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12 Gauge For Big Game? #7798976 04/07/20 10:12 PM
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Just Plain Tim Offline OP
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My Uncles used to use shotgun for deer etc because of restrictions back in the old days but I never had to.
How versatile is the 12 gauge Really for big game?
I'm in AZ right now but I don't know the laws and restrictions here on it yet, but what are Your experiences, and what game have you taken with shotgun hunting?

A decent Remi is within the budget, and with all the barrel options out there it seems one might be what I'm needing right now.
And I could still pick up a rimfire for small game.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7798987 04/07/20 10:26 PM
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I have killed 3 deer with a 12, a Remington 870. Using slugs and buckshot. In Vietnam I also killed a VC and a NVA soldier with the same model. You gotta be close the range isn't there.


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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7798992 04/07/20 10:38 PM
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As a kid, we deer hunted in thick woods in North Louisiana. Very fast paced and fun, we ran deer with Walker dogs past stand and sitting-under-tree hunters armed with shotguns, mostly 870's in 12 or 20 gauge. Killed my first 2 deer with 20 gauge buckshot. My family mostly used either 00 or #4 buckshot and lively campfire arguments ensued over which was better. Great time to be a kid; fast paced, never boring, saw lots of deer. As soon as you heard the dogs barking, you'd better have a shotgun shouldered because the deer would pass any second.

Like was mentioned above, not much range. I was just a kid, but I doubt if my shots were farther than 30 yards with most closer.


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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7798993 04/07/20 10:41 PM
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You'll have to use a slug with that shotgun in Az so get yourself a decent slug barrel. You can get good accuracy and decent range with a good barrel.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7799059 04/07/20 11:48 PM
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Sounds like you are looking for a slug gun. I have killed one whitetail and one hog with my Mossberg Slugster. I wouldn’t be scared to take a 150 yard shot with it.

If I was in the market now, I’d take a hard look at the Savage 212 or 220 bolt guns for a dedicated big game rig.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7799074 04/07/20 11:55 PM
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Grew up in NJ and shoot guns were the only legal firearm. Initially only buck shot. Killed a number of deer with this method/ As stated you need tp be close 35 to 40 yds to be confident. Later slugs were allowed and the range with the correct barrel increased to 100 yds plus.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7799095 04/08/20 12:17 AM
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I'm considering this because of budget, and versatility.
I live in an Extremely small place and deal with a lot of questionable trespassers. Yet I would also like something I can put meat on the table with as well.
A shotgun with multiple barrels is much cheaper than multiple firearms...

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7799107 04/08/20 12:23 AM
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I had a Mossberg 500 with regular and rifled slug barrel. Came as a package deal complete w/scope. It could do 2in groups at 100 yds. Wish I hadn't sold it.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: dogcatcher] #7799120 04/08/20 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dogcatcher
I have killed 3 deer with a 12, a Remington 870. Using slugs and buckshot. In Vietnam I also killed a VC and a NVA soldier with the same model. You gotta be close the range isn't there.



not to get off topic, but was the 870 a standard issue weapon?


I've heard of guys importing their own guns during that era....I read one story of a guy that had a Model 336 in .444 Marlin Shipped over


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7800157 04/08/20 09:08 PM
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I've had a lot of fun working with slugs and slug guns the last several years. I have both rifled and smoothbores, don't discount the latter. The slug gun that I fell in love with is a Western Field 170 bolt action, a smoothbore, it is amazingly accurate. I cast and shoot the Lee one-ounce slug. I killed my first deer with a slug this past season.

[Linked Image]

My load

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What it might look like coming out of the barrel!

[Linked Image]

I even found a five-round magazine for the 170!

[Linked Image]


Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7800196 04/08/20 09:41 PM
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In AZ you can use a shotgun with slugs for deer, bear, elk, and javelina. With that said, you'll need to investigate which type of hunt (archery/muzzleloader/ham/rifle) actually allows the use of a shotgun to take the animal.

Here is a link to the 2019-2020 regulations:
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/...rizona-Hunting-Reguations_WEB_190514.pdf

I believe the archery success rate in AZ is in the single digits. Since you are planning to use a shotgun, it may behoove you to mimic archers as you both have significant range limitations.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: txtrophy85] #7800241 04/08/20 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
Originally Posted by dogcatcher
I have killed 3 deer with a 12, a Remington 870. Using slugs and buckshot. In Vietnam I also killed a VC and a NVA soldier with the same model. You gotta be close the range isn't there.



not to get off topic, but was the 870 a standard issue weapon?


I've heard of guys importing their own guns during that era....I read one story of a guy that had a Model 336 in .444 Marlin Shipped over


The 870 was an issued weapon, Some of the REMFs carried all kinds of personal stuff. A Grunt in the field rarely carried anything except issue weapons, any personal weapon was useless oa n ammo supply.

