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The Firing Line

Deer hunting shotgun?

Uploaded on January 14, 2009

Does anyone have any information regarding the best all-around deer slug gun to purchase, particularly something in the 300-dollar range? I have been thinking of buying a Mossberg, but they are inaccurate from what I've heard. I also want something in a standard 12-gauge that would be good to hunt turkeys.

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from jay wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

The best slug guns I've found are the bolt action types. The barrels are typically fully rifled; not just a screw in choke. I personally use a Browning A-bolt 12 guage. I wouldn't trade or sell it for the world. Unfortunately, Browning discontinued these sometime ago and they are now selling on gunbroker.com for over 2000; I didn't pay near that. The bolt actions perform best with sabots.

the cheapest bolt action slug gun's that i'm aware of are made by Savage but the new ones are over your budget.

Based on your budget, your best bet would be to find something used.

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from jay wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

Forgot to mention; I've heard good things about mossberg as far as accuracy but with a low budget manufacturer such as mossberg fit and finish are typically the complaints. I don't own one; just what I've heard from buddies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from teebox25 wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

I have a 12 gauge Remington 870 Wingmaster, handed down to me from my grandfather, through my father. This shotgun is awesome, and it has been well taken care of. The great thing about this model is that I am able to hunt deer with slugs, turkey, and I have also hunted duck, dove, and quail with this shotgun. My patterns are as good without a choke, as my buddies with them. The Wingmaster would be higher than you're budget, but I have several friends that hunt with the Remington 870 Express, and they absolutely love them. The 870 Express is not much higher than your budget.

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from hunt_fish_sleep wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

I really like my remington 870 express super magnum. Works great on everything from doves to deer. I got the super magnum in camo on sale last year for $270. Now they run about $400. If you don't want the 3.5 inch, go for the 3". You're not really losing anything by going with the 3". Having the 3.5" is just one of those man complexions "gotta have the biggest and baddest" more than anything else.

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from Ziggy4334 wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Thanks for your information. The 870 Express sounds like the gun for me to buy.

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from philbourjaily wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

A Mossberg 500 combo with a vent-rib barrel and a rifled deer barrel lists for $450 and sells for less. Remington also offers an 870 Express set with a bird barrel and an iron-sighted, fully rifled slug barrel. I bought one for my younger son a couple of years ago for about $450. Either one would be a good choice for you.

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from Ziggy4334 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Thanks sir, I appreciate the info. Great job on your magazine, by the way.

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from jfose140 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Although the 870 can be a great gun, especially for the price, its not the best shotgun for deer. The best shotgun for deer is the Ithica Deerslayer. When it comes to accuracy and dependability, it is second to none. I have never shot a more accurate shotgun with open sights. I have seen many deer fall by way of my Father's and my own Ithicas at ranges exceeding 100 yards. If you havn't looked into a Deerslayer, then I recommend you do, you wont be disappointed.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Yep, a 3" 12 gauge is plenty of gun for deer and birds, unless you are a hardcore goose hunter and want the extra pellet count that 3 1/2" loads offer. I only use my 870 Super mag with
3 1/2" loads when the geese are spooky and flying higher later in the season.

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from shane wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Check out NEF/H&R shotguns if you are looking for something cheap, yet effective. They have good slug barrels and make a 24 inch (seems short on this gun) turkey barrel with an XF choke.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

yeah I would go with a mossberg 500 combo. that was my first gun and i hunted ducks, geese, deer, pigs, coyote and never had an issue. i now live where i can use a rifle so the shotgun is now a bump in the night gun.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckeye wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

I have a Mossberg 500 and have been hunting with it for about 5 years and it is very accurate. Make sure you get a fully rifled barrle and shoot good sabots out of it. I used remington copper solids. The 870 is also a great gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Prefer the 870 myself, used ones are a good bargain most places and invest tin the cantilevered rifled barrel , a red dot, keep a smoothe bore for general use, and you won't ever be disappointed.

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from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Lots of Ithaca 37s in Ohio. But, I use a Rem 11-87 with a daddle mount, 4x scope, and a screw-in choke tube.

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from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

That would be "Saddle mount"

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from bradenator wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have a mossberg 500 and its one of the most accurate guns i have

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from Drew McClure wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Does anyone have any feedback on a Franchi highlander in 20 gauge, I am interested in using the gun as a nostalgic, yet versatile addition to my arsenal?

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from Evan Delp wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

You can get a mossberg 500 slug gun for about that much, maybe a little cheaper.

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from lmrwlsn wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

H&R Ultra SLUG 12 ga under 250.00 here in ohio nothing quite like a submoa 12 Gauge ;)

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from matt wasson wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

rem 870 pump! with rifled barrel! hornaday sst! get a professional scope mount! see picture on the left for proof!

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from matt wasson wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

oops changed picture ID didnt think it would change all post..oh well see my photo

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from JohnR wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Mossberg 500 fully rifled barrels are indeed very accurate. I would recommend the trophy slugster barrel. It is 24", has an integral scope mount on it and you can get it factory ported. All the other shotguns recommended are good too, however I only have experience with the Mossberg 500. After you make your purchase, you should experiment shooting different slug loads as these rifled slug barrels will have a preference for a particular brand of ammo.

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from Seamus wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

I purchased a Mossberg 500 combo last year,And beleive you me its worth every nickel.I consider it to be the 30-30 of Slug slingers,A true working man type of fire arm.Granted its not a fancy piece,but otherwise its performance in the bush leaves nothing to be desired.Accurate with a smooth action and it handles well for its purpose.I hunt in some pretty rough terrain covering brushy timbered out lots with Honeysuckle thickets and rocky hillsides.It aint for delicate sensibilties nor fancy made shotguns.From southern Ohio bucks to northern Ohio pheasant and quail,The 500 combo does quite impressively.

