Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

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Ifishandhunt
 
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Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby Ifishandhunt » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:47 pm

Last year I bought a new Remington 870 12 ga express combo with the 20" rifled deer barrel. When I asked the guy at the counter of this retail sporting goods store which ammo to use for the deer barrel he told me I can ONLY use the 1oz. Remington Premier Copper Solid Hollow Point Sabot Slug (1450 Velocity). So I bought a couple boxes of them in 2 3/4". They shot great and I sighted in quick out of the box. This weekend I bought a new scope and mounting kit  and attached it and went to the gun range today to sight it in. I used up a few rounds and was sighted in at 25 yards and 50 yards. I was about to set up for 100 yards and reallized I needed to buy more ammo. Geez... $3.00 a slug and hard to find as is much ammo these days.
 
My questions: Is this sales guy for real?... meaning is it true I can only shoot the copper slugs (mentioned above) out of this gun? I am not a pro when it comes to guns and ammo, but that just does not sound right. I know it has to be sabot since it is a fully rifled barrel. I was looking at other brand's (ie: Winchester and Federal and even Remington Buckhammer) sabot slugs and they were lead and easier to find and less money.
 
My idea is to run cheaper rounds to sight in the gun/scope and then throw in the copper ammo once I have consistent groupings to make sure that ammo is on target too.
 
Any ideas? Suggestions as to the ammo to use? The copper seems to run great/consistent through the gun but of course I have not used anything else to compare.

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby Everyday Hunter » Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:37 am

I can't directly answer your question, but I'm interested in what others say because I might be using my 870 (with a rifled choke tube) with slugs come fall.

What I would do if I were you (and I'll probably do it for my situation) is to find the manufacturers of slug ammo online (such as Lightfield, Brenneke, Hastings, plus the usual Federal, Winchester, Remington, etc.) and drop them an email to ask what they'd recommend for your gun & barrel.

Post the answers here. Thanks.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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Ifishandhunt
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby Ifishandhunt » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:57 pm

Yeah, I was hoping I could get a quick response here before having to send e-mails to the ammo companies. I only see ammo around here from Federal, Remington and Winchester, so those are the ones I contacted. I'll post the responses once I recieve them.

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shaman
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby shaman » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:26 am

Your salesman is full of deer raisins. It is hard to pronounce any slug round as THE round for a slug gun until it has been tried.  There are two things working against the average slug shotgun.  First, the barrel is usually not permanently affixed to the receiver.  You can improve accuracy on a dedicated slug gun by getting that joint welded, but I do not think it is worth it.  If I was going for that kind of accuracy, I would be starting with a bolt-action slug gun.   The other problem is the variability from one shotgun to the next and one round to the next.  To me, the best way to handle slugs is a 3-point plan:

1) Start cheap and work up. Be aware that the cost to sight in at a given distance goes up dramatically with yardage. Also remember that you do not have a 200 yard deer rifle there.  It will do 50 yards fine.  You are ahead of the game. Most slug guns require a little bit of work to do 100 yards You'll want to be careful to pick slugs that are meant for a rifled barrel. Some are. Some are not. 

A lot of guys use sabots nowadays.  To me, the most endearing aspect of shotgun slugs is their mass.  I once heard a 45 year-old woman tell a 20 year old woman "Dear, you just haven't lived until you've worn real silk stockings!"    My feeling is about the same for the all-lead foster slug.  Remember that sabots are a two-edged affair.  What you gain in potential distance you give up in mass.  A slug at close range on a deer can be a moving experience.  Trust me: mass has its advantages.

Also be aware that sabot performance are more hit and miss than a standard slug. There is a lot of variability. You may find one that performs well or you may find that $200 into the search, you still do not have a good sabot load for your barrel. 

You've already discovered another secret:  2 3/4" slugs in a 3" barrel.  You don't HAVE to shoot 3" slugs.


2) Pick a range and a budget.   Be realistic.  80% of my deer have all been taken inside 80 yards. The vast majority have come inside 50 yards. That's with all methods with a heavy bias towards rifles. Guys dream of deer at 200 yards, but most deer get shot remarkably close.  If you are already grouping at 100 yards, you are ahead of the game.

When I first got started with slugs, I took a $2 box of Remmie sluggers out with my Rem 1100 smooth-bored deer barrel and shot a cloverleaf on a pie plate offhand  at 50 yards.  I never worried about it after that.  When I got my Mossberg 500 with the rifled barrel, I tried three different slugs and settled on 2 3/4" Brennekes.  Those were going in the same hole at 50 yards offhand. I did not push it beyond that.

