how many guys use a SLUG GUN for hunting


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there are seven states that now mandate "shotgun slugs only" either statewide, or in large areas. These are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Then there are 15 more that have regional regs to the same effect: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Moreover, two more states, Kentucky and Maine, will probably go the partial route, if not for this season, then in '97.
keep in mind slug guns are mandated BECAUSE they have much shorter effective range potential,
making the potential for damage at longer ranges than a few hundred yards much lower, this may sound like a huge restriction in a hunting weapon, but realistically and statistically most game departments report, more than 60 % of all the whitetail deer and hogs shot in most areas are shot at well under 100 yards

There was a long time when many of these states couldn't decide just what to make of these new-fangled shotguns with rifled bores. Were they shotguns or rifles? Were they legal in the context of the existing game laws? Fortunately, all have resolved the issue and none of the 22 aforementioned states disallow the rifled barrel.
only buck shot is legal in a few areas as this really limits the effective lethal range of any shotgun,
you are unlikely to get good tight patterns past 45 yards.
to be fair, in some areas , the opportunity's for seeing game or making shots past 45 yards are very rare
the Ithaca 10 ga road blocker holds two in the magazine and one in the chamber ,
the legal max for some areas. its very effective, I've used one for decades.

if you want a reasonably consistent way to judge at what range double OO buck shot will be effective on deer or hogs,
place a single sheet of typing paper, with a 2" orange dot in the center, roughly simulating a deer's chest area,

place this test target horizontally at 20 yards and fire a shot at it,
if you have at least 5-6 holes someplace on the paper you can be reasonably confident that it's effective,

now back off 5 yards and repeat, , back off 5 more yards after each success, this extended range and re-test,
after each successful buckshot , test at range, shells are shot and tested, is a reasonable test that places those 5-6 holes in the paper.
yes, you'll occasionally see guys drop deer at longer ranges, but far more will result in long trailing jobs or lost wounded deer in my experience,
you're still in effective range, once you reach a range where less than 5-6 holes in that sheet of paper are consistently there... your past the effective range, now obviously a 9 pellet 2 3/4" 12 ga buckshot load:sad:

is at a distinct disadvantage to a 12 pellet 3" shell:nodding:
or a 3.5" 10 ga with 18 pellets:like:
and why I prefer a 10 ga ithaca if I hunt dense cover in fla swamps,for hogs and deer.
and yes different shotguns pattern loads differently,
but in our hunt club this test has consistently shown to be valid in results seen on game.
yeah, you'll rapidly find that your buckshot loaded shotgun is only effective,

at a limited range thats more than likely LESS than you might have envisioned!
ITS been my experience that even a 10 ga with 00 BUCKSHOT is much less effective past 50 yards,
slugs vary, as do shotguns, but in many case's accurate shots from rifled shotgun barrels can be made at 150-175 yards, and is a doable range

I've said before, if you do business where there are no bans against the use of high-power rifles for hunting, you needn't concern yourself with what's happening on the slug scene. But if that's not the case, there's something for you to bone up on this year.
With Savage and Mossberg having entered the market with fully-rifled, bolt-action slug guns, that now brings to four the number of major manufacturers to have done so. Last year, Browning and Marlin did it.

I've just finished testing the two new guns, the Mossberg 695 and the Savage 210. The former is derived from an action Mossberg's been using for decades as a basis for a budget line of shotguns. Savage, on the other hand, had no such existing action and designed one from scratch, based on the 3-inch 12-gauge shotshell.

Since this is not GUNS magazine where new firearms are reported on in depth, suffice to say that these guns are capable of some pretty astounding accuracy - like 2 1/2-inch groups from the bench at 100 yards. Not only are the sabot loads of Federal, Winchester, Lightfield - and the Copper Solids of Remington - accurate, but they virtually double the effective range of the old Foster-type slugs when used in smoothbores.

