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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ask a lot of questions some of which may be kind of silly, hope nobody minds but I'm totally new and even with a lot of research some things feel fuzzy to me
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So, the other day I asked here about what game me and my husband could work on hunting between the two of us, with the guns we have. He owns a 22LR and I have a 20g shotgun (fixed full choke) that can take 3" shells. I forgot that buckshot was legal in the SRA's which is the closest hunting area to where we live (SEPA), making it more feasible to use a shotgun around here for bigger game like deer, I assume? We are pretty frugal people and would like to work with what we have, especially because we've enjoyed shooting these guns very much. But I am also interested in being as humane as possible. Is there a buckshot shell that you would use on deer with a 20g? Can I shoot buckshot with this gun. I am assuming I can - it's smoothbore - just looking for opinions. It's pump action so the action is legal (not semi-auto). Is this how people hunt deer in the SRA's generally if they are not using a bow?
 

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Not sure on 20ga buckshot....problem is it will be lacking pellet count under the 12ga....not sure what number buckshot is typically used to hunt deer...not sure how popular buckshot is..i dont live on that side of the state...

Cant you use a slug??? Id take a slug over buckshot pretty much every day if legal...especially if you can find a used rifles slug barrel and shoot sabot slugs..

Range will be limited with buckshot...id imagine less then 50yds..could he much less...

If it is what you wanted to use, figure out what area exactly it is legal first...then what # buckshot should be most effective...then pattern your gun and see how it shoots and figure out your max effective range...

The fixed full choke could be another limitation..might not pattern great..i know when i patterned #4 buck for coyote hunting my gun liked a more open choke opposed to some of the real tight ones i tried...

Hopefully some more knowledgeable people answer..i believe it is only 1 county it is legal and dont know how popular it is...
 

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Never feel bad about asking a question, can't learn everything on your own. I agree pellet count on the 20 will be less than a 12 and if your gun shoots them a slug is better choice.
 

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I have some friends that use buckshot in the late season. They always do well. They drive small thick woodlots & second growth stuff. Their shoots are generally under 40 yards. Most use their short barrel 12 gauge turkey guns, but some use 20 gauge.
 

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check the reg about the use of Buck shot. I would use Federal 3 inch copper plated 00 buck. I like a more open choke but if ya keep the range close (50-60 yards) it will put meat in the ground. Shot placement is key. I have used this load in 20 ga and it works just fine.
 

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Copper coated Federal as mentioned above cant beat em and no yyou cant use slugs in a buckshot area.....Come down to Delaware , our entire state is shotgun and I mostly use slugs, but 00 Buck is usually my first round.....in thick stuff....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, I forgot to say slugs are questionable in this gun because of the full choke, according to everything I've read. The special regulations areas are the really populated WMU's around Philly - Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia (I think Allegheny County, too?). They even allow baiting on farms with a special permit. I am checking in with the store where I bought it to see if they can help. They had said if I ever wanted to switch out the barrel for a more versatile one, I should bring it in. I really like how the gun shoots and that it takes 3" shells but the choke is limiting, except maybe we can use it for buckshot. Delaware is a nice idea - I did my BOW course in Delaware and just like the state and the hunting/conservation people I met.
 

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Have to check the regs...not all SRAs allow buckshot....Allegheny county is SRA but no buckshot...slugs and muzzloaders and bows...part of beaver county falls in the same WMU and we can use rifles...always thought the buckshot was 1 county or maybe a wmu now...

Could also have the barrel tapped for choke tubes by a gun smith...

Could buy a rifled barrel for use with sabot slugs and have a good deer gun...

Lots of options...just gotta figure out whats best for you...


And like was said, asking questions is the only way to learn!
 

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picking up an inline used sluggun or a rifled barrel for your current shotgun would probably be your best option. bowhunting would be another good option
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
mauser06 said:
Have to check the regs...not all SRAs allow buckshot....Allegheny county is SRA but no buckshot...slugs and muzzloaders and bows...part of beaver county falls in the same WMU and we can use rifles...always thought the buckshot was 1 county or maybe a wmu now...

Could also have the barrel tapped for choke tubes by a gun smith...

Could buy a rifled barrel for use with sabot slugs and have a good deer gun...

Lots of options...just gotta figure out whats best for you...


