Oh, trust me, I want to be persuaded. I'd use my grandpas .35 Remington in a heartbeat.
I use Remington 12 gauge 2 3/4 inch 1oz. rifled slugs, in a smooth bore factory stock...I don't shoot more than 40 yards at a deer...with my bow or my gun. The shells used to be $1.99 for 5, now they are closer to $3.29 for 5.
$0.40 - $0.66 per shell.
It doesn't get much cheaper than that. They do have 20 gauge, 28 gauge, 16 and .410's for shotguns. Hard to say whether or not those kick less than a .270, .243, .300 or whatever you might have in mind, but my guess is that they kick a lot less than a 10 or 12 gauge. I've used a 12 gauge my whole hunting career, even when I hunted in rifle country the first 9 years of my hunting career...as a matter of fact, I had a piece of crap shotgun for the first 3 years, to make sure I was interested in hunting, I literally used grandpas 12 gauge. To me hunting wasn't a matter of killing something. It was spending time with family members, having a group of hunters go out on cold, cold mornings in Marinette County. We owned/leased roughly 155 acres when I started. Between 13 people, we made it happen. I wasn't the best shot when I started out, but when it came down to it, people started asking me what my trick was. It was time with my gun. I ended up switching hunting style from "if it's brown, it's down" to selective harvest.
So back to the studies...I will admit...I didn't read up on all of the details, but I did see that the effective range of a rifle is 2.64 miles, and a shotgun is 1.97 miles or something like that.
To me, that says rifles are more dangerous. If they weren't, the military would be using them to snipe enemies at over a mile away.
That reminds me.
Do rifles have barrels that aren't rifled? I suppose not, or they wouldn't be called rifles.
My point being this...the results in these study are skewed.
There is no mention of the grain of the bullet, the distance both the rifle, shotgun and muzzleloader are sighted in at, which can make a huge difference.
If they take the lower end of the rifle ballistics, and compare it to the higher end of the shotgun ballistics, then this story might be believable, but "in most hunting scenarios", the average shotgun hunter does not have a rifled barrel, and 3" sabot slugs. That's just the way it is.
Anyway, rifle bullets go farther than shotgun slugs...only in one case do the shotgun slugs out "perform" rifle bullets. Which I don't believe, because the specifics of the studies were not specified by any means, and there was no documentation of any control groups. So to argue against this, I'm not using emotion, is purely scientific. In order to make your studies valid, Science is the answer my friends, not just a bunch of words.
Any ballistics nut knows that the distance traveled by a bullet is simply calculated by what distance the gun is zeroed in at, the bullet weight, elevation, wind drift and a few other factors.
I don't know of anyone who has a shotgun zeroed in at 10 or 1000 yards, but if it was common, then these ballistic test would be more believable. Had they said both the 12 gauge, and the 30-06 were both sighted in at 100 yards, then I could say, well, this is the reason why. When they leave that out of the study...you go on common knowledge, and common knowledge tells you to look a little deeper. When those specifics aren't supplied, then the story is false.
It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight.