View Full Version : Effective Range of Shotgun With Slugs - Need Rifle Anyway?
Effective Range of Shotgun With Slugs - Need Rifle Anyway?
Thinking about deer and maybe elk hunting this fall.
Have a nice Rem 870 with a 20" deer barrel and a good 50 Rem Slugger deer slugs in storage.
I'm told that a good shooter with practice can be pretty effective at 75 yards with a shotgun.
Am I just running my beagles after an old scent by thinking I should get a Rem 700 rilfe in 30-06 to extend my range
out to 200 yards?
Or what about a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag? Have a Ruger Redhawk in 44 mag and i understand the Marlin has a range
out to about 100 yards.
With many deer shots being taken within 100 yards here in Washington, do I need a rifle anyway?
As you can see, I do reload and have an empty press and could enjoy reloading jsut for accuracy with a rifle. The
hunting could be a secondary use.
What do you think?
I have a Rem 870 express with a smoothbore deer barrel. I can keep my slugs on a pie plate out to 60-65 yards. I might be able to do better with a rifled barrel and some of them new fangled slugs but you have to spend more money for good performance out to 100 yards with a shotgun than you would with a decent rifle...I'd pick rifle.
I'd go with the new Marlin 1894SS .44 or, if you don't mind the extra weight, the 1895GS (non-ported now) to give you a little flatter trajectory out to 150yds.
with a slug bbl, sabot slugs and a 4x scope you'll be good out to 150yds. from a rest i can make 4" groups @ 75 with my smooth bbl 870 with rifled slugs. but i tried my old man's dedicated slug gun and there's no comparison. much more accurate.
it depends on where you're hunting though. some places you'll never see a shot over 150 yards, but other places you can get 400+ (if you don't know how to stalk ;))
i'd say just get another bbl unless you're looking for an excuse to buy another gun. you'll be able to reach out as far as you really need to with a slug gun. hell if the deer is out of range it's out of range. still beats workin'.
That Remington 700 you referred to would me my first choice of the guns you listed. I think I would opt for the .308 winchester round instead of the 30-06 especially being that you are a reloader. There is a LOT of available brass, especially military that can be had very reasonably priced and you can load the .308 up to 30-06 velocities without much trouble. If you spend a little time at the range you can work up a load to give you great accuracy. I've found that Hogdon's BLC2 ball powder works well for me. I've had my Remington 700 in .308 since 1978 and take it hunting with me every deer season. (sometimes as a backup gun when using my .300 Win mag but it still goes)
I think you need to ask a few hunters in your area what the average shot distance is for your area and the type of hunting you will be doing. I generally hunt in forest areas either stalking or stand hunting where most shots are 50 yards or less so I use the regular slugs you have on hand. They are a lot cheaper than the saboted slugs. If you are looking at shots at or over the 100 yard range then I would definitely go for the sabot slugs. If you think you will be taking shots beyond 150-175 yards then I would say go out and get that new rifle. Even with the saboted slugs the bullet loses too much energy beyond that distance to be reliably effective, especially if you are talking about elk size game.
You'll hear tons of opinions on what rifle caliber is best for deer and elk. I like my 7mm Rem Mag but there are several calibers that will suit the job just fine.
I have a Remington 870 12 gauge with a Hastings cantilever scope mount barrel. I like this rig for deer. My Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope 1.75 x 4 variable has a very wide field of view at 1.75 power and it is quicker than iron sights. Turned up to 4 power it is good for longer shots as well. This scope has a 32 mm objective lens and gathers light very well. Like "Glock You" I use regular old slugs (Winchester). They shoot pretty close to dead on out to 75 yards. At 100 yards they are about 3 inches low. If I planned to shoot farther, I would use sabots. The nice thing about the cantilever scope mount barrel is that you can remove the scope with the barrel and use your regular barrel to hunt birds or whatever.
I have not heard of anyone using a shotgun for Elk. I have read an article on a guy who hunted Caribou in Canada with a shotgun and slug. He thought that it would be unique. When he talked to the guide, he was informed that a lot of the locals use shotguns to harvest their Caribou.
Out to 100 yards or so a shotgun works pretty good. If you think that you may get a 200 yard shot, you would want the rifle.
Duncan it is quite obvious that you have the urge to hunt, as you are interested in Deer and Elk at this time you will probably become interested in larger and possibly dangerous game. It doesn't really matter what you are hunting, you have to have enough gun for anything that inhabits the area. I would get a good Bolt Gun in one of the 338's or a 375 H&H and shoot it a lot to the point you are very framiliar with it and very good with it. There are a lot of advantages to owning and useing one rifle.
Have a nice evening, Rabon...
I hear you Rabon. Thanks for answering my question. Rem 870 within 60 yards and I'll just stalk to get in close.
Many guys are Seattle poo poo shotgun but most of the shots are under 100 yards.
The .30-06 is what I would use for the longer range shots in Eastern Washington.
If you hunt the timber country of Western Washington, then your shotgun with slug barrel will be fine.
duncan - fooled me. I thought for sure you were looking for a little encouragement to buy a rifle.
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