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Benelli Nova Tactical shotgun (courtesy

Tactical shotguns can shoot.”

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  1. How it shoots slugs at 50,75 and 100 yards. That’s all you need to know. I’ve deer hunted with a single shot H&R 12 bore with the old round lead “pumpkin ball” load. It ain’t rocket science.

    • You mean I dont need to buy the newest whizzbang shottie to hunt deer, and another classic bangwhizz shotgun for HD?

      Yeah, I dont shoot shotguns but even I know it ain’t rocket science. Learn your holdovers and be accurate enough to hit the vitals.

      • The old timers that taught me to hunt used the paper plare method. Standard white paper plate tacked to a tree. If you hunted with a rifle you did it at 100 yards. 3 shots off hand. All 3 hit the plate you were good to go. With a shotgun you set the target at 50 yards and did the same.

        At that time I lived in WV and hunted there and KY and Ohio. Ohio was shotgun only, about half of WV was shotgun only. A 12 bore and a .30-30 pretty much covered all that territory.

        • Pretty much what I was thinking. Regarding 30-30, do you use it to hunt things bigger than whitetail deer?

        • lolinski, the .30-30 is a great medium range bush gun for whitetail deer sized animals. Personally, if I was hunting more open country or bigger animals I would move up to something like the .308.

  2. Given the current G&A, and Runner’s World pieces I half expected a “no reason to have scary black shotguns out there making honest sportsmen look bad” article.

  3. Good article demonstrating how a black plastic shottie can be used as well as a walnut one for sport without subliminally coaxing the owner to engage in a mass shooting. Even if it has a collapsible stock.
    Good on ya, Field and Stream. I expected a different story.

  4. I rented a room from a guy who was a drunk. He was also a whiz at repairing cars. Anyway, 4 weeks before deer season one year, he asked me to buy him a shotgun as the guy he normally borrowed one from wasn’t available. I trooped down to Dick’s and bought him a Russian single shot 12 gauge for $65.

    I got home from work on opening day to find a 6-point buck hanging from a tree next to the garage.. My landlord asked me to hold the rope while he dressed the buck over a 55 gallon garbage can. When he’d finished, he showed me the heart and I could see a perfect hole where the 1 oz slug went right through.

        • So if I shoot a gun down Main Street and nobody gets hurt, it’s okay? Hoo-rah! Meet me downtown tonight!

          He lied on a federal form, specifically question 11a. And he lied for a drunk who may be disbarred by law from purchasing a firearm. Which for all you know may be the very reason his “friend” asked him to buy the gun for him.

          Not smart. Not smart at all.

        • Ralph,

          That’s called “private sales” between friends 😉 The ATF form in question has no restrictions on the time frame of ownership.

          Mr. Pete bought a shotgun for himself for $65. He enjoyed it for 1 hour and then privately sold it to his buddy. In my opinion – that form in question is unconstitutional anyway. I don’t need to fill out a form to go to church, or speak at a rally right?

          I do agree with you though. If his landlord was an undercover cop – over for Mr. pete.

  5. Imho, a rifled bore is much more accurate. Although it might “ring” buckshot. While I understand why no one makes a rifled tactical shotgun, I’m a bit surprised the author didn’t try a rifled choke. In my experience a rifled bore is great for slugs, but terrible for skeet. So I would want a smooth bore for turkey or upland hunting. Luckily, many shotguns have interchangeable barrels.

  6. Not a deer hunter, but live in a slug gun state (Illinois); it’s always been my understanding shotguns for deer hunting were subject to the magazine limit and required a plug. Or is that just an Illinois regulation?


    • It varies from state to state. Some have a 3-shell limit, others have higher, others have no limit. Laws on the matter are pretty scattershot nationwide (if you’ll forgive the pun)

      • We kept the plugs in our pumps and semi’s because we also hunted duck and geese and federal law limited you to 3 shots. never found the limit to hurt us in our other hunting as well so we just kept the plugs.

  7. It depends on the state, season and type of game. Usually 2+1 for birds, upland and big game. Varmints probably not. Here in Missouri the limit’s 10 rounds regardless, no full-auto. Beyond that most anything is fine.

    Funny thing about the tone of the article. There’s many a turkey gun out there that makes a fine house gun – mine was a Mossy #52225, 21″ ported barrel, fiber optic sights on top of a vent rib, MossyOak camo finish. Handled quite well, reasonably light.

    I have a 930 Tactical with the meat tenderizer muzzle now, but the previous version was just fine by me.


  8. I have said on this forum before that the rifle is queen of the battlefield but the shotgun rules the castle. I think in a wide variety of scenarios a shotgun is more ‘utilitarian’ that a rifle. Feel free to disagree in 3, 2, 1…..

    • I dont disagree with you. I can see how if you only have one firearm a shotgun would be nice, birdshot for birds&rabbits, buckshot for HD, and slugs for bigger game. But you are limited to at most 200 metres (if you are a really good shot with a shotgun). But a silenced .22 and 30.06/308/8mm Mauser/6.5 Swede is king here in Norway. .22 for the birds and small critters, the other one for everything else.

  9. I disagree. I’ve always considered the the rifle a rather manly implement, with no pretensions of being either a queen or a princess. As for the shotgun ruling the castle,
    well yeah, there’s that.

    • I think my Saiga 12 needs to go shwack some turkeys. I might scare myself with it and that frightening AK patterned receiver.

  10. I just leave my Mossberg tactical out in the field and it kills the deer (and moose, bears, small children, etc) all by itself.

  11. WI just changed to rifle – approved deer hunting throughout the whole state. I could use a smoothbore or rifled shotgun, but its gonna be .460 Smith handgun/ 6.8 SPC AR / .308 LTR / .45-70 XLR this year. My father has taken deer with 12 gauge slugs on our hunting trips – they definitely have some serious knockdown power. Apparently WI is removing a bunch of restrictions, and mag capacity is not an issue. Suppressors may also be approved (totally unsure of that, though, and its not an issue since I don’t have one).

    I’m definitely looking forward to the trip.

    • Regarding Wisconsin’s recent rule change, be aware they left it in the local government’s hands to decide whether to allow rifle for deer or not. Make sure you check with the town/township/county where you’re planning to hunt to find out if rifle is allowed.

  12. not surprising. the only real differences from these “tactical” shotguns and the 16-year-old 870 Express I use as a slugger is the color of the stock and the length of the magazine tube. A smooth-bore slug gun will never be a tack-driver but with Brenneke-style slugs mine is plenty accurate for blasting Bambi. well, with open sights it’s accurate enough at distances I have any business attempting.

  13. I used a defective Stevens 320 tactical w/ pistol grip last year. Managed to lay under some deadfall and have a monster buck wander right up to me and stop to eat some acorns about 8 feet off the muzzle. I aimed slowly dead center of his massive chest and squeezed the trigger. Light strike on the primer and lost my one shot at that beautiful buck. Saw a kid dragging it out of the woods when i went to get the rifle…and it literally brought tears to my eyes.

    Sent it in with a hate note to Savage…got an upgrade for free. They gave me a 350 with the same 18″ barrel and A2 style stock. Thanks Savage! But still, screw you.

    • So you are saying you didn’t test it to make sure it wasn’t defective or was it just bad luck that it manifested at that point?


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