First time hunter: which H&R to get?

Discussion in 'H&R 1871' started by mlambie, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. mlambie

    mlambie G&G Newbie

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    I'm hunting in michigan, and i live in SE michigan, where rifle hunting is prohibited (its about a 2.5 hour drive to be able to hunt with my mosin nagant).

    So if I want to hunt deer locally, i need to use a shotgun. I've been shooting my friends smooth bore rossi break action 20 ga. and for several reasons, I've decided to go the route of the break action. H&R has lots of different break actions to choose from.

    I'm hoping you guys can give some insight on what model might be the best to get. I spoke to a guy at the local gun shop who recommended the ultra slug hunter, but then i need to buy a scope, and that might be a little too pricey. The tracker II has iron sights and the rifled barrel, has anyone used this one for hunting deer? What kind of accuracy do you get at range?

    The guy I talked to basically said that you can't have your cake and eat it with shotguns, that if you want to hunt deer primarily you should get a rifled barrel slug gun, and if you want to hunt small game, a smooth bore shotgun. H&R sells smooth bore shotguns too, does anyone have any experience shooting these with slugs?

    Any help would be appreciated!
  2. trigger

    trigger G&G Enthusiast

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    If you are going to hunt deer with a shotgun. You will be lucky to hit a paper plate at 50 yards with a smooth bore. Rifle barrel shotgun with sabbots is the ONLY way to go. That ultra slug hunter can group 3 inch groups at 225 yards. I've done it. I would suggest a bolt action. Mossberg,savage each make one. And now the browning A-Bolt is back. I have a 12 gauge savage that groups 4 inches at 225 yards.
    If money is the object. Get a mossberg 500 with smoothbore. And get an after market rifled barrel. I bought a hasteings barrel( with cantiliever scope mount) for mine. It groups 4 inch groups at 145 yrds. With sabot sluge of course. I like the hornaday brand . This route will give you a gun that can be used for multiple purposes on a budget. The remmington 870 class is a great way to go in this multiple barrel facet.
    I hunt deer with a T.C. omega muzzle loader and a S+W .357 magnum pistol.
  3. mlambie

    mlambie G&G Newbie

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    I saw a used remington 870 express with a rifled barrel that came with it at a gun shop nearby.is $250 a good deal on this, assuming good condition?

    Would i need to put a scope on this or would i be able to use the bead? I think most of the shots i would be taking would be 100 yds or less in the brush around here.
  4. whirlwind

    whirlwind G&G Enthusiast

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    idunno crap bout huntin deer with a shotgun....can ya use a 410 with 000buckshot?
  5. Purdy

    Purdy G&G Enthusiast

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    If you can "hit a paper plate" at 50 yds, you can kill a deer at that range.
  6. Greyhawk50

    Greyhawk50 G&G Newbie

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    I live in Ohio where only Shotgun (single slug), Muzzle Loaders >38 cal. and straight wall handguns are legal.
    I've found that only about 20% of the smooth bore shotguns will shoot accurately. I have had 2 smooth bores that would stay well within a 7" pie plate at 100 yards (that is M-O-Deer). One was a 20 ga. Ithaca Deer-Slayer Deluxe and the other was a 20 ga. Rem. 1100, both had adjustable sights.
    I currently have a 12 ga. NEF Pardner Tracker II SB1. If I remember right, it will shoot 2" groups at 50 yards. Problem is, it kicks like a mule. I have to use a Limb-Saver Slip on Pad when sighting it in at the range. It's not a problem in the field with a heavy coat.
    The advantage to a Slug Barrel (smooth or rifled) is the adjustable sights. If a beaded barrel does hold a group but it's not at the point of aim, you'll have a problem at distance.
    So; I recommend a rifled slug barrel with sight or a scope. If you are recoil sensitive, go with the 20 gauge. If recoil's not a problem, go with the 12 ga.
    Myself, I use a CVA Optima 50 cal. M.L. because we have a separate M.L. season and I can use it for both.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  7. Paper

    Paper I can justify anything. Forum Contributor

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    I wouldn't quite go that far.. I sight my Remington 870 20 gauge SMOOOTH BORE slug barrel in at 100 yards, and it'll easily hold a 4" group at that range.. The trick with smooth bore slug guns is to find the ammo it likes..

    Mine likes Winchester rifled slugs best, then Breneke, then Remington, and if I try to shoot Federals through it, I'm better off throwing them..

    I have a Stevens Pump 20 with a 4x scope that'll hold a 2" group with Brenekes.. Just a regular 28" pump gun with a well mounted scope.. It repeats shot after shot.. And oddly enough, it also hates Federal rifled slugs..

    Luckily, my 870 was purchased with a 24" smooth slug barrel and I found a nice vent rib IMP barrel new on Gun Broker for $75.. I paid $175 for the rifle and slug barrel, so I have $250 in a sweet handling 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster that'll do anything I want..

