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Shotgun for whitetail deer

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Dan0076, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. Dan0076

    Dan0076 Special Member

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    Newbie hunting question about shotgun.

    I've never been hunting, but I am planning on taking a trip this season with a couple of friends who do hunt. I have only one shotgun. A single shot New England arms 20ga.

    Would it be fine to use for white tail deer in VA? I would want to add a rear, and different front, sight. Or should I just go get a Rem or Moss for a couple hundred (unbudgeted) dollars?

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
     
  2. Esox357

    Esox357

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    What ranges are you going to be hunting? Can you use a rifle? Do you want a shotgun that its only purpose is used only for deer hunting?
    Under 50 yards, I would shoot a couple of slugs into a pie plate with the bead sight only and see how it does. Keep in mind most of the NEF shotguns are equipped with fixed modified chokes which puts some pressure on the barrel. I would consult with NEF to see if it can handle slugs?
    If you have the resources then I would go to Wally World and buy a 870 pump either the standard smooth bore or buy the rifled version. From there you can buy a used or new rifled barrel with rifle sights. Keep the original barrel for upland, ducks, trap, and other hunting. The problem I see is how much versatility do you want. I have shot 18" 870's with rifle sights and improved cylinder at 75 yards and was getting tennis ball groupings off hand. Esox357
     

  3. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    There's plenty of power in that 20ga. It's what I started with as a kid before I could handle a 12ga. A 3/4oz slug is a big chunk of lead. A mod choke won't cause you any trouble, but if it's any tighter I wouldn't shoot slugs through it.

    If you have the Topper classic with the vent rib there are a slew of companies that make clip on rifle sights. Without the rib you can get a front sight easy enough, but might need a gunsmith to drill and tap for a rear sight.

    A dedicated slug gun would give you greater range through increased accuracy and a good pump gun would be great. Since you've never hunted before you might want to go on this trip and see if you like it first, then get yourself a good setup like Esox described if you do. I've taken new people hunting before and some folks just don't have it in them. Don't worry about the budget now. If you get hooked on hunting you'll find a way to make it work. ;f

    I think your money would be better spent on 10 boxes of shells. Get your shot confidence up and know your limitations. If you can go shoot woodchucks that's excellent practice. Deer are much bigger, but the vital area is about the same size as what you will see when shooting at a chuck. It also helps with range estimation.
     
  4. Ragsbo

    Ragsbo

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    I agree that the first thing I would do is see how the gun you now have shoots. Calling the manufacturer would be good to see what they say about shooting slugs with your set up. Don't spend the money to buy sabot slugs, they will not work in a smooth bore (trust me I've been there done that, don't work, you must have a rifled barrel). You will want a plain jane slug, and different brands will shoot different in your gun, so you might want to try different ones. As far as sights go, you really don't need them. My wife hunts with a 28 inch vent rib barrel with only a bead sight and is deadly out to 50-60 yards (and that is why I am so nice to her and bring her flowers and such). If you like the hunt and want to get into it, then buy you a better gun. I believe New England has a slug gun that operates just like yours, but with rifled barrel and sights. But your present set up should do until you find out if you like it or not. Do you know someone who might be able to lone you one?
     
  5. Dan0076

    Dan0076 Special Member

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    Thanks for the answeres. I do want to get a better setup, (870) that I can change barrels on so I can use for home defense (main purpose) and hunting. I will try to use what I have right now since I can't get what I want right now (a slim possiblity still though). I'm going to contact the manuf. and to make sure it will be fine to shoot slugs. Then to the range to try out some different slugs. With just the front bead and see if I'd like to get a rear sight on it.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Hunterjbb

    Hunterjbb

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    make sure that the county your hunting in allows slugs. Some require buckshot.. some require that for you to use rifle and or equivalent you must be elevated at least 10 feet..

    Otherwise the 20ga with slugs is actually a pretty good deer killer if your shooting shorter distances.. 50-75 max.. I used one when i was young and took a few with mine..

    good luck and be safe.

    Jeff.
     
  7. 8-Ball

    8-Ball Old Soul

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    I take a Mossberg 12ga with 3 in. 1 oz hollow point slugs. works great for me every year, drops them like a rock
     
  8. noway

    noway

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    You don't need a 12ga and 3" slugs for a white tail deer. They aren't built like tanks. 20ga slugs are more than enough. Just be advise you won't have a BIG selection when compared to the 12ga offerings when shopping for slugs ( rifled or non ).

    NEF shotguns can handle slugs in their smoothbores, I believe they offer a rifled barrel in the 20ga but like mpol stated the trooper model which is offered in a 12ga with the slughunter being their slugshotgun prime model. is very good. I shot the 12ga slug model and it was quite accurate. Just remember you only got one shot and select you shot and know your distance.

    Most states also have a .40 caliber or larger rule if any rule is present and you should be okay in that area also. Don't know about VA but I'm sure you will be okay.

    Now you want to see a slug gun check out this; 870 12ga with rifle barrel and turkey barrel. This is my dual purpose shotgun. I also have a 20ga 870 that I'm currentling finishing up on. It will also sport a hasting cantilever barrel with a lightly modified trigger group.


    Just like the 12ga it can shoot 3" or less groups out to 100yrds with no problems. It actually shoots better since the recoil is about half when compared to a std 2.75" 12ga offering.

    So don't let nobody confuse you in a 20ga is not enough or don't have the reach out and touch a deer killing capabilities.
     
  9. f1b32oPTic

    f1b32oPTic R4d104c71v3

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    is that the boyds stock?
     
  10. noway

    noway

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    yeap, works great for shotguns used for deer & turkeys. Kinda slippery when wet but you can add friction or camo tape on the cheek weld and thumb hold. I also add a strip or to on the forearm grip to help get a good hold.
     
  11. vafish

    vafish

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    Bet that upsets all those guys with 30-30's and 30-06's.

    VA game laws state a rifle must be of .23 caliber or larger. Handgun must be .23 caliber or larger with muzzle energy of greater than 350 ft lbs.


    Your NEF 20 ga will work fine for deer with either slugs or buckshot loads.

    Check the game regulations for the county you are hunting in. Slugs are ok in some and verboten in others.

    http://www.dgif.state.va.us/hunting/regs/display.cfm?p=local_firearms_ordinances

    General game laws of VA

    http://www.dgif.state.va.us/hunting/
     
  12. f1b32oPTic

    f1b32oPTic R4d104c71v3

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    nc's handgun hunting laws is bottle neck ammo of atleast .24 cal and sraightwall of atleast .357 magnum...

    i saw deer last season so small that even a .223 would have been overkill. a .22magnum would have been just about perfect