Despite all this newfound potential, however, these guns are still 125-yard Whitetail and Black Bear rigs, period. Along this vein, I've heard that some of my gun-writing colleagues have commented that these guns are effective out to 175 and even 200 yards. Not only is this not true, but to even hint that the rifled slug gun with sabots is lethal out to 200 yards is a great disservice to both the industry and the hunting fraternity. ... g-box-of-5


these bolt action shotguns have rifled bore designed to stabilize slugs YES THERES A LOWER RECOIL 20GA VERSION


anyone that thinks buck shots a great option for bear or elk, really should stack up three sheets of 2 ft x 2 ft square sheets or 3/4" plywood ,
and place a target on it , staple a sheet of typing paper 8.5" x 11" horizontally as a representative kill /vital zone
place the target stack of plywood out at 50 yards
fire two quick shots , with buckshot, if you do have buckshot hit the kill zone look at the rear of the plywood for buck shot pellet exits
your not going to find repeat the process with slugs, in most cases they both hit the kill zone and exit the stack of ply wood, think that over
your potentially going to get out and look for that bear, do you want a dead bear or one highly motivated to get revenge on the cause of his injury.
yes they also make it in 20 ga for the guys that are very recoil sensitive
personally I want the 12 ga version, but I know several guys with both ga versions and both versions work,
on the deer and hogs Ive seen shot,
but theres no real comparison in how hard they hit
and as always proper shot placement and a knowledge of the games anatomy is required

(1)call and talk to the local game department biologist, and game wardens
ask about what the bears eat in your area, at this time of year,
and where they travel, and population density's
(2) get a topo map of the areas you intend to hunt (get out and scout and start exercising)
(3) personally Id suggest you use a high quality scope , with decent low light optics ,
on a rifle that has at least about 2700 ft lbs of energy with a 150-250 grain bullet
think 270 win, 308 win,358 win or a bit more.
(4)practice shooting from field positions, not off a bench rest , once the rifles zeroed in correctly
(5)get a copy of the local hunting regulations
(6) learn bear anatomy
(7) bears have a great nose, use scent killer on clothes and boots

generally high brass base cases have a minimal strength advantage

yes you can use high brass shell cases, if the cases are listed, in a known combo
shot guns are fairly low pressure shells, changes in case, primer or wads does change the pressure in some cases significantly
smokeless powder can produce pressure spikes, so its safer to duplicate known tested load data.
thus like baking a cake, there are proven safe recipes, and changing the components will vary the result. sometimes in less than favorable ways.
now changing just a primer may or may not be significant, but the powder companies go to lengths to test pressure curves with different wads, cases etc. and changes do effect results

buy and use several shot shell load manuals,!c=456


if your restricted to shotgun only areas , your not in as bad shapes as you might at first think!
these rifled slug guns do a really good job on deer out to about 140 yards
my late uncle, used his savage slug gun to kill several large black bears,
and while the average range was under 75 yards he stated it slammed them so hard they rarely did more than spin, fall and twitch ... 0152654112


keep in mind these slugs are loaded inside a plastic shot-cup,
that compresses and grips the slug, and rifling, in the shotguns bore,
(if its a rifled bore designed for slugs)
as its forced down the bore, the slug itself never touches the shotgun bores rifling ,

which acts as a sabot that's discarded as it leaves the bore.
you can buy a mold and cast your own at a considerable cost savings if you reload.


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these work reasonably well in my rifled slug gun

This is load data for the 525 Gr. Lyman Sabot Slug. Its tough to format for the forum but the list reads of follows.

