I'm looking at getting either a slug barrel for my 12g Rem. 870 or a .45-70 for my TC Encore (or lever action). This will be used in a "short range" weapons hunt in my state for cow elk, as well as a stand/blind rifle in thick timbered areas for bucks (100yrds or less). Ballistics look similar (depending on the slug) between the 12g & .45-70.
This idea came up as I was archery hunting elk in an area that allowed a short range weapon for cows (short range in Idaho is bow, muzzleloader, shotgun, or any center fire "pistol" cartridge). I didn't want to pack my smoke pole (weight) AND my bow, but had several oppertunities at cows within 100 yards but out of bow range.
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 12:16 pm Posts: 987 Location: WI
I think cost wise you're going to have more into the .45-70 and it's going to be heavier than the 870 where I would be inclined to use the muzzleloader. I've shot both in the past but think of the 870 as a little closer range gun than 100yds, more like 75-80yds but maybe that is just my lack of shooting ability.
I believe this issue is mostly a matter of preference. As mentioned, ballistics are quite similar, with the .45-70 probably delivering just a tad better accuracy at 100 yds. Since a rifled slug barrel is all that is needed to turn the 870 into an effective close range hunting set-up, that is the rout I would take. I can't imagine shooting effectively in thick/dense terrain more than 75 yards.
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