Author Topic: Effective range of 20 ga. Slug Guns....  (Read 3929 times)

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Offline MI.sabot

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Effective range of 20 ga. Slug Guns....
« on: November 20, 2006, 05:52:44 PM »
....Assuming one is shooting a 20 ga with a rifled slug barrel. (I'm particularly interested to hear from anyone shooting an USH), and
....Assuming that one has gone to the range and practiced with said 20 ga. to determine what sabot(s) consistently shoots the best, then
....What is the farthest range you have either harvested a deer or would be confident in responsibly harvesting a deer with a 20 ga having done your due diligence at the range?, and then
....What sabot did you or would you use at this distance?

These questions are not meant to promote the claims of any high-velocity, long-range marketing campaigns but rather to querry responsible, ethical deer hunters who shoot 20 ga. rifled slug guns!

I have at my disposal both a 12 ga. USH and a 20 ga USH. The 12 ga. has already bang-flopped a deer this year as it did last year. I know what it can do. I am now entertaining using the 20 ga. for the remainder of the season and possibly going forward. I'm confident in the 20 gauge's accuracy. I'm less comfortable with the 20 ga. knock-down, stay-down power. This is only due to my inexperience and not knowing anyone who personally uses one. Before I possibly dispose of the 12 ga. or go into the field with the 20, I 'd like to hear from those who have been successful using a 20 ga. to gain a better perspective at what distances they are effective to and what sabots were used at those distances.


H&R Ultra Slug Hunter (12 ga.)
NEF SS Sidekick Muzzleloader (50 cal.)
Remington 870 Express (12 ga.)
Stevens 311-H SxS (20 ga.)
CZ 452 American (22lr)

Offline NYH1

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Re: Effective range of 20 ga. Slug Guns....
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 11:17:28 AM »
Well I've never shot a deer with a shotgun, always had better opportunities while rifle hunting. However I'm getting into a hunting camp after the 1st of the year. So next year I'll have to use a shotgun because the camp is in the "shotgun only" part of the state. I have two 12 gauges a Rem. 870 Express and a Ithaca model 37 Deerslyer. Both have smooth bore barrels. I also have a Rem. 11-87 Premier 20 ga. I'm going to use the 20 ga. It's going to be a little bit of a project but I think it'll be worth it. The only rifled slug barrel I can get has the matt finish. My local Gander Mountain will refinish it in bluing for $125 so I'll be al set.

Here is what I like about the 20 ga. It's light. My 11-87 weighs 6 3/4 pounds with a 26 inch field barrel. The set up with the rifled barrel and Leupold will weigh more but still be a lot lighter then both my 870 and model 37 set up the same way. I also prefer a semi-auto over a pump.

20 ga -vs- 30-30 Win. I know I'm not going to feel under gunned with a 20 gauge. I'll try as may different slugs as I can. I hope my gun likes these Winchester sluds though!

Winchester Partition Gold 3 inch 280 gr.

30-30 Win.150 gr. Super Silvertip

"ROLL TIDE". . .Back To Back. . .Three In The Last Four Years "GO GIANTS"  "YANKEES"

Offline 1187VX2

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Re: Effective range of 20 ga. Slug Guns....
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 10:31:36 AM »
Many muzzleloaders have taken deer at 200 yards using 250 - 260 grain bullets that left the barrel at 1800-2000 feet per second.

As, I recall, finding a 20 gauge sabot slug that fits those parameters shouldn't be hard to do.

So the anwer really is somewhere around  200 - 250 yards, again assuming you're willing to understand the trajectory, practice and use a range finder.

Offline 3s3k

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Re: Effective range of 20 ga. Slug Guns....
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 06:31:54 AM »

 I have used the 20ga USH for the past 3years in place of my 12ga 870 wingmaster to sum it up in one word it has been"awesome".

 My own experience in this time has been out to 125yds max ,using Lightfied Hybred Exp's out to 75yds and Remington Copper

 solids 75-125yds.

 doe= 1 shot 74yds dropped dead
 doe= 1 shot 60yds dropped dead
 10pt buck= 1 shot 103yds dropped but not dead unable to move

 yardages checked with range finder !

 That being said I think with a larger scope than 4X which I use longer distances may be accomplished with practice.GL

Offline IOWA DON

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Re: Effective range of 20 ga. Slug Guns....
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2006, 10:03:41 AM »
I have a Thompson Center TCR (hammerless break-over single-shot) with a custom heavy 20-guage fully rifled barrel. I live in Iowa where one can get a lot of doe permits and have been shooting lots of them. I was using the Winchester sabot slugs, but this year switched to the Hornaday SST sabot slugs. Although the factory data shows about the same balistic coeficient for both slugs I think the pointed Hornaday slugs really are balistically better. Next year I will chronograph them at long range to see for sure. The Hornadays are also slightly more accurate in my gun. The farthest deer I got were at 205 yards, 196 yards, and at 190 yards, and I use a laser range finder if they appear more than 140 yards or so. I've also got a number of deer from 140 to 170 yard range. Wind is more of a problem than trajectory. The low velocity and poor balistic coeficient of the slugs compared to a good rifle results in much more wind drift. With a 20-mph crosswing I would probably pass up a 150 yard shot. Most of the time the deer die quickly, but I had lung-shot buck (shot at 60 yards) run about 200 yards before stopping. However, I also had a doe run 200 yards after a lung-shot with my .338-.378 Weatherby. A 12-guage slug gun may have more thump than a 20-guage, but I think a 20-guage is all one really needs unless planning to shoot running away shots where you would need to penetrate them end to end. - DON