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Slug gun ??

OK we are planning a hunt next year and for other years in the future where shotguns are required. My son apparently is going to order a Savage 220 slug gun and I need to change what I have been doing. I currently have an 870 with a rifled barrel and a cantilevered scope mount and I am not happy with any of my groups with copper sabots and I have tried a bunch of different brands. I still have 2 brands I have not tried but if they don't shoot well I will be ordering a different slug gun. I have a buddy that put a slug barrel on his 11-87 and he loves it. I could do that but was actually thinking about buying something like the 220 Savage. Because of shoulder issues the 20 gauge guns are tempting (less recoil). The 11-87 with a slug barrel might be OK in 12 gauge.

What are you guys shooting and are you happy with it?
 

ltdann

Member
I shot an 11-87 with cantilever barrel and love it, very accurate with 3" Federal Trophy copper. Within my hunting group of friends, we all use those as they are the most accurate. I've got the 11-87 and two others have 870 with cantilever.


It's been many years since I shot a deer with a rifle. The savage 220 is an ugly gun but a slab-sided killer as well and many folks I know use them. Be advised, bolt action shotguns tend to have more felt recoil. The savage 220 and 212 both have ejection issues with the bolt. Friends that use them say you must open the bolt "firmly and with vigour" to get the shell to eject properly. The 220 especially is accurate (with the right shell) and easily capable of dropping a deer at 150 yards.

I've consider getting the 220, but my 11-87 is joy to shoot, has quick follow up shots and I really can't justify switching.

The 220 runs a little over $500 and the 11-87 about double. They no longer make the 11-87 with the wood stock, shame it's gorgeous wood.

For scopes, nothing beats the leopold freedom. It's the same scope as the ulitimate slam fame. https://www.leupold.com/scopes/rifle-scopes/vx-freedom-muzzleloader-3-9x40

Trust me on that scope, I've blown up 5 scopes on shotguns before I went leopold. One Simmons scope lasted 3 shots before the reticle broke loose and was rattling around the bottom of the scope tube. You could actually see it laying there. The leopold BDC is dead on when coupled with 3" trophy copper. I've taken shots at the range @ 300 yards and rung a steel 2x2' plate...repeatedly.
 
I haven't shot slugs in years (have an 870 wingmaster w/ slug barrel) so i'm removed from the latest tech. My brother does have the savage 220 and says it's very accurate. He put a red dot on it and thinks it may have been knocked out of true aim (think i'll let him know about your post ltdann)
I do remember that the sluggers have one hell of a recoil.
 
Since I already own an 11-87 that would be the easiest thing to do. The only thing that concerns me about buying a rifled barrel is it didn't work out too well with my 870. I am using Leopold optics and I will try another Leopold scope but I doubt it is the scope. In our experience Leopold scopes have held up well with heavy recoiling guns. I used to hunt in Monterey Co. where shotguns were required so I have had this set up for a long time. It just doesn't like any loads I have tried so far.
 
Since I already own an 11-87 that would be the easiest thing to do. The only thing that concerns me about buying a rifled barrel is it didn't work out too well with my 870. I am using Leopold optics and I will try another Leopold scope but I doubt it is the scope. In our experience Leopold scopes have held up well with heavy recoiling guns. I used to hunt in Monterey Co. where shotguns were required so I have had this set up for a long time. It just doesn't like any loads I have tried so far.
As you know, not all barrels are created equal. My 870 slug barrel came with interchangeable chokes, one
of them is rifled. It shoots OK, as in it will hit a grapefruit at 50yds.
One of my brothers also has an 870 with a smooth bore slug barrel and it shoots better than my barrel.
Both of these examples were shot with 3" Remington sluggers and open sites.
 

ltdann

Member
Full rifled slug barrels are the bomb. They're specifically designed to shot sabot's, nothing else. We've come a long way from the rifled choke, and rifled slugs. As bankrunner said, 50 yards for a rifled slug is good shooting. I had one of those rifled chokes...I think I use it as a door stop.

When you buy a box of Federal 3" trophy copper, they recommend you SIGHT IN at 200 yds! And they aren't magnum rounds either. For some reason, the 3" shoot better than the 2 3/4"

IRT to the 11-87, make sure you buy the fully rifled cantilever from Remington. It's specifically designed for their shotguns. After market barrels (like hastings) sometimes don't fit well.

Gave that advice to a guy and he showed up in camp with an aftermarket barrel, never installed it, never shot it and couldn't figure it out. The barrel wouldn't fit his gun. somehow it was my fault, go figure.

With my 11-87, remington fully rifled cantiler barrel, leopold scope and the right ammo, I can put 3 shots inside two inches @100...on a good day.

All that said, when it comes to slugs, they have a ballistic arc like a mortar shell. It's tough to remember to shoot low in the heat of the moment when the deer are at 50 yds. The leopold BDC is big and clear and reminds you.

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The recoil on a 2 3/4" 12 gauge slug is about the same as a 150gr 30-06. You'd think that any good rifle scope would work on the 12 gauges....not so. What's good for your 06 won't work well on your shotgun. It'll break, slip in the rings or most often the recoil will make you lose your zero. it may work for awhile, then suddenly your scope will be a dog.

The reason is that the felt recoil pulse is much longer in duration than a rifle and rifle scopes are just not designed for slug guns. Get a good quality scope DESIGNED to handle slug recoil.

The $350 you'll spend on leopold is much cheaper than the 5 scopes I blew before I learned my lesson.
 
