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Guns Magazine - Sluggin' deer: the 12-gauge browning gold rifled deer stalker fills the freezer with tasty corn-fed Iowa venison
11/29/2008 - By Admin
Living in the west all my life, I've never spent any time hunting deer with a shotgun, so when I drew an Iowa deer tag for the early shotgun season, I started doing some homework. Iowa produces some of the biggest whitetail bucks in the country and non-residents are lucky to draw a tag every second or third year, so I wasn't about to squander away this opportunity with substandard performance from my equipment.
I have pretty extensive experience shooting slugs through all types of tactical shotguns, and I'm comfortable shooting them within 50 yards or so. Now. I've gotten within 50 yards of big bucks before, but for a rare opportunity at a true trophy, I wanted to expand my reach as much as possible. Just keeping one eye open in the outdoor media, I've seen numerous different shotgun and slug makers claiming pretty amazing accuracy, so I set my sights on finding something effective out to 150 yards.More Articles of Interest A Screaming Slug From Winchester - Brief ArticleSupreme Partition Gold Shotgun SlugThe Year Of The SlugsStainless and sabots - a success story - stainless steel rifles and saboted...21st century super slugs: deer hunting is changing
I started looking for a shotgun designed specifically for deer hunting, which would utilize a rifled barrel with an integral cantilever scope mount. You don't need to be a ballistics wizard to know projectiles stabilized by spinning about their axis are inherently more accurate than those that don't. There are some methods for initiating spin on smoothbore shotgun barrels such as rifled choke tubes and grooved slugs, which will achieve some degree of spin, and enhance accuracy to a certain extent.
But I'm not taking a week of my coveted vacation, flying half way across the country and spending more than $400 on license/tag fees just to compromise on my chances of success with a gun not specifically designed for the task at hand. In my mind the task at hand is consistent fist-size groups at 100-yards with high-velocity slugs designed for deep penetration. With the right slugs, this would also result in reasonable paper-plate-size groups at 150 yards and a reasonable expectation of success at 200 yards if a wounded animal were getting away.
The gun I chose after reviewing several contenders was a Browning Gold Rifled Deer Stalker shotgun. After I got it, it didn't take long to realize this Browning shared the same lust for hunting my old Browning &Sweet Sixteen& Auto Five has. This gun is a shooter!
The shotgun's smooth and reliable gas operating system minimized recoil significantly, which is a big plus when you're shooting heavy magnum slugs. The trigger was nice and smooth after a little bit of take-up. It broke clean at 5 3/4 pounds, which is stiffer than I generally like my rifle triggers, but I didn't mind it for this type of gun. It felt comfortable and it didn't compromise my confidence out to 150 yards. On this trip to Iowa, the temperature was frequently near zero or below, so I minimized the oil and used a thin film of graphite-based grease. The action cycled smoothly and it didn't freeze up when I needed it to work.
For optics, I decided to try something I've been contemplating since I applied for the tag last spring--Nikon's Omega muzzleloader scope. The Omega scope is typical Nikon. It is rugged, precise, and crystal clear at a reasonable cost. It has a built-in bullet drop compensating reticle, which is specifically designed to work with the relatively heavy and slow projectiles associated with muzzleloaders.
Notice I say &relatively& heavy and slow, because today's in-line muzzleloaders are often pushing 300-plusgram projectiles at 2.000 fps or more. However, most bullet-drop compensating reticles in modern riflescopes are set up for flat-shooting, fire-breathing super magnums and they just don't translate to black-powder guns. Or shotguns shooting slugs, for that matter. As it turns out, the Omega's bullet drop compensating reticle does translate to the comparable bullet weights and velocities of specialty slugs. It's a match made in heaven.
The final piece of the puzzle was the amino. Which new super slug would put the finishing touch to this project? Since I was really limited on time. I really didn't plan on scouring the earth and testing every slug created. I've had great success with the accuracy and deep penetration of Nosler Partition bullets in the past, and I was eager to try Winchester's new Partition Gold shotgun slugs. Besides, the whole Browning Gold/Partition Gold thing seemed too compelling to pass up. When conferring with Winchester. I decided to try both the 2 3/7& Magnum and the 3& Magnum versions. since the Browning Gold is designed to accept both.
Both of the Partition Gold loads use the 385-grain Partition Gold bullet. The 2 3/4& load is reported to achieve 1.900 fps and the 3& load screams along at 2,000 fps. That is sizzling right along for a 385-grain projectile and produces plenty of energy to cleanly kill deer out to 200 yards. Either of these loads would have been effective for my purpose, but the 2 3/4& load shot tighter groups in this particular shotgun, so I selected it as my primary ammunition. This load gave me a 100-yard group of 4 1/2&. My 150-yard group was 8 1/2&, and at 200 yards, I didn't really have a group so much as a &pattern.&12<a hrArticle Source http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_10_53/ai_n27349617