Powder Charge Primer Wad Velocity Pressure

Federal Gold Medal

Univ. Clays 36.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1503 10,100
WSF 34.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1482 11,300
Herco 32.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1389 11,100
SR 4756 44.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1585 10,500
800X 31.5 Fed 209AWAA12 1459 10,700
Blue Dot 46.5 Win 209 WAA12R 1544 9,900
571 42.0 Fed 209AFed 12S4 1429 10,700

Federal Plastic Hunting

Univ. Clays 35.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1442 9,300
34.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1421 9,200
Herco 30.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1297 9,100
SR 4756 40.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1439 8,300
800X 30.0 Fed 209AFed 12S4 1403 9,800
Blue Dot 44.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1408 7,300
571 42.0 Fed 209AFed 12S4 1405 9,900

Fiocchi Plastic

Univ. Clays 34.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1478 10,100
WSF 31.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1383 10,000
SR 4756 37.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1396 8,700
N3SH 36.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1486 9,700
Blue Dot 44.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1476 8,800

Remington RTL (Premier)

Univ. Clays 29.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1386 10,800
Unique 23.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1269 11,100
Herco 25.0 Win 209 WAA12 1249 11,300
SR 4756 34.0 Rem 209PWAA12R 1448 11,100
SR 4756 35.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1462 10,900
Blue Dot 41.0 Rem 209PWAA12F114 1475 11,000
Blue Dot 43.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1501 11,200

Remington Unibody SP

Univ. Clays 32.0 Win 209 WAA12 1416 9,900
WSF 32.0 Win 209 WAA12 1434 11,400
Herco 30.0 Win 209 WAA12 1336 10,600
SR 4756 37.5 Win 209 WAA12F114 1468 10,200
800X 31.0 Win 209 Fed 12S3 1440 10,700
Blue Dot 45.5 Win 209 WAA12F114 1482 9,300
Blue Dot 46.0 Win 209 Fed 12S4 1532 10,600

Winchester AA

Univ. Clays 29.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1358 9,700
Unique 23.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1271 11,100
Unique 22.5 Win 209 Fed 12S3 1231 10,500
WSF 30.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1393 11,000
WSF 28.0 Win 209 Fed 12S3 1332 10,500
Herco 25.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1273 10,900
SR 4756 35.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1378 8,800
N3SH 30.0 Win 209 WAA12F114 1372 10,100
Blue Dot 44.0 Win 209 WAA12R 1474 9,200


12 Gauge = Bore Diameter of .729 inches. 16 Gauge = Bore Diameter of .662 inches. 20 Gauge = Bore Diameter of .615 inches. 28 Gauge = Bore Diameter of .550 inches.

if you notice the 58 caliber mini ball mold cast projectile, has the correct diameter to be loaded in a 20 ga plastic shot cup in a 20 ga too effectively work as a slug
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I'd rather use my .58 muzzle loaders. I didn't say they were better, I said I prefer them to a shotgun slug.
I do a good deal of hunting with both a 58cal muzzle loader and a 12 ga slug gun,both are very effective in skilled hands,
the properly loaded muzzle loader has a bit longer effective range, but the shotgun can be a repeating action, most deer are shot at well under 120 yards so If given a choice Id select the modern slug gun in most cases
btw don.t bother using buckshot in a rifled barrel shotgun,
the rifling effectively throws the shot mass in a (DONUT)
and makes an all but useless patterns past about 25 yards in most cases
where the rifled barrels excel is in throwing a slug, designed to be encased in a shot cup or sabot accurately
at extended ranges, some bolt actions like the savage throw a useable 4"-too-6" 3 shot group out to in some cases 175 yard from my test results, remember the DROP and hold over needs to be compensated for at extended ranges, and a 3" high at 100 yards sight in seems to be a good compromise in my testing, impact never goes more than 3.5" above or below the point of aim out to 175 yards and its only 7" low at 200 yards sighted that way with my savage 212, make a ballistic chart, use 1520 vel, and a .162 ballistic drag

powders like BLUE DOT seem to work reasonably well, but do tests
generally high brass base cases have a minimal strength advantage
Ive got the 12 ga savage bolt version, I found its extremely accurate with some sabot ammo but a great deal less accurate with some foster type slugs, so if you have several types of ammo test them and try to stock up on what works.
I also found that the way you hand load shot shells has a huge effect on accuracy, simply swapping wads or powder has a very noticeable effect.
use your reloading manual, try to use loads listed in several sources,
don't vary the listed components recommended ,primers, powder shot cups wads, crimps, buffers etc,
as both pressure and accuracy will vary, and mix & match combos, might be dangerous
if you do, use listed cases, wads, shot cups
http://www.buckandslug.webspace.virginm ... sdata.html

http://www.buckandslug.webspace.virginm ... /load.html ... gauge-1-oz ... -525-grain
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the question frequently comes up as to if a 12 ga or 20 ga is the better option,
savage sells more 20 ga guns from the statistics I've read recently.
the savage bolt action has had at least two different design improvements over the years