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from jay wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

The best slug guns I've found are the bolt action types. The barrels are typically fully rifled; not just a screw in choke. I personally use a Browning A-bolt 12 guage. I wouldn't trade or sell it for the world. Unfortunately, Browning discontinued these sometime ago and they are now selling on gunbroker.com for over 2000; I didn't pay near that. The bolt actions perform best with sabots.

the cheapest bolt action slug gun's that i'm aware of are made by Savage but the new ones are over your budget.

Based on your budget, your best bet would be to find something used.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunt_fish_sleep wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

I really like my remington 870 express super magnum. Works great on everything from doves to deer. I got the super magnum in camo on sale last year for $270. Now they run about $400. If you don't want the 3.5 inch, go for the 3". You're not really losing anything by going with the 3". Having the 3.5" is just one of those man complexions "gotta have the biggest and baddest" more than anything else.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

A Mossberg 500 combo with a vent-rib barrel and a rifled deer barrel lists for $450 and sells for less. Remington also offers an 870 Express set with a bird barrel and an iron-sighted, fully rifled slug barrel. I bought one for my younger son a couple of years ago for about $450. Either one would be a good choice for you.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from teebox25 wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

I have a 12 gauge Remington 870 Wingmaster, handed down to me from my grandfather, through my father. This shotgun is awesome, and it has been well taken care of. The great thing about this model is that I am able to hunt deer with slugs, turkey, and I have also hunted duck, dove, and quail with this shotgun. My patterns are as good without a choke, as my buddies with them. The Wingmaster would be higher than you're budget, but I have several friends that hunt with the Remington 870 Express, and they absolutely love them. The 870 Express is not much higher than your budget.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ziggy4334 wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Thanks for your information. The 870 Express sounds like the gun for me to buy.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

yeah I would go with a mossberg 500 combo. that was my first gun and i hunted ducks, geese, deer, pigs, coyote and never had an issue. i now live where i can use a rifle so the shotgun is now a bump in the night gun.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Yep, a 3" 12 gauge is plenty of gun for deer and birds, unless you are a hardcore goose hunter and want the extra pellet count that 3 1/2" loads offer. I only use my 870 Super mag with
3 1/2" loads when the geese are spooky and flying higher later in the season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

Forgot to mention; I've heard good things about mossberg as far as accuracy but with a low budget manufacturer such as mossberg fit and finish are typically the complaints. I don't own one; just what I've heard from buddies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ziggy4334 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Thanks sir, I appreciate the info. Great job on your magazine, by the way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckeye wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

I have a Mossberg 500 and have been hunting with it for about 5 years and it is very accurate. Make sure you get a fully rifled barrle and shoot good sabots out of it. I used remington copper solids. The 870 is also a great gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Check out NEF/H&R shotguns if you are looking for something cheap, yet effective. They have good slug barrels and make a 24 inch (seems short on this gun) turkey barrel with an XF choke.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jfose140 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Although the 870 can be a great gun, especially for the price, its not the best shotgun for deer. The best shotgun for deer is the Ithica Deerslayer. When it comes to accuracy and dependability, it is second to none. I have never shot a more accurate shotgun with open sights. I have seen many deer fall by way of my Father's and my own Ithicas at ranges exceeding 100 yards. If you havn't looked into a Deerslayer, then I recommend you do, you wont be disappointed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from matt wasson wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

rem 870 pump! with rifled barrel! hornaday sst! get a professional scope mount! see picture on the left for proof!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from matt wasson wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

oops changed picture ID didnt think it would change all post..oh well see my photo

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Lots of Ithaca 37s in Ohio. But, I use a Rem 11-87 with a daddle mount, 4x scope, and a screw-in choke tube.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

That would be "Saddle mount"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Mossberg 500 fully rifled barrels are indeed very accurate. I would recommend the trophy slugster barrel. It is 24", has an integral scope mount on it and you can get it factory ported. All the other shotguns recommended are good too, however I only have experience with the Mossberg 500. After you make your purchase, you should experiment shooting different slug loads as these rifled slug barrels will have a preference for a particular brand of ammo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Prefer the 870 myself, used ones are a good bargain most places and invest tin the cantilevered rifled barrel , a red dot, keep a smoothe bore for general use, and you won't ever be disappointed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan Delp wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

You can get a mossberg 500 slug gun for about that much, maybe a little cheaper.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Does anyone have any feedback on a Franchi highlander in 20 gauge, I am interested in using the gun as a nostalgic, yet versatile addition to my arsenal?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bradenator wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have a mossberg 500 and its one of the most accurate guns i have

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lmrwlsn wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

H&R Ultra SLUG 12 ga under 250.00 here in ohio nothing quite like a submoa 12 Gauge ;)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Seamus wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

I purchased a Mossberg 500 combo last year,And beleive you me its worth every nickel.I consider it to be the 30-30 of Slug slingers,A true working man type of fire arm.Granted its not a fancy piece,but otherwise its performance in the bush leaves nothing to be desired.Accurate with a smooth action and it handles well for its purpose.I hunt in some pretty rough terrain covering brushy timbered out lots with Honeysuckle thickets and rocky hillsides.It aint for delicate sensibilties nor fancy made shotguns.From southern Ohio bucks to northern Ohio pheasant and quail,The 500 combo does quite impressively.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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