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dthome

Member
Ltdann, you have good advice. I have to chuckle, though, because when I first bought my slug gun, I put a $25 Tasco scope on it from Walmart. It’s killed many deer, and has been shockingly reliable. The eye relief is terrible though, and sometimes I think about a new scope. But if it ain’t broke...
 

ltdann

Member
Ltdann, you have good advice. I have to chuckle, though, because when I first bought my slug gun, I put a $25 Tasco scope on it from Walmart. It’s killed many deer, and has been shockingly reliable. The eye relief is terrible though, and sometimes I think about a new scope. But if it ain’t broke...
I wish that would have worked for me 😀. That 3 shot Simmons really fried my grits!


Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 
I used my 30 year old Browning B-80 when I started pig hunting. Not even sure what choke is screwed in on it. Bought a box of Hornady slugs. Shot one for practice and went out. Had a big boar stand up from about 20 feet in front of me and I thought this slug better bring him down.
 

Attachments

When I lived on the east cast, slugs were what we had to hunt with. I have thought about selling my Remington 1000 3" chamber with full rifled barrel cantilever scope mount. Never had to shoot non lead, I used lightfield 2 3/4" soft lead, man they walloped whitetails no trouble whatsoever.
 

ltdann

Member
Yep, the cantilever is the way to go. When you disassemble to clean, never loses zero. The big 4x5 I shot this year was with a slug gun...close shot too, forgot to aim low in the heat of the moment :)
 

Planetcat

Member
I found that on my 870, the full 28" smooth bore barrel with gold bead front sight and ribbed modified choke barrel shot better than the factory 20" tru-glo sighted rifled barrel with sabots. Believe it or not, the sabot and rifled slugs shot the same, about 6" groups at 100 yards open sights. Since I'm hell bent on shooting sabots more accurately out of my 870, I bought the 24" Mossberg rifled barrel, but have not shot it yet. I am curious to see if it's better than the Remington factory rifled barrel. All open sights, no cantilever scope. I've got to believe the extra length will help stabilize that heavy sabot over the short Rem barrel.
 

ltdann

Member
How odd. When I shot sabots thru my 870 wingmaster, you could see the where the sabot went into the paper side ways...if I could even hit the target at all. A buddy of mine shot at a deer with his 870 turkey gun(smoothbore) @ 50 yards. The deer stood there while he emptied and reloaded three times....then calmly walked away. I thought for sure Jim was gonna wrap that gun around a tree LOL. He ordered a rifle barrel from remington soon after and I'd say his is just a bit more accurate than mine. He's certainly killed more deer after he got the barrel.

That turkey barrel story is pretty popular at camp:rotflmao:
 

Planetcat

Member
How odd. When I shot sabots thru my 870 wingmaster, you could see the where the sabot went into the paper side ways...if I could even hit the target at all. A buddy of mine shot at a deer with his 870 turkey gun(smoothbore) @ 50 yards. The deer stood there while he emptied and reloaded three times....then calmly walked away. I thought for sure Jim was gonna wrap that gun around a tree LOL. He ordered a rifle barrel from remington soon after and I'd say his is just a bit more accurate than mine. He's certainly killed more deer after he got the barrel.

That turkey barrel story is pretty popular at camp:rotflmao:
I use the modified choke on the smoothbore with slugs and sabots, if that helps. I think you can use full too, but Ive been too paranoid to try it. I would also consider the rifled choke tubes, but one of my buddies said they didnt do much on his shotgun using sabots.
 

hntboar

Member
Question, anyone shooting the Mossberg 930 Semi auto slugster? Was going to invest in a new slug gun and like the reviews on this one. Any input from you all?
Thanks
 

Planetcat

Member
Question, anyone shooting the Mossberg 930 Semi auto slugster? Was going to invest in a new slug gun and like the reviews on this one. Any input from you all?
Thanks
My hunting partner bought one about 8 years ago, the waterfowl model. From day 1 and still today, it is a jam-o-matic.
 

FTTPOW

Moderator
I have an 870 Wingmaster. I've shot it for over 45 years with a smoothbore slug barrel. I've taken a few deer with it, but stopped using it for hunting when I started shooting muzzle loaders. We aren't restricted to non-lead, so all I've ever shot is rifled slugs. I used to shoot Remington slugs, but now it suddenly groups Winchesters better. I mounted a Redfield scope to a receiver mount, so now if I remove the barrel I have to re-zero. Fortunately I'v never had to remove the barrel. I've retired this to strictly slug shooting matches so it only gets 50-60 slugs fired out of it per year. I have done WELL in the past 20 years of slug competition. The biggest improvement I made to it was installing a Limbsaver recoil pad. There is no way I could shoot that many slugs in one day without it. The last shot of the day doesn't feel any different than the first. It's really interesting to see some competitors bracing themselves for the shot, by the end of a day of shooting. They KNOW that when they pull the trigger they get their already tender shoulder bitten once more with recoil. I've seen some flinch so bad they nearly miss the paper! These recoil pads are worth every penny.
Even though I have no experience with non-lead slugs, I can testify to the accuracy of a smoothbore barrel and an all lead rifled slug. I was pleasantly surprised at it's accuracy at 200 yards, but I need more range time to verify results. Maybe in the future I might get a rifled barrel and test some sabot/slugs, but for what I'm using it for, this is the cheapest and most accurate combination I've found. With the cost of slugs always going up, maybe I'll start molding my own and working up my own loads.
 


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