Back on topic, I also shot one doe with a 410 slug, used a Stevens bolt action gun. Like said, you have to close, like in archery.


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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7800251 04/08/20 10:17 PM
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I spent a lot of time on the East Coast when I was active duty and many of the hunting areas there require a shotgun. So if I wanted to hunt deer, that is what I used. I have shot and killed a lot of whitetails with both buckshot and slugs. Buckshot is a 40 yard option in my opinion. AT 40 and less it is deadly. At over 40 it still works but the pellet spread isn't as effective. Slugs are another story. A modern slug gun with a rifled barrel and a scope will drop any deer in the country at ranges up to about 150 yards. One thing if you smack one in the chest with a 12 ga slug they don't go far. It really turns the lights out quickly.


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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Ranch Dog] #7800364 04/08/20 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranch Dog
I've had a lot of fun working with slugs and slug guns the last several years. I have both rifled and smoothbores, don't discount the latter. The slug gun that I fell in love with is a Western Field 170 bolt action, a smoothbore, it is amazingly accurate. I cast and shoot the Lee one-ounce slug. I killed my first deer with a slug this past season.

[Linked Image]

My load

[Linked Image]

What it might look like coming out of the barrel!

[Linked Image]

I even found a five-round magazine for the 170!

[Linked Image]


Is a Western Field a Sears or Monkey Wards offering, I can't remember. My dad used to have a Mossberg in both 16 & 20 ga. Bolt shotguns. Think it was the same gun.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7800376 04/09/20 12:14 AM
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Awesome Sir.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: angus1956] #7800386 04/09/20 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by angus1956
Is a Western Field a Sears or Monkey Wards offering, I can't remember. My dad used to have a Mossberg in both 16 & 20 ga. Bolt shotguns. Think it was the same gun.

The Western Field was a Montgomery Wards offering of the Mossberg 595. The difference seems to be that MW spec'd the Slugster with adjustable rifle sights were the Mossberg had a notch cut into the receiver ring.


Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7800448 04/09/20 01:18 AM
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I’ve killed hundreds of hogs with my grandpas old 870 wingmaster with a rifled barrel and slugs.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I plowed mules.
Originally Posted by Roll-Tide
I did build a cabin. Aka the brokeback shack.

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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7800476 04/09/20 01:45 AM
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Have killed deer, elk, bears, coyotes and a moose. Shot about 12-15 WT's in the river bottoms here where we have to use short-range weapons. Use a rem 870 with Hastings Paradox slug barrel and 4X Leupold scope. Deadly at 200 yards and even further.

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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7803146 04/11/20 10:34 PM
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I used my Rem 870 slug gun to tale a couple of slickheads last season. Not a good picture.


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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: dogcatcher] #7803351 04/12/20 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by dogcatcher
I have killed 3 deer with a 12, a Remington 870. Using slugs and buckshot. In Vietnam I also killed a VC and a NVA soldier with the same model. You gotta be close the range isn't there.


Thanks for your service DC, i really do appreciate it.

Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7803431 04/12/20 03:56 AM
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My second deer at age 14 was taken with a 2 3/4 Remington Slugger from a Remington 11-48 12 Gauge. Killed the deer and the pine tree behind it.

Deer Season 2017 took a doe at 28 yards with a handloaded copy of Dixie Slugs Tri-Ball Buckshot (3 .600 round balls moving 1100 fps). DRT.

Patterning/Grouping with slugs and buckshot to find the tightest combination is the most important part. Shoot your shotgun with different loads, different chokes, etc. and your ability to take big game with a shotgun will dramatically increase.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr



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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: LeonCarr] #7803447 04/12/20 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by LeonCarr
My second deer at age 14 was taken with a 2 3/4 Remington Slugger from a Remington 11-48 12 Gauge. Killed the deer and the pine tree behind it.

Deer Season 2017 took a doe at 28 yards with a handloaded copy of Dixie Slugs Tri-Ball Buckshot (3 .600 round balls moving 1100 fps). DRT.

Patterning/Grouping with slugs and buckshot to find the tightest combination is the most important part. Shoot your shotgun with different loads, different chokes, etc. and your ability to take big game with a shotgun will dramatically increase.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr


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Re: 12 Gauge For Big Game? [Re: Just Plain Tim] #7805189 04/13/20 10:05 PM
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It can be done. You give up range for sure.

I'd try to keep my shots under 100 yards. Running shots would be a challenge, of course those are a challenge anyway. I had a hard time hitting deer with a slug, my brother was deadly. We both had Mossberg 500 20 ga.


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