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12ga ammo suggestions?

shawn1172shawn1172 Senior MemberSaco, MePosts: 588 Senior Member
Some of my deer hunting this year is in a shotgun only zone. I have some Estate 00 Buck 2 3/4" that I took with me today but was wondering if you guys had any other suggestions. The shotgun is a Remington 870 with 26 inch smooth bore barrel with fiber optic front sight (no rear sight). Shots could be anywhere from 10 yards to 50 but 30 and under us most likely. I thought about slugs but it seems like I should have better sights for that. Also thought about putting a red dot on it (have a Truglo I can take off something else) but I'd have to get a base first.

What about 2 3/4" 000 with 8 pellets or 3" magnum 00 with 15 or 000 magnums with 10? Or does it even really matter?

Sorry, I haven't deer hunted with a shotgun since I was 12 but a friend invited me to hunt on his land where it's shotgun only and it has the most sign of deer I've seen this season. Thanks.


  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    I'd get some slugs.
    I'm not a fan of buckshot.
    Try the sights you have with a couple different brands and I think you"ll be pleasantly surprised how well you can do with them
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Sovereign SCPosts: 5,463 Senior Member
    Test the fool out of the trueglow. A 12ga needs quality in the durability dept.
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,761 Senior Member
    Check to be sure shot loads are legal, they are not allowed in the shotgun zones around here. As for slugs from a smooth bore, I have had best results, accuracy wise, with the Federal truball slugs.

  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Saco, MePosts: 588 Senior Member
    I got the Truglo cuz Wambli posted a while back about it. Said it was very solid, great red dot for the money. He said his was on a shotgun and held up. Don't remember his exact words but he spoke well of them anyway. Mine's on a Hi Point 9mm carbine and all good so far, not that's it's dealing with much recoil at the moment.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member In the sticks, OHPosts: 5,617 Senior Member
    Forget about the Truglow. You'd have to buy a saddle mount, they're more trouble than they're worth. If you want better sights, get some of the clamp on rifle sights.

    I would definitely be using slugs, especially considering how big your deer are up there. You'll have no trouble at all making good shots on deer at 50 yards using just the bead sight. I did it for years.
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Saco, MePosts: 588 Senior Member
    Sako, the local ordinance doesn't say anything about what ammo is used. Simply designated as a shotgun only zone. Then there's the no discharge zone and the no ordinance zone.
    I'll hunt in the morning with my 00 Buck and maybe hit the store after for some slugs or different shot.
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Saco, MePosts: 588 Senior Member
    Jbohio- the shotgun receiver is drilled and tapped already. I should just need to put a weaver base on it. I don't have any interest in a saddle mount, they just don't look right.
    But I will probably just stick with sight I have, at least try it out like that before buying any other sights for it. Luckily, my range is only about 2 miles from Cabelas. I can easily go back for something if need be.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Manistee Natl ForestPosts: 18,292 Senior Member
    Another vote for slugs...buckshot really doesn't cut it much past 30 yards...
    Get an extra box of slugs and see what they're doing on paper before heading out...then you'll know where to hold...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Are slugs legal? That's what I would get. hell with Buckshot. A slug, about any slug is good out past 50 yards or more. You have some sights on that shotgun, so use slugs. but not sabots because you don't have a rifled barrel.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    If you use buck stoot, it is worth getting premium plated buck with a granule filler to reduce deformation getting out of the barrel. The major ammo companies make them.
  • black mambablack mamba Member O'Fallon, MOPosts: 158 Member
    I will second the use of standard Foster type slugs, not sabots. By all means shoot them on paper first to see where they are hitting.
    Get a good cheek weld and use the front bead. Should be plenty accurate to 50-60 yds.
  • john.41john.41 Member S.E.MIPosts: 318 Member
    If your 870 has a rib, pick up a set of Hi-Viz front & rear sights that clamp to your rib. Cabelas has them, and they will really help with slug shooting. You didn't mention what choke you are using, but cylinder bore is suggested for foster type slugs. I have had good luck with Winchester silver box, the cheap ones.
    Good luck!

    If you have to use buckshot, try to keep shots under 30yds.
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Saco, MePosts: 588 Senior Member
    I got Remington and Federal slugs, both 1 oz hollow points. They were both hitting low at 25 yards but the Remington's were closer to poi and grouped better so that's what i'm using. I also checked the pattern on my buckshot. At 25 yards with a 12" target only 5 or 6 pellets out of 9 were hitting the paper and none anywhere near the center. A bit surprised and disapointed. Would the cyclinder bore choke also help with the buckshot grouping? I'm hunting with a slug in the chamber, followed by buckshot (in case I need a follow up shot on a running deer) then more slugs in the tube, plus a couple more shot shells in a carrier on the stock. I wasn't able to shoot at the 50 yard range, place was too busy and I had to get to work so no time to wait. I'm still tempted to put the red dot on it. Just $10 or so for a base could be worth a try.
    Oh yeah, I have a modified choke in it now. Don't have any others but I plan to get at least one more. I'm a bit clueless on chokes though so please feel free to educate me. Would one that's good for slugs also be ok for shot? What choke should tighten up the shot pattern best?
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member In the sticks, OHPosts: 5,617 Senior Member
    Improved cylinder would be better for the slugs........full would be better for the buckshot, maybe.
    I'd seriously ditch the buckshot. If you can hit a running deer with buckshot, you can hit one with a slug. Besides, a deer takes about 4 steps, it's outta buckshot range.

    Trust me, you put one of those fosters any where near the vitals on a deer, you'll tag it out.

    Also, if your receiver is tapped, go for the Tru Glo. Make sure you lock tite everything. I've seen many a cheap scope destroyed by slug recoil.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Change your sights. Williams make some great ones.

    Ghost ring Firesights for the smooth bore non ribbed barrels...
    Firesights for the vent ribs...

    They are adjustable for windage and elevation and the fiber optics help get them lined up fast.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Manistee Natl ForestPosts: 18,292 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    I'd seriously ditch the buckshot.

    Yep...Buckshot (for the most part) is a short range proposition...if the deer runs he's likely getting further away...

    There ARE some chokes designed specifically to sling tight patterns of buckshot and I use one on coyotes. A lot of deer have been killed with buckshot over the years, but no one ever talks about the ones who were hit and never recovered...It wouldn't surprise me if that number were 2X or 3X the number of recovered deer.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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