View Full Version : Best smooth bore 12 ga. ammo for deer
October 06, 2005, 22:01
For non-rifled bore shotguns, what is your choice of ammo for deer?
October 06, 2005, 22:38
I took several deer back in the late '70's with rifled slugs (Sears brand, no less) out of a single-shot Steven's 16 gauge. (I still have 4-5 boxes of that ammo squirreled away). Range was less than 35 yards. I was young, life was simple, and I had a lot of time on my hands to wait for the perfect shot. Times have changed, and I now flee my fast-paced life to stalk deer with an overpriced magnum topped with an ungodly priced piece of glass at previously unheard of ranges.
I've never taken a deer with buckshot, though I have shot coyotes and mid-size pigs with OO Buck with a high degree of success. Believe it or not, I had more luck on the pigs than the coyotes with buckshot. I think this was, in part, due to the speed of the retreating coyotes when they saw me raising the shotgun, and their relatively thin profile when heading away from me at lightning speed toward the brush! We used to joke about the fact that coyotes could outrun the buckshot since we seldom found them after our encouters.
Not a direct answer to your question, but I hope it helped.
October 06, 2005, 23:02
Being from Iowa we could only use shotguns. I used Brenneke slugs exclusively. They were good for me for over 40 deer there. You'll want to put it on paper the guns performance that is at a few different ranges to assure yourself of the performance of the gun. It helps to really know. I really used my gun alot and would shoot about 50 sight in rounds as I didn't want to miss a trophy buck. A shotgun scope helped alot also! CDNN has some real bargains on them now or did.
October 07, 2005, 06:26
The shotgun will tell you which ammo to use. They all like something but you have to try different brand to see which one YOUR gun favors.
For me my smooth bore likes the Brenneke with the felt wad but the 12 ga
with rifle barrel like the Brenneke with the plastic wad.
The 20 gauge rifled barrel likes the cheap ol Remington Sluggers $2 a box
the Brenneke slugs here run around $6 a box
Sighting in with those slug guns will put your shoulder to the test
My 20 ga Mossy and 1- 12 ga Rem 1100 are iron sighted. my favorite is a 1100
with rifled (Hastings barrel) and Red Dot sight.
Most of my shots are 10 to 50 yards...but I have made some 90 and 120 yard
shots connect too.
12 ga slugs...well 20 ga too...make big holes. Deer are tuff raskles though
October 07, 2005, 09:22
Find a brand that uses BRI sabot slugs (Winchester Super X).
October 08, 2005, 03:29
Cummins 4x4, growing up in Iowa also, we had the best luck with the Brenneke slugs. Not the sabot type but the old felt wadded Rottweill Brenneke's with the flat nose with the small tit on the front. They shot the best out of all the shotguns I tried them in with one exception but they smacked deer like a brick.
October 08, 2005, 05:34
Those Remington rifled "sluggers" always shoot striaght for me. I can hit the bowling pins with bead sight at 50 yds. and the 12" gong at 100. Don't shoot too many or you will get a good flinch going and miss the barn!
October 08, 2005, 12:13
I've had excellent luck with smoothbores over the years shooting Sluggers and SuperXs - and have taken well over 50 deer with them... I'll readily admit that terminally speaking, Bennekes work well - but I've never been able to get them to group as well out of my 870s as Sluggers or SuperXs did...
I live in NY, and do a fair amount of my deer hunting with a shotgun - these days, I use an 870 that I've set up as a dedicated slug gun... it has a fully rifled barrel, that's pinned to the receiver, a trigger job, and is sporting a 1pc Leupold QR scope mount for a 7600, and a Leupold VariX 2-7x33 Shotgun scope - and Firesights, incase I need them... This slug gun will shoot an honest 1.5" 3 shot group at 100 yards with Federal 3" sabots with the BarnesX bullets - and really does a number on whitetails - I haven't had to track one in quite a few years since using this rig...
October 09, 2005, 10:27
georgestrings thats the same setup my brother and nephew use today. whirlibird thats the slugs I was talking about! Today a guy can use a muzzleloader in Iwoa during the shotgun season as I understand it. I know a Knight product would be with me if I was hunting there this year. Its going to have to wait till next year though for me.
I helped a guy out here who wanted to hunt on Lake Fork for deer. You can't use a rifle there, over water and against the lake rules and all. He was wanting to use buckshot. I talked him into slugs, he killed a very high ranking buck from his boat blind. Couldn't use buckshot either as duck season was on, and I really advised him against it as well. Too long of a shot, 50 yards. Those slugs work so well on deer and hogs. I have first timers hunt hogs here with a shotgun we've got set up. I love the big blood trail if the shot placement is less than ideal.
October 11, 2005, 19:49
I would avoid buckshot-a gut shot creates a stinking mess. I only had one because the deer was standing at a diagonal to me and that was with a .270. Sad. That one and all other deer have been heart shots.
October 11, 2005, 20:28
I've got an 11-87SP in the For Sale forum set up for slugs that I used for 8 years- and haven't used for the last 7! I used a shotgun over a rifle for the power and ability to vary my ammo load (in firing order slug, slug, buck, buck, slug). The accuracy was just an added plus! When the first few shots rang out on opening morning, the big, sly ones would head for the thick brush and swamps- I'd try to meet up with them in there and nothing beats a shotgun for that kind of hunting. That gun (w/3" rifled choke) would throw Federal Premium Gold Sabots like nothing I'd ever seen. Better than I can do with a 30-30. It actually did OK with Foster style within 40 yards. It would NOT launch Brennekes with any consistancy, which really pissed me off because the Brenneke is an incredible projectile. Fairly easy on the shoulder, but this was also Michigan in mid-November and clothing was a little heavy. I miss it. Why don't one of you buy my baby and give her a good home?!?
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