Re: My first slug gun - considering a 870 or 220
I had the Savage for 1 season. A few things to be aware of: 1) The ammo is really expensive ($3/round like a 50 BMG and you can't even reload !!!) Sighting in a scope with 20 rounds = $60.
2) The magazine only holds 2 rounds + 1 in chamber = 3 max at best
3) when chambering a new round, you have to pull the bolt all the way back smartly, else the spent shell will not eject or you might not pick up the next round.
Given that the legal season for this weapon is only 2 weeks a year, I felt it was a waste of money and now hunt with my muzzleloader. It has virtually the same performance, possibly even better now that I am shooting 45 cal 250gr Hornady SST's in sabots (2000fps MV). Of course you only get 1 shot, unless you are really fast at reloading... So far I have not needed more than 1 shot. I have a conceal carry license and have my 1911 with me if a coupe de grace is needed (it is also hunting legal).
If I had been able to reload, I might have kept my Savage. It is a pity that Savage chose to give the rifle a 3" chamber where in fact mostly 23/4" ammo is available. The bullet has to make a HUGE leap to get into the rifling, so I am actually amazed they are as accurate as they are...
The 20ga is more than enough. Get the 12ga if you want to hunt elk or moose...