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Planning to purchase higher end shotgun. 12 ga or 20 ga?

 
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:50 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Orlando, FL
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Planning to purchase higher end shotgun. 12 ga or 20 ga?

I'm planning to purchase a shotgun for a shotgun only deer hunt in Ohio this fall. I've always just borrowed a 20 gauge Remington 870 when I needed. I've alway been a fan of the model 70 Winchester and 400-600 yards shots. I realize that shotguns are really only accurate out to 300 yards and it takes a quality shotgun, rifled shotgun barrel and good ammo selection to do that responsibly.
I've really just started my search for what feels good and shoulders well for me. I plan to mount a scope on it and understand that some systems are not great for repeatability.
I was looking at a 20 gauge autoloader Benelli AA-Grade Satin Walnut Montefeltro Silver. I don't think a rifled barrel can be had for it, but it felt sweet in my hands and shouldered great. I especially liked the thinner forearm grip. The pump actions seem a little thick in this area. The 870 shoulders well, but it's always felt thick. I may have to adapt. It's likely because I'm used to my Winchester rifle. I'm not really a fan of the camo and tactical looks at all. I really want wood grain and pretty nice wood grain if possible. I've looked (pictures) at the Browning Silver Rifled Deer Satin and the BPS Rifled Deer Hunter, but haven't shouldered any yet.
I'm looking for advice on which models to stay away from.

Also and this is a big one. 12 gauge or 20 gauge?

My feeling was that a 20 gauge slug would "fly" better because its smaller caliber and, I assume, less sabot packing. However I've been 2nd guessing myself. It seems that the really good specially ammo is mostly only available in the 12 gauge verity.

In summary: 12 or 20, scope/cantilever rifled barrel or scope/frame to rifled barrel.
Another thought: 22" or 26-28" barrel? longer seems better for accuracy.

Your feed back is greatly appreciated.
Brennan Hoyt
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Model 70 Winchester Super-Grade 30-06 Leupold VX-3L 4.5-14x56mm with CDS shooting Hornady 165 gr SST 2960 fps (#81153). Predator Gold ProEars
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:15 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 132
Re: Planning to purchase higher end shotgun. 12 ga or 20 ga?

A buddy of mine likes his 20 ga slug gun more than his 12, both Savage. Yes, more ammo choices with the 12. A shotgun slug is still a mid-range tool at that. I only like 'high percentage' shots, saving any 'hail mary's' for church. There are those that do the longer range practice, range find, & do 175 yrds or so. It would take practice & a few other things to reliably handle 200 yrds under field conditions.

I do the IL thing on a buddies lease, no center-fire allowed. I do take my 12 ga Browning Gold for back up, but my gun of choice is a Knight muzzle-loader(Elite). Yes, just a bit more fiddling to keep it running, but it really stacks em up.


Just to add, most slug guns have a 22 or so inch barrel, plenty of length & still maneuverable. Depending of what you already have or need, you could get a gun & just get the extra slug barrel. A Browning Gold would offer that option. If you get a 20 ga, just mail order your preferred slugs & take a supply with you. Even in more open conditions you can stack the odds in your favor for a closer shot. This may be by sitting on an edge towards the likely corner the deer like. Also, that 250 yrd deer mare become a 75 yrd deer if you give it some time, wind direction taken into account.

For most larger game hunting that 2nd or 3rd shot is over rated. That's why a Browning A-Bolt slug gun would be a great choice. JMHO of course.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:26 AM
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Re: Planning to purchase higher end shotgun. 12 ga or 20 ga?

+1 on the Savage 220 bolt in 20 ga. My buddy and I have them and they are solid MOA guns with a variety of ammo. Lower cost allows for some extra bucks to get a decent scope with a calibrated reticle which is needed for the longer shots.I think 200 yards is about the range limit, whether 12 or 20ga.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:24 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 132
Re: Planning to purchase higher end shotgun. 12 ga or 20 ga?

Just FYI, there is a Benelli 20 ga slug barrel for sale locally, says it fits the M1/M2 Benelli 20 ga gun. His asking price is $500. Just throwing it out for reference if it helps.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Spring Lake Michigan
Posts: 296
Re: Planning to purchase higher end shotgun. 12 ga or 20 ga?

I can help win this one, went through the same about two years ago and still on a quest for a better slug gun. After owning and shooting 870, savage, and H&R. I ended with the H&R ultra slughunter deluxe 20 gauge. I shoot 3 inch accutips, I have no problem making 200 yard shots. I do practice alot at that range. That being said 300 is to far for a slug gun. The ammo is just not capable of a consistent shot that far. If you want to pm me I will give you my number and I may be able to steer you I the right direction. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:16 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Spring Lake Michigan
Posts: 296
Re: Planning to purchase higher end shotgun. 12 ga or 20 ga?

I think you cant go wrong with the savage or H&R. I just had better luck with my H&R. The trick is finding he ammo the gun likes. Sometimes its not the one you want. Most shoot 2 3/4 shells best mine happens to like 3 inch. Accutips did do best in all my guns. Also as stated above by a good scope.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:11 AM
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Re: Planning to purchase higher end shotgun. 12 ga or 20 ga?

My county is shotgun, I used a rem 870 20g until I moved up to a 12g both shot great and dropped dear like a hammer. I would do as the other guys suggested and get a set of barrels with a shot gun you can use for more than one thing. I currently use a rem 1187 smooth bore 12g with lightfeild slugs. Its hits where I aim it at, I gave up chasing the mythical MOA slug gun dream its just not needed. I got a center fire pistol last year for stand hunting and only use the shotgun for drives.

I did help a buddy sight in a savage 220 last year and I must admit, if you want a shotgun for accuracy, I believe this is about the best your going to get. It feels like a rifle not a shotgun.

Also I dont know where you got this 300 yard number from but good luck with that........
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