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Scope vs. Sights on Shotgun?

honkey

.270 WIN
I am new to all this as I don't come from a hunting family. I was attracted to the Mossberg 500 because of the ease of barrel switches and the possibility of having a scope for hunting. I mostly want to hunt hogs, but I think I would also enjoy duck and deer hunting. So right now I have a smooth barrel and I am going to be purchasing a rifled barrel. I am trying to decide if I want to just get what Walmart carries with the rifled barrel/scope combo or if I should just get a rifled barrel and get sights added separately. What do you guys think?

Also, I would like to find a barrel used for a little less money than Walmart's price. Any ideas where I might find one? There isn't a gun show near me until mid-April :(
 

John A.

Unconstitutional laws are not laws.
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It is possible to use a slug quite accurately with just a bead sight.

I know I have linked this video before, but he shoots a good distance with slugs and a bead.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmdMNwSxEcs[/youtube]

But it is completely possible to use a scope and mount too.

It all depends on which you like better.

I don't know how much walmart is asking for a rifled barrel, but you could check brownells.com or midwayusa.com and search there to compare prices.
 

honkey

.270 WIN
That guy has got some really good videos. I have used his videos to help me make a few decisions about which guns to get. I wonder what distance he was shooting that gong from. That is impressive for what I had been told the accuracy of a slug out of a smooth barrel is.
 

John A.

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I don't know the distance he is shooting in the above video.

This other (benelli) shotgun with slug video says 230 yards

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNTyCcip-ks[/youtube]
 
IMAO - I don't think a scope is necessary for shooting slugs from a shotgun. I wouldn't shoot anything outside of 100 yards with a 12 gauge slug, and really you should be able to hit anything inside 100 yards with open sights. I'm not sure I would go with only a bead, not to say just a bead is bad, but get a pair of cheap fiber-optic sights. I have them on my 535 and love them.

That being said, if you're new to shooting a scope may be easier for you. This also depends on how much you plan to practice. You won't get good at shooting open sights over night, but in the end they would be the easiest option.

Edit: Those are both good videos, in the end of the first one he says the farthest target is 80 yards.
 

honkey

.270 WIN
rjpoog1989 said:
IMAO - I don't think a scope is necessary for shooting slugs from a shotgun. I wouldn't shoot anything outside of 100 yards with a 12 gauge slug, and really you should be able to hit anything inside 100 yards with open sights. I'm not sure I would go with only a bead, not to say just a bead is bad, but get a pair of cheap fiber-optic sights. I have them on my 535 and love them.

That being said, if you're new to shooting a scope may be easier for you. This also depends on how much you plan to practice. You won't get good at shooting open sights over night, but in the end they would be the easiest option.

Edit: Those are both good videos, in the end of the first one he says the farthest target is 80 yards.

Thanks for the advice. I am not completely new to shooting. I have shot rifles and shotguns about one day a year for 10 years. The shotguns I have only done skeet though and I have only shot rifles out to about 50 yards. I also have a BB gun that I feel does help with practicing shooting targets, but my longest shots with that are probably around 40 yards where I can hit a can about 7 of 10 shots. I have actually never shot with a scope before. After watching that first video though, I am tempted to see how well I can shoot rifled slugs with the set up I have got now.
 

MikeD

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I think it depends on where and how you are hunting. For deer I prefer some type of scope. The light gathering qualities of a scope give me a few more minutes of hunt time that I would lose using iron sights. I can't say I've ever missed game as a result of using one over the other but given the conditions where I hunt I prefer it most of the time.
 

Bostoned

.22LR
With a rifled scope and sabots you can easily reach out to 200yrds. I have a cantilevered barrel for my 935 that I use with a scope for deer. I mounted and sighted it in and can remove the scope/barrel together when I want to put on the smooth bore. I just like to know exactly where my slug is going and not having much margin of error like there would be with a bead. Just my preference.
 

honkey

.270 WIN
Thanks for all the advice. I think I am going to go with the rifled barrel/scope combo that Walmart offers. MikeD made a good point about the light gathering of a scope. It is nice to know that even with the smooth barrel, I can still get accurate up to 75-80 yards with just a bead site. If I ever do go duck or turkey hunting, I could take along some slugs just in case I stumble upon a hog.
 

tcecil88

.30-06
Elite Member
I used to run a scope on both my deer gun and my turkey gun. Those scopes were usually lower power Simmons Pro-Diamond scopes. 2 power for turkey and 4 power or 1.5-5 adjustable for deer. Like MikeD says, it depends on what you are hunting, and I will add the amount of cover, and the terrain.
As I have gotten older, The scope has come off the turkey gun, mainly because the 835 eventually chewed it up and spit it out. Cost me 2 turkeys too. :evil: I found that I can do just as well with the fiber optics and I don't have to worry about the unpredictable spring weather fogging my scope up now. I predominantly hunt deep, hilly woods for turkey, and all my shots are close. If I were turkey hunting in field edges and open woods, I would want a scope for longer shots.
That being said, my deer gun will always wear a scope. I like the Simmons Pro-Diamonds. My deer gun currently has a 1.5-5x32 Pro-Diamond. I hunt semi-heavy to heavy cover from a treestand. Shooting down into cover with a scope allows me to see most of the little saplings that will deflect a 1 ounce Tru-ball slug. 90% of my shotgun shots are inside of bow range, but the heavy cover is where it's at for me, and the scope shines there.
 

Rossignol

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Youre gettin some good insights here!

For me, if I were to use a rifled barrel which was capable of 200 yards with sabots, I'd have to have a scope.

Now Oli has some video on here somewhere shooting a 200 yard target with rifled slugs and a smoothbore gun with the aid of a spotter. I only go out to 50 yards myself with rifled slugs... I just cant see well enough any further than that, though as has been seen, its entirely possible to go further.

The advantage with a rifled barrel, sabots and a scope, is the sabot is a much flatter trajectory... much less bullet drop to account for over some distance.

Another point made I wanna emphasize is it depends the terrain youre hunting to. If the terrain allows longer shots, the rifled barrel and scope may well be the way to go.

None of this is to say you cant keep your barrel and use a receiver mounted rail and scope?

One other consideration. Cheek weld suffers with any optics above the receiver. I dont personally like shooting slugs (or any full power loads) without a solid cheek weld, so I stick with my bead sight these days.
 
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