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Shotgun slug choice for whitetail deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by cordex, Dec 23, 2002.

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  1. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Some of us are limited to shotguns for modern long-arm deer hunting. Ammo companies have capitalized on this and offer everything from whizbang super-slugs to plain ol' Foster slugs.

    For those of us who are forced to use shotguns on deer, what slugs do you prefer?

    I'm a fan of Remington's Copper Solids, but have taken to using the Remington Sluggers quite a bit as well. They seem to hit pretty similarly out of a rifled barrel to about 50 yards, so you can use the $2 per box Sluggers to get on the paper and then fine-tune and hunt with the $8 per box Copper Solids.
     
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Seems to me there's no particular concern about expansion when using slugs. :) In a way, they remind me of using early-type .45-70 or Sharps cartridges: Big ol' things, moving slow and going all the way through. (All the way through Bambi, a mule, two dogs and a cord of wood.)

    Accuracy would be my first priority, and then group-size for two or at most three shots.

    FWIW, Art
     
  3. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    All 12 gauge slugs are effective, find the one that YOUR shotgun "Likes" by bench testing, It's the only way to determine the best.

    Buy lots of diverse 5 packs, shoot groups until a winner emerges, buy lots of that one, preferably from the same lot.

    HTH....
     
  4. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    Art n Dave nailed it.
    Try em all.
    What works for you in YOUR gun is the winner.

    Sam
     
  5. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Thanks guys, you all make good points and I've found what works for me based on many of the same criteria you present.

    However, I am still curious as to what slugs other people are using on deer.
     
  6. Kcustom45

    Kcustom45 Member

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    I like the Remington Copper solids, because they are as accurate as I am out of my gun, and I have taken a deer with them so I know they will work. To change course a little has anyone else seen the new slugs offered by Remington? They are called "Buckhammer" or something along those lines. I saw a picture of them in a gun magazine with a New in 2003 cover. They looked interesting.
     
  7. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Cordex, with over 40 years of deer hunting behind me, I'm not sure I can recall all the different ones.

    Latest slug of choice, the KO Brenekke. Previous choices include the Rottweil Brennekes, the Forster style Winchester 1 oz HPs, the similar Fed load,all in 12 gauge.

    I've gotten a few deer with a 20 gauge, and I believe the Rottweil Brenekke was the load for all. Works very well.

    As for sabot style slugs, I've seen some herd control does taken with them, and note that the blood trails were longer. These are wonderfully accurate, but the full bore slug seems to work better for terminal performance.

    Where I hunt is very thick, I might prefer the sabots in the open for their better accuracy at long range. But with 30 yard shots typically, the older, full bore diameter style slugs do the trick nicely.
     
  8. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam

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    I'm a smooth bore guy who has a couple 870s that take screw-in chokes.

    After reading up in a flower-shirt magazine, I had to try a couple Rem & Win Super-Duper whiz-bang sabot loads.

    $30 for the rifled choke & another $5/5 pack for the slugs. Had to buy at least a couple to do any kind of honest test. Right?

    These sabot loads tout a 1 ounce slug at 1900+ fps & a trajectory froma shotgun rivaling "a .243" (yeah, but ... pretty darned good nonetheless)

    Everything key-holed at 25 yards = zip sale.

    Mind you, a fully rifled bore (what these things were designed for), they likely would have performed a bunch better.

    I couldn't see the benny with a rifled choke.

    My best bet has always been a modified choke. I can use a wide variety of bird-pellets & it'll usually do pretty good with a decent slug.

    Slug use, what I'll do is pattern with whatever choke I think is my best bet combo-choke for that barrel/choke & just stick with it - for that particular set-up.

    Using that shotgun, I get to have the option of anything from all birds (load dependent) & the accurate slug option - easily past 50+ yards & all that in a smooth-bore/no choke changing.

    Simplicity at its best.

    Find a slug that shoots best in what choke you normally shoot. Best bet.

    You can always tailor a slug load to a specific choke, yade, but doesn't that give up so much of the shotgun's versatility?
     
  9. JeFF D

    JeFF D Member

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    I use Federal Premium Barnes Expanders, very accurate out of my Mossberg 500.

    Any 12 gauge slug thats accurate in your shotgun will be just fine for whitetail.
     
  10. ARGarrison

    ARGarrison Member

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    I'm useing Lightfield slugs right now, in my rifled barrel shotgun. Used Remington Soild Cooper in the past.

    Back before I got my Rifled Shotgun, I mainly used Brenekke slugs.
     
  11. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I use an 870 with a smooth barrel and a screw in rifled choke tube (no diff over smooth IMO). I use the Remmy $2/box sluggers and they group 3-4" at 80yrd which is about my max. most deer shot at 20yrd or less and are pretty thoroughly thumped. I don't need rifle-like performance here as deer are very plentiful. I live 1/2 mile from a state park and eat alot of venison :D
     
  12. MarineTech

    MarineTech Member

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    Personal preference for me are the Brenneke KO rifled slugs for my Remington 870. I seem to get the best accuracy out of them from my 26" smooth barrel.
     
  13. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    I got lucky with the Winchester Super X/BRI Sabots out of my Remington 870 rifled barrel 12 GA. The 2 3/4 as well as the 3" groups beautifully.

    If you choose the Winchesters do go with the 2 3/4". You only gain 50 fps with the 3" mag and a lot more recoil.

    Good SHooting
    RED
     
  14. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    Well..the Winchester Sabot Slugs definitely do work. Just shot a doe this evening and got clear through penetration at 100 yards.

    Good Shooting
    RED
     
  15. Gfrey

    Gfrey Member

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    Hi,

    I would suggest the above, test your shotgun to see what performs best.

