My first slug gun - considering a 870 or 220

Discussion in 'Long Range Shotgun Slug Hunting' started by CleanShot, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Hello

    I'm interested in picking up my first slug gun for deer firearms season here in NJ. I saw a deal on a 870 field/deer package for $410 but I'm thinking of just getting a Savage 220 or 212 instead. I read lots of good things about the Savage both here and from friends. I feel like I'm better off getting the Savage for slugs and Beretta/Benelli for turkey/waterfowl rather then getting the seemingly awesome deal on the 870 with both barrels.

    I'd love the flexibility of possibly using it for hogs as well. So I'm also trying to decide if the 12 or 20 gauge would be better. Everyone loves their 220 for deer but I'm wondering if that's enough to drop hogs as well.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Sam
     
  2. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    I can answer these questions for you. First the 870 is not in the ballpark for accuracy, it does both slugs and bird shot well but not great. I currently shoot an h&r ultra slug Hunter deluxe. Shoots better than my savage did. Not by much but thats all it takes cause I hunt everything with a slug gun for the challenge. That being said it is a single shot. Yet I have yet to need a second make the first count. I would go with a 20 gauge all day I struggled for a long time between the two and ended with 20 gauge. As for hogs no problem ive killed lots with 20 gauge using Remington accutips and never needed a second shot. In fact last year I had a friend shoot it through a 160 pound pig and kill a baby behind it and that one at 119 yards. Hopefully this helps.
     

  3. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    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...
     
  4. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Get the savage, I set one up and shot it for groups last year, with an army buddy. Great gun, way,way above the 870. 20g is more than enough gun, and 20 rounds to sight in a gun is NUTS!
     
  5. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Not when you are trying 3 different types of ammo, all that was available on the market at the time. That is just over 6 rounds each or 2 groups of 3. Murphy was active, the round that grouped best I couldn't get in stock anywhere and had to settle for one of the alternates. Factory recommended 3" shells, but they were not in stock anywhere, all was 2 3/4.
     
  6. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like I should strike the 870 from the equation and either go with the Savage 220 or a muzzleloader. I don't know much about muzzleloaders in terms of which manufacturers people recommend or how the price point compares to the 220 though. I guess I'll read up a bit on that before I make my final decision so I can make a better decision which is the way to go.

    Thanks for your replies
    Sam
     
  7. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    The ML is less expensive and ships straight to your door - no FFL needed (unless your state law requires it).

    Look at the TC inline muzzle loaders. The CVA's apparently do not play nice with Blackhorn 209 powder without getting a replacement breech plug.

    Get blackhorn 209 and CCI full strength 209 primers, not the special weak Muzzle loader version of the 209 primer. Blackhorn 209 required good strong 209 primers.

    I am using Hornady 250gr 45 cal SST bullets in the red 50 cal sabots. They were priced a lot better than the powerbelt bullets I shot previously and I believe the ballistics will be better too, given the same weight in a smaller diameter bullet with a polymer tip.

    With Blackhorn 209 you can clean up with Hoppes #9 and the powder is completely non corrosive. Even so, I strongly suggest you get a stainless muzzle loader. The risk of corrosion with them is always higher than with a smokeless powder weapon and stainless reduces your risk significantly.
     
  8. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    You may want to check your laws. Some places are doing shotgun only ive heard no muzzle loaders. Don't know why. I for one would never trade my slug gun for a muzz, in two different cases I have been able to shoot more than one deer in a short period of time.about enough to reload. Yes ammo is pricey but once its sighted on who cares I done know many who use more than a box a year. Having both and living in shotgun zone I would do 20 slug. Either the H&r or savage I loved both, hr just shot better in my case. And yes 870 should be out of thought process.
     
  9. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    why do I feel like I'm suddenly going from one 870 combo to 3 separate guns, slug/shotgun/muzzleloader? :)
     
  10. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the million different choices. I would say to nail down exactly what you will use this gun for 90 percent of the time. My 870 combo is awsome in its own right. If you realistically will only need to shoot slugs 100 to 125 yards consistently a 870 will do that and kill birds. If you are more worried about longer range shots out to say 175 to 200 yards then you need to get a slug gun or muzzle loader. Both will do the longer ranges better just your choice of cheap ammo of the muzz or convenience of slugs. I still own my 870 and use it alot, I just know its capabilities and stick within it. Also whatever you choose make sure to equip it with a quality scope. Nikon or leupold. Just take your time and make sure you like what you choose and you will be happy.
     
  11. Rock 29

    Rock 29 Well-Known Member

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    Previous post stated that you can't reload for slug guns? You sure can, you just have a harder time finding info. Check out "BPI" or "Slugs are us" websites. Slugs are us has everything you need to get started, BPI has loading manual for slugs. Also check out articles written by Dave Henderson about shotguns, he has info on reloading slugs.
     
  12. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    The question is not whether one can load slugs in shotgun shells. The question is whether one can create loads that replicate the performance of the Sabot loads which cost $3 each.

    That, is a very different question and yes, it seems to be impossible to find the matching bullets and sabots for use in the 20ga shells and suitable for the rifled barrels. I investigated this topic for several months and could not find anyone doing this for rifle barreled shotguns.

    To the OP, if you do not yet own a ML, I suggest you check it out. If you avoid the pitfalls (wrong bullets and powder / primers) you will find it a capable system. Cheaper than the alternatives and inherently accurate, since YOU can fine tune your load until it shoots great. With the slug guns, one is very limited by available factory ammo and the way the gun is chambered relative to the shells you are actually able to buy. I actually don't know if anyone is making a 3" slug load for 20ga anymore, yet all guns seem to be chambered for 3" shells anyway. This has an altogether different effect in a rifled barreled weapon vs a smoothbore.
     
  13. Rock 29

    Rock 29 Well-Known Member

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    That is part of the fun for some of us, trying to find or create loads that match factory loads at less cost and shoot as well. You can get 25 LBC Blu force sabots w/ slugs & primed hulls in a kit for $23 from BPI, which comes to about 92 cents per shot + powder (.13 cents). Or you can use SPW sabots w/ slugs from Slugs r us, 20 sabots w/ slugs are $13 + 20 cents per primed hull +13 cents per round for powder comes out to 98 cents per shot. This load really shoots in my hastings barrel, you can also shoot pistol or muzzleloading bullets with this sabot. I guess it is about what effort you want to put into making your slug gun shoot. JMO
     
  14. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    3 inch slugs are easy to find federal, Remington, and Winchester all offer them although they are usually less accurate not sure why. Roc I am send you a pm. Got a slug load I'd like to see if your interested in developing.