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

Discussion in 'Long Range Shotgun Slug Hunting' started by Brennan, May 5, 2013.

  1. Brennan

    Brennan New Member

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    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
     
  2. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  3. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    +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.
     
  4. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    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........
     
  8. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    I love my H&R Ultra Slug 20 gauge. As others have said, it is extremely accurate. I was worried at first about it being a single shot, but none of the 3 deer I've shot (distances 40-100 yards) have moved very far from where I've shot them so I've yet to need a 2nd shot. I've heard others with the same gun say theirs shot the SST really well, but mine hated them. Mine loved the 3" Accutips and I haven't looked back.

    With that being said, I hunt every year with friends in VA that is shotgun only county and I keep saying I'm going to buy the Savage 220 for those moments where I may need a 2nd shot. Either way, you can't go wrong after mounting a scope on either one.
     
  9. ARTD338

    ARTD338 Member

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    FWIW, are you are at all familure with or heard of a man by the name Dave Henderson ?, he is considered by his peers in the shooting sports and firearms industry as one of if not THE authority on Sabot as well as Foster type slugs and the specialized firearms that shoot them.

    I see him almost every time I go to the IL deer and turkey classic. I asked him at the IL show in 2013 which is the better all around performing sabot slug, the 12 2.75/3" or 20ga 3". He replied with out doubt the 12ga, and that it is his sabot caliber of choice. He did say the 20ga is a fine deer killer, but the 20 simply doesn't have any advantages that would justify a person such as myself who owns several great 12ga specialized slug rifles to buy one in 20. He did say the 20 had one appreciable advantage of the 12 and that is it has far less recoil, so for those who are recoil shy, or for young hunters just starting out, the 20 is a excellent alternative.

    Now this is simply one mans opinion, but it is the opinion of a man who has shot more slugs of every manufacture and has more experience with slugs and the companies who make them than likely anyone else alive today, so I would tend to have a great deal of respect for his opinion.

    I personably feel that one could not go wrong with either, but as I hunt public land I really appreciate how my 12ga 99x out of 100 nocks a deer flat when I shoot them with my Partition Gold's. I mean of the all the deer I shot with them none failed to drop within sight, including my longest ever shot on a deer (a nice 8 pointer) of 205 yards.

    Which ever you buy you should be well served, but if like me recoil is a nonissue, I would buy the 12 if you're going bolt action.