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  1. #1
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    Rifled slugs versus sabots

    I know what you're thinkin'...GET A .30-06!!! I probably will eventually. But for my first hunting season this fall, I'll probably be limited to Red River Gorge (Daniel Boone Forest), which pretty much guarantees nobody an open shot that's not subject to twigs and brush. I'm not sure how much slug barrels cost for a Benelli, but would it be worth it to get one and use sabots instead of rifled slugs in a smoothbore? I've heard a smoothbore gives you mediocre accuracy up to 50 yards or so, and after that's there's no guarantee you'll hit what you're aiming at. With slug barrels, I've heard the accuracy range is extended to 80-100 yards, which is a big difference. Getting within 50 yards of a wild animal as vigilant as a deer is pretty tough.

  2. #2
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    A lot will depend on the sights you're using, the gun itself, and the ammo, and how they all interact. I've seen results like you have described, but I've also seen better...and worse.

    The method(s) you will be using to hunt also factors into the equation. If you'll be sneaking around in heavy brush and jump-shooting them when they get up to run, then 50 yards might be the longest shot you'll ever get. In that case, it makes no sense to outfit yourself for a longer shot, especially if it requires a large cash outlay for a new barrel. If you're going to wait in a blind near a game trail, or along the edge of a clearing, then a longer-range rig might more useful.

    I'd recommend good sights, whether that means quality rifle-type iron sights, or a good low-powered scope or red dot (if legal). If your gun isn't set up for a scope/dot, you might be able to get a no-drill mount and use that for deer season.

    Then, get a few different types of ammo, go to the range, and test them for accuracy with your gun and sighting system. After that, you'll have a good idea of the capabilities of your gun/sight/ammo combo, and what your max range on deer should be. Adjust your hunting method(s) accordingly, and you should be all set. Good luck!
    Last edited by DJ Niner; 02-27-2008 at 02:59 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I'm gonna wait it out on the Benelli. 18" barrel pump 12-gauge with ghost ring sights, and the side saddle I'm getting has a weaver rail, so I could mount a red dot scope.

    I'm not all about sitting in a tree stand or blind. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, but I can't sit still for very long. Hunting animals 1-on-1 sounds like the best (and funnest) method for me. Plus, hitting a running deer would be a lot easier with an 18" barreled shotgun with ghost ring sights versus a 4x33 scoped .30-06.

  4. #4
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehourfrenzy View Post
    Plus, hitting a running deer would be a lot easier with an 18" barreled shotgun with ghost ring sights versus a 4x33 scoped .30-06.
    No offense, but you're way too inexperienced to humanely attempt shots at running game. Wait until they stop to shoot them. If they don't stop, let them go and wait for a better opportunity. One of the good things hunting teaches us is self-discipline.

    In that circumstance, a good scoped .30-06 is a heckuva a lot easier to hit with than an imitation rifle with crude GR sights. If you're concerned about speed with a scoped rifle, use a low-powered (2X-3X) scope. This is adequate power for practically all eastern hunting, and allows greater speed than higher magnifications.
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  5. #5
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    My point was that in very close quarters, a shorter barreled gun with ghost ring sights would be easier to hit with, especially if they were running. I'm not saying I'd take a shot at a running deer, but a high magnification scope is hard to maneuver at distances of 25-40 yards when it comes to dealing with a moving target. Also, it's easier to keep an eye on your backstop to make sure the animal doesn't run behind a tree that's ten feet away, causing a nasty richocheted bullet.

  6. #6
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    Very few seasoned hunters take running shots. Frist they don't want to have to track a wounded animal or loose it. A deer on the run will travel twice as far as one that is feeding or walking along and not in a stage of fright. It must have something to do with the will to live that all animals have. Know the target area on a deer and practice a lot before deer season. In heavy brush use an old .30-30 with iron will do a fine job. JMHO.

  7. #7
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    Well I'm getting a shotgun regardless. I simply seeing if getting a rifled slug barrel is worth the money. I won't be getting a rifle before or during the next deer season, so I'm limited to the shotgun since I won't be hunting with a 9mm XD, lol. I'm not even sure how much they are, but I know you can get them.

  8. #8
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    You can usually find a Mossberg 500 with a slug barrel and a field barrel for around $400. Great inexpensive combo for begining shotgunners.

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    Yeah that's true but you see I want the Benelli.

    I held a 590 with 20" barrel. Felt so wrong it wasn't even funny. Benelli felt great, and so did the 870. I could get an 870 and get ghost rings mounted, but the Benelli comes with them from the factory, and they're probably mounted more soundly than a gunsmith's job on an 870. Plus, the Benelli's action is superior in every way to the 870 and 590.

  10. #10
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehourfrenzy View Post
    ...could get an 870 and get ghost rings mounted, but the Benelli comes with them from the factory, and they're probably mounted more soundly than a gunsmith's job on an 870.
    http://www.remingtonle.com/shotguns/870synthetic.htm

    Plus, the Benelli's action is superior in every way to the 870 and 590.
    It's a relatively new gun, so I doubt you can really say that it has a superior track record, in terms of reliability and durability, to a gun that has been working well for multiple decades.

