20 gauge for deer?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by CrabShack, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. CrabShack

    CrabShack

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    I really want to get into deer hunting this season. The only thing is the largest bore gun I have is a Remington model 31L chambered in 20 gauge (would someone please tell me the correct abbreviation for gauge?). After looking around online I can find #3 and #2 buckshot. I'm just curious to as if that would be sufficient to kill a deer. If so what # buckshot do you recommend? Appreciate any info.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
     
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  2. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    Buckshot can be very good on deer, but, it's range is limited and even more so with a 20GA. The combination would not be my first choice.

    When I hunted with buckshot I used a 12GA and 00 buck.

    My suggestion would be for you to consider purchasing a better suited firearm. That shotgun is a smooth bore so you will be limited to the slugs that it can shoot. Slugs with that shotgun would be a better choice than buckshot.

    Where would you be hunting?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020

  3. shotgun12

    shotgun12

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    we cant shoot deer with shotgun over here .if we could i would not use a 20 gauge.
     
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  4. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    The 20ga slugs of today are VERY good on deer. IF there were not a better rifle out there, for use in our limited firearms area, I would use one. There are just better choices.
     
  5. spendit

    spendit

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    I shot a lot of WI & MI deer with a smooth bore, slug barreled 20GA - find the slugs it likes and become a good shot - save the buckshot for the running 2nd shot
     
  6. CL-Lewiston

    CL-Lewiston

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    Take your time and make the first one count and you wont need the buckshot.
    A 20 (Slugs) should be limited to about 60 yrds, or less.
    (Blaze away)
     
  7. AmericanRepeater

    AmericanRepeater

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    You have one of the finest repeaters for grouse and woodcock with your 31L. I doubt it weighs 6 pounds. One in either 20 or 16 gauge is on my bucket list. I realize that it’s your only available gun, but there are better options out there that are very reasonably priced. Whatever you end up using, best of luck to you in November!
     
  8. Bucman

    Bucman

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    You should look into some ballistics..
     
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  9. sourdough44

    sourdough44

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    I vote a rifled slug over buckshot.
     
  10. Tubes77

    Tubes77

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    The 20 Ga. is absolutely fine for shooting deer! I would not choose buckshot though, and in fact, #2 or #3 may not even be legal (I haven't hunted in MI in awhile). What is going to limit you is the smooth barrel. While the ballistics are there to shoot out well past 100 yds, your accuracy most likely will not be good enough out of that gun. Like someone said, try several slug brands and see what patterns the best in your gun, then make sure you limit yourself to whatever range you can consistently shoot a group of about 6-8" or less.

    Here in IL (moved here from MI), we are not allowed rifles or straight walled cartridge guns, shotgun only. For many years I shot a bolt action 12 Ga. with a rifled barrel. When my daughter got old enough to hunt, I bought her a Savage Model 220 which is a bolt action, 20 Ga. with rifled barrel. I liked it so much I bought one for myself (and later my son), so we now have 3. The 12 Ga. sits in the safe. We practice alot and have taken the time to know where they group and we take deer out past 150 yds. (best so far is 187 yds by my then 16yr. old son).
    Don't let anyone tell you a 20 Ga. is not a good choice!

    Here's last years deer, taken with a 20 Ga. [​IMG]
     
  11. woodencanoe

    woodencanoe

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  12. woodencanoe

    woodencanoe

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    Wife’s savage 220 on the left, my H&R 20 on the right
     
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  13. syonker

    syonker

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    My daughter’s 870.
    Recoil reducing stock.
    Rifled barrel.
    She’s 2 for 2 on deer so far this this setup.
    81C3C9D3-30C5-42DB-9CCC-6A2084D1BB28.jpeg
     
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