(PG 18)

the slug guns are both designed to provide adequate accuracy out to about 100 yards,
some loads in both ga will exceed that but velocity in either ga seldom exceeds about 1650 fps,
and most loads are a bit slower,
you don,t necessarily need high velocity to provide accuracy,
but it helps marginally to flatten trajectory.
keep in mind shot guns operate at far lower pressure levels than a rifle
the 12 ga is 525 grain, in weight and 68 caliber .162 sectional density
the 20 ga is 350 grain, in weight and 576 caliber .152 sectional density

related info on a different web site youll find helpful!

if you can easily handle the recoil I personally prefer the 12 ga version,
it hits harder and you can,t ignore physics, a slightly higher sectional density,
and considerably greater mass in a 12 ga,
is going to punch the target harder, but I'm not in the majority.
with a reasonably well placed hit, either projectile is lethal
but if your betting on the resulting damage, anchoring your game,
only a fool would assume the smaller and lighter projectile ,
was potentially more lethal with
identical shot placement and velocity .
now you may prefer the 20 ga for its lower recoil , and its certainly lethal if the shots well placed.
Ive tried a dozen types of slugs the BRI and the breneki and the hand loads with the lyman's all work rather well, personally I prefer the lyman,s
as you can cast, and hand load, your own ammo and save a ton of cash if you reload ammo.
you'll have to see what your particular shotgun prefers
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A SAVAGE 212 BOLT ACTION, one of my neighbors purchased a savage 220
I don,t think theres a dimes worth of difference in accuracy but the 20 does recoil less
neither of us would swap,
both devastate deer and both are best at under 140 -150 yards
sight in 3" high at 100 yards and your about on at 150-160 yards and about 7"-8" low at 200 yards
4" 200 yard groups are an UN-realistic expectation in my opinion after testing, 3" 100 yard and 8" 200 yard groups are more realistic
yeah you'll get occasionally much tighter 3 shot groups
and yet all but meaningless as most deer are killed at well under 140 yards

an accurate slug gun with a rifled barrel can more than triple a shotguns effective reach over the best buckshot loading's.
THIS SAVAGE IS AN EXCELLENT and reliable and accurate SHOT GUN
these bolt action shotguns have rifled bore designed to stabilize slugs


the larger 12"/19" bank coin bags tend to work rather well as a sight in rest a 3/4 filled bag (or several) can be re-formed manually, or stacked, too match the desired rifle support height and support a rifle or slug gun,solidly

theres several sizes available
12" x 19"
6.5" x 9.5"

this might save you a few bucks at the range in equipment

stuff the bank bags with rubber mulch filled zip lock bags with a 2.5 gallon zip lock bags ,
filed with rubber mulch ,
which is basically finely shredded, and ground up old tires ,
and you have bags of the correct weight, firmness and these won,t attract vermin when stored,
get the correct fill percentage that allows the contents to be partly redistributed, the contents,
so you can manipulate the height/thickness and then fold the open end of the canvass coin bags and sew or staple shut.
use several bags so filled,
as a forearm support and place one between your shoulder and the slug gun butt stock
and recoil is vastly reduced while sighting in the slug gun off the bench.
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every shotguns unique, and will handle each type of slug differently,
smooth bores , or smooth bores ,with rifled choke tubes,
don't generally provide great or consistent accuracy
and the point of impact will vary quite a bit ,
with different slugs ,and powders and powder charges.
changes in shot cups, shotgun cases, wads primers all tend to effect accuracy
fully rifled barrels tend to give consistently better / more accurate and consistent, results
what works well, or is a complete waste in your buddy's shotgun may or may not work the same in your shotgun.