    Still not sure why you're so insistent on the GR sights. They're totally unnecessary for defense or on a 50-yard slug gun, and severely limit the gun's "convertability" to a bird gun.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post

    Still not sure why you're so insistent on the GR sights. They're totally unnecessary for defense or on a 50-yard slug gun, and severely limit the gun's "convertability" to a bird gun.
    I was thinking the same thing. GR sights are an awful choice for hunting and I'll tell you why. They aren't especially accurate, and will be impossible to use in low light. Many of my deer have been killed in low-light conditions, and I would not have even been able to take those shots without good optics. If you insist on so-called iron sights, get some fiber optics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
    I was thinking the same thing. GR sights are an awful choice for hunting and I'll tell you why. They aren't especially accurate, and will be impossible to use in low light. Many of my deer have been killed in low-light conditions, and I would not have even been able to take those shots without good optics. If you insist on so-called iron sights, get some fiber optics.
    Benelli has tritium inserts for the factory ghost rings. Also, the side saddle from Mesa Tactical has a 423M weaver rail so I could mount optics on it.

    Mike, I never saw the LE Remington stuff. I know Trijicon makes a tritium ghost ring set for the 870. I *think* it's adjustable, but it was a couple of weeks ago when I looked at it.

    What I REALLY want is a Benelli M3 convertible, but being that I'm not LE/military, an auto/pump that costs $1,400 is completely unnecessary. Plus I don't have that kind of money.

    There are pros and cons to going with the Benelli or Remington. I'll have the money two weeks from today, so I need to make my decision by then.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
    I was thinking the same thing. GR sights are an awful choice for hunting and I'll tell you why. They aren't especially accurate, and will be impossible to use in low light. Many of my deer have been killed in low-light conditions, and I would not have even been able to take those shots without good optics. If you insist on so-called iron sights, get some fiber optics.
    Snow man, and mike. I agree gr are hard for wing shots. remove the rear ghost ring. Not quite sure where the "aren't especially accurate" is coming from though. I realize we are talking shot gun here. But you do know that the human eye can center an object in a circle with amazing accuracy right? This is what makes a red dot (an electronic ghost ring) such a nice sight.
    I love a good ghost ring. Most of my white tail hunting is done with a 20" barreled single shot 45-70 (ok some say a shotgun might be better). This gun has quick target acuizition and great accuracy - FOR ME. (edge of shuffle puck at 50 yards in less than 2 seconds.)
    My ithica featherweight 37 has Fiberoptic front and GR rear and i am no worse with them on wing shots than without. (ok i suck on clay pigeons, but that is both with and without.)
    I realize this is a personal choice, and one not many would make. Low light, use a larger apperature. Like on a camera.

    Yes, i also like low power scopes, i just started with iron sights and went to ghost rings, so for me, i like them at least as well as scopes, and better than a more traditional iron sight.

    So my 2.5 cents there.

    FHF, i would save the money. I think you mentioned "for this year". If (as i took that) you would be thinking of a rifle for future years, you probably would not get enough use out of the rifled barrel to justify it. Save the money towards another gun

  14. #14
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    Mike, as i reread your post, i guess you didn't say they are bad sights, just not necessary on 50 yard deer gun or HD gun. I agree.
    Last edited by niadhf; 03-04-2008 at 11:20 PM.

  15. #15
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I think you're misunderstanding how red dot sights work. They aren't just illuminated ghost rings. One of the great advantages of dot sights is that the dot doesn't have to be centered in the reticle to make hits. Just paste the "dot of death" on the target, even if it isn't in the middle of the tube, and press the trigger. You'll get the hits.

    This is part of what makes dot sights much faster than irons, GR or otherwise.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    I think you're misunderstanding how red dot sights work. They aren't just illuminated ghost rings. One of the great advantages of dot sights is that the dot doesn't have to be centered in the reticle to make hits. Just paste the "dot of death" on the target, even if it isn't in the middle of the tube, and press the trigger. You'll get the hits.

    This is part of what makes dot sights much faster than irons, GR or otherwise.
    Hmm Apperently i am.
    Ok not a good example
    However. I still stand by the other points of Ghost rings.
    That bing said. I'm still trying how to mount a nice red dot on my 36 arisaka. And no good gunsmiths around.

  17. #17
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Oh, I like GRs, too. On rifles.

    A GR-sighted shotgun loaded with slugs is a pretty poor substitute for a real rifle. I realize it's required in some states for hunting, though.
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  18. #18
    niadhf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Oh, I like GRs, too. On rifles.

    A GR-sighted shotgun loaded with slugs is a pretty poor substitute for a real rifle. I realize it's required in some states for hunting, though.
    Yeah i am SO glad, rom that point, that i moved 10 miles across the border from mass to rifle country. I realized re-reading that you weren't down on GRs (good thing to ) just on the shotgun.

    A well, we all remember when we REALLY wanted that next gun, but it was just out of reach for a bit. Wait, i still remember that. (yeah i know you downsized.)

  19. #19
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    Red dot sights are sweet...and odds are that's what I'll use when I'm hunting deer. They're fairly inexpensive as well, and a magnified scope is unnecessary when taking shots at 60 yards or less.

    As far as ghost rings versus rifle sights...I just don't like rifle sights, and I never have. Ghost rings are much more instinctive for me, and I am 100% positive I would be a better shotgunner with ghost rings over rifle sights.

    Neither are good for airborne moving targets. A simple bead and a rail on the top of the barrel are the way to go with bird hunting. The fact of the matter is I have no desire to hunt birds or shoot clay pigeons.

    The main purpose of the shotgun is for HD and small game. Tritium ghost rings are best for me for those purposes. I'll be purchasing a shotgun before anything else, and if I don't have a rifle by the fall, then I'll have to take my chances with a shotgun out in the field.

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