    I listened to Dave Henderson last spring at the Deer and Turkey show, he recommended

    1 have a gunsmith PIN the barrel.

    2 Brenneke if you shoot smoothbore. (Assuming they group well)
    if you have a rifled barrel try different ammo until you get the best groups.


    I just got a new Mossberg 835 and intend to follow this advice...


    Gfrey
     
  16. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    The last I checked the standard 835 barrels were backbored. On the barrel there is a warning "Not For Slug Use" or something similar. I do believe that they make a non backbored barrel for the 835 but it is in the 3" chamber and not 3 1/2".

    Please correct me if I'm wrong. I wanted another 835, but the no slugs warning deterred me. I used to have one of the original 835s that came out with the tang safety that required you to push a release button before you could move the safety. They have since gone back to the old style.

    Good Shooting
    RED
     
  17. 444

    444 Member

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    I a deer a couple weeks ago with a slug. This was my first experience doing so. I was really impressed. I now have to buy myself a shotgun with a rifled barrel. I was using a plain old Winchester 1 oz. slug. I don't know what you call them, but the same slugs that have been around for 50 years. I was using a scoped Remington 1100 with a rifle barrel of I guess about 24-26". I shot the deer from about 30 yards in the chest. Of course the slug penetrated the full length of the deer and the deer dropped in it's tracks. I can't imagine a better set up for short range hunting of anything.
     
  18. nygunguy

    nygunguy Member

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    Ya Gotta Test

    I shoot a rifled Winchester 1300. I tried a bunch of differtent sabot slugs and wound up with the Federal Supreme 2-3/4 inchers. They consistantly shoot a nice tight group, 3 inches high, at 70 yards.

    I like the Barnes expanders the best for hunting. I have found that with 12 gauge slugs shot placement (on whitetails)is critical if you worry about meat damage. The 12 really opens them up.
     
  19. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    It's been said, but you have to test different brands in your gun. My Mossberg 500 loved the original Remington copper solids, but wouldn't group worth beans with the redesigned version (I understand there is a third incarnation of this slug that I now have to test). This past season I shot Federal Premium Barnes Expanders, which grouped adquately, but nowhere near as nicely as the original Remingtons. All this, of course, through a fully rifled barrel.

    I also keep several boxes of Remington Sluggers around for my 18.5" smoothbore barrel. This is the one that gets carried in the brush. But even these will group well at 50 yards.
     
  20. 45Badger

    45Badger Member

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    I've got Hastings fully rifled, cantilevered barrels on three guns, a 12 GA Browning BPS, a 20 GA Remington 1100,and a 20 GA Remington Wingmaster. They all shoot great using Lightfields.

    I had the BPS first and tried 5 different makes of sabots, settling on the Lightfield. I tried the new winchesters that came out the last two years. Those velocities may be nice, but killed my groups and my shoulder. Lightfields are 100% with me so far, no misses, all one shot kills.
     
  21. Gfrey

    Gfrey Member

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    Red,

    ;)

    Thanks for the warning, For any who read this and didn't see my post on TFL or FFF,

    MY new 835 is the buck n tom special,

    There is a rifled slug barrel with a cantilever scope mount

    AND

    a smoothbore barrel with an extra full turkey choke. (And as RED mentions, the regular barrel IS marked NOT FOR SLUGS...)


    Thanks for the warning, I have a barrel for slugs and a barrel for shot, but for anyone else reading this, I am NOT going to shoot slugs thru a barrel marked otherwise.

    Hope this clears up any misconceptions. (And when I get to shoot it I will post results.)

    Happy new years!
     
  22. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    Just curious, are the rifled slug barrels chambered for 3 1/2" or standard 3"?

    But then I would be afraid to shoot 3 1/2 slugs. Heck I'm not even sure there is such a monster.

    Good Shooting
    Red
     
  23. Gfrey

    Gfrey Member

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    C'mon Red,


    Go for the gusto!

    the slugster barrel is marked

    "chambered for 2 3/4, 3 & 3 1/2 in. shells"
    "-12 ga. - 24 in rifled bore"

    I have shot 3 in slugs thru my other shotgun (smooth bore),
    Seemed remarkably similar to the 2 3/4 to me. But I don't shoot 100 at a time...

    I intend to visit a limbsaver recoil pad and try the 2 3/4 and 3 in shells first. 3 1/2 will wait... and wait.... and maybe wait some more. My uncle has a weaver 2.5 scope that has a very large FOV, I am going to see what I can find, then shooting will commence, maybe by the end of May.

    Ger
     
  24. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Member

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    My wife and I both use the interchangeable barrel NEF single shots in 20 guage for one area we hunt. The others are rifle areas.

    For deer in slug country we have the rifled barrel "Tracker" barrels that I had drilled and tapped for a scope rail. We both have 1-3x20mm Weaver scope on these barrels

    Her barrel likes the Federal Premium Hybrid saboted slug. The accuracy is fantastic, performance is so-so. The hour glass shaped slugs have not expanded in any deer she has shot with these slugs. Trailing has been mandatory with everyone. But they are accurate.

    My gun has a preference for the Winchester Supreme Partition Gold Saboted Slug, but will not shoot as accurately as hers with any of the saboted rounds. Performance on deer is great with this load.

    I had shot some Foster style slugs in the wifes gun to sight it in and leaded the barrel up so much it took me a day to "get the lead out" Never again.-------------Chainsaw
     
  25. JeepDriver

    JeepDriver Member

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    I have a Mossberg 500 with rifle barrel that loves Remington Copper Solids. They shoot stright and knock down deer!
     
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