Why 50 yards? I got into deer hunting as an archer, so I always thought in terms of archery distances. All my stands were set up as archery stands and shotgun season was sort of a conciliation prize for an unfilled buck tag. A shotgun extended my range a bit, but I didn't push it.  I think my longest shot was about 65 yards.  I was always satisfied with shotgun performance as a result.  In my defense there was only once in all the seasons I have used my Rem 1100 in a shotgun season where I had to pass on a buck that was too far out.

3)  When you find a load that works, buy up as much of that lot you can afford and squirrel it away.  There is a lot of lot-to-lot variability and what works for you this year, might not work next year. Having a known load you're satisfied with will save you a ton of money over the years. Some guys like to invest $200 a year in ammo and spend a few afternoons at the range. I like to take the slug gun out, fire a few to check the zero and then go hunting.  I invest my Saturday afternoons  in the woods scouting, not at the range.


Even though I'm not an archer anymore, I still hunt about the same up-close and personal way.   I moved my hunting to Kentucky years ago, and mostly hunt with rifles now.  However, inside 50 yards, I would put a  well-placed 12 GA slug  on a par with a 30-06.  I still try and get out with my 1100 one day year in Kentucky and hunt off the ground:


The Shaman's Myth of the Brush Gun-- the real one

You're right in the end: the brush gun is really just a myth. On the other hand, I can pick up my 1100 and a fresh box of Sluggers and walk into the cedars and something magical happens. The deer are sniggering as much as ever, but for one brief Saturday afternoon I'm away from the shaving mirror and me and the brush gun can slip into the woods. I can stalk the deer and when I look down that 1100 is still as bright and shiny as the day I bought it. The Remington Sluggers are just as green, and as long as I stay along the ridge, and maybe angle downhill a little bit and don't try to go back it can be like twenty-something years ago back in Hocking Hills on Opening Day. The only thing missing is the stray shots zipping through the tree tops. Those I don't miss at all.

Of course the 1100 is starting to get a little dented, but I'm not wearing my reading glasses. I don't see the wear on the stock, or the lines on my hands. Along about sunset, I start trudging back up the ridge and as long as I do it slow enough the myth keeps working. Finally, I get back home, and put my brush gun up on the rack next to Moose's Garand and Angus' Mosin Nagant-- my sons don't seem to mind the weight. They'd schlep a boat anchor through the woods if they thought it would get them a deer.

Once in a great while I catch some deer laughing a little to hard or too long out there in the cedars, and it makes the trip worthwhile by reaffirming the myth and topping off the freezer. KY rifle season ends, and I don't feel bad about not buying an Ohio tag and joining the orange army the next Monday for the start of shotgun season. I put the 1100 away and don't think about it until next year.


http://blackholecoffeehouse.blogspot.com/2006/11/brush-guns.html
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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Ifishandhunt
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby Ifishandhunt » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:00 am

Thanks for your response Shaman. I had a feeling the salesman was full of something.
 
Everyday Hunter: I received my first response, from Federal. Here was their reply: 
  "You can shoot any sabot slug through your rifled slug barrel. Our Barnes
   expander load number P151 XS would be an excellent choice with
   velocities of 1530fps."

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby Everyday Hunter » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:06 pm

ORIGINAL: Ifishandhunt

Thanks for your response Shaman. I had a feeling the salesman was full of something.

Everyday Hunter: I received my first response, from Federal. Here was their reply: 
"You can shoot any sabot slug through your rifled slug barrel. Our Barnes
  expander load number P151 XS would be an excellent choice with
  velocities of 1530fps." 

That's the kind of answer I would expect. They will not get much more specific than that, no matter now many deer raisins they are full of. It's a simple enough question to ask them what hammer from their own tool box has been successful for others in that gun, and they have no reason to mislead you about that.

Besides, just because you're willing to hear what a salesman says doesn't mean you have to do what the salesman says. I trust that none of them will say "Our super-thumper triple-expanding Acme load is a far sight better than any Remchester or Winington or _________ [fill in blank] load that's now in stores or on their drawing boards." All you're really asking them for is a starting point, and you'll go from there.

Another place to ask questions is a competent gunsmith who does more than occasional work on slug guns, if you have one locally. But they could be biased too, so no matter what anyone advises, you do need to test ammo for yourself.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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mag30079
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby mag30079 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:52 pm

I shoot an 870 and have been up grading my gun over the last few years. I got the rully riffled barrel and have shot the remingtons coppers with mixed reviews. Deer&deerhunting have had some great articles on this subject over the past year. Because our remingtons have a 1/35 twist  for riffling they recomend 1800 fps plus sabots, for stability.