    Don't count out the smooth bores..
  8. TheLastMountain

    TheLastMountain G&G Enthusiast

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    I shot a doe at 75 yds on a dead run, using a Mossberg 500 12 guage smooth bore 2 3/4" slug. My kids and I are currently practicing on weekends with a Remington 870 smooth bore 2 3/4" slugs and putting it on paper at 100 yds. Now with the same 870 using 3" sabbots (spelled wrong) I am putting it on paper consistently at 150 yds. Can currently buy a 870 at Bass Pro for $320.00 or abouts there. Good luck.
  9. rando

    rando G&G Enthusiast Forum Contributor

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    Welcome to G&G first of all. Most counties where I live are shotgun only counties and I also have to travel over an hour to a rifle county. I have many types of shotguns. Single shot break open like you described, pumps, autos., side by sides and over and unders. I am not too picky when using one with slugs to kill deer. I am fine with my smoothbores and rifled slugs. Iron sights are perfect in my opinion also. Im not too much on scopes on shotguns. Most shotgun scopes are ok if you are having a little time to find the deer and get a shot. I have found that its difficult for me to find a running deer in a scoped shogun. I have taken many running shots at deer with a non scoped shotgun and dropped them in their tracks. Its all about preference to the individual hunter. You have to see what your comfortable with.
  10. nathangdad

    nathangdad G&G Newbie

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    Just my Rossi experience

    I have a twenty gauge Rossi rifled slug gun. It is very accurate especially in the fifty to seventy five yard range, the recoil is no so great therefore I get lots of practice, and it has been totally dependable. It comes with regular adjustable sights although I do have a low power variable scope on it as I need the vision boost.
  11. trigger

    trigger G&G Enthusiast

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    Look at it this way. You can loft . Nevermind. Check out ballistics with a smoot bore shotgun with a rifled slug. OR a .45 calibre sabot bullet out of a rifles barrel with a scope. And you will get to hunt with your rifle as you wished.
  12. Paper

    Paper I can justify anything. Forum Contributor

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    One thing I'd like to add.. No matter what you shoot, try different types of ammo.

    Every year I work the firing line at our club when we offer Sight In Days to local hunters.

    We help each person sight in their weapon, or just give those who are sighted in a chance to verify it..

    I was assigned a teenager, shooting a 870 twenty gauge Express with open sights and rifled bore.. He hated the gun before shooting it, and it showed..

    The only ammo they bought to shoot through the gun was $10-12 a box for 5 rounds of Hornady very expensive Sabot slugs.. The gun didn't like them.. At 25 yards it was all over a 12" target... Even I shot it, and at the 25 yard line it wouldn't hold a 8" group. I informed the teenager that they needed to go find different ammo.. Maybe Remington or Breneke, but something else.. They could hold onto their shooting coupon and come back to try again for free..

    He told me that he hated the gun but was forced to use it, and because the ammo was the most expensive at Gander Mountain, it was the only ammo to use.. :) Well, I was a teenager once and knew what he was trying to do.. He didn't like the gun and had found the perfect way from using it.. It wouldn't shoot!!

    I found the Dad and told him what was going on, and that the gun didn't like the ammo and they needed to try a different brand of ammo.. The Dad said that the people at Gander Mountain told him that THAT AMMO and THAT GUN would be the best combo, so the gun must be defective!!!

    So, rather than go buy different ammo, they were going to go back to Gander Mountain and demand their money back and a new weapon!!!

    At least I know where the kid got it from.. :)
  13. mlambie

    mlambie G&G Newbie

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    thanks for all the input. I think a combo might be nice, but i think my primary interest in hunting is for deer. That said shooting target shot at clays is pretty fun, so if i got the combo i'd use it for that at least, and maybe turkey or pheasant. I think my preference is for the single shot rifled slug gun, like the Tracker II or the ultra slug hunter from H&R, but i won't count out a good deal on a remington 870 or mossberg 500.

    I found a mossberg 500a combo 12 ga with the rifled slug barrel and the smooth bore barrel for 249 used at a local gun shop (in excellent condition, is this a good deal?), which is my fall back if i don't find anything at the big gun and knife show this weekend. Hopefully i can find a good deal and hit the range ASAP!
  14. Montveil

    Montveil G&G Newbie

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    IMO go with a 12 ga pump with interchangeable barrels and removable chokes in the smooth barrel. If you think recoil will be a problem there are reduced loads for the smooth bore. A good recoil pad, as stated before, will be a must for any slug/buckshot/turkey load load as they will kick.
    A 20 ga will not give you the shot loads available in 12
    This combo will allow you to hunt about anything from ducks, bunnies, deer, turkey, and coyotes with buckshot under 50 yards and you will have very versatile shotgun for life. I hunt upland game and use a 12 ga o/u and it meets my hunting perfectly.
    If I was to get only one shotgun it would be as outlined above.
    If you get a single shot you will probably end up getting another gun to fill in the gaps that the above combo will fill as I also have a Pardner 12 and if you start to outfit it with a scope etc you will still only have a single shot. By the way it is light and talk about recoil.
    If $ are problem, get the barrel you need first and then get the other barrel later
    Just some ideas to think about
  15. sniper762

    sniper762 G&G Enthusiast

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