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I carry a Ithaca mdl 37 with a Ithaca rifled barrel , my hunting is normally push and watch style, with that being said I can count on one hand how many deer I have taken that were not running like the nos button was just pushed.

I have shot the sabot slugs, very accurate, but I have seen/had a few that did not expand, this was 20 + years ago,
I stopped using them and returned to the old style pumpkin ball rifled slug the accuracy did suffer slightly but not enough for my concern.

My average shot is 50/75 yards .

In my area I am now able to use a rifle and have a nice 30-06 but it stays in the safe .
theres a couple areas in florida that recently converted to shotgun use only as the area is slowly being surrounded by housing developments within a few miles of the area hunted, in 20 more years they might be archery only areas
those were rather interesting slug guns but as the manufacturers gained experience accuracy further improved
the MARLINS were and are accurate, but I think the slightly more current SAVAGE bolt guns have a marginal edge
in accuracy!/
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every shotgun may perform a bit differently with each slug design,
and rifled shotgun barrels do add to consistency and accuracy,
and thus effective range and lethality

thats one reason why I suggested handloading the lyman slugs you cast yourself and yes theres dozens of other options, available.

if you find slug ammo hard to locate and expensive consider reloading,
AT LEAST IN MY AREA, your average slug 12 ga ammo cost between $1.75-$3.0 a shell
yes there is a large up front cost in quality reloading equipment,

in many cases, but there is also cheaper simple, but not progressive, multi stage,
manual reloading machine options,
AND you will rapidly break even and start producing your own ammo,

at far less than 1/4 the price on a per shot basis vs commercial ammo cost|clp:2334524|tkp:BFBM1NP2h-pf

you can also load two round balls, (58-60-69 CALIBER) in a 12 ga shell
and yeah that option works rather well in most rifled barrel shotguns,
out to at least 80 yards and can be devastatingly effective.
obviously this, custom slug or dual round ball, shell loading,

requires you doing some research and some experimentation,
with wads, shot cups, buffer material, powder charges crimps, & testing etc.

pure lead roundball weight
.310 = 45 grains
.315 = 47 grains
.321 = 50 grains
.350 = 65 grains
.360 = 71 grains
.375 = 80 grains
.395 = 92 grains
.400 = 96 grains
.433 = 122 grains
.437 = 127 grains
.440 = 128 grains
.443 = 131 grains
.445 = 133 grains
.451 = 138 grains
.454 = 141 grains
.457 = 144 grains
.490 = 177 grains
.498 = 180 grains
.520 = 212 grains
.530 = 224 grains
.535 = 231 grains
.543 = 241 grains
.550 = 251 grains
.560 = 260 grains
.562 = 276 grains
.570 = 279 grains
.575 = 286 grains
.595 = 317 grains
.600 = 325 grains
.610 = 342 grains
.648 = 410 grains
.662 = 437 grains
.678 = 469 grains
.680 = 473 grains
.690 = 495 grains
.715 = 550 grains
.730 = 586 grains
.735 = 598 grains
.760 = 661 grains
.775 = 700 grains
.835 = 875 grains
.919 = 1167 grains
1.052 = 1750 grains
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I keep 3 different gun log books in different areas around my house and shop and I record all new guns before it gets put into the safe. A couple times a year I take all guns out of the safe and clean and oil them the last cleaning I found a Remington 760 slug gun that I have no idea where it came from its still driving me crazy about where in the hell did this come from
if you leave young, mid 20-30 year old ,male guns locked in a dark safe with cute 19-30 year old female guns f, unsupervised,
or months at a time you need to expect that sort of thing might happen

if you put that 10 ga Ithaca next to a nice Browning 12 ga, over under,
its hardly a surprise of you find a cute 20 ga ruger over under, mysteriously in the safe!
or at least thats what I told the wife and with the number of elk/deer rifles I own she swears it might just be true!