I just finished my second season with the 12 ga. H&R Ultra Light slug hunter, so I think I can finally offer a fair review.
As a bit of background I should share that I shot Federal Vital Shock, 2.75" Magnum, 3/4 oz., high velocity sabots. I used a red dot zeroed at 50 yards in the first season of use and a 2-7 scope zeroed at 100 yards in the second. I hunted mixed farmland with crop fields, pastures and small blocks of timber. All of my hunting was done from the stand or stalking. I did not hunt in a party or take running shots. So, here goes.
I found this gun to be extremely accurate on the range. I was able to pick fleas at 100 yards when shooting from a lead sled. Judging from this, I would say that the accuracy of the rifle barrel is beyond question.
In the field? Not so much.
Basically I found that the extreme light weight and compact design make it a difficult gun to manage while off-hand shooting. Even with a good sling I found my aim to be a little unsteady in an unsupported position. Even support from a limb or a pair of shooting sticks was not enough to guarantee shooting range accuracy. The shots that impacted just where I wanted them were ones in which I really clamped down and gripped tightly to a sturdy support. Anything less than tight disciplined shotgun shooting form was likely to result on a flier.
I will not deny for a second that most shotgun shooters have better form than I do, but almost all of us have a tendency to forget some of the basics when we are in the middle of an encounter. It is my opinion that the H&R Ultra Light Slug Hunter will magnify any poor shooting form.
In terms of clinical accuracy, this is an excellent shotgun for the price. In the field however I think it is a poor choice. If you are a solitary stand or spot and stalk hunter, I would think that the H&R Ultra (with a heavy barrel) looks like a good choice. But personally I am going to return to my muzzleloader because it is a legal "shotgun" option in Iowa and also can be used in ML seasons. If you are a still hunter or a party hunter, I would find the weight and size of the Ultra Light to be attractive but I would not recommend a single shot.
If you are an extremely disciplined shooter looking for a light and inexpensive shotgun to hunt with from the stand, get in touch with me because I've got one for sale!