And like was said, asking questions is the only way to learn!
No, I think in Western PA it's just one county (Allegheny) but here it's the five county area including Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester, so a pretty big area. Philly is bow and crossbow only (with the exception of special targeted culls) and in all the other counties .410 or larger is legal with slugs and 20g or larger with buckshot (also muzzleloaders .44 or larger). You can also use semi-automatic shotguns (under the same restrictions).

I am well aware I can always buy more guns just trying to figure out how to maximize what I have before succumbing to temptation
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's been a year and this is on our mind again in a big way so I thought I'd update and maybe see if folks have opinions they'd like to share. We've been looking at different options for deer in the SRA since I posted. For last year's season my husband borrowed an HPA member's slug gun (Mossberg 500) a couple of times going out for deer. He's mentored us a bit (awesome guy!) and that was great experience. Hubby was OK with it, but not super thrilled due to the rough recoil. I couldn't manage it at all. At some point, we picked up an inexpensive 12 gauge that matches my 20 gauge so we'd both be able to do Spring turkey. That is a great, comfortable gun for both of us.

A deer gun for the SRA has stayed on our minds, but I think we couldn't think of a reason to spend more dollars than we have on a rifled barrel gun when we were not confident it would work well for us, so we stalled and stalled, looking at used slug guns but never really wanting to pay the $$$.

We recently ran some rifled slugs through the 12 gauge and I was not very happy with the recoil with the slugs. I think it would seriously interfere with training for me - the flinching is rough. I like the buckshot, though, that we've run through it (2 3/4", 00, 9 pellets).

We haven't tried to pattern it with hunting loads yet but I'm of a mind to just forget about a slug gun and just try to pattern the 12 gauge out for deer with buckshot. The most we need is to buy another choke for it. If we practice well, only plan to take closer shots, I think we'd be good. Does that sound like a decent plan?
 

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Go with rifled barrels and buy some reduced recoil rifled slugs. They will easily put a deer done and have a lot less recoil. If you have a smooth barrel shotgun that shoots slugs poorly, don't use it for big game, if you are afraid of the recoil of your gun, don't use it. You also could go to an inline muzzleloader.
 

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I have a used inline Thompson Center cheap!
Actually have 2
50 Cal.
Set up for 209 primer
Scope Bushnell 3x9
Bunch of Sabot's in 220 grain
All kinds of misc items Borebutter,ram rod,primers,maybe some 50 grain Pyrodex Pellets not sure ?I think nearly 3/4 of a box.
Great Rifle accurate easily to 100 yds.Although 50yds was probably the furthest game was taken.Rifle has taken over 25 deer.Here in 5D/C and NJ.

All you need is a sling.....

Make me an offer....hint hint under$100
Like to see it used and to a good home.

I'm in Ft.Washington.
Shoot me a pm
DB
 

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BTW.Well taken care of.Properly cleaned and lubed.Great Shape.
Somewhere in the $400 range when purchased w/o scope.
Scope is a inexpensive Muzzy scope.Spent maybe $70 on it.
Rifle is about 10 years old but is in great shape.

Drop in 60 grains of powder put down any deer at 50 yds+ with little kick.Nothing like a 2 3/4" or 3" slug

I used 100 grains with little kick.But not necessary to drop in that much powder.Experiment with 50 .Half the fun of ML is finding a combination that works best for your range and tolerance.

My Flint Lok I use 70 grains tops.
 

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This weekend we went out with the 12ga and the 20ga and we put some buckshot through both of them. Performance was very poor - at 25-30 yards, the 12ga had about 20" spread and I couldn't even find more half a dozen holes from the 20ga.

We were using 2 3/4" shells, so my question now is - how does the recoil compare between a 3" buckshot shell and a 2 3/4" slug?
 

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The best way to compare recoil before shooting is to look at the weight of the projectile(s) being launched.

If you have a 1oz slug vs. 7/8oz charge of buckshot, for example, it's likely the recoil will be similar, but maybe a touch less for the buckshot. The heavier the projectile weight, very often the harder the recoil will be.

Look for slugs with a weight of less than 1oz. Since you're talking smoothbores, this will be easier to do with your 20ga, but not impossible with the 12, either. Stay away from 3" shells, too, as they'll almost surely generate higher recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That inline is looking more tempting
. This is a quandary we are going to have to keep working on, I think. I wonder if anyone would have an idea on if different shotshells might perform better?
 
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