July 07, 2006
Ask Dave: Is the Ithaca Deerslayer still a good slug gun?
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
Dave, I have an Ithaca Deerslayer slug gun (rifled barrel) that, with scope and saboted Winchester Supreme ammo, gives me 4-inch groups at 100 yards with the occasional flyer going out to 6 inches. I've killed deer with it, but the hits were not where I thought they'd be, and I'm looking for something more accurate. The local gun gurus say I should buy a box of every slug made and see what groups best, but I'm not looking forward to shooting box after $12 box of shells through this little cannon.
Are my expectations too high? Should I trade the gun? -- Daniel Beetz, York, ME
Daniel, I owned a Deerslayer slug gun in the early 90s, and have the subdural hematomas to remind me of it. The thing had a 15-pound trigger and weighed about 6 1/2 pounds, and while it shot OK for the time it would throw flyers just as your gun does. Slug-gun design has come a long way since the Deerslayer, and I'd sell it and look for something more modern.--DP