This was a very important key for my puzzle. Also it varys from gun to gun and barrel to barrel. Meaning it will cost a few bucks and many boxes to solve.

I'm still saving up some money. When I do go back to the range I plan on shooting Winchester Partition gold, Hornady, federal, lightfield in the red box, hastings, and the new remington Accutip sabot.

Best of luck to ya. Happy shooting
Another thing that helped me is I changed stocks to the new Remington thumb hole stock, it feels better and doesn't jump as bad when shot.
The history of the bow and arrow is the history of mankind. "Fred Bear"

msbadger
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby msbadger » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:35 am

I can't respond to the 12g or the rem. shot gun...but I can tell you that Brennekes have a fine product...
 
I shoot a Browning 20ga. and a Mossburg 20ga...both smooth bore and 3in....I had a hard time years ago finding slugs in a 3" mag for the browning and went to Brennekes...I never looked back and the guys saw the differance and they are all shooting Brennekes for their 16 and 12 ga guns....I've had clean kills at 90yrds and most are in the 60-80 yrd range....I tend to shoulder shoot... one shot drops  with just a bead sight...
 
Once I had a problem...shot a doe at 30yrds...bow stand....she tipped over and then got up...went into brush ...no shot....I watched her walk away tail down and feeding...[&:]...close to 200yrds away I see a tail go straight up and then disappear...I wait and then get out of stand ...no blood nothing so I walk to where I'd seen that wht flag...there she was dead as dead can be....no blood no visible hole nothing...gutted her and blood just flew out of her...long short ...slug hit her and chipped her elbow and stayed in the fat between her hide and her body...it never actually went in to her but still the impact ripped a hole in her liver...the slug and plastic wadding was still intact ...We figure it was light loaded at the factory ..or some how powder got damp...but that Brenneke still managed to kill that doe with out even cracking a rib....

CB on the run
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby CB on the run » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:52 am

Your rate of twist in your Remington rifled barrel in 1:35 as opposed to other manufactures 1:28. This will have an affect on which sabot slug you choose. You can shoot any sabot slug through that barrel. You can even shoot regular rifled slugs through it though I would highly recommend against it(defeating the intended purpose of the barrel as all foster slugs are under sized in case shot through a full choked barrel and will gum up your rifling leading to a marked decrease in accuracy). Normally with a 1:35 barrel a lower velocity saboted slug will pattern better than one of the newer hyper-velocity sabots. It seems that several of the leading ammo companies are chasing that 2000fps slug. It's all about capturing the market.
If money is an issue, I would buy a box or two of the Lightfields and test them. They have always shot well from my guns but have a habit of not exiting on deer. I like two holes in mine in case one plugs up and doesn't bleed. Copper solids are a good sabot and were designed to shoot from your gun. Federal makes several different sabots and there are two choices with Barnes bullets. One is there polymer tipped bullet and the other the hollowpoint. They may both be referred to as 'expanders'. The polymer tipped is going to be a hyper-velocity, about 1900fps at about $17.99 - 21.99 a box. The original hollowpoint expander is going around 1500-1600fps and is about 12.99 - $15 a box and is what I shoot.
A third option that I have tested some is Hornady's sabot. The bullet is the same as the muzzleloader bullet that is quite popular and works well on deer. If I remember correctly, the speed is up around 1900fps but it shot well from my gun. You can often find these rounds on sale for around $10 a box which is about as cheap as you will find a sabot with the possible exception of the Lighfields.
The biggest thing to remember when testing these slugs is to keep your barrel cool and clean. I cannot stress that enough. Pick a cool morning and let the gun rest at least 10 minutes between shots. Also take a cleaning rod or a bore snake as I do and clean the barrel every 4 - 5 shots. Always use a good rest, I sandbag mine front and rear and sight in at 75 yards dead on for a rifled slug gun, not 100. Good luck.

CB

pvaccaro
 
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RE: Which ammo for Rem 870 express 12 gauge?

Postby pvaccaro » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:34 am

Go with the White Box Lightfields
 
I shoot 2 3/4 Lightfields out of my 870 express and love them.  I tried the 3" thinking it would be faster and pack more of a punch but they were all over the paper.  I have 3 guys in my hunting party that shoot 870's but we all use different ammo.  Your best bet is to try a couple different types of ammo.  As stated in the previous posts you want to shoot 2 3/4 slugs out of a 3" barrel and the remington has a slower twist (1:35) so the higher balistic slugs might not perform as well.   

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