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Q:
Hey Guys. So i am going to be hunting in Frederick, Maryland where you cannot use rifles. I have a 12 gauge 11-87 Sportsman with a 28 inch barrel and a 870 express in 20 gauge with a shorter barrel. I may be in a blind overlooking a field or in heavy woods. None of my shots will be over 50 yds. Should i go with the 12 for its knockdown power and less maneuverability or is the 20 enough to put down a deer with the right shot. I have never shotgun hunted before and have no idea which to use. Buckshot is illegal in Maryland so i will be using slugs with a rifled choke-tube. Thanks guys! -Jack

from MDhunter1 on 12.03.12

Answers (6)

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from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Hi...

All kinds of good hunting tips below.

You probably CAN'T get a proper answer without trying out both shotguns. What choke is the 12-gauge?

A 20-gauge is quite capable of taking a deer.

I wouldn't be overly concerned about "maneuverability", as there won't be THAT much difference, particularly if you're in a blind.

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from 6phunter wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

4everAUTUMN

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I would use whichever one is more accurate. The 20 gauge is plenty potent enough for deer out to at least 100 yards with modern high-performance slug loads, so no worries there.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

4everAutumn is right on the button. Take the one that shoots slugs the best.

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from JM wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Could you bring them both to Maryland? I'd use the 12 gauge whenever possible, but if you find that maneuverability in the woods is that much of an issue you could drop it off and grab the 20 gauge.

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from 4everAutumn wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I like a 12, though a 20 is plenty, but I’d take whichever one you can shoot more accurately. If you haven’t shot slugs through each of them yet, you need to. You might be surprised how differently they both perform, even at 50 yards.

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from 4everAutumn wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I like a 12, though a 20 is plenty, but I’d take whichever one you can shoot more accurately. If you haven’t shot slugs through each of them yet, you need to. You might be surprised how differently they both perform, even at 50 yards.

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from JM wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Could you bring them both to Maryland? I'd use the 12 gauge whenever possible, but if you find that maneuverability in the woods is that much of an issue you could drop it off and grab the 20 gauge.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

4everAutumn is right on the button. Take the one that shoots slugs the best.

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from 6phunter wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

4everAUTUMN

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from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Hi...

All kinds of good hunting tips below.

You probably CAN'T get a proper answer without trying out both shotguns. What choke is the 12-gauge?

A 20-gauge is quite capable of taking a deer.

I wouldn't be overly concerned about "maneuverability", as there won't be THAT much difference, particularly if you're in a blind.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I would use whichever one is more accurate. The 20 gauge is plenty potent enough for deer out to at least 100 yards with modern high-performance slug loads, so no worries there.

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