Deer Hunting Recommendations ammo

Discussion of the Remington 870 for hunting.
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Deer Hunting Recommendations ammo

Post by camroncrzy1 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:56 pm

I'm a newer Deer Hunter with a Rem 870. My gun came with a MOD Choke. What would everyone recommend for ammo in this gun? This weekend, I was shooting Winchester 3 in shells and the spread was so wide. I hit the deer in the neck and rear hind quarter at 30-35 yards. Needless to say, not enough to kill it. I have also shot 2 3/4 shells in it for practice and those seemed to hold the pattern much better. Does this gun do better with the smaller shells? I've also noticed people mention using slugs? Can I use them on this gun as it is or do I need to upgrade the gun to shoot these? Ive been reading a lot online, but can't really get a feel for what is the best. I'm on a tight budget, so I can't go out and just buy a bunch of different things to try. Any help from the group would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Deer Hunting Recommendations ammo

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:36 am

Buckshot loads vary quite a bit. Wad design, pellet hardness & size, buffering or not, pellet stacking style, and so on. Buckshot can take deer at 35 yards, but you'll need to find a choke and load combo that's up to the task. Apparently, your 3" Winchesters & Mod choke aren't playing very nicely together. Experiment with different loads & chokes (I'd suggest getting IC and Full tubes to try out; maybe an Improved Modified as well) to find a combination (or several) that mesh well, and test the pattern at varying ranges, so that you know how close you have to be to make a reasonably humane shot. If you intend to shoot at longer ranges, I'd look mostly at loads containing larger pellet sizes like 0B, 00B, or 000B, as they retain more velocity in flight and penetrate deeper than smaller #1B or #4B.

Slugs are an option, and may be better for deer hunting if you want to reach out to longer ranges. Be sure to check your local hunting regulations; different areas have different rules about when, where, and whether you can use slugs instead of buckshot.

As for the gun, it will shoot typical smoothbore slugs just fine without any modifications. Those slugs are intended for use in shot barrels, and the soft lead can fit through a Modified choke just fine. Slugs tend to do best out of light constrictions like IC, but as with buckshot, different slug loads can prefer different chokes, so you should spend some time at the range to make sure you have a combo that shoots well (and that you can place your shots where they need to go). That's not to say you can't upgrade; slug sights or a scope or red dot can help you tighten groups up, and swapping in a light sear spring can improve your trigger pull for that role.

If you really get into slug hunting, you could add a fully-rifled barrel and a magnified optic to your gun, and shoot advanced spin-stabilized slugs that are effective at even farther distances, but that gets expensive. If you're still figuring out what works for you, I'd say start with smoothbore slugs like the Foster or Brenekee styles, and go from there.

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