the stock. Take a look at http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/shotguns/model_870/model_870_express_combos.asp , the regular Express is available as a combo with a 20" RS ImpCyl smoothbore barrel and a 28" VR barrel with RemChokes.

    Stay safe,

    lpl/nc
     
  6. sx460

    sx460 Member

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    I see... thanks for the info. I guess that is good news because the 870 Express (non magnum) is cheaper and more readily availale.

    Can I get one final clarification: for all practical purpose hunting larger animals with rifled slugs, is it really necessary to even have the rifled barrel, or is a rifled barrel more for the "extreme hunters" who need the best and greatest accuracy?
     
  7. BozemanMT

    BozemanMT Member

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    Remington 870
    BA/UU/R
     
  8. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Shooting slugs out of a shotgun with either a smoothbore or a rifled barrel is likely to require a certain amount of experimentation before full parameters are established. Shotguns are sometimes picky about ammunition. Some guns "like" a particular load and perform poorly with others. Finding a slug load that your gun likes can be a challenge sometimes. Especially given that shooting groups with slugs out of a shotgun does not rank really high on very many people's fun meter.

    Slug accuracy is discussed at length on several threads here- just use the SEARCH THIS FORUM function on the index page and you can find lots of information.


    lpl/nc
     
  9. LUGNUTZ426

    LUGNUTZ426 Member

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    MY SON HAS AN 870 EXPRESS WITH A 28 INCH BARREL. HE ADDED A RED DOT SCOPE AND AN EXTENDED RIFLED CHOKE TUBE AND HAS TAKEN MANY A DEER WITH REMINGTON SABOTS. HE PUTS IN A EXTENDED EXTRA FULL CHOKE AND WITH THE RED DOT SCOPE THE TURKEY ARE "GONNERS". ONE GUN ONE BARREL TOTAL OF AROUND 300 INVESTED. FREEZER FULL OF MEAT....PRICELESS! UNLESS YOU ARE GOING FOR DUCK OR GEESE AND MUST USE STEEL WHERE YOU LIVE....THE 3 INCH IS THE WAY TO GO.
     
  10. sx460

    sx460 Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. I've decided to go with the 870 Super Mag Combo. Figured it gives me all the possible options in one package. I've gone through about 40 rounds and it feels great. Very tight and accurate and reliable. Highly suggested. Oh yes, and even though the Hornandy SST slugs are only 2 3/4" they recoil about as much as the 3 1/2" loads.
     
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